Lessons of Tolkein; Join the Hobbit’s, not the Orc’s

After reading this Anthropik.com article, I was inspired to watch the Lord of The Rings Trilogy again, searching for the symbolism that Tolkein wrote about, and Peter Jackson made come to life in the films. Some of the movie lines are startling metaphors for what is happening around us today, as energy supplies fail to meet demand. (This is merely my interpretation of the story.)

For example, In the film, Sarumon says:

“The world is changing. Who now has the strength to stand against the armies of Isengard and Mordor? To stand against the might of Sauron and Saruman and the union of the two towers? Together, my lord Sauron, we shall rule this Middle-earth.”

[The trees around Isengard are being ripped down, chopped up and used to feed huge furnaces. The caverns of Isengard glow with the fires of industry, sounds of hammering fill the air and molten iron is poured into casts to forge weapons.]

“The old world will burn in the fires of industry. The forests will fall. A new order will rise. We will drive the machine of war with the sword and the spear and the iron fists of the Orc. We have only to remove those who oppose us.”

After reading the piece on Anthropik, and looking at the website with the kids, I don’t believe I have been so disturbed in a long time. Tolkein’s warnings have transpired, a black cloud is now growing, literally, despite the false promise of “clean coal”. No one now has the strength to stand against the armies of the east and the west, there are no elf, man, and dwarf armies to beat back the forces of evil from “covering all the lands in the second darkness” to quote Gandalf. The coal issue as a replacement for oil is crazy, almost as crazy as nuclear, but these are just the symbols of the darkness we as a species face, if we want to survive, joining the Orcs or becoming Urak-hai, is not the answer.

There are of course, no Ents to destroy the growing threat of Isengard. For most of the earth has already been deforested, as William Kotke wrote in Final Empire:

How the Forests Went Down

It is estimated that more than one third of the earth was forested prior to the culture of empire. This is roughly 30 billion hectares (nearly 94 billion acres).1 The most recent estimates show that only about a tenth of the forests remain, some 4 billion hectares (about 9.9 billion acres).2 It is important to note here that these figures refer to any assemblage of trees, not just the climax ecosystems. The amount of uninjured old growth forest remaining has never been calculated; indeed, this minuscule, high-value remainder is so much in demand by the timber industries of the world that any calculation would be immediately outdated because the trees are disappearing so fast.

Alex Macsporan wrote a great article last year entitled, “A Hobbit’s Choice: Saruman or Sam”: In it, he illustrates Tolkein’s metaphor of a sustainable, simple, happy life the Hobbit’s lived, compared to the darkness which was threatening that livelihood:

For us Hobbits who do not wish to be swept up into the wars of the rival Sarumans and see our Shires turned into ugly replicas of Isengard, it behoves us to come up with some other way. Our first priority will be to keep some ordered society intact. Hobbits were blessed with a placid temperament and almost never killed each other on purpose; we humans are not so well-configured. In a brutish struggle of all against all, we will become like the Uruk-hai, brutal, cannibalistic and cruel. It would hardly be worth surviving if that were the world we were bound to live in. It would represent the final triumph of the Shadow.

…Being at war with nature, blighting and defiling that which is beautiful in the pursuit of profit and power, is what distinguishes the evil powers of Middle-Earth. Mordor is a poisonous wasteland, full of smoking desolation and toxin. Isengard is a place of wheels and machines, steadily laying waste to the neighbouring Forest of Fangorn. Our version of this madness is of a particularly virulent kind. We have even pressed the corpses of the plankton that floated for tens of thousands of generations in the sunlit waters of the long-vanished, dinosaur-haunted Tethys Sea into our service. Here indeed was a Lost World worthy of Tolkien at his most nostalgic, and our exploitation of it worthy of Saruman at his most corrupt. This substance, which we call ‘oil’, has been our glory, and as it expires, as it must, it will become our bane. Using it we have created a society unique in the history of the world for its bland, arrogance and soulless uniformity; producing an endless array of foods that do not nourish, medicines that do not cure, recreations and satisfactions that do not satisfy.

…In some ways it is worse than the squalid, industrial ugliness of Tolkien’s Mordor; for it carefully hides the evidence of its relentless murder of nature behind a screen of slick, fair-sounding patter. Every day through our TV palantirs and printed scrolls, the Voice of Saruman erodes our good sense, our morals and our reason. Slowly we become beguiled wraiths, cut off from light and nature, passing inexorably into Shadow.

