Tuesday, January 31, 2017

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I think there needs to be less attention to Trump and more to what's going on in the psyches of those who voted for him. He's their vessel; if he does anything astray they'll push him in the direction they want to go. 

How tough will Trump voters be? Since they think that their's is a country which was hijacked 40 yrs ago by corporations and liberals who were anti-pathic to its gleaming Greatness, and who've infested all offices of power so there isn't a one whose ultimate goal isn't keeping Americans pacified whilst the invaders gain total dominion: petty tough. (In their view, immigrants brought in since American elites became more interested in their cosmopolitan centres than the Great American Heartland, weren't brought in to strengthen the country, but to confound and confuse it.) We have to be prepared for it. Trump voters will die for their country as they feel part of its renewed strength, and so far away from their previous experience of total dismay and weakness as the world progressed beyond their ability to accept it.

Terrifying Mother vs. Phallic Father

I've suggested that what we need is for people to really engage with DeMause's theories, and note when he says things that seem inconsistent. Perhaps he isn't. Perhaps there is a way in which apparent inconsistencies appear to exist, but which can be revealed as simply part of the complicated way things play out. But nevertheless, I wanted to provide an example of the sort of thing I wish people were taking on... testing, to see if they're sufficiently testing his work while reading him, rather than in a sense falling under his spell.

Here's an explanation for the popularity of Hitler in Emotional Life of Nations, which explains Germania as a merging with the Terrifying Mother, but which emphasizes the merger with Hitler as merging with the protective Phallic Father:

"The ecstatic enthusiasm of the jubilant masses of people who celebrated their Phallic Leader came directly from his promises of a violent Purity Crusade that would end what Hitler called the "poisoning hothouse of sexual conceptions and stimulants
[and the] suffocating perfume of our modern eroticism [which is] the personification of incest" --all three images suggesting flashbacks to the sexually engulfing mommy of the family bed. Even during the Depression, Germans said, "We are
somebody again!" only because of their delusional merger with their Phallic Leader."

Here Hitler is phallic, mostly a Strong Man, and strength comes from merging with Him. His Germania is designed to "ward off engulfment by the Terrifying Mother."

Here's an explanation of what merging with Hitler was like in "Origins of War in Child Abuse":

The notion that Adolf was “overly nursed” and “overindulged” by his mother is without a shred of evidence. Like all war leaders, he was fused with her—claiming “My only bride is my Mutterland”—and he personally acted like a usual
German/Austrian mother while speaking to his audience, screaming and bounding on tables and threatening others with death. One German who knew Hitler said, “Hitler is the most profoundly feminine man he has ever met, and there are moments when he becomes almost effeminate.” His listeners knew him as a perfect representative of their own Killer Mothers, Goebbels saying they “felt like a child in the arms of a mother” with him.

So here Hitler is evidently maternal. And rather than helping Germans avoid feelings of incest, of maternal domination, he reminds them of them constantly, with all his "screaming and bounding on tables." He isn't here the Strong Father, nor the perfect servant to the Mother -- the loyal knight -- but rather Mother Herself.

This is just a quick test of his work I did this morning. But it really pays to do a slow reading of his work, not just to learn, but to test. At the very least things get slippery. If there is actually much interest in deep analysis of his work at this site, maybe I'll supply another example later.

Monday, January 30, 2017

More on Tolkien

When Frodo is negotiating with Boromir the fate of the Ring, he says he will not take the easy way, which is what Boromir, he claims, is offering. But if he did anything other than trudge the dreary long way to Mordor, incur a long travail of suffering, then Gandalf would think less of him, Galadriel would think less of him, Glimi would think less of him, Legolas would think less of him, and Aragorn would think less of him. It would mean feeling immediately ashamed and cast out, by all the people he most admired. This would have been the truly harder way, the way that incurred what he most feared most -- shame -- as he admits earlier:

"We still have our journey and our brand before us," answered Gandalf. "We have no choice but to go on, or to return to Rivendell." Pippin's face brightened visibly at the mere mention of return to Rivendell; Merry and Sam looked up hopefully. But Aragorn and Boromir made no sign. Frodo looked troubled.
"I wish I was back there," he said. "But how can I return without shame -- unless there is indeed no other way, and we are already defeated?"

"You are right, Frodo," said Gandalf: "to go back is to admit defeat..."

I would have challenged him harder than Boromir did.

- - - - -

Description of Galadriel, pg. 480: "She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad."

Description of Gandalf, pg. 392: "In the wavering firelight Gandalf seemed suddenly to grow: he rose up, a great menacing shape like the monument of some ancient king of stone set upon a hill. They gave back before him. High in the air he tossed the blazing brand. It flared with a sudden white radiance like lightning; and his voice rolled like thunder"
Note, one of these is about a great person's being tempted; the other is about a great person just properly strutting his stuff. The one involving the personage being restored to true greatness once shrunken, slender and gentle, is a woman; the one involving the personage being revealed in best form when blazing and enlarged, is a man.

