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Subject: "Let's discuss subliminal racism = Peter Jackson's work." This topic is locked.
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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
8480 posts
Fri Dec-16-05 01:04 PM

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"Let's discuss subliminal racism = Peter Jackson's work."


  

          

Lord of the Rings. Not a black motherfucker in the cast. Yet all the evil people of hell are black. Hmmm.

King Kong. King of the jungle. Can tear down airplanes... yet he bows down to the beauty of some blonde bitch.

Look people... subliminal racism has been Americana from day one...
in fact, it used to be direct. However, what we are witnessing is a modern director, reaching back in time, and deliberately using films that border these themes. Mind you, white men will make white movies where the heroes are white. However, once you start dealing with subliminal terrorism (good vs. evil themes as in LOTR) or subliminal sexual insecurities (which is King Kong) when is your card plucked?
How can modern black america sit back and not at least analyze this for what it is?

What's next for Peter Jackson, Sambo versus the Predator?

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
RE: Let's discuss subliminal racism = Peter Jackson's work.
Dec 16th 2005
1
I've been telling all my friends the LOTR series is racist as hell
Dec 16th 2005
2
RE: I've been telling all my friends the LOTR series is racist as hell
Dec 16th 2005
3
Yup it is.. .and exactly on point.
Dec 16th 2005
16
i'm not buying your take on LOTR
Dec 16th 2005
4
so you just argued and supported my post in one statement
Dec 16th 2005
17
when did i say it was *NOT* racist?
Dec 16th 2005
24
RE: i'm not buying your take on LOTR
Dec 17th 2005
30
      oh, there's nothing accidental about it.
Dec 17th 2005
35
it is, but your breakdown is completely wrong
Dec 16th 2005
8
i think this is true:
Dec 16th 2005
14
RE: i think this is true:
Dec 16th 2005
15
RE: it is, but your breakdown is completely wrong
Jan 05th 2006
178
RE: it is, but your breakdown is completely wrong
Jun 06th 2006
207
RE: I've been telling all my friends the LOTR series is racist as hell
Dec 18th 2005
49
hmm, didn't notice this post. there's so many mistakes though
Dec 20th 2005
139
you're absolutely right, but...
Dec 20th 2005
140
      other people might read the replies though
Dec 21st 2005
142
      yet your here... you read it... and you keep posting...
Dec 21st 2005
143
           AGENDAS...
Dec 27th 2005
162
                Not to mention it borders Aryan mythology which could easily
Jun 06th 2006
209
If I was a racist
May 26th 2006
196
to be fair to Peter Jackson...
Dec 16th 2005
5
I've seen both of the earlier versions
Dec 16th 2005
6
sounds pretty bad.
Dec 16th 2005
11
RE: I've seen both of the earlier versions
May 25th 2006
184
Um. No.
Dec 16th 2005
18
well...
Dec 16th 2005
25
I can't take Peter Jackson seriously as a filmmaker
Dec 17th 2005
31
I can't take him seriously as a non-biggot either
Dec 17th 2005
32
some issues with this...
Dec 17th 2005
36
RE: some issues with this...
Dec 17th 2005
39
then you didn't read the books
Dec 17th 2005
44
ah come on...
Dec 18th 2005
58
lol.. you seriously expect them to make LOTR a discourse on racism?
Dec 18th 2005
59
No, it wasn't faithful at all!!!
May 26th 2006
197
Check out this article
Dec 16th 2005
7
This is great!
Dec 16th 2005
13
RE: This is great!
Dec 16th 2005
22
Great article!
Dec 22nd 2005
156
Myth & Symbology: Constructed Meaning
Dec 16th 2005
9
oh dear god
Dec 16th 2005
12
      as if he would admit that and ruin his career?????? c'mon now...
Dec 16th 2005
19
      dude he saw the movie when he was like 7 years old
Dec 16th 2005
20
      Your missing the point... and he's not 7 NOW.
Dec 16th 2005
21
           no you're missing the point: he's NOT making the movie to promote racism
Dec 16th 2005
23
      RE: as if he would admit that and ruin his career?????? c'mon now...
Dec 16th 2005
28
           RE: as if he would admit that and ruin his career?????? c'mon now...
Dec 17th 2005
33
           wow....
Dec 17th 2005
41
           Did your teacher own a map?
Dec 17th 2005
42
           are you really prepared to take it there?
Dec 18th 2005
63
                no one is claiming that the Empire St Building wasnt a huge penis.
Dec 19th 2005
65
                     fuck that... Egyptians were black...
Dec 19th 2005
69
                     like I said, you are a fucking hypocrite
Dec 19th 2005
78
                          truth must hurt...
Dec 19th 2005
79
                          yep, he's a racist and a hypocrite
May 26th 2006
195
                     There's actually some good points here
May 31st 2006
205
                          Um, actually it's the continuation and promotion of such
Jun 01st 2006
206
      RE: oh dear god
Dec 17th 2005
34
           You're part of the problem?
May 26th 2006
189
do you know why he remade King Kong?
Dec 16th 2005
10
it's all about the melanin
Dec 16th 2005
26
Why is the only good orc a dead orc? (Swipe)
Dec 16th 2005
27
Very good read
Dec 16th 2005
29
THANK YOU for this
Dec 17th 2005
37
Interesting...
Dec 17th 2005
38
      Good points..
Dec 17th 2005
40
      'you can't separate?'
Dec 17th 2005
43
      This is going way too far...
Dec 17th 2005
46
           This is not about prejudice
Dec 18th 2005
47
                So shouldn't your outrage be directed at Universal Studios?
Dec 18th 2005
51
                     I never attacked Jackson
Dec 18th 2005
54
Why pick on Peter Jackson?
Dec 17th 2005
45
RE: Why pick on Peter Jackson?
Dec 18th 2005
48
      We're gonna have to agree to disagree....
Dec 18th 2005
50
           ???
Dec 18th 2005
53
                I see no cop-out...
Dec 18th 2005
57
                     Popular Art and Racism
Dec 18th 2005
60
RE: Let's discuss subliminal racism = Peter Jackson's work.
Dec 18th 2005
52
This post is fucking moronic at best...
Dec 18th 2005
55
Really?
Dec 18th 2005
61
Basically.
Dec 18th 2005
62
Nettrice..I am not saying that there isnt racism in the King Kong film
Dec 19th 2005
66
      You know you don't have to participate?
Dec 19th 2005
70
           listen douchebag
Dec 19th 2005
80
                again... you don't have to participate...
Dec 19th 2005
87
                     amazing how you cannot grasp the simplist of concepts...
Dec 19th 2005
88
It's not moronic in an ontological sense
May 26th 2006
198
counterpoint
Dec 18th 2005
56
RE: counterpoint
Dec 18th 2005
64
      If the woman in the movie were black...
Dec 27th 2005
164
           RE: If the woman in the movie were black...
Dec 27th 2005
165
Simple question...
Dec 19th 2005
67
RE: Simple question...
Dec 19th 2005
68
Exactly. To even use those two examples...
Dec 19th 2005
71
RE: Simple question...
Dec 19th 2005
82
      actually bright spot the title says Peter Jackson's WORK...
Dec 19th 2005
85
some dumb ass questions...
Dec 19th 2005
72
      Your & You're
Dec 19th 2005
81
           okay let me try...
Dec 19th 2005
86
                RE: okay let me try...
Dec 19th 2005
90
RE: Let's discuss subliminal racism = Peter Jackson's work.
Dec 19th 2005
73
it's called liberal racism... let's discuss your 'hippie geek'
Dec 19th 2005
74
      Real Talk
Dec 31st 2005
171
           RE: Real Talk
Jan 06th 2006
180
RE: Let's discuss subliminal racism = Peter Jackson's work.
Dec 19th 2005
75
Hmmm... that was straight stupid...
Dec 19th 2005
76
      my point is why would it take that for you to get it?
Dec 19th 2005
77
      Peter Jackson is a Kiwi....
Dec 19th 2005
83
           so what your saying is...
Dec 19th 2005
84
                RE: so what your saying is...
Dec 19th 2005
89
                actually that's not what I'm saying at all...
Dec 19th 2005
92
                That was my entire point:
Dec 19th 2005
93
                     What? It's a topic... not a movement...
Dec 19th 2005
95
                          wow, you have no problem making shit up post after post after post
Dec 19th 2005
96
                               In My Head?!?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHa...
Dec 19th 2005
97
                                    RE: In My Head?!?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHa...
Dec 19th 2005
98
                                         uh no. You are.
Dec 19th 2005
99
                where did I say he was a brilliant film maker or person?
Dec 19th 2005
91
                     Actually you said he was a Kiwi
Dec 19th 2005
94
                          So you admit that I said he was a kiwi....
Dec 19th 2005
100
                               ayo what the fuck is your problem?
Dec 19th 2005
101
      RE: Hmmm... that was straight stupid...
Dec 20th 2005
128
RE: Who is Peter Jackson?-n/m
Dec 19th 2005
102
RE: Who is Peter Jackson?-n/m
Dec 19th 2005
103
Beyond Black and White: Postmodernism and Race in LOTR (swipe, long...)
Dec 19th 2005
104
Interesting
Dec 20th 2005
106
i think it's pure coincidence he happens to take on these epics
Dec 20th 2005
105
since when do white men think of black men as sexually insecure?
Dec 20th 2005
107
Um, your reading it wrong Jon...
Dec 20th 2005
108
here is the real question
Dec 20th 2005
109
Who is the moron?
Dec 20th 2005
110
Exactly.
Dec 20th 2005
112
what for?
Dec 20th 2005
113
      do we?
Dec 20th 2005
115
      RE: do we?
Dec 20th 2005
117
           No one seems to go any further? You didn't read a damn thing..
Dec 20th 2005
119
                RE: No one seems to go any further? You didn't read a damn thing..
Dec 20th 2005
122
                     Um... actually genius... that wasn't the point of this post...
Dec 20th 2005
124
                     my point is you have no point
Dec 20th 2005
135
                          um, again... HIS WORK IS RACIST...
Dec 20th 2005
136
                               you are being obtuse
Dec 20th 2005
137
                               thanks for the observation. Everyone appreciates it.
Dec 20th 2005
138
                               Let me correct you
May 26th 2006
192
                                    RE: Let me correct you
May 26th 2006
199
                                         Wow... I posted this months ago
May 26th 2006
200
                                              Of course
May 26th 2006
201
                                                   RE: Of course
Jun 06th 2006
208
                     Actually there are studies
Dec 20th 2005
125
      RE: what for?
Dec 20th 2005
126
           trust me love... you have more than explained yourself
Dec 20th 2005
127
hey brightspot... read the title... "Peter Jackson's WORK" so...
Dec 20th 2005
111
RE: hey brightspot... read the title... "Peter Jackson's WORK" so...
Dec 20th 2005
114
      No I completely understood it... your the easy part...
Dec 20th 2005
116
           RE: No I completely understood it... your the easy part...
Dec 20th 2005
118
                Your too self righteous... and you didn't read a ounce of this post
Dec 20th 2005
120
                     RE: Your too self righteous... and you didn't read a ounce of this post
Dec 20th 2005
121
                          haha.. asshat...
Dec 20th 2005
123
Autonomy vs. heteronomy
May 26th 2006
191
what the hell happened in this post?
Dec 20th 2005
129
please... there are some great responses in this post...
Dec 20th 2005
130
      yes, there are... but they are obscured by all your bickering
Dec 20th 2005
131
           right... just me and me alone... wasn't provoked at all...sure.
Dec 20th 2005
132
                last response
Dec 20th 2005
133
                     nice of you to pick up on that after the fact... baiting people?
Dec 20th 2005
134
angel cake vs. devil's food
Dec 21st 2005
141
RE: angel cake vs. devil's food
Dec 22nd 2005
144
      stands up and applauds...
Dec 22nd 2005
145
      look at your bullshit reasoning
Dec 22nd 2005
146
           here's why YOUR Bullshit...
Dec 22nd 2005
147
           your reasoning boils down to this:
Dec 22nd 2005
153
           RE: look at your bullshit reasoning
Dec 22nd 2005
149
      RE: angel cake vs. devil's food
Dec 22nd 2005
148
           RE: angel cake vs. devil's food
Dec 22nd 2005
150
           RE: angel cake vs. devil's food
Dec 22nd 2005
155
           RE: angel cake vs. devil's food
Dec 22nd 2005
151
                RE: angel cake vs. devil's food
Dec 22nd 2005
152
                i said 'right wing' as a catchall for all the bad ideologies
Dec 22nd 2005
154
No your wrong
Dec 23rd 2005
157
RE: No your wrong
Dec 24th 2005
158
RE: No your wrong
Dec 24th 2005
159
RE: No your wrong
Dec 24th 2005
160
      RE: No your wrong
Dec 24th 2005
161
           RE: No your wrong
Dec 27th 2005
163
                RE: No your wrong
Dec 27th 2005
166
                     looking for racism
Dec 27th 2005
167
                     Right here
Dec 27th 2005
168
                          RE: Right here
Dec 28th 2005
169
                          Analyze the special effects
May 26th 2006
194
Exactly and you know what's funny...
Jan 04th 2006
177
fantastic response
May 26th 2006
193
in the Chronic(WHAT?)cles of Narnia,evil is personified by a WHITE Witch
Dec 30th 2005
170
Narnia is not American
Jan 05th 2006
179
The original king kong was somewhat of a protest against racism--
Dec 31st 2005
172
thanks.
Jan 01st 2006
173
I mostly agree with this
Jan 01st 2006
174
LOTR doesn't portray people of colosur
Jan 01st 2006
176
And Eric Blair
May 25th 2006
188
*vomits*
May 26th 2006
190
RE: Let's discuss subliminal racism = Peter Jackson's work.
Jan 01st 2006
175
actually me and many scholars are saying it...
Jan 06th 2006
181
archive
May 25th 2006
182
I'll agree with you on this one
May 25th 2006
183
ROTFLMAO!! Reminescent of "Revolutionary thoughts inside" post.
May 25th 2006
185
I saw this coming a mile away
May 25th 2006
186
Every once in a while something like this pops up
May 25th 2006
187
RE:
May 31st 2006
202
      RE:
May 31st 2006
203
      which is my point... King Kong only adds to the problem...
May 31st 2006
204
LOTR and Kong are completely different. LOTR is steeped in
Jun 07th 2006
210
remember this?
Jun 09th 2006
211
      The Master Culture or canon
Jun 09th 2006
212
           great points... but we went through this before...
Jun 09th 2006
213
                RE: great points... but we went through this before...
Jun 09th 2006
214
                     but isn't that optimism at it's finest... and not completely realistic?
Jun 09th 2006
215

diaded
Member since Nov 08th 2004
128 posts
Fri Dec-16-05 01:25 PM

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1. "RE: Let's discuss subliminal racism = Peter Jackson's work."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Your question is worthy of a PhD case study I think.

I just finished 'Racism and the Press' by T. van Dijk; focussing on Racism (as an ideology) and Press in Europe and thought that was really good; not like I didn't know the press is racist, but at least I can back up what I say with quotes now, LOL!

So hit me up with some books, articles (please)!

---------------------------------------
O nosso amor năo vai olhar para trás
Desencantar nem ser tema de livro
A vida inteira eu quiz um verso simples
Prá tranformar o que eu digo

  

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onetakedizzle
Charter member
posts
Fri Dec-16-05 02:05 PM

2. "I've been telling all my friends the LOTR series is racist as hell"
In response to Reply # 0


          

I started thinking about the topic last year. I had to write a paper in sociology and my paper was on the myth of the Jewish conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and its contribution to the rise of radical right wing militia groups in the United States. One of the many things that I was shocked by while reading about these groups was amongst all the radical right wing literature like the Turner Diaries that these groups recomended was the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Here's my take on LOTR. You start off in a utopia dominated by wasp males. It is an all white Christian patriarchical society and pretty flowers gorw and all is dandy. Then the ring is introduced. The finger going through the ring very much resembles penetration, i.e. intercourse. This is representative of a loss of ground in the male power structure. The person who puts on the ring becomes a slave to it. The social suggestion is that the feminist movement is undermining a pre-ordained male dominance which is destroying the promised land. Women are out to make men their slaves and are not to be trusted, they should not be undermining their role as second class citizens and male property. Let's be honest, what does the eye above the castle look like? It looks like a big sinister vagina. We also see a dark army rise out of Mordor. Mordor sounds quite like mortar a mud like substance. What does these right wing militia groups call African Americans and Hispanics? Their term for them is the mud people and they believe these mud people are out to destroy them. This group of Christian white males are out to destroy the ring and battle to restore order in the world using their swords. Let's look at what the sword represents. The sword is a mighty phallic object. These warriors are using their manhood to restore order in this world turned upside down. Speaking of upside down, the sword upside down and you have a Christian cross. Who do they meet up with along the way? A two faced ugly little trickster named Smiegel. Smiegel obviously represents the people of Jewish decent, being that these right wing militia groups consider Jews two-faced swindlers. In the end, the white Christians defeat the dark army and destroy the ring. The sinister vagina watching over them and controlling their existence disappears from their castle. At the end of the film, order is restored in this Christian utopia with the men in charge and the women in a subordinate position. The two-faced Jew and the dark army are now out of the picture and all is well in their world. An interesting side note is that when Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklohoma City federal building he was trying to start the white Christian revolution that is described in the Turner Diaries.
These right wing nutjobs believe that the Jews currently control the world and that African Americans and Hispanics are working for the Jews trying to undermine white Christianity. They believe that the revolution described in the Turner Diaries is a divine revolution and that God will grant them victory. They believe after this revolution the earth will exist for 1,000 years as a white Christian utopia with all those who are not white Christians will be wiped off the face of the earth and condemned to hell by God. To me, LOTR seems to be pretty allegorical of their belief structure and the revolution they believe will bring them to their promised land.

  

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diaded
Member since Nov 08th 2004
128 posts
Fri Dec-16-05 02:28 PM

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3. "RE: I've been telling all my friends the LOTR series is racist as hell"
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

...fascinating

I found it especially interesting because my friends claimed to be Uruk-Hai (or however you spell it); I read the book in primary school and just thought the book was boring, but maybe my subconscious wasn't buying the subliminal messages, lol

---------------------------------------
O nosso amor năo vai olhar para trás
Desencantar nem ser tema de livro
A vida inteira eu quiz um verso simples
Prá tranformar o que eu digo

  

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
8480 posts
Fri Dec-16-05 03:39 PM

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16. "Yup it is.. .and exactly on point."
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

Well done.
One of the reasons why I love posting on here.

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Who's fucking wit B More right now?

"Freedom is a Lie" - the animals

  

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Mr. Wednesday
Member since Jun 06th 2005
776 posts
Fri Dec-16-05 02:42 PM

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4. "i'm not buying your take on LOTR"
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

first off, Tolkien was always adamant that it was a story, NOT a parable, no matter how many different readings people came up with. it's a huge work, and you can definitely read many analogies into it. doesn't mean that whatever you come up with was his intention.

that said, his own prejudices definitely come out in it. no question, there is white supremacy in there. you could argue that it is anti-feminist; however, you'd have to explain his strong female characters (galadriel & eowyn, primarily).

i say take it for what it's worth (a fucking great story) and don't ignore or excuse the fact that the man was a product of his times.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King." - Tom Waits

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/theprivateers_music.htm

  

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
8480 posts
Fri Dec-16-05 03:41 PM

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17. "so you just argued and supported my post in one statement"
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

so it's not racist... yet his own personal racism comes out?
C'mon man.

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Who's fucking wit B More right now?

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Mr. Wednesday
Member since Jun 06th 2005
776 posts
Fri Dec-16-05 05:06 PM

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24. "when did i say it was *NOT* racist?"
In response to Reply # 17


  

          

i think i specifically say it IS. my point is only that the racism was not Tolkien's overt intention, so the poster's symbolic interpretation (where the ring = whatever and gollum = whatever) does not correspond to Tolkien's intentions.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King." - Tom Waits

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/theprivateers_music.htm

  

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onetakedizzle
Charter member
posts
Sat Dec-17-05 01:52 AM

30. "RE: i'm not buying your take on LOTR"
In response to Reply # 4


          

>i say take it for what it's worth (a fucking great story) and
>don't ignore or excuse the fact that the man was a product of
>his times.

Well, if Tolkein was completely unaware of what he was doing with his own art and racist overtones just kind of accidentally popped up as you suggest, then i do not consider it a great story. Citizen Kane and The Adventures of Huck Finn are great stories. Great stories are made by artists who are in complete control of their art and the direction it is going in. I am led to believe by comments made on this board that Tolkein was not a great artist, but a racist who couldn't help himself in bringing bigotry to the forefront of his work.

  

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Mr. Wednesday
Member since Jun 06th 2005
776 posts
Sat Dec-17-05 06:16 AM

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35. "oh, there's nothing accidental about it."
In response to Reply # 30


  

          

it's no accident when artists' prejudices pop up in their work.

was he completely aware of what he was doing with his art and the underlying racism? i'm not going to argue on Tolkien's behalf on this point because a) i don't know if he ever spoke on it, and b) it's an essentially indefensible position and one that i definitely do not share. i do know that he was consciously trying to create a new English mythology, was mostly conservative and even anti-modern. he probably would have thought that although it was specifically English (read: white English) his mythology did not degrade other races. mostly i think that due to his white privilege he was probably never forced to confront the racist implications of his work and thought.

i never claimed Tolkien was a great artist, just that LOTR is a great fucking story. i'm talking about what i consider "story" elements - plot, character, pacing, structure, the scope, completeness and detail of his imagination, escapism value, etc. this is completely subjective, but to me the story still stands on its own. of course, i'm white and i read LOTR for the first time when i was 12, so i fully acknowledge my bias.

i don't know what it means for artists to be "in complete control of their art and the direction it is going in." a) this is really impossible to determine in any objective way, and b) once an audience starts interpreting a piece of art, it's anybody's game.


one more thing i will add that i don't think has been mentioned yet: there is a case to be made that LOTR supports harmony between races as well as appreciation, even celebration, of difference. see the relationships between hobbits, "men", elves and dwarves, best exemplified in the friendship built between Gimli and Legolas. perhaps the closest analogy here is to harmony between different European cultures, but it's open to debate.

finally, refer to posts 26 and 27 if you haven't yet.

good discussion.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King." - Tom Waits

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/theprivateers_music.htm

  

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40thStreetBlack
Charter member
26025 posts
Fri Dec-16-05 03:12 PM

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8. "it is, but your breakdown is completely wrong"
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

the LOTR actually mirrors Nazi Aryan mythology fairly closely, not because Tolkien was a Nazi but because they both used ancient Germanic mythology mixed with some 19th century Atlantean mysticism as a basis.

It's pretty straightfoward actually - you really don't need all that Isis Papers psychobabble nonsense to understand it.

<------- my Guy is better than your guy

  

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Mr. Wednesday
Member since Jun 06th 2005
776 posts
Fri Dec-16-05 03:22 PM

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14. "i think this is true:"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

>the LOTR actually mirrors Nazi Aryan mythology fairly
>closely, not because Tolkien was a Nazi but because they both
>used ancient Germanic mythology mixed with some 19th century
>Atlantean mysticism as a basis.

and he even designed a whole cosmology around it.

also interesting that many people read LOTR as an ANTI-Nazi WWII analogy.

however, whether it matters or not i still don't think Tolkien was conscious of the white supremacist undertones of his work.

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40thStreetBlack
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15. "RE: i think this is true:"
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

>however, whether it matters or not i still don't think Tolkien
>was conscious of the white supremacist undertones of his
>work.

Yeah I don't think he did it consciously, but subconsciously it is definitely deeply rooted in his work.

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Zen_the_Jedi
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178. "RE: it is, but your breakdown is completely wrong"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

when i read the other poster's reply, I immediately thought of the Isis Papers.

If you see yourself in others, then who can you possibly harm

Buddha

  

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AquamansWrath
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207. "RE: it is, but your breakdown is completely wrong"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

one of the most influential papers of our time is now psychobabble?
yet Aryan Mythology is respected? Hmmm.. okay.

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grrrlgone
Member since Dec 18th 2005
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Sun Dec-18-05 01:21 AM

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49. "RE: I've been telling all my friends the LOTR series is racist as hell"
In response to Reply # 2


          

I loved deconstructing books and movies back in school, too, but, your comments go way overboard.

But, before I get into my comments on your Tolkin rant, I'd actually be interested in that paper you wrote in your soc class on the Jewish conspiracy. (Seriously.)

>Here's my take on LOTR. You start off in a utopia dominated by
>wasp males. It is an all white Christian patriarchical society
>and pretty flowers gorw and all is dandy. Then the ring is
>introduced. The finger going through the ring very much
>resembles penetration, i.e. intercourse. This is
>representative of a loss of ground in the male power
>structure. The person who puts on the ring becomes a slave to
>it.

I follow you to here. Your rationale is sound and the associations are strong. It's this next part that is a stretch for me.

>The social suggestion is that the feminist movement is
>undermining a pre-ordained male dominance which is destroying
>the promised land.

Ring/Penetration concepts do not bring to mind... the feminist movement. Maybe marriage, maybe rape, but, an entire social movement?

>Women are out to make men their slaves and
>are not to be trusted, they should not be undermining their
>role as second class citizens and male property.

I don't get this transition. While I agree the symbolism is there in our pop culture, you aren't doing a good job of putting this into context for Tolkins stories. A ring is the evidence?? I need more points, I need to see the connection for you.

>Let's be honest, what does the eye above the castle look like? It >looks like a big sinister vagina.

Okay, what?!?! The all-seeing vagina???? That's actually kind of funny.

>We also see a dark army rise out of Mordor. Mordor sounds quite >like mortar a mud like substance. What does these right wing >militia groups call African Americans and Hispanics? Their term for >them is the mud people and they believe these mud people are out to
>destroy them.

How did Hispanics and African Americans get into it?? You are making a correlation between a muddy substance and two entire demographic groups.


>This group of Christian white males are out to
>destroy the ring and battle to restore order in the world
>using their swords. Let's look at what the sword represents.
>The sword is a mighty phallic object. These warriors are using
>their manhood to restore order in this world turned upside
>down. Speaking of upside down, the sword upside down and you
>have a Christian cross.

Okay, so, a crescent moon upwards is a U, does that mean that all Muslims actually worship themselves?? That's ridiculous. The cross is an ancient symbol, older than Christianity. There isn't anything wrong with that symbol, but the phallic symbol part is right, as well as using manhood to restore order. You just keep reaching TOO far.


>Who do they meet up with along the
>way? A two faced ugly little trickster named Smiegel. Smiegel
>obviously represents the people of Jewish decent, being that
>these right wing militia groups consider Jews two-faced
>swindlers.

That's crazy. What is the evidence that Smiegel is representing Jews? He's a crazy character, seriously disturbed and under the influence of this all seeing vagina you talked about earlier. If this "Jewish Representative" is fighting the same vagina the white boys are…. I don't get your point. He is coveting that ring, too. So, Jews are feminists?


>In the end, the white Christians defeat the dark
>army and destroy the ring. The sinister vagina watching over
>them and controlling their existence disappears from their
>castle. At the end of the film, order is restored in this
>Christian utopia with the men in charge and the women in a
>subordinate position. The two-faced Jew and the dark army are
>now out of the picture and all is well in their world. An
>interesting side note is that when Timothy McVeigh bombed the
>Oklohoma City federal building he was trying to start the
>white Christian revolution that is described in the Turner
>Diaries.
>These right wing nutjobs believe that the Jews currently
>control the world and that African Americans and Hispanics are
>working for the Jews trying to undermine white Christianity.
>They believe that the revolution described in the Turner
>Diaries is a divine revolution and that God will grant them
>victory. They believe after this revolution the earth will
>exist for 1,000 years as a white Christian utopia with all
>those who are not white Christians will be wiped off the face
>of the earth and condemned to hell by God. To me, LOTR seems
>to be pretty allegorical of their belief structure and the
>revolution they believe will bring them to their promised
>land.


Regardless of any comments I made, your post is interesting. I think that you reach too much and don't support your thoughts very well. I follow your ideas, but, they are very weak arguments. I've read a lot about this Jewish conspiracy, some about the Masons, some about some secret society derived of the Knights of Templar, along with other equally weird ideas. A lot of people freak out about the Jews. It seems that the theme of LOTR revolves around diverse races and cultures coming together to fight the evil that will destroy them all. Perhaps I am too mainstream. Perhaps I haven't spent hours pissed off about a movie. I'd love to hear you deconstruct this evil. I don't think it's racial, but, I do agree it has something to do with our social mores. Shrug. Who knows.


  

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The Damaja
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139. "hmm, didn't notice this post. there's so many mistakes though"
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

>Here's my take on LOTR. You start off in a utopia

why is it a utopia? the shire is a nice place, but the rest of the lands and histories of MIddle Earth are full of corrupt and decaying empires, wars, etc, not to mention there was even greater evil BEFORE the ring was created

dominated by
>wasp males.

actually Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic.

It is an all white Christian patriarchical society
>and pretty flowers gorw and all is dandy.

bear in mind that Tolkien wrote this as an alternative history, not an imaginary history. he's saying that the events of LOTR actually happened in real life. So anyway, how could he make society anything BUT patriarchal since all societies up to this point have been patriarchal (not that he dwells on the subject, it's just the default setting for the world)

Then the ring is
>introduced. The finger going through the ring very much
>resembles penetration, i.e. intercourse. This is
>representative of a loss of ground in the male power
>structure. The person who puts on the ring becomes a slave to
>it. The social suggestion is that the feminist movement is
>undermining a pre-ordained male dominance which is destroying
>the promised land. Women are out to make men their slaves and
>are not to be trusted, they should not be undermining their
>role as second class citizens and male property. Let's be
>honest, what does the eye above the castle look like? It looks
>like a big sinister vagina.

but in the book the eye is only described as 'the Eye', in fact it's not even clear that it's detached from a body, or that it even literally can be seen. Basically the eye you see in the film is not the work of Tolkien and came as a bit of a surprise to the Tolkien community

We also see a dark army rise out
>of Mordor. Mordor sounds quite like mortar a mud like
>substance. What does these right wing militia groups call
>African Americans and Hispanics? Their term for them is the
>mud people and they believe these mud people are out to
>destroy them

the orcs actually have grey skin (not brown) and as such are probably supposed to be descendents of white people who have been banished underground (like the Morlocks in HG Wells' The Time Machine and the goblins in Macdonald's Princess and the Goblin) and as such have no melanin and have paled into a dull grey dirtied/blackened by the filth of the mines. nothing to do with african or hispanic people. also did you know the Orcs speak with cockney accents in the book?

secondly at the time of publication Britain had just finished a war AGAINST extreme right wing militants, the NAZIs. and if there's anyone Tolkien probably hated it was the Germans (he fought in WW1)



. This group of Christian white males are out to
>destroy the ring and battle to restore order in the world
>using their swords. Let's look at what the sword represents.
>The sword is a mighty phallic object. These warriors are using
>their manhood to restore order in this world turned upside
>down.

lol. what do you want them to fight with? nets? Swords are important in the story (and not just in the fighting, which should be obvious) because swords have often been important mythic items throughout history, and ESPECIALLY in the little mythology that England DOES have (King Arthur and his sword Excalibur)

Speaking of upside down, the sword upside down and you
>have a Christian cross. Who do they meet up with along the
>way? A two faced ugly little trickster named Smiegel. Smiegel
>obviously represents the people of Jewish decent, being that
>these right wing militia groups consider Jews two-faced
>swindlers. In the end, the white Christians defeat the dark
>army and destroy the ring.

So Tolkien is anti-Jewish? It comes as surprise then, that Tolkien abruptly terminated his contract with a German publisher after they asked him (before publishing The Hobbit in German) if he had any Jewish blood in his family. Even though he NEEDED the money.


The sinister vagina watching over
>them and controlling their existence disappears from their
>castle. At the end of the film, order is restored in this
>Christian utopia with the men in charge and the women in a
>subordinate position.

This 'sinister vagina' theory is complete bullshit. If that was Tolkien's intention, you have to say he completely failed to tie it up in any logical way to the characters (Sauron is male) or the other symbols. Frodo's finger is bitten off with the Ring still on it which finally destroys Sauron - what's the moral there? As men we should castrate ourselves then there will be no ill in the world? But then what do we do with all these phallic symbols lying about? lol Look, because symbolism is never explained directly by the author, you have to work it out yourself - but what you're doing is simply applying your own symbolism and it shows because it doesn't make any sense in relation to other things.


The two-faced Jew and the dark army are
>now out of the picture and all is well in their world. An
>interesting side note is that when Timothy McVeigh bombed the
>Oklohoma City federal building he was trying to start the
>white Christian revolution that is described in the Turner
>Diaries.
>These right wing nutjobs believe that the Jews currently
>control the world and that African Americans and Hispanics are
>working for the Jews trying to undermine white Christianity.
>They believe that the revolution described in the Turner
>Diaries is a divine revolution and that God will grant them
>victory. They believe after this revolution the earth will
>exist for 1,000 years as a white Christian utopia with all
>those who are not white Christians will be wiped off the face
>of the earth and condemned to hell by God. To me, LOTR seems
>to be pretty allegorical of their belief structure and the
>revolution they believe will bring them to their promised
>land.

you're basically reading what you want to read into the work. you're the one with the (racist) agenda. if that was really Tolkien's intention, think of how much more textual evidence you would have at your disposal

basically, Tolkien was writing about the past in a mythological mode
the past is: feudal, ideologically flawed, patriarchal, undemocratic, bloody, romanticized, self obsessed, etc etc all those negative qualities that we would not wish in present society, nor did Tolkien wish them
but they WILL be there, by default, if you write a historical fiction/fantasy, if you do otherwise you're writing a political fantasy
as for racism, in the mythical context I don't even think it EXISTS. even in the context of Tolkien's lifetime, it's rather different from all the things you are assuming (that he was a WASP etc)

--------------------
Why do you choose to mimic these wack MCs?
Why do you choose to listen to R&B?

"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to." Leela

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Mr. Wednesday
Member since Jun 06th 2005
776 posts
Tue Dec-20-05 11:55 PM

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140. "you're absolutely right, but..."
In response to Reply # 139


  

          

it saddens me that you spent so much time on this bullshit.

to me, wasn't worth even reading.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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The Damaja
Member since Aug 02nd 2003
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Wed Dec-21-05 05:45 AM

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142. "other people might read the replies though"
In response to Reply # 140


  

          

and hopefully less people will then swagger about making bold proclamations about Tolkien's racism based on incorrect premises

what i've found with practically all accounts of racism in LOTR is that the statements can be so easily refuted, they're ridden with such basic misconceptions/mistakes

i also dislike what CS Lewis called chronological snobbery, the way in which people authoritatively stamp an older work of art as flawed or unenlightened or naive purely on the grounds that it is old - and often do so in a manner which is ITSELF very flawed/hypocritical

--------------------
Why do you choose to mimic these wack MCs?
Why do you choose to listen to R&B?

