Monday, March 20, 2017

Pondering on Weathertop

Impressions of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring," Revisited via the movie.


The reader should be familiar with the movies based on Tolkien's iconic trilogy; if he is not, having read the trilogy twice, this reader found no contradiction between the movies and the novels they were based upon. The movies are faithful enough to the text and seem to harbor less Hollywood poison than any other film adaptation, that when I feel moved to revisit the story, I choose the expedient of the movie. For this viewing, I sat with a companion who had never seen the movies, nor completed the trilogy, but had read "The Hobbit."

Her initial thought was to view them according to the story chronology with "The Hobbit" first. However, having viewed all three of the Hobbit movies, I informed her that unlike "The Lord of the Rings," the three-part screen adaptation of "The Hobbit" had progressively demonstrated the onset of the Hollywood cancer. Filmed at a video game pace, "The Hobbit" movies surrendered to the most virulent politically correct tropes; nordic negroes, a killer heroine flying through the air, slaying armies of armored giants, and a completely inserted subplot involving an interracial love affair between an elf princess who rejects her heritage and a doomed martyr dwarf. By the end of the last movie, I was so disgusted and had developed such a vicarious hatred for dwarves and elves that I embarrassed my son by cheering gutturally with a fist of power to every stroke delivered by the only masculine figures fighting for their heritage--the orc chieftains played by modern Maori stunt men. The message of Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring," so keenly preserved in the movie, with Orcs representing the evils of industrialism and mass mongrelized society, was so twisted out of all shape by the same production group a mere ten years later that the only thing left representing a shred of Tolkien's metaphor was the depiction of the defiant Orc chieftain battling against all odds, against the greed of men and elves and dwarves, in a doomed fight to preserve his tribe.

I revisited The Fellowship of the Ring from a mythic, masculine perspective, the only passion I have left to me. I find myself identifying with the ring wraiths in this way. I identify the following themes: 1. The inevitable corruptibility of Men in Power, 2. The innocence and hope of children, 3. The damnation of the elite, 4. The industrialization of life, 5. The primacy of nature, 6. The alchemy of knowledge, 7. Intercession. We'll come back to these as they appear in the story line.

First, we want to cover some plot elements. The persistent foibles of two of the hobbits, Merry and Pippin, seem to represent the stupidity and utility of common people who exist purely in the temporal sphere, who have no inkling of the transcendent. While the two lesser hobbits get the fellowship in plenty of trouble, demonstrating little or no forethought, their survivability reflected in their knack for navigating the violence of the physical world, is crucial to the quest. These commoner hobbits both facilitate Frodo's escape from the forces of evil as well as assuring that the evil forces are aware of the quest.

Frodo and Sam represent incorruptibility and honor, elements which rise up enough in the course of human affairs to frustrate the drive toward the dark side. They are, however, shown to be too trusting and direct, and certainly too few to be able to survive without the assistance of baser types of their kind, i.e., Merry and Pippin. Taken together, the four hobbits represent a synergy of honor, purity, criminality and recklessness necessary to frustrate any systemic effort to eradicate the human spirit. Each pair of hobbits make a whole as well as the two pairs together.

As a general note, Tolkien stands out as a philologist, a folklorist, and a mythologist. His story-telling skills when compared to commercial fiction writers, from contemporaries like Edgar Rice Burroughs down to writers of suspense, like Robert Ludlum and Eric von Lustbader [creator and inheriting author of the "Bourne" adventure series], are fairly pedestrian. Tolkien could never write a whodunit or a mystery novel. He relies on stupid mistakes as do authors of modern horror scripts and relies on improbable resurrections as do authors of religious texts. Tolkien's genius is in the texture of his world and the composition of its moral fabric.

The sacrifice of Gandalf in the ultimate cause results in the breaking of the fellowship that had been formed toward that same ultimate goal. In order for Tolkien's themes to be played out, the breaking of the fellowship was necessary in terms of the plot, so necessary, that it is indicated in the title, with the different characters, separating but still committed to the same goal, we have a story that evokes the Grail romances in "The Life of Arthur" by Mallory.

