20 October 2006

Worst Use of Fantasy Literature of the Week

This week Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), trailing in his race for reelection, told the Bucks County Courier-Times that America's ongoing war in Iraq is the equivalent of Aragorn's attack on the gates of Mordor:

As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else. It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the US. You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States.
Naturally, websites are illustrating this quote with photo-composites of Santorum and the Gigantic Lighthouse of Evil from Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies. For a knowledgable dismembering of the Tolkien analogy, see Scott Rosenberg's analysis.


tem2 said...

I liked Stephen Colbert's analysis.

J. L. Bell said...

Santorum's analogy seems to say that if a world power lets its attention be drawn to killing people in a huge battle outside its borders, then a couple of harmless-looking people can sneak inside the homeland with an object of great power and cause tremendous harm.

And, in his mind, this justifies the Iraq invasion. Yuh.

saffron said...

weren't there parallels drawn between Mordor's uprising and the rising of the third reich in germany before WW2? Tolkien denied this but it didn't stop others assuming.

J. L. Bell said...

Yes, people have connected Lord of the Rings to WW2, which took place as Tolkien wrote.

And to WW1, in which Tolkien fought, and when he started writing his fantasies.

And to many other conflicts. I have a hard time seeing any strong parallels.