Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
**The unofficial Bored of the Rings discussion** Ch. IV, pt. 3. “'Are there no facilities here?' he cries. 'Is there no washroom?'”

squire
Valinor


Jan 20 2010, 11:48am

Post #1 of 10 (851 views)
Shortcut
**The unofficial Bored of the Rings discussion** Ch. IV, pt. 3. “'Are there no facilities here?' he cries. 'Is there no washroom?'” Can't Post

When the boggies awoke from their nap, Goodgulf and Stomper were gone, and the moon was shining fuzzily through the taffy windows. They had finished eating the curtains and were starting in on the lampshades when Garfinkel returned, clad in finest cheesecloth, and led them down to the lodge building they had seen when they first arrived. It was large and brightly lit, and the night was filled with the brouhaha from within. As they approached, there came a silence, and then the plaintive, blackboard-scraping shriek of a nose-flute pierced the air.


"They're giving a pig a rough time of it in there," said Spam, blocking his ears.
"Hush," said Frito, and a voice rose in song, filling the boggies with a vague sense of nausea.

"A Unicef clearasil
Gibberish 'n' drivel
O Mennen mylar muriel
With a hey derry tum gardol
O Yuban necco glamorene?
Enden nytol, vaseline!
Sing hey nonny nembutal."

With a last twittering wail, the music died away, and half a dozen stunned birds plopped heavily to the ground in front of Frito.
"What was that?" asked Frito.
"It is an ancient lament in the tongue of the Auld Elves," sighed Garfinkel. "It tells of Unicef and his long and bitter search for a clean rest room. 'Are there no facilities here?' he cries. 'Is there no washroom?' No one seems to know."

Questions


A. The sentence beginning “When the boggies awoke from their nap…” seems to echo an actual line from LotR. Which one? How about “there came a silence” or “It was large and brightly lit…”?



B. What is a nose-flute? Does its sound resemble a scraped blackboard? By the way, does anyone use blackboards anymore, and do they still produce a spine-chilling tone when scraped?


C. Again, we encounter an “Elvish” song. What seems to be the guiding principle for these parodies of Tolkien’s languages?


D. Who was Unicef? That is, what part of the LotR saga are we at now, and how closely or well does the poetic spoof mock its original?

So said Garfinkel and led the boggies into the House of Orlon. They found themselves in a long, high-raftered hall down the center of which ran an endless table. At one end was a huge oak mantelpiece and from high above hung brass chandeliers in which fine earwax candles spluttered brightly. Along the table sat the usual flotsam and jetsam of Lower Middle Earth; elves, fairies, Martians, several frogs, dwarves, gnomes, a few token men, a handful of bugbears, several trolls wearing sunglasses, a couple of goblins the Christian Scientists had worked over, and a dragon who had gotten fed up.


At the head of the table sat Orlon and the Lady Lycra robed in cloth of dazzling whiteness and brightness. Dead they looked, and yet it was not so, for Frito could see their eyes shining like wet mushrooms. Bleached was their hair so that it shone like goldenrod, and their faces were as bright and fair as the surface of the moon. All about them zircons, garnets, and lodestones flashed like stars. On their heads were silken lampshades and on their brows were written many things, both fair and foul, such as "Unleash Chiang Kai-shek" and "I love my wife but oh you kid." Asleep they were.


To the left of Orlon sat Goodgulf in a red fez, revealed as a 32nd Degree Mason and Honorary Shriner, and to his right sat Stomper, clad in the white Gene Autry suit of a Ranger. Frito was shown to a seat about halfway down the table between an unusually deformed dwarf and an elf who smelled like a birdnest, and Moxie and Pepsi were sent to a small table in a corner with the Easter Bunny and a couple of tooth fairies.

Questions


E. “elves, fairies, Martians, several frogs, dwarves, gnomes, a few token men, a handful of bugbears, several trolls wearing sunglasses, a couple of goblins the Christian Scientists had worked over, and a dragon who had gotten fed up” Is this an accurate summary of the state of fantasy universes in 1970?


F. What are we to make of the presence of “converted” bad guys, which are absent from Tolkien’s account of the great Council?


