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Old 01-31-2004, 10:07 PM   #1
Sangal
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Sting ME's advantages

Imaging that somebody asked you about the Middle-Earth’s advantages. What would you tell about it (comparing the world of ME with our modern world)?
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Old 02-01-2004, 01:48 PM   #2
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Sting

Middle-earth did not have a trash celebrity culture, unlike my part of Earth.
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Old 02-01-2004, 04:04 PM   #3
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Sting

Oo, ditto, Eomer! Of course, since some of that culture belongs to the actors who were in LotR, and vice-versa, that's what makes it sad.

I said it first, as far as I know, but Miranda Otto said something similar when asked what she'd learned from her experience on the cast of LotR.

Miranda - "'Lord of the Rings' reveres things I think society is aching to go back to [such as] honor, loyalty and dignity - qualities we tend to forgo so quickly for money. If someone says, 'I'll give you $200 if you take your clothes off and run around the block,' a lot of people will do it."

That sums it up for me. Don't get on me for saying this, but we don't have politics (not that it's all bad...), or political correctness, or war protesters (except Grima) or such. Chivalry, and nobility - two lost concepts in a world of being "metrosexual" and whatnot. (Or why else do people thank me in surprise for getting the door for them?)
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Old 02-01-2004, 04:25 PM   #4
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Air pollution. Well, pollution in general. Middle-Earth would be much less polluted. Where I live we recently had really bad air pollution, so bad they wouldn't let elementary school kids outside for recess. It gave me the worst sore throat I can remember ever having. And it made me sound like Gollum. Nassssty smogsses chokeses usss, precioussss!
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Old 02-01-2004, 04:37 PM   #5
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Sting

I agree.

I think that part of the appeal of Middle-earth in general is that society reveres honor, loyalty, dignity, and steadfastness. Money doesn't enter into the equation, and if it does, it has a minor role. For example, look at all the reality TV shows that we have, based on rich people's lives. We've got things like Rich Girls that waste hard-earned money on shadowing two spoiled, self-centered rich kids around NYC. We never see TV shows or media spotlights on heroes like Jessica Lynch, because apparently, they're simply not interesting.
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Old 02-01-2004, 05:08 PM   #6
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Sting

Advantages over Modern-Earth

1: Aesthetics (obviously): I mean, our cities are big, many bigger than any of ME's cities, and many are beautiful to look at. But ME's cities are much more to look upon. I'd rather go to Dol Amroth than JFK Airport if I had to take a long journey. I'd rather go to Lothlorien than some wildlife preserve. I'd rather go to Minas Tirith than pretty much anywhere. The sheer epic wonder of ME far outweighs our own. Only the most gargantuan earthly cities, like NYC, Moscow, Rome, London, and Paris can compare.

The People: Think about it, people in New York City will mug and rob you, people in Bree might rob you too, but they'll do it with that Breelander style. Walking down the street, i'd rather see a charming hobbit lad than a businessman blabbing on a cell phone. In a secure building, who wants to see a police-outfited security guard with a pistol when you could just stare at those stunningly-garbed Citadel Guard in Minas Tirith. Elves, dwarves, and hobbits are a welcome sight for my eyes.

I have more, but Carpal Tunnel syndrome is eating away at me, so I'll type them up later.
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Old 02-01-2004, 09:27 PM   #7
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I'm absolutely agree with Eomer of the Rohirrim and Knight of Gondor. Lots of people live for money and celebrity. They forgot about simple but very important things.

Air pollution is one of the most serious problem of our world. And this is a consequence of modern people's values. They want to become more and more rich and don't think about ways of achieving wealth.

Kransha, ofcourse the world of ME is not ideal. It has defectes too but not that wide as our modern world has.

I have one more advantage - it is a War. There were no wars in the ME with such a fearful and huge influence on descendants and nature as we got in the 20th centure, for example. I think this is very important and serious - when you make a war - it must be a war of your ages, your generation, and after its end new people don't have to be in pain with polluted air, vicious water and ill animals and trees.
Tolkien taught us don't lose the connection with alive nature. I think it is very wisdom and it is important for the world existance.

