23 October 2006


Vile Republican Senator Rick Santorum alludes to The Lord of the Rings.
As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else. It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the US. You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States.
I saw this a while ago, and the allusion gave me a chuckle, though the sentiment was a tiresome recapitualtion of the stupid “flypaper strategy” justification of the Iraq War. I didn't give it another thought, but Lance Mannion did.
I want to know. Who's Frodo in Rick Santorum's misreading of The Lord of the Rings?

While the eye of Sauron is focused on Iraq, who's carrying the Ring up Mount Doom to throw it into the pit and destroy it and end the war?

And is Santorum aware that Frodo fails?
The Ring gets to him in the end. It's an accident that it's destroyed. Does Santorum expect that Gollum's going to come along at the last minute?

Mannion's post is a cunning mix of Rings lore and politics. And then he follows up with an examination of what The Lord of the Rings is actually about.
The Lord of the Rings is not a political work. It has no political lessons to teach. It's a moral work. It's about the inner lives of individuals, not the public functioning of societies.

A very important way Santorum's allusion was wrong is that it uses Sauron as a stand in for an outside threat.

Sauron is an inner evil. That's why he has no body and no personality. It's why his armies are mostly anonymous.

Evil, in the Lord of the Rings, isn't an Other. It's a destructive force within ourselves that we bring to bear upon ourselves.

The bad guys are kind of a disappointing and unscary lot, just a bunch of fairy tale hobgoblins led by a yet another evil wizard, until they are seen for what they are ...

If you have any love of The Lord of the Rings in your heart at all, even a little bit, go read that second post. Likewise, my readers with no love of Tolkien but a love of transabyssal nondual awareness should check it out. (You know who you are.)

Really, go. It's lovely.

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