Monday, September 29, 2008

Frodologists Move to Block Translation of The Lord of the Rings

Today broke with the news that Frodo’s Minions on Earth are considering legal action to stop the proposed translation of The Lord of the Rings from Elvish into any other language. The action is in response to increasing clamors from the unwashed masses to make The Book more accessible, since, they argue, fewer and fewer people speak Elvish. Following only weeks after the colossal box office failure of the Elvish-language only The Passion of the Frodo, many see this as a petty response by The Faith’s leaders to reassert Frodology as relevant in the post-industrial age.

The news comes as a particular surprise to legions of fans who think they have read Tolkien’s magnum opus in English and other base languages. When questioned, however, at least half of these feigned confusion and then remembered that they had only seen the movies. When pushed further, it was revealed that the average respondent was unaware that his rack of DVDs was not a bookshelf. This is arguably evidence that, despite Bush administration propaganda to the contrary, one or more children may have been left behind.

Literate fans who think they have read The Book have unfortunately been duped, since no authorized translations exist, ISBN numbers notwithstanding. Frodologist investigators believe the illicit copies to be the work of warring Somali clans, who are abandoning piracy on the high seas in droves to cash in on the much more profitable Frodo paraphernalia market which has emerged in the wake of Frodology’s march across the globe.

Frodology leaders oppose the translation efforts since Elvish has always been the true language of Frodo, despite the fact that he did not speak it, did not respect it, and is believed by some sources to have been persecuted by the Elves. Some ex-Frodologists call this ‘co-opting’ a Messiah. We call that heresy, and we don’t recommend it.

The danger in reading illicit translations is of course that Frodo’s followers need proper guidance. Through reading the source material for themselves, they might inadvertently take different interpretations and draw the wrong conclusions. We would like to remind readers that where there is scope for being wrong, it is wisest for their souls and their more corporeal selves to simply abide by the divine shepherding of Frodo’s unelected Minions on Earth. With heresy at an all time high, a low profile is quickly becoming the season’s must have accessory.

There is a second danger in reading unauthorized translations that Frodologists should be aware of. Due to a peculiar loophole in the law, that is, all laws, everywhere, reading an illegal version is a more serious crime than publishing and profiting from one. The gravity accorded to the crime is clearly a result of widespread recognition of the importance of Frodo’s word remaining exclusively in Elvish. Frodologist leaders were heard to thank Hollywood for setting a precedent by spearheading the effort to catch, fine, and imprison the purveyors of pirated films, rather than bother with the colonies of midgets responsible for producing them.

So-called Frodologists in support of authorized translations have already been excommunicated from the church and branded with ‘communist’ on their foreheads. Frodologist leaders feel these measures are justified and would not characterize them as ‘heavy-handed’. ‘Middle’ or ‘not so bad-handed’ maybe, but certainly not 'heavy' or any of its derivatives. Said leaders assured Frodologists that it was for the integrity of The Faith. They cannot envision it occasioning any sort of split, and are totally unaware of any precedent that would point to the contrary.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Genocide - not that funny

The Catholic Church’s one saving grace has always been its sense of humor. That recent joke about blocking condom shipments to AIDS-ravaged parts of Africa was a real hoot, and we can only thank Frodo that the Pope was joking. However, not everything the Vatican does comes across as a trivial lark. Of particular relevance to this article, which is itself of no particular relevance to anything at the moment, was its harboring in 1994 of some of the perpetrators of the Rwandan Genocide.

In such a complex conflict choc full of guilty parties, it would be biased and unfair to dwell on the deplorable turpitude of just one. But it sure does suit our agenda. I think it suffices to say that sheltering persons responsible for the deaths of up to eight hundred thousand people is perhaps a little off color, if you’ll excuse the tasteless racial pun.

I just can’t see the funny side in it. There’s no visual gag, because the genocidaires were squirreled away so quickly upon arriving in Italy that they never even saw the sun. It’s almost like the Pope didn’t want anyone to know they were there. But that’s absurd. Perhaps he was being self-referentially ironic. After all, it is exactly the kind of vulgar stunt you’d expect the Holy See to pull. But then they actually went ahead and did it, and confused observers worldwide mistook the move for a serious, tasteless act. If the irony is so dense no one gets it, you’re just not being funny.

Another elementary mistake made by those tricksters on the Tiber was their timing. By failing to add that pregnant pause between the genocide itself and cozying up to the criminals responsible, the comic effect was reduced to nil. Some subjects are notorious for inherently carrying that significant silent beat, and the pure act of mentioning them causes laughs: North Korea, Jesus, nipples. This arguably does not apply to genocide. Also, while it’s sometimes necessary to push boundaries a little, on this occasion it was perhaps tactlessly too soon.

All of this means that the only thing they got right was the costumes. There is no occasion on which a grumpy old man running around in a dress and a silly hat, waving a pointy stick in the air, can fail to be funny. It’s kind of like dressing up your senile grandpa for Halloween. That so many people frequently turn out to humor him by listening to his mad ravings is truly adorable. What it had to do with the subject of the joke isn’t entirely clear, but you can probably chalk that one up to old age.