The voice of Saruman is always whispering in our ear, whether through a commercial that warms your heart because it says “don’t worry, ethanol from clean burning, renewable corn, or sugar, or grass will save us”. Save us from what? The natural world? To quote Treebeard:

That sounds like Orc mischief to me!

The process of making ethanol uses more fuel to produce than the ethanol itself yields, and that is at today’s oil prices, which won’t last. So the big score for the Orcs and Urak-hai now, is the vastly unexplored, melting, arctic, and antarctic. On June 3rd, this Reuters article came over the wire:

1920 treaty holds key to Arctic energy riches

The area holds the world’s best stocks of cod, worth billions of dollars, and geologists say it could contain massive energy supplies comparable with the southern sector of the sea. The two sectors could hold a combined total of up to 6.3 billion barrels of undiscovered oil equivalent, almost as much as Azerbaijan’s total reserves.

This insanity is nothing but Orc mischief, we are in a deep hole, and in order to find our way out, we should invest our time and energy into the full support of those wraiths who got us into this mess. Einstein put it, “the problems we now face will not be solved with the same thinking that got us into the problem in the first place”. In other words, joining the Orc, and Urak-hai hordes is not the answer to our problems. As Frodo faced darkness after being stabbed by one of the Ring Wraiths, Arwan was able to lead him back to the light. We must now do this for others, those not yet completely taken by the darkness.

SARUMAN: Against the power of Mordor, there can be no victory. We must join with him, Gandalf. We must join with Sauron. It would be wise, my friend.

GANDALF: Tell me, friend, when did Saruman the wise abandon reason for madness?

In the “Two Towers”, after Treebeard’s “Entmoot” decided not to help defeat Sarumon, Pippin began to give up, and suggested going home:

PIPPIN: Maybe Treebeard’s right. We don’t belong here, Merry. It’s too big for us. What can we do in the end? We’ve got the Shire. Maybe we should go home.

MERRY: The fires of Isengard will spread. And the woods of Tuckborough and Buckland will burn. And all that was once green and good in this world will be gone. There won’t be a Shire, Pippin.

Isn’t this what it has really come to? As Derrick Jensen says, in his new book, Endgame:

Are we willing to live a life without clean air, clean water, wild animals: a livable planet? For what, precisely, will we face down our own fears? We have the best excuse in the world to not act. The momentum of civilization is fierce. The acculturation deep. Those in power will imprison us if we effectively resist. Or they will torture us. Or they will kill us. There are so many of them, and they have weapons. They have the law. And many of them—prob-ably in the final analysis nearly all of them—have no scruples, else they would never support the current system in the first place. Because of all this, there really is nothing we can do. We may as well admit that.

But the question becomes: would you rather have the best excuse in the world, or would you rather have a world?

Merry understood this, he knew he could return to the Shire, but that it wouldn’t last, because the darkness would follow, destroying “everything that was once green and good in this world”

This is the predicament we face now, those of us whose bodies remember the old ways, but do not know how to consciously or physically actualize those ways, may be haunted by the words of Galadriel:

The world is changed: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, I smell it in the air…Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.

So the question becomes, is there still a chance for stability, for our children to survive, and even thrive in a new world? Macsporan writes:

Those who imagine they could isolate themselves from this catastrophe in Hobbit-like isolation must be prepared to defend themselves against the rampaging orc-hordes indefinitely, with no friendly Rangers to guard them and no empty leagues of Eriador to keep enemies at bay, just perpetual war with hostile neighbours interspersed with waves of invaders: that was the lot of Europeans during the real Dark Ages. While this might be better than the Uruk-hai scenario, it is a long way from the Shire, let alone Lothlorien

It is no longer a feasible option, to stay at home, and hope for the best, as Derrick Jensen points out, Hope, is what got us into this mess to begin with. It is action that will get us out. One of my favorite dialogues in the “Two Towers” is at the end, when Sam is discussing with Frodo, the importance of going forward into the darkest regions of the world:

SAM: It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

FRODO: What are we holding on to, Sam?

