Tag Archives: royal family

What The Hobbit says about British society.

6 Jan

2AM Sunday 6 January 2013 Nunhead Heights.

I went with my oldest son, the 11-year-old Mini-Lew, to see The Hobbit at the Peckham Cineplex. I had never read any of Tolkien’s works, nor had I seen any movies based on his work.

When I was Mini-Lew’s age. some of the cooler kids in my hometown of Great Neck were reading Tolkien. I guess it was exotic to them, coming from England. This was many decades ago. I was still into collecting baseball cards and postage stamps and wasn’t part of that cool world. I didn’t know how to be part of that world.

My son, who is English, has read the book and loved the film. He is into that world. 

The essence of The Hobbit is this:

If you get into deep trouble you best have a wizard  following you around to come to your rescue. Otherwise, you’re screwed.

Why have the Dwarves fight or smart their way out of jams when the Wizard will blow up the mountain and crush their enemies? Unfortunately, having your own personal wizard is pretty much up to luck. And my kid, as far as I know, doesn’t have his own wizard.

In  The Wizard of Oz, the Oz Wizard provides no miracles and no salvation. He doesn’t kill Dorothy’s enemies or even gets her home. He only imparts self-belief. One can accomplish what one truly wants, he tells the four of them. Dorothy made her way to the Emerald City on her own and found her way back home on her own.

What is the Dwarves quest?

To recapture their historical home, the Lonely Mountain. It is a place of happiness and culture?  Is it a land of love of one’s fellow man? 

No. It is the bank where their ancestors had greedily hoarded gold and jewels. ‘Now that’s a motive that we can get behind!’ I write sarcastically. ‘Not fighting an Evil Empire, just a lust for gold.’

But Dorothy of Kansas’s home is filled with her lovely family and friends. Decent people. In The Hobbit, the Dwarves are just greedy bastards who invade the Hobbit’s home and wreck it. Rotten people, these Dwarves, on a rotten quest. 

Why is Thorin the leader of the Dwarves? He inherited it. But is he worthy of being followed, as the Wizard says he is?

Thorin is no genius. He is too stupid to know that his kingdom’s neighbors were not his enemies. And then he had expected his neighbors to come to his aid even though it meant they would be destroyed by the rampaging Dragon. And without the Wizard, the Dwarves would have been eaten alive under the command of Thorin. 

Thorin, the King of the Dwarves, is derisively put down by one of his enemies for losing his kingdom. One of the worst thing you can do in Britain is lose your inheritance. To the Manor Born and the Manor must be given to your oldest child.  And there is nothing more laughable than an ex-King. Think of the pompous Kings of Yugoslavia, the foppish Duke of Windsor, or the now irrelevant Mitt Romney.

The motto of the Queen of England is ‘We have held onto more stuff longer than any other British family.’ The Queen of England is President Assad or Mohammar Gaddafi or Assad plus four hundred years.

I grew up believing that ‘A man who dies rich is disgraced’ as Andrew Carnegie said. Carnegie is the man my second child is named after. He gave his money away to build schools and theatres. The Queen hoards her money to give to her children. I am not going to die rich so I have no fear of being disgraced that way. 

The Hobbit is propaganda by the British ruling classes to keep British children accepting the rule of their ‘betters’ and to know their place. 

I hope most Brits don’t believe that rancid ideology. It is so un-American – or the America I believe in – that I almost screamed in the theatre. Not that it would have mattered. We were in Peckham and screaming in the theatre  there isn’t  unusual.  

When the lights came on in the theatre I breathed a sigh of relief. I hadn’t wasted my childhood on that Tolkien garbage.

Sadly, my Mini-Lew has grown up immersed in that pro-monarchy, pro-ruling-class ideology. The ‘know your-place-as-you-don’t-have-a-wizard’ rubbish.  

He loves the Queen. Ah well, I still love him.  

What do you think about this? Tell me. Leave a comment. 

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed 

Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio 

Live shows begin 8 January 2013

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow 

Screw Michelle Obama and her lovely family.

5 Sep

3PM Wednesday

Screw Michelle Obama and her lovely family.

Why must every friggin’ American politician announce that their parents didn’t have much money but they grew up with oodles of love, discipline, values and that their parents supported their families with two, three, ten jobs…?*

Insert scream here.

*Except the ones with oodles of money

I tried to watch Michelle Obama’s Democratic National Convention 2012 speech. My eyes caught on fire and I had to turn it off.

Not only couldn’t I stand the cringing rubbish of teachers who are fighting to make it through because the Republican cuts and the blinded no-leg soldiers who are going to run marathons and who would lose their eyes again for America.

But the most cringing is the glorification of her and Barack Obama’s parents. The deification, the sanctification, the glorification, the damned ications.

If it is true – if Michelle and her hubby Barack Obama were given massive love and a safe environment and had incredible role models as children – then they’ve had the same advantage as Mitt Romney, who grew up with money and inherited money.

Having loving parents is maybe a MORE unfair advantage than having just rich parents.

We all know it’s almost impossible to be a success with unearned money. The smartest rich Americans don’t leave their children much. Andrew Carnegie gave it all away and so is Bill Gates. That is very American.

The reverse is true here in Britain where the goal is to hand down the wealth that your parents gave you and then some. That is why Britain’s ruling elite, including the Royal Family, are so ill-suited to taking this country into the future. Britain is one giant game of hot potato. Risk adverse and possessive.

Anyone can be a success with the proper role models. Hard work and discipline is the most transferable and valuable of skills.

I didn’t have a safe environment to grow up it.

My mother was always buggering off into her dream world of anger and medications and depressions and periodic visits to psychiatric emergency wards and hospitals. I learned from my mother to see the sofa as a safe place.

My father was the brokest lawyer in the New York State Bar Association – in one of the most lucrative legal fields – Patent and Trademark Law. I don’t blame him for my failure because he actually worked. I didn’t see him doing it because he slaved in the AMF Building on Madison Avenue and in 15 Park Row, once the tallest building in the world. My mother wasn’t the best role model.

That said: I don’t know how loving Michelle Obama’s childhood was.

I do know that her husband – Barack Obama – didn’t have such a good childhood.

His African father fled his family to Kenya to have another family (or other families?) and Barack’s mother dumped him with his grandmother in Hawaii while she did some other stuff, I don’t remember what.

That isn’t why I don’t like Barack Obama.

Ronald Reagan had a drunken father and I think he was the second best president in my lifetime after Dwight David Eisenhower.

No, I don’t like the President cause he’s got some kind of score to settle. George W. Bush had a score against Saddam Hussein, and look where that got America.

Obama was raised by white people whom he probably believed had something to do with his African father being sent away. Resentment doesn’t make for a good president. Presidents have to get along with other people.

Either way, Michelle Obama is rubbish. Either she’s a braggart or she’s lying about their lovely, lovely, families.

Let me know if anything of this is factually incorrect. OR if any of this factually correct. I had rubbish parents and am doing the best I can.

@lewisschaffer – twitter feed

Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on http://www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday: Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, The Source Below, 11 Lower John Street, London W1F 9TY. Come on down. Free admission. Or reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comedian

John Fleming's blog - SO IT GOES

John Fleming’s blog: human interest, humour, humor, comedy blog featuring eccentricity, performance, movies and occasionally a few tears

Nunhead Nags

A blog about Nunhead regeneration

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comic

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comedian

John Fleming's blog - SO IT GOES

John Fleming’s blog: human interest, humour, humor, comedy blog featuring eccentricity, performance, movies and occasionally a few tears

Nunhead Nags

A blog about Nunhead regeneration

Lewis Schaffer

Nunhead American Comic