Tres interesant, n'est pas?
- - - - -
Chieftain's must be plentiful in Middle Earth: it is the only thing the "Fellows" tend to hit.
- - - - -

Peter Jackson: "Can you promise that I will come back." " No... and if you do you will not be the same."

Tolkien (at the finish of Lord of the Rings): and if they [referring to Merry and Pippen] were large and magnificent, they were unchanged otherwise, unless they were indeed more fair spoken ad more jovial"

Jackson is clearly FOR personal development, whereas Tolkien's the kind of guy who in response to your request for more responsibilities, puts a gold star on your chest, gets the crowd to cheer you, and lets you think you've accomplished something whilst keeping things exactly as ordered before.

Saruman may not have actually died at the end of Lord of the Rings. He turns into some kind of grey mist, which dismays the Hobbits, who were expecting him to be more actually dead-dead. My hope is that by now he's formed enough of his corporeal form back to inscribe his take on what happened in the Rings... the more you read LOTR, the more you realize that he, like Jackson, actually said things that could prompt you towards introspection, if you could get past his sneering tone, not keep you chastened in place, ostensibly happy because your charm cheers up others.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Questioning Gandalf

And Saruman spoke: "So Gandalf was just about to enter the fray of the most important and dangerous battle of Third Age of Middle Earth, the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and suddenly was challenged with a choice -- should I stay or should I go? He had been sent back after death, ostensibly by heaven, and endowed with powers that made him now second only to Sauron. Here before him was the battle that would determine whether Gondor fell, and with it, as he had said repeatedly, absolutely the rest of Middle Earth."

"But before all this, one of the little hobbits -- you, Pippen -- told him that Faramir was about to be burned alive in some old barbaric pagan ritual and no one was around other than the warrior Berragond, who, as it turns out, was in process of killing all the guards... and thereby maybe rescuing Faramir himself if maybe he had a little extra help --  like, perhaps, yours, Pippen? to prevent this from happening. Faramir's importance was pretty much zero at this point, other than his being close in nature and sympathy to Gandalf. With the King returned, he wasn't going to rule Gondor. There is no mention of his being a possible second carrier of the Ring, owing to his ability to refuse the Ring -- and readily -- if offered it, and thus to be kept "available" if somehow Frodo's will failed but not Faramir's frequently referred to wizardly foresight to perhaps in desperation locate it. And so Gandalf decides to go help Faramir and ends up missing the entirety of the battle. The whole god-damned thing. The greatest piece on the board, greater than the Nazgul-king, skipped town."

"Why did he do this, what drew him to make THIS choice, rather than the evidently wiser one of committing himself to battle? In battle, as he himself had admitted, he was equal to a thousand troops, and as much as legend held it that the Nazgul king couldn't be killed by a man, he certainly could have served as a force mostly likely to distract him so that Merry and Eowyn could surprise him from behind and finish him off. And of course, there were OTHER Nazgul around, killing hundreds of troops... against these he would have helped, this army onto himself, big-time."

"Gandalf WAS needed on the battlefield. With him there, maybe thousands of troops wouldn't have died, and maybe not even King Theoden, who served as the lure he otherwise would have served as -- the great rival, as he was, to his power. All he had to do was say, "sorry Pippen, I love Faramir to death, but you're a weak fool to try to tempt me with this when you know it would leave our troops without their leader and their most powerful weapon of artillery," and thereafter waded into the fray, a great and responsible leader."

"So why didn't he do exactly this? Here's one possibility: the practice of barbaric rituals disgusts him just that much! "What, have we all gone back to the stone age and will soon be bongo-drumming and practicing primitive communism as well?!?! That's plenty worse than god-damned Sauron, who feasts his troops filth but is at least an appreciator of a kind of civilization and finery!" Here's another: he's chicken, and further, not anywhere near as powerful as he had inflated himself up to be, and was already looking for some way to avoid finding himself called out on this and thereby suffer complete humiliation when you supplied such a good one for him. Yes, his grey self -- the older version of him -- fought the Balrog (or so his newer version claimed, for did you see it?... did any of you Fellowship? Maybe the Balrog slipped back into the depths entirely; had escaped; was gone -- Gandalf never caught up with him -- and all that happened was that he found himself eventually at stairs which, in dodderly fashion, took a long while to climb up and heaven took pity on him and dusted him off?), but at the previous last big battle, the one at Helm's Deep, what did Gandalf do but take to the hills just as the battle was about to get started?"

"Everyone else had to do the bleeding -- and boy, there was a lot of it there! -- until morning, whence he returned where no one could see exactly what he was doing out there, with an army of trees around to stomp out the remaining orcs, and also with the army he had ostensibly brought with him, charging about in thick ruckus. I suspect he kind of just stood there doing what Denethor said all "greats" actually do when battle is engaged: nothing; just sit in place while the battle goes about, bidding everyone do the dirty work. No wonder Gandalf remained white all through: no grime or dirt from battle ever did settle...."