SAM: There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

We may be at the very crossroads of history that Tolkein envisioned , as when Frodo said to Gandalf,

“I wish the ring had never come to me”, I wish none of this had ever happened”

Gandalf replied, “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

So I ask of myself, what shall I decide to do with my time? We do not get to choose the times we are born into, but we can make a choice that becomes starkly more urgent every day, Do we become Urak-hai: half man, half Orc, or do we go back to being Hobbit’s? Macsporan wrote:

Yet Tolkien’s tale of the survival of the Hobbits in the former lands of Arnor has an important lesson for us humans in the real world. Eventually everyone else in that region perished, leaving the Hobbits alone in their little land. We have already noted that Hobbits didn’t kill each other. This bespeaks a social harmony and cohesion in their society that our more “advanced” culture might well envy. All that we know of them with their close-knit families and social egalitarianism suggests this very strongly. It is these qualities above all that we must learn to cultivate.

A similar solidarity exists between the characters in the Lord of the Rings, often of diverse cultures and races. This solidarity makes the story instinctively attractive and real to us. The Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Men are able to work together despite their differences, differences which make our own seem trivial. We cannot survive alone. We may not survive together either, but our chances are very much enlarged if we try to. After the other races left and the Hobbits were alone in their region, they did not breed their way into the empty spaces and take up all the vacant land until they were pressing up against the borders of Gondor far to the South. They stayed within their boundaries happy with what they had. How Hobbits controlled their population is not known. Tolkien is silent on this delicate subject, but however they controlled their population we would do well to emulate them. We must learn, like Hobbits and Elves, to control our numbers, if we are to have a life above orc-level.

To me, Tolkein made it clear that despite the courage and valor it took Aragorn, Legolas, Eomer, and Faramir to storm the black gates of Mordor, they could not have hoped to defeat the forces of darkness themselves, they could only create a diversion. Sam and Frodo had to succeed, and the ring was slowly turning Frodo to darkness, with only Sam left to save the day. I think Sam is Tolkein’s expression of what humanity’s potential could be. From Macsporan’s article:

Samwise was more than a stout-hearted hero, he was a gardener too. In future we will all be growing much of our own food. We must learn to love the earth and all growing things as he did, as the Elves and Ents. As Peak Oil hits, the mechanised Mordor-agriculture that feeds us will experience breakdowns. Veggie gardens, both individual and collective, will make all the difference. Permacultural techniques, using natural methods to combat insect predators and other pests will inevitably replace the undead food-production methods in use today.

The ring represents war, famine, poison, death, and above all, power. For power is what tempts Boromir, Galadriel, and Gandalf. And while the latter two reject that temptation when faced with it, Boromir could not. Situationist Raoul Vaneigem explains why so many of us love the oppression that is so obviously tied to possesion the “One Ring” (money and power):

“Where constraint breaks people, and mediation makes fools of them, the seduction of power is what makes them love their oppression. Because of it, people give up their real riches for a cause that mutilates them; for an appearance that reifies them; for roles that wrest them from authentic life; for a time whose passage defines and confines them.” — Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday

The world is burning in the fires of industry, just like Sarumon said. We go to our pathetic jobs every day, into the service of Sauron, burning fossil fuels, wasting unimaginable amounts of paper products, building dead things like skyscrapers and mansions, loaded with the very industrial pollution Tolkein despised. And these are only the minor problems compared to the existence of power plants, open-pit coal mines, smelting plants, petro-chemical plants, oil refineries, factory farms, etc. We can use the “best excuse in the world”, as Jensen talks about, or we can summon the courage of Samwise Gamgee, and Frodo, and Aragorn, and Legolas, and Gimli, etc., and fight scores of Orcs and Uruk-Hai, who greatly outnumbered them and fight for our very lives, before it is too late, before all that is “green and good in the world” is gone. Or we can fall into the trap set by Sauron, the one that Boromir, Denethor, Saruman, Wormtongue, and Gollum fell into. Tolkein used these characters to demonstrate how otherwise good creatures, can so easily fall into darkness, as a result of the hopelessness so many of us feel, or simply out a need to choose the “winning” side as Sarumon insinuated. From the Tolkein Society website, from a section entitled “Those Awful Orcs”:

Tolkien’s orcs are not of course intended to stand for Germans or any other nation of the “real world”; they represent the worst aspect of humankind when engaged in indiscriminate violence. Tolkien does not show his orcs at their worst, in rape and massacre, and there is nothing observed or reported of the orcs which has not happened in our world. The human-like characters who choose evil, however – Denethor, Saruman, Wormtongue, and Gollum -are tempted, fall, and are given chances to repent. Moreover, throughout the epic Gollum’s life is frequently spared: part of the essential patterning of the plot in order for Gollum to reach the Crack of Doom and save Frodo from the Ring. Tolkien urges his readers to choose Good over Evil; but as a Roman Catholic believing the doctrine of original sin, he feared for the world’s future. He was particularly concerned about ultimate war, which he predicted before the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima: “Shall there be two cities of Minas Morgul, grinning at each other across a dead land filled with rottenness?” In his hatred of industrial pollution and his portrayal of the Ents, he was also ahead of his time.

