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The Numenorean Kingdoms, part XI - bridge-film material?
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Elros
Rivendell


Feb 3 2009, 2:18am

Post #51 of 183 (1503 views)
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Another thing we can agree on Curious [In reply to] Can't Post

Even though my thoughts are more in line with Beren on this, I agree it is a hot button issue. I guess my sensitivity (or lack there of, as some are no doubt thinking) is due to the wish to live free from racism. Besides the obvious examples of how racism can be eliminated, it won't go away while people are fixated on it. When someone is attacked simply for their race, it is disgusting and deserves to be brought into the spotlight. When an a dead author is called out for having one group of imaginary characters portrayed better than another group of imaginary characters in a half-century old book, it is obvious racism will never be removed from the world, so why go looking for it under every nook and cranny?


squire
Half-elven


Feb 3 2009, 2:44am

Post #52 of 183 (1525 views)
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Kissin' cousins [In reply to] Can't Post

"And as for the cousin-marrying royalty of Europe, when working-class folk do that they call us inbred trailer-trash"

Royalty in Europe has taken a lot worse abuse than being called inbred palace-trash, but I don't doubt that insult was used too, just before the republican or Red triggers were pulled. The folly, vanity, and genetic consequences of inbreeding were as plain to people back then as they are now. Feeble-mindedness, recessive physical features, and rare blood diseases haunted the glamorous courts and swank hunting lodges - and this was commonly and cruelly remarked upon by anyone not besmitten by the glitter and the myth.

Now, as you know, most of Europe is run by democratically elected governments, whether they still maintain the odd royal family or not - mostly not. And some illusion-free Europeans have observed that we Americans seem to take their remaining royalty more seriously than they do, as when we postulate a non-existent royalty at the top of our social pyramid for righteously democratic comparisons. Possibly the fact that England puts more effort into maintaining their royal franchise than the others (Holland, Sweden, etc.) is one cause of this, given our close cultural ties to England. Anyway, I don't think "cousin-marrying" is done anymore at that level, given the democratic and sensible politics of modern monarchies.

Tolkien was a loyal monarchist of the old school, disliking the English royal family's common touch. He preferred kings from about the time of Edward the Confessor. And as with so much else of his fantasy world, inbreeding among the ruling class is ignored as an issue.






squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


batik
Tol Eressea


Feb 3 2009, 3:02am

Post #53 of 183 (1532 views)
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a question for those discussing race/ism... [In reply to] Can't Post

and hoping this is not too much like hijacking...
I keep records of the clients in a program that I 'coordinate'. Lots of info on file but no "race boxes" since, frankly, checking box "1", "2', and so on has absolutley no bearing on the services provided/received. I was asked for this information by a collaborative agency and ended up gathering up the info anyway (good thing I have a decent memory). My question is---is there any *value* to keeping stats related to "race"?
One of my friends is all for no "race boxes" on any type of application.

batik


simplyaven
Grey Havens


Feb 3 2009, 4:33am

Post #54 of 183 (1574 views)
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I'll second that! [In reply to] Can't Post

As an average reader, I'm grateful all my thirst for more knowledge and history has been satisfied by Tolkien although I would have read even longer Appendices. But may be it's because I'm European, smoking and drinking are just fine with me, and (apparently) I'm racist (it seems all my people are) Tongue The racist argument is out of place from my point of view. Tolkien wrote something which would be perfectly well accepted if it was written now in other countries. We simply don't pay that much attention! Or maybe we don't think about racism and that's why we don't see it. Of course, Aragorn had all rights to claim the throne, it was his birth and blood right. And speaking about blood - yes, people still care. Sometimes it means good culture and education + good contacts. And while these can be achieved with hard work too, still if one has it by right (I'm talking about opportunities here) why would he/she give it up? I wouldn't. Life is too short and too difficult anyways to make it even harder although I don't see Aragorn's life as pleasant at all. Tolkien shows us that each coin has two sides and the ancestry can be tough for both the body and the soul, so blood lines can be beneficiant but a heavy burden as well. But at the end, there will always be people and people, why is it such a hot button? I won't go to Oxford to study, for example, and I know it. That's life. Focusing on other people's superiority and/or lifestyle and/or ancestry or heritage is a waste of time and energy which turns into a negative flow to come back as a boomerang, IMHO.

