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December 17, 2002

Sauron: Middle Earth's Multicultural Rebel

Posted by Mike on December 17, 2002 8:39 AM

Building on the popularity of his assault on the underlying despotism of Star Wars, David Brin brands J.R.R. Tolkien an enemy of progress:

"Now ponder something that comes through even the party-line demonization of a crushed enemy -- this clear-cut and undeniable fact: Sauron's army was the one that included every species and race on Middle Earth, including all the despised colors of humanity, and all the lower classes.

"Hmm. Did they all leave their homes and march to war thinking, 'Oh, goody, let's go serve an evil Dark Lord'?

"Or might they instead have thought they were the 'good guys,' with a justifiable grievance worth fighting for, rebelling against an ancient, rigid, pyramid-shaped, feudal hierarchy topped by invader-alien elfs and their Numenorean-colonialist human lackeys?

"Picture, for a moment, Sauron the Eternal Rebel, relentlessly maligned by the victors of the War of the Ring -- the royalists who control the bards and scribes (and moviemakers). Sauron, champion of the common Middle Earthling! Vanquished but still revered by the innumerable poor and oppressed who sit in their squalid huts, wary of the royal secret police with their magical spy-eyes, yet continuing to whisper stories, secretly dreaming and hoping that someday he will return ... bringing more rings."

Clearly Brin did not listen to the lyrics of the classic "Where There's a Whip, There's a Way."


I guess Brin doesn't think that people can simply be motivated by: a) Fear b) Greed c) Stupidity

If I saw Lord Sauron on my doorstep today and he asked me to do something, I don't think I'd be thinking twice.

For some an offer for rewards would be enough. Heck, it served as plenty enticement to many a medieval warrior.

And as they say "fools tread where angel's fear to" or some such crap.

Oh, he probably had something regarding Lucas' warped view of the world. That Mr. Lucas is a strange one. Plus the new films were a major disappointment.

Posted by: MonkeyX at December 17, 2002 8:52 AM

Well, Tolkien in my opinion has a pretty major grudge against technology and a heart-felt desire for the "olden days." In fact, Tolkien might even be called a luddite - his view of technological or even mechanical devices are dim at best. Hell, most of the time the main cast arn't even using horses. Sauron is the tipification of technology equaling destruction.

Posted by: Michael Burton at January 1, 2003 3:13 PM