If only there were Ents left to attack and dismantle the Orc mischeif of deforestation, dams, coal and oil burning, etc. But there are not, I heard an environmental activist song recently, that said, “If the trees could scream, none of us would sleep at night” This is the picture on the cover of Derrick Jensen and George Draffan’s book “Strangely like War”

In the book Jensen and Draffan explain that:

In the U.S. only five percent of native forest remains; forests on a global level are also under attack, with one estimate claiming that two and a half acres are cut every second. International deforestation causes the extinction of plants and animals in addition to driving human forest dwellers, like the Karen of Burma, the Mapuche of Chile and the Penan of Malaysia, from their homelands. The destruction of forests also results in flooding, erosion and landslides. Production of paper products releases highly toxic chemicals into both the air and water. The authors provide many instances of collusion between industry and government, which has led to a U.S. commercial timber and logging industry permitted to destroy forests almost without restriction. Environmental agencies such as the Sierra Club or the Environmental Defense Fund, according to Jensen and Draffan, are more interested in raising money than in raising discomfort among the economically powerful. Globalization, they argue, is a network of financial, legal and political structures that operate for the benefit of the economic elite, allowing those in power to consume the natural resources of other nations.

In Tolkein’s vision of resistance, the Men, Elves, Hobbit’s, and Dwarves didn’t wait for the “fires of Mordor” to encroach their landbase, to destroy their forests, and poison there rivers, as Boromir stated in part one of the trilogy, explaining the impossible task before them:

BOROMIR:One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its black gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep and the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust…the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly.

The advantage the fellowship had, was they knew where the enemy was located, and, at least for the time being, could avoid Mordor. They also knew what Orcs looked like. But when the Elrond and Gandalf recongnized that Sauron was on the move, and amassing an army, they acted, they pre-emptively organized a resistance effort to fight. Where are the elders of our time, wise and knowledgeable, whom we would listen to and respect their advice, even if it meant doing something extremely difficult, and dangerous. Perhaps people like Jensen and Draffan could be compared to Elrond and Gandalf, but the majority of people do not even know who they are. Where are the noble and courageous men and women who would follow, abandoning the comforts and elegancies of modern culture to join the resistance against the growing shadow.

After killing one of the men marching to Mordor, in order to join Sauron’s army, Faramir asked:

The enemy? His sense of duty was no less than yours, I deem. You wonder what his name is, where he comes from, and if he really was evil at heart. What lies or threats led him on this long march from home, or he would not rather have stayed there… in peace? War will make corpses of us all.

Today’s Orcs are the most respectable and highly regarded people in our society, what drew them on the long march to Mordor, was more than likely a big house, a fast car, a 401K plan, and a large salary. Isn’t it so much easier to just go along with it?, to be rewarded instead of punished? This was the choice also given to Jews, in Nazi Germany, as Jensen explains:

It’s a measure of the dysfunction of civilization that no longer do very many people of integrity believe we can or should go forward with it because it serves us well, but rather the most common argument in its favor (and this is true also for many of its particular manifestations, such as the global economy and high technology) seems to be that we’re stuck with it, so we may as well make the best of a very bad situation. “We’re here,” the argument goes, “We’ve lost sustainability and sanity, so now we have no choice but to continue on this self- and other-destructive path.” It’s as though we’ve already boarded the train to Treblinka, so we might as well stay on for the ride. Perhaps by chance or by choice (someone else’s) we’ll somehow end up somewhere besides the gas chambers.

