Jan 232022
 January 23, 2022  Posted by at 1:30 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Edward Bawden Sahara 1928



“Huskynut” in New Zealand sent me this, and introduced it by saying:

I was reality-checking with an old (used to be contrarian) friend a couple of days ago on Covid. He challenged me – “I don’t believe our politicians and medical community are evil people”, which is an excellent question. I find Mattias Desmet’s Mass Formation theory compelling, but it’s somehow not the full picture.

That thought train led me to the Lord of the Rings, which featured prominently in public consciousness until quite recently. Because of this place in public consciousness, I have a strong feeling (right or wrong), that the tale has a power to cut through in a way rational argument doesn’t.

I’ve drafted the piece below to outline the material, but because my thought process is heavily rational (rather than mythic), I suspect a writer with more affinity for that oeuvre could do it more justice. Would you give me your thoughts on how it might best be handled?

My answer to his question is publishing it. I think it’s an excellent metaphor, and he writes and explains it very well. From the actual story told in the books, and the movies, to the way they “lead” readers and viewers, he covers it all.

He perhaps says it best here: “..the epic battle scenes in Lord of the Rings contributed little to the wider plot. But they were EPIC!” And human love of epic stories is hardwired into us. Before we know it, we’re junked up on adrenaline, rooting for the hero, and hoping the movie never ends.”

And yes, The One Ring is the vaccine. If you ever want to return to the Shire, your normal life, you will have to throw it into Mount Doom. My Precious.



Huskynut: The three Lord of the Rings movies are usually recollected for their stunning NZ landscapes and epic battle scenes, but we could do well to reflect on the way aspects of the core plot mirror our current situation.

At the outset, an unexpected knock at the door draws Frodo to undertake an epic quest, for the good of Middle Earth. It takes little effort to imagine the way politicians, policy-wonks and health advisors and modellers all – consciously or unconsciously – answered the door to the Covid response and unexpectedly found themselves with oversized roles in the epic of a lifetime.

How intoxicating it must have felt to be cast as central figures in a complex plot line that has now dominated headlines for nearly two years! How noble and glorious to be on the front lines battling a constantly mutating Balrog or legions of Orcs. How majestic to dedicate one’s work life to completely vanquishing the enemy and pronouncing the joyous day of Zero Covid! All the intensity of a global war, but from the comfort of home, and with negligible personal risk.

The problem with this is twofold – firstly Covid isn’t at all like an epic army of well-armed marauding Orcs. It’s a virus. It isn’t “trying” to do anything.. not to get past our defences, let alone to attack and kill us, any more than the grass outside is trying to. On a scale of sentience, grass is vastly more complex and adaptive than Covid, though far less glamorous.

All of that excess emotion – that epic drama – led not a single step closer to understanding the nature of Covid or improving our response to it, in the same way the epic battle scenes in Lord of the Rings contributed little to the wider plot. But they were EPIC! And human love of epic stories is hardwired into us. Before we know it, we’re junked up on adrenaline, rooting for the hero, and hoping the movie never ends.

Secondly, when the mythological parts of story take hold of our psyche, any possibility of sound science disappears straight out the window. In science, there are no heroes, no villains. No-one swoops in at the last moment to save the day. No-one plots dastardly revenge. Perhaps those things  take place on the periphery, amongst the humans engaged in a scientific pursuit, but not in science itself. Within science there is postulate, hypothesis, experiment, result.

Which is profoundly boring from an entertainment perspective, so the media never talk science. They talk instead of opinion, speculation, human interest or politics, and people mistake those for science. For those of us watching rather than creating the movie, there’s little input required beyond showing up and giving the screen our attention. That’s pretty much the opposite of how a participatory democracy is supposed to work, but a pretty accurate description of the way many have approached Covid. Tune into the daily podium soap-opera and FEEL.

Watching those plucky characters on the screen, entwined in the plot twists and turns, large numbers of us forgot that as citizens we ourselves are the fundamental characters in the plots of our own lives, not bit players in the primary drama or – worse – simply rubes to be milked for cash at the box office.

Back in the film, as they near Mount Doom, Frodo struggles against the spell of the One Ring, becoming increasingly distrustful and paranoid about the intentions of his loyal friend Sam. Again and again he feels compelled to wield the Ring. With every use of it he surrenders a little more of his integrity and sovereignty.

And as NZ draws closer to the end of the Covid pandemic, with the world opening up and the UK, Ireland and Czech Republic dropping most restrictions, the NZ government, their pet scientists and tame media seem increasingly paranoid about the intentions of loyal, taxpaying kiwis demanding the right to return to their lives unmolested by vaccine mandates and passes. Their finger twitches reflexively towards wielding The Ring – when Omicron hits, the Red “Traffic Light” will be invoked.

