Osama Bin Baggins?

"The Fellowship Of The Ring," we hoped, would provide an escape from the reality of the war on terror. So why do journalists insist on drawing allusions between the fantastical tale and modern-day political realities? The Times of London's Bronwen Maddox recently described the mountain ranges of Middle-earth as "greener than the Hindu Kush or the Pamirs but equally daunting." But at least her allegory of "figures with long beards [sitting] in a circle arguing about the fate of their country" was more subtle than that of London Evening Standard writer Alexander Walker. "People in 'Lord of the Rings' have more hair than they do in Afghanistan," he wrote.

Andrew Sullivan of The New Republic joined the fun, posting his own reflections on the film on his Web site: "Isn't Dubya a classic Frodo? His dad, Bilbo [sic]... had his own little adventure with the dark forces, but poor Frodo is stuck with the legacy." What does one say about such drivel? Sullivan's readers offered a few of their own allegories. If Dubya is Frodo, wrote one fan, then Frodo "would have stomped his way back from Mordor offering all kinds of tax breaks to Saruman's oil and gas industry in the Shire." Another suggested that Saruman is "the personification of the Saudi government, putting forth a reasonable face while simultaneously churning out mindless killers."

Now we understand why J.R.R. Tolkien emphatically denied allegory in his works. Let's take him at his word. In any event, if one were to draw comparisons, it would be good to remember that Al Qaeda live in holes in the hills. So do hobbits. Would anyone liken them to terrorists?

Osama Bin Baggins? | News