« Blame God? | Main | Stop! Or I'll.... »

January 07, 2005
Deconstructing Tolkien for Fun and Profit

Once in a while, you stumble across a previously unseen gem.

Howard Zinn's and Noam Chomsky's post-modernism takes one on the chin, in a long but thoroughly enjoyable parody from 2003, "The Real Atrocity in Tolkien's Middle Earth."

Zinn: Here, very significantly, we have the Bridge of Khazad-Dûm. You will notice that what is destroyed is a bridge — another potential connector.

Chomsky: On a symbolic level, that is a very good point.

Zinn: All the borders in this film are constantly being destroyed, or overrun, or eliminated, or sealed. It's all about fear - fearing the other. Notice, too, that the Elf Legolas jumps across the ruined bridge first.

Chomsky: They'll cross this bridge and the bridge will collapse, and they'll never be able to communicate with the Balrog again, or with the Orcs inside. In fact, they're sealing off the Orcs from ever escaping. They're leaving the Orcs in the cave with this big Balrog. Now, again, surely, among these Moria Orcs were some Orc radicals — aggressive, angry, militant radicals. We shouldn't understate that.

Zinn: Well, look how the Orcs grow up. What do you expect?

Chomsky: I mean, what other options have they?

Zinn: I dare say that, were I an Orc, I might possibly be one of those terrorist Orcs, shooting arrows at the Fellowship myself.

Chomsky: Here comes the Balrog. Notice Gandalf's unilateral action. "Quick, get away, I have to fight this thing alone!"

Zinn: Once again you see a creature that's on fire being demonized in this movie: the flaming eye, the flaming Balrog. As though being on fire is this terrible affliction to have.

Chomsky: As though they can help it if they're on fire.

I wasn't expecting a good chuckle today, but I sure got one.

[The piece was written by Jeff Alexander and Tom Bissell of McSweeny's Internet Tendency, and can also be found on their site.]

Posted by Russ at 03:32 PM, January 7, 2005 in Fun & Idiots

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


[snicker] That was a good one!

Posted by: Ith at January 7, 2005 06:44 PM


Posted by: Brian B at January 7, 2005 08:16 PM

That was priceless... thank you!

Posted by: Kricket at January 8, 2005 11:49 AM