July 18, 2003

Blair's Gandalf Moment

Watching Blair speak yesterday, I was struck by the resemblance of this portion of his speech:

I know out there, there's a guy getting on with his life, perfectly happily, minding his own business, saying to you, the political leaders of this country, "Why me, and why us, and why America?" And the only answer is because destiny put you in this place in history in this moment in time, and the task is yours to do.

With this moment from FoTR:

Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened...

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

At first, I thought it was just a neat coincidence, perhaps unfortunate fuel for the "This movie is a piece of warmongering propaganda" tinfoil hatizens, but upon reflection I reconsidered.

The reason those words leap out at me is that they address the reality of the existence of good, evil, duty, and identifying what's worth defending (and then taking the risk of acting on your beliefs) in a world where everyone is quick to minimize or hyperbolize reality to their own ends.

Brief, direct, refreshing.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at July 18, 2003 09:08 AM

Archetype? "To do what must be done."


Posted by: hln at July 18, 2003 09:12 AM

I think you have hit upon what may be the one thing that all the antis (anti-Bush, anti-War, anti-America, anti-capitalism, anti-Western-Civ, anti-everything) hate about the current situation: the fact that one has to do one's duty. For decades society has tried to move away from this awful, old-fashioned notion of "duty" -- because that's what their parents and grandparents kept interrupting their playtime with. Well, it's caught up with them, and a lot of people don't like it one bit. I call them the "throw the Ring into the sea and forget about it" people.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 19, 2003 09:23 AM

Now all we have to do is get Americans to take it to heart. Since the war in Iraq started bogging down, I've been harboring a nasty little fear deep in the bowels of my Catholic conservative heart... that if push really came to shove in the War on Terror...if things really started looking bad and our government started needing to demand some real sacrifices on the part of ordinary people..that a lot of Americans would choose the seemingly easy path, and demand some kind of compromise with Evil.

Maybe it's just because we watched Gangs of New York last night (which featured some horribly violent scenes of the NYC Draft Riots of 1863) and I started thinking about how balkanized a society we've become...or because I know that if a second major conflagration in the War on Terror began tomorrow, we'd have to dip seriously into the reserve forces and civilian population to fight it.... but deep down, I'm somewhat concerned...

Though Donald Rumsfeld is sort of a mystical, Gandalf-type creature to me in this war....

Posted by: J.P. Laurier at July 20, 2003 11:10 AM