Theme One: The Inevitable Corruptibility of Men in Power

The central theme of the trilogy is clearly the ring, as indicated by the Title. The ring of power is a mythic artifact representing the corruption of power or the dictum that power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. This represents the gravity or the moral weight that affects all of the lesser thematic elements of the story.

Theme Two: The Innocence and Hope of Children

The characters, Frodo and Sam, represent innocence and hope respectively. As the element of innocence, Frodo supplies resistance to corruption. As the element of Hope, Sam represents the courage and commitment to honor necessary for the persistence of the purity embodied in Frodo. If this were a modern, more concise tale, Frodo and Sam would be the conflicting elements of one character.

Theme Three: The Damnation of the Elite

This is represented by the conference in Rivendell and embodied by the person of Boromir, the son of the steward of the great kingdom of Gondor. Boromir wears the trappings of the hero and when in combat, acts heroically, but he is in fact a representative of the intrinsically corrupt elite class and can barely keep his hands off of the ring for the entirety of the fellowship's quest. As a character, Boromir annoys the viewer every bit as much as the politician annoys the voter, for both the viewer and the voter are compelled to back the representative in his struggle, knowing full well that he will betray the cause. The lady, Galadriel, and Boromir's deep dread of her in the meeting, recall the politicians fleeting realization that he lacks the character of his ancestral counterpart, the hero.

Theme Four: The Industrialization of Life

Saruman, the wizard, Lord of Isengard, represents the industrialist and the modern nation state, his Orcs representing the soldier of machine warfare,--the warrior debased to a cipher—nameless and without identity. Saruman's campaign to industrialize his formerly sacred fiefdom was very strongly represented in the film, possibly inspired by Tolkien's experience in World War I.


Theme Five: The Primacy of Nature

This is best illustrated, in Tolkien's hands, by the unnatural ring wraiths, the nine dark riders that oppose the nine members of the fellowship. The wraiths, "were once kings of men," and so they appear the shadowed outline of what once might have been a hero king. These are the corrupt leaders of industrialized mankind. Interestingly, they appear unable to travel except by road, and the members of the fellowship fall into deepest peril at their hands when they gather in a town and when they seek the shelter of the ancient fortress turret now known as Weathertop, the most powerful and therefore most corrupt, and they only apply their power along the well-trodden axis of man's technological development. This is most tellingly illustrated when they attempt to cross a river with a diminished flow, only to be washed away by a torrent, called down by the elf princess.

Theme Six: The Alchemy of Knowledge

In The Lord of the Rings, there are only a handful of wizards. Foremost among these are Gandalf and Saruman. These two characters offer a dualistic study of light and dark sorcery, sorcery being the use of knowledge to affect the course of events, with the character of Saruman representing the corruption of humanity which occurs when knowledge is bent to serve power. Gandalf represents the sacrifice necessary to use knowledge as a means of thwarting the accrual of power in corrupt hands.

Theme Seven: Intercession

The character of Aragorn represents the reluctant hero who fears taking on the powers of kingship from the knowledge that kings, most clearly exemplified by his corruptible ancestor, are often corrupted by their assumption of power. Conversely, Aragorn represents the hope of common people for an intercessor, a supra-elite being who possesses enough power in his office that he is above the corrupting pursuit of power that typifies the twisted souls such as Borimor, and might check that corruptible pursuit. Consider again the scene at Weathertop, where Aragorn, the man who would reluctantly accept kingship, fights off all nine of the undead ring wraiths, who have through their pursuit of power degenerated from his heroic form to a state of empty predation. Aragorn represents to the ring wraiths what they once might have been and so they fear him, just as they represent what he might become, and so he drives them off like figments of a nightmare. This is the scene, midway through the first of the three novels comprising the trilogy, that predicts the third novel and names it, "The Return of the King."

Taken as a whole, "The Fellowship of the Ring" is a study of the hero in various forms, striving to survive a system contrived to make him an impossibility. In this sense, as long as there is a hero, there's hope.

A Well of Heroes

(c) James LaFond

Panhandler Nation

"Panhandler Nation," is a Harm City book.  James chronicles his interaction with the feral inhabitants of Baltimore on the street, in the buses, watering holes, workplaces and more.

