Saturday, January 08, 2005

Grima Lives!

J.R.R. Tolkien said his books were not allegories, rather fantastic histories. One purpose of history is to help us recognize situations, elements, and forces that might occur again. The Good, as it has always been, is locked in conflict with evil. Tolkien said he was inspired to write the Lord of the Rings by the Lords Prayer - specifically the line, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." From this plea he recognizes two basic forces of evil, that within - temptation, the power of the ring to corrupt its bearer, and that without - evil to be delivered from, the dark lord, Sauron.

Many who now oppose the war fail to grasp this important lesson from the "history" of Middle Earth and good news of the New Testament. They see only the evil within and admonish us to live like the hobbits of the Shire, kept safe by simplicity. But the Evil that threatened Middle Earth would have brought destruction to the peaceful as will as the valiant. And those who have read the whole story will know that even after Sauron had dissipated into the void, evil seized the Shire; bringing death, destruction, and slavery.

Now to Grima Wormtongue; Wormtongue is one of the most effective of the servants of Sauron, one of the most effective weapons of the Evil without. Long trusted, he brings decay before death, corrupting while pretending to support. Like his master Saruman, "the big spider who manipulates the little one," Grima weaves webs of deceit that clog and darken the wisdom of those who’s action will be necessary to end evil. Gandalf recognizes the voice of Sauron in that the words of Saruman and Wormtongue, and move to counter disaster. Before Theoden can rise up to play his part in the salvation of Middle Earth, Grima must be relieved and the pollution of his deceptions washed away by the light of truth.

More and more the Media and academia are filled with smooth- tongued councilors that clog, enfeeble, deceive, and pollute. It would be well to catalogue such subtleties. It was only when they were recognized and unmasked that Saruman and Grima could be defeated.

Some poison from the New York Times:

"Washington’s New Year War Cry: Party On!" Frank Rich, January 2, 2005:

"Ordinary people beyond Washington, red and blue Americans alike, are feeling the a disconnect more and more. . . . ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 70 percent of Americans believed that any gains in Iraq had come at the cost of "unacceptable" losses in casualties and that 56 percent believed the war wasn’t "worth fighting"

Can’t you hear Grima telling Theoden that war is too difficult and we should stay home and die?

Ibid.

"Such is the disconnect between the country and the war that there is no national outrage when the president awards the Medal of Freedom to the clowns who undermined the troops by bungling intelligence (George Tenet) and Iraqi support (Paul Bremer)."

In this attack on the heros who brought safety to our homeland and freedom to millions, can’t you hear the voice of Grima calling Gandalf - Strom Crow?


"Promoting Torture’s Promoter", Bob Herbert, January 7 2005: (an attack on Alberto Gonzales)

"His [Gonzales] judgments regarding the detention and treatment of prisoners rounded up in Iraq and the so-called war on terror have been both unsound and shameful. Some of the practices that evolved from his judgments were appalling, gruesome, medieval."

Here, Grima (Herbert) attacks Eomer (Gonzales), vilifying the very hero who loyally stood by our faltering nation in its fight for survival. Herbert goes on to make more unsupported and untruthful claims about things Mr. Gonzales said and the effects his actions had. Herbert gives comfort and ammunition to our enemies and spins a web of glum about the heart of a nation that needs all its strength to survive. Without a single fact to support his subtlety he hisses:

Ibid.

"Americans have tended to view the U. S. as the guardian of the highest ideals of justice and fairness. But that is a belief that’s getting more and more difficult to sustain. If the Justice Department can be the fiefdom of John Ashcroft or Alberto Gonzales, those in search of the highest standards of justice have no choice but to look elsewhere."

Even as Tolkien’s Grima sowed the seeds of doubt in the justice of the cause against evil his king and country so desperately needed to fight, Herbert and an army of "real world" Grimas are poisoning America’s spirit of resolve. They fill our minds with self doubt and breed contention within while the evil without grows stronger day by day.

I could go on - every news broadcast; every editorial page is full of the whisperings and deceits of those who, beneficing from the protection of our great country, are in league with those who would destroy it. I will end my list here hoping that others in the Agora can present examples. Perhaps there are those who would defend Grima and explain how our nation would be better off listening to "his" advice.

