A PRISM OF GLOBAL TERROR
AS SEEN IN THE LIGHT OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY
by Kandel G. Eaton
"Three Rings for the
Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."
"THE WORLD IS CHANGED"
THROUGH PRISM OF OUR MINDS
It used to be a generation
was twenty years or so. The revival of the sixties decade has
taken nearly forty years to repeat. Lord of the Rings
was a book affected by wars then and became an appealing escape
into counterculture. Forty years later, it is a wildly successful
film trilogy, affected by a war on global terrorism, bringing
the past with it to a new incarnation of cultural phenomenon.
Infinite parallels can be made from LOTR to our socio-political
and economic spectrum. As a cinematic conceptualization, LOTR
is a psychic meeting point for synergistically related thoughts
of mythology, illusion, analogy, symbology, and technology which
help enforce our perception of the world.
"The world is changed"
is the timeless light to our minds, shining through a mental
prism we create to interpret it. With all the rainbow spectrum
to influence us, we choose to beam forth our colored understandings.
This microcosm expands to the entire world based on the popularity
of these multi-faceted and multi-dimensional colorizations. We
can fragment any given light through any size prismatic subject
to shifting reflections. It has not changed the world. Only how
we adapt to it. LOTR taps into the psyche on a very personal
level. This source that lights our minds is important to know,
because its familiarity has become part of us. The prism of global
terror through the many lights of LOTR show our true colors.
How we interpret the prism of global terror will lead to annihilation
or world peace.
THE FELLOWSHIP OF A RAINBOW
"It is a dangerous
business, Frodo, going out your door, you step onto the road,
and if you don't heed your feet, there's no knowing where you
might be swept off to."
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE
The uncertainty of not knowing
where you are going in the midst of crises around you is a universal
theme that cycles revivals of democracy and freedom for everyone.
A just system leads to just people. It is the duty of any democratic
government to respond to the will of the people, to be responsive,
to serve them. A government created and run by and for and of
the people must grow to include all the people of the world in
a world government.
LOTR exemplifies how this has always been done through
the life and strife of humankind, claiming through the senses
that "The World is Changed," from peacetime to war
in the microcosm of the Shire because of the adventures of Bilbo
Baggins. A pattern revived when one goes after the power to rule
the world, war ensues from an alliance of those who would not
be ruled. History does repeat in a similar pattern, and in that
sense the world is not changed.
Ring of Power as Inheritance
Has it been forgotten how many
years of unsuccessful peaceful diplomacy have already passed?
Iraq despite changing regimes is still under UN sanctions. Aragorn
in the film wearies and disavows his heritage, as the sixties
generation had. But the void left remained empty of the promise
of utopian paradise for all the people of the world. There are
many parallels in the country freed and its turmoil to that of
Aragorn, the future king whose long ago relative kept the ring
for his beneficiaries.
The Ring's succession to Gollum
(Schmiegal, the 500-year old Hobbitt) is ineffectual in wait
for its owner to reclaim it "The ring has a will of its
own." Then it was captured for 60 years by Bilbo until he
left it and Bag-End to Frodo. In our real world schema it can
parallel the formation and sworn destruction of Israel, giving
it significance in its biblical proportions. Hatred and destruction
are themes that power responds to. The theme is detected only
by the aged wizard, Gandalf, who had previously defeated Mordor
(in the novel, The Hobbitt), who leads the charge against Mordor
In the Islamic world, women
were first given inheritance as their legal right. It has been
taken away by Hussein and Bin Laden. Their identity has been
maligned. Gender has no direct sources in LOTR, but some
thought of women'' role in the present day should be made, since
it is a first that women in combat have become POWs. There are
no main female characters, but for elves. Hobbitt women are basically
homemakers, the princess of privilege in the Two Towers is an
anomaly. It is to the race of men to be strong and fight. LOTR
was made before Operation Enduring Freedom. The next incarnation
of LOTR may well be more suited to the present day foibles
and occupation of women as combatants, but not yet, and not here.
A Rush to Judgment
But reel action? That is in
both films. LOTR has taken a stand and followed through.
