Tag Archives: wizard

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 

I am against gay marriage. Really.

11 May

11:59pm Friday 11 May 2012 Nunhead Height

I am not against gay people doing what they want to do. Freedom, and all that, is good. I am a libertarian, often, as I am for freedom and usually freedom is the cheapest option, and libertarianism annoys people on the Left and on the Right and I am nothing if not annoying.

But gay marriage is like anything free: It has a cost. Like “free” lunches, free healthcare, free education, free sex and even Free Nelson Mandela – someone has to pay for it. Even my show at the Source Below every Tuesday and Wednesday “Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous” is not “free”. I stand by the door and make you give me something, even if it’s an explanation as to why you sat through two hours and don’t put even one billion dollars Zimbabwean in my bucket.

What the proponents of gay marriage are asking is that the state – the state – as in the people who take our tax money and enforce our laws and contracts – okay, not much of my tax money – proponents of gay marriage are asking The State to grant a license to people who previously had relationships all on their very own without state intervention. Then they want the state to enforce that license or contract if things go wrong, which they almost inevitably do.

Yes, marriage is all well and good, but it goes wrong, frequently, and since the good people of the nations of America and England refuse to enforce the marriage contract for people who already are married – the men and women in heterosexual marriages –  marriage is not worth the hard drive it is encoded on.

Does the state enforce ‘for better and for worse’ and ‘til death do us part.’ Does it say to straight people: “Make it work. You have no choice.”? No. The state lets married couples get divorced whenever one person wants it without even an explanation needed.

So you split up, you gay lovers. You enter the divorce courts, forced mediation, counselling, the mess that comes from an extra mothers and fathers in custody battles, women’s shelters, and council flats for the dispossessed. Who is going to pay for all that? Do you think your £29.50 marriage license is going to cover all that? No, it will come out of MY tax dollar. And I don’t want to pay.

What I think gay people want – if there is such a thing as “a gay person” having seen incredible flexibility in human preferences as to make the term “a gay person” or “straight person” completely ridiculous – Am I gay because of what I did in university or what what goes through my head when I watch Mens Olympic Water Polo?

So, to finish my sentence, what gay people want is a state-sanctioned party – the Wedding – and the piece of paper, which ironically is SO Wizard of Oz. “You want to be married”, the Wizard says “so with the powers invested in me…”

Everyone wants what I call “The Full Eastenders”: The meeting. the sex, the engagement, the fights, the cheating, the reconciliation, The Big Wedding, the marriage, the children, the cheating, the fights, the heartache, the divorce, the custody battles, the reconciliation, and the ending in murder or suicide. Who wants to be told you can’t have the wedding bit?

[The absolutely brilliant Matthew Parris wrote about why he won’t attend weddings, even gay weddings: It is another Saturday ruined.]

Let’s ban heterosexual marriage, too, because it doesn’t mean a friggin’ thing in this country. When your wife wants to divorce you, you wouldn’t believe how fast and unstoppable that procedure is, even if it isn’t even in her best interests,  let alone the children or society’s, whatever society is. You go from Married to Divorced in 35 days. 35 days! The mother is possibly extra crazy from the exhausting hell of giving birth to a baby or two and not in sound mind – not that any woman is completely free from insanity.

The court won’t enforce a straight marriage and it won’t enforce a gay marriage. But you want the wedding, gay people, so go ahead. But don’t expect to get any satisfaction when it goes wrong from the people who gave you that license, or cosigned that contract. And by God, it will go wrong. And don’t expect me to be happy that I have to pay for it.

@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

See Lewis Schaffer Sometimes test the news items at the Hungry Miller Comedy Club at The Miller by Borough High Street this Monday at 8PM. Fantastic night of comedy with Britain’s top comics and me, briefly. Only £4!

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