"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to." Leela

*puts emceeing in a box*

  

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
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Wed Dec-21-05 09:44 AM

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143. "yet your here... you read it... and you keep posting..."
In response to Reply # 140


  

          

hmmmm.

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camil
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Tue Dec-27-05 02:01 PM

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162. "AGENDAS..."
In response to Reply # 143


          

i was like, counting down the days til the second and third releases of the trilogy came out. let me say, i agree, we cant so much put weight on tolkien as it relates to him being racist. he's a product of his times. BUT, what was 'projected in the movie' does raise eyebrows.

let me restate, i was a devout! lotr fan. and it wasnt until my fifth or sixth time viewing the movie had i realized the representation of africans etc. but then i thought why should there be, this isnt our history!

HOWEVER, bringing it on back to front, and modern times. look at the parallels. we're activists here and we have our agendas for "freedom". what this boils down to is a global question of 'teams'. yes there was representation of revolution here. the africans in the last battle, the hispanics by sea and so forth. i mean it is so metaphoric for what 'could' happen, when you think of global society and war. i think thats the most interesting part and probably the propaganda comes in because of where we are as a worldwide society. america is on the brinks. few will answer to her call. and they will have to rely on their 'forefathers -the green ghost' laws politics, tactics, foundation, constitutions and so forth to assure their rule. present day police state.

i, still thought the whole ring and finger and feminist agendas was a different way of looking at it. you need to step away from the marijuana for a bit though, still it was interesting nonetheless. but you know how it is, its merely literature supported by video images-comparable to the bible. folx twist the literature to fit their AGENDAS all day er'y...!

the only thing, is that we didnt get a chance to learn why the darkies were trying to overthrow 'mans' rule. the reason in the movie was presented on some just to do it, greed shit.

lastly in the words of eninajay (chicago poet): 'movie writers are so clever!'

ONE



  

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AquamansWrath
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Tue Jun-06-06 01:09 PM

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209. "Not to mention it borders Aryan mythology which could easily"
In response to Reply # 162


  

          

propell the idea of a race war... which is what I picked up from this film. Easily.

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Delete me
Member since Aug 27th 2002
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Fri May-26-06 01:21 AM

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196. "If I was a racist"
In response to Reply # 2


          

I'd never read LOTR. I'd read books by Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, etc. I'd also check out Marxist writings, Homi Bhabha, Post-Colonial stuff and so on. Thanks to these guys I know how to keep somebody down.

  

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Mr. Wednesday
Member since Jun 06th 2005
776 posts
Fri Dec-16-05 02:49 PM

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5. "to be fair to Peter Jackson..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

first off, you're ignoring all his work pre-LOTR. it may be B-grade material, but i don't think it's racist.

second, LOTR was a more-or-less faithful adaptation of a book. so blame any white supremacy there on Tolkien (and see my post above about that). i think it would have been great to see Jackson update it and include some folks of color, but there would have been a huge backlash to that as well.

third... well, i haven't seen King Kong yet and i haven't made up my mind on any racist implications of that flick. to me the story seems to be more about humanity's animal instincts (brutality AND tenderness) than a white/black dynamic. let's not forget that apes are ancestors to ALL humans...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King." - Tom Waits

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Nettrice
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Fri Dec-16-05 02:57 PM

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6. "I've seen both of the earlier versions"
In response to Reply # 5
Fri Dec-16-05 02:58 PM by Nettrice

  

          

My father used to tell me about the symbols and imagery in films like King Kong and we would watch the movies. I took much of what he said with a grain of salt but there was something very true about his analysis of Kong.

"so, i went to a test screening of "King Kong" last
night, and i want everyone i know to boycott this
film. Simply put, it is the most irresponsible and
corrosive misrepresentation of aboriginal/indigenous/
phenotypically non-European people i have ever
witnessed in contemporary cinema.*

a short description: The un - assuming Caucasian stars
arrive on a remote tropical island in POLYNESIA -
their first encounter is with a "savage" played by a
small white girl - painted head to toe charcoal black
- complete with small bones through her nose and ears
- her uncivilized nature is further punctuated when
she violently bites one of the benevolent white people
when he offers her chocolate

of course, Mayhem ensues as hundreds of "savages"
erupt onto the screen, violently assaulting and
murdering the civilized white travelers.** a few
important points - the actors chosen to fill the roles
of the principal savages: an old woman chanting some
curse. the aforementioned young girl, and a violent
young male warrior type, are all white actors painted
TAR black - BUT - the hundreds of extras who fill the
roles of the rest of the savages are clearly black -
if i had to guess - of west African extraction." - something a friend sent me

When it comes to these issues I am pretty vigilant because I teach media literacy and I need to practice what I preach when it comes to critically thinking about media (text, images, and movies). All the flash & flare in the world does not change the symbology of the story.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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Mr. Wednesday
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11. "sounds pretty bad."
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

but i will have to see it for myself.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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corntoole
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184. "RE: I've seen both of the earlier versions"
In response to Reply # 6


          

You can actually read up on the intentions and context of both the original director, M. Cooper, and Jackson at kongiskong.net, which includes a production diary for the latest version and some history on the first film.

Jackson actually was attempting to deracialize the natives, which was sort of respectfully coping out. I haven't seen the film, but my beef would be the fact that have a 1920s/1930s New York and no black people, but people would've complained if the only black cast were shoeshiners too.

  

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
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Fri Dec-16-05 03:44 PM

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18. "Um. No."
In response to Reply # 5


  

          

First, I owe Peter Jackson nothing. Not concerned with his work at all actually. Second, Kong is a proven racist concept no different than Tarzan. LOTR has so many racial undertones it's ridiculous. If anything Peter Jackson is probably not even aware how racist his work is, and that's cause he is a rich, comfortable white man, and often times their intellect, their actions, and their views are never challenged. Partially because they surround themselves with others just like them and because they can live behind wealthy walls.
However, no one needs to tell me anything about the racial undertones... I can see them for myself.

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Mr. Wednesday
Member since Jun 06th 2005
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Fri Dec-16-05 05:12 PM

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25. "well..."
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

>First, I owe Peter Jackson nothing.

never said you did. but if you're going to characterize a person's "work" as a whole than you should know more about it.

Not concerned with his
>work at all actually.

this post indicates differently.

Second, Kong is a proven racist concept
>no different than Tarzan. LOTR has so many racial undertones
>it's ridiculous. If anything Peter Jackson is probably not
>even aware how racist his work is, and that's cause he is a
>rich, comfortable white man, and often times their intellect,
>their actions, and their views are never challenged.
>Partially because they surround themselves with others just
>like them and because they can live behind wealthy walls.
>However, no one needs to tell me anything about the racial
>undertones... I can see them for myself.
>

i agree with everything you said about LOTR and Peter Jackson's ignorance/priviledge. but i'm withholding comment on King Kong because i haven't seen it yet.

and by the way, i don't think these types of interpretations can be "proven" in the way you suggest they are.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King." - Tom Waits

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onetakedizzle
Charter member
posts
Sat Dec-17-05 02:11 AM

31. "I can't take Peter Jackson seriously as a filmmaker"
In response to Reply # 5


          

>second, LOTR was a more-or-less faithful adaptation of a book.
> so blame any white supremacy there on Tolkien (and see my
>post above about that). i think it would have been great to
>see Jackson update it and include some folks of color, but
>there would have been a huge backlash to that as well.

We are in agreement here. Peter Jackson made a more or less faithful adaptation of the book. I do blame white supremacy on Tolkein. However, this does not let Jackson off the hook. Peter Jackson did absolutley nothing to challenge the racist undertones that we both agree exist in the book. In my opinion, the LOTR films are not the definitive triumphs of filmmaking that they are praised as. I see Jackson's work as an empty text. His own unique voice and style appear NOWHERE. In an age where Tarantino is criticized for plagarism, how does Jackson get a free pass? Jackson more or less plagarized another man's work over the course of 9 hours without ever attempting to challenge the racism that exists in the author's text. Jackson is not a groundbreaking filmmaker, but a man who treats his art as product and is doing his best to cash in. If you don't believe me, then go to your local Burger King and get a King Kong double whopper.

  

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onetakedizzle
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posts
Sat Dec-17-05 02:13 AM

32. "I can't take him seriously as a non-biggot either"
In response to Reply # 31


          

^^^see above article

  

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Mr. Wednesday
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Sat Dec-17-05 06:31 AM

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36. "some issues with this..."
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

>Peter Jackson did absolutley nothing to challenge the racist
>undertones that we both agree exist in the book.

this i agree with. and IMO he should have, no question.

>In my
>opinion, the LOTR films are not the definitive triumphs of
>filmmaking that they are praised as. I see Jackson's work as
>an empty text. His own unique voice and style appear NOWHERE.

well, his unique voice and style appear in the translation of the vision of the book to the vision we saw on the screen. this is no easy feat. i also don't think the films are "definitive triumphs of filmmaking" but it is hard to deny that they are incredibly well-made action movies. that may not be your cup of tea, but Jackson's skill, voice and style are evident.

>In an age where Tarantino is criticized for plagarism, how
>does Jackson get a free pass? Jackson more or less plagarized
>another man's work over the course of 9 hours without ever
>attempting to challenge the racism that exists in the author's
>text.

remaking a book into a movie, by definition, is not plagiarism.

>Jackson is not a groundbreaking filmmaker,

agreed.

>but a man who
>treats his art as product and is doing his best to cash in. If
>you don't believe me, then go to your local Burger King and
>get a King Kong double whopper.

you're ignoring the studio's role here. you can't make the kinds of films Jackson is making without huge studio funding, and that deal with the devil brings along with it some baggage, such as "moichandizing, moichandizing, moichandizing" (c) yogurt.

you should watch (or read) an interview with Jackson. i'm sure dude wants to make money, but he's really just a geek who loves his craft.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King." - Tom Waits

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/theprivateers_music.htm

  

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onetakedizzle
Charter member
posts
Sat Dec-17-05 11:54 AM

39. "RE: some issues with this..."
In response to Reply # 36


          

>>In my
>>opinion, the LOTR films are not the definitive triumphs of
>>filmmaking that they are praised as. I see Jackson's work as
>>an empty text. His own unique voice and style appear
>NOWHERE.
>well, his unique voice and style appear in the translation of
>the vision of the book to the vision we saw on the screen.
>this is no easy feat. i also don't think the films are
>"definitive triumphs of filmmaking" but it is hard to deny
>that they are incredibly well-made action movies. that may
>not be your cup of tea, but Jackson's skill, voice and style
>are evident.
>remaking a book into a movie, by definition, is not
>plagiarism.

At least we're both in agreement that the LOTR films are not what they are hyped up to be in our culture. I hear way too often that they're the greatest films ever made. I was referring to our society's perception of the films when I was talking about them being "definitive triumphs of filmmaking," for example, when Empire magazine did their reader's poll top 100 films of all time 2 summers ago, all three LOTR films were in the top 10. IMO, he never really adds his distnct voice as a filmmaker. I think any of the "top" action directors with access to the technology and money that he had could probably do the same thing. I wouldn' argue that they're not well made action movies, but that's only surface deep. Unfortunately, in our culture that's all we look for. We're willing to accept any old bullshit as long as it's entertaining. I also agree that making a book into a movie is acceptable. I think it is important to add your own views and to change the text if need be in order to say what you are trying to get across. All of Stanley Kubrick's films after The Killing and Killer's Kiss were adapted from books. Kubrick was able to use the text as a blueprint, but made what he saw as the necessary adjustments to the text in order to make it his. I think that is acceptable, if you're just taking someone else's text and putting it on the screen you have very little distinctive voice as an auter, as you are allowing another artist's personal views/feelings to dominate your work.

>you're ignoring the studio's role here. you can't make the
>kinds of films Jackson is making without huge studio funding,
>and that deal with the devil brings along with it some
>baggage, such as "moichandizing, moichandizing, moichandizing"
>(c) yogurt.
Good point and i love the yogurt reference. I just hate seeing what is supposed to be art in our culture intertwined with corporate products. I think that any filmmaker who cares enough about his craft should fight to avoid this. Jackson already proved he could be profitbale with LOTR. If he cared enough, he could have easily argued against corporate tie-ins.

  

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40thStreetBlack
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26025 posts
Sat Dec-17-05 04:09 PM

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44. "then you didn't read the books"
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

>filmmaking that they are praised as. I see Jackson's work as
>an empty text. His own unique voice and style appear NOWHERE.

... because this is simply not true.

>In an age where Tarantino is criticized for plagarism, how
>does Jackson get a free pass? Jackson more or less plagarized
>another man's work over the course of 9 hours

No, the Wachowski brothers more or less plagarized other people's works (particularly William Gibson's). Peter Jackson adapted a film version of a book. Not the same thing.

>without ever
>attempting to challenge the racism that exists in the author's
>text.

this much is true.

>Jackson is not a groundbreaking filmmaker,

Gollum alone makes Jackson a groundbreaking filmmaker.

>but a man who
>treats his art as product and is doing his best to cash in. If
>you don't believe me, then go to your local Burger King and
>get a King Kong double whopper.

JAckson doesn't own the marketing rights to LOTR, the studio does.

<------- my Guy is better than your guy

  

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Cre8
Charter member
17379 posts
Sun Dec-18-05 01:52 PM

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58. "ah come on..."
In response to Reply # 44


  

          

the man makes millions remaking stories/films and KK was some FLAMMINHOTGARBAGE. The animation was mediocre and I fell asleep 2wice. PJ can't be blamed for the racism already placed in the story and granted he could have change things to be more pc(?) but the story would still suck.
As for LOTR, what timeperiod are they functioning in?

Food/Drink PlayersCookbook Info:
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The Damaja
Member since Aug 02nd 2003
18637 posts
Sun Dec-18-05 07:22 PM

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59. "lol.. you seriously expect them to make LOTR a discourse on racism?"
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

>We are in agreement here. Peter Jackson made a more or less
>faithful adaptation of the book. I do blame white supremacy on
>Tolkein. However, this does not let Jackson off the hook.
>Peter Jackson did absolutley nothing to challenge the racist
>undertones that we both agree exist in the book.

Firstly, there is no racist agenda in Tolkien's book. Most accusations about that are preposterous. Nor is the book a meditation on real life race relations. It's an attempt to create a mythical war story (with the tradition of mythology in mind), using the most apolitical ideas of the good guys and the bad guys available. The entertainment is watching the heroes prevail against the odds, and show a touching solidarity. To make a film of LOTR and shift the focus to arguments about racism would be ludicrious. I don't know what you have in mind - casting Morgan Freeman as Gandalf, or making Sauron and the Orcs into something like the Germans in WW1 (eg. the only difference being that they had made the first move), or inserting long dialogues questioning the supremecy of the authorities (even though the book already does that quite clearly)... whatever you expect, I think that it could only be a mutilation of Tolkien's (who imperatively denied any allegorical or political readings of his book) work, and therefore something even worse than plagiarism. I mean just think about it. LOTR is a strange target for this sort of thing since it has so many excuses for what it is: adapted from a novel, totally fictitious and fantastic, all about war between good and evil, set in something akin to Celtic/Arthurian/pre-Roman Britain...

In my
>opinion, the LOTR films are not the definitive triumphs of
>filmmaking that they are praised as. I see Jackson's work as
>an empty text. His own unique voice and style appear NOWHERE.
>In an age where Tarantino is criticized for plagarism, how
>does Jackson get a free pass? Jackson more or less plagarized
>another man's work

I don't think the films are particularly good. The first one was pretty good (they made Boromir really sympathetic), the second was terrible, the third was satisfactory. But it's not plagiarism - plagiarism is when you don't acknowledge your source/inspiration. It says 'JRR Tolkien' all over the posters and credits. And furthermore the Tolkien estate ASKED Jackson or the studio to make these films. Everyone waiting for this film wanted it be as close to the book as possible because (a) they could never be bothered reading them though they were curious or (b) they had read them and just wanted to see a visual realization of the text. The main problem I have with the films is that it feels like an extended trailer. I blame the editing and the camera work for that. On the other hand some of the art work in the set design, and the natural scenery, and the constume design, is stunning. Which brings me to my last point - Peter Jackson is just the director, MANY more artists had their say in this project. Tolkien, the screenwriters, the actors, the costume and set designers, the SFX teams - all of which may be more important in terms of 'artistic voice' than Jackson.

--------------------
Why do you choose to mimic these wack MCs?
Why do you choose to listen to R&B?

"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to." Leela

*puts emceeing in a box*

  

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Delete me
Member since Aug 27th 2002
8611 posts
Fri May-26-06 01:24 AM

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197. "No, it wasn't faithful at all!!!"
In response to Reply # 5
Fri May-26-06 01:41 AM by Delete me

          

The central episode of the trilogy is missing: Tom Bombadil.

  

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speaker
Member since Mar 31st 2004
651 posts
Fri Dec-16-05 03:10 PM

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7. "Check out this article"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

And, yes, Jackson is clearly a subliminal racist.

http://hustlingtheleft.com/CRAPP_E_LIB/dines.html

King Kong and the White Woman:
Hustler Magazine and the Demonization of Black Masculinity
Published in Journal of Violence Against Women, 1998, Vol. 4 No 3, (291-307)

by Gail Dines


From the box office success of The Birth of a Nation in 1915 to the national obsession with O.J. Simpson, the image of the black male as the spoiler of white womanhood has been a staple of media representation in this country. The demonization by the media of black men as rapists and murderers has been well documented by scholars interested in film (Carby, 1993; Guerrero, 1993; Mercer, 1994; Snead, 1994; Wiegman, 1993; Winston, 1982), news (Entman, 1990; Gray, 1989) and rap music (Dyson, 1993; Rose, 1994). While this image stands in sharp contrast to the feminized "Uncle Tom" which was popular in early Hollywood films, both images serve to define black men as outside the "normal" realm of (white) masculinity by constructing them as "other" (Wiegman, 1993). Although both the "Uncle Tom" and the sexual monster continue to define the limits of black male representation in mainstream media, it is the latter image which dominates, and, according to Mercer (1994), serves to legitimize racist practices such as mass incarceration of black men, police brutality and right-wing government policy.


Recently, scholars have turned their attention to pornography (Cowan & Campbell, 1994; Forna, 1992; Mayall amd Russell, 1993; Mercer, 1994) and specifically how the codes and conventions of this genre (re)construct the black male body, especially the penis, as dangerous and a threat to white male power. The focus of this research tends to be poorly produced, hard-core pornography movies which are relegated to the shelves of "adult-only" stores because of their close-up shots of erect penises, ejaculation and vaginal, anal and oral penetration. What tends to be ignored in these studies is the content of the mass-produced, mass-circulated pornography magazines which, because they can be purchased in bookstores, news stands and airport terminals, have a much larger circulation.


Of the hundreds of mass-produced, mass-distributed pornography magazines the three best sellers are Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler (Osanka, 1989). While these three magazines are often lumped together they differ markedly in the type of world they construct. Playboy and Penthouse, in their pictorials, cartoons, advertisements and editorials depict a "whites-only" world, a world so affluent and privileged that blacks are excluded by invisible market forces. Indeed, even the white working-class is invisible in the Playboy world of expensive clothes, gourmet restaurants and well appointed homes. Hustler however, in its pictorials, beaver hunts (explicit snapshots of readers' wives and girlfriends), advertisements and editorials, constructs a world populated by working-class whites who live in trailer homes, eat in fast-food restaurants and wear ill-fitting clothes. While blacks are absent from most sections of the magazine, they appear regularly in caricatured form in the cartoons where they are depicted as competing with white men for the few sexually available white women. Hustler cartoons depict a world filled with seething racial tensions brought about by the black male's alleged insatiable appetite for white women. The competition between black and white men and the ultimate victory of the black male is the source of much "humor" in Hustler cartoons and serves to visually illustrate to the mainly white, working-class male readership, what happens if black masculinity is allowed to go uncontained. Hustler is by no means the first mass-distributed media to visually depict the ultimate white fear; indeed, The Birth of A Nation and King Kong (1933) played similar roles only this time in Hustler, it is the white man who loses, as evidenced in his failure to win back the "girl." This article will examine how Hustler draws from past regimes of racial representation and articulates a more contemporary myth where black masculinity, having been allowed to run amok because of liberal policies, has finally rendered white men impotent, both sexually and economically.





From "The Birth of A Nation" to "Black Studs"

Theorists such as Wiegman (1993) and Snead (1994) have traced the beginnings of the image of the black man as sexual monster back to the late nineteenth century, as the product of a white supremacist ideology which saw the end of slavery as bringing about an unleashing of animalistic, brute violence inherent in African-American men. D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915), was, without question, the first major mass circulation of this image in film and was to become the blueprint for how contemporary mass media depicts black males.


The notion of the black male as sexual monster has been linked to the economic vulnerability that white working-class men feel in the face of a capitalist economy over which they have little power. Guerrero (1993), in his discussion of the emergence of this new stereotype in the novels of Thomas Dixon, suggests that the economic turmoil of the postbellum South served to undermine the white southern male's role as provider for his family; thus he sought to inflate his depreciated sense of manhood by taking up the honorific task of protecting White Womanhood against the newly constructed specter of the "brute Negro" (p. 12).



This encoding of the economic threat within a sexual context, is, according to Snead (1994), the principal mechanism of cinematic racism and is one of the subplots of the enormously successful King Kong movie (re-named King Kong and the White Women in Germany). Arguing that "in all Hollywood film portrayals of blacks ... the political is never far from the sexual" (p. 8), Snead links the image of King-Kong rampaging through the streets of Manhattan with a defenseless white woman clutched to his body to the increasing economic emasculation of white men in the Depression years and the growing fear that black migration from the South had reduced the number of jobs available to working-class whites. King Kong's death at the end of the movie remasculinizes the white man, not only by his conquering of the black menace but also by regaining the woman. In this way, representations of black men and white men are not isolated images working independently but rather "correlate ... in a larger scheme of semiotic valuation" (Snead, 1994: 4). Thus, the image of the black male as sexual savage serves to construct white male sexuality as the protector of white womanhood, as contained and, importantly, as capable of intimacy and humanity


In her analysis of black and white masculinity in Hollywood movies, Jones (1993), argues that although black and white actors are increasingly portrayed in terms of a violent masculinity, for white actors this violence is tempered by his sexually intimate scenes with a white woman. These scenes assures the audience that for all his violence, the white male is still capable of bonding with another human being and of forming relationships. For black actors, however, this humanizing quality is absent and thus he can only be defined in terms of his violence. The problem with these types of representations is that, according to Jones, "they suggest that there are fundamental differences in the sexual behavior of black males and white males and are ultimately indicative of the psychic inferiority of the black male" (1993: 250), and the superiority of white masculinity.


Hard-core pornography similarly depicts black men as more sexually dehumanized than white men. This would seem surprising since in pornography all participants, men and women, are reduced to a series of body parts and orifices. However, studies that compare the representation of white men and black men in pornography (Cowan & Campbell, 1994; Mayall amd Russell, 1993), have found that it is black male characters who are granted the least humanity and are most lacking in ability to be intimate. Moreover, in movies and magazines which feature black men, the focus of the camera and plot is often the size of his penis and his alleged insatiable sexual appetite for white women. Movies with titles such as Big Bad Black Dicks, Black Stallions on Top, Black Pricks\White Pussy, and Black Studs, draw attention to the black male body and in particular the penis, a rare occurrence in pornography targeted at heterosexual men. Movies such as The Adventures of Mr. Tootsie Pole (Bo Entertainment Groups) feature a black male and white female on the cover. The text beneath the picture says "he's puttin his prodigious pole to the test in tight white pussy." In Black Studs (Glitz Entertainment), three white women are shown having sex with three Black men. Above the pictures, the text reads, "These girls can't get enough of that long black dick." The penis becomes the defining feature of the black man and his wholeness as a human being is thus rendered invisible.


The image of the black male as sexually aggressive is a regular cartoon feature in Hustler, one of the best-selling hard-core porn magazines in the world (Osanka, 1989). Cartoons which have as their theme the sexual abuse of white women by black men began appearing in the late 1970s and by the mid-1980s, Hustler was running an average of 2-3 such cartoons an issue. Hustler was by no means the first to produce such as image but it is probably the first mass-distributed cultural product (albeit in caricatured form) to visually depict an enormous black penis actually doing severe physical damage to the vagina of a small white women.


That these types of images have been marginalized in the debate on pornography is problematic, especially in light of the international success of Hustler magazine. Much of the analysis of pornography has focused on the ways in which the text works as a regime of representation to construct femininity and masculinity as binary opposites. This type of theorizing assumes a gender system which is race-neutral, an assumption which cannot be sustained in a country where "gender has proven to be a powerful means through which racial difference has historically been defined and coded" (Wiegman, 1993: 170). From the image of the black woman as Jezebel, to the black male as savage, mainstream white representations of blacks have coded black sexuality as deviant, excessive and a threat to the white social order. In Hustler sex cartoons, this threat is articulated par excellence in caricatured form and serves to reaffirm the racist myth that failure to contain black masculinity results in a breakdown of the economic and social fabric of white society.




Double Click Thumbnail for Full Size Image
"F*** You if you can't take a Joke": Marketing the Hustler Cartoon

In the history of American mass media, cartoons have been a major form for the production and reproduction of racist myths. From the prestigious Harper's Weekly of the late 1900s to contemporary Disney cartoons, blacks have been caricatured as savages, animals and lazy servants. Cartoons, with their claim to humor, have been especially useful vehicles for the expression of racist sentiments which might otherwise be considered unacceptable in a more serious form. Indeed, in his award-winning documentary, Ethnic Notions (1987), Marlon Riggs shows how the cartoon image of blacks has changed little from the beginning of the century to more contemporary versions while other media forms were forced, in the post-civil rights era, to encode the racist myths in a more subtle manner.


The Hustler cartoons, which have as their theme the black male as spoiler of white womanhood, is an outgrowth of the portrait caricature which originated in Italy at the end of the sixteenth century. These portrait caricatures with their distinctive technique of "the deliberate distortion of the features of a person for the purpose of mockery" (Gombrich, 1963: 189), became very popular across Europe and were adapted in the middle of the nineteenth century by cartoonists who used similar methods of distortion against anonymous members of recognizable social groups rather than well known individuals. Gombrich (1963), in his celebrated essay on caricatures, argues that the power of this visual technique is that the distorted features come to stand as symbols of the group and are thought to say something about the "essential nature" of the group as a whole. The black male cartoon character in Hustler is caricatured to the point that his penis becomes the symbol of black masculinity and his body the carrier of the essential nature of black inferiority.


It is not surprising, therefore, that the only place where blacks appear with any regularity in Hustler is the cartoon. To depict black men as reducible to their penis in the more "serious" sections of the magazine might open Hustler up to charges of racism as well as the regular criticisms it receives from women's groups regarding the openly misogynist content. Indeed, the cartoon has become the only place where Hustler's claim to being the most "outrageous and provocative" (Hustler, July, 1984: 9) sex and satire magazine on the shelves is realized. Although Larry Flynt (publisher and editor of Hustler) regularly criticizes Playboy and Penthouse for being too "soft" and for "masquerading the pornography as art ...." (Flynt, November, 1983: 5), Hustler's own pictorials tend to adopt the more soft-core codes and conventions (young, big breasted women bending over to give the presumed male spectator a clear view of her genitals and breasts), than the hard-core ones which specialize in rape, torture, bondage, bestiality, defecation and incest.However, in the cartoons these hard-core themes appear regularly, together with cartoons which focus on leaking and bad-smelling vaginas, exploding penises, impotent penises, disembodied corpses, bloody body parts being used as masturbation tools, and depictions of black men raping, mutilating and pimping white women.


One of the main reasons for the hard-core content of the cartoons is that Hustler has to be careful not to alienate its mainstream distributors with pictorials or articles that might be classed as too hard-core and thus relegated to the porn-shops, a move which would severely limit its sales (Hustler's success is mainly due to its ability to gain access to mass distribution outlets in the states and Europe). On the other hand, Hustler also has to keep its promise to its readers to be more hard-core or else it would lose its readership to the more glossy, expensively produced soft-core Playboy and Penthouse. Toward this end, Hustler relies on its cartoons to make good on its promise to its readers to be "bolder in every direction than other publications" (Flynt, July 1988: 7), while keeping the pictorials within the limits of the soft-core genre.


Flynt regularly stresses that the cartoons' boldness is not limited to sexual themes but rather also to their political content. Indeed in his editorials, Flynt regularly stresses that, "We are a political journal as well as a sex publication" (Flynt, 1983: 5). In an editorial responding to critics of Hustler cartoons -- titled, "Fuck You if You Can't Take a Joke " Đ Flynt tells his readers that his critics are not upset with the sexual content of the magazine but rather with his satire which carries "the sting of truth itself" (Flynt, July 1988: 7). Flynt continues by arguing that he will not allow his critics to censor what is in effect the political content of his magazine since "satire, both written and visual, has ... been the only alternative to express political dissent" (ibid).


A strategy that Flynt has used to promote the cartoons to the readers is the elevation of the long-standing cartoon editor of Hustler, Dwaine Tinsley, to a major satirist of our day. The creator of the "Chester the Molester cartoon" (a white, middle aged pedophile who appeared monthly until Tinsley was arrested on child sexual abuse charges in 1989) and some of the most racist cartoons, Tinesley is described by Hustler editors as producing "... some of the most controversial and thought-provoking humor to appear in any magazine" (Hustler, November 1983: 7), and in some cases cartoons that are "so tasteless that even Larry Flynt has had to think twice before running them" (Hustler, November 1983: 65). We are, however, reassured by Hustler that the "tastelessness" will continue since "Larry is determined not to sell out and censor his creative artists" (Hustler, November 1983: 65) because satire "is a necessary tool in an uptight world where people are afraid to discuss their prejudices ...." (Hustler, July, 1994: 108).


Thus Hustler does not position itself simply as a sex magazine but rather also as a magazine which is not afraid to tell the truth about politics. This linking of the sexual with the political makes Hustler cartoons a particularly powerful cultural product for the production and reproduction of racist ideology for, as Snead argues, "it is both as a political and as a sexual threat that black skin appears on screen" (Snead, 1994: 8). On the surface, these cartoons would seem to be one more example of Hustler's outrageous"

sexual humor, the black male with the huge penis being equivalent to the other sexually deviant (white) cartoon characters. However, Hustler's depictions of black men are actually part of a much larger regime of racial representation which, beginning with The Birth of a Nation, and continuing with Willie Horton, makes the black male's supposed sexual misconduct a metaphor for the inferior nature of the black "race" as a whole.





Black Men and White Women: The White Man Under Siege

During the 1980s, Hustler featured the work of four cartoonists, Collins, Decetin, Tinsley and Trosley. What is surprising is that while these cartoonists had very distinct styles, they all used a similar caricatured image of a black male with an enormous muscular body, undersized head (signifying retardation), very dark skin and caricatured lips. The striking feature of this caricature is that the "man" is drawn to resemble an ape, an image which, according to Snead (1994), has historical and literary currency in this country. Pointing to King Kong as a prime example of this representation, Snead argued that "a willed misreading of Linnaean classification and Darwinian evolution helped buttress an older European conception ... that blacks and apes, kindred denizens of the 'jungle,' are phylogenetically closer and sexually more compatible than blacks and whites" (Snead, 1994: 20). Black film critics have long argued that the King Kong movie and its sequels played a major role in the sexual demonization of black masculinity since the ape --- the carrier of blackness -- was depicted as out of white control; the result being the stalking and capturing of a white woman.


While the original Kong was lacking a penis, the Hustler version has as his main characteristic, a huge black penis that is often wrapped around the "man's" neck or is sticking out of his trouser leg. The penis, whether erect or limp, visually dominates the cartoon and is the focus of humor. This huge penis is depicted as a source of great pride and as a feature which distinguishes black men from white men. For example, in one cartoon, a black and white man are walking next to a fence with the white male making a noise by dragging a stick along the fence, the black man is doing the same only he is using his large penis which is much bigger than the stick. The black male, who is walking

behind the white man, is snickering at the white male's stick (Hustler, February 1989: 95)


Black men are depicted as being obsessed by the size of their penis which is one more example of how the dominant regime of racist representation constructs blacks as "having bodies but not minds" (Mercer, 1994: 138). In one cartoon, a large black male with an undersized head is looking at his newborn son and screaming at the white nurse "Never mind how much he weighs, bitch! How long's my boy's dick?" (Hustler, 1988, December: 32). Not only is the black male depicted as verbally abusive but also as lacking care and interest in his son's health and well-being. This image fits in with the dominant representation of black men as either abusive or absent fathers who take advantage of the welfare system developed by misguided liberals (see below)


Whereas the King Kong movies left to the imagination what would happen to the white woman if Kong had his way, Hustler provides the mainly white readership with detailed images of the violence black men are seen as capable of doing to white women's bodies. In many of the cartoons, the theme of the joke is the severely traumatized vagina of the white sexual partner. In one cartoon, a naked white woman is sitting on a bed, legs open, and her vagina has red stars around it, suggesting pain. Sitting on the end of the bed is a naked, very dark, ape-like male, his huge, erect penis dominating the image. He is on the phone asking room service to send in a shoe horn. The white woman looks terrified (Hustler, November 1988: 100). In another cartoon, a similar-looking couple are walking down the street. The black male has his arm around the white female and on his shirt is written "Fucker," on hers is "Fuckee" (Hustler, May 1987: 79). Although the male is clothed, the outline of his huge penis can be seen. The woman's vagina on the other hand is clearly visible since it is hanging below her knees and is again red and sore, a marker of what black men can and will do to white women if not stopped by the white male protector of white womanhood.


