August 12, 2008

Re-Reading LotR....again.

Yeah, the fifth time through is actually better than all the previous four, because I started picking up little funny things that I hadn't noticed before. Little plays on words, ironies, etc. that just show themselves more clearly when you already know the story and aren't really surprised by any major things.

Anyway, I was reading the bit where he describes the Rohan for the first time, in the chapter King of the Golden Hall. The description reminded me acutely of America as it is'll see why.

"'Many long lives of men it is since the golden hall was built.' [said Aragorn]
'Five hundred times have the red leaves fallen in Mirkwood in my home since then,' said Legolas, 'and but a little while does that seem to me.'
'But to the Riders of the Mark it seems so long ago,' said Aragorn,' that the raising of this house is but a memory of song, and the years before are lost in the mist of time. Now they call this land their home, their own...'"

He goes on to sing one of the saddest, best songs of LotR

"Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the west behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning,
Or behold the flowing years from the sea returning?"

In America, we forgot how hard we fought to be free, how much blood our fathers spilled and how much of our fathers' blood was spilled in order for us to have our freedoms. We call this land our country, we call it our home, we take it for granted. We think since it's been here for scant two hundred years, it will be here, exactly as it is, forever. How foolish we are! Have we learned nothing from our history books? Rome lasted from 510 BC until 476 AD - almost a thousand years, about five hundred as a republic, and when the republic crumbled five hundred as an empire. During that period of time, there were civil wars, anarhy reined over by military governments, and people who came in time of need to save their civilization from certain ruin. The same with other great empires - Britain, Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, etc. They all eventially crumbled internally, and then were beaten by the outsiders. The same is happening to America - We're becoming apathetic, more concerned with the quality of our next meal than the state of our country's government. If America doesn't pull it together, become more patriotic, and less selfcentered, another world power might rise, and it won't be US.

Words of doom. oooOOOooo.


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