Among the Orc-Minded

I have been spending some time in Middle Earth the last few days, watching Sir Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. It made me think of much I don’t like about my fellow Americans, particularly white males. With their scruffy look, tattoos, and exaggerated machismo, I see many of them as little better than Tolkien’s orcs. Take this quote from The Lord of the Rings:

Much of the same sort of degraded and filthy talk can still be heard among the orc-minded; dreary and repetitive with hatred and contempt, too long removed from good to retain even verbal vigour, save in the ears of those to whom only the squalid sounds strong. [Italics mine]

Look at our movie heroes. How many of them remind you of the figure above? Sly Stallone, Vin Diesel, Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson, Russell Crowe—all could be cast as Middle Earth villains. The tent-dwelling homeless population of Los Angeles all look like orcs. It’s a look they tend to strive for: The “No one messes with me” look. I mean, who would want to? Even the police are not eager to make contact with males who look mean and diseased at the same time. Would you even want to share a police cruiser with one of them?

As for myself, I’m not into aggressive squalor. I’d prefer to throw in my lot with the elves, hobbits, wizards, dwarves, and men of Middle Earth.