In Hustler cartoons, the white male is constructed as anything but the protector of white womanhood. He is a lower working-class, middle aged male whose flabby body is no match for the muscular, enormous black body. In stark contrast to the big black penis is the small to average white penis which is rarely erect and never threatening to white women. On the contrary, the size of the white man's penis is a source of ridicule or frustration to his sex partner (who is always white). Rather than showing empathy, the woman is constantly poking fun at his "manhood," searching for it with magnifying glasses or binoculars. One cartoon for example has a white couple in bed with the woman under the covers gleefully shouting "Oh I found it" (Hustler, May 1992: 10). The man is clearly embarrassed and covering up his penis. Other cartoons show the white man endlessly searching pornography shops for penis enlargers (presumably the same enlargers which can be mail ordered from the ads in the back of Hustler). A cartoon which speaks to the racial differences constructed in the cartoons depicts a black man with a small penis, the joke is focused on the size since a black preacher is praying for his penis to grow. The caption reads "Sweet Jesus - heal this poor brother! Rid him of his honkie pecker" (Hustler, March 1984: 15).


The size of the black penis is the theme of a full page "interview" between Hustler editors and "The Biggest, Blackest Cock Ever!" (November 1983: 6). The page is in the same format as Hustler interviews only in place of a person is a picture of a large black penis. The subtitle reads: "A candid, explosive man-to-dick conversation with the most sought after piece of meat in the world." Hustler editors ask "Why do women love big, black cocks?" The answer given by the "cock", (which is of course written by the Hustler editors) is "... they love the size .... you know any white guys hung like this?" The editors continue by framing the discussion in clearly political terms by their answer to the question of why black men prefer white women, "I likes (sic) white pussy best. It's my way of gettin back at you honkies by tearin' up all that tight white pussy .... I fuck those bitches blind". Indeed, the cartoons surrounding this interview provide visual testimony" of how much damage the black penis can do to white women.


The small penis would seem one of the reasons why white male cartoon characters, in contrast to black male cartoon characters, have trouble finding willing sex partners. His sexual frustration leads him to seek female surrogates in the form of dolls, bowling balls, children, chickens and skulls. The black man, however, appears to have no problem attracting a bevy of young, white women. When the white man does find a willing sex partner, she tends to be middle-aged, overweight and very hairy. The black man's white sexual partner is, however, usually thin, attractive and lacks body hair. This is a very unusual female image in Hustler cartoons and suggests that the black male is siphoning off the few sexually available, attractive women, leaving the white man with rejects.


The message that white women prefer black men is the theme of a spoof on Barbie, a doll which represents the all-American female with her blonde hair, tiny waist and silicone-like breasts. The picture is of Barbie dressed in black underwear, on her knees with ejaculate around her mouth, standing next to her is a black male doll pulling a very large penis out of her mouth. The caption reads " ... in an attempt to capture the market the manufacturer has been testing some new designs .... We're not sure, but perhaps this Slut Barbie, (with her hard nipples, a permanently wet, open pussy and sperm dripping from her mouth) goes a bit too far" (Hustler, July, 1984, p. 23). The obvious choice for Barbie's sex partner would have been Ken, her long-term boyfriend, but the suggestion here is that Ken, with his white penis, would not have been enticing enough for this all-American girl to give up her virginal status.


Because of the lack of willing sex partners, the white man is often reduced to paying for sex. However, once again, black men have the upper hand since almost all the pimps in Hustler cartoons are black. These black men have, however, traded in their large penises for big Cadilacs, heavy gold jewelry and fur coats, riches no doubt obtained from white johns. The prostitutes are both black and white but the johns are almost always depicted as white. Many of the cartoons have as their theme the white man trying to barter down the black pimp, with the black pimp refusing to change the price. The power of the black man is now absolute - not only can he get his pick of attractive white women, he also controls white prostitutes, leaving the white man having to negotiate to buy what he once got for free.


Not only is the black man draining the white man's access to women, he is also draining his pocket in the form of welfare. The black male is shown as deserting his family and numerous unkempt, diseased children, leaving the welfare system to pick up the tab. One cartoon features a black woman surrounded by children saying to a white interviewer, "Yes, we does (sic) believe in Welfare" (Hustler, December 1992: 47). Another example is a cartoon advertising different dolls. The first doll is called "Beach Darbie" which is a Barbie look alike in a bathing costume. The second doll, also Barbie, is dressed in a white jacket and is called "Ski Darbie". The third doll is an overweight white female with bedroom slippers and a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, she is called "knocked-Up Inner-City Welfare Darbie." In each hand she has a black baby (Hustler December, 1992: 107).


In Hustler cartoons black men have precisely the two status symbols that white men lack, big penises and money. The white man's poor sexual performance is matched by his poor economic performance. Reduced to living in trailer homes, poorly furnished apartments or tract houses, the Hustler white male cartoon character is clearly depicted as lower working-class. His beer gut, stubble, bad teeth and working man's clothes signify his economic status and stand in sharp contrast to the signifiers of power attached to the image of the black male.



A New Ending to An Old Story

The coding of black men as sexual and economic threats takes on a contemporary twist in Hustler since this threat cannot be easily murdered as in King Kong, but rather is now uncontainable and returns month after month to wreak havoc on white women's bodies and the white men's pay checks. This new ending changes the relationship between the binary representations of black and white masculinity. In his analysis of the racial coding of masculinity in cinema, Snead argues that "American films ... have always featured ... implicit or explicit co-relations between the debasement of blacks and the elevation and mythification of whites" (1994: 142). In Hustler cartoons, both black and white men are debased, the former for being hyper-masculine, and the latter for not being masculine enough.


Since the target audience of Hustler is white men, it would seem surprising that the cartoons regularly ridicule white men for being sexually and economically impotent and for failing to contain the black menace. However, when class is factored into the analysis, it becomes apparent that it is not white men as a group who are being ridiculed. The debasement of white masculinity in Hustler cartoons is played out on the caricatured flabby, unkempt body of the lower working-class white male, a class that few whites see

themselves as belonging to, irrespective of their income. Thus, in-between the hyper-masculinity of the black male and the under-masculinized white lower working-class male, is the reader inscribed in the text, who can feel superior to both types of "deviants." The reader is being invited to identify with what is absent in the cartoons, a "real man" (Hustler's first issue ran an editorial which introduced the magazine as one for "real men"), who turns to Hustler because it is, according to its editors, "truly the only magazine that deals with the concerns and interests of the average American" (Hustler, 1984: 5).


The reader, constructed as the average American, is, as Hustler is careful about pointing out, not the same as the cartoon characters. In an editorial praising Tinsley, the editors wrote "Dwaine Tinsley is not a black, a jew, a wino, a child molester, or a bigot. but the characters in his cartoon are. They are everything you have nightmares about, everything you despise ...." (Nov. 1983: 65). Thus, in coded terms Hustler provides distance between the reader and the cartoon characters who are either lower-class (black, wino, child molester, bigot) or the elite (jew), by leaving open the "middle class," the category where most white Americans situate themselves (Jhally and Lewis, 1992).


The lower-class, sexually impotent white male in Hustler cartoons is thus not an object of identification but rather of ridicule and a pitiful example of what could happen if white men fail to assert their masculinity and allow the black male to roam the streets and bedrooms of white society. The Hustler white male cartoon character thus stands as a symbol of the devastation that blacks can cause, a devastation brought about by "bleeding heart" liberals who mistakenly allowed blacks too much freedom. Just as Gus (the black would-be rapist) in The Birth of a Nation was an example of what could happen when blacks are given their freedom from slavery (a dead white woman being the end result), the Hustler black male is an example of what could happen if black men are not contained by white institutional forces such as the police and the courts. Whereas The Birth of a Nation and King Kong were, according to Snead, the past nightmare visions of the future, Hustler's representation of black men can be seen as the current nightmare vision of the future, since it "re-enacts what never happened, but does so in an attempt to keep it from ever happening" (Snead, 1994: 148).


By making the white male the loser, Hustler departs from the traditional racial coding of masculinity and provides a different ending to the nightmare vision of black men taking over. This ending is, however, not simply restricted to the pages of Hustler, it is rather articulated in the numerous news stories on "welfare cheats," "inner-city violence" and "reverse discrimination". The "white male", is, according to the media, fast becoming the new "minority" who has to support black families in the inner city and give up his job to an unqualified black person because of past oppression. The white male is under siege and unless he fights back, he will lose his masculine status as breadwinner. The absence in Hustler cartoons of elite whites as exploiters of poor whites firmly positions the black male as the "other" who is the source of white male discontent. Given the current economic conditions, which include falling wages, downsizing and off-shore production, the "average" white male (along with everyone else who is not a member of the economic elite), is experiencing increasing levels of discontent, and, as in previous periods of economic decline, it is the black population who are demonized and scapegoated as the cause of the economic woes.


While the racial codings of masculinity may shift depending on the socioeconomic conditions, from the feminized "Uncle Tom" to the hyper-masculinized "buck", black masculinity continues to be represented as deviant. It is this constructed deviant status which continues to legitimize the oppression and brutality that condemns young black males to a life on the margins of society and makes them the convenient scapegoat for the economic and social upheaval brought about by global capitalism and right-wing government policies. While this article has foregrounded Hustler Cartoons, the regime of racial representation discussed continues to inform most mainstream media content and contributes to the "common sense" notion that it is black culture, not white supremacy, that is the source of racial strife in America.


Back to Hustling the Left


Go to CRAPP-E LIB
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References


The biggest blackest cock ever (1983, November). Hustler, p. 6.


Carby, H. (1993). Encoding White Resentment: "Grand Canyon"-A Narrative. In C. McCarthy and W. Crichlow (Eds.), Race, Identity and Representation in Education (pp. 236-247). New York: Routledge.


Cowan, G., & Campbell, R. (1994). Racism and Sexism in Interracial Pornography: A Content Analysis. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18, 323-338.



Dyson, M. (1993). Reflecting Black: African-American Cultural Criticism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.



Entman, R. (1990). Modern Racism and the Image of Blacks. Critical Studies in Mass Communication 7, 332-45.



Flynt, L. (1983, November). The Politics of Porn. Hustler, p. 5



Flynt, L. (1988, July). Fuck You if You CanŐt Take a Joke. Hustler, p. 7


Forna, A. (1992). Pornography and Racism: Sexualizing Oppression and Inciting Hatred. In C. Itzin (Ed.), Women, Violence and Civil Liberties: A Radical New View. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.



Gombrich, E. (1963). Meditations on a Hobby Horse. London: Phaidon Publications



Gray, H. (1989). Television, Black Americans and the American Dream. Critical Studies in Mass Communication 6, 376-385.



Guerrero, E. (1993). Framing Blackness: The African American Image in Film. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.



Jhally, S. & Lewis, J. (1992). Enlightened Racism: The Cosby Show, Audiences, and the Myth of the American Dream. Boulder: Westview Press



Jones, J. (1993). The Construction of Black Sexuality: Towards Normalizing the Black Cinematic Experience. In M. Diawara (Ed.), Black American Cinema (pp. 247-256). New York: Routledge.



Mayall, A., & Russell, D. (1993). Racism in Pornography. In D. Russell (Ed.), Making Violence Sexy: Feminist Views on Pornography. New York: Teachers College

Press.



Mercer, K. (1994). Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies. New York: Routledge.



Osanka, F. (1989). Sourcebook on Pornography. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.



Riggs, Marlon (Producer and Director). (1987). Ethnic Notions . San Francisco: California Newsreel.


Rose, T. (1994). Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Hanover, NH: University of New England Press.



Snead, J. (1994). White Screen, Black Images: Hollywood from the Dark Side. New York: Routledge.



Wiegman, R. (1993) Feminism, 'The Boyz,' and Other Matters Regarding the Male. In S. Cohan and I.R. Hark (Eds.), Screening the Male: Exploring Masculinities in Hollywood Cinema (pp. 173-193). New York: Routledge.



Winston, M. (1982). Racial Consciousness and the Evolution of Mass Communication in the United States. Daedalus 4, 171-182











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Nettrice
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13. "This is great!"
In response to Reply # 7


  

          

:)

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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diaded
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Fri Dec-16-05 04:12 PM

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22. "RE: This is great!"
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

Yep yep, plenty of references...

---------------------------------------
O nosso amor năo vai olhar para trás
Desencantar nem ser tema de livro
A vida inteira eu quiz um verso simples
Prá tranformar o que eu digo

  

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LegacyNS
Member since Jan 16th 2004
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Thu Dec-22-05 09:05 PM

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156. "Great article!"
In response to Reply # 7


  

          


"limited edition, composition spark friction...
non-fiction, the calm bomb, keep ya arm distance..." © Rebel I

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Nettrice
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9. "Myth & Symbology: Constructed Meaning"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I teach media literacy and one of my sessions covers Text & Constructed Meaning. Text is any media message, including film. One of the reading I give to students is by Daniel Chandler who asserts that there are three models that describe the relationship between text (the media message) and the reader:

- The objectivist model refers to communication that is 'transmissive' or the meaning is 'transmitted' from a 'sender' to a passive 'receiver'.

- In the constructivist model meanings of texts are "neither completely predetermined nor completely open, but are subject to certain constraints."

"Individual readers may either accept, modify, ignore or reject such preferred readings, according to their experience, attitudes and purposes. This whole attitudinal spectrum towards meaning- making with texts parallels that relating to the nature of reality: ranging from objectivism, via intersubjectivity, to subjectivism."

- In the subjectivist model the reader is more experienced and involved in a "continual process of making inferences, evaluating the validity and significance of texts, relating them to prior experience, knowledge and viewpoint, and considering implications."

Depending on the level of literacy a reader (or viewer) will construct the meaning of the text based on myth & symbology (for example).

Symbology is the study of symbols and/or signs, in their various manifestations. A myth is a traditional story accepted as history. Myths serve to explain the world view of a people. Often symbols are used to form the story because they can be repeated and remembered over and over again. In the case of LOTR Tolkein created a myth for the people of England. As a Black person I am aware of this and do not expect any awareness or understanding of African or the Black experience. King Kong is different because we know about the symbology of Hollywood as it relates to racial stereotypes and we are aware of the psychology of white supremacy. We reject the myth because we find it hard to accept the symbology. A myth is not fact, so we cannot be objective about the content.

Peter Jackson may or may not be aware of the symbology but he certainly is aware of myth. I think he wants to perpetuate a myth that goes before Tolkien, back to the early writings and culture of the Enlightenment period that coincided with colonialism and oppression of native peoples of color.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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40thStreetBlack
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12. "oh dear god"
In response to Reply # 9


  

          

>Peter Jackson may or may not be aware of the symbology but he
>certainly is aware of myth. I think he wants to perpetuate a
>myth that goes before Tolkien, back to the early writings and
>culture of the Enlightenment period that coincided with
>colonialism and oppression of native peoples of color.


no, King Kong was the first movie he saw as a kid and is what made him love movies and want to become a director. that's why he remade King Kong.

does it perpetuate the symbology you were talking about? sure. is that Jackson's ulterior motive in making the movie? no.


<------- my Guy is better than your guy

  

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AquamansWrath
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Fri Dec-16-05 03:49 PM

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19. "as if he would admit that and ruin his career?????? c'mon now..."
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

think.
Damn, he wouldn't come and say "yes... I did cause of my fear of the big, black, sexual nigga"... anyone with common sense in their head would know that a film of that magnitude, originally made in 1933 (hmm?) would have these racist tones. Of course he's not going to sabatoge his own career and ruin shit.

Not to mention Kong climbs a giant cock in the end... the empire state building... man they love their obelisks don't they?

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40thStreetBlack
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20. "dude he saw the movie when he was like 7 years old"
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

>Damn, he wouldn't come and say "yes... I did cause of my fear
>of the big, black, sexual nigga"... anyone with common sense
>in their head would know that a film of that magnitude,
>originally made in 1933 (hmm?) would have these racist tones.

he knew that when he was 7 years old?

Come on man. I'm not saying the racial untertones aren't there, I'm saying that's not WHY he remade the movie.

<------- my Guy is better than your guy

  

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AquamansWrath
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Fri Dec-16-05 04:02 PM

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21. "Your missing the point... and he's not 7 NOW."
In response to Reply # 20


  

          

So because he was 7 the film wasn't racist?
In fact, to a 7 year old child who doesn't understand subliminal racism... how do you think the film affected him? See your missing the point... big time... again. That's exactly my point... white people make movies like this to get a message or image across in their work. How many children saw A Birth of a Nation? Sambo? Planet of the Apes? Do you think these films all filled with stereotypes had no influence on a child?
Moving beyond that Peter Jackson is a grown ass man... don't hit me with the heartfelt bullshit cause if you use that excuse then that gives a man the right to make Tarzan? So if he saw Sambo at age 7 is it cool for him to remake that?
Damn. Ya'll stick together like a motherfucker, even when your obviously wrong as a motherfucker.

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40thStreetBlack
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Fri Dec-16-05 04:16 PM

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23. "no you're missing the point: he's NOT making the movie to promote racism"
In response to Reply # 21


  

          

are there racist undertones to King Kong? yes.

is that WHY Peter Jackson remade the movie? no.

is he naive as to the racist undertones the movie? probably.

So if you want to call him a naive white liberal who unconsciously perpetuates racist stereotypes or whatever, fine. But D.W. Griffith he is not.

<------- my Guy is better than your guy

  

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mcdeezjawns
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28. "RE: as if he would admit that and ruin his career?????? c'mon now..."
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

>>man they love their obelisks don't they?


So didnt the egyptians...and they were from....

  

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Nettrice
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33. "RE: as if he would admit that and ruin his career?????? c'mon now..."
In response to Reply # 28


  

          

>>>man they love their obelisks don't they?
>
>
>So didnt the egyptians...and they were from....

My high school art history teacher told me Egypt was not an African country.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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mcdeezjawns
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41. "wow...."
In response to Reply # 33


  

          

Doest surprise me..but still....wow

peace

  

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LegacyNS
Member since Jan 16th 2004
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42. "Did your teacher own a map?"
In response to Reply # 33
Sat Dec-17-05 02:21 PM by LegacyNS

  

          

LMAO


"limited edition, composition spark friction...
non-fiction, the calm bomb, keep ya arm distance..." © Rebel I

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AquamansWrath
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Sun Dec-18-05 08:12 PM

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63. "are you really prepared to take it there?"
In response to Reply # 28


  

          

I mean do we really wanna walk down the rode of Egytpians and the accuracy of thier moments to their dicks versus Europeans?
With Europeans isn't that like a midget making Satsquatch statues?
Please Sun. Not to mention the theft of idea.

My point wasn't even that as much as the subliminal sexual imagery embedded in the film, the Empire State building being one. That was their tallest monument of that kind you know.
And when society came to get her, she didn't want to stop. Smirk.

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mcdeezjawns
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65. "no one is claiming that the Empire St Building wasnt a huge penis."
In response to Reply # 63


  

          

But careful throwing around genrealizations that simply are not true... You made the corollary between europeans and their obelisks..I am simply pointing out that the Egyptians and plenty of other groups of peoples also had the same obelisks...

>I mean do we really wanna walk down the rode of Egytpians and
>the accuracy of thier moments to their dicks versus
>Europeans?
So...If a European makes it, it is directly related to their issues with their genitals, yet it is not the same case when another group of peoples creates the SAME FUCKING monument? See, this is my problem with you. Most of the time you raise valid issues, yet when it comes down to it, the way you argue them, you completely contradict what you are sayin in terms of attacking one group for unjustly generalizing, while doing the same damn thing in your posts...

>With Europeans isn't that like a midget making Satsquatch
>statues?

Ahh...case and point..Wouldnt want whitey generalizing about the size of a black mans penis..but hey, we're talking about european penis' so fuck it, lets say all crackahs have small members....


>My point wasn't even that as much as the subliminal sexual
>imagery embedded in the film, the Empire State building being
>one.
Like I said, no one is claiming that it isnt there. But for you to call PJ a racist for working with an already existing piece of work is ridiculous at best.

There are FAR more pressing issues than your interpretation of a directors interpretation of a fantasy piece made 70 years ago...Stop wasting your time and effort with useless shit.. Cats are being racially profiled..Dudes are getting unfair treatment in the judicial system...The jails are filled with young black youth,robbed of their lives...People of middle eastern descent are being illegally detained and tortured on the regular based simply on their religion and nationality...and yet here people are arguing over a fucking movie...Really puts the world in perspective..

peace

  

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AquamansWrath
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Mon Dec-19-05 09:20 AM

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69. "fuck that... Egyptians were black..."
In response to Reply # 65


  

          

so what do you think?
Your the one who wanted to take it there bruh... all I said was they love their monuments... and you had to bring up the Egyptians. Well the Egyptians were the first... Europeans stole that concept like everything else... and not to mention yes... if Africans are making monuments in honor of their dicks...
and Europeans do the same thing... who do you think is going to be more accurate? And that's your problem with me? Thanks for pointing out exactly why you took it there in the first place... I mean you expect me to say otherwise? Truth is the truth. Even when it hurts.

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mcdeezjawns
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78. "like I said, you are a fucking hypocrite"
In response to Reply # 69


  

          

of epic proportions...It actually makes with you even more fun, because you cannot even deny it...actually, you show it more and more with each post...Ignorant and hypocritical...not a good look "sun"

Try harder next time

  

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AquamansWrath
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Mon Dec-19-05 12:33 PM

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79. "truth must hurt..."
In response to Reply # 78
Mon Dec-19-05 12:34 PM by AquamansWrath

  

          

little man.
and like I have said... if you don't like.. keep it moving. As usual you bring nothing to the post.
lol...

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Who's fucking wit B More right now?

"Freedom is a Lie" - the animals

  

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Delete me
Member since Aug 27th 2002
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Fri May-26-06 01:14 AM

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195. "yep, he's a racist and a hypocrite"
In response to Reply # 78


          

just like you, btw.

  

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KAYA MAGA
Member since Apr 13th 2006
378 posts
Wed May-31-06 07:24 PM

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205. "There's actually some good points here"
In response to Reply # 65


          


>Ahh...case and point..Wouldnt want whitey generalizing about
>the size of a black mans penis..but hey, we're talking about
>european penis' so fuck it, lets say all crackahs have small
members.

This is a valid point I think Aqua needs to deal with.


>There are FAR more pressing issues than your interpretation of
>a directors interpretation of a fantasy piece made 70 years
>ago...Stop wasting your time and effort with useless shit..
>Cats are being racially profiled..Dudes are getting unfair
>treatment in the judicial system...The jails are filled with
>young black youth,robbed of their lives...People of middle
>eastern descent are being illegally detained and tortured on
>the regular based simply on their religion and
>nationality...and yet here people are arguing over a fucking
>movie...Really puts the world in perspective..


TRUE

  

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AquamansWrath
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206. "Um, actually it's the continuation and promotion of such"
In response to Reply # 205


  

          

propoganda that conditions the masses into believing that people of color of any walks of life are disposable...

you bring up that people are being detained and deported...
sorta like Kong hmm? Oh the irony.

Aqua needs to deal with it? Really? Lol.

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Who's fucking wit B More right now?

"Freedom is a Lie" - the animals

  

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Nettrice
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Sat Dec-17-05 03:28 AM

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34. "RE: oh dear god"
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

>does it perpetuate the symbology you were talking about? sure.
>is that Jackson's ulterior motive in making the movie? no.

Well, if you're not part of the solution...

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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Delete me
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189. "You're part of the problem?"
In response to Reply # 34


          

Thinking in binary oppositions is affirming the status quo.

  

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40thStreetBlack
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10. "do you know why he remade King Kong?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I'm guessing no.

<------- my Guy is better than your guy

  

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The Damaja
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Fri Dec-16-05 05:41 PM

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26. "it's all about the melanin"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

reading the orcs as "black" is disengenuous

since people are not literally BLACK, but varying shades of brown, the darkness of the orc skin is not a melanin darkness

you've got to consider the literary traditions and dialogues that LOTR grew out of
Victorian fantasy, Victorian sci-fi, Victorian fabulists... evolution and devolution, class struggle and industrialization
for instance in HG Wells "The Time Machine", and G Macdonald's "The Princess and the Goblin" they tell the story of people been kept underground so long that their skin pales into a sort of dull grey. And this is grounded in the theory of how evolution will effect human appearance in the future, and the increasing ACTUAL banishment of workers to factories from before dawn to after nightfall, or worse to coal mines for 16 hours a day or whatever. So, ironically, the orcs have more in common with the white people of Britain than with the dark skinned people of Africa. Indeed in the books and the films they live in(side) the mountains or mines. It is true that the only non-pale humans in LOTR are the ones who fight for Sauron... but their culture is not included in the literature, and they are presented as mercenaries. They hail from a land further south (therefore darker skin in the normal sense) but we have no idea what those lands are like.

I don't know much about King Kong... but evolution was a world shaking theory and for decades writers were preoccupied with the notion that we are descended from apes (monkeys did not enjoy the same lovable reputation in those days... most people would never have seen one), and the idea that there is something uncontrollable and monsterous in human nature (see Mister Hyde's 'ape-like fury')

so anyway to overwrite these dialogues with this postmodern discourse on racism seems a bit nuts to me (in cases like that sensationalist article in The Guardian)

--------------------
Why do you choose to mimic these wack MCs?
Why do you choose to listen to R&B?

"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to." Leela

*puts emceeing in a box*

  

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The Damaja
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27. "Why is the only good orc a dead orc? (Swipe)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

WHY IS THE ONLY GOOD ORC A DEAD ORC? THE DARK FACE OF RACISM EXAMINED IN TOLKIEN'S WORLD

Anderson Rearick III. Modern Fiction Studies. West Lafayette: Winter 2004.Vol. 50, Iss. 4;  pg. 861, 14 pgs


People:
Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel (1892-1973)

Author(s):
Anderson Rearick III

Document types:
Commentary

Publication title:
Modern Fiction Studies. West Lafayette: Winter 2004. Vol. 50, Iss.  4;  pg. 861, 14 pgs

Source type:
Periodical

ISSN/ISBN:
00267724

Text Word Count
6051

Abstract (Document Summary)


Rearick discusses the dark face of racism examined in J. R. R. Tolkien's work. It is undeniable that darkness and the color black are continually associated throughout Tolkien's universe with unredeemable evil, specifically Orcs and the Dark Lord Sauron. So unredeemable is this evil, in fact, that especially in encounters with the Orcs during the war's action, it is dealt with by extermination.

Full Text (6051   words)

Copyright Johns Hopkins University Press Winter 2004

In Jonathan Coe's novel, The Rotters' Club, a confrontation takes place between two characters over what one sees as racist elements in Tolkien's 7776" Lord of the Rings:

Birmingham, Doug maintained, had produced two notable racist thinkers in the last few decades: Enoch Powell and J. R. R. Tolkien. Philip was outraged by this statement. Tolkien was unquestionably his favorite author and in what way, he wanted to know, could he be described as racist? Doug suggested he reread The Lord of the Rings. Philip assured him that he did, at six monthly intervals. In that case, Doug replied, surely he must have noticed that Tolkien's villainous Ores were made to appear unmistakably negroid. And did it not strike him as significant that the reinforcements who come to the aid of Sauron, the Dark Lord are themselves dark skinned, hail from unspecified tropical islands from the south, and are often mounted on elephants? (143)

The passage is telling on three levels. First, the character Doug gives in a nutshell the basic concerns raised about racism in Tolkien's Middle-earth. It is undeniable that darkness and the color black are continually associated throughout Tolkien's universe with unredeemable evil, specifically Ores and the Dark Lord Sauron. So unredeemable is this evil, in fact, that especially in encounters with the Ores during the war's action, it is dealt with by extermination. Contrariwise, the Ores' mirror-selves, the Elves are called "the noblest of the children of Eru"1 (Tyler 148) and continuously described as extremely fair. Galadriel's hair is "deep gold" (357; bk. 2, ch. 7) and emphasis is made on her "white arms" (367; bk. 2, ch. 7). In fact, so fair are the elven folk in general that the dark hair of Elrond and his daughter Arwen, caused by them being part human, is considered extraordinary among the Elves.

second, the conversation described in The Rotters' Club, while fictional, is set during the seventies. If accurate-and there seems no reason to doubt the author-the setting of thirty years ago indicates how long questions centering on Tolkien's possible racism have existed. Yet the debate occurs between fans who are themselves out of sync with most of their peers, thus underscoring the fact that Tolkien's work has up until recently been the private domain of a select audience, an audience who by its very nature may have inhibited serious critical examinations of Tolkien's work. As NeM Isaacs writes in his introductory essay to Tolkien and the Critics, since "The Lord of the Rings and the domain of Middle-earth are eminently suitable for faddism and fannism, cultism and clubbism . . . acts as a deterrent to critical activity" (1). This barrier may suggest why, even in the face of a long-term awareness among readers, the whole question of racism in Tolkien has been ignored by the academy.

The fact that the debate occurs between fans underlines the third level emphasized by the quote, the silence of scholars. Philip has nothing but his own reading with which to defend Tolkien; there are no other authorities. Historically C. S. Lewis did make a passing comment on racism during the Lord of the Rings' first publication in his "The Dethronement of Power," noting that people who dislike a clear demarcation of good and evil "imagine they have seen a rigid demarcation between black and white people." However, Lewis does not pursue the issue, saying that by the conclusion of Lord of the Rings it is clear that the "motives, even on the right side are mixed," and this mixture stops readers who might "brazen it out" from continuing their claim of racism (12). Lewis may have been overly optimistic concerning what he expected to be a short-lived claim, for while the charge of racism has endured, little has been written academically since the works' original publication. Joseph Pearce does set aside a few pages in his 1998 Tolkien Man and Myth on the subject, but even he seems to deem the charges not worth much examination, spending only about three pages on the subject and giving more time to Tolkien's historical letter writing than to his actual text (135-37).

However, with the success of the film adaptations of 777e Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, Tolkien's work has suddenly found itself a part of pop culture, giving it a much broader exposure than it had experienced among the bookish young counterculture readership of the sixties and seventies. As such, The Lord'of'the Rings'has also found itself open to pop culture scrutiny, especially among contemporary cultural critics concerned with the racist heritage of Western-and especially American-culture.

Two vocal contemporary supporters of the opinion that The Lord of the Rings is racist are John Yatt, a critic for the Manchester, England, based newspaper, the Guard/an, and Dr. Stephen Shapiro, lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Studies at the University of Warwick and "an expert in cultural studies, race and slavery" (Reynolds and Stewart). Regrettably for the sake of honest dialogue, both critics weaken their argument by making some claims about Tolkien primarily based on their film experience. Yatt's lead in, for example, alerts the reader to the fact that he is responding not to the original text but to its cinematic interpretation : "Maybe it was the way that all the baddies were dressed in black, or maybe it was the way that the fighting uruk-hai had dreadlocks, but I began to suspect that there was something rotten in the state of Middle Earth." Specific elements of wardrobe and makeup are, of course, choices made by the director, not the author. Don't blame Tolkien for what Jackson does unless it is based on the original text.

Shapiro makes a similar claim when he says, "The recent films amplified a 'fear of a black planet' and exaggerated this difference by insisting on stark white-black colour codes" (qtd. in Reynolds and Stewart).2 Again, if this is true, such dress details are not spawned from any racism of Tolkien.

One comment that especially mixes up text and film interpretation is Shapiro's claim that Tolkien's dwarves reflect an English prejudice against Scotsmen: "the dwarves were his notion of what Scots were like. It is like a southern England cliché of a dour, muscular race and that represents the Scots in the book" (qtd. in Reynolds and Stewart). This is utterly false. In the actors' commentary found on the extended DVD version of The Fellowship of the Ring, John Rhys-Davies describes his decision-not Jackson's and certainly not Tolkien's-to add a Scottish accent to his portrayal of Gimli the dwarf. Thus, both Yatt and Shapiro, claiming to find racism in Tolkien the author, confound their observations with problems they have with directorial and acting interpretations.

Ironically, Tolkien himself did connect the dwarves to a race, but to the Jews not the Scots. Now, considering the dwarves' "love of beautiful things ... a fierce and jealous love" and their physical quality of having beards and large noses {Annotated'Hobbit'45, 209), this fact may send off all sorts of alarms centering on Jewish stereotypes. But in a letter to Naomi Mitchison about the broadcast adaptations of The Hobbit, Tolkien explains this connection in a very different light than racial: "I do think of the 'Dwarves' like Jews: at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the languages of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue" (Letters 229). Thus, Tolkien's connection is more historically linguistic and cultural than racial. So even this documented connection between a known human race and Tolkien's imaginary ones is a dead end.

Still, in spite of some muddy thinking, both Yatt and Shapiro do raise concerns that need a response. The silence of the academy must end. While Tolkien may have had a preference for the racial characteristics of his own people, an examination of his life, works, and letters suggest that his treatment of dark forces in general and Ores in particular is based more on an archetypal and Judeo-Christian parameter than a racial one. In fact, the central message of his famous work is contrary to the central racist presumption, which is that individuals can be categorized and judged by their physical, racial appearances.

Examination of every passage within Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings would be both exhausting and inconclusive. However, some overview is helpful. Yatt, who after responding to the films does return to Tolkien's text, notes the apparent color line in The Two Towers between good and evil: "In the good corner, the riders of Rohan, aka the 'Whiteskins' : 'Yellow is their hair, and bright are their spears. Their leader is very tall.' In the evil corner, the Ores of Isengard: 1A grim, dark band . . . swart, slant-eyed' and the 'dark' wild men of the hills." He also verbalizes a very troubling quality in Tolkien's depiction of the battle at Helms Deep, specifically the expendable nature of the Ores: "genetic determinism drives the plot in the most brutal manner. White men are good, 'dark' men are bad, ores are worst of all. While 10,000 ores are massacred with a kind of Dungeons and Dragons version of biological warfare, the wild men left standing at the end of the battle are packed off back to their homes with nothing more than slapped wrists." Yatt's conclusion is that Tolkien's work is filled with "basic assumptions that are frankly unacceptable in 21st-century Britain."

Shapiro's objections to Tolkien's depictions are based on autobiographical assumptions about the author. Although he has not published an essay on the subject, Shapiro has been quoted on several twebsites describing The Lord of the Ringst racist.3 Like Yatt, Shapiro points to the apparent color line that divides good and evil: "the fellowship is portrayed as über-Aryan, very white and there is the notion that they are a vanishing group under the advent of the other, evil ethnic groups. . . . The Ores are a black mass that doesn't speak the languages and are desecrating the cathedrals" (qtd. in Reynolds and Stewart). In this he follows the standard complaints already outlined. Far more original is Shapiro's take on what he sees as Tolkien's motivation for writing his epic fantasy:

Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings because he wanted to recreate a mythology for the English that had been destroyed by foreign invasion. He felt organic English culture had been destroyed by the Normans. There is the notion that foreigners destroy culture and there was also a fantasy that there was a solid homogeneous English culture there to begin with, which was not the case because there were Celts and Vikings and a host of other groups, (qtd. in Reynolds and Stewart)

Reynolds and Stewart go on to paraphrase Shapiro, reporting that "the trilogy, begun in the 1930s and published in the 1950s, was written at the onset of decolonisation, when the first mass waves of immigrants from the Caribbean and Indian sub-continent came to Britain. The Midlands, Tolkien's model for the Shire, was becoming a multicultural region." Of course Shapiro's observations, while interesting, are based on none of the writings of Tolkien himself but are instead built on observations of a time and assumptions of how Tolkien, only because he lived during that time, would interpret those historical moments.

