A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Thursday, April 28, 2011 :::
The Wisdom of

J.R.R. Tolkien


Judy Garland???

Life is somewhat sorting out for A Mind That Suits, but new problems arise.

In that, nothing is much different for him than it is for everyone else.  He is always reminded at such junctures of a well-worn quote from Judy Garland.  One famous Jack or other from the time--Parr or Lemon--found her on Rodeo Drive looking like the million dollars she didn't have on the very day that it was announced that her house had been repossessed.  When whichever Jack it was asked her how she could look so good, she replied, "If there is one thing I have learned in life, it's that behind every cloud there's another cloud."

And here follows one of those leaps that so mystify the friends of A Mind That Suits.

Long ago readers of A Mind That Suits will remember that he came upon The Lord of the Rings rather late in life, after the second installment of Peter Jackson's wonderful (if not exactly loyal) film adaptation.  At the time, this stunned one of his favorite people, Ranger Bill, who was his first ever boss, back when he was a wee slip of a college sophomore.  Ranger Bill, who has long defended the borders of this Shire we call the United States, doing intellectual battle with the most sordid sorts of fools, was one of the first Americans to write about The Lord of the Rings when it was published in the US. 

However, it was not the first time that Ranger Bill had experienced this strange lateness.  His own first boss, who also toiled in the defense of what is true and just, heaped scorn on the idea of the book, until he finally decided to find out why Ranger Bill could possibly like it.  Said boss immediately succumbed.

And, after a similarly long resistance, so did A Mind That Suits. 

Having recently reached the end of a lengthy battle, he started a journey through Middle Earth to recharge the juices when another long brewing trouble boiled over. 
Now, A Mind That Suits had long before taken to referring to any truly troublesome individual as "one of life's Gollums." Recently, he was forced to confront a person who appeared to be an actual Gollum, down to talking about A Mind That Suits in the third person as if he could not hear what was going on and continually complaining about how unfair life was, and how awful A Mind That Suits was.

A Mind That Suits had not known this was possible, but he sure knows it now.

Also, the hissing.  Did anyone out there know that people actually hiss at people they dislike?  A Mind That Suits didn't, but he sure knows it now.

He has had to completely change his assessment of the great artistry of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Golllum had seemed to be an embodiment of what could happen when a person so internalized self-obsession that it completely ate them up.

Now, it seems that J.R.R. Tolkien must have known a person who was in fact so completely eaten up.  When the twelve year gestation of The Lord of the Rings was finally over and they got a good look at the issue, perhaps the Master and Fellows of Pembroke College at Oxford, where Tolkien taught, looked at each other  and said, "Well, he certainly got old Pemberton-Smythly-Pirbright down to a T."

This is not, it should be stressed, a happy discovery for A Mind That Suits.  In discussing it with Ranger Bill, his thoughts crystallized thus:

What A Mind That Suits loves about The Lord of the Rings is that it keeps giving him insights into life.
What he hates about life is that it keeps giving him insights into The Lord of The Rings.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 1:30 PM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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