Occasionally some people need reminding that genocide just isn’t that funny.

Well, it’s about as funny as Sharia.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cure for Homosexuality Found

Good news for gays and gay-haters alike today from the world of science as researchers believe they have found a cure for homosexuality. The cure is a serum in the form of a series of injections into the fatty tissue of the gluteus maximus. Taking it up the rear has puzzlingly been the only reliable method of administering the cure.

The serum has been synthesized from the DNA of non-gay monkeys, bringing an interesting panoply of animal rights and gay rights activists onto the streets outside the company’s facility today. While some protesters were generic supporters of any liberal cause and thus found themselves immobilized by their four-sided sandwich boards, most predictably started fighting each other as a result of being unable to decide which über liberal cause was more important.

Initial tests are proving positive. Every rat that received the serum has died, leading scientists to conclude that all rodents of the genus Rattus fantabulous are incurably gay. Homosexual monkeys are no longer showing signs of gayness either, but it may still be too early to tell. All test subjects are still in the state of inoculation known as the ‘coma’.

Scientists are however puzzled that despite finding the cure, HIV is still running rampant in every continent. Since it is widely held that the lethal virus was a punishment from God for tolerating homosexuality, the researchers had hoped that their efforts would be rewarded. Had they been able to curb the spread of HIV, they would have been eligible for the supremely rare Nobel Prize known as the ‘Twofer’.

One interesting conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that praying is apparently a total waste of time. Congregations across the United States have been praying for years that homosexuals be cured and their souls be redeemed. This has clearly been to no avail since all along the answer ironically lay in science, long the most unwelcome of bedfellows for Christians of all stripes.

This of course is a double-edged vindication of what Frodologists properly knew all along: homosexuality is curable but Christians are still wrong. Unfortunately this leaves legions of gay priests in an uncomfortable position. Those who were merely satisfied to tepidly pray for their own souls rather than face some hard truths will now be expected to take the serum and quite possibly die for their own convictions that they are baleful sinners.

It looks to be a turbulent few months ahead for the Catholic Church.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Frodology - not the KKK

We have received a large amount of flak recently for a comment made towards the end of a piece on the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. Specifically it relates to a statement about Barack Obama, the Democratic Presidential candidate. We assured readers that just because he was black it did not mean he is not a person too. We apologize if we unduly offended anyone. If we did, it was purely the result of a misunderstanding, and we retract the comment. Our official position is thus now that blacks are not people. We would like to thank Reggie Wayne Hicks of Pulaski, Tennessee, for bringing this to our attention.

Having said that, I would like to stress that Frodology is not the KKK. We’re just a loose religious affiliation based on the worship of our Supreme Lord and Master, to the exclusion of all others, that leans toward the social ostracization and persecution of non-believers. Sure, the Faithful Front of Frodo, or FFF, is an official offshoot for our more radical activists, like a Sunday school, but it’s not the KKK. It is totally unaffiliated, despite being cumulatively a mere fifteen letters away. We feel the public will accept this, once it gets over the 1/676 chance of the other two letters in the organization’s acronym happening to be Fs, and the uncanny similarity to the KKK’s own abbreviation that ensues from the coincidence.

A nosy investigative journalist recently noted that some of our more fundamental members do prance around in white sheets, but this is purely a superficial resemblance to the Klan with no deeper connection. It’s like saying that Hitler and Stalin were ideologically compatible purely because they killed millions of people. Superficial. Regardless, scores of Muslims preen around in similar attire and they would never be accused of being Klan members.

We also burn crosses, but that’s because we really, really don’t like Christianity. There’s nothing sinister about it.

Cynics snicker that Frodology’s ranks are peopled by hicks, but this is unfair. We prefer to call them persons of rural heritage. And in any case, as with anything new, and especially with things that appear new but which are actually old, very very old, the least educated tend to be the ones to dip their feet in the water first. Just like with Harry Potter: around for more than a decade and smart folk still ain't buying it.

Frodologists hold biannual rallies too, but it’s just because we only feel validated once we’re sure other people know our opinions, no matter how disinterested they may be. Some call it vanity. That’s fair.

Other detractors argue that some Frodologists moonlight with the Klan. Our official position is that what they do with their free time is their own business, and we’re not about to judge them for it. I mean, Sarah Palin is an evangelical nut in her downtime, and oddly, no one is holding it against her.

Finally, that the FFF has been implicated in the disappearance of an undercover FBI agent investigating the lynching and flaying of immigrants across the country is at most a half-truth. No one was flayed. That’s just sick.

Breaking – Gondor breaks ceasefire putting brakes on peace talks while Mordor troops on break

The world was shocked today when echelons of Gondor light infantry crossed the Mordor border and skirmished with bands of orcs, constituting a death knell for the peace process. They also exchanged fire with bands of brothers, but Steven Spielberg was not available for comment. Gondor’s aggression came as a surprise despite the fact that this conflict has protracted for several millennia now, and frankly, there are few atrocities left to commit. But since mainstream media still laps it up like an errant Jackson nipple, so will we.