G. “Dead they looked, and yet it was not so.” Spoof (of what line)? Or reality – given Elrond’s scarily somber dignity and Arwen’s total lack of personality in the original?


H. How is the idea of whiteness as a virtue inverted here?


I. Lampshades? Chiang Kai-shek? I love my wife but…? What are these references to? What is the cultural universe that these signifiers come from?


J. Goodgulf is “revealed as” having an unsuspected dignity, just as in the original. Can you explain the meaning of his garb and rank?


K. Who was Gene Autry? What do we learn about Stomper?


L. Do you know about the small table in the corner? How well is it characterized here?



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


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 20 2010, 5:32pm

Post #2 of 10 (429 views)
Shortcut
Well [In reply to] Can't Post

I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiener".
-Demolition Man (1993)


Questions


A. The sentence beginning “When the boggies awoke from their nap…” seems to echo an actual line from LotR. Which one?


Dunno.


How about “there came a silence”…

"There was a silence." (X 6)

"There was then a silence,"

"Then there was a dead silence."

"There was a sudden deep silence."

"There was a heavy silence."

"There was a long silence." (X2)

"Then there was silence."

"There was a dead silence."

"There was almost silence."

"There was another long silence."

(And that’s just in FOTR.)


or “It was large and brightly lit…”?

Beats me.


B. What is a nose-flute?

A flute played by the nose.

Note it echoes (hah!) the nose pipe used by Tim Benzedrine.


Does its sound resemble a scraped blackboard?

Supposedly it’s preferred for Polynesian love songs because the air from the nose is considered purer than air from the (often lying) mouth.


By the way, does anyone use blackboards anymore, and do they still produce a spine-chilling tone when scraped?

Most blackboards are now greenboards or brownboards. Their use is reduced in schools because of rising concerns about respiratory problems caused by chalk dust. Also their use in technical situations such as in laboratories has been virtually eliminated because the fine chalk dust gets in electronic equipment such as computers. However I often see blackboards used in restaurants to list the daily soups and specials.

Supposedly the sound produced by nails on a blackboard contains portions of the same frequencies found in either babies crying or the warning screams of great apes. Dunno if that's true.


C. Again, we encounter an “Elvish” song. What seems to be the guiding principle for these parodies of Tolkien’s languages?

There are several delightful principles behind these parodies. First, the words are often merely a collection of new words invented for emotional response in advertising. Similarly Tolkien uses old words which adds to the archaic fairy tale mood of LOTR.

Second, just about every brand name mentioned is associated with an advertising jingle in a 1950s-1960s television commercial. These jingles are mini-songs that have to do with some aspect of everyday life. For example, named in BOTR songs are bathing products (“Sing hey! For the bath at the end of the day!”), automotive products (“The road goes ever on and on”), sleeping aids (“Go to sleep! Bombadil is talking!"), beverages (“Ho! Ho! Ho! to the bottle I go!”), and household cleaners ("Chip the glasses and crack the plates.”)

Note that some jingles extol the virtue of their products by singing a long list of uses or ingredients. (“Learn now the lore of Living Creatures”) Many commercials involve little dramas in the battle of the sexes where the husband shows superior wisdom in outdoor things like automobiles and lawn maintenance, while the wife shows up her husband in her wisdom about the best products for laundry and dishwashing. (“The song of the Ent and the Entwife”)


D. Who was Unicef?

The United Nations Children's Fund. It won the Nobel Peace Prize in the 1960s. It was a charity very well known by the American children of the 1950s and 1960s. In the “Trick or Treat for Unicef” campaign kids would go door to door on Halloween collecting change in special sealed buckets for Unicef.

I note that the quest for clean restrooms was a common one for a family travelling by car in the 1950s and 1960s.


That is, what part of the LotR saga are we at now, and how closely or well does the poetic spoof mock its original?

Quite well, and on several levels.


Questions


E. “elves, fairies, Martians, several frogs, dwarves, gnomes, a few token men, a handful of bugbears, several trolls wearing sunglasses, a couple of goblins the Christian Scientists had worked over, and a dragon who had gotten fed up” Is this an accurate summary of the state of fantasy universes in 1970?


