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  • #46
    It's interesting to note these conversations because they are an example of how sexualised our society has become. Sex has been turned into a commodity. Sex is exploited at every possible turn. This wasn't the case when I was young and certainly not the case when Tolkien was writing his books. I would be prepared to put up a spirited argument in favour of Tolkien (aaargh, something's happening to my head -- help me! help me!) in this case. As my regular readers know, I have always celebrated what's become known as gender bending (or blending) and have many characters who are bisexual, a few who are homosexual, so I have no problems with characters being homosexual. However, it is indeed perfectly possible for what used to be called 'platonic' love to exist between individuals -- men and women, women and women, men and men -- and it warps the meaning of that love to sexualise it. Again, I think my readers know I have nothing against sexuality or sex, but
    I do have an attitude about pornography. In some ways our society, by borrowing fetishistic images from the world of pornography, has pornographised (horrible word) itself so that any suggestion of love between individuals must also carry sexual implications. This has infected relationships which used to be innocent and I believe that the
    comradeship felt by Tolkien's characters is indeed innocent of sexuality.
    That the entire book is innocent of sexuality is perhaps why I have always considered it a children's book. It is, of course, perfectly possible to write a children's book which contains sexuality and adult
    books which don't, but certainly the writers who came just before Tolkien or were his contemporaries were, most of them, very curious about
    sexuality and the relationship between the sexes -- Lawrence, Joyce,
    Henry Miller et al. -- while even T.H.White (who was not only homosexual but a paedophile, who exiled himself to Sark primarily for that reason)
    could write very movingly about relationships between the sexes, especially in his treatment of Lancelot and Guinevere in The Once and Future King. That he romanticised the relationship between Merlin and Wart, for instance, still does not mean he was describing a homosexual relationship. It does indicate, however, how paedophiles can romanticise their own relationships, which makes the whole subject a very complex
    one. Meanwhile, I think we can all take it as read that in spite of his
    remarkable hole, Bilbo Baggins was not having it off with anyone but Mrs
    Baggins. Assuming there was one. Neither were the Lion and the Witch
    coming out of the wardrobe for any purposes other than those stated.
    For that matter it's fair to assume that no Drone in a Wodehouse story was enjoying at that time illicit relations with Oofy Prosser. I could go on for a long time about the way in which sexuality has been made into a commodity and how pornography, which is a commodity, has infected our language and our society, but not here. Anyone interested can find references in books such as Casablanca, The Case Against Pornography, or political tracts like The Retreat from Liberty!

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    • #47
      I never once considered the sexuality of Sam and Frodo until the "media" and others mentioned it. Even in the movies, it never crossed my mind. I just thought they were the best of friends. When people started talking about it, I thought it was just silly.

      Michael made the point far better than I could, so I just want to say I agree. :D
      When they had advanced together to meet on common
      ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
      and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
      each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
      mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
      killing, and the ground ran with blood.

      Homer, The Illiad

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      • #48
        Yeah, what VonWeiner said...
        "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
        --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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        • #49
          Me too.

          I think this is an important point that goes well beyond LOTR and even sexuality, although I guess this is the most obvious application. Mike said it most eloquently, but this is really what I meant by "lenses". I'm not saying that we need to always look past our individual beliefs for those of the group, but I think it is very dangerous to ONLY look at things on an individual basis. Really, isn't that the root of racism, or, more broadly, discrimination (in the negative sense)?

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          • #50
            Yeah, Mike said what I was trying to say. At least we're all in a greement about this. :D
            "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
            --Thomas a Kempis

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