Of course I'm liberal, I believe in liberty.

Friday, December 24, 2004

One Ring To Rule Them All

Today my family and I are going to sit down and watch all three Lord Of The Rings movies back to back to back in their full extended version glory. That's a solid eleven hours and twenty-five minutes of movie to watch. We've been wanting to do this since the first movie came out; should be fun.

Now here's a painful question for people like myself who love LOTR but seriously dislike our current president: how large of a role did the LOTR movies play in Bush's reelection? Like the LOTR, Bush continually invokes the romantic notion of Good versus Evil. He romantically speaks of the high moral values we once had and rejects the low morals of the modern age. Could he have asked for a better propaganda vehicle than the world wide embrace of Tolkien's romantic rejection of modernity?

Reason versus faith. Modernity versus romance. "Our better days are ahead" versus "our best days have passed." This is what the fight is all about; this is the battle I fear we are loosing.

David Brin, my favorite Sf author, has a couple of great essays on this subject: the romantic, unEnlightened views of Tolkien in "We Hobbits are a Merry Folk", and "The Real Culture War" where he claims "It's not about 'left-vs-right' or 'morality' or any other 20th Century cliché. The issue is Modernity and how to deal with a new century of change."