Culinary journey through Middle Earth continues! Join us on January 30 on the Main board for a visit at the "Prancing pony"!

I believe


FarFromHome
Valinor


Feb 3 2009, 9:33am

Post #55 of 183 (1591 views)
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I don't read the Appendices, and yet [In reply to] Can't Post

I think LotR would be a lesser work without them, and without all the rest of the lore of Middle-earth that is found in the Sil and other writings.

LotR is without a doubt the jewel in the crown of Tolkien's Gesamtkunstwerk, and it can indeed be prised from its setting and valued for its own sake. However, I think doing so rejects the context that makes the story so powerful.

As you say in your response to squire, the "stereotype and cliche" some see in LotR is actually a reworking of elements from romance and fairytales. Agreed, and I'd say that it is LotR's context as a romance or tale embedded in the world of Middle-earth, as opposed to as a standalone novel, that allows Tolkien to reuse traditional elements in this way.

As for the race, class and gender issues, again the context of a tale written within the background of Middle-earth provides important perspective. If you think of Tolkien as a mere novelist, you find yourself having to assume that the world Tolkien describes is one he's advocating. If you imagine him instead as a 'historian', reporting and translating views from another time, it becomes easier to see that Tolkien isn't necessarily advocating what he describes (and indeed, from his Letters, he seems to have had quite different personal views from what we see in Middle-earth). His own opinions might be better assessed by considering that, having established this background of race-based, class-based and gender-based hierarchy, Tolkien immediately turns around and creates characters who transcend them all.

Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship’s beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey;
beyond the sunset leads my way.
Bilbo's Last Song



Elros
Rivendell


Feb 3 2009, 12:29pm

Post #56 of 183 (1513 views)
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Excellent post// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Curious
Half-elven


Feb 3 2009, 1:08pm

Post #57 of 183 (1491 views)
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Classism is more [In reply to] Can't Post

of a hot-button issue in the parts of England I have visited, which did not have a significant minority population. By contrast, Americans have a long history of racial issues, and no history of aristocracy.


FarFromHome
Valinor


Feb 3 2009, 1:47pm

Post #58 of 183 (1507 views)
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Let's just say... [In reply to] Can't Post

... that PJ found a phrase that pithily sums up exactly the attitude of the hobbits in the book!


In Reply To
And I had not thought of PJ looking up the family trees in his research.



In fact, we do hear about Lobelia's family background, when we are told that at the end of the story she "went to her own people, the Bracegirdles of Hardbottle", so PJ didn't need to do too much research. Although he (or more likely, his cowriters and/or the many consultants on the films) certainly did research at this level - it's not by accident that this incisive little phrase makes it into the movie!

Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship’s beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey;
beyond the sunset leads my way.
Bilbo's Last Song



FarFromHome
Valinor


Feb 3 2009, 2:28pm

Post #59 of 183 (1517 views)
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Tolkien would be appalled [In reply to] Can't Post

at his work being used to discern the "preconceptions of the author". He states as much in Letter 329 (which I also quoted from further down the board):

One of my strongest opinions is that investigation of an author's biography (or such other glimpses of his 'personality' as can be gleaned by the curious) is an entirely vain and false approach to his works - and especially to a work of narrative art, of which the object aimed at by the author was to be enjoyed as such: to be read with literary pleasure..."

(I never noticed that 'gleaned by the curious' before... Could this be Tolkien being blessed by foresight? Wink)



In Reply To
All books to some extent reveal the author, but fantasies reveal so much more because the author makes all the choices.



Novelists often reveal themselves quite deliberately - Dickens uses the authorial voice to comment on the social concerns of the day, Joyce and Proust, and other 20th century writers, write semi-biographical or otherwise very personal accounts of the world as they see it. A reader is certainly justified in assuming that such novelists are stating their own opinions of the world in their work.