Where is our will? We decry war for peace, meaning that the status
quo, however unsuccessful, won't succumb to leadership and actual
justice for 9/11/01 and the continuing threat of nuclear terrorist
violence. The Two Towers of Hussein and Bin Laden are evil aggressors
in the prism of global terror that the Muslim world has no solutions
They refuse peace. 9/11 began
the most recent change in our world. And wanting to get justice
for being attacked, the USA seeks out a way to get it: The War
on Global Terrorism. The theme moves to the real world and labels
this hatred and destruction. And we saw its ugly head reared
in the oppression of the Iraqis when Saddam (Sarumon) rebuilt
his army in the image of Bin Laden (Sauron's) 9/11 partial victory.
should band with the USA and have only in principle. "The
ring cannot stay here," Lord Elrond says about the ring
being brought to Rivendale. Real action is another matter entirely.
Frodo (representing the Iraqis, not lacking intelligence or drive,
but as Frodo lacking defensive resources) or Gandalf (the USA
and its alliance) stand alone. Now that more is known about what
is going on in both worlds, human nature goes into denial. The
one striking feature of the Global War on Terror is that THEY
WANT TO KILL US! We use our LOTR prism--view to defend
our stand. Others see their prism--view of us as aggressive,
occupying conquerors. Bin Laden and Hussein started this conflict.
Saruman and Sauron continually cause conflict to conquer for
themselves. It always has been the same conflict.
The United Nations and the Races of Middle Earth
Elf Lord Elrond said "The
race of man is failing....It should've ended that day but evil
was allowed to endure (In the Desert Storm the UN mandate did
not go far enough and left Hussein in power)..there's no strength
left in the world of men. They are scattered and divided, leaderless.
(The League of Nations disbanded due to lack of will, and the
UN not following through on its resolutions may end the same.)"
The Ring of power is the threat
of terrorism wielded by ruthless murderers willing to do anything
by any means; wanting to go undetected until they choose the
time and place of conflict. Both cyber and nuclear weapons are
aimed at each government on Earth. New lights for the prism to
interpret. The fellowship that is breaking is allied unity due
to fear and greed (those countries doing business in Iraq that
may lose that revenue permanently in their depressed economies).
The fellowship breaks and the UN, even after Enduring Freedom
has not regained its credibility as a useful organization that
benefits its mandate of conflict resolution. Even the trees in
the film decide to fight, and take a side, something the UN has
yet to do. A lesson of justice we can learn from the film because
we have not seemed to have learned this lesson elsewhere.
THE TWO TOWERS
The Two Towers aligned is Osma bin Laden as the Wizard
Saruman creating his oruk-hai soldiers. Saddam Hussein as Lord
Sauron, who lost his first war to conquer Middle Earth, and
won't be denied world power even in defeat. They have banded
together against the world, even though they are thought to be
dead. Their underlings keep them alive, and recruit by greed,
in this life and the next. Wormtongue symbolizes these gross
Twin Towers of Evil
Sarumon and Sauron do not offer
help but find all in their path enmity. And destroyed if no use.
Gollum surviving the torture of Sauron (Bin Laden) parallels
survivors of 9/11 and the newly freed Iraqis and what happened
to them was not their choice, but of individual survival to overcome
the hatred and destruction that they witnessed.
There was no hate so definite
as the bombing of the World Trade Center. Our methods and media
changed overnight, all try to capitalize on this great tragedy,
which should've been prevented during the last administration.
We paid create Hussein and Bin Laden (financial tracking for
evidence is irrefutable proof) who represent each destroyed tower
of the world trade center. Sarumon and Sauron, are the literary
twin axes of evil of singular purpose. The schizo, evil Gollum
as France, Germany, Russia supports Frodo because he wants the
ring back. Being near Frodo and Sam (Muslims and their energy
resources) other makes it appear possible, although he is torn,
by his own motives, stuck in his own way of life, different from
his own people, feeling betrayed the longer he connects with
others. Proof that being alone a long time can make you alone
even with help. Yet Gandalf reappears to lift the burden from
Frodo, as promised in the Fellowship, the same way as the USA
got the unanimous lifting of sanctions of Iraq from the UN Security
Council, and relieved, both now relieved from each other's exclusion.
Regime Change as an Unsafe Result
Other countries will follow
this lead now that the "nuclear floodgates" have been
opened by the UN's lack of will. North Korea has. Pakistan and
India are making such overtures. We know that sanctions don't
work, but what has worked in many countries like Cambodia, Afghanistan,
Central and Eastern Europe, and in China, has been the creation
of the rule of civil and criminal law. Here is finally something
gone right, however indeliberate. Would the Chinese model work
in Iraq, too? And in other "hotspots" like Africa.