If living in a racist time and culture is to be assumed as a determiner of guilt, there are, in fact, other factors not mentioned by either critic about Tolkien that could cause a pause among some readers. The historical period in which Tolkien lived was one Chinua Achebe described as "when the reputation of the black man was at a particularly low level" (258).4 Achebe writes that in the minds of many ofthat time, there existed "the dehumanization of Africa and Africans which this long attitude has fostered and continues to foster in the world" (257). Furthermore, Tolkien himself lived at least for a time within this racist African system. He was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Although he lived there only four years, his family existed in a circle that had certain expectations. In his biography of Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter describes Tolkien's home in South Africa this way: "There were servants in the house, some black or coloured, some white immigrants; and there was company enough to be chosen from among the many other English-speaking residents, who organized a regular if predictable round of dances and dinner-parties" (11). Thus, Tolkien was introduced into a world of privilege (if only middle-class privilege) in which racial distinctions and levels in class were assumed. Additionally, his young man's world of academia was one tinged with a racist tradition of anti-Semitism. Norman Cantor in his Inventing the Middle Ages, an examination of the scholars who reshaped twentieth-century perspectives of the past, notes that "a Jewish professor of humanities was as great an anathema in Britain at the end of the nineteenth century as in Germany" (55).

Yet these elements are hardly conclusive. Guilt by association is not a trustworthy tool. And so living in a racist society does not predestine one to be racist. Other factors can play a role in forming a personality. For example, Mabel Tolkien, J. R. R.'s beloved mother and also his first teacher, whose early death canonized her opinions, "found the Boer attitude to the natives objectionable" (Carpenter 13). Moreover, an inclusive, tolerant attitude rather than an exclusive, oppressive one can be inferred in a picture taken in November 1892. Thanks to its addition to the photograph section of Carpenter's biography, the picture is clearly revealed to be on a Christmas card and therefore hardly an embarrassment. On it is the immediate Tolkien family, " stood two black servants, a maid and a house-boy named Isaak, both looking pleased and a little surprised to be included in the photograph" (13).

Carpenter describes the Tolkien home this way: "in Bank House there was tolerance, most notably over the extraordinary behavior of Isaak, who one day stole little John Ronald Reuel and took him to his kraal where he showed off with pride the novelty of a white baby. It upset everybody and caused a great turmoil, but Isaak was not dismissed, and in gratitude to his employer he named his own son 'Isaak Mister Tolkien Victor'" (13; emphasis added). Like the idea of guilt by association, this evidence of equanimity is hardly conclusive. Modern readers are probably uncomfortable that Tolkien lived in a society in which "the novelty of a white baby" should so stir pride among the members of the black staff. Still the generosity of Tolkien's father does suggest the possibility of nonracist attitudes among the Tolkiens.

Stronger evidence of Tolkien's anti-racism appears in his correspondence in which his disgust toward the racism especially prevalent in his time-anti-Semitism-is clear. In a letter to Graham Tayler who had noted a similarity between Sam Gamgee and Samson Gamgee, a name included in an old list of Birmingham Jewry, Tolkien reflects on the suggestion that his own name might have a Jewish source: "It is not Jewish in origin, though I should consider it an honour if it were" (Letters 410). More overt is Tolkien's response to Nazi publishers who wanted a Bestatigung or confirmation of his Aryan, racial "purity." To his own publisher, Alien and Unwin, Tolkien expressed his misgivings of allowing such a statement to appear on his text even if it cost the company money, or as he put it, "let the German translation go hang" if such a statement created the appearance that he agreed with the Nazi concept of racial purity: "I should regret giving any colour to the notion that I subscribed to the wholly pernicious and unscientific race-doctrine" (Letters'3,7}. Later, in a letter dripping with sarcasm in which he pretends to not understand the Nazi publisher's definition of Aryan, Tolkien points out that true Aryans are, in fact, an "Indo-iranian" group and none of his ancestors spoke "Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects." Tolkien finally writes if "you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors ofthat gifted people" (Letters 37). Tolkien's own words seem to lay to rest the charge that he was racist in his thinking.

Other writers, although not academics, have presented forceful defenses for Tolkien against the charge of racism. In response specifically to Yatt, Jared Ingham writes in the Warwick Boar Vnat, while admitting that the portrayal of evil in The Lord of the Rings- especially as represented in the Ores-may seem "crude" and "simplistic," to "say that Tolkien set out with strictly racist intentions, or that overall his book is blatantly racist, is pure politically-correct hokum." Shapiro, meanwhile, is taken to task by Julia Houston who suspects that some of his conclusions about Tolkien's racism are based more on his being an American who does not understand the European ideas of class that Tolkien seems to have held than to any actual elements of racism in Middle-earth. However, she goes on to an even more provocative conclusion: "Going after the works of a man whose epic champions the strength of 'the little guy,' and who often wrote of the evils of apartheid and racism, smacks of an academic who's just trying to get noticed and an American who really needs to end his witch-hunt and remember that other countries don't write literature based on uniquely American sins."

Like Lewis years ago, Steuard Jensen does an excellent job of reminding the reader of the breadth of 777e Lord of the Rings by showing that the dark and light dichotomy is actually a part of a much larger and mixed description of good and evil:5

Light skinned characters who did evil things include Saruman, Grima, Gollum, Boromir, Denethor, and the Numenoreans as mentioned above. And it is notable that Tolkien described Forlong's people of Condor and even the men of Bree as "swarthy," the same term he used for example of the Southrons who were ambushed by Faramir (though to be fair, he may have imagined different degrees of "swarthiness" for those groups). For that matter, Sam's flash of empathy for the fallen Southron he saw during the ambush indicates that many of Sauron's soldiers were likely unwilling slaves, not evil at heart.

The passage to which Jensen refers comes from The Two Towers when Sam sees a Southron warrior fall: "His brown hand still clutched the hilt of a broken sword. . . . wondered what the man's name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace" (667; bk. 4, ch. 4). Tolkien as a veteran of World War I had seen battle directly, and to give so much thought about "the other" while in battle surely indicates a heart not directed toward racism but inclusion.

Tolkien's real experience in war brings up another point. As voiced in the opening quote from The Rotters' Club by Doug, a number of readers have been bothered by the fact that the Southrons are "dark skinned, hail from unspecified tropical islands from the south, and are often mounted on elephants" (Coe 143). However, as Cantor in Inventing the Middle Ages has pointed out, in spite of Middleearth's fantastic elements, Tolkien seems to have been saying to his readers in The Lord of the Rings that "this is the way it really was in the Middle Ages"-

not the Arthurian heroism of golden knights, but the wearing, almost endless struggle of the little people against the reality of perpetual war and violent darkness to find a hiatus of peace and security for their families and communities. The Lord of the Rings'^ thereby a medieval story, but a counterromance telling it "like it really was," not the way the court poets told it to flatter their lords. (229)

War was, in fact, the way it really was, and not only was there war between tribe against tribe, thane against thane, but also, regularly, ethnic group against ethnic group. A major threat to medieval Europe was indeed a people from the South : "The Arabs had conquered-with the aid of newly converted groups to Islam from the old societies of the Mediterranean coastline-North Africa, Sicily, and most of Christian Spain by the mid-eighth century" (Cantor 20). The simple fact is that in the medieval world that Tolkien portrays an enemy from the tropical South probably seemed natural.

Finally, while Leanne Potts of the Albuquerque Journal reports the wide divergence of opinion, she includes the comments of Leslie Donovan, a University of New Mexico professor, who points out that "Tolkien is dealing with literary archetypes. . . . Those beings that are closer to the light are considered more heroic, more self-sacrificing, more sympathetic. Those individuals farthest from the light are morally and spiritually corrupt in Tolkien's moral landscape." It does seem that Tolkien, as he depicted beauty in his work, gravitated toward a more northern aesthetic than otherwise. He wanted the work to "be redolent of our 'air' (the clime and soil of the North West, meaning Britain and hither parts of Europe, not Italy or Aegean, still less the East) while possessing . . . the fair elusive beauty that some call Celtic" (Letters 144). Responding to this quote, Cantor notes that Tolkien had "a faith in the elevated ethos of the Nordic peoples" (227), which again probably sounds troubling to some. However, is having an appreciation for one's own culture and its definition of beauty racist? If it is, then every African American who believes "black is beautiful" is racist. Only when personal taste is mistaken as organic value does a preference become prejudice.

Far more troubling might be the fact that all the races portrayed by Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings seem to share his sensibilities and to be internally attracted to the fair qualities of the elven people. Some might question if this should be. Why should darkskinned and short dwarves and hobbits, who seem especially agog in the presence of elves, find tall fair individuals attractive unless there is an organic sense of their superiority? And again, wouldn't this be racist?

However, there seems to be far more going on in the bright nature of the Elves than just physical attractiveness. They embody ancient lore in all forms of poetry, art, and music. And as the eldest of races they demand a level of honored respect. Meanwhile the other races do stay true to themselves. Sam, for all his desire to meet the Elves, is also more than ready to return home to the Shire and marry Rosie Cotton. And although Gimli becomes the champion of the elf queen, Galadriel, he and the rest of the dwarf delegation can resist elvish charm well enough when they first visit Rivendale. What draws Gimli to Galadriel is her grace and kindness. When she speaks with compassion and appreciation for the beauty of his people's once great city, a bond is created that is not physical but emotional and spiritual. Gimli doesn't carry the threads of her golden hair because he wants a blond wife but because he "looked into the heart of an enemy and saw there love and understanding" (358; bk. 2, ch. 7). In his journey to become the "Lockbearer" (507, bk. 3, ch. 5) and "Elf-friend" (1091, Appendix A), Tolkien seems to suggest in Gimli the hope for a coexistence of races more than the dominance of one over the other.

There is still the question raised by Yatt, which is also the title of this paper: "Why is the Only Good Ore a Dead Ore?" The answer lies within Tolkien's faith. Carpenter and others regularly describe Tolkien as "a devout Christian" (146), and this central quality had a profound effect on his imaginative work. "The Lord of the Rings" claimed Tolkien in 1953, "is, of course, a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first but consciously in the revision" (Letters 172). A central error when thinking of Ores in Tolkien's imagination is to envision them as mortal beings like hobbits and men. However, their darkness is not determined by race but by their alliance with evil. This use of terms like darkness and shade comes from scriptural images. So the battle between light and dark, which runs all through The Lord of the Rings, comes from Tolkien's Judeo-Christian mindset.

Although many critics like Achebe have correctly pointed out that Christianity, especially in America, has at times coexisted with racism, readers should draw a line between cultural Christianity and biblical text. The text of the Bible is filled with light and dark images having nothing to do with race. Few would think that the Semitic David's comments about the shadow of death is in any way a racial comment. The following scriptural examples were taken from the Catholic "Rheims-Douai" 1582-1610 translation. As a linguist, Tolkien could probably read scripture from the original texts, but these English translations, which just predate the King James version, illustrate how commonly the terms dark ana shadow were used to describe an evil or dangerous situation in the Bible: "Before I goe, and returne not, unto the darke land, that is covered with the mist of death: A land of miserie and darkenesse, where is the shadow of death, and no order, but everlasting horrour inhabiteth" (Job 10.21; emphasis added). "For, although I shal walke in the middles of the shadow of death" (Ps. 22.4; emphasis added). "For al you are the children of light, and children of the day: we are not of the night nor of darkness" (I Thess. 5.4; emphasis added). This is only the smallest of samples of light and dark metaphors and images used in scripture.

Remembering that dark and light in The Lord of the Rings is about the powers of good and evil and not race, readers should realize that Ores are dark because they are far from the good. Tolkien has adapted for his own use the Old English word ore. In a vocabulary in the eleventh-century manuscript, Cotton Cleopatra A.Ill, the Latin word "orcus" (one of the names for Pluto, God of the Underworld, as well as just "death") is glossed "ore, fyrs, đđe heldeofol" ("ore, giant, or the devil of Hell") (Wright and Wülcker 1.459). The word also appears in a compound in Beowulf, line 112, which enumerates among the wicked descendants of Cain: "eotenas ond ylfe . . . ond orcneas" (giants and elves and animated bodies of the dead).6 One way or another the term links Ores to the infernal world of demons. If this were not enough, readers should remember that in The Hobbit, the narrator uses instead of Ore the word "goblin." The swords Orcrist (translated "Goblin Cleaver") and Glamdring, which Thorin Oakenshield and company find in the Troll hideout and bring to Elrond, are identified as coming from the "Goblin-wars" (Annotated Hobbit 94). The word "goblin" appears adapted from "Gobelinus," the name of a spirit reported in the twelfth century to be haunting the district of Évreux in Normandy. The word enters Middle English in the early fourteenth century, but is not found in print in French until some two hundred years later. According to the Middle English Dictionary, the word has a range of meanings such as "a devil," "an incubus," or "an evil spirit."7 In the second version of the translation of the Bible long attributed to John Wycliffe and completed sometime around 1390, the word "gobelyn" is used to translate the Latin "negotium," in Psalms 90.6: "thou shalt not drede of ... an arowe fliynge in the dai, of a gobelyn goyinge in derknesse" (Wycliffe 2.S32).8 Why is the only good Ore a dead Ore? One might just as likely ask Tolkien, "Why is the only good demon an exorcised demon?" In Christian thought the elimination of evil is the only way to respond to it. There is no parley in the battle between heaven and hell, and that is why there is none between Ores and Elves either.

In some of the more recently released Tolkien writings edited by his son, Christopher Tolkien, J. R. R. Tolkien confirms that Ores were indeed irredeemable at least to the inhabitants of Middle-earth. In part 5 of Morgoth 's Ring, "Myths Transformed" (367-431), Tolkien writes about elvish rules of engagement concerning Ores: "the Wise in the Elder Days taught always that the Ores were not 'made1 by Melkor, and therefore were not in their origin evil. They might have become irredeemable (at least by Elves and Men), but they remained within the Law" (419). The suggestion that there might be a plan of redemption in the mind of Eru but that it was beyond the concern of mortals sounds a lot like the ideas of the great Church Father Origen (185-254 AD), who thought that even demons, who were twisted by Satan but made by God, would eventually be redeemed although the process was a concern for God and not men. This portrayal of irredeemable Ores, which echoes at least one great Catholic theologian, is vital since it suggests one more way that The Lord of the Rings is based in Tolkien's faith and that the war between Elves and Ores parallels the war between hell and heaven.

The final argument against Tolkien being a racist can be gained by looking at the overall message of the work rather than at particular battles or physical descriptions. Whatever qualities the forces and peoples of Middle-earth have behind them, there is the universal truth that all things were created good. And since good is not always shining out like light, a lesson that many of the individuals in The Lord of the Rings must learn is not to judge individuals by their outward appearances. "We always seem to have got left out of the old lists," complains Merry when he and Pippin discover that the Ents have no recollection of them (468; bk. 3, ch. 4). It is true that all through the work Hobbits are either gently condescended to or overtly disdained. No one, not even the Elves, judges them aright. And yet this least significant of races-at least so considered by the other peoples of Middle-earth-is the only one with enough love of life and enough selflessness to produce individuals who can carry the ring to the very edge of Mount Doom. Racism is a philosophy of power, but The Lord of the Rings functions with the Christian idea of the renouncement of power. Christ gives up heaven, power on earth, and finally his life to achieve his goal. Frodo gives up the Shire, the power the ring might give, and finally his life for the quest. Racism claims that one can tell the value of an individual just by looking at his or her outward appearance. But nothing could be more overtly counter to the Christian worldview that Tolkien functions in even as he creates his fantasy. To paraphrase: "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart" (1 Sam. 16.7). Nothing could be more contrary to the assumptions of racism than a Hobbit as a hero.



Notes

A special note of appreciation must be given to my Honors, Selected Topics, Class for the Fall of 2003. Without their stimulating discussions both in and out of class and their assistance in web and text searches, my ideas would have remained vague and unsupported. Let me thank Adam Beutel, Stephanie Bloom, Laura Honigford, Andrew Johnston, Erin Mc Donough, Heather O'Conner, Joel Potter, Emily Snyder, Nichol Vanscoy, and especially Rebekah Radcliffe who assisted me so extensively in tracking down light and dark references in the actual text of The Lord of the Rings,

God the creator in Tolkien's mythology. "Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Iluvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made" (The Silmarillion 15).





2. Literature professors are well used to explaining to contemporary readers the dangers of assuming that a film and the text upon which it is based are one and the same. Even when a text is followed faithfully, as in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, directorial choices still shape the work to a particular interpretation.

3. Stephen Shapiro's comments are made available in a press release from December 18, 2002, entitled "The Mass Appeal of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Promotes Racism, Says University Lecturer," on "Insite: The University of Warwick Intranet" website: <http:// www. communicate. Warwick, ac.uk/index. cfm?page=pressrelease&id828> (accessed August 26, 2004).

4. Chinua Achebe is describing Joseph Conrad's time, but dates for both authors are actually fairly close: Conrad (1857-1924) and Tolkien (1892-1973). Conrad was only 33 years older than Tolkien. Thus much of the social commentary Achebe makes applies to Tolkien as well as Conrad.

5. Although cited just this once, Steuard Jensen has been extraordinarily helpful in this work. Many of the sources included herein were uncovered by his direction both in the site listed as well as through email correspondence.

6. see Glare: "orcus," 1265. The etymologies in the Oxford English Dictionary for "ore" (10: 896) are outdated.

7. Oxford English Dictionary: "goblin," 6: 638. Middle English Dictionary, "gobelin," 4: 186.




Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua. "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness." Heart of Darkness: A Norton Critical Edition. By Joseph Conrad. Ed. Robert Kimbrough. 3rd ed. New York: Norton, 1988. 251-62.

The Bible, Rheims-Douai Version. 2 vols. 1609-10.

Cantor, Norman F. Inventing the Middle Ages. New York: Morrow, 1991.

Carpenter, Humphrey. Tolkien: A Biography. Boston: Houghton, 1977.

Coe, Jonathan. The Rotters' Club. New York: Vintage, 2001.

Glare, P. G. W. Oxford Latin Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon, 1982.

Houston, Julia. "Tolkien, Racism, and Paranoia." About.com: Sci-Fi/Fantasy. 9 Nov. 2003 <http://scifi.about.eom/cs/lordoftherings/a/ aa012303.htm>.

Ingham, Jared. "A Different Look at Tolkien." Warwick Boar 13 Jan. 2003. 10 Nov. 2003 <http://www.warwickboar.co.uk/?article=1289>.

Isaacs, Neil D. "On the Possibilities of Writing Tolkien Criticism." Isaacs and Zimbardo 1-11.

Isaacs, Neil D., and Rose Zimbardo, eds. Tolkien and the Critics. Notre Dame: U of Notre Dame P, 1968.

Jensen, Steuard. "Was Tolkien Racist? Were his Works?" Tolkien MetaFAQ: Story External Questions. Oct. 2003. 28 Oct. 2003 <http:// tolkien.slimy.com/faq/External.html>.

Lewis, C. S. "The Dethronement of Power." Isaacs and Zimbardo 12-16.

Liddell, Henry George, and Robert Scott. A Creek-English Lexicon. 9th ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1996.

Middle English Dictionary. Ed. Hans Kurath and Sherman M. Kuhn. 13 vols. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1954-2001.

Oxford English Dictionary. Ed. J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. 2nd ed. 20 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1989.

Pearce, Joseph. Tolkien Man and Myth: A Literary Life. San Francisco: Ignatius, 1998.

Potts, Leanne. "'Lord of the Rings' Unleashes Debate on Racism." Albuquerque Journal 26 Jan. 2003. 5 Nov. 2003 <http:// www.abqjournal.com/shock/827891fun01-26-03.htm>;.

Reynolds, James, and Fiona Stewart. "Lord of the Rings Labeled Racist." Scotsman 14 Dec. 2002. 15 Oct. 2003 <http:// www. news.Scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=4&id = 1387552002>.

Rhys-Davies, John. Actor Commentary. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Dir. Peter Jackson. 2001. Special Extended DVD. New Line, 2002.

Tyler, J. E. The Tolkien Companion. New York: St. Martin's, 1976.

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Annotated Hobbit. Ed. Douglas A. Anderson. Rev. ed. Boston: Houghton, 2002.

______. The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien. Ed. Humphrey Carpenter. Boston: Houghton, 1981.

______. The Lord of the Rings. 2nd ed. 3 vols. Illus. Alan Lee. Boston: Houghton, 2002.

______. Morgoth's Ring. Ed. Christopher Tolkien. History of Middle Earth 10. Boston: Houghton, 1993.

______. The Silmarillion. Ed. Christopher Tolkien. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton, 1999.

Wright, Thomas, and Richard Paul WYlcker, eds. Anglo-Saxon and Old English Vocabularies. 1884. 2 vols. New York: Gordon, 1976.

Wycliffe, John. The Holy Bible. Ed. Josiah Forshall and Frederic Madden. 4 vols. Oxford, 1850.

Yatt, John. "Wraiths and Race." Guardian 2 Dec. 2002. 5 Nov. 2003 <http:/ /film, guard ian.co.uk/lordoftherings/news/0,11016,852217, 00.html>.

--------------------
Why do you choose to mimic these wack MCs?
Why do you choose to listen to R&B?

"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to." Leela

*puts emceeing in a box*

  

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LegacyNS
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29. "Very good read"
In response to Reply # 27


  

          


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non-fiction, the calm bomb, keep ya arm distance..." © Rebel I

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Mr. Wednesday
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37. "THANK YOU for this"
In response to Reply # 27


  

          

and for post 26.

nuanced and thoughtful. unfortunately, rarities on this board.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King." - Tom Waits

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/theprivateers_music.htm

  

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Nettrice
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38. "Interesting..."
In response to Reply # 27
Sat Dec-17-05 10:49 AM by Nettrice

  

          

>While Tolkien may have had a preference for
>the racial characteristics of his own people, an examination
>of his life, works, and letters suggest that his treatment of
>dark forces in general and Ores in particular is based more on
>an archetypal and Judeo-Christian parameter than a racial one.

However, I can't ignore the "Judeo-Christian parameter" as it relates to colonialism and the spread of white supremacy. This had a lot to do with the misrepresentation of aboriginal/indigenous/phenotypically non-European people in cinema.

>In fact, the central message of his famous work is contrary to
>the central racist presumption, which is that individuals can
>be categorized and judged by their physical, racial
>appearances.

The supremacist's assumption goes beyond race and helps to promote racism, classism, etc.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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LegacyNS
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40. "Good points.."
In response to Reply # 38


  

          


While it's not fair to make Toilken responsible for Jackson's representation of his work, you also can't seperate white supremacy from Judeo-Christian religion in the context of western civilization.


"limited edition, composition spark friction...
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The Damaja
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43. "'you can't separate?'"
In response to Reply # 40


  

          

well you're not going to separate them with sweeping statements anyway...

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Why do you choose to mimic these wack MCs?
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te_pakeha
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46. "This is going way too far..."
In response to Reply # 38


  

          


>The supremacist's assumption goes beyond race and helps to
>promote racism, classism, etc.


So effectively you're damned regardless? So if one holds any prejudices it is unacceptable? Shit, that'd implicate absolutely everyone wouldn't it?

  

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Nettrice
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47. "This is not about prejudice"
In response to Reply # 46


  

          

It's about power...from the control over images and messages in the mass media to power in the corporate boardrooms in Hollywood.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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te_pakeha
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51. "So shouldn't your outrage be directed at Universal Studios?"
In response to Reply # 47


  

          

...rather than Peter Jackson? Peter Jackson has always been a self-confessed kong-nut, and has never read any prejudice as inherent in the movie, so it doesn't seem fair to blame him IMO. I don't see this as pass the buck either, I don't think it is a director's place to gauge the risks or perceived impacts of the movie eh.

  

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Nettrice
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54. "I never attacked Jackson"
In response to Reply # 51
Sun Dec-18-05 10:45 AM by Nettrice

  

          

>...rather than Peter Jackson?

I am talking about King Kong and whomever makes movies like it. It's a cop out to claim not to know or want to discuss the age-old racist imagery of the original movie and how it remains in the new one. I hold other media makers to the same standards, so it's not just about Jackson.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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te_pakeha
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45. "Why pick on Peter Jackson?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

LoTR was a mythological story for England, hence the main protagonists are all fair skinned. It's not meant to reflect the early to mid 20th century at all. So read all ya want into it, but none of it I think was intended at all. Intention is the key too, otherwise perhaps we (And I mean everyone) should shut down all forms of art, because everything can have something offensive/demeaning/insulting etc... read into it (and I'm not just talking racism).

King Kong? I didn't see an ape bowing down to a "white bitch", maybe the US release is different to the overseas one or something? It is a remake from a fan, whom I'm sure has never really interpreted it as white supremicist propoganda; people at the theatre I saw were crying when Kong died, they certainly weren't cheering the might of the white man eh.

But why Peter Jackson specifically? Is it some anti-kiwi manifestation that you need to pin on someone? I read from this post is that any movie in which darkness is at all implied to be bad is inherently racist, which, without a great leap, can be taken to mean that anybody afraid of the dark is either a) racist, or b) self-loathing, depending upon their skin colour. It's easy enough to confuse the darkness/evil thing with the darkness/black/racism thing, and perhaps most of y'all are just angry kids or something, but frankly I don't get it. But why Jackson in particular, and for movies for which the screenplays were adapted ones, rather than originals?

Movie-makers in New Zealand seem to have always come from a left-leaning and pretty fair-minded tradition; indeed most of the most scathing attacks on our own , often buried racism have come from our film-makers, of whom Jackson is an esteemed member. Y'all should remember that while discrimination is a problem in all countries, the situations are different, just because you perceive things one way in the US doesn't make it universal.

  

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Nettrice
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48. "RE: Why pick on Peter Jackson?"
In response to Reply # 45


  

          

>LoTR was a mythological story for England, hence the main
>protagonists are all fair skinned.

This is understood. I read the books and enjoyed the film series. IMHO King Kong is different. If you remake something based on early racist symbology in Hollywood it doesn't make it any less racist, not matter how "liberal" you claim to be.

>It is a remake from a fan, whom I'm sure has
>never really interpreted it as white supremicist propoganda

Of course he wouldn't.

Specifically, King Kong is about an ape and if you know anything about the the origins of racism in Europe you would know that the reasoning behind much of the enslavement and oppression of colored people was based on symbols of the savage beasts or apes.

>But why Peter Jackson specifically?

Because he remade a movie that opened up some wounds. King Kong still is a misrepresentation of aboriginal/indigenous/phenotypically non-European people in contemporary cinema.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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te_pakeha
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50. "We're gonna have to agree to disagree...."
In response to Reply # 48


  

          

To paraphrase from another thread on another Okayboard, like Peter Jackson I feel Kong isn't about people, it's damning commentary about the tyranny of mankind as a whole...as the director says, the worst decision Kong made was befriending Anne Darrow. My argument is that the perceived racism in Kong the '05 Kong at least, is just that, perceived rather than actually inherent, and it's a dangerous and slippery slope to protest against things for what they could be intended as, rather than what the intention is known to be.

  

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Nettrice
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53. "???"
In response to Reply # 50


  

          

>My argument is that the perceived racism in Kong
>the '05 Kong at least, is just that, perceived rather than
>actually inherent

Then you don't really understand racism, how it is perpetuated through media. That's okay. You can't add some cool special effects over something and call it new...unintentional (racism). That is a cop out. Some folks (like myself) aren't having that because they are looking for a change.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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te_pakeha
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57. "I see no cop-out..."
In response to Reply # 53


  

          

I do see a lot of energy wasted on an issue that only arises if we make a set of assumptions that don't necessarily hold true. Half the problem though is that you won't watch the movie I think, and saying that you've watched the original and the atrocious 70s version I don' think is enough. As a post below mentions, the story has been tweaked: the heroine reacts differently to Kong than previously, the most heroic male in the movie is black, and the indigenous folk act like you'd expect any folk to in similar situations. Yes, there are people in blackface at the beginning, but the movie is set in the 1920s, and in stage shows there were people in blackface...pretending that things were otherwise would be worse surely.

I know you think there are deeper issues, and I'm with you, if not alongside you on them; I just fail to see the big deal here.

  

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Nettrice
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60. "Popular Art and Racism"
In response to Reply # 57


  

          

>Yes, there are
>people in blackface at the beginning, but the movie is set in
>the 1920s, and in stage shows there were people in
>blackface...pretending that things were otherwise would be
>worse surely.

"The onset of Jim Crow laws and customs rested upon the racist characterization of black people as culturally, personally, and biologically inferior. This image functioned as the racial bedrock of American popular culture after 1900, especially manifested in minstrel shows, the vaudeville theatre, songs and music, film and radio, and commercial advertising. So pervasive was the racial demeaning of black people, and so accepted was it by white Americans throughout the nation, that blackness became synonymous with silliness, deprivation, and ignorance. Most white Americans believed that all Africans and their descendants were racially inferior to whites, and that their common inferiority tied them together wherever they might live in the modern world." - http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/resources/lessonplans/hs_es_popular_culture.htm

>I know you think there are deeper issues, and I'm with you, if
>not alongside you on them; I just fail to see the big deal
>here.

IMHO everything adds up and if you break it down to its parts you can better deal with the issue, esp. as it relates to becoming more literate and able to understand

* The processes involved in critically analyzing and creating media messages
* The business of mass media or the globalization of media
* The intersection of media and government
* The nature of journalism and the issue of media bias
* The sociopolitical nature of the media’s content such as the depiction of stereotypes and violence

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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NothiNThere17
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Sun Dec-18-05 08:32 AM

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52. "RE: Let's discuss subliminal racism = Peter Jackson's work."
In response to Reply # 0


          

Okay, before I start, I just want to say: This isn’t going to be the best thought out or most complete response. I just stumbled upon this discussion while looking for some tour information, and had to respond. But, it’s getting late, and I’m tired. So, I’m going to make this quick.

First of all, I can’t much respond to any of the talk about King Kong. I have never seen the original, the 1970’s remake, or the new version. But, from what everybody is saying, I gather the natives of the island where they find Kong are represented “badly” in everybody’s opinion. But, have any of you stopped to think that you saying the natives are being represented as savages is an extremely prejudice remark in itself. (Since some people have brought up sociology, so I’ll try and do this with sociology and anthropology in mind.) The simple fact is that throughout history there have been a lot of civilizations that practiced things like the occult, human sacrifice, did things like made jewelry from human bones, etc. And, the vast majority of those civilizations (who existed on all continents, mind you, except maybe Antarctica) existed before recorded history. From what little I know about King Kong, I’ve gathered that the island where Kong is found is a place that prehistory is supposed to have survived (i.e. there are dinosaurs, there are giant apes, and the people live in a way that nobody thought still existed). Also, I’ve gathered (and maybe I’m wrong on this) that the island is supposed to be fairly tropical. Now, if these people have been living on a tropical island for thousands of years, untouched by the rest of the world, I would assume they would adapt to their environment. Well, guess what, people in hotter tropical environments adapt by having darker skin. So, it is unreasonable to have these natives have paler skin. The reason people of Europe have paler skin is they adapted to a colder more overcast environment. The reason people of Central America, South America, and Africa have darker skin is they had to adapt to the exact opposite of environments, hot sunny climates. Now, since the island is supposed to represent pre-history and these people are living in a tropical environment it is not too unreasonable to make them people who are of darker skin and practice things like human sacrifice and the making of jewelry from bones. Also, modern sociology and anthropology teaches that there is no savage. Just because these people are shown as something that we would not normally associate with “civilization” does not make them un-civilized. But, instead they are simply civilized in a different way. Their civilization has gone through as much progress as any other; it just simply took a different direction. Now, if the characters in the movie call these people “savages,” then those characters are prejudice. But, that does not necessarily make the movie prejudice. The movie could simply be trying to paint the picture of a land radically different from our own. And, to say that these people are being shown as “savage” only shows your own bias about what you think civilization is. These people are only being shown as different, civilized in their own way. You put a negative connotation on how they act; their actions are not inherently negative. If people watch this movie and see a bunch of wild dark skinned savages attack a bunch of innocent pale skinned travelers, that only shows that the audience is prejudiced not the movie. The actions of the natives are only bad when we apply our own prejudices and pre-dispositions. But, if we see it as they are simply civilized in a different way and simply have different notions of morality. Then these people aren’t necessarily represented in the negative, but instead are represented as neutral (neither bad nor good, simply different). Now, I’m NOT saying the movie DEFINITLY isn’t racist. I can’t make that judgment; I’ve never seen it. I’m just saying: making the island natives act the way they do is not necessarily inherently racist and if you look at pre-history is maybe even understandable and realistic. And, making the island natives of darker complexion is very reasonable (that is, if the island does in fact have a tropical climate otherwise it probably is just racism). I’m just saying: is the movie racist? Maybe. But, don’t forget if you look for prejudice hard enough in a piece of media you’ll probably find it, even if it’s not actually there.