10 comments:

A_Shadow said...

To defend someone like Grima would be a charge indeed. If I felt that I could manage, I would, but someone so blatantly evil...? It would be hard for him. As for those that you have issued forth as modern day "Grima"'s ... I don't know. I honestly don't recognize at least one of the names when involved with the Iraqi jails that you referred to. I'll research it more and give you my take...

A_Shadow said...

I'm not sure how everyone will respond to a posted hyperlink, but copy it into your navigation bar if you'd like to visit it:

http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJRJ8OVF&b=246536

It's research that I found (rather quickly I might add) on the name that I admit I did not recognize. I haven't been as vigilant with the news lately as I have been in the past. Anyways, I don't know how credible I would lable the site since it's primary source for just about everything on that page was Newsweek, but it didn't seem to paint him in a very good light.

Silver Lining said...

Grima Wormtongue did evil things indeed, but in my readings of Tolkein, I don't find him wholely unredeemable. Can we take the analogy of the press to this level then? Is the press unredeemable or might they turn on that which corrupts them and kill it in the end?

I personally liked the analogy though I think like many group comparisons, each member of the media has to ultimately be evaluated individually for their fruits. The media, though difficult to sift through, isn't completely without value, yet. I would take the analogy further than discussion of the war though. Not ten minutes after President Bush's announcement of the new nominee for the Director of Homeland Security, there were pundits on talking about his connections with Whitewater and the disappointment in the fact that he was a hard line Republican. I've had to do my own work to find out information that might speak differently. The media has become an intersting machine, institution, monster, creature, whatever you choose to call it. Is it time it was reigned in? How do we save Theoden as Gandalf did from this Grima Wormtongue?

Lysis said...

As the story of the fall of CBS begins to trickle out, there is some value in delving into Grima ’s story. He was once a wise councilor to a good king. Grima was seduced by the voice of Saruman, Saruman in his turn had fallen to the seductive power of the Dark Lord. Saruman fell because he did not want to be a Stewart, as Gandalf proudly claimed to be, but Saruman desired to rule Middle Earth. He is seduced to seek that power that cannot be shared.

It would be tempting to pardon Wormtonge, after all he did slit Saruman’s throat, but then he also ate poor Pimple.

Both A_Shadow and Silver Lining are right. We should carefully examine the folk in the media. Many are seeking the truth, and we should always avoid judging groups. Silver Lining is right; ever one should be judged as an individual. However, we should not be too quick to accept the self promoting sniveling of those who’s deceptions and mis-guidance do us harm.

I spend some time each day reading op-eds in the New York Times on line. I comment on the thread as “ciceroatrome”. This is among my efforts to find and confront the Grimas in the Media.

On January 9, ‘05 there was a column by Maureen Dowd titled “Defining Victory Down”. Some low points included:

1. “The president prides himself on being a pig-headed buy. He is determined to win in Iraq even if he is not winning in Iraq.”

2. “The president’s still got a paper bag over his head, clamming that the daily horrors out of Iraq reflect just a few sore heads standing in the wary of a glorious democracy, . . . It’s like saying Montana and North Dakota are safe to vote, but New York, Philadelphia, and L.A. are not.”

3. “Mr. Bush is huddled in his bubble, but he’s in a pickle. The administration that had no plan for what to do with Iraq when it got it, now has no plan for getting out.”

4. “Mr. Wolfowitz, who devised the debacle in Iraq, is kept on, while Brent Scowcroft, Poppy Bush’s lieutenant who warned Junior not to go into Iraq, is pushed out as chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. . . . Mr. Scowcroft appeared at the New American Foundation with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, who declared the Iraq war a moral, political and military failure. If we can’t send 500,000 troops, spend $500 billion, and agree to resume the draft, then the conflict should be “terminated,” he said, adding that far from the Jeffersonian democracy Mr. Bush extols, the most we can hope for is a Shiite-controlled theocracy.”

5.” The election is going to expand the control of the Shiite theocrats, even beyond what their numbers would entitle them to have, because of the way the Bush team has set it up and the danger that if you’re a Sunni, the vote you cast may be your last.”

