Francis waxes even more outraged than I did over the Left’s desecration of LOTR.
“Worried” doesn’t nearly cover it. I’m outraged by the mere possibility.
Their moral clarity is one of the main reasons for the immense popularity of Tolkien’s works. They pit good against evil, freedom against enslavement, and heroes against villains, vacillators, compromisers, and the “let me think it over” types whose sole concern is to be on the winning side. Those who insist that “there’s no black or white, only shades of gray” can never be comfortable with such a premise.
Please don’t confuse moral clarity with prudishness. No, there are no sex scenes in Tolkien’s stories, but that’s irrelevant to the larger issue. George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, best known by the title of its first volume, A Game of Thrones, is founded on a completely different moral perspective: one in which essentially everything goes and who was in the right is determined, after the dust has settled, by the victors. It’s not founded on a clash between good and evil, but on what the movers and shakers are willing to do to triumph.
A simple touchstone – “Would you prefer to associate with Tolkien’s heroes or Martin’s?” – dramatizes the differences between the two conceptions, and the reason for the far greater (and more enduring) appeal of Tolkien’s oeuvre.
Cold comfort it may be, but it’s still true: The products of Tolkien’s creative genius will remain with us long after the Left’s peurile attempts to sully and diminish them have been forgotten. In their twisted ignorance, they think they’re “expanding” them, “enlarging” them, “broadening” their scope. They will not do so, because they cannot. To paraphrase Lincoln, Tolkien’s works are far beyond their little ability to add or detract; they can only make themselves smaller and more miserable by the effort.