But Saruman, the hobbits finally asked, "didn't Gandalf fight the battle at the gates of Morannan?" And Saruman replied, "Of that, you'll have to tell me. I know certainly that he was there, but in your account of the battle that you described to Bilbo, there is no mention of Gandalf at battle, of him actually fighting anything -- certainly something worth a description or two if he was the army onto himself he had told everyone he was. What there is of him in the account is a lot of him talking... refusing terms, talking big, and, oh, grabbing a bunch of really, really valuable relics for himself."

"Oh I know he finally gave these back to Frodo, but of course everyone witnessed his taking them, didn't they? and would have wondered what had become of them -- these immensely valuable items -- if Gandalf hadn't laid them back at this feet subsequently, the wonderful good friend and benefactor that he is. How sure are you that he hadn't taken them, not to spite the Mouth of Sauron but because he had just learned that Frodo had failed on his quest, and knew that in the new barbaric age about to unfold he needed to settle himself up as well as he could as fast he could, so not perish, like the rest of you fools?"

"How sure are you that ultimately his survival instincts aren't so that he immediately switched tactics and loyalties -- right then and there -- under pretence of a different kind? How sure are you that he wasn't about to also use cover, the cover of battle, to sneak away, finding some small hidden series of hills he could lord over, with wealth from the sale of one very valuable coat of mithrail coat: worth a whole set of villages, a whole Shire and everything in it, didn't you know? That's the kind of thing that white wizards, actually, are wont to do, as you all know so well. So too cloaking their actual intentions while seeming to be keeping faith. They put spells on you all, do they not, my dear hobbits?"

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The (True) Lord of the Ring, continued


The hobbits were aghast at Sarumon's claims against Gandalf. Wasn't he, they asked, not exactly as Aragorn proclaimed him: the one principally responsible for stopping Sauron and saving Middle Earth?

Saruman acknowledged Gandalf was deserving of respect, but argued that... "my point isn't that he is somehow useless, but that he did considerable harm in having the whole of you ready to proclaim him great regardless of how your whole journey finished up. You were willing to cloak and hide anything disagreeable about his actions, choices, behaviour, any mistake, and Gandalf didn't discourage you from this habit, a crime in a sense akin to the sort of unreality my servant Wormtongue was judged harshly for weaving."

"He took two of you along on the journey for reasons you know might have been amiss, might have been intrinsically soar and wrong, but knew enough that he wanted his decision judged only as a kind of easy-to-miss wisdom, but wisdom nevertheless, that you willed yourself into misbelief so to reflect back what you knew he wanted to see from you: that nothing was amiss about his motives, or needs."

"Unruly needs... Yes, what is it when you include in your company the young, vulnerable and small that would never really be confident that they were on a journey they properly belonged on? Aren't they perfect -- weren't YOU, Merry and Pippen, perfect as "carriers" of everyone else's fears, their sense of inadequacy, their humiliating inclination to piss their pants, so they could go about absent any sense of themselves as other than the brave and the strong -- as the strongest pieces on the board?"

"You were well along on your journey when I, though certainly gruffly... and I do apologize for that, nevertheless pointed out the true fact that you were but Gandalf's riffraff, those tagging along side him, evidently lacking anything but sordid purpose for the company if possessed of any true purpose at all. And you recognized this truth, for a moment, didn't you? You repeated the words I used to assess you, later to Gandalf, perhaps to check to see if maybe in reality... he secretly agreed with the assessment. And how did he then counter your self-doubt? Did he point out to you the actions you performed that no one else could manage, as he would have, legitimately, with the rest of your companions, never stopping, if his aim was to do proper justice to them, until his breath failed him and he collapsed in exhaustion? No, he said that if you had doubt as to your worth you should find respite knowing that my mind, that Sarumon's mind, was currently foremost on you. Which, I'll tell you, though I think you already knew it at the time, is more a way of complimenting me, pointing out my intrinsic great worth, than adroitly highlighting your own. You are noteworthy, he is actually saying, because you caught the attention of someone who is indisputably so, and so are great in the way that heroic figures and nagging fleas are similarly great, in that both can fully capture a great personages' attention for awhile."

"A man who doesn't truly believe what he tells another he believes of him, will reveal his true feeling in time, and in fact it didn't take long, not much after his arrival into Gondor, when he identified you both as pawns in a battle where the rest of the board -- the knights, the bishops, the kings and queens -- were at play. That was something else you ruminated on, fussed over, his calling you pawns. And even as you, Merry, were subsequently called "great" by him for stabbing the Nazgul King, weren't you actually doing nothing more than every other pawn that actually belonged on the board would do in your place? You displayed no more than the ability to follow through on an intention, that those in Gondor deem as differentiating not the great from the ordinary, but only the adult from the child. What was notable about you, then, as someone who still admittedly belonged on the board -- if barely -- even in the least role, was that you were easier than any other piece present to pass over... another compliment which works against itself, in that it points out that in every other situation in combat, those who forsook you for another deemed more dangerous would have been hell-right in their assessement: you are valiant and exceptional for a hobbit, but of no more combat prowess than any Gondor warrior's ten-year-old sons... like Beregond's son, Birgil, whom you were bid to hang around with so as not be in the way of adults."