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 10:30 PM February 01, 2004: Message edited by: Sangal ]
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Old 08-10-2004, 07:27 AM   #8
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Silmaril

Middle Earth has everything we lack. They have no order in society, which is good because then nobody gets their feelings hurt.
It has no racism, except from the Nazgul when they aclled Arwen a she-elf! That's an insult, right? (I suppose you could call that racism)
It has no damn money-corrupted government.
There is less dispute over who gets what and who's right and wrong etc.
I guess you could say that ME is more organised and arranged better, society-wise.
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Old 08-10-2004, 08:46 AM   #9
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Pipe Not wanting to be the nasty realist but...

I think there would be a real awakening for a contemporary real world chap or chappess experiencing ME. The lack of things we take for granted would be shocking to most: hygiene, medicine, running water etc.

In particular, the standard of hygiene and medical care et al would be the elements with which I could not cope. Assuming that Tolkien's medieval-Europe-a-like world is consistent, we have to imagine a world without anaesthetics or what we woudl consider rudimentary medical practices. The difficulty in finding and maintaining a source of clean water would also be difficult.

Someone above mentions the benefits of living in a world of honour and decency. You have to look at both sides of the coin. Life in much of ME, particularly outside of Elven/Hobbit communities would be a world of rough justice and survival of the fittest. A sickly person? Short sighted? Strange looking? These societies would be much less tolerant of diversity and physical weaknesses would be hugely difficult to cope with, to an even greater extent than is true in the real world.

Want to be a writer? A painter? In fact, want to be able to read? You couldn't take these things for granted at all. It might seem a world of freedom compared with today, but that is a lazy misconception. It would be a hard and probably brief struggle. Raising a family for instance would be incredibly hard work (not that it is easy today, necessarily). Think how many children would be lost at childbirth and in infancy.

Don't think the world you live in is as bad as all that, for most people. Particularly us blessed folks with the time and the riches to spend time on a computer, talking with the world about books we love.

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Old 08-10-2004, 10:03 AM   #10
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Boots

I was waiting for one sensible person to swing the thread over!

However, there are people in our world who live in just such conditions. The people who live their lives in the jungles of South America do not know what they're 'missing', why would they be sad that they have no running water or whatever. They have never experienced anything other than their own lives.

So it is true that if we were suddenly lobbed into Middle-earth we'd be slightly off balance and more than a little queasy, but that's not really how I imagined the original question.

And as for intolerance, rimbaud, I have had too many bad experiences in this world to be worried about the intolerance of Middle-earth. (My pessimism really shines through in these threads!)
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Old 08-10-2004, 03:49 PM   #11
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Middle Earth values much that this earth has forgotten about honour , decencey ,loyalty to others. OK in some ways it would be harder life than we have here and now >BUT then no harder than say our great great grandparents . And some of the ME problems, Sauron for instance are unique well maybe not if one looks at some of the villians of the 20th century.
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Old 08-11-2004, 08:51 PM   #12
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Yes, it would be a harder life, but it's the dignity and sense of pride and ancientry which we just seem to lack nowadays. I'm a nature-lover, and it just makes me sad to see the trees gradually disappearing all over the place so we can make office buildings. I currently live in suburbia and there are parks and trees and things but in time it'll all be industrialized, and I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to move somewhere more rural at some point in my life. Then again, I love the city, so I guess I can go both ways.

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It has no racism
Actually, Middle-earth has got its share of racism... look at the Elves/Dwarves, Rohirrim/Dunlendings, Orcs/Men and Elves.
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Old 08-11-2004, 10:59 PM   #13
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I think that many people forget (as Rimbaud so accurately pointed out) that Middle Earth isn't as....romantic, as we like to think.

People have said that Middle Earth doesn't have as many problems as the real world. That they have nobility, that they love nature, etc, and it really makes it seem as if this civilization is going to the dogs! (Technically it is, of course, but I believe that everything goes downwards and that we're just closer to the end as it were than in Middle Earth's time.)

See, the thing is is that Middle Earth is the real world (Tolkien wrote it as a mythology) so it has its real problems. The problem of survival, and others that we don't know about because Tolkien didn't go into them.

