|The Year We Forgot How We Used To Be
By Clyde Lewis
It is quite odd that a movie about a past that never existed inspires me to write about a future that hasn't happened, and a possible past quickly forgotten, buried under the rubble of Ground Zero. It all makes the last century look like a low budget B- movie. That was then and this is now. Reality has given us "Die Hard" with real planes that blow up in tall buildings and real bad guys. Who needs Horror when you have real terror? Who needs Science Fiction when you are living the future? Who needs religion when God is the nuclear threat?
At the risk of making myself sound far too human, I got really drunk on Christmas day. I was more lit than the Christmas tree. It was cold outside and there was a nice fire in the fireplace and I was with good friends. I thought, that perhaps it was appropriate to drink. Drink away all the tension that I have had all year long.
One of my girl friends had told me that she had felt my neck and that it was tight, and the muscles in my back were too wound up. She tried to massage them but said they seemed like rocks. She asked one of my friends to feel my back and he said the same thing. He said have a drink, and loosen up. So I did. I had several drinks to loosen up.
It gave me a chance to think about a lot of things I gained and lost this year. This year was a roller coaster for me and a lot of people tell me that I am lucky to even have the ups and downs. Most people say that the entire year was lost on them and they were already wishing for the good old days. The scary part is most of them told me that they couldn't remember the last time they actually felt good. Many were saying that they couldn't believe they have held together. Many experienced tragic deaths of loved ones, financial crisis, and loss of employment.
Many asked me what I think the future holds and I would say, "please I am getting a good buzz going, do you really want to know what I think?"
I'd rhetorically ask hoping for a "no" or hoping some other subject would come up. So I would change the subject myself.
I would say, "has anyone seen Lord of the Rings yet?"
The whole group would look at me like a heard of cattle would if they had to take the SAT tests.. Then one of the older guys in the group says "No! Don't have time." And still another "I'll bet you were one of those kids who played Dungeons and Dragons weren't ya?"
I give them a flat "no" and walk to the relish tray and put the black olives on every finger like I did when I was five. Yea that really impresses everyone. One of the girls giggles and says that I am "cute" and I laugh and think that my years are slipping behind me. You know you are getting older when a fresh faced young woman looks at you and you want to check her I.D.
She puts a cigarette in her mouth and I light it for her. She takes a drag and says thank you. I find a wine glass and I pour her a glass. I decide to flirt a little bit with her feeling like some Star Trek geek looking for his first kiss.
I hand her the wine and she says "I saw Lord of the rings." I smile and say, So what did you think? Surprisingly she says to me that it is allegorical of what is happening today. That Tolkien is as prophetic as Asimov, or George Orwell.
I think to myself, this is too good to be true, young, smart, and dangerously pretty.
She is 22 goes to PSU and obviously has a boy friend. He wants to be a rock star and has a passion for the Sex Pistols.
I'm thinking hmmm... 1981 I was young, wanting to be a rock star, had a skeleton band with two guitarists and no drummer, loved KISS, had tickets to "the Who" and the only thing that made me a punk was my DEVO, B52's and Clash records.
I was lost somewhere. I was wondering what time it was. Not hours and seconds, but years. Where did they go? We have been traveling so fast on the time and space continuum that we haven't taken the time to smell the roses, or watch the sunrise.
I mean look I may be 2 years away from being 40 but I was trying my best to remember being 18 and not knowing where I was going. Not even knowing what the future held.
All because a 22 year old girl who has black hair and bedroom eyes talks to me about Tolkien and punk rock. Talking to a guy who is actually still thinking about the death of his favorite Beatle, George Harrison. I push my luck while talking about music and bring up his death.
She only knows him as one of 'the Traveling Wilbury's. That slams me back to reality.
I try to hide my embarrassment knowing that I have now become one of the "strange and old men" who visit her friend's parent's house.
Funny how the tales from Hobbit Land seem to transcend space and time. For that moment I had a little confidence. I knew that there was a meme I could tap into and have a bit of conversation about Sauron, Gandalf, and Frodo, Bilbo, and Sam. There were some people who felt that Tolkien's tale was analogous to World War II but he denied it. I actually failed to see a comparison and even in the movie I saw nothing that would make me feel like I was seeing a World War II epic cleverly disguised as a fantasy romp. Star Wars had far more to do with the Nazi Imagery than anything Peter Jackson could show in "The fellowship of the Ring."
