McSweeney’s Internet Tendancy, one of my favourite humour sites on the web, has a funny bit with extracts from a fictional commentary of Lord of the Rings by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. It’s in four parts, so check the whole thing out. It’s pretty funny.
CHOMSKY: Gandalf is screaming, “Fight! Stand by your posts!” It’s all he knows, fighting.
ZINN: And any attempt at peacemaking, any attempt to avoid war, is, in this ideology, fear and weakness.
CHOMSKY: “Kill the trolls!” Gandalf is hollering now. “Bring them down!” Of course he wants the trolls killed. They’re tangible proof that the Orcs have mastered their very limited environment.
ZINN: You see the walls of Minas Tirith up close here. Albert Speer would have been proud. Notice the grand scale, the “great works” emphasis of Gondorian architecture. The fascist uniformity of their battle dress. Compare it to the folk artwork of Orcish armor—their improvisatory use of shrunken heads and Mannish skulls, for instance. There’s something very beautiful about it to me.
CHOMSKY: A perfect example of what Ruskin valorizes as the Gothic aesthetic.