Now, as far as LoTR: Do I think Tolkein was a racist? He probably was considering the time in which he grew up. Do I think his story is racist or prejudice toward any group? No, and I think a lot of the arguments that claim it is are either a bit of a stretch or jumping to conclusions. First, some people have mentioned how all the heroes are white. Well, the story is set in Middle Earth. Middle Earth is a land that very clearly parallels feudal Europe, more specifically feudal Britain. Guess what, there weren’t many people of color running around feudal Britain, that’s just a fact. Pre-Globalization you didn’t get very many people of different skin colors in the same place. You are supposed to get that Middle Earth isn’t the entire world, but just the part of the world were the story takes place. And, in this part of the world the people just happened to be white (which is a reasonable choice for Tolkein to make since he was trying to parallel feudal Britain). Now, some may say, well the orcs aren’t white. But, if you remember that is explained. The orcs used to be elves, and since the elves are white then the orcs used to be white as well. They aren’t a people from another land or anything like that; they are simply altered elves. Other people have pointed out that the orcs have black skin, obviously racist. Well, how many people of African decent have you ever met with black skin? Because, maybe we are meeting different people, but every person I know and have met that is “black” actually has brown skin. Yes, some are darker than others, but they all definitely have brown skin. Actually, I think I can safely say if I ever meet a person with truly black skin I would probably shit myself a little bit just out of shear amazement. The orcs having black skin in LoTR has nothing to do with racism. It has everything to do with the old idea that white/light = good, and black/night = bad. And, that is an idea that is much older than racism (note I said racism not prejudice). Racism started in colonial times. There was prejudice before that, but it had nothing to do with race. Prejudice in pre-colonial times had to do with religion and culture. Take the Spanish Inquisition for example (pre-colonial times for those non-history buffs). The Muslims and Jews in Spain were heavily persecuted. But, if those Muslims and Jews converted to Christianity and adopted the culture of the country they were living in they were treated as equals. Their persecution had nothing to do with their race; the idea of “race” hadn’t even crossed the Inquisitors minds. The only thing that mattered was religion and culture. Skin color was a non-factor in those times. Skin color was only made a factor during colonial times, because the darker skinned slaves were converting to Christianity at a fast rate. But, the slave owners couldn’t just start giving up their slaves and treating them as equals because they had become Christian; they were too valuable to the economy. So, racism was created as a justification for the continued enslavement of Christians. So, racism is only a few hundred years old (and if you want to try to argue that go talk to a history or anthropology professor first, because he will back me up). But, the idea that white/light symbolizes good and black/night symbolizes evil is a very old idea. If anybody reads the Bible you will remember that Jesus. About 1500 years before colonial times, described himself as “the way, the truth, and THE LIGHT.” Also, the tradition of putting band of LIGHT or halo’s around holy people’s heads in art isn’t exactly a new idea. Also, many Eastern religions, which are as old and older than Christianity, will describe especially spiritual people as having a glowing LIGHT or aura radiating from them. White (along with Light) has been a symbol of purity in European cultures and cultures across the world for thousands of years, and it’s opposite black (along with Night) has been a symbol of corruption and evil. So, I think we can safely say that the idea of white/light symbolizing good and black/night symbolizing evil predates and has nothing to do with racism; it’s just old folklore. I think it is more than reasonable to believe that the orcs have black skin not for racist reasons, but because the color black had long represented evil especially in European tradition. This is also why Gandalf is made into the White wizard and much of his magic is manifested as beams of light. It is reasonable to believe that while Tolkein was trying to create a mythological story for Britain he would use themes from old European traditions and folklore. I really don’t think LoTR is meant to be racist. If anything it tries to teach that all races should work together, and try to defeat the real evils of the world. I mean, look at the fellowship. It is made up of elf, dwarf, hobbit, man, and wizard (I asked a LoTR nut about this once, the wizards apparently aren’t quite human. If you pay attention they mention that Gandalf is thousands of years old, obviously not quite human). This is trying to show different races how to work together, not trying to separate them. Now, as for the claims that LoTR is sexist and anti-feminist, I think it’s a bit of a stretch. Somebody made the claim that the ring of power (the object which’s destruction the entire story is based around) is vaginal. And, that the putting on of the ring represents penetration. Now, I see how this person can see this, but it just seems like a bit of a stretch to me. First of all, lets say the ring is vaginal. And, putting on the ring does represent women enslaving men with their “evil” vaginas. But, the story starts out by explaining that the elves received three rings, the dwarves seven (I think, maybe it was five), and the men nine. And, in those 19 (17?) rings was the will and power to govern all the races of Middle Earth. Now, these rings are obviously positive things. So, if the ring of power is vaginal. And, he wants to have the ring symbolize feminism and it’s threat to the world, why would he include 19 other rings (which if one is vaginal they all have to be vaginal) that are so obviously positive? Or, could it that he chose to make it a ring because of something much more rooted in European tradition? What did nobility in feudal Europe wear, besides a crown, to represent their lineage and power? A ring. Have you ever seen in movies a peasant or somebody get down on his/her knees and kiss a ring on the hand of a King/Queen? Do you know why they did that? Royalty wore rings that had their family crest on it. A King’s lineage was the reason he was ruling; it was the source of all his power. And, his family ring was a symbol of that lineage. So, basically, the family ring was a symbol for the source of royalty’s power. People would commonly be identified as royalty, because they wore a ring that bore the royal seal. I think it is fairly reasonable to believe that it is the RING of power and not the, oh let’s say, necklace or power, not because the ring is vaginal and meant to represent feminism. But, because rings were traditionally a symbol of lineage and therefore a source of power in European history. Also, the comparison between a sword and a penis is also made. The argument is that the sword is phallic, and these men are using “their manhood” to stop the power of the ring and restore peace to Middle Earth. Well, I guess I can see how the sword is phallic. But, lets not forget that Gimli uses and axe. Legalos uses a bow most of the time. And, actually, most of the soldiers used spears not swords. The swords are only actually used by the more important human characters. And, that’s just because traditionally, throughout history, most soldiers would use spears but the officers and nobles would use swords (swords were to expensive for most armies to equip all their soldiers with). So, they “saved” Middle Earth more with spears than with swords. Now, if you want to claim that spears are also phallic, again I can see it, I guess. But, can you name a weapon that isn’t phallic? (And, the whole point of LoTR is it’s an epic tale of war so don’t try to say, “Well, they didn’t necessarily have to use military force.) The sword is phallic, the gun is phallic, the spear is phallic, the double bladed war axe is probably the most phallic of them all, the arrow is phallic, the war-hammer is phallic, the mace is slightly phallic, really the amount of things you can say are slightly phallic is ridiculous if you really think about it. Maybe, just maybe, he was trying to tell an epic war story, and people just tend to read into the shape of weapons a little too much sometimes. Also, I think it is odd that a story that is so sexist would have to very strong female character. And, the story would have one of those female characters kill the King Wrath, something “no man could do.” Seriously, Tolkein always claimed that all he was trying to do was write a great epic, and that LoTR was not intended to be an allegory for anything. Just, when you really look for something in a well-told epic of the scale of LoTR, you’re probably going to find what you’re looking for. You’ll find it, even if what you’re looking for wasn’t really even there in the first place.


Wow, that turned out much longer than I intended. Anyway, that’s my two cents; I’m going to sleep.

  

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mcdeezjawns
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55. "This post is fucking moronic at best..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Shit is unbelievable...Stop lookin so hard for shit to bitch about

  

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Nettrice
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61. "Really?"
In response to Reply # 55
Sun Dec-18-05 07:45 PM by Nettrice

  

          

http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/resources/lessonplans/hs_es_popular_culture.htm

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Sun Dec-18-05 08:08 PM

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62. "Basically."
In response to Reply # 61


  

          

But I guess only those who are getting hit are concerned with the punches. Heh?

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mcdeezjawns
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66. "Nettrice..I am not saying that there isnt racism in the King Kong film"
In response to Reply # 61


  

          

and nowhere could you prove that I would say such a thing. The king kong/racism topic has been beaten to a fucking bloody pulp on these boards at this point. We all know about the portrayal of the indigenous people, we all know about the sex crazed gorrilla black man who is infatuated with the blond white girl, we all know about the empire st building/penis corollary, none of that is news, nor should it be treated that way on these boards... However, THIS POST is garbage..Another bullshit inflammatory post by Aqua, which is his M.O
The fact that there are over 65 responses to his claims that Peter Jackson is a racist because he did an interpretation of a movie of which parts have been deemed racist is completely ludicrous. He is attacking a director and basically equating him with the KKK simply because he worked with an EXISTING BODY OF WORK...A story that he did not write, a story that he did no create.
For you to even lend creedence to these claims is dissapointing...Like I said in my other post...there are far more pressing issues than whether or not peter jackson is the grand wizard of the KKK simply because aqua claims him to be

peace

  

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AquamansWrath
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Mon Dec-19-05 09:21 AM

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70. "You know you don't have to participate?"
In response to Reply # 66


  

          

In fact, every post I make you claim it's a dead horse so why not just bow out and allow those who are interested to discuss...
it's always some whiteboy telling us... "oh there is nothing to see here keep it moving"... this doesn't even relate to you... so why not you just keep it moving heh?

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mcdeezjawns
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80. "listen douchebag"
In response to Reply # 70


  

          

First off, I wasnt addressing you, i was addressing Nettrice, so take a walk..Dont you have lizard people to worship?
Second off, I can participate in whatever fuckin post I please..If i dont like what you are saying, im gonna tell it. Like I have said OVER AND OVER AND OVER, yet your thick fuckin skull cannot grasp, is Of course the king kong story is racist, but please aqua, tell us something new..You are breaking no ground by posting this....However, for you to claim that peter jackson is a bigot and racist because he worked with an already existing piece of work if fucking juvenile and ludicrous, which is exactly what i expect coming from your corner.You are a hypocrite and a bigot as well, so I guess that makes you know different from PJ...


>In fact, every post I make you claim it's a dead horse so why
>not just bow out and allow those who are interested to
>discuss...
If I want to discuss something, aint nothing you or anybody can do to keep that from happening...Aint that a bitch for you...

>it's always some whiteboy telling us... "oh there is nothing
>to see here keep it moving"...

Where have I said that...Seriously, I am CHALLENGING you, again, just like every other post where you have put words in my mouth, SHOW where I said there is nothing to this discussion, so lets move on...Here, I'll save your down syndrome ass the time: I said that this post is moronic at best, a post in which you are NOT talking about the paradigms of racism in the movie king kong, but a post in which you are accusing a director who interprets an existing body of work as a racist, which is a fucking baseless accusation( what you make your living on here on these boards)
So, until you can actually prove I said something, keep my name out your mouth and stop making cowardly baseless claims abuot other posters...You can believe whatever the fuck you want about PJ, I dont give a shit, but dont tell me that I said something that I did not say..Clown ass fool

this doesn't even relate to
>you... so why not you just keep it moving heh?
>
How the fuck does this not relate to me? It is a post on a board I am on, so it relates there...It is a movie released in the country I live, so it relates to me there....Ohh...thats right, it IS related to me...My my, you are a moron
Good luck with all that

  

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AquamansWrath
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87. "again... you don't have to participate..."
In response to Reply # 80


  

          

I'm sure there is a Toby Keith post around here somewhere. While your on your soapbox (instead of using it) again... the title is Subliminal Racism = Peter Jackson's WORK. What part of WORK don't you get? Hmmm? Don't answer... just enjoy the rest of the Okayplayer boys... I'm sure you have a Oakridge Boys Top 25 for the Lesson board or something.

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mcdeezjawns
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88. "amazing how you cannot grasp the simplist of concepts..."
In response to Reply # 87


  

          

honestly...Clearly you just dont get it, so we will leave it at that..
try harder waterboy

  

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Delete me
Member since Aug 27th 2002
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Fri May-26-06 01:27 AM

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198. "It's not moronic in an ontological sense"
In response to Reply # 55


          

It's moronic according to your system of categorization, i.e. the taxinomies that you're usin.

  

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bshelly
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56. "counterpoint"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

http://www.citypaper.net/articles/2005-12-15/movies3.shtml

Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) is a good girl. At the start of Peter Jackson's King Kong, she's surviving the Depression in New York City by juggling and cartwheeling on a vaudeville stage. Pale and scrappy, she's only briefly defeated when the theater closes its doors, leaving her and her troupe mates on the street with nowhere to go and no money for food. She spends only a moment looking in the window of a burlesque house, then turns away, determined to maintain her goodness rather than sell herself cheap.

It's at this moment, as Ann walks wearily from the burlesque joint and is caught trying to steal an apple, that she meets film director Carl Denham (Jack Black). More precisely, he descends on her, bailing her out, then treating her to a full-on meal. Though she's famished, she's righteously skeptical at first, and well she should be. The showman Denham is a schemer and opportunist, recently threatened with shutdown by his wary producers (who think him "a preening self-promoter") and in search of a new leading lady for his current project. (He can't get "Fay," who's making a picture with "Cooper"—name-drops demonstrating Jackson's affection for his source and inspiration.)

In fact, it's the relationship between original and remake that's most interesting about this newest Kong, following John Guillermin's 1976 effort. Jackson's incarnation certainly takes up the original's examination of the excesses and vagaries of show business, most plainly embodied by the cynical, devious and strangely self-knowing Denham. His excursion is grandly delusional, as he tricks playwright Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) into coming along to finish a script (and fall in love with Ann) and finagles stern Captain Englehorn (Thomas Kretschmann) into persisting until they literally crash into Skull Island.

Still, as calamitously egotistical and jackblacky as Denham may be, he's not so different from his namesake (memorably played in 1933 by Robert Armstrong). What actually sets the new movie apart from its predecessor is its characterization of Ann, and specifically her relationship to Kong. Taking a page from Mighty Joe Young, this Kong has Ann come to sympathize and even fall a bit in love with her gigantic captor. And she's not alone: As played by Andy Serkis in another stunning motion-capture performance, the gorilla is part playful child, part ferocious he-man and part responsible adult, all devoted to the golden-haired "beauty" to whom Denham attributes his demise.

But it's not beauty that kills the beast. It's greed, meanness and lack of vision that destroy Kong's "nature" and "wildness," his emblematic manhood—indeed, his darkness. As many viewers have pointed out, the 1933 film is pervaded by disturbing racism in its depictions of the Skull Island natives, extended to the fearful specter Kong provides in relation to the perfect white woman Ann. Jackson's film—co-written with his usual collaborators, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens—makes Ann's admiration for Kong an earnest distraction from her eventual, proper coupledom with Jack (who, even with Brody's Men's Health coverboy abs, can't compete with the potent spectacle of Kong).

Ann's scrappy nature allows her not only to scamper through jungles and over mountains (with minimal screaming), but also to see (with her gigantic blue eyes, in frequent close-up) into Kong's desires, deliberations and devices. She soon realizes that he means to save her from dinosaurs (which look terrific as long as they're not in the same frame with human actors, whereupon they suddenly look quite 2D), giant bats and men, rather than rip her "limb from limb," as he has apparently done to other tribal sacrifice victims. At this point, unlike the Wray version, she aligns herself with Kong, increasingly horrified by Denham's plans to capture, chain and display him.

Still, Ann's evolving affection for Kong (her first efforts to appease him, dancing and juggling as she did onstage, are bizarrely charming) is quite different from the worship acted out by the natives who kidnap and sacrifice her to him. The adventurers' first contact with the island natives and the ritual sacrifice scene make the black primitives as "other" as they can be—captured in nightmarish stop-go pans and blurs.

In this context, the blackness of the ship's courageous and sensible first mate, Hayes (Evan Parke), seems something of a pre-emptive casting decision to allay accusations of racism, but he is undeniably charismatic; he even saves the overeager Jimmy (Jamie Bell). By the time this vision is remade in Denham's stage show, the blackface performers are overtly offensive, illustrating the film's acute awareness of the problem, if not quite a resolution. It's Ann and Kong's romance that drives the film and at least begins to address complex race dynamics. At once sensational and heartrending, it's a romance that can't possibly be.

----
bshelly

"You (Fisher) could get fired, Les Snead could get fired, Kevin Demoff could get fired, but I will always be Eric Dickerson.” (c) The God

  

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gumz
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Sun Dec-18-05 08:23 PM

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64. "RE: counterpoint"
In response to Reply # 56


  

          

Oh man, I'm not sure which way the racism is flowing on this one. Is he pushing racism for making a movie about a giant ape that loves a white woman or are you expressing racist views for automatically assuming the ape symbolizes a black man? I think there's gotta be a limit to how much you fish for crazy symbolism. I mean if the woman in the movie was black, I'm sure somebody woulda came out on some "why the ape gotta love black women? are they implying that they are similar to female gorillas?"

And for Lord of the Rings, why not assume that Tolken had a think for little people and felt they should rule the earth? Seems just about as reasonable an assumption dont you think? Why really care that there aren't any black actors in it? Would casting a black man or woman in every movie ever released really solve anything? If you truly think so, you're buggin...but if you dont, then why make a fuss about it when a movie wins some trophies? Just say you thought it sucked and call it a day. A brotha wit some pointy ears fighting orks is not the answer to stopping prejudice in the world.

"the clever nerd is the best mc without a chain you ever heard"
DOOM

  

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Pinko_Panther
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Tue Dec-27-05 03:38 PM

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164. "If the woman in the movie were black..."
In response to Reply # 64


  

          

there would be no movie because nobody would be out to save her ass.

********************************************
"If you think you're too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito."

  

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diaded
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Tue Dec-27-05 03:50 PM

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165. "RE: If the woman in the movie were black..."
In response to Reply # 164


  

          

LOL

---------------------------------------
O nosso amor năo vai olhar para trás
Desencantar nem ser tema de livro
A vida inteira eu quiz um verso simples
Prá tranformar o que eu digo

  

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mcdeezjawns
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67. "Simple question..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Is the director of a movie like "American History X" a racist?

Is spielberg a racist for directing Schindlers list?

  

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Nettrice
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68. "RE: Simple question..."
In response to Reply # 67


  

          

>Is the director of a movie like "American History X" a
>racist?
>
>Is spielberg a racist for directing Schindlers list?

American History X is about racism. Schindler's list is about the Holocaust but people trying to act like there is no racism in the King Kong story and that's the problem IMHO.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Mon Dec-19-05 09:22 AM

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71. "Exactly. To even use those two examples..."
In response to Reply # 68


  

          

shows you how dumb and insensitive he is. Period. Pure white boy racism disguised as logic.

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mcdeezjawns
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82. "RE: Simple question..."
In response to Reply # 68


  

          

>>Is the director of a movie like "American History X" a
>>racist?
>>
>>Is spielberg a racist for directing Schindlers list?
>
>American History X is about racism. Schindler's list is about
>the Holocaust but people trying to act like there is no racism
>in the King Kong story and that's the problem IMHO.
>
Who the hell is claiming that there is NO racism in the movie?
The reason I asked if the director of both of those movies is a racist( a reason Aqua can't quite seem to get his pea brain around) Is because racism occurs in those movies, movies that were existing bodies of work, interpreted by a director..See, this post was not started by waterboy as a discussion of whether or not KK is a rasict movie, he started a post claiming that PJ is a racist for making this movie, and his last movies..All of which were existing works that he interpreted...So, the Director of American History X is not a racist for directing a movie in which a black dude gets a curb sandwhich for being black, yet PJ is a racist for directing a movie in which evil orcs try to take over middle earth and destroy cute little hobbits?
Yeah, that sounds about right....I think I am going to rethink what I said earlier...I said, this post is moronic at best, but instead, i think this entire discussion board is moronic at best.

  

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
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Mon Dec-19-05 01:15 PM

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85. "actually bright spot the title says Peter Jackson's WORK..."
In response to Reply # 82
Mon Dec-19-05 01:16 PM by AquamansWrath

  

          

trying reading it again before making your point. Which is pointless.
again, the title is Subliminal Racism = Peter Jackson's WORK.
There is NOTHING subliminal about American History X... as usual your argument is bland, weak, and off point.

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
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Mon Dec-19-05 09:22 AM

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72. "some dumb ass questions..."
In response to Reply # 67


  

          

your really a trip. Trying reading the post again.

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mcdeezjawns
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Mon Dec-19-05 12:42 PM

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81. "Your & You're"
In response to Reply # 72


  

          

read a book...learn some simple grammar...get a fucking clue...now, scuse me, i have a clan meeting to get to

  

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
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Mon Dec-19-05 01:18 PM

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86. "okay let me try..."
In response to Reply # 81
Mon Dec-19-05 01:18 PM by AquamansWrath

  

          

Your a dumbass
Youre a dumbass
I dunno... they both feel right to me.
However, I will stop right here... cause as usual... you see wonderful conversation going between people on this board... you not being able to comprehend it, instead... decide to discuss everything but the topic as you always do in a piss poor effort to sabatoge a great discussion. Enjoy your meeting.

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mcdeezjawns
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Mon Dec-19-05 01:31 PM

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90. "RE: okay let me try..."
In response to Reply # 86


  

          

>Your a dumbass
>Youre a dumbass
>I dunno... they both feel right to me.
Yeah..sounds about right...you unable to grasp even the simplist grammatical concepts..of course, thats the white mans language though, so i understand where you are coming from...way to pick your battles..

>However, I will stop right here... cause as usual... you see
>wonderful conversation going between people on this board...
"wonderful"...haha...something like that.. So, because i am on the other side of your debate, i dont get it, yet anyone who agrees with you is worthy of discussion...makes sense to me

>you not being able to comprehend it, instead... decide to
>discuss everything but the topic as you always do in a piss
>poor effort to sabatoge a great discussion. Enjoy your
>meeting.

Reread the entire fucking post waterboy, over half the responses are in disagreement with you, so how am I discussing everything but the topic, when in reality plenty of other people in this post are taking the other side of the argument as well? Like I said, your M. O is pretty fuckin predictable, and is shining through again in this post

try harder

  

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samiam61182
Member since Dec 19th 2005
136 posts
Mon Dec-19-05 10:25 AM

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73. "RE: Let's discuss subliminal racism = Peter Jackson's work."
In response to Reply # 0


          



Ive never posted on here before and generally agree with most which is posted but the racism peter jackson link is just wrong. My old man use to work with this dude back in nz and ive actually meet him before, your assesment if way off. for u to think he doesnt under stand the sub plots of the film he makes is stupid. He's practically a modern hippie that happens to be a film geek. the fact that the lord of the rings doesnt have black people in the cast makes it racist is like saying crouching tiger hidden dragon is racist . tolkien wrote these stories after fighting in ww1 and unless you can prove other wise i dont the british battalion had a large black contingent.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Mon Dec-19-05 10:57 AM

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74. "it's called liberal racism... let's discuss your 'hippie geek'"
In response to Reply # 73


  

          

whether or not he finds any relevance in the film isn't important... the film itself is a vehicle for racism... so let me get this right...
if Steven Spielberg decided to remake "Birth of a Nation"... then I should not be offended? If anything, this proves to me more and more that white males are not only insensitive, but stupid. They care very little about anyone outside of their white world comfort zone...
let me make a film,
starring a all black cast... living in a peaceful society... then here come the white albino guerillas wreaking havoc. Do you think that would be racist? You see whites are only concerned when they are the target... don't matter if Peter Jackson is racist or not... the work of the film... is.

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LegacyNS
Member since Jan 16th 2004
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Sat Dec-31-05 01:40 PM

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171. "Real Talk"
In response to Reply # 74


  

          


"whether or not he finds any relevance in the film isn't important... the film itself is a vehicle for racism... so let me get this right...

if Steven Spielberg decided to remake "Birth of a Nation"... then I should not be offended?"



"limited edition, composition spark friction...
non-fiction, the calm bomb, keep ya arm distance..." © Rebel I

You ready? - http://www.packing.org

  

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AquamansWrath
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Fri Jan-06-06 10:56 AM

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180. "RE: Real Talk"
In response to Reply # 171


  

          

notice he didn't respond.

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8chtooOh
Member since Sep 14th 2005
21 posts
Mon Dec-19-05 11:23 AM

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75. "RE: Let's discuss subliminal racism = Peter Jackson's work."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Yeah, and why don't Hershey's show commercials for their "dark" chocolate?

Snickers:"they're laughing at 'chu"

And, while we're at it, why is the screen in a movie theater only black for like the first couple minutes before and the last couple after the movie. Coincidence? I think not.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)


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AquamansWrath
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Mon Dec-19-05 11:44 AM

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76. "Hmmm... that was straight stupid..."
In response to Reply # 75


  

          

first off...
that's just like a white boy, evade the issue by cracking jokes.
Anyone with any sense can see the direct relationship between Kong and sexual insecurity and racism in white america.
I guess if he had tried to fuck her you would see it right?
especially if she had replied 'oh Kong... maybe your name should be King Long?'.. would you be offended if she then said "never mind my white boyfriend, surely he's not built like you King Long"
would it have offended you then?

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AquamansWrath
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Mon Dec-19-05 12:24 PM

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77. "my point is why would it take that for you to get it?"
In response to Reply # 76


  

          

that is the problem with racism in America... when have whites ever stepped up to the plate first and admitted they were wrong?
NEVER. This is no different.

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mcdeezjawns
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Mon Dec-19-05 12:48 PM

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83. "Peter Jackson is a Kiwi...."
In response to Reply # 77


  

          

so....why would he admit that Americans were wrong? he didnt come up in america, wasnt raised around the inherent racism that folks in america deal with...

  

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AquamansWrath
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Mon Dec-19-05 01:13 PM

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84. "so what your saying is..."
In response to Reply # 83


  

          

He's smart enough to be a brilliant film maker, yet dumb enough not to see the racist parallels? Please. What kind of argument is that?
It doesn't matter where you were born... he's still a white man.

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gumz
Member since Jan 09th 2005
20111 posts
Mon Dec-19-05 01:29 PM

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89. "RE: so what your saying is..."
In response to Reply # 84


  

          

By making such a big deal of all this it implies that you feel these movies have had or will have an impact on people's perceptions in regards to race. Am I wrong in saying this? The point of placing these subliminal messages would be to reach people and sway their opinions in some way. I really dont think anyone has ever seen King Kong or LOTR and come out of the theater with a different stance on race or any pertinant issue for that matter. So basically, why should we care? If I have kids, I wont be worried about them seeing King Kong and growing up with some complex about dating small white women. I think I'll have bigger issues in mind when considering things I want to protect them from. I place this in the same category as Jesse and Al boycotting Barbershop...ridiculous.

  

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
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Mon Dec-19-05 01:34 PM

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92. "actually that's not what I'm saying at all..."
In response to Reply # 89


  

          

first off... these films deal with more social issues than your giving it credit for. if you look at the origin of both, they were written at a time when racism, over racism was the norm... that's how you ended up with films like

King Kong
Sambo
Shirley Temple (with her black servants)
Birth of a Nation and so on.

These film scripts/books were created with that same emphasis on good versus evil, black versus white. Too simply overlook that is ridiculous. To simply say there was no point behind these films are even more ridiculous. Have you read any of what the posters have written or are you going to just throw it out the window cause you don't see the need? In other words... 'oh there is no racism there... forget about it'. You see that's the problem with white america to begin with... they don't see any problems until they are facing them. They were comfortable as hell until 911... however people of color have been going through hell the entire time you see.


First let me ask you, are you white?
Please answer that openly and honestly.

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mcdeezjawns
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Mon Dec-19-05 01:35 PM

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93. "That was my entire point:"
In response to Reply # 89


  

          

>>I think I'll have bigger issues in mind when considering things I want to protect them from. I place this in the same category as Jesse and Al boycotting Barbershop...ridiculous.

Like I said above, there are FAR more pressing issues when it comes to how fucked up racially this country is..people need to learn to pick their battles, and picking Lord of the rings and King Kong as your battles is simplistic and irresponsible at best

  

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AquamansWrath
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Mon Dec-19-05 01:39 PM

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95. "What? It's a topic... not a movement..."
In response to Reply # 93


  

          

And how is it everytime anyone of color discusses a topic relevant to them you come around and say "NO, this is stupid or ridiculous"... it's a discussion... it's a wonder why the moderators haven't pulled you off these boards cause you never contribute with anything factual, or philosophical, just dumbass statements. But I expect that from you.

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mcdeezjawns
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Mon Dec-19-05 01:46 PM

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96. "wow, you have no problem making shit up post after post after post"
In response to Reply # 95


  

          

Damn, am I in your head that much? Like, you play conversations in your head between us that never fuckin happen...You live in a fantasy world doggie...

>And how is it everytime anyone of color discusses a topic
>relevant to them you come around and say "NO, this is stupid
>or ridiculous"... it's a discussion... it's a wonder why the
>moderators haven't pulled you off these boards cause you never
>contribute with anything factual, or philosophical, just
>dumbass statements. But I expect that from you.

There's that baseless dumbass accusation shit again..I am not even gonna address this one, because its a blatant lie, and honestly, you aint worth it...Besides, this discussion is going nowhere, and the fact that your replies make up half of the reponses soeaks volumes about you and this post
I'm done with you here...I'll just wait till your next moronic post and jump right back in..Until then, work on making up more shit in your mind that I supposedly said on these boards, it sure does keep things interesting
Dont bother replying...Done

  

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AquamansWrath
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Mon Dec-19-05 01:51 PM

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97. "In My Head?!?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHa..."
In response to Reply # 96
Mon Dec-19-05 01:52 PM by AquamansWrath

  

          

Your a drool of a person.
I mean... please whiteboy... you must REALLY be lonely.
I mean. REALLY. hahahahaha...
wow.
Not to mention YOU keep coming to MY posts...
I have NEVER posted on any of your wack ass little posts...
please. Your nowhere on my level... I know it and everyone on here knows it. So keep your fonzie shit over there.
hahaha...

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mcdeezjawns
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Mon Dec-19-05 02:02 PM

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98. "RE: In My Head?!?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHa..."
In response to Reply # 97


  

          

>Your a drool of a person.
That makes sense...
>I mean... please whiteboy... you must REALLY be lonely.
>I mean. REALLY. hahahahaha...
Ah yes, you and your "whiteboy"..Damn son, you really use that as a crutch..Seems to me everytime you criticize someone's response, it includes that little phrase...You got issues doggie? Once agian, showing and proving how fucking hypocritical you are when it comes to these issues...and once again proving just how simple you are

>wow.
>Not to mention YOU keep coming to MY posts...

Free fuckin world...last i checked there were no guidelines against a dumb whiteboy from clicking on one of your hot steamy tightly coiled piles of shit
>I have NEVER posted on any of your wack ass little posts...
Boy that really hurts my self esteem...

>please. Your nowhere on my level
There's that pesky grammar again...damn, is it that hard to grasp?
... I know it and everyone on
>here knows it.
Rrrriight...If you wanna think that posting on the boards is apopularity contest, go right ahead, whatever it takes to get through YOUR miserable existence son
So keep your fonzie shit over there.
>hahaha...
Ehhhhhhhhh! That was clever...moron
Be gone

  

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
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Mon Dec-19-05 02:08 PM

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99. "uh no. You are."
In response to Reply # 98


  

          

I mean damn, are you in that much need for attention. Okay, Aqua has acknowledged you. Besides, you are white.... and this is what you do... your just living up to it. It's really that simple.
So look, again, you have offered absolutely nothing. Your always concerned with me and what I'm doing... hahaha... please Sun. I have noticed you Okay?!? You are free to go. "Be gone"... from my own post? hahahaha... your just wack for no reason. Thanks for the laugh
George Cooney.

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mcdeezjawns
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Mon Dec-19-05 01:33 PM

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91. "where did I say he was a brilliant film maker or person?"
In response to Reply # 84


  

          

there you go again making shit up to suite your argument..I love it...Such A simple creature you are...thanks for the laughs...way to get that post count up

  

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AquamansWrath
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Mon Dec-19-05 01:36 PM

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94. "Actually you said he was a Kiwi"
In response to Reply # 91


  

          

so does that excuse him from making a film that perpetuates racist parallels? Please share.
I mean you have yet to provide one ounce of a solid argument.
All you do is bitch... with nothing to stand behind it.

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mcdeezjawns
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Mon Dec-19-05 02:09 PM

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100. "So you admit that I said he was a kiwi...."
In response to Reply # 94
Mon Dec-19-05 02:10 PM by mcdeezjawns

  

          

and yet, in another post you accuse me of claiming he is a brilliant film maker...So which is it? Oh, thats right, in your lucid world of fantasy, you have trouble discerning what actually happens from whatever freakish fantasy you have about you and me...


>All you do is bitch... with nothing to stand behind it.

Take a look in the mirror...then read every post you have ever made..then, tell me who does all the bitching
wahhhh

Now, this should get your garbage post to 100 responses, which i am positive is the point of your feeling the need to reply to people more than once in each post...you happy now doggie? you got that platinum post you yearn for..Now, like i said before, this little thing here, it's done. Don't bother with more lies and baseless attacks, just take the L and deal

  

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AquamansWrath
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Mon Dec-19-05 02:16 PM

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101. "ayo what the fuck is your problem?"
In response to Reply # 100


  

          

this post isn't about you...
so could just keep it moving? You have made no point... I'm the one that called him a brilliant filmmaker, which he is...
he's just making that bullshit. Now that we are done... I mean could you allow someone else to post? Damn.

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8chtooOh
Member since Sep 14th 2005
21 posts
Tue Dec-20-05 12:54 PM

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128. "RE: Hmmm... that was straight stupid..."
In response to Reply # 76


  

          

>first off...
>that's just like a white boy, evade the issue by cracking
>jokes.
Last time I looked, I wasn't white. I thought the post itself was a joke. I really didn't think that something this stupid could be serious. I guess you've proved me wrong.

>Anyone with any sense can see the direct relationship between
>Kong and sexual insecurity and racism in white america.
So, you're basically implying that anyone who doesn't agree with you is basically senseless?

>I guess if he had tried to fuck her you would see it right?
>especially if she had replied 'oh Kong... maybe your name
>should be King Long?'.. would you be offended if she then said
>"never mind my white boyfriend, surely he's not built like you
>King Long"
>would it have offended you then?
If you somehow associate a gorilla with blackness, then you must be white. By the way, a gorilla's skin is pale, only it's hair is black.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."
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ya Setshego
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Mon Dec-19-05 02:16 PM

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102. "RE: Who is Peter Jackson?-n/m"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oooo baby I like it raw. Oooo baby I like it RAAAW!(c)ODB- Shimmy Shimmy Ya

  

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
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Mon Dec-19-05 02:54 PM

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103. "RE: Who is Peter Jackson?-n/m"
In response to Reply # 102


  

          

Director of Lord of the Rings and King Kong

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The Damaja
Member since Aug 02nd 2003
18637 posts
Mon Dec-19-05 07:54 PM

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104. "Beyond Black and White: Postmodernism and Race in LOTR (swipe, long...)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I don't particularly like this essay but I might as well show another side of the argument. The ideas it deals with are similar to the ones Nettrice talks about I think.

-------
BEYOND BLACK AND WHITE: RACE AND POSTMODERNISM IN THE LORD OF THE RINGS FILMS

Sue Kim. Modern Fiction Studies. West Lafayette: Winter 2004.Vol. 50, Iss. 4;  pg. 875, 33 pgs


People:
Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel (1892-1973)

Author(s):
Sue Kim

Document types:
Commentary

Publication title:
Modern Fiction Studies. West Lafayette: Winter 2004. Vol. 50, Iss.  4;  pg. 875, 33 pgs

Source type:
Periodical

ISSN/ISBN:
00267724

Text Word Count
13450

Abstract (Document Summary)


Kim explores how The Lord of the Rings films function within and reproduce the logic and process of postmodern, neoliberal global capitalism, both drawing on and burying issues of race. As Tom Shippey suggests, one of the weaker reasons for dismissing The Lord of the Rings novels or films is that they are "not true." The films are created, read, and viewed by people in the world, and they reflect the languages and signs, desires, actions, and values of the world.

