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View Full Version : Who are the elves?: An unorthodox view on Tolkien's works



olog_hai
2008-04-12, 07:34 AM
This thread has been sanitized by Troll-B-Gone™. Clears out harmful trolls, griefers, and other forum pests! In stores now!

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Talya
2008-04-12, 07:48 AM
Not only is this absolutely ridiculous, but it betrays a gross misunderstanding of Neitzsche. (That's okay, the Nazi's misunderstood him too.)

kamikasei
2008-04-12, 08:23 AM
Satire should be better to be effective. Sincerity should be less absurd.

Kerlyssa
2008-04-12, 09:07 AM
It's fun to interpret Tolkein(hell, any fantasy) through real world race and class issues. But if you're going to throw down "As any rational person would surely concur", "it is inevitably the truth" try putting in and then actually analyzing some relevant passages from the books. Rather than, oh, pulling a bunch of claims blind out of someone else's analysis and running it through a thesaurus.

ImperialGolem
2008-04-12, 09:11 AM
TV Tropes strikes again! (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory)

Kerlyssa
2008-04-12, 09:44 AM
Golem: The trope on fantasy racism is just as applicable. That's what I thought you were linking to. :smallbiggrin:

Brickwall
2008-04-12, 10:28 AM
It's an interesting read, but what you fail to do is define "Orientalist" in any way. Certainly, no one philosophy or perspective defines the entirety of what was once called the "Orient". Your conclusion loses a lot of weight when it doesn't have an explicit meaning.

Also, Godwin's Law. I've never seen it invoked in the topic post. Incredible :smalltongue:

bosssmiley
2008-04-12, 11:01 AM
Satire should be better to be effective. Sincerity should be less absurd.

Sigged! :smallbiggrin:

edit: discussion trimmed. Suffice it to say that the OP needs to read Colin Duriez' "Tolkien and Middle Earth Handbook" and Paul Kocker's "Master of Middle Earth" to understand where the author actually was coming from. :smallsigh:

I'm now off to dance on the grave of that miserable old git Edward Said ("Waaaah! Waaaah! Everyone who every loved the glamour and splendour of a foreign culture is a closet racist. Burton? Racist! Lawrence? Racist!" - a precis of Said's "Orientalism" :smallamused: )

GoC
2008-04-12, 11:09 AM
The second paragraph is an interesting view on it. The rest of your post is junk.

Steven the Lich
2008-04-12, 12:23 PM
I was going to put in a extremely long and likely flaming counterpoint of the whole thread, but instead, I'll just say this. Unless if Tolkien had extreme views on all this stuff you are claiming, Olag Hai, you have virtually no back up in your argument. The whole thing is trash. You should find a way to confirm your claims if you want to be efficient, since no one buys what you are saying.
PS: Isn't your name based on Uruk Hai, which is within Tolkiens world, and if so, aren't you supporting the views you are fighting by choosing that as a name? Just curious.

Closet_Skeleton
2008-04-12, 12:26 PM
PS: Isn't your name based on Uruk Hai

Actually, Olog Hai are to Trolls what Uruk Hai are to Orcs. Since Uruk Hai have a much larger roll that Olog Hai it isn't anything you should be expected to know.

Steven the Lich
2008-04-12, 12:40 PM
Actually, Olog Hai are to Trolls what Uruk Hai are to Orcs. Since Uruk Hai have a much larger roll that Olog Hai it isn't anything you should be expected to know.

Oh. K, thanks for clearing that up. Now I totally know he has a name based on the series. Which leaves me with my question of "Isn't he supporting it" with that name.

kamikasei
2008-04-12, 12:47 PM
I had forgotten what olog meant. I think it may be a subtle clue, here.

Gygaxphobia
2008-04-12, 12:59 PM
I actually find very offensive the suggestion that "Western Europeans" effectively colluded to form a racist society after the World Wars.

The OP seems ignorant of the fact that "Western Europeans" were at war with each other and were assisted by various other societies and cultures, not limited to those from the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent and a large part of Asia.

Ridiculous frankly to ignore the deep bonds of trust and friendship built up between many of those societies and Europeans.

But many others have criticised thios better than me, so I'll leave it there.


Oh. K, thanks for clearing that up. Now I totally know he has a name based on the series. Which leaves me with my question of "Isn't he supporting it" with that name.
Well that's ad hominem and not really relevant to refuting the post.


I had forgotten what olog meant. I think it may be a subtle clue, here.
But yeh, it's obviously bait. Though that doesn't mean it's not offensive.

Catskin
2008-04-12, 01:05 PM
@OP: I find your take interesting. You've clearly thought a lot about it.