"Merry, you helped take down the greatest danger on the battlefield, and Pippen, you later killed a troll-chieftain, but wouldn't you say that these exceptional kills were little more worthy of a brag than a scared peasant's shooting an arrow into the wind but nevertheless scoring a fatal hit on a king at battle? The greatest drifted into your kill-zone, no more than that, a credit to fate and luck rather than yourself. It is what everyone who was there would know as the truth, if you ever tried to hoist your accomplishment to the diminishment of them, and what you'd at some level know about yourself if you bragged about your feat to those so unacquainted."

"You both went along on this journey reminiscing so constantly on whether you would truly be worthy of any singling out in any tale subsequently told about these events, that when you did something on your own which was unusual and creative that might have distinguished you from all others if they'd be in your place, but which was still nevertheless absolutely ineffective -- your trying to deceive your orc captors, by impersonating Gollum, to somehow get them to untie your bonds, as they tried to take you both to Isengard -- you hoped that would warrant a chapter. It felt meagre, and you knew it at the time; something that for inclusion would still require begging, others' leniency and generosity. And you knew it was truly your best representation of yourselves where you both couldn't have been filled in by really any other feisty young hobbit. And at the finish you went back to the Shire -- don't not admit it! -- hoping that being amongst people who ostensibly had done nothing, what you accomplished amongst people you knew were much more essential and of legitimately more worth than you, would gain more favourable backgrounding."

"You also hoped it would make up for the fact that you were evidently carried along, seized as necessary for the quest, over even additional elf-lords, when these rare breeds were fortuitously immediately at hand, because every venturing vessel into unknown terrain requires more than armour, weapons and wheels but also a toilet. They pissed and barfed all their own vulnerability, their own terrors and fears of inadequacy, into you, to mask from themselves that they felt all of that too. And when you reflected back to them, with your long feeling inadequate even as the journey was very far along, that you sensed you were being used, their eye focused on your long enough only so to bottle you back up. Without you, all that can be said, is the great may have had to feel an insufficiency which would have hampered them. You were their courts' fools."

"Come, my young hobbits. Don't be afraid to revisit your past, and even admit that what you're seeing happening here in this renewed Shire I've helped create, is going to require your catching up. You know that I won't flatter you to keep you in a role that actually isn't for your benefit. I'll challenge you to the end, provoking you to think on about things about yourself, things that are still very lacking about you, so that you do the work of actually pointing out these facts to yourself."

"Summoned in this fashion, by my provoking but mostly through your own inner mental attention and work, you won't later be able to be waylaid by flatterers using you in really a terrible fashion, because they can't face up to what remains in them so all humiliations that are their own must be born by others."

The (True) Lord of the Ring


So the hobbits eventually came back to the Shire, having been forewarned at Bree that it had changed -- and not for the better. And what they discovered is that it certainly HAD in fact changed, only it would seem transmogrified, assaulted, worsened, only by those who were so fearful that all change is bad they would wilfully ignore that as different as it had become, and as irreverent as this change stood to long-held custom, what they saw was undeniably overall BETTER.

Yes, many of the trees were uprooted, and not that there wasn't some misery in this -- as all of them so loved trees -- but what were these still easily sprung things to what actually had been planted all through the shire, some in their place, in such ingenious design! Sam had marvelled at great big Oliphants, monstrosities of the animal world, and he had to admit that the new brick buildings and factories and administrative buildings that had sprung up were in their own sense monstrosities of types of buildings he knew of, and just as dazzling, not only frightening, for it. And the people hadn't become the slaves to industry he had been warned about, but all of a sudden had awakened out of long-held patterns and become individually unpredictable. You never knew whether the next villager you met who had been a baker or a farmer and whom you could predict the same for the successive generations that followed them, would still be involved in this role or have branched off into some other career, as previously rare inner-change in these people was actually occurring all the time, in response to new possibilities.

As the adventuring hobbits told their adventure stories to everyone they met, all were delighted to hear the marvellous tales. But they noticed a distinct lack of envy and awe. Their own lives had become adventures of their own sorts, which involved constant self-activation, and actually wondered, in seeing Frodo's absolute weariness and permanent maiming, and the other hobbits' still-evident -- in being disappointed in not being looked upon in their return as betters -- immaturity, if travelling all across the world was in fact as conducive to change as what proved for themselves in just staying in place.