For anyone observing the character development over time, the trajectory is clear. What began as careful, nuanced and tentative statements from the NZ scientists, politicians and pundits moved to strident, dismissive and arrogant. Little of the science remains, only politics and drama. These characters move inexorably towards becoming Ring Wraiths … servants of the One Vaccine.

It’s abundantly clear that every time Jacinda and Ashley succumb to temptation and slip their finger back into the Ring – issuing a new compelling edict upon the public, they lose another sliver of humanity. Things that were once unthinkable – medical mandates throwing thousands out of work, say, or closing the borders to prevent our country’s own citizens from returning – are now routine. And there is no evidence these serious blows to NZ citizens trouble the Ring wielders for a second.

Our leaders appear to have convinced themselves of the essential need for their character’s places in the ongoing drama, because that’s precisely what power does, and particularly when the wielder is not held consistently to close account by a wise and honest friend like Sam, rather than the increasingly Gollum-like suck-ups populating the commercial media. The NZ government needs to take the One Ring of power – that body of Covid-19 legislation and operating practice they’ve been accumulating and casually toying with for two years – and fling it into a metaphorical Mount Doom before it consumes both them and us.

In watching the movie, we will Frodo to summon the strength to do what must be done in destroying the Ring. In our current political world there is no sign our politicians and bureaucrats possess the self-awareness, the wisdom or the will to do that themselves. There is even a substantial mass of people who would cry out against it.. either loath to have their passive movie-watching end and be confronted with the mundanity of their pre-Covid lives, or terrified that absent their heroic leaders the mythologised terror will rise and strike them down.

It’s time to put down the empty popcorn container and recall our place is on the relatively tepid yet real world outside the cinema. Yes, Covid is real, but the theatrical accoutrements that have come to surround it are not. We cannot afford to continue investing the colossal amounts of time and money that have been diverted to Covid at the expense of other priorities, including wider health and education.

Power corrupts. What started as naïve individuals embarking on an important quest has led to what it necessarily must – the time for those same people to reject the self-corrupting influence of power, and for both themselves and us to return to the Shire.




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Home Forums Destroy the One Ring, Frodo

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    Edward Bawden Sahara 1928     “Huskynut” in New Zealand sent me this, and introduced it by saying: I was reality-checking with an old (used
    [See the full post at: Destroy the One Ring, Frodo]

    D Benton Smith

    I love it when you talk philosophical!

    Here’s my two and half cents’ worth :

    The axiom “Power corrupts” is almost true, but it stops just short of the mark. The full truth is that power IS corruption. Power (the ability to enforce one’s will upon another person, against that person’s will) is both neccessary in order to survive, and the biggest existential threat to one’s own survival when the power lays in the hands of another.

    In the past couple of years how many times have you thought to yourself (or said out loud) that the current world wide wacko would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic ? Well, what if that were literally true ? What if the joke is on us, and we are the ones telling it? I do believe that’s the case.

    We all more or less “collectively” (or at least interactively) construct a MACHINE ( let’s call it “Civilization”) that is essentially a hierarchically authoritative mechanism that produces all of the cool and convenient stuff we love so much. Stuff like electricity, flushing toilets, cool cars and cell phones. Owners hire bosses, bosses give orders, employed slaves comply, products ship, and everybody’s happy.

    We expect and insist that this patchwork contraption runs like a Swiss watch. It doesn’t actually run that well , but we keep trying anyway. We try and try again to patch and modify and adjust (and sharply rap it against hard surfaces) to get it to run more and more and more “perfectly”.

    The problem is, however, that Swiss watches and other machines only run perfectly when all of the parts actually do what they are meant to do ( or are told to do, or are FORCED to do.) That’s fine with us as long as we are the ones giving the orders (enforcing obedience and pulling down the bucks) , but it’s not so much fun things are the other way around. When the master tells us to do something stupid (or criminal) OR ELSE! And gives us shit wages and high taxes in exchange, then we really don’t like it so much. The shit end of the stick is not the same as the other end ! It’s like the First Law of Plumbing : “ Shit flows downhill”. [Second Law is : “Payday’s on Friday,” and the Third : “Don’t chew your fingernails.”]

    So what’s the solution ? Why, enforce more AUTHORITY of course ! FORCE those greedy bastards (Masters and Slaves alike. Main Springs and Wheel Cogs alike. ) to do their jobs, do what it is NECCESSARY for them to do for this machine (civilization) to run like that Swiss watch I keep metaphorizing.