However the comparisons of Middle Earth, and the Middle East, The two Towers and the twin Towers all of a sudden were being used as Icons that circumstantially fueled the intoxicated theories that came out of the both of us.
The alcohol gave way to all sorts of strange theories and possibilities. Some were as synchronistic as Pink Floyd Music and The Wizard of Oz and others of course were mental stretches that with the senses dulled seemed to be eerily juxtaposed in some strange time warp.
After the party I had time to recuperate but the philosophical taste still lingered in my mouth and I began to realize that maybe in my pickled brain cells there was a message trying to get through. Maybe the irony was not lost in some bottle of wine and the eyes of a young woman. Perhaps the tale of the ring and those who seek it is an allegory for our day and hopefully someone will see beyond the special effects of a movie and pick up the book and use it as a testament of truth found hidden in the annals of mythology.
"And thus the Third Age of Middle Earth began.
History became legend, legend became myth - and
some things that should not have been forgotten were lost." -Tolkien
If we were to look at that sentence and apply it to the here and now we would get.
"And thus the third millenium on earth began and ironically history became legend, legend became myth -and the lines between the two became blurred and most things that should not have been forgotten were lost."
I have always said on my shows that history is one of those things that can be used to determine the future. Mythologies and stories told by those who had special sight are also poetic guides to what is real and right. After all, the Bible is revered as the word of God, and there are those who take all of the stories literally. I believe that some of them are allegorical and contrary to most Christian thought I think that it doesn't discredit it in any way to say that. Mythologies and parables were told by Jesus Christ and nobody faulted him for telling a good story to get the point across.
Tolkien's books are great stories and yes they do apply today because the message is evident to me. We can learn lessons from alternate universes even if they exist in fantasy books. If you really haven't paid attention to the message that Tolkien's trilogy is trying to tell us in this universe, then perhaps you should read the book again and attend the movie until the message makes a lasting impression.
Maybe then you will realize that much has been forgotten and as we forget much more will be lost.
The running message that I hope you find in the pages of Tolkien, and in the flashing pictures that grace the screen is something that we have forgotten as we are still collectively mourning our losses from September 11th, 2001.
The message that I get from the stories is simple.
Power when mixed with evil intent is a disease.
Power tends to corrupt.
Power is addictive.
Power is the drug and people will do anything to maintain their fix.
"The Fellowship of the Ring" is a cautionary tale that may get lost on all of the special effects and great acting. Power is the forbidden fruit that is ripe for the picking. Once it is eaten it corrupts those who are undisciplined. The end result is a fall and eventually destruction.
All good men have the potential to be bad men and when they are given the keys to rule they have the choice to rule with honor or rule with a clenching and covetous grasp on the Iron scepter. If their power is threatened they will fight and will strike down those who oppose them.
The hobbits were amicable creatures and had the curiosity and attitude of a child. They had a love for each other, a love of nature, and Sam was devoted to his friend Frodo. Hobbits believed that all should go about their business without any interference. They believed in equality and the spirit of happiness.
The elves in Tolkien's world suggested to me that there is a heaven. A heaven where all beauty and ideal come together.
In the movie I felt as if I was taken away for a moment and was shown that perhaps this could be the real earth some day where all people can live in peace and happiness regardless of their beliefs and that they would not have to live in famine. When I say famine, I mean of both sustenance and knowledge.
They would not have to taste the wrath of the expansion of evil. Where the faces of the children scream and the terrified mothers twist their countenance in sheer panic as they watch their homes burn and their children's flesh drop from their bones.
Which brings me to the vile and horrific side of Tolkien's genius, The Orcs. Creatures whose soul purpose is to kill and spill the blood of the innocent. Their domain is underground and around the center of all evil, Mordor.
The Orcs are minions of Sauron the Dark Lord of Mordor. The passage from Tolkien's work is a frightening allegory of the powers of the Dark Lord, his gaze and spying with the evil eye, and the police force of the dark cloaked horsemen known as the Nine of Nazgul or the Ringwraiths. Their purpose is to find the ring. The ring that holds the ultimate power. The power to control all things in a world order based on the tenants of fear and bloodshed.