What is even more frightening to me, is that not only do we accept the course, but most of us, due to the constant whispers of Sarumon and the like, believe that, somehow, someway, if we continue along this course, where egotism, greed, and selfishness are central, it will eventually lead to peace, sustainability, and a complete reversal of the current trend. This is madness, the system of Mordor, as well as our own system, is based on the destruction and/or slavery of every living thing on Middle Earth, and Earth respectively, how could the course possibly change on its own? How does joining Sauron, and participating in the spoils of conquest and industrial production help our children to have clean air, and water, and bodies? We are under attack every hour of every day, there is dioxin in mothers breast milk, almost all of the fresh water in the world is contaminated with industrial carcinogens, so is the air, and the land. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that 50,000 plant and animal species are extinguished every year, the worlds biggest die-off in 50 million years. Yet people continue to show up for work in Isengard, day after day, year after year, selling themselves for and the natural world, for money, or more appropriately, for “The One Ring”.

I spoke with several of my siblings this weekend, trying desperately to get at the heart of the problem, at what drives us to not care, and just go along with it. Most of the counter arguments to action are the usual ones, “I don’t want to know”, “I don’t have enough time to read something, or talk about something, that will make me depressed”, “If you aren’t doing anything about it, than why should I”. I often say, I am doing something about it, I am telling you about it, raising awareness through writing about it, talking about it, trying to convince people that neither you or I can bring down the forces of evil ourselves, we need allies, many allies, anyone who has not been wholly taken by the ring. Just because out of necessity, I still drive a car, doesn’t mean I can’t try to change that. It can’t happen overnight, especially if you rely on your car, and your job, to feed your family. But as Jensen also explains, Love is not pacifism, it is not “going along with it”, because Saruman’s voice is whispering in your ear, through television, radio, advertising, etc., telling you it is irresponsible to not work as an Orc. Once we recognize the lies and hypnotism that is a central part of our society, we can begin resisting, first through creating awareness, and than through direct action.

In the part two of the trilogy, “The Two Towers”, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, go to Rohan, to free King Theoden from the spell of Saruman. Once the spell is broken, immediately Theoden is able to recognize that he was tricked by Wormtongue, and he finds his old strength, picks up his sword, and throws Wormtongue out of his kingdom. But Theoden is not yet ready to committ to war:

GANDALF: This is but a taste of the terror that Saruman will unleash. All the more potent for he is driven now by fear of Sauron. Ride out and meet him head on. Draw him away from your women and children. You must fight.

ARAGORN: You have two thousand good men riding north as we speak. Éomer is loyal to you. His men will return and fight for their king.

THÉODEN: They will be three hundred leagues from here by now. Éomer cannot help us. I know what it is that you want of me. But I will not bring further death to my people. I will not risk open war.

ARAGORN: Open war is upon you. Whether you would risk it or not.

Open war is upon all of us, thinking that some invisible being or some leader, or organization is going to save us from destruction is ridiculous. Love of themselves, of their children, their family, their landbase, and the natural world is what drove the races of Middle Earth to fight, as it drove the Bear, in this essay by Jensen, to attack rail cars:

I’m holding a newspaper clipping from 1996. The creases are torn, the page yellowed. The headline reads “Mother bear charges trains.” Trains had killed her two sons, and so this mother grizzly charged train after train after train…

We suffer from a misguided belief that love implies pacifism. I’m not sure mother grizzly bears would agree, nor many other mothers I’ve known. I’ve been attacked by mother horses, cows, mice, chickens, geese, eagles, hawks, and hummingbirds who thought I was threatening their children. I have known many human mothers who would kill anyone who was going to harm their little ones. If a mother mouse is willing to put her life on the line by attacking someone eight thousand times her size, what does that say about our own hearts? (The mother mouse won, by the way.)

If we won’t fight back when our loved ones are dying and our own bodies are being poisoned, when will we take a stand? We each need to find our own threshold: the point at which we break free of our fear and act on behalf of those we love…

I think often of that grizzly bear, as I think, too, of the horses, cows, mice, chickens, geese, eagles, hawks, hummingbirds who have defended their loved ones. I think of the courage of bees who have flown at me, burrowed themselves into my hair to find a way to sting me, who have driven me away from their homes, at the inevitable cost of their lives. I think of the courage of salmon, who come back home year after year, who continue in the face of all that we are doing to them, or rather, all that we are allowing to be done to them. And I realize that before I can save them, I need to rely on them to save me, to teach me and help me remember what it is to love, what it is to step beyond my fears, what it is to act in defense of those I love.

Love and Valor led the good races of Middle Earth to fight back. Personally, I am much more afraid of living as a slave, or an indentured servant for the rest of my life, or being poisoned by carcinogens, than I am of our society collapsing. Sure, many will die and suffer, but most of us already are suffering. Where is our sense of valor, our dignity, our courage? What does it say about our hearts, as Jensen asks? that a creature thousands of times smaller than us, will give its life to protect its offspring, and its home?