What about the problems of caste? Remember Sam and calling Frodo sir? Tolkien wrote him as a servant, as an unequal. Of course the relationship gradually changed but that still doesn't change the thinking of inequality.

Also what about the Sackville Bagginses? One still had the irate, selfish, thieving neighbours.

There was even corruption within the governments (Denethor not wanting to give the throne to Elessar and Grima and Theoden). So it wasn't all sunshine and roses.

But there is nobility in this era too. Washington, Joan of Arc, every time a person gives up his own needs/ life for another. That is still alive here. The only reason it's more rampant in Tolkien's legendarium is because he wrote about that one segment of history. We don't hear about the every day stuff.

I guess what I'm saying is that Middle Earth is not problem free. Maybe there's not the problem of pollution etc, but it has its own problems that we'd gripe about as well.
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Old 08-12-2004, 02:33 AM   #14
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Pipe Nobility

And neither does this fictional world have a lock on nobility, either. Today, right now, against forces more powerful and unaccountable than could have been imagined in such a world as ME, there are people fighting hard, making sacrifices, being noble.

Organisations like Amnesty, Médecins Sans Frontières, the Red Cross and countless aid organisations are full of selfless, noble people, who work against incredible odds to alleviate suffering and improve conditions the world over. These organisations are not perfect and there are some who work for them who are not as selfless as others (and there are aid organisations for whom hypocrites is too weak a term), of course, but the point remains. Even now, in Sudan, in Afghanistan, in the very country you live in now, people are making sacrifices for others.

Every time you help someone selflessly, every time you lend a part of yourself to aid another, nobility is there. Do not deny the inhabitants of the real world their very real dignity, when so many struggle everyday against corrupt forces to improve life for all. If you feel the world you live in is so bereft of human decency and nobilty, then make steps to change it. Don't proclaim the death of nobility. Go and make a difference. Rant over.

http://www.msf.org/
http://www.amnesty.org/
http://www.redcross.org/ (US) http://www.redcross.org.uk/homepage.asp (UK)
http://www.avert.org/
http://www.unicef.org/
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Old 08-12-2004, 03:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imladris
I think that many people forget (as Rimbaud so accurately pointed out) that Middle Earth isn't as....romantic, as we like to think.

People have said that Middle Earth doesn't have as many problems as the real world. That they have nobility, that they love nature, etc, and it really makes it seem as if this civilization is going to the dogs! (Technically it is, of course, but I believe that everything goes downwards and that we're just closer to the end as it were than in Middle Earth's time.)

See, the thing is is that Middle Earth is the real world (Tolkien wrote it as a mythology) so it has its real problems. The problem of survival, and others that we don't know about because Tolkien didn't go into them.

What about the problems of caste? Remember Sam and calling Frodo sir? Tolkien wrote him as a servant, as an unequal. Of course the relationship gradually changed but that still doesn't change the thinking of inequality.

Also what about the Sackville Bagginses? One still had the irate, selfish, thieving neighbours.

There was even corruption within the governments (Denethor not wanting to give the throne to Elessar and Grima and Theoden). So it wasn't all sunshine and roses.

But there is nobility in this era too. Washington, Joan of Arc, every time a person gives up his own needs/ life for another. That is still alive here. The only reason it's more rampant in Tolkien's legendarium is because he wrote about that one segment of history. We don't hear about the every day stuff.

I guess what I'm saying is that Middle Earth is not problem free. Maybe there's not the problem of pollution etc, but it has its own problems that we'd gripe about as well.
Exactly!Such is the construction of an epic. True, Greenpeace might nearly be out of business in ME but other issues are the bold statements of the renowned trilogy (i.e., honor [in nobility] in this instance)

And yet another quotable Rimbaud paragraph:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rimbaud
Every time you help someone selflessly, every time you lend a part of yourself to aid another, nobility is there. Do not deny the inhabitants of the real world their very real dignity, when so many struggle everyday against corrupt forces to improve life for all. If you feel the world you live in is so bereft of human decency and nobilty, then make steps to change it. Don't proclaim the death of nobility. Go and make a difference. Rant over.
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:30 AM   #16
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Encaitare, I guess you're right about the rasicm thing, I didn't think about that.
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:04 AM   #17
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Maybe Middle-earth isn't *better* than Modern-earth, per se; it's just different. What isn't as much of a problem some places here (i.e. hygiene), is more of an issue in Middle-earth (although those elves and Numenoreans are really clever...). And some problems here (i.e. pollution) aren't as bad in M-e (except maybe in Mordor...).