Full Text (13450   words)

Copyright Johns Hopkins University Press Winter 2004

In terms of racial coding, the only contemporary fantasy/sci-fi blockbuster film series as immediately cringe-inducing as the new Star Wars films is The Lord of the Rings trilogy.1 In the films, goodness correlates to whiteness, both racially and as color scheme, and is associated with Europe, particularly England and the Scandinavian countries, the West, and the North. Evil is invariably black, savage, Southern (or "Southron"), and Eastern.2 All racially "white" actors, whether from New Zealand (where the film was shot), Australia, the US, Ireland, or England, are assimilable as Middle-earth heroes (although they must adopt British accents), and the "good" display a heterogeneous mix of European (mostly British and Scandinavian) cultural references. Yet despite these immediately apparent delineations, discussions of these racialized discourses have been confused, stymied, or denied. This general inability to discuss race in The Lord of the Rings stems from the texts as well as from the terms of the debate. In other words, in order to understand race in the The Lord of the Rings films (a rich and productive discussion has yet to take place on the novels), we find ourselves required to grapple with postmodernism in its many incarnations. The films, like postmodernism itself, both invoke and deny the discourses and politics of race, while sweeping other salient and concrete issues under the rug. What we need to do, in the spirit of Tolkien or not, is to reclaim both freedom of interpretation (applicability) as well as some sort of ethical, moral, and/or political ground upon which to stand.

So to move beyond reading race only semiotically in The Lord of the Rings, I want to explore how the films function within and reproduce the logic and process of postmodern, neoliberal global capitalism, both drawing on and burying issues of race. As Tom Shippey suggests, one of the weaker reasons for dismissing The Lord of the Rings novels or films is that they are "not true" (327). The films are created, read, and viewed by people in the world, and they reflect the languages and signs, desires, actions, and values of our world. In other words, the fantasy is that we must understand The Lord of the Rings or any text or film merely as fantasy, particularly when what we understand as the "fantasy" of film has undergone significant changes in recent years. The films are not merely recordings or simple mimetic representations of a modernist or premodernist text (although they certainly have such elements too); the film's production, distribution, and discourses (both within and about the film) epitomize postmodernity in a number of significant aesthetic, technical, economic, epistemological, ethical, and political ways.

"Men of the West"

The films generally draw their racial and color-coding from the novels, but in the visual medium many aspects appear more striking.3 The "Men of the West" are led by "The White Wizard," Gandalf, with his white horse Shadowfax, particularly in defending the racially white people of Rohan and the "White City" of Minas Tirith. Aragorn is a "Ranger from the North" who can speak to horses in not only Elvish, but also Old English, and Rohan is of Scandinavian design ("Audio," Two Towers)? Eowyn's lament for Theoden's son, Theodred, is drawn from Old English, and cowriter Philippa Boyens notes that they drew on "bits and pieces of Beowulf" for the Rohirrim ("Audio," Two Towers']. The costume designers discuss their intent to make Galadriel the "most white," "most elegant," and "most beautiful" of all the characters ("Designing"). Hobbit culture and language is drawn from the UK, and Hobbiton at Matamata was designed to convey "homely and familiar" comfort, that is, "Englishness" ("Designing").

Conversely, "black" signifies evil, particularly the faceless Black Riders with black hoods and horses. Although Saruman the White, played by Christopher Lee, is one of the chief villains, he proves to be merely "passing"; his castle of black obsidian and black chamber and palantir tip off viewers to his black heart.5 At the council meeting at Rivendell, Gandalf speaks "the Black Speech of Mordor."6 Director Peter Jackson notes that the scene "shows the power of black speech within the elven world of Rivendell . . . the evil force saying those words can conjure up" ("Audio," Fellowship). The various nonhuman minions of Sauron and Saruman exhibit an array of racialized characteristics, although these traits are generally mixed and inconsistent.7 Goblins are blunt-nosed, short, stooping, and yellow- and slanteyed. The ores, who are "elves gone bad" as explained by Treebeard in the extended version ("Audio," Fellowship), have brown and red faces. The Uruk-hai are tall, black, and muscular with long, coarse hair that resembles dreadlocks.8 These Uruks, a racial mongrel of goblins and ores ("Audio," Fellowship), are shown being "harvested" from mud; thus they are literally "mud people." These monster-villains are generally nameless, anonymous, animalistic monsters, except for Lurtz, the Uruk captain who is shown emerging from the mud. The filmmakers explain that they invented Lurtz to personify the Uruk-hai and to provide a mobile villain, both Sauron and Saruman being stationary ("Audio," Fellowship). Lurtz, although entirely covered with prosthetics and makeup, is played by Lawrence Makoare, a Maori of Ngati Whatua descent, who also plays the Witch King, the Nazgul captain, in Return of the King? When Makoare had to leave the production for other engagements, SaIa Baker, a New Zealand actor of Samoan descent and a professional stunt-person, took over the Lurtz role. Baker also plays Sauron in the Fellowship prologue and an Uruk at Amon Hen in the Two Towers.

Disturbingly, with their white face paint ("the White Hand of Saruman") and coarse black hair, the Uruks strongly resemble Maori warriors. In the New Zealand film Utu (1983), the Maori warrior Te Wheke, played by Anzac Wallace (a former convict, labor organizer and arbitrator of Maori descent), seeks revenge ("utu") for the betrayals by the British. Figure one shows Te Wheke after he has tattooed his face, signifying his declaration of war against the Pakeha (non-Maori, Europeans) (Blythe 240). Te Wheke's trenchant, militant rage is contrasted to his brother Wiremu's decision to pursue biculturalism. Wiremu is played by Wi Kuki Kaa, who although also ethnically Maori, appears more westernized and thereby symbolizes a rational, liberal multicultural society. "By the end of the film," Blythe notes, "Te Wheke . . . has been executed for his transgressions against Maori and Pakeha" (247). In other words, Te Wheke represents the irrational hatred of the savage other. In figure two, a picture of Makoare as Lurtz, we see their inward and outward similarities; they share brown skin, thick, wiry, black, almost dreadlocked hair, facial tattoos, a hulking physique, and an implacable, primordial desire to destroy (white) people.

The Two Towers film, with its extended battle sequences, introduces us to the "Southrons" and "Easterlings." While the novels inform us that Sauron has struck deals with and/or enslaved these people, in the films they simply appear amassing in Mordor, The Easterlings have kohl-rimmed, almond-shaped eyes and dark skin and, they wear turbans.10 Return of the Kincfz siege of Minas Tirith features the Easterlings as well as the Southrons, who are large, muscular, face-painted, and black, both groups riding atop enormous "oliphaunts" (large elephants). Again, whereas the novels at least hint at the humanity of the Southrons and Easterlings-we get a little insight into their reactions to the "Captains of the West," and Aragorn has to deal with them as peoples after the war-in the films, they embody abstract evil that disappears when defeated.11 Furthermore, Jackson notes that the inspiration for the siege of Helm's Deep came from the 1964 Michael Caine film Zulu, based on an 1879 event in which 150 British soldiers held a garrison at Rorke's Drift, South Africa, against 4,000 Zulu warriors. He recalls, "Zulu was always in the back of my mind when I was thinking about Helm's Deep" ("Audio," Two Towers), and he discusses drawing on the way Zulu builds tension for the first hour and then "all hell breaks loose" ("From Book"). In Two Towers, tens of thousands of ores and Uruks amass at Orthanc and then attack the small Rohan band at Helm's Deep; like beetles or cockroaches, they swarm over the landscape, scale the walls, and spill over (and destroy) the battlements. The correlation of ores, Uruks, and goblins with insects (and Zulus) is not inadvertent; in discussing the design of the prosthetics for the villains, famed Tolkien artist John Howe notes that they should be "insectlike," like "cockroaches," with "black, dark, nasty suits of armor" ("Designing"). Jackson also refers to other action-adventure films based on fantasies of defeating savage others. I n Moria, the cave troll scene in Gloin's tomb is an homage to Harryhausen, producer of such early fantasy films as The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974) and Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and when the Balrog emerges, Jackson notes that one of his references was Indiana Jones (1981) ("Audio," Fellowship).




Figure 1 (Utu-Wallace)

Still of Anzac Wallace from UtUx dir. Geoff Murphy, 1983.





Figure 2 (Uruk-Hai)

Still of the Uruk-Hai from Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, dir. Peter Jackson, 2001. Courtesy of Photofest.


Overall, the racial coding of the films far exceeds the film's intended message of cross-cultural cooperation, most pointedly conveyed in Legolas and Gimli's relationship. The filmmakers also invent other episodes to stress this point, such as when a battalion of elves, despite long-standing estrangement, come to aid the humans at Helm's Deep ("Audio," Two Towers}. But, as some critics have pointed out, the racial codings so prominent in the films and novels are unstable and, to some extent-although not entirely-contingent upon the eyes that read them. For example, Robert Giddings and Elizabeth Holland point out that Tolkien's sources are not primarily medieval Europe but early modern Indo-Europe.12 Furthermore, Kristin Thompson notes that as part of transforming 7776 Lord of the Rings into a more marketable action/horror/kung fu film, the Gandalf of the films, particularly in his special-effects laden fight scene with Saruman in Orthanc, has been partially turned into the "samurai" or "monk," a trope of Hong Kong action flicks that "derives from an important figure in Chinese martial arts narratives, the white-bearded monk. These monks dress all in white, carry carved staffs, and are mysterious sources of wisdom and great power" (62).

What are we to make of all this? One of the most curious things about the films' racial codings is that they appear to have no referent; they function at the level of pure discourse. The Uruks are big, black, savage, and dreadlocked, their faces marked with painted on designs as if tattooed. The heroes are of "the West" and "the White," while Mordor is "the Black Land." These fantastic representations can and do exceed, while never wholly shedding, delineations of current and historical racial discourses. Unlike the Star Trek episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" discussed by David Columbia, Lord of the Rings does not intend (at least in terms of the Uruks) to be a commentary on current race relations. At the same time, the apparent lack of referents is also a fantasy. It is curious and bizarre that while most of the Uruks, ores, and goblins are played by white actors, and while all the actors playing monsters are completely covered by prosthetics and makeup, a Maori actor was cast in the role of Lurtz and the Witch-King, and an ethnically Samoan actor in the role of Sauron. Two reasons for this infelicitous casting come to mind. First, as Makoare has noted, he is typecast as "the bad guy," whether on New Zealand television or Xena: The Warrior Princess. Furthermore, Makoare and Baker seem "natural" in these roles because the Uruks, Sauron, and the Witch-King are big, black, savage, and evil.

Who, then, should we "blame"? Should we dismiss the films and/or the filmmakers as racist? This does not seem a wholly fair or viable option. In fact, the entire discourse of blame, premised on the idea that racism is solely a personal failing expressed in representation and discourse, limits our understanding of how racialization works. To discuss race only in terms of discourse leads us nowhere, yet that is precisely where we find ourselves when our dialogue remains mired in postmodernism's terms of debate: total truth versus total indeterminacy, homogeneity versus heterogeneity and hybridity. Many postmodernists claim that they want to discern between interpretations, but in practice they are often more interested in lambasting modernist straw men, and they too often neglect the question: if we accept there is no divine or pregiven "objective truth," then what/ how becomes our basis for political and ethical discernment?

The Problem of Selective Applicability

The filmmakers of The Lord of the Rings explain that they sought to "invoke" the "language of the books" and their "iconic images" when possible, but they obviously had to "modernize" them in terms of "cinema-language" ("Audio," Two Towers'). Yet discussions of modernization demonstrate a certain inconsistency, particularly when addressing issues of race and politics. Jackson echoes Tolkien loyalists when he asserts that it is "inappropriate" to apply modern political thinking to a fifty-year-old story ("J. R. R. Tolkien"). But he uses Nuremburg as a reference for the army shot at Isengard in Two Towers because "that sort of imagery is so potent"; such historical references, he continues, effectively "press buttons in people" ("Audio," Two Towers).13 Shippey notes that the Ring Wraith reflects the bureaucrat, a "moral vacuum" representing anyone whose desire for power leads to the subordination and erasure of the self and one's humanity (qtd. in "J. R. R. Tolkien"). Jackson and many others have also pointed out the Ring's affinity with technology and Tolkien's antiindustry, proecology stances ("J. R. R. Tolkien"). If such references are so potent, regardless of strict historical connections, then why are modern race and gender issues-"modern" in the sense of the last two centuries-irrelevant? Moreover, although Tolkien's novels were indeed written in the 1950s, the films themselves are most definitely a modern/postmodern phenomenon.

Patrick Curry, in his aptly titled Defending Middle-Earth, dismisses race/class analyses, characterizing the bulk of them as "thoughtless," "fatuous," "miserably failed," "single-minded," reductive, and "dated" ad hominem attacks on Tolkien (16, 41, 45). But Curry also does not reject the application of contemporary politics to Tolkien's tale, noting that while strict allegorical readings usually prove specious, Tolkien's notion of applicability leaves the reader greater freedom. Read in this way, Curry argues, the stories are "profoundly pluralist," and The Lord of the Rings is a "multicultural and multiracial book" (qtd. in "J. R. R. Tolkien"). To truly appreciate the novel's exploration of the modern difficulty of identifying evil, we must read beyond strictly racial definitions of ethics.14 Again, modern politics appear to apply to The Lord of the Rings only when it is convenient for the critic. It is disingenuous to claim that certain modern politics apply (war, fascism, industrialization, conservation) and others do not (gender, sexuality, race), just as it is disingenuous to say that any one kind of reading necessarily discounts all other readings.

Part of the problem is that too often discussions of representation and politics, particularly in terms of race, have become confused-explicitly or not-by postmodernism. Curry explicitly draws on the postmodern relativity of values in his dismissal of race, gender, and class analyses. Reading Barbara Herrnstein Smith's seminal work, Contingencies of Value, after completing his own, Curry discovers he has independently reached the same theoretical conclusions (168). He earlier praises Tolkien for being ahead of his time in understanding and portraying cultural relativity: Tolkien's work "joins up with a growing contemporary sense, represented in postmodernism, of history's sheer contingency" (25). Postmodernism expresses the exhaustion of modernity, which includes "modern science, a global capitalist economy, and the political power of the nation-state," characterized by "'grand narratives'" and a "kind of deranged, totalizing rationality" in science and other fields "that produces disenchantment" (Curry 22, 23). Whereas the modernist relies on the "myth of a singular universal truth" that is "somehow directly accessible to those with the 'correct' understanding" (Curry 26), postmodernists understand that "meaning is tied to shared linguistic and cultural understandings, on the one hand-so that not anything goes-yet meanings are always open, in principle, to reinterpretation along new and different lines, including ones unsuspected by the author" (20-21). In opposition to modernism's "total overview from a standpoint that is wholly outside its subject-matter, and therefore supposedly comprehensive and impartial," Curry argues that postmodernism enables us to understand that "while every discipline will have its own set of critical standards for assessing good and bad work, such standards cannot be grounded in any kind of indisputable foundations or ultimate objectivity" (21). While modernism naively believes "the choice is between truth and myth (or falsehood)," postmodernism "sees the choice as between different truths" or "between myths and stories that are creative and liberating, and those that are destructive and debilitating" (26). Certain aspects of modernism may remain powerful, but postmodernism questions "the legitimacy and desirability" of modernity by undoing what Zygmunt Bauman calls its "war against mystery and magic" (qtd in Curry 23). In sum, Curry approvingly quotes Bauman, "'It is against such a disenchanted world that the postmodern re-enchantment is aimed'" (23).

In short, postmodernism-explicitly to Curry but, I would argue, implicitly to many others-entails not only the very important understanding that, as Curry states, "the contents of books cannot be separated from the sense that particular readers make of them" (21), but also the return and celebration of enchantment. Among those who fail to appreciate this enchantment include, for Curry, Raymond Williams, who is so naďve as to posit a "real history" in opposition to "myth": "The mythical 'vs.' the actual, the ideal 'vs.' the real-this is a set of choices which postmodern sensibilities have exposed as cruelly misleading. The 'material' is meaningless except as structured by ideas; conversely, ideas have highly material effects" (45). Curry scoffs, "Williams doesn't even seem to realize that people do not live by factual and physical bread alone, but also by ideas, values and visions of alternatives" (45-46). Curry misses or dismisses the possibility that Williams reads The Lord of the Rings because ideas, values, and visions exist in a constant and complex dialectical relationship to the "material." Thus, it is all the more imperative to argue about what kinds of discourses, myths, and histories we draw on, while at the same time, in considering and cherishing ideas, to not forget about "facts" and "bread."

Of course, ideological and critical readings of Tolkien and/or the films have only been effective to varying degrees.15 Christine Brooke-Rose dismisses The Lord of the Rings as being able to "give 'the effect of the real' by analogy" with the Cold War only (254), thereby discounting other possibilities. Douglas Stewart notes that in the novels, evil's only narrative purpose is "to be destroyed!" reflecting the problematic logic of Vietnam War-era US command. Because, like the novels, the US is "fighting for Good against Evil, and not against the finite ambitions of finite rational creatures, we are therefore fighting an enemy by definition, and not by practical circumstance, which means in turn that we can really imagine no satisfactory outcome short of Evil's disappearance" (Stewart 333). But Stewart forgets that we can read allegorically and complexly; for example, what if we defined "evil" as sexism, racism, exploitation, brutality, homophobia, discrimination, abuse, hatred, and suffering? These are things that should, by definition, be destroyed. Moreover, Stewart's correlation of the texts with the US government is an unfair characterization of not only the novels, but also the films. Evil is not necessarily monolithic in either representation; the novels momentarily portray the ores as workers caught in the bureaucratic machinery (see 934-36; bk. 6, ch. 2), and in "The Scouring of the Shire," the hobbits are caught in a bureaucracy for which their own submission and lack of organization is partly responsible. If, as Stewart argues, "folklore rather than reason is the actual guide of our military actions" (333), The Lord of the Rings novels or films are not so much to blame as we ourselves are.

To simply place blame, labeling someone or something as racist, may not necessarily constitute an interesting and productive project, but neither does simply identifying moments of representative instability, as so many postmodernist readings do, and locating redemptive and political potential in disruptions of discourse. What we have to do is understand how and why certain kinds of culturallycreated racial codings are used, and how they function within larger contexts. In other words, the instability of discourses does not thereby render everything unstable, particularly ethics and politics. Both Curry and Stewart blame the wrong things-the instability or definitiveness of a text's "message" does not necessarily determine race and politics in the "real" world. The general confusion and complexity leads us to surrender to indeterminacy and relativism.

Parallel discussions of race in studies of fantastic literature and film criticism reflect these kinds of confusion and dead-ends. Lorenzo DiTommaso, writing on the functioning and function of race in Howard's Conan tales, observes that "race-consciousness, parochialism, and racism are indelible parts of our past" because "there were, quite literally, precious few alternatives to the race-conscious or racist point of view" (167). That is, this "race consciousness" characterizes not only the fictional cultures of Howard's fantasy world, but also the medieval world on which much contemporary fantasy is based: "Race-consciousness often is an essential component of the modern literary construction of 'medievalism' (or 'romantic primitivism'), a construction that in turn frequently forms the necessary and logical setting for much of fantastic literature" (DiTommaso 151-52).16 DiTommaso defines "race-consciousness" as the ability to identify any person's vitality, strength, honor, and intelligence by sight; to know the person means to know the race, and vice versa (153). The means of identifying a person/race/culture/body include "color, dress, features, language, armor, style of combat, or religion." Such racial consciousness applies to everyone, not simply nonwhites or non-Westerners; for example, Conan becomes confused whenever characters exhibit differing racial characteristics simultaneously, such as red and yellow hair (DiTommaso 163). In like manner, in The Lord of the Rings, to know Gimli would be to know all dwarves. In today's terms, this could be called "essentialism" or even "cultural nationalism." Ultimately, DiTommaso absolves Howard (and us) of responsibility or "racist reasons" because "fantastic literature as a whole demands such medievalistic settings" (167). His oversimplification of medieval worldviews aside, DiTommaso fails to explain why contemporary authors and readers choose, love, and enjoy this mode today, in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.17

This odd logical lacuna seems to derive from his assumption about what "race" and "racism" mean. For DiTommaso, "the events of this century and the subsequent sensitivity to race on the part of a significant portion of today's population have led to general decline of skin color as a means of blatant ethnic identification in both fantastic and mainstream literature" (167). That is, because race has become a matter of "sensitivity" on the part of "a significant portion of today's population," we no longer use racist representations. But we should remember that, long ago, people used to do so, and we should give ourselves a hug for our modern multiculturalism.18

Likewise, film critics who can intelligently discuss the film's aesthetics and possible commentaries on war or other topics find themselves stymied when trying to discuss race (and gender and sexuality). In Slate's "The Year in Movies: A Cry in the Dark," an online discussion by prominent film critics, the conversation becomes mired in terms of identities, discourse, indeterminacy, and relativity.19 The conversation about race and politics ignites when LA. Times critic Manohla Dargis, after responding angrily to Village Voice critic J. Hoberman's suggestion that The Lord of the Rings was disliked by women because it is "more of a guy thing" (Mon.), asks, "Do you think that a lot of (American) critics have become reluctant to deal with movies politically for fear of being labeled 'politically correct'?" ("Year in Movies," Tues.).20 New York Times film critic A. O. Scott agrees that while "there is a political dimension to a great many movies . . . trying to establish it too early or evaluate it too dogmatically makes for dull and predictable criticism." In most cases, he argues, "the political implications of movies are either muddled . . . or opaque, and their connection to the world of actual politics becomes clear only in retrospect." Politics are indeterminable because each person's political beliefs are determined not only by "age, taste, gender, sexuality, or anything else," they are also often marked by "complexity, incoherence, and unpredictability," as well as "boredom" and "muddle-headedness" (Tues.). Dargis agrees that her own politics are "a big confusing jumble" and that she does not "look at movies through a specific political lens," so "I never want to write a review with some sort of (political) checklist in hand" (Wed.). Wesley Morris, film critic for the Boston Globe, concurs that "a lot of critics do fear dealing with movies' politics," either out of the "muddle" of one's own politics or "some kind of editorial pressure" (Wed.). And Scott agrees, "politics can be quite slippery and ambiguous-and, as often as not, reflections of the political inclinations and rhetorical skills of the people watching them" (Wed.). So the answer to the question that Scott poses-"Does Return of the King, with its martial sweep and its clearly demarcated lines of good and evil-racial lines, by the way, albeit drawn between imaginary races-stand as a mirror for our own times?" (Tues.)-remains, ultimately, indeterminate.

But we can understand the politics of a film like The Lord of the Rings in more complex and concrete ways. The "complexity," "muddle-headedness," and "incomprehensibility" of the debate about representation and race may have more to do with the premises of the debates than simply each person's innate confusion. Dargis starts down a productive path at one point, although she shies away from making any definitive statement:

Yes, the critic certainly, in part, defines a movie's politics. But there is a political dimension to even the most ostensibly nonpolitical film, just as there is a political dimension to clothes (Made in China . . . by slave labor!) and food (McDonalds or Slow Food-approved). There is a political dimension to how movie money is raised, what screen-writer and director are chosen, how many and what kind of theaters a film opens in, and it is naive to believe otherwise. Everyone decides what is important to them-how much compromise he or she can stand, and what he or she does with their contradictions. ("Year in Movies," Fri.)

In reflecting modern discourses of race (and gender and sexuality), these dialogues about fantasy, Lord of the Rings, and politics in films not only point to their own limitations, but also suggest possibilities for moving beyond a "checklist" or "litmus test" model of political analyses. As Columbia points out in his critique of Star Trek's liberal humanist take on race, when race hatred is seen as stemming from primordial, essential "hatred," there is no consideration of the possible "justifications" of anger, no reflection on the dynamics of one's own structures, organizations, and processes (for example, the Federation), nothing but a blissful Utopia of a future devoid of racial conflict:

Insofar as that rational-logical structure, the Federation, represents the white power structure in place in the U.S. (and the neutralizing and blinding ideology upon which it rests), the show offers us the spectacle of that power structure and of what we might call hegemonic whiteness watching the Watts riots in horror, while relying on its Utopian displacements to make those conflicts strange, alien, not part of "us" and significantly not our fault. (85)

We can see a similar dynamic operating with The Lord of the Rings. Although several critics note that the content of the novels and films depict overcoming fetishization, alienation, addiction, and other forms of subject-determination based on repression, the films function on willful repression. The experience is that our "selves" are okay because the kind of racial strife between the elves and the dwarves is, for us, a relic of the past. We are okay not only because it is "just a movie," but also because its production, marketing, and distribution is transnational and multicultural, as was suggested when white Danish-American actor Viggo Mortensen and New Zealander (ethnically Smoan) actor Sala Baker greeted one another at The Two Towers premiere with an affectionate head-butt ("Filming").21 But while The Lord of the Rings films were produced by and for multicultural societies putatively dedicated to racial, ethnic, and cultural harmony, the fantasy of cross-cultural cooperation and harmony draws on (while denying) racist discourses that are themselves "real" yet elusive. In doing so, the films obscure their own premises: the economic, political, social, and psychological processes that rely on, create, and exacerbate racism in our world.

The Postmodernism of The Lord of the Rings

Roland Barthes, Christian Metz, and other theorists of the cinematic apparatus have explored how the film form functions through the repression of the knowledge of irreality and difference, on the level of content (suspension of disbelief) and of form (the film-projection suppresses the difference between individual frames and different shots). Laurent Mannoni and semio-psychoanalytic critics theorize that it is not that viewers believe the content of the film is real; rather, viewers believe the apparatus itself, the camera-eye, the projection mechanism simply records "what is there" (Cha 352). And the viewer's (intentional) faith in the apparatus, premised on repression of knowledge of the mechanisms, reflects the subject's desire for unity, wholeness, and "Imaginary" oneness with the world and meaning.

But as Boyens and Jackson half-facetiously observe, today we no longer need assume a unitary form for film. Contemporary editing software on home computers enables anyone to reedit a film into whatever form they would like, so, as Jackson points out, "really there's no definitive Lord of the Rings" ("Audio," Two Towers). Furthermore, we no longer have the illusion that the camera "merely captures" anything; not only do the DVD extras and countless interviews demonstrate the incredible amount of technical and artistic skill that went into creating the special effects, we have the reality of multiple possible films (theatrical release, extended or "director's cut" version, DVD manipulation of favorite scenes, home DVD-editing software, network television broadcast). In fact, Jackson continues, "one extended cut can speak to another extended cut, independently of the theatrical version" ("Audio," Two Towers). For example, the Faramir/Boromir/Denethor storyline exists almost entirely in the extended versions of The Two Towers and, we can presume, the forthcoming The Return of the King extended cut. In fact, astute viewers, particularly those familiar with filmmaking and editing processes, note that some back-story appears to be missing in theatrical releases, and they assume and expect they will see more scenes in the later editions.22 So not only do we not believe that the fantasy on screen is real-particularly with fantasy and sci-fi films-but we no longer even have the fantasy that the camera is unitary or simply captures, technologically, reality. We are no longer (if we ever really were) "passive viewers"; now we can literally make and remake the film any way we choose. And the films' DVD extras are highly entertaining viewing in their own right. All these things, including breakthrough technical innovation, have simply become part of the expected enterprise of each new blockbuster film.

Do these changes in film mean that we no longer require a conscious or unconscious reaffirmation of subjectivity via the "Imaginary" of the apparently unified cinematic image? Is viewing a film no longer the "dream-like" or "womb-like" experience articulated by Barthes, Metz, and others? On the contrary, although today we have a greater understanding of, appreciation for, and even assumption of sophistication and innovation in filmmaking, particularly of fantasy and sci-fi films, we are more deeply buried in the fantasy-or "enchanted"-than ever. Our "re-enchantment," as we might put it, is bound up with the films' profound postmodernism in two interrelated but distinct senses of the term: the formal/aesthetic and the economic/structural. I will focus on the latter, although the former also calls for discussion.23

The films' production and distribution epitomize the logic of global late capitalism: transnational labor forces (both in terms of recruiting skilled workers from anywhere in the world as well as in terms of core nation/First World capital utilizing periphery/non-West labor), global and diversified marketing and merchandising, and an increasing emphasis in developed/First World countries on information/technology industries and short-term, nonunionized, mobile labor. First Miramax and then New Line financed The Lord of the Rings films, but the actual production was relegated to lower-cost New Zealand. Renowned Tolkien artist Alan Lee, whom Jackson recruited along with John Howe to help design the film, speaks of the film as a "huge collaborative process," involving over three thousand crew members and over three hundred people in the art department who worked for three to four years to create Middle-earth ("Designing"). Richard Taylor, the president, supervisor, and spiritual guru of Weta Workshop, discusses how he hired principally young New Zealand artists who did not necessarily have film experience but had a solid background in art ("Designing"). Artisans, craftspeople, and artists in New Zealand who could make swords, costumes, sets, masks, and a wide variety of objects-in both traditional and innovative ways-were contracted for this film, working "day and night" for several years ("Designing"). Although the films were shot in New Zealand, the cast, crew, and others involved with the production and marketing were international. Specialized information- and technology-innovators were brought in from all over the world for this short-term project designed for mass global consumption. In various ways, these workers are information/technology workers, not quite "part-time" but nevertheless temporary, mobile, young, and not unionized.

The final product both hides and exposes all this labor. The obscuring of technical wizardry and aesthetic manipulation characterizes not only contemporary fantasy/sci-fi films but, in various ways, films, texts, and other works of art in the past. But, as claimed repeatedly by Jackson, Taylor, and others, in contrast to the delightfully cheesy Harryhausen movies and even the original Star Wars films, the breakthrough of The Lord of the Rings is the incredible realism of the fantasy.24 Also hidden is state support and involvement in the production of this high-tech export product. The New Zealand army not only constructed the bridge, but also built roads and planted the trees and gardens for Hobbiton at Matamata ("Audio," Fellowship; "Designing"). At the same time, the film's marketing strategy entails recording all this information and selling it as a product. The Lord of the Rings franchise broke and is breaking ground not only in terms of technical filmmaking, but also in its innovative, synergistic marketing strategies. "The modern strategies of the big Hollywood companies" entail far more than the film itself; merchandizing and marketing campaigns involve repeat viewings, DVDs (in original formats, extended versions, and extra appendices), free web publicity, video games, infotainment as advertisements on networks like the Sci Fi channel, magazines, etc. (Thompson 61). As Kristin Thompson observes, "A fantasy film, especially as part of a franchise and even more especially as part of a franchise with an existing fan base, can generate enormous income from licensed merchandise and tie-ins" (58). New Line and AOL, both subsidiaries of Time Warner, also broke new ground in their savvy manipulation of the internet publicity campaign, "controlling rather than thwarting" piracy for publicity reaching over 65 million people around the world (Thompson 54-57).

But while the films were made by people from several countries (primarily New Zealand, the US, England, and Australia) who constitute an increasingly transnational popular culture in a global economy, New Zealand itself remains marked by the history of colonialism and imperialism in two senses. As a former British colony, New Zealanders retain cultural, economic, and political ties to the former Mother Country. Beyond the general influence of British television on Jackson, particularly the work of veterans Bernard Hill (Theoden) and Christopher Lee (Saruman) ("Audio," Two Towers), several other references to former colonial relations appear throughout interviews and the DVD commentaries.25 Furthermore, the Maori, Tagata Pasefika (people of Pacific Island descent), and the entire country continue to struggle with economic, racial, and cultural problems.

Traditionally, New Zealand has prided itself on its commitment to diversity and progressiveness, particularly in opposition to Australia, currently getting a very different kind of publicity with the success of the film Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002). As Jane Kelsey puts it, the country "used to claim credit as the first country to give women the vote, as the birthplace of the welfare state, for a harmonious multiracial society and, more recently, for being 'clean, green and nuclear free'" (1). But as Paul Spoonley points out, the importance of race and ethnicity, particularly in terms of Maori and Tagata Pasefika marginalization, has in fact increased since economic restructuring and its aftereffects ("Mahi Awatea?" 62).

Like many countries that emphasized industrialization in the decades following World War II, New Zealand restructured its economic and social policies in the 1980s, shifting from a reliance on manufacturing and state-sponsored services to deregulation, flexible accumulation, and information-, technology-, and service-based industries, in order to compete in the emerging global economy. The "New Zealand experiment," as it has been dubbed, is a "model of pure neo-liberal economic theory," enacted by a Labor government between 1984 and 1990, continued by the National government in 1995, and praised by the World Bank, the Economist, and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as an "international success story" (Kelsey I).26 As the underclass, which consists of disproportionate numbers of Maoris and Tagata Pasefika, loses jobs and relies on an ever-shrinking state support system, the discourses of race have also changed: "traditional forms of hostility (racism) have been reproduced at the same time as the more sympathetic positions amongst Pakeha have evolved" (Spoonley, "Mahi Awatea?" 63). That is, the effects of the "restructuring of international capital and the revision of state policies in capitalist countries" with an eye toward "global integration of production, trade, and finance" (Ongley 22) contradict and complicate New Zealand's narrative-shared by many in other First World nations-that racism is on the decline and "diversity," whether national liberal multiculturalism or transnationalism and cosmopolitanism, is on the rise.

The overall impact on the economy and social structures should not be unfamiliar to those living in the US. Between 1985 and 1994 in New Zealand, twenty-seven thousand manufacturing jobs were lost, while jobs in the "tertiary sector" (that is wholesale/retail trades, service industries, and business/financial services) increased (Ongley 23; Kelsey 376). Many of these positions were part-time, a trend that has been dubbed or "McDonaldisation," that is the "casualisation" of work (Spoonley, "Mahi Awatea?" 69). In addition, many of these new jobs are characterized by "intensification," where "in order to increase productivity, many have to work harder and with fewer opportunities to earn overtime or penal rates," as well as "underemployment," or "when workers are working part-time but would like to work more hours." Most of these jobs have no benefits, job security, or union representation, and two-thirds of part-time workers are women (Spoonley, "Mahi Awatea?" 68-69).27 Donald G. Baker parallels these new socioeconomic dynamics to the vision, developed in the works of Alain Touraine, of "emergent technocracies" with three major classes: the "players" or "small technological elite"; the "operatives" who are "trained and educated blue- and white-collar workers"; and the marginal "underclass," or the large number of dispossessed who are ignored by public policy and society, either "through benign neglect or views that hold such individuals responsible for their own 'condition' in the emergent sink-or-swim society" (795).