ARAGORN: What do you fear, my lady?

ÉOWYN: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.

These are the voices we need to listen to, and understand, like Aragorn understood, that despite the impossible odds Frodo and Sam faced, that the free people of Middle Earth had no choice but to protect their homes and loved ones.

ARAGORN: I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. The day may come when the courage of Men fails; when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship; but it is not this day – an hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the Age of Man comes crashing down – but it is not this day!!! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth – I bid you stand!

The Hobbits of the Shire faced anhiliation. Like the animals Jensen mentioned, they stood up to a foe many orders of magnitude larger and more powerful than themselves. Yet they had the courage to continue, because they knew if they didn’t’, that all was lost, maybe not at that time, the fires of Mordor and Isengard may not have reached the Shire for many months, or years, but they would eventually, and life would no longer be worth living.

GANDALF: Ten thousand Ores now stand between Frodo and Mount Doom.

GANDALF: I have sent him to his death.

ARAGORN:There is still hope for Frodo. He needs time and safe passage across the Plains of Gorgoroth. We can give him that.


ARAGORN: Draw out Sauron’ s armies – empty his lands. Then we gather our full strength and march on the Black Gate.

EOMER: We cannot achieve victory from strength of arms .

ARAGORN: Not for ourselves . . . But we can give Frodo his chance if we keep Sauron’ s eye fixed upon us. Keep him blind to all else that moves .

LEGOLAS: A diversion . . .

GANDALF: Sauron will suspect a trap. He will not take the bait!

Isn’t this what is necessary? to draw out the forces of darkness, through spreading awareness of them, to organize a united front, of people who have had enough? Of people who are tired of watching 1,500 friends and relatives die of cancer each DAY, in the US alone. Of people who are sick of driving in their mobile climate controlled box, to sit in their stationary climate controlled box, every day, for their entire waking life, wondering why they can’t seem to silence that voice that challenges the voice of Saruman, that says “somethings not right”, the one most of us havn’t yet been able to silence, no matter how much caffeine, or alcohol, or tobacco we consume, no matter how much we shop, no matter how many new cars, or nice house we have. Of people who are tired of watching their landbase cleared of all living things, and replaced with concrete, steel, and glass. Of people who have realized that the global economy, deforestation, plastic production, and the whole throwaway commodity system doesn’t help them one bit.

Deep down we all know better, we know we are not living the way we should, yet the temptation of the “One Ring” is strong, almost irresistible. But we still have this void in us, this hole that can’t be filled up with consumer products, because our bodies, and our souls know that such things only make the void larger, creating in us more quiet desperation every day, as we are forced to work harder, longer hours, just to pay the bills, and to buy back the things we need, that the earth gives freely, like food, and water, that not only do we have to now pay for, but that are being poisoned with the same industrial chemicals that the forces of evil convince us we can’t live without.

The races of Middle Earth recognized well before it was out of control, what the agenda of Sauron and Saruman was, and acted to protect their lands, and their people. They put aside their differences, and focused all their energy on defeating the gathering darkness. Think about this in context to today’s events, as the mass media (voice of Saruman) continues to whisper to us, blaming the Arabs or the Jews, or the Gays, or the Democrats, or the Republicans, make the connection, become aware of the obvious, that they only control us to the extent that we see them as necessary, as invulnerable, as inevitable, and only to the extent that we continue to focus our individual power on each other, blaming some other race, or nation, or whatever it may be, for their crimes.

The most difficult thing to do is cut through the propaganda, ideology, and mythology of modern culture, especially when that same culture is based on, and maintained by propaganda, ideology, and mythology.

It is time to leave our comfortable Hobitt holes, and gather a council in Rivendell, in order to form a fellowship of all races, of our one human family, to rise up against the fraction of 1% of us who rule, who maintain, and benefit primarily from this Orc mischief. As Aragorn told Theoden, “war is upon us”, it does not matter, if we do not wish to risk our lives, and livelihood, when not fighting means we will lose them anyway. It is time to dig deeper than we ever believed we could, and summon the strength, courage, and valor of the fellowship.

As Gimli said:

Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?

That is the question that haunts me, the Orcs and Urak-Hai are on our doorstep, So what ARE we waiting for?