Pretty much. I assume the Martians are there as a nod to Erich von Daniken’s famous 1968 book.


F. What are we to make of the presence of “converted” bad guys, which are absent from Tolkien’s account of the great Council?

It emphasizes the motley composition of the good guys. I wondered if the trolls were spies for the bad guys and the sunglasses were their ridiculous disguise. (Like how the Nazgul were disguised as black men.) Or more probably the sunglasses were ridiculous protection against being turned into stone by the sun.


G. “Dead they looked, and yet it was not so.” Spoof (of what line)?

“In the middle of the table, against the woven cloths upon the wall, there was a chair under a canopy, and there sat a lady fair to look upon, and so like was she in form of womanhood to Elrond that Frodo guessed that she was one of his close kindred. Young she was and yet not so.”
-Many Meetings


Or reality – given Elrond’s scarily somber dignity and Arwen’s total lack of personality in the original?

That too.


H. How is the idea of whiteness as a virtue inverted here?

We get back to the artificiality of commercial products, where teeth and laundry must be whiter than white, faces must be clear and without blemish, and blondes have more fun.


I. Lampshades?

The stereotypical headwear of the drunken “life of the party”.


Chiang Kai-shek?

1n the early 1950s Democratic president Truman regarded Chiang Kai-shek’s intention to “liberate” Red China as dangerous and impractical. (Not to mention nutty and impossible.) He used to US Navy to blockade the Strait of Taiwan to prevent it. In response the Republicans came up with the slogan “Unleash Chiang Kai-shek!” In 1953 Republican president Eisenhower removed the blockade and indeed Chaing Kai-Shek invaded the mainland. The result was a disaster. Red China counterattacked and seized Taiwan controlled islands and prepared to “liberate” Taiwan itself. The US threatened to use nuclear weapons. Eventually cooler heads prevailed and the crisis died down until it reopened in 1958 and again in 1996.


I love my wife but…?

This was the title of a popular song in 1909. It was so popular Hollywood made a movie out of it. (And so started a trend that continues with “Pretty Woman”, “One Fine Day”, and “American Pie”.) The phase shows up every once in a while in films and other media, usually in the mouth of a senior trying to relive his younger days.


What are these references to?

Drunken fun, nuclear fears, and bygone days.


What is the cultural universe that these signifiers come from?

They are hokey symbols of the past. Much like some regard Tolkien.


J. Goodgulf is “revealed as” having an unsuspected dignity, just as in the original. Can you explain the meaning of his garb and rank?

A bit suspicious. IIRC, a Shriner *is* a 32nd Degree Mason. There's no "honorary" about it.


K. Who was Gene Autry?

The first Singing Cowboy, star of movies, radio, and television. His most well-know hits were “Here Comes Santa Claus”, “Frosty the Snowman”, and “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.


What do we learn about Stomper?

As a Gene Autry Ranger he must follow Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code. A Cowboy must:

1. Never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
2. Never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
3. Always tell the truth.
4. Be gentle with children, the elderly and animals.
5. Not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
6. Help people in distress.
7. Be a good worker.
8. Keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits.
9. Respect women, parents and his nation's laws.
10. Be a patriot.


L. Do you know about the small table in the corner?

I’m often put there at holiday gatherings.


How well is it characterized here?

Quite frankly we usually have a lot more fun there than the people at the big table.

******************************************
That hobbit has a pleasant face,
His private life is a disgrace.
I really could not tell to you,
The awful things that hobbits do.

(This post was edited by Darkstone on Jan 20 2010, 5:36pm)


GaladrielTX
Tol Eressea


Jan 20 2010, 6:46pm

Post #3 of 10 (409 views)
Shortcut
Nose flutes and the Undead [In reply to] Can't Post

B. What is a nose-flute? Does its sound resemble a scraped blackboard? By the way, does anyone use blackboards anymore, and do they still produce a spine-chilling tone when scraped?

Oh, I remember posting about this awhile back:

“There is a flute native to some Pacific islands that fits over the nose, and you blow through it that way. I actually had an orange plastic toy nose flute at one time.”