How you view Middle-earth could depend on what you're used to here. Someone from a third-world country would have a very different perception of things were they dropped in, than, say, a spoiled brat from Beverly Hills or NYC (no offense).

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Old 08-12-2004, 11:45 AM   #18
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I would like to see Mallorns...... but I guess not seeing balrogs is the pay-off...
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Old 08-12-2004, 02:06 PM   #19
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I'd like to see some of that architecture. Minas Tirith, etc...
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:22 PM   #20
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Less crowded? Wheee!

Well, there'd be less people than my current home. I absolutely adore wide open spaces, where you couldn't see a house if you tried. I like the lonely feeling. Don't know why...
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:41 PM   #21
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I think if I could I would live in the Shire share tales of old have a pipe once in a while drink jollily work hard on my farm and garden read..."It is no bad thing to celebrate simple life"

Or tag along behind Gandalf learning from his wisdom learning the lore of old
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Old 08-13-2004, 05:14 AM   #22
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Apart from natural beauty and such I wouldn't want to live in ME at all.

It would likely be medieval in lifestyle and then I have to remember a phrase from a indebt book dealing with the Middle Ages in my family's very own book-collection.

'Life was short,hard and brutal'

No ME for me,thank you!
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Old 08-13-2004, 10:16 AM   #23
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The average Hobbit surely didn't suffer brutal existence, did he/she?
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Old 08-13-2004, 10:21 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Apart from natural beauty and such I wouldn't want to live in ME at all.

It would likely be medieval in lifestyle and then I have to remember a phrase from a indebt book dealing with the Middle Ages in my family's very own book-collection.

'Life was short,hard and brutal'

No ME for me,thank you!
yes it was...I do however wonder would it bew that bad... Yes going from our time to theirs would be horrible but had we lived there with no knowledge of this time would we think it was that way...especially with hobbits...or elves?
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Old 08-13-2004, 11:38 AM   #25
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Without the benefit of modern medicine I would have been dead at 3 weeks old so no ME for me either - though like Eomer I would like to see the architecture .... Rivendell and Dol Amroth......

There are plenty of open spaces in our own world and lovely too .... if you are prepared to walk to them.... I mean other than some of the flora and fauna .... I can't think of anything geographical that we don't have .....

Most hobbits seem to have been living more or less hand to mouth ... most of the societies in ME seem to have been at best benevolently feudal ..... and so male dominated.........
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Old 08-13-2004, 03:21 PM   #26
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Quote:
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The average Hobbit surely didn't suffer brutal existence, did he/she?
I don't think you would have enjoyed the hard-working life of the typical hobbit ( Not the Frodo's who could sit on their bum all day). I bet you'd cry for home in less then a week, wether the hobbit-life was brutal or not.
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Old 08-13-2004, 03:35 PM   #27
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A rural life in Hobbiton? Adaptation would play a crucial part.
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Old 08-13-2004, 03:40 PM   #28
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Boots

This is a home I would never have had, the Shire would be my home. That is my essential point, that Hobbits were relatively satisfied with their lot. If I were to be somehow transported into Middle-earth, into the body of a Hobbit or whatever and had to live a different life, then yes, I would probably want to go back to the world in which we live in.

However, Tolkien generally didn't include feelings of longing for our 'real' world into the hearts of his fictional characters.
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Old 08-13-2004, 03:45 PM   #29
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Quote:
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However, Tolkien generally didn't include feelings of longing for our 'real' world into the hearts of his fictional characters.
I have a feeling he didn't have to They were content and so am I happily settled on the earth we are home to.
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Old 08-13-2004, 09:31 PM   #30
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Laitoste-- Exactly. There's not nearly enough nature left... at least not near me. Even farms are all high-tech now. I just love the idea that in ME you can ride for days without seeing another person.
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