I answered her “whisperings into the kings ear” with:


“Defining the Truth Dowd”

“In reference to your gloom and doom forecast for Iraqi freedom - I’d say you are the pig that wants defeat of American no matter how you define it. The areas of Iraq where murder still reigns are made unsafe by people like you who aid and support atrocities by your anti freedom propaganda. I recall that New York was once under the control of a tyrant. Thank God George Washington didn’t give up because freeing its people would be difficult. It’s a good thing he didn’t have you rooting for the King!!! Your calling the liberation of Iraq a debacle does not make it one. You and “Bagdad Bob” still have a job, but history will give the lie to your politics! As for Scowcroft; one can always find a nay sayer to support their position. Something I’m sure you learned in High School Debate. But, while you snipe and position the truth, brave Iraqi heroes are dying to preserve the Democracy you mock and would desert to Tyranny.”

In my opinion Dowd is “a Grima”. She speaks lies as if they are known truths. She uses half-truths to deceive and she mocks and ridicules those she seeks to weaken and destroy. By her deceits she opens America, the administration, and our allies in Iraq to public derision. She harms the public she dupes as well as those she directly attacks. Dowd is not alone in this, she is a spider’s spider’s spider. Dan Rather is a bigger bug. Perhaps Dan Rather is Grima Wormtongue – after doing all he could to destroy our president he cut the throat of CBS.

Silver Lining said...

Maureen Dowd is almost an unfair choice. She is so obviously on the side of writing what she wants to be the truth and being cynical and sour to all things that might be a positive reflection of this administration,and she has been so for years. Even Clinton didn't like her. She is caught up in her own ability as an op-ed writer for the New York Times. She has elevated her own opinion to such lofty heights over the years that it is little wonder that she passes them off as facts without support.

I've been thinking a bit more about this analogy. The end of the last comment was along the lines of my thought. The press is both Grima and Saruman. You see, who is feeding the evil through their silvery slippery tongue to the press? Most often, it is the press. The New York Times, in particular, could be compared to Saruman as they are still considered one of the newspapers of record when it comes to U.S. National News etc., and if it is in the Times, you can bet hundreds of local papers re-print it in their own additions. It happens every day. CBS would certainly fall within this category.

As far as Dan Rather slitting the throat of CBS, they are doing their best through their agnostic findings in the report to recover from their cut. One would hope this is where they could be redeemed whereas poor Grima was too weak and perhaps too corrupted to be so. However, my small bit of faith is fading quickly into cynicism. The "mainstream media" is trying very hard to shrug off the accusations of bias, arrogance, and agenda and hope the perception the public has is as short lived as possible. Hey, there are even those who already trying to taint Fox News with some responsibility for the CBS scandal. Strange what fear will make people do.

Lysis, at least you are trying to do something about the lack of regard for truth or journalistic integrity in the press. Indeed, as Thomas Jefferson argued, how can we trust the people to run their country if the press is not free with the truth and with ideas. Now he was referencing the need for a free press. I say that stomping on alternative ideas in the media is a smaller example of a lack of free press.

Grima could have been redeemed. He simply went so far down a path and was too weak once there to get out. Let us hope that our media can recover. If we can't hope, what is left?

Dan Simpson said...

Was Grima ever a good counselor to Theodan? That sounds wrong, I don't remember that, but as I have probably not read it as recently as you I will not claim to know for sure.

Silver Lining said...

I don't know that he ever was a good counselor. Lysis will know. I simply think that he was not unredeemable. Though human experience has arguably proven Rousseau wrong repeatedly I suppose there is part of that philosophy that I still believe in.

Lysis said...

I stand corrected on the beginnings of Grima’s evil. I guess Grima Wormtongue was always a bad un! Theoden himself says (speaking to Grima at Isengard, page 183 in my Houghton Mifflin, 1982, Two Towers); “I know that voice,” he said, “and I curse the day when I first listened to it.” Grima was always an evil voice corrupting the king, I guess Dan Rather has always been
one too.

Ares said...

I concur most emphatically with you, Mr. Lysis

About Medicine Blog said...

The Good, as it has always been,
is locked in conflict with evil.