I think it sounded like a whistle, definitely not a scraped blackboard. That was my girlhood best friend practicing her violin. The writers already referred to a “nose pipe” in an earlier chapter. I guess noses are just funny somehow.

I don’t think we need blackboards anymore. If anyone is nostalgic for the nails on a blackboard sound they can listen to some old Yoko Ono recording, a Sarah Palin speech, or some little girl practicing a stringed instrument.


I. Lampshades? Chiang Kai-shek? I love my wife but…? What are these references to? What is the cultural universe that these signifiers come from?

I think the lampshade is supposed to make us think of people getting out of control at a party and dancing around with lampshades on their heads. The humor comes in because Orlon and Lycra are completely unanimated. So maybe they put the lampshades on themselves to show how wild ‘n’ crazy they were (which is funny) or someone else did because they’re helpless (which is funny in the way dressing up dogs is).

Chaing Kai-shek was the head of the Republic of China. He was not a communist but wasn't a great guy, either, was he? So I guess unleashing him would fall under “both fair and foul”.

I have no idea about the “I love my wife” reference. It’s probably from some song that’s before my time or maybe some Henny Youngman schtick. It sounds old-timey so there are those here who will know, I have no doubt. ;o)


K. Who was Gene Autry?

The singing cowboy, a star of westerns in my father’s youth. Dad preferred him to Roy Rogers. Gene Autry was also a guy in an office I worked at during one summer vacation during my college years. He looked nothing like the famous Gene Autry. When I joked about it with him he gave me a look like, “Yeah, I haven’t heard that a hundred times before.”


What do we learn about Stomper?

