On the return roadtrip on my little Treo 700P, my mind wanders.
Recently I saw all three Lord of the Rings films. In the cinema, the story, the effects and one very fine elf dazzled me.
Seeing it again, this time on the small screen, I noticed problems with the films I previously missed.
First let me say I adore JRR Tolkien and feel that director Peter Jackson did breathtaking work. That said, both Tolkien and Jackson have their flaws.
In reading the books, I always notice that Tolkien portrays the bad guys as people (or creatures) of color or else working class cockney stiffs. The greater the virtue of the character, the whiter they appear and the posher they sound.
Jackson replicates and expands on this. He also plays up all the phallic imagery of towers and swords. Aragon has the largest, thus once he whips it out, he becomes king.
To Jackson’s credit, he does expand the roles of heroic women.
But Jackson’s greatest flaw is how he ends the film with a return to the pristine and untouched Shire.
The book instead has the hobbits encountering evil in the heatland, evil they have to drive out.
Jackson did not like this ending.
But how I looked forward to Merry and Pippen, after doing battle for everyone and their drawf uncle, coming home to cleanse the land of evil.
Seems realistic particularly in the world of activism. We face injustice & ugliness in the world. But so often we face the same in our own families and ourselves.
Jackson’s vision though reinforces the idea that injustice and oppression come from without and happens in a distant land. “That could never happen here.”
But it does all the time within the queer community, within progressive liberal white churches, with the very products we buy.
The light that we receive not only illuminates the crooked in the “oppressor” but also exposes the injustice that comes from our own actions.
The world is not as simple as the Good vs. the Evil. That happens only in the movies, oh and politics..