I feel it’s important to state that I actually have no feelings for or against the issue of racism and xenophobia in Tolkien’s writings. Is there a clear inclination towards east and/or dark = evil? Most definitely. But I don’t believe it to be racism as much as I think it is just an establishment of who’s good and bad and making them as defined as possible. The lesson learned from Tolkien’s writings should not be that anybody dark or foreign is different and therefore inherently evil, but much rather that anybody ugly is evil, and therefore should be murdered but somebody physically attractive.
Because in the end, that’s really what the Lord of the Rings is about. All the pretty people with fabulous hair of Middle Earth get together to fight against and the evil bald eye and its taint of ugliness.
This whole thing is strange to me, because I just can’t figure out why regular people just don’t seem to go bald in Middle Earth. We even see a projection or Aragorn in the future, old and dead, and he still has a full head of hair. Elrond is sporting quite a huge forehead, but elven hairstyles are probably as eternal as he is (and let’s not even get into the subject of elven hair).
As said in the comic, sure enough, one of the main characters in the series is shown to be bald in the movies, but then Gollum is tainted. His baldness isn’t natural but more likely caused by his degeneration. Plus, he has a sort of pathetic, limp little comb over. And as all bald men of dignity are aware, to use a wig, a comb over or fight in any way to hide your baldness is anathema to our way of life. These behaviors must be shunned and eradicated.
I will go watch the Hobbit in a week or so, and I will enjoy it, I’m sure. But like so many others, I will find it difficult to find a character I can identify with. Maybe they need Jason Staham to just run in and kick all their asses.
NOTE: Please keep in mind that I am well aware that my comical anger should be directed towards Peter Jackson and not towards Tolkien, since I’m referencing the movies more than I’m talking about the books (of which I have read all). But I think it’s funnier to be angry with Tolkien. Specially since he’s kind of dead, and Peter Jackson isn’t – and I wouldn’t mind him giving me a job as a concept artist someday.