Such economic restructuring seeks to make New Zealand competitive in the global economy, but it has also directly impacted ethnie and race relations in New Zealand. Maori and Tagata Pasefika, who provided much of the labor required during the postwar expansion years, have found themselves increasingly cast aside (Spoonley et al., "Migration" 12). The Maori had traditionally held many of the jobs lost when thirty state agencies, including the post office, railway, and forestry service, were privatized and corporatized (Spoonley, "Mahi Awatea?" 66). Furthermore, Maori and Tagata Pasefika employment has traditionally been concentrated in lower-tier jobs and in industries that used to be protected by the state, such as "shearing, seasonal orchard and horticultural work, freezing works" (Spoonley, "Mahi Awatea?" 71). The Maori have also suffered significant losses in jobs that they have traditionally held, like "driver, labourer, machinery operator and assemblers"; only Tagata Pasefika, Spoonley notes, are clustered more in these jobs ("Mahi Awatea?" 67).28 Overall, cuts in manufacturing and state-related jobs led to a two-thirds decline in employment between 1985 and 1989, and 80 percent of those who lost their jobs were Maori. In other words, one in four Maori who were employed in March 1987 had lost their job two years later (Spoonley, "Mahi Awatea?" 65-66).29 While one-third of whites in New Zealand are in the working class, one-half of Maori and two-thirds of Tagata Pasefika are proletarian (Loomis 67).

The changes in economic and social policy would not be inherently problematic if the labor forces recruited during the years of manufacturing expansion were not cast aside, but today, in the new economy, many of these workers lack the "education and training required to take advantage of the new areas of employment growth" (Ongley 23). The second and third generations (descendents of immigrants and migrants) are not, generally, moving out of their parents' class, for many of the same reasons that class is racialized (and vice versa) in the US-lack of educational resources and opportunities, cultural stereotypes, institutional discrimination, etc. So despite the emerging, increasingly disparate class system, the divide between Maori/Tagata Pasefika and the rest of New Zealanders is seen in terms of a "racial problem" (Spoonley, "Mahi Awatea?" 58-59). Or, paralleling moves by DiTommaso, the Slate film critics, Jackson, and Curry, structural, ethical, and systemic problems are cast in terms of identity, culture, and race.30

Such conditions are clearly not limited to New Zealand. Citing William J. Wilson's When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor, Baker compares the New Zealand underclass to the "dispossessed class of urban blacks and whites" around the world, "individuals or groups with limited skills, education or capital" who are "faced with the possibility of structural unemployment or subsistence-paying jobs" (795). Terrence Loomis connects the New Zealand economy to the common factors and history of underdevelopment: "unequal terms of trade, onerous credit arrangements, foreign dominated capital formation, fluctuating commodity prices dictated by metropolitan markets, costly bureaucracies and reliance on aid and remittances" (9-10). In the Pacific and other places, Loomis points out, underdevelopment is "reproduced by the particular form of articulation between capitalist and pre-capitalist modes of production" (10), and he goes on to echo Robert Miles's words from Racism and Migrant Labor that '"uneven capitalist development is both the precondition and cause of the internationalization of the labour market'" (11). The conflict between modernist and postmodernist forms of accumulation explicated by David Harvey in The Condition of Postmodernity actually exacerbates not only uneven economic development, but also the racial divides and discourses that characterize developing and developed nations.

These processes rely on the burial of race-or the privileging of certain conceptions of race and the denial of others. As Loomis notes, modern "paternalistic racism usually relies on the denial of the fact of its own existence" (120-21). Liberal analyses of race relations, relying on the basic relativity of values, ethics, and viewpoints, are premised on the notion that racial conflict arises from identity/ ethnicity/culture. But "racism and ethnic categorization," Loomis argues, "are important means of class domination which are given effect through individual behavior, institutional policy and public ideological discourses" (4). Limiting the terms of the debate to identity and discourse does not, ultimately, explain the processes that unevenly distribute resources and divide potential working-class allies by racial animosities, often over a manufactured, unnecessary scarcity of resources (Loomis 4).31

In A Dream Deferred, David Pearson argues that liberal multiculturalisms that locate questions of race in identity, discourse, or culture actually contribute to processes of exploitation and marginalization:

Problems arise . . . when multiculturalism is used as a legitimizing label for policies which practice a fraudulent alternative, one which disassociates multiculturalism from equality of opportunity and thereby opens the way to de facto differential incorporation. Multiculturalism might mean little more than the encouragement of cultural diversity in private lives while no attempt is made to redress discrimination in the public domain. Pakeha elites are content to encourage cultural diversity in the arts, recreation, and cuisine-this is unthreatening, enjoyable, and enhances the tourist industry to boot-but power imbalances between ethnic groups remain untouched. (233-34)

And, one could add, purely cultural multiculturalism is easily assimilable into fantasies that draw on a polyglot of cultures, in content and form. For example, The Lord of the Rings filmmakers note that the funeral of Théodon's son Theodred (cut from the theatrical version) combines an Old English elegy, sung by Éowyn, with the Maori custom in which the men hand the body to the women ("Audio," Two Towers).

This is certainly not to return to the claim that race (or gender or sexuality) should be subsumed under economics. But discussions of discourses and semiotics of race without links to concrete political, economic, and social structures and processes lead to relativity and ambiguity. If we limit ourselves to discourse, then what basis do we have to evaluate even the relative justice and/or merits of certain claims and beliefs? Even if we reject the idea that there is "one truth" and that anyone has direct and clear access to it-and I do reject that notion-then what are our bases for distinguishing between truths, myths, ideals, and interpretations? The answer does not lie in the miasma of confusion that postmodernism leads us into. Andrew Sharp points out that although we must understand that neither Pakeha nor Maori are monolithic, "it is not a postmodern debate. Although the identities of the subjects and agents of justice may be fluid and 'constructed' . . . the identities at stake are as real as concrete human lives can and do make them" (317).

So the shift in our understanding of, relationship to, and role in cinematic form has not necessarily translated into a critical grappling with the idea of the unitary self at one with the world, premised on the repression of desire, difference, conflict, and exploitation. The production of The Lord of the Rings draws on the processes and logic of postmodernism, while the content of the film completely denies any such thing-it stresses identification, unity, moral clarity, wholeness, justice, etc. The film is the ideal product in the new global economy, completely marketable, merchandise-able, and multiplyable into various versions, tie-ins, "news," etc. In other words, The Lord of the Rings juggernaut epitomizes postmodernism as the logic of late capitalism, moral and cultural relativism, corporate synergy, and/or the use of any and all formal and technological styles. In this light, the aesthetic forms of postmodernism appear to be the most benign. But the film and too many discussions of race assume that, first, racial conflict is simply a relic of the modern/premodern past (particularly a conception of the Middle Ages that fantasy as a genre, for some reason, is compelled to draw upon), and, second, racial conflict is simply a matter of identity, ethnicity, culture, and, in short, race. These "enchantments" of postmodernism have concrete, material, and identifiable consequences in our world.

So the most powerful, ubiquitous, and destructive fantasy is not The L ord of the Ringst Ie but certain aspects of postmodernism itself. In her essay on the representation of aborigines in twentiethcentury Australian fiction, Helen Daniel notes that the aboriginal and white sense of self emerge together in novels that consider past and present not in terms of personal experience alone but in terms of "the public world of historical event felt as a weight clamping down the present" (58). While The Lord of the Rings films mimic a situation where the past weighs on the present and future (both in terms of Middle-earth's fictional history as well as the Middle Ages, the World Wars, the Cold War, etc.), the production, distribution, and consumption of the films are premised on the repudiation of fundamental parts of not only the past, but also the present. That is, while the story stresses the importance and power of history, continuity, identity, and ethics, the films rely on discontinuity, alienation, moral vacuity, and suppressed pasts and presents. The films' "racializations," drawing on popular racial discourses, mystify race into the abstract (it is there but not), ignoring and denying the actual political realities of racialization and late capitalism while relying on those very processes.

I want to end by considering briefly what in the films and novels might be useful, not in terms of a "litmus test" of race or postmodernity, but in terms of what they may offer us. One key component of these texts certainly is the sense that we are fallible and sometimes cannot foretell the ultimate effects or purposes of our own actions. Charles Nelson explores how Gollum, despite his treachery, is a twist on the classical "guide": he leads Frodo to Mount Doom as well as to compassion (60). In the novels this is cast as being part of "a higher order, a greater plan" (Nelson 56). In similar ways, our best (liberal) intentions can serve processes and purposes beyond our immediate range of vision if we are not constantly vigilant and self-critical. To resign ourselves to our limitations, to relinquish hope that we can truly move beyond ourselves-this is contingency and relativism.

The implicit liberal-conservative consensus on the discourse of race relies on such postmodern contingency and relativism. Discourses of race, or any other politics for that matter, cannot remain on the level of discourse for the very reason that Curry points out: texts are multilayered and created (and re-created) in the act of viewing and reading. This is why The Lord of the Rings can and has been read as both conservative to the point of fascism as well as radically antiestablishment. C. N. Manlove observes,

The trilogy came out just when disillusion among the American young at the Vietnam war and the state of their own country was at a peak. Tolkien's fantasy offered an image of the kind of rural conservationist ideal or escape for which they were looking (it also could be seen as describing, through the overthrow of Sauron, the destruction of the U.S.). In this way The Lord of the Rings could be enlisted in support of passive resistance and idealism on the one hand and of draft-dodging and drugs on the other. (157)

The novels and films can and do have very real impacts on the world, but not only at the level of myths and ideals. Tolkien himself sometimes rejected such simplistic romanticism. Discussing Tolkien's essay "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son," Manlove notes that for Tolkien, "heroism has a place . . . only when it has a firm grip on the real world" (288).

Shippey points out that Tolkien's notions of evil also arise from the real world, placing Tolkien among modern writers such as George Orwell, William Golding, and T. H. White who "expressed in their highly different ways . . . that people could never be trusted, least of all if they expressed a wish for the betterment of humanity" (116-17). To Shippey, "the major disillusionment of the twentieth century has been over political good intentions, which have led only to gulags and killing fields" (117). What we need to do is differentiate the wholesale rejection of socialism and progressive politics implicit in many such arguments about the fallibility of people, from the very valid point that human beings are complex individuals in structures and groups, making history but not in conditions of their own choosing.

At the same time-and I think this is equally important-we should not discount the importance of those myths, ideals, and discourses to our lives. Indeed, neither "the real" nor "the discursive" makes any sense without the other; they are dialectically related and mutually determinant. The problem today, particularly in discussions of race and representation, is that our sophistication and/or quantity of discourse has far outpaced and neglected our attention to "the real." These are profoundly postmodern films (in many respects) of a determinedly antimodern or modernist text. Frodo recognizes his limitations (inadequate knowledge, fear, parochialism, weakness, addiction), honestly assesses the world around him on the information he finds, and risks everything for justice and freedom; the world in which we live sees all three of these actions as irrelevant and/or impossible.32

Perhaps, for various aesthetic, formal, and technical reasons, texts are shallow compared to the "real" world; but whether this is true or not, we do not need to be limited by texts, reading practices, and discourses. In other words, simply because a text's meaning may remain unfixed (because constantly created anew), ethics, politics, and other idea and ideals of our world-which of course include those texts-need not remain wholly indeterminate. Although postmodernism claims to reject metanarratives, it relies on the narrative that we have moved from premodern and modern worlds that naively believed in ethics, structures, and justice, to a postmodern world where these things are all hopelessly indeterminate. In other words, postmodernism is the politics of despair. Economically, socially, and aesthetically, postmodernism is a valid and valuable descriptive and analytical concept; politically and epistemologically, it ignores the ways that some modern phenomena-exploitation, racism, repression, and even hope and justice-are not relics of the past.

On the director and writers' commentary track at the conclusion of The Two Towers, Boyens and Walsh discuss how they had written themselves into a corner when Frodo asks, "What are we holding onto, Sam?" They had to stop and ask one another, what are they holding onto? Finally, they invented the line, "There's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for." I could not agree more.



Notes

1. The original Matrix film (1999), as laughably atrocious as Reloaded and Resurrection may have been, at least attempted to be ethnically sensitive and diverse. Zion is a multiracial city, and each ship's crew pointedly includes nonwhite members. The film's principal heroes include Lawrence Fishburne (Morpheus) and Jada Pinkett Smith (Niobe), and the chief villain Agent Smith is played by Hugo Weaving (who also plays Elrond in The Lord of the Rings), Beyond their status as major franchises, Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Matrix, and The Lord of the Rings films also share production crews and techniques. Graham Fuller notes that the original Star Wars trilogy "borrowed much of its iconography from The Lord of the Rings" (20), and Eric Bauer discusses The Lord of the Rings's similarities to the Harry Potter films. Peter Jackson has discussed visiting Skywalker Ranch before filming and getting significant help with "previsualization" computer technology ("Visualizing"). At one point in Fellowship, instead of "spies of Saruman," Ian McKellen (Gandalf) supposedly joked, "spies of Star Wars" ("Audio," Fellowship); Christopher Lee (Saruman) played Count Dukuu in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and The Lord of the Rings producer Barrie Osborne, supervising digital colorist Peter Doyle, and actor Hugo Weaving (Elrond) worked on The Matrix. In terms of artistic success, however, J. Hoberman of the Village Voice sees no comparison at all: "The Matrix trilogy imploded; the Star Wars series seems but a pale Tinkertoy Tolkien imitation."

2. My focus is on the films as modern and postmodern phenomena. As Stephen Glosecki and others point out, much of the original medieval color schema that Tolkien drew on had little or nothing to do with race or racism in contemporary terms. My interest in both Tolkien and the films lies in the use of such color schemes, symbols, and other imagery in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, when such things do bear racial baggage. In other words, even when the original sources are not racial, and while I acknowledge that we have to understand the past in its full complexity to understand the present, in this article my focus remains the significance of the films in the present, in modern contexts, for modern audiences, and with modern motives, assumptions, and psyches.

3. Although the novels share many of these characteristics, in Tolkien's texts the character of Aragorn symbolically unites various colors and must establish peace with the Southrons and Easterlings after the final battles. In other words, partly due to the novels' ability to explore symbolism, diplomacy and war, culture and history in greater depth and subtlety, the novels' black-and-white coding, while still strongly apparent, is more ambivalent than in the films.

4. Glosecki notes that the Rohirrim are based on "Germanic warband society," and Éowyn and Eomer's songs "tend to reflect the alliterative line of classical German verse." Furthermore, Théoden means, roughly, "ruler of the people" in Old English.

5. Interestingly Christopher Lee has also appeared as the title character in The Face of Fu Manchu (1965}. Also, in the novel, when Saruman reveals his alliance with Sauron, he "comes out" as "Saruman of Many Colours." As Gandalf recounts, "I looked then and saw that his robes, which had seemed white, were not so, but were woven of all colours, and if he moved they shimmered and changed hue so that the eye was bewildered." Gandalf counters Saruman's reply with, "I liked white better," but Saruman merely sneers, "White cloth may be dyed. The white page can be overwritten; and the white light can be broken" (260; bk. 2, ch. 2). When Isengard falls, Gandalf not only banishes Saruman from the White Council, but also strips him of all color (587; bk. 3, ch. 10). At the end of Return of'the King, Saruman appears in "rags of grey or dirty white," and he looks at the hobbits "darkly with his black eyes" (995; bk. 6, ch. 6 / 1031; bk. 6, ch. 8). In terms of color coding, Saruman's journey is the obverse of Gandalf's.

6. The only direct reference to "the Black Speech" in The Lord of the Rings is found in Appendix F, 1139-40.

7. The various goblins, ores, and Uruk-hai also often speak with working-class cockney accents.

8. Brendan Helmuth asks why the villains in the first film are all "rastafarians."

9. Makoare also played "Macenus/Barbarian Leader" in a 1995 episode of Xena: The Warrior Princess and "Mr. KiI" in 2002's Die Another Day. Asked why indigenous people always play villains, he replies, "I always play the bad guys . . . it's a type cast thing. ... I am not upset about it ... whether you play the bad guys or good guys, the pay is the same. 5 bucks, heh"; in New Zealand, he continues, "everyone knows me as the bad guy. ... I think I'm the first choice" ("Impromptu Chat"). Makoare also voiced Lurtz (Makoare, "Interview").

10. On the actors' commentary track, Sean Astin enthuses about the Easterlings' "South Asian" look. Elijah Wood points out humorously, "Soldiers do wear eyeliner. I just wanted to point that out. They do." And Andy Serkis (Gollum) replies, "Easterlings particularly" (Astin, Wood, and Serkis).

11. In a scene cut from the theatrical release (and thought by Sam in the novel), Faramir wonders aloud about the humanity of a fallen Easterling. Jackson argues that this addresses Tolkien's critics: "People say that he's racist, people say that he's prowar," but such a scene "could only have been written by somebody who had first-hand experience of war as Tolkien

--------------------
Why do you choose to mimic these wack MCs?
Why do you choose to listen to R&B?

"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to." Leela

*puts emceeing in a box*

  

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Nettrice
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Tue Dec-20-05 08:09 AM

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106. "Interesting"
In response to Reply # 104


  

          

>I don't particularly like this essay but I might as well show
>another side of the argument. The ideas it deals with are
>similar to the ones Nettrice talks about I think.

The depiction of race, class, and gender in film is an interesting discussionif people were more willing and able to engage but most folks want escapism without critical thought about media. This is why teaching media literacy has been such a challenge for some of my students. King Kong gives me some ideas for next semester. I think both KK and LOTR serve as excellent examples of white male supremacy in film but that's a discussion for another time.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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Doc Maestro
Member since May 12th 2005
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Tue Dec-20-05 03:41 AM

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105. "i think it's pure coincidence he happens to take on these epics"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

created by writers who may have been racists.

also, first person to find me a black wizard, elf, dwarf and three hairy footed fools wins.

sheeeeit

  

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Jon
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Tue Dec-20-05 08:57 AM

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107. "since when do white men think of black men as sexually insecure?"
In response to Reply # 0


          

same people saying this have accused white men of feeling sexually inadequate to black men. yall need to make up your minds about what you think people like me think.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Tue Dec-20-05 09:12 AM

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108. "Um, your reading it wrong Jon..."
In response to Reply # 107


  

          

the sexual insecurity IS with white men... not black men.
C'mon now you got jokes or what?
peace.

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Who's fucking wit B More right now?

"Freedom is a Lie" - the animals

  

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foxnesn
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Tue Dec-20-05 09:24 AM

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109. "here is the real question"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue Dec-20-05 09:44 AM by foxnesn

  

          

was this movie made purposely with racial undertones/overtones or is the movie a result of societal behavior. if the former, then please make your case proving that peter jackson and the producers of this movie along with the studio owners/operaters are subliminally hating on black people. you cant simply state things that happen in the movie because i can argue coincidence. you actually have to prove they are racist people. they have a history of racism, not in making movies, but in their daily actions and deeds. but since none of you actually knows jackson/producers et al then you have no real arguement here. and if its the latter then you have no room to reason to complain because jackson/producers et al are just victims of society. in conclusion, this debate/conversation is a complete waste of space and time.

  

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Nettrice
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Tue Dec-20-05 09:42 AM

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110. "Who is the moron?"
In response to Reply # 109
Tue Dec-20-05 09:44 AM by Nettrice

  

          

The depiction of race, class, and gender in film is an interesting discussion if people were more willing and able to engage but most folks want escapism without critical thought about media. This is why teaching media literacy has been such a challenge for some of my students. King Kong gives me some ideas for next semester. I think both KK and LOTR serve as excellent examples of white male supremacy in film...

If Jackson decided to remake Birth of a Nation would that make it any less racist? Everyone I've talked to who has seen KK has said there is some element of racism in the film. Most will not argue that KK came from a mindset of Jim Crow and white supremacy, on the fumes of BON. D.W. Griffith had already explored white supremacy in film more than a decade later. So fast forward to 2005 and people like to have selective amnesia when it comes to KK...both producers and viewers but that does not make the story and symbolism any less racist.

I am not attacking Jackson as a person. I am attacking KK and the values that still perpetuate white supremacy in the media.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Tue Dec-20-05 09:47 AM

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112. "Exactly."
In response to Reply # 110


  

          

Damn. Why is it so hard for white boys to grasp?

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foxnesn
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113. "what for?"
In response to Reply # 110


  

          

>The depiction of race, class, and gender in film is an
>interesting discussion if people were more willing and able to
>engage but most folks want escapism without critical thought
>about media. This is why teaching media literacy has been such
>a challenge for some of my students. King Kong gives me some
>ideas for next semester. I think both KK and LOTR serve as
>excellent examples of white male supremacy in film...
>
>If Jackson decided to remake Birth of a Nation would that make
>it any less racist? Everyone I've talked to who has seen KK
>has said there is some element of racism in the film. Most
>will not argue that KK came from a mindset of Jim Crow and
>white supremacy, on the fumes of BON. D.W. Griffith had
>already explored white supremacy in film more than a decade
>later. So fast forward to 2005 and people like to have
>selective amnesia when it comes to KK...both producers and
>viewers but that does not make the story and symbolism any
>less racist.
>
>I am not attacking Jackson as a person. I am attacking KK and
>the values that still perpetuate white supremacy in the
>media.

why attack these values? where will it get you? we all realize movies are still made with racial undertones.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Tue Dec-20-05 09:53 AM

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115. "do we?"
In response to Reply # 113


  

          

and if we do are you saying black folks should just sit back and shut up? Not discuss this? that's like saying 'we all realize they are burning a cross on your lawn'... okay and what next then?

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foxnesn
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117. "RE: do we?"
In response to Reply # 115


  

          

>and if we do are you saying black folks should just sit back
>and shut up? Not discuss this? that's like saying 'we all
>realize they are burning a cross on your lawn'... okay and
>what next then?

well, you have all obviously come to the conclusion that this mans work is patently racist but yet no one seems to go any further.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Tue Dec-20-05 09:58 AM

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119. "No one seems to go any further? You didn't read a damn thing.."
In response to Reply # 117


  

          

did you? Your ridiculous.

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foxnesn
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122. "RE: No one seems to go any further? You didn't read a damn thing.."
In response to Reply # 119


  

          

>did you? Your ridiculous.

no one has proven jackson/producers/studio are racists and no one has proven that the racial undertones in this movie causes white people to hate or stereotype black people. so rather waste time and space argueing over things that only exist in your head, why not either steer the conversation in a new direction or find a new one alltogether.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Tue Dec-20-05 10:15 AM

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124. "Um... actually genius... that wasn't the point of this post..."
In response to Reply # 122


  

          

again... try grasping it's purpose...
and the reason why no one is responding to you is because all it takes is just a little ocmmon sense to understand the purpose of this post.. I mean you have upteen wonderful responses..
the point of this post is Subliminal Racism = Peter Jackson's WORK!
Why is that so fucking hard to grasp?
It's like when white people know something is wrong, they dance all around it. No different than Bush getting caught for wiretaps and is now blaiming the press for leaks... ?!!??!?!?! Amazing.
Just read.... if your so dissapointed in this post (as only a superior 'better than you are' white person would be) then just sit back and read and don't contribute... we don't need YOUR contribution trust...
hahaha...

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foxnesn
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135. "my point is you have no point"
In response to Reply # 124


  

          

>again... try grasping it's purpose...
>and the reason why no one is responding to you is because all
>it takes is just a little ocmmon sense to understand the
>purpose of this post.. I mean you have upteen wonderful
>responses..
>the point of this post is Subliminal Racism = Peter Jackson's
>WORK!
>Why is that so fucking hard to grasp?
>It's like when white people know something is wrong, they
>dance all around it. No different than Bush getting caught
>for wiretaps and is now blaiming the press for leaks...
>?!!??!?!?! Amazing.
>Just read.... if your so dissapointed in this post (as only a
>superior 'better than you are' white person would be) then
>just sit back and read and don't contribute... we don't need
>YOUR contribution trust...
>hahaha.

what the fuck does it matter if jackons's work is according to you subliminal racism? firstly, you cant prove him to be a racist because you dont know how he acts in his day to day activities. you cant point to a million little things in his movies, but it doesnt add up to shit in regards to his personal beliefs. i can argue it all as coincidence and then where would you be? back to the drawing point creating more retarded arguements having to do with absolutely nothing. aqua you are not raising awareness to anything new. racism exists if you want it to, simple as that. why waste a whole fucking thread on it when you could actually be doing something useful. talk about beating a dead horse.second, you cant blame jackson for his work being racist since i can simply argue he is a victim to what society has held up. big deal.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Tue Dec-20-05 02:00 PM

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136. "um, again... HIS WORK IS RACIST..."
In response to Reply # 135


  

          

I don't know Peter jackson. So therefore all I can do is focus on his work. your trivializing. Bottome line... read the posts...
there is enough information on here that breaks down both King Kong and LOTR... to re-make these films shows that either he know what he's up to... or if he doesn't... just how comfortable he is in his own bubble... bottom line... I'm sure the cat who remade Planet of the Apes is unaware of the subliminal racism in that film too...
yeah, ok. Got it. Thanks.

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foxnesn
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137. "you are being obtuse"
In response to Reply # 136


  

          

>I don't know Peter jackson. So therefore all I can do is
>focus on his work. your trivializing. Bottome line... read
>the posts...
>there is enough information on here that breaks down both King
>Kong and LOTR... to re-make these films shows that either he
>know what he's up to... or if he doesn't... just how
>comfortable he is in his own bubble... bottom line... I'm sure
>the cat who remade Planet of the Apes is unaware of the
>subliminal racism in that film too...
>yeah, ok. Got it. Thanks.

again, wtf is the point? what have you accomplished? nothing!

  

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AquamansWrath
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138. "thanks for the observation. Everyone appreciates it."
In response to Reply # 137


  

          

Now you are free to go. Smile.

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Delete me
Member since Aug 27th 2002
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Fri May-26-06 12:50 AM

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192. "Let me correct you"
In response to Reply # 136


          

it's both racist and not racist, hence it's neither.

Too complex? Think about it.

My problem with your post is that it's clearly based on dichotomies. Working with dichotomies doesn't change anything, it only perpetuates everything you're criticizing.

  

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moot_point
Member since Mar 22nd 2005
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Fri May-26-06 05:23 AM

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199. "RE: Let me correct you"
In response to Reply # 192
Fri May-26-06 05:41 AM by moot_point

          

>it's both racist and not racist, hence it's neither.
>
>Too complex? Think about it.
>
>My problem with your post is that it's clearly based on
>dichotomies. Working with dichotomies doesn't change anything,
>it only perpetuates everything you're criticizing.

A bit early in the morning for Derrida and the like, don't you think?

  

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AquamansWrath
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Fri May-26-06 09:04 AM

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200. "Wow... I posted this months ago"
In response to Reply # 199


  

          

archeology...

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Delete me
Member since Aug 27th 2002
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Fri May-26-06 01:21 PM

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201. "Of course"
In response to Reply # 200


          

but I likes stuff like that

  

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AquamansWrath
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208. "RE: Of course"
In response to Reply # 201


  

          

haha... true... and good for you... namean.. we need more cats discussing this kind of issue.

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Nettrice
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Tue Dec-20-05 10:20 AM

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125. "Actually there are studies"
In response to Reply # 122


  

          

That show the intent of Hollywood studios to promote Jim Crow and white supremacy in film/media. There are also studies on the effects of these messages on white people and people of color.

http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/resources/lessonplans/hs_es_popular_culture.htm
http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/history/history.htm

Jan Nederveen Pieterse wrote an interesting book called White on Black: Images of African and Blacks in Western Popular Culture. This supports the site/info on Jim Crow History.

Also, http://www.accel-team.com/pygmalion/ is an example of the effects of self-fulfilling prophecy in business and education.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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Nettrice
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Tue Dec-20-05 10:24 AM

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126. "RE: what for?"
In response to Reply # 113


  

          

>why attack these values? where will it get you? we all realize
>movies are still made with racial undertones.

I, for one, like to think critically about media and the messages that only perpetuate a status quo that is oppressive to many, beneficial to a few. I do not think people know that there are racial undertones in media because they tell me that have to see a movie like King Kong twice to realize the messages. There is a time for entertainment but not at my peoples' expense.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Tue Dec-20-05 10:44 AM

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127. "trust me love... you have more than explained yourself"
In response to Reply # 126


  

          

and given great examples... if he doesn't understand he simply doesn't want to...

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AquamansWrath
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Tue Dec-20-05 09:46 AM

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111. "hey brightspot... read the title... "Peter Jackson's WORK" so..."
In response to Reply # 109


  

          

who's the moron?

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foxnesn
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Tue Dec-20-05 09:51 AM

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114. "RE: hey brightspot... read the title... "Peter Jackson's WORK" so..."
In response to Reply # 111


  

          

uh, well since you obviously didnt understand my question, you are.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Tue Dec-20-05 09:54 AM

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116. "No I completely understood it... your the easy part..."
In response to Reply # 114


  

          

but just try reading the title before commenting.

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foxnesn
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Tue Dec-20-05 09:57 AM

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118. "RE: No I completely understood it... your the easy part..."
In response to Reply # 116


  

          

wtf are you talking about? answer the damn question

  

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
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Tue Dec-20-05 09:59 AM

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120. "Your too self righteous... and you didn't read a ounce of this post"
In response to Reply # 118


  

          

not to mention you were wrong about the purpose of this post...
trying reading it first before you start shooting off at the hip.

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foxnesn
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Tue Dec-20-05 10:02 AM

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121. "RE: Your too self righteous... and you didn't read a ounce of this post"
In response to Reply # 120


  

          

>not to mention you were wrong about the purpose of this
>post...
>trying reading it first before you start shooting off at the
>hip.

i wasnt wrong about the purpose of this post, i was raising new questions you asshat. apparently that isnt allowed tho. please take your youthful angst away from me, the kids table is over in GD.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Tue Dec-20-05 10:10 AM

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123. "haha.. asshat..."
In response to Reply # 121


  

          

the way your people curse is hilarious. Okay little man... this post is so not about you... just read first. Okay? Good.

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Delete me
Member since Aug 27th 2002
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Fri May-26-06 12:42 AM

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191. "Autonomy vs. heteronomy"
In response to Reply # 109


          

Are you idiots unable to think outside of binary oppositions?

  

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Mr. Wednesday
Member since Jun 06th 2005
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Tue Dec-20-05 12:58 PM

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129. "what the hell happened in this post?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

once upon a time, it had potential...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King." - Tom Waits

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/theprivateers_music.htm

  

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AquamansWrath
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130. "please... there are some great responses in this post..."
In response to Reply # 129


  

          

don't discredit that cause of a few idiots...
and if YOU have something to share please do so...

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Mr. Wednesday
Member since Jun 06th 2005
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Tue Dec-20-05 01:11 PM

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131. "yes, there are... but they are obscured by all your bickering"
In response to Reply # 130


  

          

and name-calling.

as are your own good points.

and i had plenty to add to the discussion, which i did above.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King." - Tom Waits

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/theprivateers_music.htm

  

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AquamansWrath
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Tue Dec-20-05 01:13 PM

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132. "right... just me and me alone... wasn't provoked at all...sure."
In response to Reply # 131


  

          

might-tee-white-of you.
and thanks.
now your free to go.

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Mr. Wednesday
Member since Jun 06th 2005
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Tue Dec-20-05 01:27 PM

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133. "last response"
In response to Reply # 132


  

          

you're good at baiting people into this shit, i'll give you that.

and of course others are just as much to blame as you for the bickering.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King." - Tom Waits

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/theprivateers_music.htm

  

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
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Tue Dec-20-05 01:29 PM

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134. "nice of you to pick up on that after the fact... baiting people?"
In response to Reply # 133


  

          

yeah your definitely done. Good for us. Thanks.

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zewari
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141. "angel cake vs. devil's food"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


«SiG»
“Stand out firmly for Justice as witness before God, even against yourselves, against your kin and against your parents, against people who are rich or poor. Do not follow your inclinations or desires lest you deviate from Justice."
-Qur’an 4:135

  

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auxyray
Member since Nov 11th 2005
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Thu Dec-22-05 02:17 AM

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144. "RE: angel cake vs. devil's food"
In response to Reply # 141


  

          

This is how I see it. On the subject of German fascism, fascism was not singularly a German phenomenon, but rather a European phenomenon. Most countries after WWI in Europe (aside from France and England) had fascist governments. Most of you have treated fascism as though it was isolated to Germany and Italy.

The elements of Tolken's books: mythology, anti-modernism, a return to previous grandeur etc. are themes that reoccurred in European philosophy. The ideas presented in Tolken’s works can be linked to the thought of Hegel, Durkheim, Ortega y Gasset, Schopenhauer, and many more. You cannot isolate Tolken’s works as particularly racist, conservative, anti-modern, mythologizing. Rather, he is part of the European cultural and intellectual tradition.

Achebe made a very similar argument against The Heart of Darkness stating that the book was not worth examining because it was overtly racist. I don't know if The Heart of Darkness and The Lord of the Rings are tenets of bigoted radicalized thinking in Western Cultures, but I do not believe this bars them from being excellent books.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Thu Dec-22-05 09:38 AM

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145. "stands up and applauds..."
In response to Reply # 144


  

          

exactly. I love how cats try to isolate racism to hitler and co... as if it wasn't already a huge problem in Europe... and still a growing problem in Europe...

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The Damaja
Member since Aug 02nd 2003
18637 posts
Thu Dec-22-05 10:15 AM

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146. "look at your bullshit reasoning"
In response to Reply # 145


  

          

>exactly. I love how cats try to isolate racism to hitler and
>co... as if it wasn't already a huge problem in Europe... and
>still a growing problem in Europe...

Tolkien = English
English = European
Spain, Italy, France = European
Spain, Italy, France = Fascist
European = Fascist
Tolkien = European
Tolkien = Fascist

nevermind that Britain was one of the countries that wasn't Fascist and fought against fascists. why acknowledge the distinction, then just ignore it? so you can get away with your self serving generalisations

--------------------
Why do you choose to mimic these wack MCs?
Why do you choose to listen to R&B?