    You see the problem here, right ? We want to have our cake and eat it too ! We believe that having full compliance and total freedom simultaneously is our birthright! If that Master or that Flunky or that Slave would just DO what they are bloody TOLD to do . . . then everything would be just peachy.

    Like I said, it could be hilarious if it were not so tragic. So, The Universe, Life & Everything is a “Tragi-Comedy” ? Crikey! That takes us right back to the Lord Of The Rings analogy !

    D Benton Smith

    The Three Laws of Plumbing are wonderful aphorism. They are true and funny at every level of the metaphor, and the levels extend all the way down to Hell and up to Heaven.


    Good essay, Huskynut – yes many ordinary people are “loath to…be confronted with the mundanity of their pre-Covid lives.” We *are* hardwired for the epic battle, a unifying drama because it gives us meaning and distracts us from the ordinary. The reality is none of the problems we had in 2019 went away. Most of our 2019 problems got worse from the two years of malign neglect.

    Last year on a long car ride me and the Frau tried listening to an interview on NPR. Two health officials in California, both officials involved in heavy-handed lockdowns and mandates. One complained how a group of protesters woke her up from her nap, in her gated neighborhood, chanting slogans and playing ukuleles (the horror!) They were not adult enough to see their actions have consequences that other citizens do not agree with. They were picking and choosing which behaviors are acceptable, what “science” is correct, whose jobs are “essential,” which businesses are going to go bankrupt because the big-box stores can absorb the hits and the mom-n-pop shops can’t.

    Covid took health officials and school admins from their dull, inconspicuous role and catapulted them into public figures, and those two ladies took a step further and chose the role of Petty Tyrant. They were shocked that there was blowback from the public. And perversely, it stoked their ego, hardened their resolve*, made them even more sure of their correctness and righteousness.

    Repeat this 10,000 times across the nation and that leaves a vast number of people whose 15 minutes of fame are f’n over – and they cannot accept it, they may never let go of the Ring. There’s nothing left but to pick up the pieces* and start accepting their diminished place in life, start making peace with the vaxxed/unvaxxed and the wreckage we’ve made of our societies. The manifold intractable problems we forgot about and ignored. I see the cognitive dissonance hitting the PMC class particularly hard.

    *”build me an army worthy of Mordor.”

    ** “rebuild the Shire”


    I’ve recently come to the conclusion, that perhaps, the vaccines are meant to prime are cells to catch the virus. The more shots the better the prime. Then release a tailored-made virus(Omicron) to immunize your population. This would explain the cult-like behaviour of our authorities. This is just one pathway of thought I have had. Another pathway is that they are incompetent.

    John Day

    I suspect that “the one ring” would be more like the smartphone-digital-central-bank-currency-with-social-scoring-and-AI-monitoring/adjusting-of-balances.

    What’s the vaccine, then?

    Gollum, maybe? I’m stretching here.


    Requiem for health care:
    First they rejected the unvaxed, but I didn’t worry because I was vaccinated.
    Then they rejected the drug addicts and alcoholics, but I didn’t worry because my life had not forced me down these paths.
    Then they rejected the slovenly obese who ate junk food and the lazy who refused to exercise, but I was relieved to console myself that I ate healthy food and worked out regularly — whew!
    Then they rejected the texting drivers- oh oh…
    Then they rejected the elderly …

    D Benton Smith


    Eventually I reckon, hopefully, that they will reject the rejectors.

    Veracious Poet

    Evil is a choice culminating from a gradual succession of lesser perversely corrupt choices. It never sleeps, and is always open for business.

    To point, what percentage of German citizenry were aware of the evil nature of Hitler & his minions in 1933? 1939? 1945? 1951?

    Yes Virginia, there is evil. And it walks among us everyday…

    If the U$ofA was still under the rule of Natural Law, every heinously evil act would be subject to arrest & prosecution, but of course that is NOT the reality of the U$ Empire Inc. in 2002…

    Veracious Poet

    At a Friday news conference addressing how two school districts are abandoning school COVID mask mandates, Democrat New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said that making kids wear masks is like making them wear sneakers: first they object, then they comply.



    The Babylon Bee completes the story
    BB better than the MSM in every way
    I wondered which character was Sauron in huskynut’s allegory. now we know


    V. Arnold

    Power corrupts. What started as naïve individuals embarking on an important quest has led to what it necessarily must – the time for those same people to reject the self-corrupting influence of power, and for both themselves and us to return to the Shire.