The hobbits came to meet the one heralded as mostly responsible for all this change, and they discovered it was Saruman! The hobbits were incredulous: how could the villain of villains, have created all this? Saruman replied that "it sure wasn't easy, with hobbits being so fearful of any kind of change happening at all in the Shire. But all that was really required was for someone to come amongst them who didn't just want to take amusement in them, but rather actually wanted something for their benefit, to challenge and help them. This I did; persistently and over a long period of time; and eventually more of them were realizing that they to some extent had been forcing themselves to pretend that they had been living the ideal life, only because defying this pretence would have them fearing some great punishment for breaching a Natural Order prescribed for them."

"I'll tell you, it all would have been a lot easier if I had not just my talent to inspire trust even in dubious tasks -- my "sugar tongue," as some have called it in effort to misshapen genuine worth -- but the power of the Ring, which would have expanded my ability to gain trust exponentially."

"Yes, the Ring, the very power you were all told could only be corrupting... the Ring the very powerful might first put to considerable good use, but which eventually would drown them in egoistic pursuits and morph them into Sauron-akin tyrants. That was always untrue. It wasn't that it often didn't destroy its users this way, but that it NEEDN'T always do so. And the reason no one ever discovered this truth is because too many seized on its first few examples of mis-use to proclaim a universal, for it fit their own fears that anyone's own massive expansion in abilities, done without respect for whether they had been granted, must inherently consist of sinful reach."

"Recall back, someone in your own troop was uncovering some of this dissonant truth for himself. Recall, specifically, Sam, who made use of the Ring for somewhat longish periods of time, pretty much right before where the warping influence of the Ring was strongest, right before the great Mt. Doom, at a time when Sauron had finally achieved his full might and in process of 'expressing' it to the ill-fate of the world. He knew he should have just done something to ever-reprimand himself of if ever he came to thereafter, for having just done the very stupidest thing possible, and that in point of fact it didn't in fact happen... all that he was told would surely happen IMMEDIATELY wasn't much happening -- at all! He pulled off the Ring just as much to keep faith at what proved a superstition, a false truth, and all those he (needed to, regardless of true forms?) respected who upheld it, than from keeping the ring from possessing him, for at some level he knew he had just stabbed at a lie."

"What Sam couldn't fully consciously admit to himself is that the reason the Ring didn't take over him is that the Ring actually responds POSITIVELY to people who aren't narcissistically trying to be big honchos reified by the like of all the small peoples of Middle Earth -- those it destroys, always -- but simply in process of healthy self-activation, which is exactly what Sam was up to while alone in Mordor, with Frodo, with his ostensible intrinsic "master," at the time currently senseless. One after another he was making decisions... and the Ring read that as much as Sam was trying to persuade himself he was only doing it for Frodo -- that he was still fearful of self-development, fearful of doing something for himself, principally, and would if only in this condition have eventually used the Ring self-destructively to shine some bad light on his essential self to please naysayers, whatever further it would do to sullen the Rings' already unjustly misshapen reputation -- that some part of him was acknowledging that he was doing it for himself as well."

"It felt good, self-activating, making his own impact on Middle Earth, as worthy as any other, and the Ring knew it has finally got the right kind of RingBearer. Not Isildur, who was a narcissist -- who needed to be firmament of everyone's understanding of their world's origins. Not Gollum, who had a multiple personality disorder and was an absolute mental retrograde -- What hell can 'I' do with that; 'I' wouldn't know whom to work my miracles upon! Not Bilbo, who had the ill-luck of obtaining the Ring when the powers of the narrative universe were all bent on making it only an invisibility ring, as notable but also as innocuous as any other magical item. Not Boromir, who saw himself only as a broad coalition of all of Gondor, and thus not actually truly invested in his own self. And not Frodo, who was such downcast gloom of depression at the very beginning, there was no material there to play to and lift up! But rather Sam, who couldn't but help notice, as he went along on his adventures, that he was as capable and as appreciative of self-leadership as any, and who -- unlike any other other than the legend, Tom Bombadil -- could find himself humming tales and cheerful songs in the absolute very darkest of places, and thus someone the environment would have to work hardest to draw against himself: Some part of him would never quail, and turn against what made him most happy. It thus only supported him, informed him of new abilities, not just invisibility, despite its reputation as only a nasty bugger that would drag you Sauron's filthy, nasty, no-good way, especially if you dared foolishly put it on so close to its maker."

"Now about its maker... Yes, Sauron intended that all wills who long bore the Ring would turn evil, if not always into servants of Him. But sometimes what's intended gets turned around and results in its opposite. And if this logic sounds foreign to you, if shouldn't, for its something akin to the wisdom that that otherwise inane Gandalf is always saying. Remember how he remarked on Sauron's darkness working against him, serving as cover for a force opposed to him... and other such. The examples are many. Sam, at some level recalled this, as well as his Gaffer saying similar things, and so stayed at some level in fidelity to newly awakened truth about the Ring, that contrasted inversely with previously known, previously demonstrated, truth. It is owing to such that your quest was actually accomplished, not as Bilbo is trying to ascribe it as having happened, in his current writings of your adventures, as rather because of Sam's quintessentially hobbit humility. No, some part of him, even if not greatly ample, had become ready to defy even Gandalf for TRUTH, and for such Sauron met his better, and for long enough that he lost all."