That he is a Ranger, in the sense of the Lone Ranger from westerns.

~~~~~~~~

The TORNsib formerly known as Galadriel.



sador
Half-elven


Jan 21 2010, 8:41am

Post #4 of 10 (405 views)
Shortcut
Bored Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

A. The sentence beginning “When the boggies awoke from their nap…” seems to echo an actual line from LotR. Which one? How about “there came a silence” or “It was large and brightly lit…”? I Don't remember.

B. What is a nose-flute?

Something the nosethingers family use.

Does its sound resemble a scraped blackboard? By the way, does anyone use blackboards anymore, and do they still produce a spine-chilling tone when scraped?
I remember those! At school, the was a kegendary teacher who was said to throw chalks at students who fell asleep during class. I never saw it myself.

C. Again, we encounter an “Elvish” song. What seems to be the guiding principle for these parodies of Tolkien’s languages?
Whatever sells is good. Cash over art, every time.

D. Who was Unicef?
Was? Has Unicef been disbanded?

That is, what part of the LotR saga are we at now, and how closely or well does the poetic spoof mock its original?
This sounds like a parody of the hymn to Elbereth.
And Tom the Bomb's "hey derry dol" echoes perfectly with Will the Bard's "hey nonny nonny".

E. “elves, fairies, Martians, several frogs, dwarves, gnomes, a few token men, a handful of bugbears, several trolls wearing sunglasses, a couple of goblins the Christian Scientists had worked over, and a dragon who had gotten fed up” Is this an accurate summary of the state of fantasy universes in 1970?
I wasn't yet around by then.

But in the 2000s, trolls hide pretty efficiently behind fake usernames and computer screens.

F. What are we to make of the presence of “converted” bad guys, which are absent from Tolkien’s account of the great Council?
As a good Catholic, Tolkien probably detested the Christian Scientists, and would never allow any of their creatures into his Council.

G. “Dead they looked, and yet it was not so.” Spoof (of what line)?

I don't remember. The Watchers of Cirith Ungol?

Or reality – given Elrond’s scarily somber dignity and Arwen’s total lack of personality in the original?
Do you mean Elrond and Arwen are Undead in the original?

H. How is the idea of whiteness as a virtue inverted here?
It resembles the palour of death.

I. Lampshades?

Reminds me of going to the hairdresser. (Legolam? Is that the reason he is around?)

Chiang Kai-shek?
An evil, tyrannical warlord - until Mao came along, when he turned to a pillar of democracy and a virtuous freedom-fighter role-model.

I love my wife but…?
"I love my wife, but -"
"Oh! You kidding me!"

What are these references to?
Losers.

What is the cultural universe that these signifiers come from?
Goodgufl's.

J. Goodgulf is “revealed as” having an unsuspected dignity, just as in the original. Can you explain the meaning of his garb and rank?
Do you think the giving a pig a rough time Spam mentioned before, was his Rite of Passage?

K. Who was Gene Autry?

I'll trust Darkstone and Galadriel. Saves googling.

What do we learn about Stomper?
That he can sing? Note that unlike most songs in BotR, "Barbisol..." didn't put the boggies to sleep!

L. Do you know about the small table in the corner?

Sam, Merry and Pippin were sat at one in Elrond's feast.
And it's also the place traditionally reserved for beggars and/or lepers.

How well is it characterized here?
The Easter Bunny and tooth fairies imply it is supposed to be a children's table. I'm okay with that.

"Choose thou, for now I am weary" - Eärendil.



FarFromHome
Valinor


Jan 21 2010, 9:07am

Post #5 of 10 (403 views)
Shortcut
"the moon was shining fuzzily..." [In reply to] Can't Post

The closest I can think of is Bilbo at Beorn's:

"Yet in the night he woke: the fire had now sunk to a few embers; the dwarves and Gandalf were all asleep, to judge by their breathing; a splash of white on the floor came from the high moon, which was peering down through the smoke-hole in the roof."

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



squire
Valinor


Jan 21 2010, 10:07am

Post #6 of 10 (463 views)
Shortcut
Faint recognition [In reply to] Can't Post

That's a good one. I had thought it occurred in Bombadil's house, but I couldn't find anything even so reminiscent as yours. There is this, from later in the book:

"Late in the night he awoke. The other hobbits were asleep. The Elves were gone. The sickle Moon was gleaming dimly among the leaves" (Fellowship of the Ring, II.6)



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


sador
Half-elven


Jan 21 2010, 10:48am

Post #7 of 10 (406 views)
Shortcut
It could refer to 'The Walrus and the Carpenter' [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
The Moon was shining sulkily
Because it thought the Sun
Had no business to be there
After the day was done.
"It's very rude of him", it said,
"To come and spoil the fun"!


Of course, that's Carrol, not Tolkien.

"Choose thou, for now I am weary" - Eärendil.



dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 23 2010, 4:08pm

Post #8 of 10 (425 views)
Shortcut
Ooh! I know! I know! [In reply to] Can't Post

A. The sentence beginning “When the boggies awoke from their nap…” seems to echo an actual line from LotR. Which one? How about “there came a silence” or “It was large and brightly lit…”?

That first line is taken directly from the Fellowship's night on the flet in Lórien: "Late in the night he awoke. The other hobbits were asleep. The Elves were gone. The sickle Moon was gleaming dimly among the leaves."
There are two other places where the sun is mentioned as being diffused. In the Woody End: "In the morning Frodo woke refreshed. He was lying in a bower made by a living tree with branches laced and drooping to the ground; his bed was of fern and grass, deep and soft and strangely fragrant. The sun was shining through the fluttering leaves, which were still green upon the tree." And in Ithilien: "When Sam awoke, he found that he was lying on some soft bed, but over him gently swayed wide beechen boughs, and through their young leaves sunlight glimmered, green and gold."