"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to." Leela

*puts emceeing in a box*

  

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
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Thu Dec-22-05 10:34 AM

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147. "here's why YOUR Bullshit..."
In response to Reply # 146


  

          

Exnazi's took refuge with the Catholic Church in Vatican City...
fact.
Racism wasn't exclusive to Germany... Fascists were everywhere... Fact... In America (which they still are...) and let's define racism or fascism to the racist white man... so hitler was foul to Americans yet blacks couldn't vote? Segregation was legal? Please.. you don't know what your talking about at all. Your acting as if Germany was some hell hole (which it was) and the rest of the world was all about equality... you do realize that your using a Fascist definition as defined by racists? haha... I mean be real.

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The Damaja
Member since Aug 02nd 2003
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Thu Dec-22-05 11:05 AM

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153. "your reasoning boils down to this:"
In response to Reply # 147


  

          

'there is rascism in the world. therefore, LOTR is racist'

everytime you bring up some specific racist generalisation, and i tell you why it's wrong, you just move on to another one

so now it's 'the vatican supposedly sheltered nazis, so LOTR is racist'

>Exnazi's took refuge with the Catholic Church in Vatican
>City...
>fact.
>Racism wasn't exclusive to Germany... Fascists were
>everywhere... Fact... In America (which they still are...) and
>let's define racism or fascism to the racist white man... so
>hitler was foul to Americans yet blacks couldn't vote?
>Segregation was legal? Please.. you don't know what your
>talking about at all. Your acting as if Germany was some hell
>hole (which it was) and the rest of the world was all about
>equality... you do realize that your using a Fascist
>definition as defined by racists? haha... I mean be real.

so now it's 'because their was segregation and disenfranchisement in America, LOTR is racist'

not only do you use bullshit premises, but you use bullshit SHIFTING premises

Tolkien
- is British, not American or German or Italian or Spanish
- fought against Germans
- denounced anti-judaism
- denounced interpretations of folk mythology that served racist agendas
^^FACTS

why do you never stop and ask yourself 'hmm, maybe i'm wrong about Tolkien, since i've been mistaken about so many things'

--------------------
Why do you choose to mimic these wack MCs?
Why do you choose to listen to R&B?

"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to." Leela

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auxyray
Member since Nov 11th 2005
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Thu Dec-22-05 10:47 AM

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149. "RE: look at your bullshit reasoning"
In response to Reply # 146


  

          

I never said that Tolken was a fascist. I think European history is far more complex than that. If you want to talk purely about racism, then the problem is far worse in the western hemisphere because racism was largely created by slavery not by intellectuals.

If you read about fascism and understand it, it’s not hard to see why it had its appeal in Europe. Each country’s populace has its reasons for choosing fascism: Germany because of WWI and the Great Depression of 1929, Spain because of the decline of the country’s prestige, wealth and power and the loss in the War of 1898. Probably the best explanation why England didn’t become fascist is that the country did not have serious problems moving to capitalism or industrializing. As the current of industrialization and capitalism moved from west to east from Europe finally to China the process became more difficult, bloodier, more authoritarian, and the time period allotted for industrialization and the move to capitalism became more condensed. This is represented in increased death tolls in the process from west to east. England had a relatively bloodless transfer to capitalism and industrialism, France more bloody and authoritarian, Germany, and Russia and China much bloodier, and more authoritarian.

This doesn’t mean that the ideas that fueled fascism in the rest of Europe did not exist in England because in fact they did. Hegel and Pareto were two key philosophers in the fascist canon, and they were very popular in England. However, in England and France, fascism did not have quite the appeal that it did in the rest of Europe. You say that England was battling fascism, but I disagree with that statement. By 1914, Germany was economically a more productive nation than England, and wanted colonies like the other European powers. Remember Germany hosted the Berlin Conference to divide up Africa. England with the greatest empire during the 19th century fought a war for power and empire not good versus evil. “The rock” in England during WWII Winston Churchill was the very man who came up with the policy that he himself called “social imperialism” in which the state would silence internal concerns with imperialism abroad. That doesn’t sound much different from the fascist’s foreign policy to me.

  

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The Damaja
Member since Aug 02nd 2003
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Thu Dec-22-05 10:39 AM

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148. "RE: angel cake vs. devil's food"
In response to Reply # 144


  

          

>This is how I see it. On the subject of German fascism,
>fascism was not singularly a German phenomenon, but rather a
>European phenomenon. Most countries after WWI in Europe
>(aside from France and England) had fascist governments. Most
>of you have treated fascism as though it was isolated to
>Germany and Italy.
>

you've completely exaggerated it though and ignored the fact that Tolkien was English which would negate this point anyway

>The elements of Tolken's books: mythology, anti-modernism, a
>return to previous grandeur etc. are themes that reoccurred in
>European philosophy. The ideas presented in Tolken’s works
>can be linked to the thought of Hegel, Durkheim, Ortega y
>Gasset, Schopenhauer, and many more. You cannot isolate
>Tolken’s works as particularly racist, conservative,
>anti-modern, mythologizing. Rather, he is part of the
>European cultural and intellectual tradition.
>

mythology is universal
return to grandeur is universal
anti-industrialization occurs universally
you can't state these things as evidence that Tolkien was spreading the teachings of some unwholesome philosopher

>Achebe made a very similar argument against The Heart of
>Darkness stating that the book was not worth examining because
>it was overtly racist.

but Heart of Darkness is actually set in Africa. And Achebe had evidence that Conrad was actually racist. Which makes it very different from the Tolkien case

I don't know if The Heart of Darkness
>and The Lord of the Rings are tenets of bigoted radicalized
>thinking in Western Cultures, but I do not believe this bars
>them from being excellent books.
>

i think the basic point is that describes a society where patriarchy and autocracy and other problematic things are at work - becuase those things have been at work throughout all of history up to this point. Tolkien does not actively promote any of those things, they are merely present in his world as his world IS our world, and he doesn't engage in any modern philosophical dialogues as far as I can see. If you want to intellectually examine the work, look at mythology or lingualism or something that Tolkien actually engages with. Otherwise if you want to examine right wing politics, look at real life and just bypass the book. IF you want to look at right wing politics in art, then find art that actually engages with it.

I think you're basically saying hte same thing i am, it's just that I don't see it as
'Tolkien was merely part of a right wing tradition'
but
'Tolkien was merely describing a tradition that was indeed right wing etc'

and also i should clarify i don't tihnk tolkien was naively unaware of such things, i'm saying that he wipes his hands of responsibility, successfully
one should be able to write a mythological yarn about good vs. evil and dungeons and dragons without being labelled a racist, a fascist, etc

--------------------
Why do you choose to mimic these wack MCs?
Why do you choose to listen to R&B?

"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to." Leela

*puts emceeing in a box*

  

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auxyray
Member since Nov 11th 2005
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Thu Dec-22-05 10:51 AM

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150. "RE: angel cake vs. devil's food"
In response to Reply # 148


  

          

I never said that Tolken was a fascist. I think European history is far more complex than that. If you want to talk purely about racism, then the problem is far worse in the western hemisphere because racism was largely created by slavery not by intellectuals.

If you read about fascism and understand it, it’s not hard to see why it had its appeal in Europe. Each country’s populace has its reasons for choosing fascism: Germany because of WWI and the Great Depression of 1929, Spain because of the decline of the country’s prestige, wealth and power and the loss in the War of 1898. Probably the best explanation why England didn’t become fascist is that the country did not have serious problems moving to capitalism or industrializing. As the current of industrialization and capitalism moved from west to east from Europe finally to China the process became more difficult, bloodier, more authoritarian, and the time period allotted for industrialization and the move to capitalism became more condensed. This is represented in increased death tolls in the process from west to east. England had a relatively bloodless transfer to capitalism and industrialism, France more bloody and authoritarian, Germany, and Russia and China much bloodier, and more authoritarian.

This doesn’t mean that the ideas that fueled fascism in the rest of Europe did not exist in England because in fact they did. Hegel and Pareto were two key philosophers in the fascist canon, and they were very popular in England. However, in England and France, fascism did not have quite the appeal that it did in the rest of Europe. You say that England was battling fascism, but I disagree with that statement. By 1914, Germany was economically a more productive nation than England, and wanted colonies like the other European powers. Remember Germany hosted the Berlin Conference to divide up Africa. England with the greatest empire during the 19th century fought a war for power and empire not good versus evil. “The rock” in England during WWII Winston Churchill was the very man who came up with the policy that he himself called “social imperialism” in which the state would silence internal concerns with imperialism abroad. That doesn’t sound much different from the fascist’s foreign policy to me.



  

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The Damaja
Member since Aug 02nd 2003
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Thu Dec-22-05 11:21 AM

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155. "RE: angel cake vs. devil's food"
In response to Reply # 150


  

          

Well, now you're examinig history (and LOTR) for the mechanisms of racism and fascism which is what I recommend. I could argue some of the points like Britain's reason for entering the war and resisting fascism (for instance there's the economic reality vs. what the PEOPLE actually believe, if by propoganda) but that is out of the scope of this argument

people obviously single out LOTR because they think it's overtly pro-racist (and not even just 'racist by default'). THAT is what I disagree with. You've got to accept a text on its own terms, and an author on his own terms, and I think in this case both take steps to counter racist ideas. Not examine them, just counter them or circumvent them.

> I never said that Tolken was a fascist. I think European
>history is far more complex than that. If you want to talk
>purely about racism, then the problem is far worse in the
>western hemisphere because racism was largely created by
>slavery not by intellectuals.
>
>If you read about fascism and understand it, it’s not hard to
>see why it had its appeal in Europe. Each country’s populace
>has its reasons for choosing fascism: Germany because of WWI
>and the Great Depression of 1929, Spain because of the decline
>of the country’s prestige, wealth and power and the loss in
>the War of 1898. Probably the best explanation why England
>didn’t become fascist is that the country did not have serious
>problems moving to capitalism or industrializing. As the
>current of industrialization and capitalism moved from west to
>east from Europe finally to China the process became more
>difficult, bloodier, more authoritarian, and the time period
>allotted for industrialization and the move to capitalism
>became more condensed. This is represented in increased death
>tolls in the process from west to east. England had a
>relatively bloodless transfer to capitalism and industrialism,
>France more bloody and authoritarian, Germany, and Russia and
>China much bloodier, and more authoritarian.
>
>This doesn’t mean that the ideas that fueled fascism in the
>rest of Europe did not exist in England because in fact they
>did. Hegel and Pareto were two key philosophers in the fascist
>canon, and they were very popular in England. However, in
>England and France, fascism did not have quite the appeal that
>it did in the rest of Europe. You say that England was
>battling fascism, but I disagree with that statement. By 1914,
>Germany was economically a more productive nation than
>England, and wanted colonies like the other European powers.
>Remember Germany hosted the Berlin Conference to divide up
>Africa. England with the greatest empire during the 19th
>century fought a war for power and empire not good versus
>evil. “The rock” in England during WWII Winston Churchill was
>the very man who came up with the policy that he himself
>called “social imperialism” in which the state would silence
>internal concerns with imperialism abroad. That doesn’t sound
>much different from the fascist’s foreign policy to me.
>
>
>
>

--------------------
Why do you choose to mimic these wack MCs?
Why do you choose to listen to R&B?

"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to." Leela

*puts emceeing in a box*

  

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auxyray
Member since Nov 11th 2005
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Thu Dec-22-05 10:56 AM

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151. "RE: angel cake vs. devil's food"
In response to Reply # 148


  

          

I don't consider fascism a right wing tradition at all. Fascism is far different from what we call modern conservatism. For example, the fascist’s ideas on anti-modernism are far different.

Who cares if Conrad was a racist, the book is still an excellent piece of literature. Achebe said that it had not value simply because it was racist. I disagree.

  

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auxyray
Member since Nov 11th 2005
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Thu Dec-22-05 11:05 AM

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152. "RE: angel cake vs. devil's food"
In response to Reply # 151


  

          

I probably could make a link between Ortega y Gasset, Hegel, Paredo and others that influenced reactionary thought in Europe with Tolkien's book. I don't really dare to though because I haven't read the books in years and my knowedge is mostly of Latin America and history not philosophy.

  

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The Damaja
Member since Aug 02nd 2003
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Thu Dec-22-05 11:13 AM

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154. "i said 'right wing' as a catchall for all the bad ideologies"
In response to Reply # 151


  

          

like racism, non-democracy, fascism, patriarchy and so on. it was just for convenience

>I don't consider fascism a right wing tradition at all.
>Fascism is far different from what we call modern
>conservatism. For example, the fascist’s ideas on
>anti-modernism are far different.
>

so i wont really argue this point

>Who cares if Conrad was a racist, the book is still an
>excellent piece of literature. Achebe said that it had not
>value simply because it was racist. I disagree.

i think Achebe's problem is more with the attitude 'who cares if it/Conrad was racist', since Heart of Darkness is a text widely taught in schools and colleges without acknowledgment of the alleged racism

--------------------
Why do you choose to mimic these wack MCs?
Why do you choose to listen to R&B?

"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to." Leela

*puts emceeing in a box*

  

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2_1_feezy
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157. "No your wrong"
In response to Reply # 0


          

king kong is just a movie about a giant ape , how can that be rascist unless you equate blacks with apes which would make YOU the rascist and not peter jackson

http://www.boxingwithgod.com

  

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J-Maestro
Member since Oct 03rd 2005
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Sat Dec-24-05 01:43 PM

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158. "RE: No your wrong"
In response to Reply # 157
Sat Dec-24-05 01:49 PM by J-Maestro

  

          

The whole story of King Kong IS to depict Males with melanin. In looking at this, you have to ask the questions.
1. Why were the women in both the original and new one both depicted as blonde haired white women in distress? A lot of "Black" males throughout history has seen white+blonde as a prize.
2. Why is king kong depicted as a BLACK ape (remember people of color were once and probably are still referred to as "monkey.")
3. All of the whites were terrified of king kong (Fear of a Black Planet through stronger genetics. This would explain the symbolism with king kong "the Black ape" kidnapping the blonde haired white women with the end result being the whites shooting off a high building to show king kong "the Black ape" and the world not to mess with their women and with that their blood. Remember the whole time "whites" are terrified.)
4. Common Sense. Original debut in "1933". That alone should at least account for something.
5. Hollywood is no mistake. They don't make movies just for entertainment purposes. It only entertains the makers and the followers. Look beyond the special effect images. Racism IS deep. >"racism was largely created by slavery not by intellectuals."
Racism IS much deeper than we probably think. Intellectuals have been and still are in fact the leaders of Racism. Who do you think devised this plan of Racism that has us in chains even more today? This system was effective hundreds of years ago and it is still proven to be effective probably even more as times grow. What made us in the first place and still today hate ourselves and have the oppressors attitude toward ourselves and accept these movies as mere entertainment. Well I can tell you that it wasn't just those pirates that sat sail. It's much more complex than that. It's a system my friend and it reaches further back than the kidnappings from "Africa" or the crusades. Get your oppressors psychology down and know your own history then we will somewhat have a grasp of this system of Racism "White Supremacy."

  

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moot_point
Member since Mar 22nd 2005
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Sat Dec-24-05 01:56 PM

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159. "RE: No your wrong"
In response to Reply # 158


          

>5. Hollywood is no mistake. They don't make movies just for
>entertainment purposes.

Hollywood makes movies to make money.

  

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J-Maestro
Member since Oct 03rd 2005
77 posts
Sat Dec-24-05 02:04 PM

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160. "RE: No your wrong"
In response to Reply # 159


  

          

Make your money while getting/spreading their message out. i.e., Birth of a Nation (first Hollywood movie)

  

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J-Maestro
Member since Oct 03rd 2005
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Sat Dec-24-05 02:06 PM

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161. "RE: No your wrong"
In response to Reply # 160


  

          

Why not kill two birds with one stone, huh? That's how they roll.

  

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gumz
Member since Jan 09th 2005
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Tue Dec-27-05 02:11 PM

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163. "RE: No your wrong"
In response to Reply # 161


  

          

King Kong is a giant gorilla, all gorilla have black fur and faces (except for albino ones, which I have yet to see). King Kong is also a giant ape, all people were afraid of him...why da fuck wouldnt they be?

  

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J-Maestro
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Tue Dec-27-05 05:58 PM

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166. "RE: No your wrong"
In response to Reply # 163


  

          

Why choose to make a movie about a gorila creating havoc in a white world in 1933 by kidnapping a blonde woman? Remember, 1933. They were more opened with their prejudice.

  

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2_1_feezy
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167. "looking for racism"
In response to Reply # 166


          

there's a lot more rascist shit in hollywood than king kong, how about a whole network called the UPN where blacks are depicted in low calibre sitcoms with extremely poor writing and bufoonish behavior, why was "my wife and kids" cancelled, and where is the black drama? outside of "The wire" on hbo i have yet to see any depictions of real black people dealing with real problems.

http://www.boxingwithgod.com

  

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Nettrice
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Tue Dec-27-05 11:02 PM

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168. "Right here"
In response to Reply # 166


  

          

>Why choose to make a movie about a gorila creating havoc in a
>white world in 1933 by kidnapping a blonde woman? Remember,
>1933. They were more opened with their prejudice.

King Kong came out of a racist mindset from the beginning and people seem to have collective amnesia. Oooooh the special effects!!!

Oh well. I'd rather see The Boys of Baraka, anyway.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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auxyray
Member since Nov 11th 2005
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Wed Dec-28-05 09:41 PM

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169. "RE: Right here"
In response to Reply # 168


  

          

If you don't see the racism in King Cong you're blind and stupid.

  

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Delete me
Member since Aug 27th 2002
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Fri May-26-06 01:13 AM

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194. "Analyze the special effects"
In response to Reply # 168


          

key word: semiotic excess.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Wed Jan-04-06 04:00 PM

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177. "Exactly and you know what's funny..."
In response to Reply # 158
Wed Jan-04-06 04:05 PM by AquamansWrath

  

          

What is ill is all the cats that feverishly try to tell you to NOT THINK THIS. Isn't that foul in itself? These are your thoughts, this is what you feel, questions that come up in your mind, when you see such a film.

Now as to further, King Kong, the giant black animal, this film shows you his capture, his sexual desire (the petite blonde white female) that although he can fight dinosaurs... he defends this little white blonde, and he comes head to head with the system, while climbing a phallic symbol. He is then gunned down after a witch hunt, a public lynching. And while this next statement is funny, it does raise a few questions. You never see his penis. A giant ape. Hmm.
The castration of Kong?

BTW there was another Kong Movie on where he had a wife. Yup. A female Kong... they brought both Kong's to the US where they gave him heart surgery. A white dude brought em. A white female doctor worked on em. While Kong was clearly dedicated and in love with his Female Kong (I'm not making this shit up... worst film ever)... well... that's right... open heart surgery proved to much for him and he fell in love with the female doctor. Amazing.

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"Freedom is a Lie" - the animals

  

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Delete me
Member since Aug 27th 2002
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Fri May-26-06 12:56 AM

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193. "fantastic response"
In response to Reply # 157


          

You hit the nail on the head.

  

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40thStreetBlack
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Fri Dec-30-05 12:26 PM

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170. "in the Chronic(WHAT?)cles of Narnia,evil is personified by a WHITE Witch"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

and the Christ figure is an African lion named Aslan, which is an Asiatic name if I ever heard one.

C.S. Lewis and Andrew Adamson are reverse racists!

<------- my Guy is better than your guy

  

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Nettrice
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179. "Narnia is not American"
In response to Reply # 170


  

          

...neither is Tolkien. KK comes from an American racist mindset. That's different.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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Apparent
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Sat Dec-31-05 03:03 PM

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172. "The original king kong was somewhat of a protest against racism--"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

an aspect of it anyway. You have to remember it was the 30s? or somewhere abouts and Black men were considered not only monsters, but terrible, dangerous ones. But Kong is gentle and loving. It was, in the context of that time, a statement opposing a pretty cogent aspect of the hypersexual Black male myth.

Of course it doesn't stand up at all as protest today, as any thoughtful person can easily recognize that animal representation is degrading. I would venture that Peter Jackson is probably pretty oblivious to this though.

Presenting old stories in new contexts will almost always be problematic in this way, but few people even nowadays are conscious of it. That's why racism is so tenacious. But I think it is important to remember that in the context of the film's origin, it was actually a criticism of racism. A very imperfect one, but many were at the time. It is too bad that filmmakers like Jackson don't seem to want to continue in that spirit, to make an important statement rather than just a remake laden with outdated images.

He could've at least made Kong Albino or something.

  

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urthanheaven
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Sun Jan-01-06 02:18 AM

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173. "thanks."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

for creating this discussion. and thank you to all those who submitted the written articles on the subject. they have been thought provoking, and have helped to flesh out what i and many other people of color intrinsically feel.

the subliminal racism in king kong and lotr deserves disscussion. my honest oppinion is that peter jackson doesn't care. he doesn't need to. he's made millions, and i'm sure he's had a tremendous amount of fun. we cannot discredit a giant machine called hollywood and the western media, which i'm sure we could provide many more articles etc to back up claims of degenerate disrespectfull intentional portrayals of people of color and other instances of blatant racism.

western media and hollywood.

and then american culture and western culture. from the root to the fruit. a leopard doesn't change it's spots.

i especially appreciate the references to post modernism's tendencies to produce nothing as an output while criticising everything.

so, it is a given that many white people (arguably by definition) are racist, and thus their actions and thoughts carry out the agenda of racism (sometimes subconsiously). the question would be what are we going to do about it? how can you use this information to further your/our cause?

what business do we have going to the movies in the first place? wasting our output on a machine that denigrates and degrades us at every turn!

the only reason we should be there is to learn how to do it ourselves, and then DO IT!

i understand the ammount of time money and just raw energy it takes to produce market and distribute any media. i think it's high time that we establish more of our own, independent, culturally conscious black media. and then carry that up high like a beacon.

i'm sure it would shine much brighter then recycled bullshit covered in glossy special effects.

cause i know it does for me. and i know i'm not alone.

ok.

  

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Nettrice
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174. "I mostly agree with this"
In response to Reply # 173


  

          

>the subliminal racism in king kong and lotr deserves
>disscussion. my honest oppinion is that peter jackson doesn't
>care. he doesn't need to. he's made millions, and i'm sure
>he's had a tremendous amount of fun. we cannot discredit a
>giant machine called hollywood and the western media, which
>i'm sure we could provide many more articles etc to back up
>claims of degenerate disrespectfull intentional portrayals of
>people of color and other instances of blatant racism.

and this...

>what business do we have going to the movies in the first
>place? wasting our output on a machine that denigrates and
>degrades us at every turn!

But after seeing The Boys of Baraka and Born in Brothels I am reminded that there are lots of films that are independent and worthy of mention.

>the only reason we should be there is to learn how to do it
>ourselves, and then DO IT!
>
>i understand the ammount of time money and just raw energy it
>takes to produce market and distribute any media. i think it's
>high time that we establish more of our own, independent,
>culturally conscious black media. and then carry that up high
>like a beacon.

There are lots of new advancements in media distribution such as RSS/podcasting/vodcasting that democratize media production. If people really wanted to make their own media they would. I do.

>i'm sure it would shine much brighter then recycled bullshit
>covered in glossy special effects.

I like special effects but not solely. I like to be entertained but not at the expense of my self-esteem and worth.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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The Damaja
Member since Aug 02nd 2003
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Sun Jan-01-06 10:35 AM

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176. "LOTR doesn't portray people of colosur"
In response to Reply # 173


  

          

full stop

--------------------
Why do you choose to mimic these wack MCs?
Why do you choose to listen to R&B?

"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to." Leela

*puts emceeing in a box*

  

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Delete me
Member since Aug 27th 2002
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Thu May-25-06 11:38 PM

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188. "And Eric Blair"
In response to Reply # 176


          

didn't portray real humans in Animal farm, so what?

Dissemination, dude... dissemination

  

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Delete me
Member since Aug 27th 2002
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Fri May-26-06 12:39 AM

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190. "*vomits*"
In response to Reply # 173


          

>i think it's
>high time that we establish more of our own, independent,
>culturally conscious black media. and then carry that up high
>like a beacon.

You're a silly little racist.



  

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Reslim
Member since Feb 22nd 2005
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Sun Jan-01-06 07:02 AM

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175. "RE: Let's discuss subliminal racism = Peter Jackson's work."
In response to Reply # 0


          

by relating king kong to the black man what the hell are you saying about black people?!?! are you trying to say black people are apes?!?! nigga please!!! your clutching for strings here just for the sake of complaining about something in an attempt to make yourself and others feel victimized. The whole thing about how the king of the jungle can tear down planes but bows down to a blonde woman is a metaphor for men in general.. not neccesserally to bow down to a blonde woman persay, but to bown down to a beautiful woman in general. It is true, wether you wanna believe it or not.. any man can be tamed by the right woman. You could put tyra banks infront of the most thugged out group of cats you can find, and I guarantee you that they`ll be acting like little bitches around her in hopes to scratch some of that kittie. King Kong may have slightly sexist udnertones within the movie, but their aint anything racial going on there and the same thing goes for LOTR. I think you need to take a good look at yourself and ask, if perhaps, you might be the racist one, constantly SEARCHING for racism to give yourself an excuse to call others racists and instigate "racial sides to be taken".. there for being the racist yourself.

"The day I found myself I said come on and get lost with me"

  

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AquamansWrath
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Fri Jan-06-06 10:58 AM

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181. "actually me and many scholars are saying it..."
In response to Reply # 175


  

          

for one I am black. For two... the symbolism in the film is what says it... surel you don't think in 1933, in this racist ass country, that a film about a giant black Ape from Africa who falls in love with a white woman while in capture... had no racist implications. I didn't create King Kong... so perhaps you should take that up with the original writer.

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Quez
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Thu May-25-06 02:01 PM

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182. "archive"
In response to Reply # 0


          

oh well

  

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Buddy_Gilapagos
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183. "I'll agree with you on this one"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


**********

Reality check: according to the 2000 census, there were more than 31,000 black physicians and surgeons, 33,000 black lawyers. There are about 1,400 black athletes playing professional basketball, football and baseball combined.

  

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hideyaface
Member since Mar 26th 2006
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Thu May-25-06 07:19 PM

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185. "ROTFLMAO!! Reminescent of "Revolutionary thoughts inside" post."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

  

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spades
Member since Mar 22nd 2006
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Thu May-25-06 07:59 PM

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186. "I saw this coming a mile away"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

That's why I didn't see the film, especially after the "...Twas beauty that killed the beast."

B.S. He's on a tropical island and not one of the natives looks good?

Please!

  

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Delete me
Member since Aug 27th 2002
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Thu May-25-06 11:32 PM

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187. "Every once in a while something like this pops up"
In response to Reply # 0


          

Y'all need to read the articles Jean-Louis Comolli wrote for the Cahiers du Cinéma in the 1960s.
They can be found in Jim Hillier's excellent anthology and Leo Brady's "Film Theory and Criticism."

Have fun.







  

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Daggoo
Member since May 31st 2006
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Wed May-31-06 10:03 AM

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202. "RE:"
In response to Reply # 187


          

I haven't seen anything of Peter Jackson's since *Heavenly Creatures*, which is an incredible film. So I'm inclined to give him a little bit of benefit of the doubt.

The racism in all versions of *King Kong* is hardly subliminal. It's so nakedly colonialist and full of white paranoia that it makes you want to laugh. Or cry. Or scream, or some combination of those.

LOTR is rooted in Celtic myth, which in this day and age looks a heck of a lot like an excuse not to hire people of color. Its romanticized vision of a medieval Europe where white folks don't have or want any contact with the rest of the world is silly and inaccurate, a fantasy only a couple of doors down from white supremacy, which, as we know, is as real as the unicorns and gnomes and leprechauns and shit that it revels in.

  

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moot_point
Member since Mar 22nd 2005
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Wed May-31-06 10:07 AM

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203. "RE:"
In response to Reply # 202


          

>LOTR is rooted in Celtic myth, which in this day and age looks
>a heck of a lot like an excuse not to hire people of color.

*Sighs* You can't actually believe this was a factor in deciding to make the film?!



>Its romanticized vision of a medieval Europe where white folks
>don't have or want any contact with the rest of the world is
>silly and inaccurate, a fantasy only a couple of doors down
>from white supremacy, which, as we know, is as real as the
>unicorns and gnomes and leprechauns and shit that it revels
>in.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Wed May-31-06 12:52 PM

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204. "which is my point... King Kong only adds to the problem..."
In response to Reply # 202


  

          

and he knows not one black person who can put him up on the foolishness of a film made in 1933?

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poetx
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Wed Jun-07-06 09:22 AM

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210. "LOTR and Kong are completely different. LOTR is steeped in"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

the ancient lore and fables of yt. it's 'cism content is there to the extent that damn near any product of white culture contains cism, because it is all drawing from their collective wellspring and idealized sense of Self and Other.

if you are writing in the english language and not ACTIVELY seeking to confront the inherent cism in the culture, you almost cannot help but produce something that has racist undertones, because the very language we typing in does. white = good, black = evil. that shit is so basic most white folks don't even see it. and it's endemic. pj couldn't change but so much. was folks 'posed to be raiding the green tower of mordor ('mor' / 'moor', etc. btw, that mud shit was a reach, whoever posted that).

LOTR is only racist in the sense that cinderella and snow white an all that other shit is racist.


king KONG on the other fucking hand, is a product of that same white mentality and, on top of that, heaped w/ 'birth of america' type white insecurity and virulent cism. but again, all that shit was in the original flick, the remakes, and in this one, as well. it's y i ain't go see it in the theatre. i never liked that shit. however, watching it on dvd, the shit *seemed* to me to be fairly over the top and obvious. my conclusion is that pj was well aware of the undertones and putting it out there on purpose (to what end, to make people think of it?)

similarly, in willy wonka, originally the oompa loompas were from africa (in the book). they changed that shit up before they made the first flick. so they exist in our popular imagination as orange. had they been a bunch of 'pygmys' (that's perjorative, i know) in the original flick, would tim burton have had the nuts to make them orange in the current version? good question.

how would yt react to a giant albino gorilla?

who the fuck cares, really.

i did get a kick out of kong smashing them white batches to the ground for being the 'wrong one'. ion't know what symbolic purpose it served but it was funny as hell.











peace & blessings,

x.

sigless for the summer, y'all.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Fri Jun-09-06 09:46 AM

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211. "remember this?"
In response to Reply # 210


  

          

Here is the problem…

Imagine you are the only black child in a classroom filled with white children…
And you go through your history books and they cover…
European History
The Kings and Queens of Europe
The Crusades
The Roman Empire
American History
The Revolutionary War
Manifest Destiny
The Civil War
And then they get to Black History
Slavery (cause they always start there)
Civil Rights
MLK
Michael Jordan (right! Lol)

Ok cool… remember how that felt? Now imagine from the perspective of a white child and how absolutely empowering that must have felt, and confusing. It sets a tone… it tells white children that their so called Serial Killing Forefathers were great men… when really they were not. This is the same thing… if every time they review history they are the Kings, Leaders of this world… you couple that with films that promote the exact same agenda, whether subliminally or not… that’s how superiority complex’s are created. Sure we know it’s some simple shit… but you would be surprised how many people don’t know.

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Nettrice
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212. "The Master Culture or canon"
In response to Reply # 211


  

          

Education provides the body of rules or principles generally established as valid and fundamental in a field or art or philosophy. The ones in power set the rules.

>Imagine you are the only black child in a classroom filled
>with white children…

Then the parents of that Black child need to supplement that education, either themselves or through access to programs that offer the information. For me it was the library.

>Ok cool… remember how that felt? Now imagine from the
>perspective of a white child and how absolutely empowering
>that must have felt, and confusing. It sets a tone…

Indeed. Walking into a room full of wealthy, white people has a different effect if you are wealthy and white or poor and Black (or just Black). You have to change the preexisting assumption(s) and shift the balance in order to change the status quo.

Personally, I love the effort Tolkien put into creating the fictional world of Middle-earth. I loved reading LOTR and The Silmarillion. I loved reading Greek myth. I also loved reading African and Asian folklore and history. The goal was not only to master the canon but also learn about cultures closer to my own. King Kong was offensive to me and I lost interest.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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AquamansWrath
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Fri Jun-09-06 01:06 PM

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213. "great points... but we went through this before..."
In response to Reply # 212


  

          

because you may be of a stable background (which you are... you were saying before the power of your mother, which is beautiful)
we cannot expect that to be the case across the board... and while we can counter it personally... we should still hold society at large accountable for teaching our babies this trash.
We pay taxes.
We buy homes... etc...
and mind you, they were great reads... but still.
We know our community is fucked up... so the question becomes... how will it affect 75 percent of our community (just throwing a number out there) who may not have that guidance?

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Nettrice
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Fri Jun-09-06 02:10 PM

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214. "RE: great points... but we went through this before..."
In response to Reply # 213


  

          

So you take that taxpayer power and real estate and create opportunities for those who otherwise would not have the access. As long as the folks who are in power want the master culture/canon it will exist but we can be more proactive about it. Magic Johnson did it. Bill Cosby and others have done the same from their own corners. I make sure I teach the non-western stuff in my classes and train teachers to do the same.

>because you may be of a stable background (which you are...
>you were saying before the power of your mother, which is
>beautiful)

Actually, my mother was bi-polar and racism often precipitated her illnesses. Our lives were far from stable but she was still able to make sure going to the library, seeking q&a became a habit for her kids.

>and
>while we can counter it personally...

We need to counter it via our communities.

>we should still hold
>society at large accountable for teaching our babies this
>trash.

Yes and we also need to supplement it.

>We know our community is fucked up... so the question
>becomes... how will it affect 75 percent of our community
>(just throwing a number out there) who may not have that
>guidance?

Our society is fucked up, so my issue is how to take what's there and build on it.

<--- Blame this lady for Nutty.

  

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AquamansWrath
Member since Apr 12th 2005
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Fri Jun-09-06 02:20 PM

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215. "but isn't that optimism at it's finest... and not completely realistic?"
In response to Reply # 214


  

          

I mean... i hear you and I wish for the EXACT same things...
but I'm not sure that would completely work...
for one...
a lot of money made in the black community never goes to taxes...
also... the money that is made (what little of it we have to spare) goes to frivolous spending... Magic Johnson and Bill Cosby are fine examples... but we can't expect them to bail us out nor could they if they really tried... but they are trying which is great...
however... I would think a simpler approach is in order...
simple demands made on the school board to address correctly the very people they are trying to teach... the problem? have you seen PTS turnouts in the black community? roughly 10-15 people at a time... if that.

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