Friday, January 20, 2017

Thoughts on Galadriel and Boromir

We remember in Lord of the Rings, Boromir's failing, and how Galandriel sort of called it. But (the elf-queen) Galandriel knew too that she could have been one who could fail her test -- that is, to deny the Ring if within her power to take it -- and yet allowed herself to be alone with Frodo where her soothing sense of being able to take all travails away from the suffering, would very likely draw him to offer for her to take it from him -- that is, what in point of fact happened. When Frodo offers her the Ring, she gets excited about the possibilities that would be afforded her if she took it, and in her excitement grows into the stature of the dark, terrible queen who'd rule the world... but fortunately in the end she wills herself to withdraw, and even as it means she must herself withdraw into the West, she pleases in knowing she passed the test she evidently feared there was a decent chance she could fail.

I would myself call this a pretty previous failing on her part, and it'd be nice if afterwards, someone had called her on it. Perhaps even Frodo, maybe after Gimli declared how he know worshipped her, might in irritation have contested that "no, Gimli, we must thank the elves for their kind gifts, but She is not to be worshipped, I think, not at all. She came dangerously close to taking the ring and with it she would have displaced Sauron as the evil power, and we'd of had no chance to thwart her, as unlike Sauron, who is lacking in his full power because he had invested so much in the Ring, she'd be in immediate possession of all of Hers.

Legolas assured us there was no risk for us in Her forest but in fact there really, really was. Our fate could have been determined for us in the worst way as much there as in the mines of Moria, where we lost Gandalf. All she had to do was make sure we never saw her outside of her being attended by other elves, and her reputation would be closer to what you declare it, master dwarf. But there is vanity in not having her weakness openly admitted and in not allowing herself the humiliation of being monitored for her own good. For the fate of the world, this should have been within her great capacity."  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

And yet another further thought on Lord of the Rings

If you re-read the part where Elrond agrees to let Merry and Pippen into the Fellowship rather than the two elf-lords he was considering, it's really rather amusing. What he actually does is relent, to Pippen's badgering -- pick me! pick me!-- and to Gandalf arguing for the importance of friendship over sheer might... as if friendship isn't something that is quickly forged when on travels, as it was between Gandalf himself and Shadowfax just before he got to Rivendale, and it will soon be between the elf, Legolas, and dwarf, Gimli, on their way to Mordor.

Elrond the great leader more or less goes, "fine, it's only the end of the world if you fail... take your two munchkins over my elf-lords, even as even if two elf-lords can't "storm the Dark Tower, nor open the road to the Fire by the power that is in [them]," they could at least come closer to that pippenmerry possibly could.

It's irritating that pippenmerry weren't given better reason, for as it is it really seems folly that Elrond didn't wave them and Gandalf off, reminding them all that just previously they only got away from the Ring Wraiths at Weathertop because they were beset by only five rather than the full nine of them... increments in power absolutely still count, even as the course is of evasion not brash confrontation of Mordor's total force.

Further thought on Lord of the Rings

So at the Council of Elrond, there is an elf-lord, Glorfindel, who argues that the One Ring be deposited in the middle of the ocean. Gandalf acknowledges that if might well be safe there for "a passing of a world," but because the threat -- even if incredibly long delayed -- would still however exist, it must instead be dealt with for good immediately. To me this sounds a bit like someone arguing that, yes, the sun is in no soon danger of burning out, but a number of billions of years from now it nevertheless will do so, and so it is our greatest concern to do something about this fact -- NOW.

Fortunately Elrond immediately steps up to argue that the way east to the sea will be under most watch -- it's likely what Sauron's expecting -- so it's not really an option, anyway, because otherwise Gandalf would seem a bit ripe for mocking; especially considering that the alternative he favours involves bringing it closer and closer to him, where the orcs get denser, and the pathways, more clogged.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Musings on the hobbits in "Lord of the Rings"

I was thinking of writing a short essay on Lord of the Rings -- the book. Not sure, but probably. I'll mention now though that comparing the book with the film, one notes how much more democratic Jackson is compared to Tolkien. Jackson's impetus with the hobbits is to make each one of them leaders in the sense that with their decisions, abide the fate of the world... so leaders in the most flattering and worthy sense. Frodo decides to set off alone into Gondor, and the future King -- Aragorn -- has to react to this decision, and decides in fact to change course, which is what happens in the film. So all good both ways there: Frodo sheds himself the impetus of the great council of Elrond, which willed they go as much as possible as a team. But in the film it is Merry and Pippen who are responsible for destroying Saruman, they sway the ent-leader to his decision to participate and fight, when he had at first decided to play it the Tom Bombadil way and let the whole rancid world go discombobulate -- go fuck -- itself, whereas in the book this is a decision the ent-leader comes to only on his own. Merry and Pippen do nothing in their stay with him other than see things they can brag about when they return home... about how close they were to central events, which is a kind of closet narcissism. They also grow a couple of inches, literally, which encourages a kind of grandiose narcissism. It's the "parents" that do the meaningful stuff.