Panhandler Nation

The Greatest Boxer, ranking the top 144 boxers

"The Greatest Boxer," is James LaFond's definitive analysis of 144 boxers.  A must have for scholars of the sport and those with the masculine need to sort and rank the warriors they admire.

Amazon link (paperback):  The Greatest Boxer -- Amazon

James LaFond store (pdf version):  The Greatest Boxer -- JL store

In the Chinks in of The Machine, a collection of obscure biographies

"In the Chinks of The Machine" is a wide ranging collection of biographies of people who resisted the machine of civilization.

In the Chinks of The Machine

Friday, March 17, 2017

Take Me to Your Breeder: Letters from an Extraterrestrial Anthropologist

"Take Me to Your Breeder," is an epistolary, emotionally dissociative survey of history, religion and a selection of the authors observations within his, ahem, diverse, social acquaintance.

Pick up a copy and leave a review:

Take Me to Your Breeder

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Abandoning Libertarianism

James's main site is down, so to help you while away the time until the site can be repaired, I thought I'd post this response to James's recent post "Heritability of Values."

James, I will respond to your piece about libertarians, with the caveat that I have not watched the video and probably never will. As you have noticed, there is a substantial portion of the "alt-right" that are former libertarians. Since I am one myself, I can give you a little tongue in cheek summary of my "red-pill" experience.

1. I am super smart and highly educated. I believe in climate change and evolution. Proles and Christians are dumb!
2. I can drink whenever I want and use drugs occasionally and still hold down my office job.
3. Have you ever heard of Ayn Rand? She really knew what was up!
4. I learned in school that racism is really bad, and so are sexism, homophobia, transphobia, intersectional white supremacy zzzzzzz sorry, I fell asleep. But I am a really good student so I totally understand. The thing is, welfare is really harmful to minorities, and if we abolish the minimum wage, more people will hire peasants in domestic service positions.
5. The constitution is really great. The government can't take away my rights, it says so right there.

Conclusion: I am really awesome. I have never murdered anyone, and it is not even because it is against the law, it is because of my personal belief in non-violence! All my friends are exactly like me. Why do we even have laws? Why is pot illegal? Why can't I pay my Guatemalan groundskeeper $4/hour? It is more than he was making back home!

6. Wow, the science of genetics is really taking off, Imma go read some wikipedia pages brb.
7. Hmm, it seems quite likely that things like drug addiction and IQ have genetic components. Did you know Native Americans have gene variants that cause alcohol to literally make them crazy? Did you know that white children in the poorest socioeconomic level do better on SATs than black children in the highest level?
8. I think my school teachers and university professors have been lying to me about these things all my life. What else have they been lying about?

(an incomplete list)
a. Academic achievement between races
b. Physical and mental differences between men and women
c. Medical and nutritional advice (see sugar and junk food lobbies)
d. Climate change
e. Abortion, especially the market in dead babies
f. Impacts of diversity on communities
g. Birth control pills
h. Pesticide use and harms thereof
i. Monetary policy and fractional reserve lending
j. Islam is the religion of peace (Thanks GWB!)
k. The objective harm that comes with a gay lifestyle (drug addiction, domestic violence, child abuse, health problems of all kinds, not merely sexually transmitted, many others)

9. The constitution is a piece of paper and nobody cares what is written on it (thanks Chief Justice John Roberts). The US Government has nukes, what do you have?
10. Christians were right about a lot of things after all. I am just a speck in this giant universe, yet here I am. Maybe I am not really an atheist anymore either.

Conclusion: Everybody is not like me. Some people get into drugs and simply melt their brains, I guess they have a right to do that if they want, but it is not nice to see that happen to a loved one. Some people do not have the intellectual wherewithal to survive in the "information economy," maybe endless welfare is not a good idea, but neither is importing more of them in by the millions (why not give eugenics a try? I still don't trust the government). Some people are smart and hard working but they do not have the personality for college or an office job (hi James). Maybe it is not fair to drive down their wages by allowing corporate interests to determine immigration levels and legislate an environment that benefits owners and stockholders over labor. Labor unions can still go pound sand though, especially government labor unions.