And, of course, there's Frodo's waking in Rivendell: "Frodo woke and found himself lying in bed. At first he thought that he had slept late, after a long unpleasant dream that still hovered on the edge of memory." Long unpleasant dream, fershur!

As they approached, there came a silence, and then the plaintive, blackboard-scraping shriek of a nose-flute pierced the air...stunned birds plopped heavily to the ground" Compare this to the Hobbit's introduction to the Prancing Pony: "As they hesitated outside in the gloom, someone began singing a merry song inside, and many cheerful voices joined loudly in the chorus. They listened to this encouraging sound for a moment and then got off their ponies. The song ended and there was a burst of laughter and clapping."

And who can forget that "pregnant pause" during Bilbo's farewell speech: "I have called you all together for a Purpose. Something in the way that he said this made an impression. There was almost silence, and one or two of the Tooks pricked up their ears."


D. Who was Unicef? That is, what part of the LotR saga are we at now, and how closely or well does the poetic spoof mock its original?
Unicef was a Mariner that tarried in...well, this guy obviously did not tarry. Onboard facilities were virtually non-existent, which is why pit stops - er, port stops - were so necessary.

E. “elves, fairies, Martians, several frogs, dwarves, gnomes, a few token men, a handful of bugbears, several trolls wearing sunglasses, a couple of goblins the Christian Scientists had worked over, and a dragon who had gotten fed up” Is this an accurate summary of the state of fantasy universes in 1970?
This is a list of the "few guests of other sorts" at Elrond's banquet. Again we are shown that this is a fairy-tale. The trolls, being creatures of the dark, would of necessity be wearing sunglasses to cover their light-sensitive eyes; the goblins had been "converted"; and the dragon was probably bemoaning the lack of hoard-sitting employment those days.

G. “Dead they looked, and yet it was not so.” Spoof (of what line)? Or reality – given Elrond’s scarily somber dignity and Arwen’s total lack of personality in the original?
Darkstone's found the banquet description parodied here. But it also eerily suggests Sam's belief that Frodo was dead in Cirith Ungol.

I. Lampshades? Chiang Kai-shek? I love my wife but…? What are these references to? What is the cultural universe that these signifiers come from?
So '60s! The others have hit upon these, so I'll just add that I remember that last phrase being popularized in the day as a come-on of older married men succumbing to the "Lolita" temptation.

J. Goodgulf is “revealed as” having an unsuspected dignity, just as in the original. Can you explain the meaning of his garb and rank?
As Darkstone noted, there must have been something even the Masons didn't like about Goodgulf if he rose to 32nd degree but was only an "honorary" Shriner.

K. Who was Gene Autry? What do we learn about Stomper?
Gene Autry, the Singing Cowboy of the '30s-'50s, was one of those responsible for overhauling the way this country envisioned its "typical" cowboy. He completely "dudified" the clothes - here's a pic of his outfit during a Christmas special. White "ten-gallon" hats became ubiquitous.

L. Do you know about the small table in the corner? How well is it characterized here?
As we called it at family gatherings (husband's side) back when all the kids were little, the "children's table". Set far enough apart so they could be unobtrusive, but readily disciplined. Once again, notice the fairy-tale connotations.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915




N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 30 2012, 9:13pm

Post #9 of 10 (395 views)
Shortcut
Unexpected BotR reference in political magazine. [In reply to] Can't Post

See the comments to this blog post on Marco Rubio by Timothy Noah at The New Republic.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien�s life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


squire
Valinor


Feb 4 2013, 4:42am

Post #10 of 10 (481 views)
Shortcut
Well, it's not just the Ivy League that remembered the phrase by 1970 [In reply to] Can't Post

As fascinating a phenomenon as that would be.

The Lampoon writers of Bored of the Rings, who grew up in the 1950s, did not know the phrase because they went to Harvard, any more than the Bushes knew it because they went to Yale. They knew it because it was a common trope from their childhoods, and part of BotR's structural schema is to substitute arcane references from early to mid-20th century pop culture for Tolkien's arcane references to early to mid-second millennium literary culture.

I was 14 when I read the book at its initial appearance, and I believe I knew what they were talking about - probably from my intensive study of Mad magazine. Chiang is one of those characters from history whose disappearance after their moment in the sun is so total that surviving witnesses begin to wonder if they grew up in the same universe as everybody from the next generation. This stuff isn't taught in history class, because it's too recent. I remember asking my mother, in 1968, if "Senator McCarthy" then running for president ("Clean! Clean! Clean for Gene!" as Tim Benzedrine put it), was the same "Senator McCarthy" that I had heard of as the embodiment of evil in the 1950s. The tone of her voice, as she explained that it was a completely different guy (and ironically, an arch-liberal compared to Tailgunner Joe the arch-conservative), conveyed to me her wonder that a mere 15 years represented an entire generation of historical memory, especially for the young.



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 (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.

 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.