"Few had stood before the throne of the Dark Lord in his impregnable fastness of Barad Dur at the end of the Third Age in Middle Earth. And fewer still remembered a time when Sauron walked openly under the light. Elrond perhaps... maybe a few others. At the time of the last War of the Ring the Nameless One like his Servants the Nazgul had no form under the light of day. Only a shadow that stretched out in his infinite desire for domination over all of Middle Earth.
Many described the enemy as a great Eye ever searching. The one Ring which was cut from his hand by Isildur with the broken hilt-shard of Narsil the sword of his father Elendil who lay dead beside Gil-galad upon the slopes of Odoruin Mount Doom. Sauron forged the One in the cracks of doom in Odoruin in the Second Age of the world placing a great part of his strength of old within it.
All of his mind and thought are consumed by the One Ring for which he longs.Suddenly he felt the Eye. There was an Eye in the Dark Tower that did not sleep. He knew that it had become aware of his gaze. A fierce eager will was there. It leapt toward him; almost like a finger he felt it, searching for him.
Very soon it would nail him down, know exactly where he was. Amon Lhaw it touched. It glanced upon Tol Brandir - he threw himself from the seat, crouching, covering his head with his gray hood.
A black shadow seemed to pass like an arm above him; it missed Amon Hen and groped out west, and faded.
The Eye: that horrible growing sense of a hostile will that strove with a great power to pierce all shadows of cloud, and earth, and flesh, and to see you: pin you under it's deadly gaze, naked, immovable. So thin, so frail and thin, the veils were become that still warded it off.
Frodo knew just where the present habitation and heart of that will now was: as certainly as a man can tell the direction of the sun with his eyes shut. He was facing it, and its potency beat upon his brow."--From the "The Breaking of the Fellowship" in "The Fellowship of the Ring."
It was evident throughout the book and the film that Sauron wanted to find the ring to establish his new powerful order. As you can see he establishes a dark police force of nine hooded horsemen that ride at night to look for the ring, and spy on people.
In order to continue his reign of terror he recruits the services of a powerful and Good Wizard Saruman. Saruman uses his powers to genetically engineer a new and more powerful Orc and ravages the countryside ripping up trees and creating an army of Orcs that would work to create what appears to be a military industrial complex.
The once beautiful place known as Isengard begins to look more like the unbearable landscape of Mordor. It demonstrates how evil expands and eventually destroys all that is in its reach. It may be interpreted as an ecology lesson, but that would be too simplistic. What it demonstrated to me was the old Joseph Campbell philosophy that the surroundings of a community reflect what its leaders espouse.
Mordor was a desolate place where nothing could live. Isengard became a mirror image of Mordor when Saruman made his deal with Sauron.
All for the ring.
All for Power all for the control of Middle Earth.
That is the point. Sauron was more than an Icon of Evil. He was more of an Icon for the lengths that men go to, in order to become powerful and control those who want order and liberty. There were rings of power handed to every ruler in Middle earth, but Sauron was so obsessed with power he created a super ring that controlled everything.
"One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all
And in the Darkness bind them."
The ring that Sauron created was eventually cut from his fingers in Battle by the King of Gondor and now anyone who finds the ring finds themselves under the control of Sauron. It contains his essence and it has the power to corrupt anyone who possesses it. It has to be destroyed.
It is revealed to Frodo what would happen if the he fails in his quest to destroy the ring. In a Mirror shown to him by the Elf Witch, Frodo sees the complete take over by the forces of Sauron and the Global expansion of Saruman and is blighted and industrialized Isengard.
This Globalization will be easy if Sauron obtains the ring. Because the Hobbit are a very peaceful people, they are harmless and love life.
I believe that the one ring is a metaphor for the power, evil and fear used to implement New World Order. One Ring to rule them all. What will fuel the New World order? The very same thing that Sauron used to recruit the powerful Saruman. He used riches and fear. He convinced this once wise wizard that his help would bring about the new order where the one ring will be the ultimate power and those who do not join will ultimately perish.
The tales of Tolkien are a gift to the age. The movies hopefully will be a counter attack to the overall red neck justice and patriotism that has taken hold of a large group of Americans in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
It is right and just to not ignore evil and to stop evil doers. However it is a destructive route to believe that using evil to attack evil prevails in any way.