Now of course it is one of these two hobbits who distinctively distracts the Nazgul commander, by stabbing him with his magical sword, and so he can be dispatched by the warrior "who is not a man" but who is temporarily stunned and on her ass. But could you imagine how the reading experience of the book would have been different if somehow one of the hobbits -- being good at riddles -- had divined that the secret lady warrior joining the Rohirim into Gondor -- which he only seems to know about -- might be the "no man" perhaps fated to defeat the Nazgul lord, and arranged to keep close to her through the battle to perhaps serve as a sort of an innocuous but essential assistant to her delivering the fateful blow? He's small, nimble and easy to overlook, and, more essentially, one of the very few soldiers with the kind of magic sword that can do any kind of damage at all to the Nazguls (the book makes this explicit: without the magic sword, no painful piercing of Nazgul tendons, no meaningful distraction, no dispatch of the Nazgul king, and more assuredly, one very much squashed princess on the battlefield).

You can count up the number of times where Merry and Pippen do surprisingly essential things in the battlefield (for example, do you know that the epic fight with the tremendous cave troll in the film is absent in the book because of one of them stabbing it in the foot just as he was making his entrance?). But without the canniness Jackson gives them, in the books they seem only those who do surprisingly well for child-sized hobbits (meaning: any Gondor knight would have been better for the Fellowship, overall; and the Elvish lord that is considered... infinitely superior.)

Strangely, this doesn't seem as true with Jackson's film version of The Hobbit. In the film, he does credit Bilbo with the canny decision to distract the trolls, which in the book is all Gandalf's doing... Bilbo is passive. But elsewhere in the book Tolkien seems to give him much more credit. The defeat of the spiders is all Bilbo's doing: basically imagine the whole contribution of the elves in the movie and attribute it to Biblo solo and you're part ways close to assessing his actions properly... but not quite at all fully there! for Bilbo lures, bates, and even seemingly triangulates the spiders to their doom. And of course, unforgettably, Smaug's doom is all Bilbo's doing. In conversation with Smaug, Bilbo believes he sees something awry in the Smaug's sword-proof armor and he manipulates Smaug into exposing his full "magnificent" body, into posing, so Bilbo can be sure about what he saw. The fact of this flaw eventually gets transmitted to Bard so he can direct his aim... so he can do something actually meaningful, other than posture heroically before being fried to a crisp. 

Bilbo didn't install the flaw in Smaug's otherwise perfect construction, but he is all Rogue One in that he is the one who finds out about it and gets the message on its way to "princess Leia" Bard. In the movie, of course, Bard spots the weak spot on his own, and without any cunning involved. Bilbo, on the other hand, had to endure Smaug accurately undressing Bilbo's every motive... even his being in the possession of a magic ring.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Comments (various)

From what I understand, this article is advocating sort of a Rousseauian understanding of human nature. That the infant is actually born beautific, but is warped into something pained and self-reproaching through the adverse influence of malevolent (a commercial, authoritarian) society. I think this is right, but why... but how, exactly, do these ostensibly absolutely anti-human manipulations get installed in the first place? If aliens from Mars who supremely hate humans didn't put them in place, just to royally screw with them, then humans themselves did. 

Even if ultimately something that absolutely deserves the mocking and attack this article presents them with, did they once actually HELP humanity? Was somewhere in the past humans' developmental history so badly off, that the perversity of such conceptions of children and parents listed here, and the whole structure of an ostensibly dominant-class ruled society that joys in manipulating and cowing the rest of society, actually a step up from where it was before? Did it exist because to some extent human beings saw it as a tool that would help alleviate their pain, and in fact, in sum, did so, even as it is an accomplishment ultimately not much more worth our celebrating that the true societal advancement a couple thousand years ago of teaching children they are bad and full of sins, from the previous norm of not giving a damn about "reforming" them at all and rather just routinely killing them through child sacrifice?

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I'll permit myself one more comment on this very interesting article whose progressive goal of helping to eliminate the inculcation of self-hate, of self-alienatization, I absolutely support. The article is advocating that we have been taught to understand ourselves as naturally insufficient, as something negative, when in reality we are all something positive. And therefore our sense of self inadequacy; and therefore our being willing slaves to a consumerist society. But I would ask if this article ITSELF serves such an end, for it teaches us that if we would assume human beings are always good unless they are malignly tampered with, and are therefore never actually ever evil -- only ever traumatized -- even when they do the most cruel of practices, we are quite wrong, for the world as it is is one put together by absolutely malignant forces -- men, fear and hate you; the dominant classes, fear and hate you. All irrationally: for the purpose of nothing other than further succour of their own privilege! And so if we agree with this perspective, are we not then requited to being in a state of arousal, a state of fight? Is there not then a sense that the Freudian father is actually NOT something the theorist entirely abhors, would see entirely vanquished, because a fight against something big that hates us is basically the life we are necessarily --if conscious, if wide-awake -- doomed to need to accept as a good part of our lot? 