I'd lose the hyperbole and superlatives. Tolkien doesn't need to be one of the "greatest influences on the Orientalist paradigm" which led to the "War on Terror=Islam/East" to be an intriguing case. That's just one particularly absurd example that I'd get rid of. When you start blaming Tolkien for the fall of the World Trade Center, Bush, and the Crusades you lose my sympathy.

Also consider that reading Tolkien's work as a cultural symptom of a historical illness doesn't mean it has to be either an escapist fantasy or essentialist fantasy of cultural superiority. Can't it be read as both and other things besides?

Tolkien wrote during a very confused and complicated moment in history, no doubt he can be read as a symptom of this period, but so far your reading doesn't do justice to the complexities of his writing or the larger historical context.

endoperez
2008-04-12, 01:16 PM
I had forgotten what olog meant. I think it may be a subtle clue, here.

Wow, good catch.


Any way, it surely is a pity we can't read what Tolkien's political views (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._R._Tolkien#Politics) were like. How could we ever learn about the life or thoughts of a person who we haven't met; why, he could have fought in one or both of the great wars for all we know! :smalltongue:

Rogue 7
2008-04-12, 02:09 PM
If I recall the Silmarillion correctly, (and I honestly doubt it, seeing as how I read it once and disliked it), weren't the elves of the first age jerks for one and fairly tight allies with the humans? I also seem to recall that it was only men who aided the Valar in their final defeat of Morgoth. Tolkien's elves are not that superior- they've got real flaws and basically do nothing during the war of the ring.

Jibar
2008-04-12, 02:23 PM
Wow, good catch.


And with a grand total of 1 post to his name, we may have one of the most subtle and well read trolls on the internet ladies and gentlemen.

Also, since I feel like it, Olag Hai are the trolls who could withstand sunlight. Possibly another reference, I don't know. As much fun as deconstructing a troll would be, I think it's best we leave this one alone now.

Bago!!!
2008-04-12, 02:33 PM
I'am sorry, but I find this thread hilarouis. Its like looking at a sentance like, "I'am going to the mall, I'll be back in an hour," and look for a deeper meaning.
"Well, going to the mall must mean a great journey to that which gives us all that we could ask, and to return to the world of wanting."
But yeah.... Tolkien wasn't racist. What proof is their that he is actuelly racist? Theres only speculation, unless I am missing something. I've read the books and I didn't think of any thing about supiority, only a "GO FRODO!" kind of cheer in my head.

Steven the Lich
2008-04-12, 02:39 PM
Wow, good catch.Any way, it surely is a pity we can't read what Tolkien's political views (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._R._Tolkien#Politics) were like. How could we ever learn about the life or thoughts of a person who we haven't met; why, he could have fought in one or both of the great wars for all we know! :smalltongue:lol, that just sunk the ship of the conspiracy that Tolkien is racist. Nicely done.

SmartAlec
2008-04-12, 03:06 PM
Funnily enough, Elves were in fact in awe of Men, and some of them felt that it was Man that had the 'divine supremacy' - Mankind had been given various Gifts Elves had not. All of the superiority of the Elves comes from being so closely tied to the land of Middle-Earth, but Men could sleep, dream, and imagine; and travelled to Another Place when they died, something that was gobsmackingly frightening and incredible to the Elves.

As a friend of mine put it - 'Elves don't write novels'. All Elvish craft and art mirrored the real world's shapes and hues, and all Elven literature was historical in nature. They were incapable of making an imaginative leap, or even portraying historical events as anything other than what happened. It's just not how they're made to think.

It's for the same reason Morgoth was absolutely terrified of Men - to know that there was a part of Mankind he could never touch or destroy absolutely drove him insane. And, again, it's for the same reason that Sauron works so very hard to get some Men on his side.

olog_hai
2008-04-12, 03:47 PM
This thread has been sanitized by Troll-B-Gone™. Clears out harmful trolls, griefers, and other forum pests! In stores now!

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Tengu
2008-04-12, 03:58 PM
And with a grand total of 1 post to his name, we may have one of the most subtle and well read trolls on the internet ladies and gentlemen.


Sorry, but:

Note: I opted to open a new account to ensure no prejudice interferes with this discussion. I don't want my friends to support me out of our relations.

Rogue 7
2008-04-12, 04:24 PM
Triple post. Nice one, Tengu. And will you please do something about that avatar? It's only a matter of time before I go blind from all this eyebleach.

Tengu
2008-04-12, 04:44 PM
I can enlarge it a bit, if that's what you had in mind.

Gorbash Kazdar
2008-04-12, 04:55 PM
Comrade Gorby: Please don't feed the trolls. Especially on a subject that runs right into inappropriate topics at the end.