We should be in Africa. The prism rainbow loses its brilliant
spectrum when singularly focused on one color. We choose the
color or colors we view in our prism. We form prisms to protect
us from the unknown.
Light is infinite, and from many sources. All of LOTR's
elves have a halo of light around them, seemingly with no prisms
or spectral divisions to cloud them-- a naïve light representing
internal existence. Because of this Queen Galadriel is called
the "Lady of Light." Elves were solitary unto themselves,
and rarely collaborated with any other race. Queen Galadriel
was the bearer of one of the rings. Her ring, called Nenya ,
enabled the Mirror of Galadriel to see into the future and gave
her the vision to see Sauron's moves. It created a prism of Sauron
in her; an unnatural division in her being she was unable to
shatter, and she changed. For the elves, seeing a rainbow was
defeating in the sense that they needed to collaborate with the
other races. They came out but stopped, limited by their prisms.
LOTR never gets to the goal of a rainbow of light, the
full spectrum without having to form protective prisms. This
is why the elves sent much needed troops to help Rohan. It may
not be possible to exist without the prisms. All the races of
Middle Earth had a part in the creation of Sauron and Sarumon,
as all the countries of the UN had a part in creating Bin Laden
and Saddam Hussein. All have been touched by these evils. All
have made prisms to deal with them.
The UN should be its most active
in the enforcement of its mandates. It still hasn't done so and
this may lead to its own destruction. No will to defend positions
already taken, conditions must evolve again in a new perception
to keep the war on terror going, to be inclusive of all the races,
to see the entire spectrum.
The creatures of Middle Earth band together to prevent further
darkness and destruction. Despite its potential and capabilities
to do so the UN hasn't. It is the broken fellowship that must
now rely on personal relations and associations to rebuild Iraq.
The UN's credibility and direction has been broken by the war
in Iraq. Having agreed to the War on Terrorism, it remains to
be seen that it will act there either.
The UN's refusal to face down
Hussein will leave a permanent scar on the UN's credibility.
From Bin Laden and Hussein came the collateral damage to the
UN. The collateral damage of Middle Earth is the elves retreating
prior to Mordor's attack. The inadvertent victims in LOTR are
more theoretical and environmental: the land will be in darkness
and destroyed by the industrialized economy of Mordor. With the
oil crisis also at stake, a case can be made for energy independence
by the USA as the inadvertent victim. The nine races of Middle
Earth took the magic rings and destroyed themselves in isolation
and surprise. The future of the UN is at stake. Bin Laden won't
ever step down willingly. How many more repeats? When "fallen
out of memory," again, will we keep repeating ourselves
to a final destruction? This cycle is unchanged.
THE RETURN OF A KING?
The Middle East has long had
throned kingdoms. Saddam came to power as a dictator, though
it was clear he sought to establish a blood-line of rulers through
his sons. The purpose of Operation Enduring Freedom was to free
Iraq only from his regime. It remains to be seen if Iraq will
refuse democracy, but instead opt for a ruler or king like the
rest of its compatriots. We know the race of men in Middle Earth
seek a king to unite them again to glory...perhaps by the
Christmas 2003 release of LOTR, Iraq and the rest of the
world will know itself better to decide whether they want more
war or peace and are willing to work at getting it.
It is far from over yet, and
Sauron and Sarumon are not the only evil to contend with. It
revolves in the same ways, and unbroken through new generations
the world will never change. New prisms to create, interpret
and follow. The fights in all of us will bloody the world, but
will never permanently replace the all too human urges to kill
and conquer at all expense. It is the same battle no matter where
it takes place, no matter whose prism defines it.
LOTR will remain timeless in both its appeal and
descriptions of human nature. Is the world truly changed? One
light can fragment in many ways. Perhaps the colors fragment
into what we want to see so much that we miss that there is one
source of the light, one light distorted through a prism we created.
The times set for LOTR and the War on Global Terror seem
to similarly motivate and influence humankind. The recent bombings
around the world demonstrate that the ring of power has taken
on human form. Must we always need some personified belief to
follow? Our prisms are not enough to show the world is changed.
It remains as it is.
Posted May 27, 2003