Even in the "Fellowship of the Ring" The wise men of Rivendale were discussing the possibility of using the ring against Sauron. This of course alarmed Gandalf, who says that the use of evil will never produce a worthy victory. The use of evil will never bring great happiness or satisfaction.
It is evident in the wake of 9/11. How long can we keep shooting in the fog? When it be shown that evil; to combat evil has never been the answer. Haven't we been here before? Aren't we playing out the same story again?
But I am sure my critics will say "This is convoluted and it is based on fantasy and so it means nothing-It's time to get with the program we are at War!"
Yea.. yea.. yea.. War .. well the war is something that I hope I can ignore next year. Because it was the biggest excuse since El Nino for all of the problems in the world.
I have never heard so many people say that their year was the worst year ever. This is even a part from the attacks on New York. What people have forgotten is that life went on and that people felt real tragedies in their own lives that had nothing to do with acts of terrorism.
The negativity has damaged us. There are many who thrive on it and I have said that we should stop it. I have tried to point fingers at the culprits and no one really wants to hear that we are setting ourselves up for betrayal. We are already preparing ourselves for unrest and more control and the fear of the people and the hubris of the government is truly what will destroy us.
Do you really want global war all next year? Is it necessary? You don't truly believe that a war on terrorism is a real war? It's as nebulous as a war on sin. In fact it is a war on sin. It is only reworded so you will demand new laws that will erode your civil liberties. Terrorism is more frightening than sin.
Already we are being told that the New Year will be a year of war.
It is a difficult task, forsaking the desire to attack when you are attacked. This is unfortunate. The United States has fallen for the first great lie of evil and that is peace can only be obtained through systematic violence.
It is for this nebulous plague that we want to be at war another year? Maybe ten years. Stuck in this cycle of negativity? Whatever happened to love your enemies?
I know that it is an unpopular thing to say right now but didn't it work for Jesus Christ? Is it more Christ like to know when to walk away and know when to turn the other cheek and rebuild?
Oh I know - only pussies and pushovers love their enemies.
So who has the balls to walk up to Jesus Christ and tell him he is a pussy with no spine that told us to love one another? Who is going to pray to God in the name of the lord Jesus and say that the alleged son of God did not use wisdom in uttering words of harmony and peace even in the throes of persecution and turmoil?
Wasn't it George W. Bush who said that his biggest inspiration was Jesus? Isn't John Ashcroft the man who is an Evangelical Christian who espouses Christian views?
I was attacked verbally in my own forum when I called Ashcroft's record into question. I was told that I was attacking him because he was a Christian.
Well don't give me the Christian shield when the sword of righteousness is a rubber crutch.
"Blessed are the peacemakers"-there were some words that today would get you crucified. Let's ask all of the big mouth, tough war mongers to get some gonads and call Christ the pussy that they are making him out to be.
Anyone want to do it?
Show whose team you're really on -- tell someone who wants to be Christ like that they are spineless peaceniks who deserve to get their asses kicked. Whose going to be the first person to tell me that what Christ says doesn't mean anything today?
When you do I will laugh out loud. Because then I will know exactly what world I am in. I will be in the world that is similar to Mordor. The world that a lunatic like Jack Chick used to write about in his Cartoon tracts where some bozo wearing 666 pointed a gun to the head of a righteous Christian and said "Deny Christ or die."
Well? Whose team are you on? Are you jumping down the backs of those who want peace? Are you telling them to shut up because they see the evil that is waiting at the doorstep?
Tell the Pope that he is wrong, or misguided when he deplores the acts of bloodshed. Who has the courage to step up to the stage and declare that religion and the message of peace does not apply here. Especially in a nebulous war that has an even more illusory enemy.
Who do you have faith in now? Whose team are you playing on?
Oh I know the red white and blue team.. the one that is one nation under God, who gave his only begotten son. That same son who was a spineless, pushover, who knew nothing about the wars of today. The same son who says:
"As I have loved you love one another."
"Father forgive them for they know not what they do."
Let it be known that the betrayal has begun and while many will recover in 2002, many will learn the truth of just what time it is.
Two minutes to Midnight.