But Tolkien makes it very clear that that is not at all the tradition he is following:

"I have...no interest at all in the history or present situation of the English 'novel'. My work is not a 'novel', but an 'heroic romance' a much older and quite different variety of literature."

Still, I agree that LotR does "reveal the author", as you say, in some ways. I think it's clear that the world he writes about moves him deeply, and excites his imagination. I think however that it is a step too far to assume that what he writes reflects his belief that the real world either is or should be like his imagined world. For example, he gives as his chief aim in LotR the depiction of the "elevation of the humble", something that he finds profoundly moving. This aim requires a hierarchical world, to give the hobbits something to be humble in, and indeed to be elevated in. It also provides the setting for another "elevation of the humble" from a different perspective - Aragorn gains his own, legitimate "elevation" at the end of the story through his faithful, humble service, in the guise of Strider, to the small and weak.

But to assume that because Tolkien is moved by this story, it reveals the 'preconceptions of the author' in terms of the real world, is essentially psycho-analysing him in a way that he himself never intended - a way, in fact, that he labelled "entirely vain and false". In fact, I think that viewing Tolkien himself as approving of everything that he depicts in his world is not just misleading but detrimental to the effect that he intended LotR to achieve.

Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship’s beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey;
beyond the sunset leads my way.
Bilbo's Last Song



Ghills
The Shire

Feb 3 2009, 3:14pm

Post #60 of 183 (1546 views)
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We need to understand where Tolkien fits today [In reply to] Can't Post

Because it's not obvious that racism will never be gone. And because claiming that Tolkien wasn't (by today's standards) at least a mild racist and that LOTR doesn't have racist elements in it is false.

What is obvious is that people who read literature learn something from it. What do we say to the darker-skinned children who read LOTR and wonder why orcs are so bad and the obviously fair-skinned men get a better rap? We need to have this kind of discussion to work out how Tolkien's works fit into modern society, to understand what point he was trying to make, and what other points he unconsciously included. Trying to claim that Tolkien as an utter Nazi/not-racist-at-all shortcuts all of that.


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Feb 3 2009, 4:48pm

Post #61 of 183 (1480 views)
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It depends on what you want [In reply to] Can't Post

If you work with medical records, then keeping track of race could be useful, because different diseases incline towards different ethnicities, such as sickle-cell anemia inclining towards African and Sicilian families, schizophrenia inclining towards Nordic descent, a certain kind of breast cancer inclining towards Azkenazi Jews (but not other Jewish ethnicities) and disorders of the pancreas inclining towards American Indians. This would also help with finding compatible bone marrow donors.

If your job involves keeping track of whether or not traditionally oppressed people have achieved parity with the majority, then race can also be relevant, along with any other markers of traditional oppression, whether genetic or not. The same goes for determining whether some groups are encountering an unfair disparity, such as in hiring or housing. If people exactly qualified in every other aspect consistently get the short end of the stick, with no explanation except for race, then the data matters.

If you work in the arts, then race might sometimes become relevant for casting actors (most roles are not race-specific, but sometimes it does matter) or selecting models for a specific painter's needs.

Otherwise, no, it is not relevant, and in fact can cause harm. As a matter of fact, I read an interesting experiment, where black children would consistently score ~20 points lower on IQ scores when compelled to write down their race on the form, than when they didn't have to. Similarly, white children would drop twenty points if they overheard someone say, "I hear that Asians score higher on these tests."

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Feb 3 2009, 5:16pm

Post #62 of 183 (1495 views)
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If I had that attitude... [In reply to] Can't Post

...then I wouldn't be on these boards at all. In fact, I would never have read anything by Tolkien. I would be barely literate. I would have tried very hard to content myself with staying in my place. This effort would have failed; my life would have become miserable with inchoate hungers of the mind. If I had done what was expected of my class, race, and gender, I would have then tried to further stifle the unseemly yearnings of my starving brain through chemical abuse. I would have become a statistic for my betters to shake their heads over.

