Torturing Tolkien: How Wokesters Seek to Remake Middle-Earth ⋆
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Torturing Tolkien: How Wokesters Seek to Remake Middle-Earth

Photo credit: Patrick Luscri

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There’s a new power threatening J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. It’s a smothering cloud of absurdity that’s seeking, ever seeking, to devour all commonsense and reason. Its minions work tirelessly to cover the land in a darkness of dumbness not seen in this or any age.

Under its banner of DIVERSITY, woke scholars and activists seek to remake Middle-earth to their liking by waking the rest of us to its deficiencies. In doing so, they torture all things Tolkien.

Tolkien, the creator of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, would likely quail at The Tolkien Society’s theme for their July 3-4 Summer Seminar. “Tolkien and Diversity” features these torturous topics:

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  • Gondor in Transition: A Brief Introduction to Transgender Realities in The Lord of the Rings
  • Pardoning Saruman?: The Queer in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
  • The Lossoth: Indigeneity, Identity, and Antiracism
  • The Invisible Other: Tolkien’s Dwarf-Women and the ‘Feminine Lack’
  • Queer Atheists, Agnostics, and Animists, Oh, My!
  • “Something Mighty Queer”: Destabilizing Cishetero Amatonormativity in the Works of Tolkien
Goblins and gobbledygook

What seems not to occur to these wizards of wokedom is that transgenderism, homosexuality, racism, and sexism have absolutely nothing to do with Tolkien’s creations. It’s likely that not one of their precious themes even entered his mind as he crafted tales of hobbits and dwarves, wizards and dark lords, elves and orcs, adventure and friendship.

Tolkien’s themes, like any good storyteller’s, transcend pedestrian presentism, social justice, equity and other spirit of the age fluff. His tales shimmer with light and magic and good versus evil.

Perhaps it’s Tolkien’s “versions” of good and evil that generate woke creations of nonexistent themes in Middle-earth. They don’t exist there because they have no place there. They only exist in our world because of a lack of courage to resist the constant bombardment from moralizing amoral Utopians.

Assailing Gondor

Minas Tirith in transition? In the Lord of the Rings, the only transition Gondor faces is from freedom to slavery, and it has nothing to do with transgenderism. There aren’t any transgender realities in that fantasy world, but there are surely transgender fantasies in ours.

In reality, true transgenderism is exceedingly rare. In WokeWorld, one need only want to be of a gender he or she is not. Apparently, in the minds of woke folk, when it comes to transgenderism, there are no biological realities. Yet there are transgender realities in The Lord of the Rings?

It’s difficult to imagine Faramir, Gondor’s Captain of the Guard, caring one whit about gender or transgenderism when fighting foes that seek his life and the destruction of his fair city. When facing the Lord of the Nazgûl, the Witch-King of Angmar, is Faramir pondering preferred pronouns?

The PRIDE of Saruman

The wizard Saruman had his opportunity for pardon, and he chose pride—the sin, not the scene. Does the presenter of “Pardoning Saruman?: The Queer in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings” think the wizard and Wormtongue are gay lovers? In Tolkien’s world, Saruman and Gríma are master and minion. Are there hidden aspects of homosexuality in their relationship of which even Tolkien was unaware?

One would have to invent something much more queer about Saruman than his penchant for isolation in his tower of Orthanc or his seductive and beguiling voice. The truth is that Tolkien didn’t address homosexuality in the Lord of the Rings for at least three reasons.

First, it would make no sense in furthering his plot. Second, Tolkien was a committed Catholic and a believer in God’s design for love and marriage as between one man and one woman. Third, he was a linguist and lover of language and “faerie” stories, not a social justice warrior or a PRIDE panderer.

Warriors and women

Dwarf-women in Tolkien’s tales? There aren’t any in his story, but obviously they exist in Middle-earth. Otherwise, there would be no Bifur, Bofur, Bombur or Balin—or the illustrious Thorin Oakenshield. The absurdity of justifying the existence of male dwarves in Tolkien’s fantasy is eclipsed only by criticism of his dearth of female dwarves and a supposed “Feminine Lack” in his tales.

By the way, Bilbo might have something to say about the “Feminine Lack” when it comes to his battles with Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. When it comes to indomitable Lobelia, he would welcome a “Feminine Lack.”

Feminine lack? What of the role of the Elf Queen Galadriel? What of Arwen, Aragorn’s love and future queen? Or Samwise Gamgee’s love interest, Rosie? Tolkien’s tales have a lot to do with war and wizards, swords and shields, orcs and trolls. If he were a sexist, would he have had the warrior Éowyn, King Théoden’s daughter vanquish the aforementioned Lord of the Nazgûl?

Éowyn the Fierce

If there were indeed a feminine lack in the Lord of the Rings, we would be cheated this glorious and beautiful passage as Éowyn, disguised as a man called Dernhelm, challenges the dreaded Witch-King over the dying body of her father and king:

“Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!”

A cold voice answered: ‘Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shriveled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.”

A sword rang as it was drawn. “Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.”

“Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!”

Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel.

“But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.”

Is there a scintilla of feminine lack in Éowyn’s courage and strength here or anywhere else in the Lord of the Rings?

Begone, you fools

It’s likely no coincidence that The Tolkien Society is bending to the will of the wokesters after partnering with Amazon for their Lord of the Rings TV series. Talk about a power bent on world domination. What Amazon wants, Amazon gets. There is no resisting the power of Lord Bezos.

If The Tolkien Society wanted to stay true their president and reason for existing, they would’ve partnered with Amazon with the condition that Amazon preserves the magic and mystery of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings in all its beauty and goodness. Perhaps they did, but the topic list of their upcoming Summer Seminar tells a far different tale.