I have said and done plenty of stupid things in my life, I am not embarrassed that I used to be a libertarian. Maybe if I were smarter I would have passed through that phase more quickly or skipped it completely. Politically, I don't really have a home, though I like the way things are going. This is just my silly story of how my political thinking changed. Many people could be exposed to the same information that I saw and not change their minds. Others could start out from a position similar to where I am now and go backwards, taking on a social justice mindset.

I think libertarianism is materialist because it stridently atheist.  These are people who are so very smart they have no need of primitive superstitions, and atheism always devolves into materialism.  Stefan Molyneux and Scott Adams did an interview together where they both agreed that even though they are atheists, they prefer the company of Christians over other atheists.  These guys are the prototypical examples of logic-addicted nerd libertarians who have come around to realizing that not everyone is like them, high IQ, hyperlogical, live and let live kind of people who will never commit a crime more serious than cannabis possession.

The question of cultural suicide is the more important one. I don't know what is causing it, I just hope we can get out of the tailspin.

An Interview with the Author, About Reverent Chandler




 

Megan: How did you get the idea for these Viking-Indians in a future Ice Age?

 

James: This is a story against modernity, based on our belief that we are gods—for who else could heat a planet by holding a gaseous magnifying glass to the sun? That whole idea that Man is shaping climate more than the heavens and the sun came to me at the same time that this young white nationalist fellow complained to me that my psycho character in By This Axe! killed whites way out of proportion to people of color. Although I’m not a White Nationalist—but a race traitor really—I can see that the globalist one-world-government agenda is contingent upon the diminishment of the people of European descent to the point of being a curious remnant like the Australoids or Cappoids, the copper-skinned !Kung bushmen who owned most of Africa 40,000 years ago. This brought me to the realization that American whites are soon to be the beleaguered natives of this land just as the Amerindians once were.

My most recent research has also indicated to me that the Indian tribes who resisted against the French and English-speaking invaders the longest, from 1535 to1814—when the people of New England were terrified that Chief Joseph Brant and 300 warriors were going to invade the U.S.—that the most warlike tribes of the eastern woodlands were partially white, through adoption of escaped slave sailors and indentured servants and also through intermarrying with Norse explorers in medieval times. Where the ancient Iroquois were part Caucasian and adopted many Norse customs such as long houses and war axes, my future Vikings are part Indian and have adopted some of their traditions, namely hunting and totemic visions.

 

Megan: What are the characters like?

 

James: They are heroes, mass murderers on a mission to avenge their people after all of their women and children have been killed, except for Fend, who has trouble with killing, it bothers him, so he is like their medic.

 

Megan: is there a character based on you?

 

James: Yes, Fend. I’m no hero. By our standards I may be a fighter. But with a group of legitimate medieval bad-asses like Cull and Est, I’d be the water boy.

Megan: Okay, since you wrote it I’m pretty much afraid to read it, so, the first book… Reverent Chandler, what is the story line?

James: There are seven heroes—the last seven white guys on earth—trying to get Reverent Chandler back to his order’s sacred tree. Each warrior gets his own chapter where he stays behind to kill as many mud people as he can—and they all die gloriously!

Megan: Nice! It’ll be on the Halmark Channel next year, right?

 

Laughter

 

Megan: Okay, Reverent Chandler must be a nice guy, like the Chaplain on MASH. What’s his story?

James: He was being tortured by the papas, the catholic priests of the Muds. They cut his feet off to begin skinning him alive. The Nords that survived the battle to rescue him—the six bad asses and Fend, their Wuxx, which kind of means wolf pussy—have to get him back to the Home tree of the Nords where the sacred acts tattooed on his body will be preserved by skinning him alive and binding his intricately tattooed skin into a great wooden book.

Megan: And that’s a happy ending?

James: Yes, but it is not assured, besides their thousands of mud warriors the papas have “mudders” black guys that are trained like human blood hounds—the NBA with spears, Olympic quality cannibals raised on the flesh of white men!

Megan: You know, this is what they should do to child rapists, send them to some world that you made up—you fruit loop! I’ll take my copy sealed in glass so I can’t read it.

 


 
Reverent Chandler: The Saga of Fend