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Antelope Canyon abstraction

Friday, June 16, 2017

Evil Istari

I recognize that if I get geeky and mention J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of The Rings, it is quite possible that I will lose many of you, hopefully only temporarily. Although I abhorred the film adaptation, count me in as a major fan of the books of Middle Earth.

The reason I bring it up is that I was listening to Lawrence O'Donnell in the car on the way home and he had talking heads on discussing the bold Trump agenda that got him elected. Remember that massive agenda? Build a wall, the Mexicans will pay for it, kill Obamacare, rebuild infrastructure, give the wealthy a big tax cut, a big slough of fat promises.

Promises that at this point, with the worst popularity numbers ever recorded by an American President, frankly don't have a snowball's chance in hell of ever coming to fruition. And most sane people at this point see that the guy inhabiting the oval office is plainly unhinged, if not a sociopathic lunatic, although he is the conservative horse and his base remains largely unaffected and unwilling to dismount.

Saruman - Hildebrandt Brothers
I think he has a doppelganger in the Lord of the Rings. No, not Sauron, he isn't smart enough or maybe even evil enough for that job. Saruman.

To you non Tolkienphiles, Saruman is the head of the Istari, a group of five wizards who come to battle the forces of evil in middle Earth. But Saruman has the power to ensnare in his voice and many are trapped by his promises.

His voice is so powerful that Gandalf himself almost falls under his spell.

Saruman falls from grace, loses his magic and becomes a wicked cartoon of his past nobility. He tries to seize the ultimate power and rule from the ancient fortress of Orthanc at isengard. His deceit is unmasked and finally his staff is broken by Gandalf.

Tolkien writes that the Istari's chief temptation (and that to which Saruman fell) is impatience, leading to a desire to force others to do good, and then to a simple desire for power. Because he has the power of charm in his voice that can snare the witless. And he acts like him in many ways. I was reading a British scholar named Tom Shippey's notes on the subject and something he wrote rang true.
Saruman talks like a politician ... No other character in Middle-earth has Saruman's trick of balancing phrases against each other so that incompatibles are resolved, and none comes out with words as empty as 'deploring', 'ultimate', worst of all, 'real'. What is 'real change'?"
Real? Fake? Does't it sound surprisingly familiar. I am not going to draw this out but after Saruman's agenda is thwarted he decides to leave a mark by destroying whatever he can in the Shire, the birthplace of his principal antagonists.

Donald gazes into the palantir of Orthanc
And I thought back to Trump. Pull out of Paris, bring back mountaintop removal for coal mining, pulling back regs on ozone, methane, dangerous chemicals, gut the EPA, destroy the school system, shrink the National Parks, do everything in his power to destroy the positive legacy of his predecessors.

When Frodo meets Sharkey at the end of Return of the King, in the company of Wormontongue, he offers him a way out of his predicament but Saruman says that he will get more satisfaction out of seeing the hobbits pain at witnessing the destruction he has caused in the Shire.

And I think that is pretty close to what we have going on in Washington today with our President. His pride is excessive, his wrath is white hot, his anger palpable and in the end he only wishes to smite those that would thwart him and destroy all that is good. Donald, your staff is broken.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the extraordinary record ascent of the Dow, that El Trumpo's approval rating is higher than B Husain O's at this point in their presidentcys, the incredible upswing in the business mood since the Douche in Chief left office, the brutal castration of the Clowns formerly known as OPEC, and the reaming of the Wicked
Witch of Baghdad by the Bay, the Great Nancy, whose party has now become 1/3 Hispanic, 1/3 Bruthas and Sistas, and less than a third Honky, even though the leadership is all lilywhite. Great things are happenin' while you're consarned with shirt tail BS.

Thought you'd like to know, sucka.

Anonymous said...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/trump-seeks-sharp-cuts-to-housing-aid-except-for-program-that-brings-him-millions/2017/06/20/bf1fb2b8-5531-11e7-ba90-f5875b7d1876_story.html?utm_term=.a671c08e0b6b