If only Gandalf the White could make an appearance at their gathering. He might listen to the nonsense for a twinkling before scattering them with a commanding, “Begone, you fools!”

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Patrick grew up in Texas and graduated from the University of North Texas with a master’s degree in journalism and advertising. His undergraduate degree is in English and photography. He served six years in the U.S. Navy where his life was changed forever by the Lord Jesus Christ. He lives in the Sierra Nevada of Northern California with his wife, dog and two cats. He enjoys hiking and cycling, taking pictures, writing and blogging at https://luscri.com/



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Faith

Seek Out the Good in Others

If you try, you can find at least one thing admirable in everyone you meet.

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Will Rogers, a political satirist, entertainer, and beloved figure in the first half of the twentieth century allegedly said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Many people have interpreted Will Rogers to have meant that he could find something admirable in everyone he met. So, too, can we all.

Something Admirable

Is there a co-worker with whom you have had a nasty relationship? Is there something good about this co-worker that you can draw upon, so that you can actually say something nice to him/her at your next encounter?

Is there a neighbor with whom you have had a continuing squabble? What would it do to your relationship if you sent your neighbor a card or a brief note that said something along the lines of, “I noticed how lovely your garden was the other day and wanted to let you know that I appreciate the work you’ve done in maintaining it.” Too syrupy, or, pardon the expression, too flowery?  Guess again.

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You’re on this planet for finite amount of time. Do you want to go through your life trading hostilities with people, never having the where-with-all to restore some semblance of civility to the relationship?

Finding the Good

Try thinking of and listing five people who you may not have a good relationship with but can acknowledge. Next to each person’s name, write what is good about them. Do they maintain a nice garden? Here are some ideas for you in case you’re drawing a blank. This person…

* Is kind to the receptionist at work.
* Turns assignments in on time, and hence, supports the team.
* Walks softly past your office, so as not to disturb you.
* Greets you in the morning when you arrive.
* Maintains his or her office well.

Away from work, here are some ideas for finding the good in others:
* Keeps the street in front of the yard free of debris.
* Is respectful of others’ needs for quiet.
* Dresses well.
* Has well-behaved children.
* Drives safely in the neighborhood.

If you try, you’ll find something good!

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Faith

Reducing Stress Through Prayer, and More

Taking a few minutes out of a hectic day can spell the difference between frenzy and tranquility

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Prayer has been an effective method for soothing the soul since people first believed in God. For some people, the payoff comes with sitting still, and being quiet. Many feel a direct connection with God which, in itself, is calming. Those who attend a place of worship every Sunday find that praying with others is comforting. Reverence to God, fellowship, and familiar chants and hymns can all aid in reducing stress and bringing inner contentment.

If you haven’t prayed in a while, in addition to the religious aspects, the stress reduction can be magnificent. Even if you never attend a formal prayer service, informal prayer, by your bedside, in a comfortable chair, or somewhere in nature can work as well. Some of the most accomplished and admirable people who have ever walked this earth have been deeply religious and have found great comfort in prayer.

Other Options

In our rush-rush society, your ability to take a few minutes out of a hectic day can spell the difference between frenzy and tranquility. The majority of stress we experience is a result of the daily deluge of information and communication we come in contact with on top of the amount of tasks we need to accomplish. If you have been experiencing severe stress, it might mean the difference between a long life and a shortened one.

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People have long used drugs (prescribed and otherwise!) and medications to achieve certain effects. I’m not knocking all of these substances – some of them probably live up to their mystique; however, there is no need to engage in drugs, considering there are so many other ways to effectively reduce stress.

Amidst the flurry of reports from medical researchers, many people also rely on a glass or two of wine each day to relax. If this is your habit, and it works for you, you’re probably on reasonably safe ground. The latest research, however, paints a less rosy picture about wine’s beneficial effects. I’m concerned, as well, about the long-term effects of having two glasses of wine, 365 days a year, for 10 or 20 years.

Change for Real

It often seems like people around you are enamored by some techniques such as meditation or yoga, but in reality, most people who practice these or other techniques do so only a handful of times. Then, they revert back to what they did previously.

The changes that you implement need to come without too much pain, to be subtle, even natural and easy. Otherwise, you probably won’t stick with them. Lasting and effective change can come from small incremental change. So, keep in mind that not every technique will strike your fancy. Enough of them will fit your lifestyle, and will work for you enough of the time for you to stay with them and to ultimately exercise control in ways that you have always wanted.

Talking to Someone

The mere act of talking to someone about issues confronting you can be stress reducing, and certainly more effective than mentally stewing over things alone. In The Psychological Society, author Martin L. Gross concluded that “the modern industry of psychology in America was no more effective in treating patients than witch doctors in Africa were in treating people who came to them.”

The key was whether or not the patient believed that the doctor had healing powers. Hence, if you believe that a witch doctor can help you, then a witch doctor can be as effective as a psychiatrist. A trusted friend or relative, with whom you can discuss your problems, can be equally effective.

The idea of talking to someone about what is stressing you is not so much that you will find a solution then and there, but that the mere physical act of discussing the stressor moves you closer to resolution, perhaps using one of the techniques discussed in this article.

Using Humor

Throughout the ages, humor has also been a primary tool in helping to reduce stress. Don’t discount the power of humor before trying it. If it’s been a while, or forever, since you’ve engaged in humor to reduce stress, you’re in for a treat. I’m not talking about jokes or side-splitting belly laughs, but rather a gleeful, playful acceptance of the inane and absurd situations that you encounter, and as a business owner you have your share of them.

The ability to laugh at yourself or to laugh at your situation might spell the fundamental difference between those who show resilience in the face of hard times, and those who face nervous breakdowns.

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