What, in the name of all that's holy, is wrong with people who are not of noble descent aspiring to noble things?

If you have an advantage, sure, go for it! But that's not the issue. It's not a question whether or not Aragorn should aspire, it's a question of whether he's the only one who should aspire. And I'm not talking about selfish ambition, here; I mean aspiration, the will to improve oneself so as to better serve others.

I do not believe that my reading of good literature, indulgence in practicing the arts, delight in philosophy, etc., are selfish and inappropriate. They help me serve the community in subtle ways. They exercise my brain, and a good, strong brain increases the amount of service that one can give. No one thinks twice about a guy lifting weights, so as to become a strong laborer, or to defend his family from physical bullies, even though the motions used in weight-lifting aren't necessarily the same movements that one might use to dig ditches or fight off an aggressor. But if the same man practices poetry, people think that he is wasting his time in pursuing the pastimes of his betters, when he should be working--never mind that this gives muscle to his words, enabling him to defend his family in the courtroom and other venues where words, not fists, rule--those venues which in fact deal more hurt to the poor than fists ever could.

I will not apologize for not cheerfully resigning myself to a life of intellectual repression! And if anyone wants me to respect them, it had better be for their behavior, not their bloodline.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Feb 3 2009, 5:28pm

Post #63 of 183 (1485 views)
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Cooling down somewhat... [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, I got a little overheated there, for awhile. Mad Blush I suppose we're looking at this from two different directions. You do not want to be dragged down from a high place, I do not want to be kept down at a low place. The perspective changes greatly depending on where you stand. Suffice that we neither one want artificial limits imposed upon us.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Darkstone
Immortal


Feb 3 2009, 5:59pm

Post #64 of 183 (1518 views)
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Personally I check multiple boxes. [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, I'm a mutt.

I still wonder what people mean when they talk about "the White Race". People tend to get upset when I ask.

"Race" is a social construct. Genetically people are pretty much the same. There is no "white" gene or "black" gene or "red" gene or "yellow" gene. Much is made about racial genetic diseases. But sickle cell anemia is just as likely in people of Mediterranean descent as those of African descent.

Another example is high blood pressure, which plagues a third of all African Americans compared to a quarter of European Americans. And African Americans are 80 percent more likely to die of stroke than European Americans. But then the stress of living in a prejudiced society, general lack of access to health care, and/or poor diet would seem to predispose certain social classes to hypertension and stroke. Which brings us back to "race" as a social construct.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



Darkstone
Immortal


Feb 3 2009, 6:23pm

Post #65 of 183 (1525 views)
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All men are brothers. [In reply to] Can't Post

Which means we all end up marrying our sister.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



Curious
Half-elven


Feb 3 2009, 7:09pm

Post #66 of 183 (1514 views)
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But Tolkien also called LotR [In reply to] Can't Post

a fundamentally Catholic work, and acknowledged that part of his personality made its way into the story for the most part without any design on his part, or even despite his attempt to avoid religion altogether. At other times he called LotR a fundamentally philological work, and again acknowledged that part of his personality made its way into the story, this time quite consciously. At other times Tolkien acknowledged his own similarity to the hobbits, and the similarity of the English countryside to the Shire. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an author based on his fantasy, but we surely can get a sense of his likes and dislikes, his values, his priorities, what excites him, and what does not. I think we agree on that.

So the question is whether the racial and hierarchical nature of LotR reveals that Tolkien was not as sensitive to the issues of race and class as readers may be today. I'm not saying that Tolkien was arguing for a race or class based society in the Primary World. I'm just saying that he did not hesitate to fantasize about such a world -- and I, at least, would hesitate to do so today.


batik
Tol Eressea


Feb 4 2009, 2:41am

Post #67 of 183 (1474 views)
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thanks for the input--- [In reply to] Can't Post

since the 'population' I work with ALL share a common background of being in foster care at some point in the past, I feel the box checking is not necessary. There are already built-in barriers for these folk and the identification of race would strictly be for "statistical" purposes--as far as I can see. And stats--that's an entirely different conversation!


