Jeffrey Overstreet’s interview with John Rhys-Davies

Yes, I’m a LOTR fan, have been since the late 60’s.
I was rather disappointed when Viggo Mortensen turned into such an idiot. But this interview with John Rhys-Davis I found encouraging.

Says Rhys-Davis, in part:

“I’m burying my career so substantially in these interviews that it’s painful. But I think that there are some questions that demand honest answers.  …..  I think that Tolkien says that some generations will be challenged. And if they do not rise to meet that challenge, they will lose their civilization. That does have a real resonance with me.”

On reading this, my eyebrows went up, bigtime. And in truth, this is spot on; If you read any of the background writings surrounding the author, the idea of his writing this epic was, in part, to create unique western mythology; one centered around early England, in the hopes of extending the reach of English Culture. Given the collapse of British colonialism doing his lifetime, and two world wars, the latter of which nearly cost England their country, his concerns are easily identified and understood. Sad that so many who claim to understand Tolkien miss this important point.

An interesting sidebar to this point is that Rhys-Davis grew up in Colonial Africa, and so perhaps has a better grasp of cultural value and what happens when cultures collapse from external pressure as surely happened in that part of the world.

He goes on from there:

“I mean, the abolition of slavery comes from Western democracy. True Democracy comes form our Greco-Judeo-Christian-Western experience. If we lose these things, then this is a catastrophe for the world”.

He echoes my thoughts, often expressed in these spaces, when he points out:

“…and there is a demographic catastrophe happening in Europe that nobody wants to talk about, that we daren’t bring up because we are so cagey about not offending people racially. And rightly we should be. But there is a cultural thing as well.

By 2020, 50% of the children in Holland under the age of 18 will be of Muslim descent. You look and see what your founding fathers thought of the Dutch. They are constantly looking at the rise of democracy and Dutch values as being the very foundation of American Democracy. If by the mid-century the bulk of Holland is Muslim and don’t forget, coupled with this there is this collapse of numbers … Western Europeans are not having any babies. The population of Germany at the end of the century is going to be 56% of what it is now. The populations of France, 52% of what it is now. The population of Italy is going to be down 7 million people. There is a change happening in the very complexion of Western civilization in Europe that we should think about at least and argue about. If it just means the replacement of one genetic stock with another genetic stock, that doesn’t matter too much. But if it involves the replacement of Western civilization with a different civilization with different cultural values, then it is something we really ought to discuss because, g**dammit, I am for dead white male culture. ”

Ryhs-Davis knows full and well, this is far from a popular POV in Hollywood…

“You do realize in this town what I’ve been saying [is like] blasphemy “

He caps it with:

“But if Tolkien’s got a message, it’s that ‘Sometimes you’ve got to stand up and fight for what you believe in.'”

Too bad Mortensen doesn’t understand that, despite that message being bluntly placed into the script, and into the book itself:

“Those without swords can still die on them”.

Rhys Davis has come up several notches in my view.

I highly recommend a read of this interview.

My compliments to Mr. Overstreet for having the testicular fortitude to post this interview; and my compliments to Andrew Sullivan for turning us on to it

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