Monday, February 1, 2010

Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky Discuss Lord of the Rings

Below is a sample from McSweeney's website which contains unused commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky from The Fellowship of the Ring. It's beautiful dialogue on a different take on the conflict in the book/movie series.

Chomsky: One of the problems with the perspective offered by the Man-Elf coalition is that you have to try so hard to get at the truth of the conflict, at what is really going on; it's so obscured by their propaganda and relentless militarism. I mean, here we have swords being distributed to the Hobbits by Strider so they can protect themselves against these "evil creatures." Now, in this case, it's probably warranted, though the "evil creatures" are looking for the ring in their own individual self-interest. They're behaving in a purely rational way.

Zinn: The Nazgul have been ordered to get the ring. So, that's what they're doing.

Chomsky: There are conflicts in rationality as well. Sometimes valid rationality is forced into conflict because of the structures of culture. But working through those cultural differences is where the peace lies. It doesn't lie in destroying some magical ring. This takes me back to the media's involvement in all this, and the way the media is being controlled by Gandalf, such as when he covers Saruman's palantir in Orthanc. This is the stone that allows one to see, and thus communicate with, different cultures.

Zinn: Right. "What does the eye command, my lord?" This is what the Orcs ask Saruman. In other words, what does the palantir say? Clearly the Orcs know a lot more about the people of Rohan and Gondor than the people of Rohan and Gondor have ever cared to know about them. They're curious beings.

(From McSweeney's Internet Tendency)


W. E. B. Du Blag said...

Ace. Nice formatting, too. :)

Darc_Oso said...

Thanks! I love both Chomsky and Zinn...hope this did 'em a bit o' justice. :)