simplyaven
Grey Havens


Feb 4 2009, 3:08am

Post #68 of 183 (1501 views)
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Classism is a hot button in countries with minorities too :) [In reply to] Can't Post

Ah, we love to discuss it over the second glass of wine, of course Wink In my country there have been so many minorities during the two thousand years of existence that I can't even remember them all. Most of them have become not-minorities long ago. Still, there are people of at least four major different religions and of at least six major different etnical backgrounds. No one really cares. Everyone lives their lives, some happily, some not so but not because of their origins and/or differences. It's possible. Britain is one of my true loves and although I was looked at suspiciously as a foreigner, I found my place there and I loved the older British - they are so highly original Smile There is certainly something remaining from the colonialism time as mentality but it's not bothering me. I can imagine Aragorn in England, he would fit well. And I agree with you that history of racism is what most probably turns it into a really hot button.

Culinary journey through Middle Earth continues! Join us on January 30 on the Main board for a visit at the "Prancing pony"!

I believe


simplyaven
Grey Havens


Feb 4 2009, 3:34am

Post #69 of 183 (1513 views)
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Actually I've seen it the other way around so we are not that far [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you misunderstood me.


Quote

What, in the name of all that's holy, is wrong with people who are not of noble descent aspiring to noble things?



Nothing if they live in a country where there are no obstacles. If they live in a country where there are obstacles, then I would say they should still try. Although, I'm not really sure what you mean by "noble things". Aragorn was an heir to the throne of Gondor. And I support the idea that such thing should be related to blood lines. Still, Aragorn fights hard for it, loses not few important things, his life has never been easy, he is an orphan raised by other people, he sacrifices his love (as he thinks)... I wouldn't say Aragorn didn't earn what he had the right to have. If all leaders in today's world were so noble (and I mean the personality here not the blood) and ready to fight for their expensive offices, I would have been far happier. And I ask what is wrong with noble people to inherit what's their by right if they are ready to fight hard for it?

As about the opportunities and classes, I can follow my blood line to far far back but if you think I've had a "high place", you're wrong. As I said (and that's why I said it) blood can be beneficial but also a burden. I lived in a country in which only the working class had the right to be leaders. My father ran away at 16 riding the night train and illegally crossing borders to gain his wealth back after everything had been taken from our family. Just because they had been considered aristocrats. But while his friends remained to complain he risked his life and survived. Not only, he prospered but came back to the same country to spend his money there because he loved the country. The most important lesson I've learned from him is to never throw away any opportunities because life is too short and one never knows what awaits behind the corner. But also to have the guts and challenge life whatever he serves me. I've always been taught dark thougths darken the mind of the thinker mostly. There is always a way, a dream. So, when I speak of Aragorn I think of the life he had and all the losses and difficulties he overcame, and are we jealous? Theer is not much to envy, IMHO. I accept the birth rights and I don't find anything wrong about them. Especially when it comes to leaders. I find Tolkien's Aragorn a born leader, a mighty and noble man who fought for each thing he got. Why not admire him?

And I would never worry about my son reading LOTR and wondering why the Orcs are dark skinned and the Elves are not. Children simply don't think about that at all. I've read so many tales when I was a child, and in them there were all kinds of nationalities and colors of skin, and I don't recall even one thought of mine on why these are white and the others are not. Children accept everything and everyone with open eyes and imagination and they play their own stories in their little heads which are so far from our adult limited vision. We carry too much information with us, too many restrictions, too many limits. Children don't. They will accept creatures based on what they do. I have no fear my child will build wrong perception from books. I'm much more concerned about TV.

Culinary journey through Middle Earth continues! Join us on January 30 on the Main board for a visit at the "Prancing pony"!

I believe


sevilodorf
Grey Havens


Feb 4 2009, 4:29am

Post #70 of 183 (1457 views)
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My grand-daughter writes in "human" [In reply to] Can't Post

And gives blank stares to people who ask her whether she considers herself Black or White.