Can anyone stand to hear on the news that Osama Bin Laden has been cornered? How many times have they said that there is no escape? How many victories have we laid claim to? Have we forgotten how many times that we have been put on nation wide alert for a massive attack? Have you changed your life out of fear of this dangling sword that hangs above your head by a hair?
How many people are annoyed at the spelling of Usama Bin Laden?
People will tell me it can be spelled both ways.
Well yea but at least OSAMA does not include the letters USA in it!
My critics told me that three months after 9/11 we were closing in on a victory, that I was wrong and that there is no police state and no antichrist waiting in the wings. Have I not illustrated to you that the attitudes and fear in this country have made us ripe for the harvest? Have we not left ourselves wide open for the expansion of evil by the power hungry rank and file?
Are we that blind?
I guess it is hard to see when you are bombarded with fantasy. When you are led by an illusion. The Taliban and the Al Queda seem to have some how disappeared into the deserts of central Asia.
As George W. Bush explains, "Bin laden was once a leader of a country, but now he is the leader of a cave."
Yes and apparently he is crafty enough to escape our multi billion dollar military machine. Our all seeing Eye. This is what makes our alleged victory so hollow and so disingenuous. No one is expecting a three-month miracle but another year upon year of this dark cloud over America for a war that sees no end is pointless. This dark cloud hugs close to the ground keeping everyone in a fog.
We lose ourselves in the strange mix of vengeance masking as justice and disinformation masking itself as knowledge.
I have said that there is no difference in this hollow war than any other we have been involved with. The terrorists slipped through the cracks. What large cracks we had apparently. None of what is real would be revealed. The President said so himself. Then he changed gears and said that in a war on terror knowledge is power.
Think about what you are being asked to believe.
Everything that you should know is being kept secret and everything important is being lost in the government press releases that continue to focus on heroic efforts, and the threat of more attacks. This will continue the vicious circle. The ring of fear and hate that seems to be the controller.
All they need is that one ring to rule you. A ring in your nose to lead you.
The ring of fear and control. Who is the deceiver and hate monger? Who is the bogeyman that the western world has feared for so long? Who is easily slipping into the hands of the wizened who have given up their good for the expansion of evil? I know this isn't popular to ask.. but they are honest questions. What will the future hold? What will happen?
Well the obvious future is in old age, illness and death. The suffering depends on you. If you wish to suffer and you chose to suffer then you are just collateral damage in this war against sin masked as terrorism.
The sin is obvious. It is Murder.
Plain and simple.
We are using murder to try and extinguish the pain from an act of murder. This of course will not deter anyone from committing more murder. It will not stop anything. It is the same idiot logic that is used to justify capital punishment.
The idea that if we kill the prisoner who commits the crime, then we will deter other criminals from committing crimes that are similar.
If we remain ignorant of what it is that we are fighting. If we ignore the fact that people in power have the ability to abuse power and manipulate us then we are in denial.
If we do not investigate and warn people about what it all can escalate into then we have no hope of recovery.
If we use evil in order to fight evil then we will sign our death warrant.
The reason is quite clear. As Tolkien showed us, evil spreads like a contagious disease. There are spiritually wicked people in places of power. Their purpose is to establish a new order and destroy the old one.
Sometimes wisdom comes from the grandest of mythologies. It may be fantasy, but it is based in some of the more basic realities.
We live in a time where our memories are fading because of the bombardment of fast forward information. Perhaps it is wise to calm down and bury ourselves in a story that teaches us that basic principles still exist and that we must heed the lessons taught in the fables we pass on from generation to generation.
Whether you read Tolkien or even the Bible you may want to pay attention to those heroes and those that wielded power. See which ones remained true to their cause. Watch at who fell and why they fell.
Understand that if you have all of the power in the world you can become convinced that the metaphoric ring is yours for the taking. A ring to rule, a ring to seek out and spy on the innocent, a ring to round them up and eventually control them. A ring to bind and gag, to torture, and kill, to get those in fear to go against their will.
The ring, the pieces of silver, and the kiss.
When used for corruption it is the ultimate betrayal.
Everyone has their price. What is yours?
Copyright 1998-2007 Ground Zero Media, Clyde Lewis, and John Hart. All Rights Reserved.