CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

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Friday
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Friday » Mon Jul 08, 2024 3:02 am

Tolkien did not have enough women in his Trilogy. Eowyn fuckin' rules though, and like they said, even having a few (or even just one) female character with agency is rare in modern works.

Honestly, my brobdingnagiest problem with Tolkien was that he cast every evil human as "swarthy dudes from the eastern hot desert lands." Even back in the Silmarillion, evil humans were explicitly a different looking race. As if humans divide themselves into evil and good groups by race/skin color. That's my personal brobdingnagiest problem with his works, and it reveals his British "white people are just better" mindset.

Is he the most racist British person? No, not by a mile. Not at the time, and not by modern standards. But it's 100% there in his works, staring you in the face.

Orcs are another matter, but the "west humans good, east humans bad" shit is pretty blatant racism. He does try to show that not -all- of the easterners were bad, like when Sam sees his first dead guy killed by another human, and wonders if this poor fellow was really evil at heart or just, you know, drafted up by Putin and sent into the meat grinder. But such musings do not redeem casting all easterners as the bad guys.
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nosimpleway
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby nosimpleway » Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:04 am

That's something that kept coming up playing a game of the 5e LotR TTRPG. Like, some of those guys who are Always Evil? The Black Numenorians. "Whoa, that's not cool" became a running gag whenever they were mentioned.

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Friday
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Friday » Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:55 am

*knock knock*

"Hello?"

"Hello, and blessings of the Light upon you! Have you considered joining our lord and savior Sauron, who says that the Valar are keeping immortality away from us purely because they're super uncool dudes and we should totally invade their holy divine land and kill them?"

"Honey close the door, a black person is here"
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Mongrel
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jul 08, 2024 11:37 am

Friday wrote:Tolkien did not have enough women in his Trilogy. Eowyn fuckin' rules though, and like they said, even having a few (or even just one) female character with agency is rare in modern works.

Honestly, my brobdingnagiest problem with Tolkien was that he cast every evil human as "swarthy dudes from the eastern hot desert lands." Even back in the Silmarillion, evil humans were explicitly a different looking race. As if humans divide themselves into evil and good groups by race/skin color. That's my personal brobdingnagiest problem with his works, and it reveals his British "white people are just better" mindset.

Is he the most racist British person? No, not by a mile. Not at the time, and not by modern standards. But it's 100% there in his works, staring you in the face.

Orcs are another matter, but the "west humans good, east humans bad" shit is pretty blatant racism. He does try to show that not -all- of the easterners were bad, like when Sam sees his first dead guy killed by another human, and wonders if this poor fellow was really evil at heart or just, you know, drafted up by Putin and sent into the meat grinder. But such musings do not redeem casting all easterners as the bad guys.


Yeah, the scene with Sam and the very confused and self-contradictory way he treated orcs was something of an indication that as person he probably would have questioned the specific race/species = evil trope with a little less Victorian British in him or a long enough life. Strong morals aside, he was a stickler, who would go so far as to upend his entire written world over minor edits, and inconsistencies Bothered him, and that's one thing you discover eventually is that racism isn't even remotely internally consistent. He never quite got there in his own lifetime, but I think he would have eventually.
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Büge
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Büge » Mon Jul 08, 2024 12:58 pm

Friday wrote:He does try to show that not -all- of the easterners were bad, like when Sam sees his first dead guy killed by another human, and wonders if this poor fellow was really evil at heart or just, you know, drafted up by Putin and sent into the meat grinder. But such musings do not redeem casting all easterners as the bad guys.


I feel like he got a little self-aware of this problem in later parts of his writing, like when we saw a scene of two orcs discussing a plan to desert their post in Return of the King. It felt like he was (finally) trying to inject a little bit of humanity into the orcs. Of course, this just kind of adds to the discomforting reality that our heroes are slaughtering essentially slaves.

Another example were the Woses, the "brutish" and "unlovely" people who guide Théoden and the Rohirrim through a secret path to the Pelennor fields. Once the Rohirrim are through the pass, the Woses are like

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Even though I'm sure Tolkien was trying to include a group to contrast the Orcs and Easterlings, it still feels paternalistic.
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nosimpleway
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby nosimpleway » Mon Jul 08, 2024 6:22 pm

Büge wrote:I feel like he got a little self-aware of this problem in later parts of his writing,

It was after publication, so what's there is there, but in letters to people sent later in life he very much dialed it back. Like, to summarize, "I can't say orcs are irredeemably bad. The world accepted their making, so it follows that they are as much a part of nature as anything else, and it therefore follows that being of nature they are of God, and it follows from there that anything of God must be ultimately good."

Fault the logic as you will but yeah, Jolkien Rolkien Rolkien Tolkien himself took a look back at his "always Chaotic/Evil" races and went "Huh, that's... that's not a great thing to say about anybody, even if I made them up."

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Thad
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Thad » Mon Jul 08, 2024 7:42 pm

Yeah, that's consistent with Ainulindalë; there's the bit where the Valar are singing the world into being and Melkor intentionally creates discord and tries to corrupt the song but he can't; everything he creates ends up complementing the song in some way. There's still beauty in snow and ice.

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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Mongrel » Tue Jul 09, 2024 7:14 pm

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Friday
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Re: CHAT DUMP (and Quotes)

Postby Friday » Wed Jul 10, 2024 4:53 am

a middle schooler
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