When she was younger she liked to be called "cafe au lait"

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com





Dreamdeer
Valinor


Feb 4 2009, 5:04am

Post #71 of 183 (1465 views)
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The things I read affected me. [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember very well being a child. I remember taking it to heart when I used to read, repeatedly, in children's comics, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian." I remember taking it to heart that, "The halfbreed inherits the worst of both races." I remember when a Sunday school teacher told me that Jesus would wash me in His blood and make me white as snow, that I ran home sobbing hysterically, telling my grandmother that Jesus wanted to wash my skin off. These things do trouble children profoundly. I remember vividly.

We need to discuss these things, to know how to soften the impact on children. I don't want any other children growing up ashamed to be alive.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Elros
Rivendell


Feb 4 2009, 12:52pm

Post #72 of 183 (1487 views)
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I guess I better edit my biography [In reply to] Can't Post

All my ancestors will be fair-skinned, and I particularly despise Barry Bonds, so there is the black villian people will focus on. I don't really like NASCAR drivers all that much either, but I'm sure people will totally ignore that chapter, just like Saruman, Grima, Lotho, Sandyman, etc. were evidently considered heroes in LOTR due to their skin-color. I'm such a racist. Crazy Also, my parents worked hard and lived modestly, refusing to take out a $200,000 mortgage when they were making $40,000/year, so now they aren't worried about foreclosure and doing quite well. There's your classism. Unsure I'm happy to report my family seems to be free from sexist attitudes.

I have never had racist attitudes, made racist remarks to anyone, or even considered doing so. So why is it I'm made to feel ashamed of my heritage and financial well-being? Someone can't even write a book and choose which characters are the bad guys or good guys anymore without having somebody pissing on his grave. I don't know if Tolkien was a racist or not, but to say so on the basis of a fictional story he wrote, even after his letters explain differently. Letters to be taken in perspective of real-life, not fiction.


Curious
Half-elven


Feb 4 2009, 1:59pm

Post #73 of 183 (1483 views)
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This is a whole different conversation, but [In reply to] Can't Post

since you brought it up ...


Quote

I have never had racist attitudes, made racist remarks to anyone, or even considered doing so. So why is it I'm made to feel ashamed of my heritage and financial well-being?


Few people make racist remarks these days, unless they want to shock and offend their audience. In contrast, in Tolkien's day many people did not consider racism offensive. But the racism of the past continues to have its effect. I don't know when your parents bought their house, but it wasn't that long ago that some people could not buy houses in nice neighborhoods because of their race, thus ensuring that their sons and daughter would not inherit a house in a nice neighborhood. And even today, in many places race is a social factor even among people who wish it wasn't. I live in Chicago, which is highly segregated in most neighborhoods and schools, even though I wish it wasn't.



simplyaven
Grey Havens


Feb 4 2009, 3:19pm

Post #74 of 183 (1456 views)
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This is a whole different story and very sad [In reply to] Can't Post

I've never been exposed to such words and or written materials, not even comicses. I'm sorry such thing were allowed. I guess I was lucky to not live in such society. In children books I've read theer have never been such remarks, nor have I ever heard a priest speak like that. I would say it would have been considered unacceptable where I grew up and I doubt such things would have been published or let unattended. I was talking about the regular stories children read like Grim brothers tales or Andersen, or Lindgren - all these children classics.

Culinary journey through Middle Earth continues! Join us on January 30 on the Main board for a visit at the "Prancing pony"!

I believe


Curious
Half-elven


Feb 4 2009, 3:55pm

Post #75 of 183 (1452 views)
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You've never been exposed to Westerns? [In reply to] Can't Post

If so, you should go out and rent some movies -- but be aware that they don't always fit today's sensibilities about Native Americans. And I'll show my children those movies, while talking to them about old prejudices about Indians.

Grimms' Fairy Tales are hardly politically correct, what with the gratuitous violence. At the very least, by today's sensibilities they are sexist, but of course it is unfair to dismiss them because they do not fit today's sensibilities -- which is my point with LotR, and Westerns, as well.

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