What I'm getting at is that I think articles like this would help further the goal of communicating that each one of us is intrinsically good, by exploring how these adverse practices got installed in the first place in a way which doesn't suggest that somewhere in our lineage there were genuinely evil people in charge. My own sense is that the earliest human beings were of a psychic state equivalent to the most traumatized, abused people alive today. That was once the human norm. Children made it to adulthood only because of stimulations they offered their afflicted, depressed parents. Not at all out of love, out of generosity, because human love, ironically, hadn't yet been born yet. Red in tooth and claw, alas, comes closer. Since then miraculously there have been incremental steps up, and so as we rightly look down on parental attitudes from a century before, we are also looking at practices that reflected genuine advancements in caring from their own predecessors, each one being the best "solution" they were able to come up with at the time. 

If you look at human history this way, as I do, then, yes, we need to do everything we can to denormalize conceptions of male/female nature that are actually erroneous and get in the way of a positive life, of complete self-actualization. We need to be loudly and proudly feminist, each one of us. But it is easier to see our "opponents" as not castrating gods of menacing power... as some kind of Lord of the Rings Sauron, but sad creatures from childhoods of horrible abuse, who nevertheless remain a great problem. You can defeat them, but not feel like someone who's actually repressed his/her pleasure-seeking ways to function as a more stalwart crusader. You can avoid depriving yourself of pleasure as you subscribe to requirements of mythic crusader. A lot's at stake, but there is never a need to nip your living an enriching, pleasureful life in the bud.

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It's mentioned quickly and not dwelt upon, but what I like about this article on Trump is (Andrew) Sullivan's description of Trump being "fused" with the nation, of THAT as Trump's primary goal. This relationship to a polity, to a nation, is highly psychohistorical. It gives a sense of him not "governing" to enrich himself and his billionaire friends -- for cynical purposes -- which is what you'll hear from many on the political left, but foremost out of a genuine, powerful psychological desire to be a component of something larger and omnipotent... which should even at some point entail his total self-sacrifice, his suicide. Sullivan describes this something as a "nation," but the DeMausian psychohistorical understanding would be of a Mutterland... to be back in a pre-lapsarian bond with our mothers, a bond which lapsed, specifically, when we "sinned" by abandoning Her for our own self-actualization and individuation.

The progressive war against Trump will not be against some guy who enjoys being an enfant terrible, against some guy who's only (forgive the pun...) trumped up on his own grotesque bloviated self; it'll be against a guy who thinks his own mom could not possibly be prouder in seeing him fight for her via her being projected out onto the nation, in seeing him stick up for her, for HER honour. He'll think he's her favourite, devoting every resource he has to ensure no longer will her face, her dignity, be casually besmirched by those who'd laughed off loyalty and honour as virtues in favour of measly, arrogant, self-spoiling. (Yes, I understand she was an immigrant from Scotland, not native American. It won't matter.)

Progressives need to understand that their opponents will not understand themselves as trolls, but as of the purest light. If we progressives still think self-sacrifice and selflessness are virtues (I'm not pro-selfishness, just not for selflessness as sacrifice of self to please denying, mean-spirited parental gods), if we get into their mindset we might be forced to tip our hat to them, because their horrid efforts will not be about themselves only indirectly, in that it feels good to not have their mothers hanging over them ready to obliterate them for too much self-devotion. This fusion state with their mothers, which will make them immune to guilt and very ready to sacrifice themselves for group (i.e., mother's) gain, will make them very formidable opponents.

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10 hours ago

Molyneux seems a pretty big supporter of Lloyd Demause's ideas. DeMause, however, doesn't give a fig about IQ; rather, he's into who's been most fortunate in having the most progressive and loving parents, because a child from out of that kind of environment is going to have an emotional IQ -- the extent to which they will want to help others --  that's off the charts! It's from people like these that you'll get your most decent, most humane society. 

DeMause does however argue -- as does Steven Pinker -- a Whiggish idea of history as progressively getting better, as improving, which needn't -- but apparently does -- give amo for discrimination against other peoples, other cultures. I think Molyneux is using DeMause's theories because he sees therein means to take advantage of one of the weaknesses of our current batch of most loved, of our current batch of progressives: they do romanticize, cast a Rousseauean glow around people they're rightly trying to support. In this moment when people may be wanting to discredit progressives and so turn our society more openly more hateful, he means to make use of their one blindspot to discredit them entirely, even though they're overall the most fact-adhering, most wide-awake people on the planet. That is probably his foremost goal. And that's a terrible thing.