    Well done you; Huskynut…I very much like the Ring as metaphore for what’s going on today in the West…
    Spot on…

    absolute galore

    I have not seen the movies, but in the book, Frodo is unable to resist the power of the ring. It is only destroyed because Gollum bites off the finger with the ring and then falls to his death in Mt. Doom. Of course one could argue that Frodo’s compassion toward Gollum is what makes that denouement possible.

    those darned kids

    well, at least they made pipe-weed legal.




    What’s the vaccine, then?

    Imagine all of those orcs as nurses armed with needles:


    “There’s no such thing as an anti-war film,” is often attributed to the late French filmmaker François Truffaut. The movie that comes closest to reality is 1978’s “The Deer Hunter” and its allegory of Christopher Walken playing Russian Roulette in an endless war with himself.

    There is the script, white-boarding sessions, actors, a director, and the producer out to make a profit. It is not reality. Neither is only the for-profit mRNA vaccine campaign with mandates supported by the corporate/state media. It is just another media profit making scheme. Without a public health campaign with practices that are proven to work over the centuries, it will fail.

    The Western Empire has fallen. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, just can’t acknowledge it. Naturally he is frightened. Since the Obama’s Crew in 2014 tried to destabilized Russia by taking down Syria and Ukraine and failed, Russia’s survival depends on securing its borders. It has the natural gas (energy) and military power to assure this. There is nothing the West can do but kill itself.

    Since the ruling ideology places corporate profits over western citizens lives, killing a million of its citizens already in the pandemic, there are only two options left: restoration of Government by and for the people or a forever, resource deficient, western Dark Age for any survivors.


    Not familiar with the Lord of the Rings, but interesting, Husky, thx.

    In the MSM, and the public, it is evident that:

    Drama is sought out, the threat of dying is welcomed, the need for an antidote or protection (be it merely symbolic, a magic anointment, a sign of belonging) is ardently embraced.

    Anecdotal ex. I was at the hairdresser the other day. No men there, only gals, about 10. Pre-covid the discussions were, local politics, scandals, famous ppl, recipes, shops/goods/prices, and interesting stories (“I met Federer…”.. “I’ll tell you what psychoterapists do..” “He actually just stormed out heh heh..”..)

    Now it was all covid, with a palpable buzzing excitement, rife with real sadness, grief (a death, a long covid, a life ruined, some tears were shed), fear of the future (how to PRO_TECT, specially children), scathing blame targeted at the corrupt politicians, Pharma, the unvaxxed, and lack of ‘logic’, all mixed up together.. -> Everyone was enjoying themselves!

    From a rather mostly boring round of encounters, this salon has transformed itself into a lively hub of highly engaging drama!

    Masks are a good ex. of popular demand. WHO said they were useless, research tends to support that. At the start they were not mandated in the ‘first world.’ Later, some leaders e.g. Macron admitted they didn’t do so because there weren’t enough to go round… which is untrue, or could easily have been ameliorated, and crazy in the sense that pols don’t admit to lying no matter what, so the admission is in itself a lie.

    What happened was that public pressure for mask wearing was very strong so the pols bowed – and the WHO bowed and everyone agreed, masks are a must. (There are historical precedents, see 1918, contemp. examples in Asia.) Of course nobody behind the scenes and into serious money cares about masks, so these dramas are encouraged, and then the public feels its power, is vindicated, yes, *Masks are a Must.* It continues to support pols who support masks, vaxxes, etc. (Not all do of course.)

    So really part of what we see is spinning off into self-serving (Drama! I’m a participant!) fantasies, which fulfill all kinds of psych. functions (*not* Mass Formation), such as self-approval or esteem (via ‘right’ behavior, like masking, sterilizing hands), moral kudos (‘caring, actions, speech’), and authoritarian impulses (‘standing up for what is best, right’, justifying ordering others about), etc. These meld together in a heady mix and some ppl are having the time of their lives! If some ppl die, well that is to be expected as not everyone is morally good or capable!

    Gvmts and Pols (see Bidadmin for ex. or Macron) are so weak all they can do is pander, go along, ride the wave, while of course also being directed by, and corrupted by forces bigger than them.


    Amazing article! You nailed it.

    Thank you


    Thank you. Very thought provoking.
    Neither Frodo or Gollum are evil people in their core, so I feel human compassion for their addiction. That is the human component. Sam is the one who sees the danger in their attachment. Did Gollum sacrifice himself to free Frodo or was that an “accident”?

    Time to rebuild the Shire.
    The walls have begun to crumble.

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