A fair amount of the surprise can be attributed to learning that Gondor and Mordor are real places. Actors filming the upcoming movie The Hobbit were reportedly shaken to discover they weren’t actually on a film set at all. That’s right, they’re real places. Remember Kosovo? Had to look for that on a map didn’t you? But you did find it. Because it exists. And how insulted did the Kosovars feel when no one had even heard of them? Pretty friggin’ awful. And would you really wish that same feeling of worthless irrelevance upon other ethnic minorities? Would you? No, you wouldn’t. The smart thing to do would just be to take my word as gospel, leave your atlas on the shelf, and read on.

This latest chapter in the Middle Earth conflict is a sad one. A sad chapter in a many-volume series of large, sad tomes full of many similarly sad chapters, some of them long, some short, but all of them sad. Very very sad. Honestly, the roots of the conflict are totally irrelevant but people like to pretend otherwise, because they’re based in religion. Other religions. And people seem to think that matters.

What it boils down to is a dispute over sovereignty of the land between Gondor and Mordor. While Gondorians traditionally identify it as their home land, many recognized it for the worthless patch of dirt it is and moved further afield to more fertile pastures. Suffering from the highest population density in Middle Earth, Mordor orcs in search of a bit of lebensraum simply moved in. At this, thousands of Gondorians very sensibly left their hugely affluent lives in safer parts of the world to put themselves in obvious danger. For the worthless patch of dirt. The chief export of which is olives. And chickpeas. There’s a lot of money in chickpeas.

The situation has since progressed into an acerbic slugging match. Gondor denies that Mordor is a state, a claim taken as a personal insult by Sauron, heard frequently to professes “l'État, c'est moi”, predating Louis XIV by at least six millennia. In return, orc youths are frequently seen sharing racial slurs. “Gondor? More like Gaydor!” Education in Mordor is found wanting. The situation is further complicated by what is frequently seen as meddling by Rohan, the world’s sole superpower. Rohan’s Middle-Earth Agenda for Peace, or Ro’MAP, is not widely welcomed. Residents of the region are suspicious that Rohan is only interested in sapping its minerals and eating its babies.

Of course what neither party appreciates is that the true beneficiaries of the land are we, the followers of Frodo. The fact that few Frodologists live in the disputed region in no way diminishes our claim to it; we simply want to stay out of harm’s way and cross our fingers it will all work out for the best. Following one or two crusade-related misunderstandings by some of Frodo’s more fervent opportunists, it’s sort of a bad neighborhood for us to be in right now.

Since the conflict invariably only flares up when no one is paying it any attention, the months ahead should prove tense as the world’s media willfully ignores everything but the US elections.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Accelerating particles, or accelerating us all to Hell?

An eminent Frodologist scientist, author of The Large Hadron Collider: State-Sponsored Witchcraft, has made waves in the press recently for lambasting the world’s largest particle accelerator as a portent of doom. And if you think I’m exaggerating, you should read his award-winning article published in Scientific American, “Excessively Verbose use of Language as a Portent of Doom”. Truly enthralling stuff.

And while we agree that these magic tricks going on deep underground in a tunnel in Switzerland will probably spell the end for our existence, we don’t necessarily agree with his conclusion. See, ‘doom’ is such a messy, negative, unscientific word. Officially, Frodology much prefers use of the emotively neutral ‘Apocalypse’. Well, technically we call it the Frodocalypse.

Why are we looking forward to the Frodocalypse? Because through embracing the opportunity to contribute our own paltry masses to the phenomenal density of the black hole that will suck us thither, we will be bound to a land of Good & Plenty. No, wait, they’re sold by Hershey’s. Bread and honey? Milk and honey? Wine and cheese? It doesn’t matter. We will enter a land of bounty, despite the logical contradictions involved therewith. It is said that Frodo promised that, on their deaths, believers would receive seventy-two Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points.

In any case, the race to the Apocalypse is heating up out there, and considering some of the alternatives to the Frodocalypse, we’re confident that most people would prefer our version of paradise. In the States, black people nationwide are agitating for the Tupacalypse, while Hassidic Jews are preparing for a very curly Sidelockalypse. And in the belfries of rural Ireland, cries can be heard of Holyfockalypse!

Cynics note that, at least scientifically speaking, there is minimal chance of the Big Bang reoccurring, and very probably, life will carry on as usual. But I’ve been thinking. Christian creationists criticize the theory for being unable to explain what came before it. Who created the Big Bang? It seems obvious now that the only possible candidate is Frodo. That’s right. Frodo created the Big Bang. You might say he banged and he banged big. But he doesn’t want us to know. No, because how Frodo bangs is his little secret. It’s personal. So when these conjurers manage to smash some dust particles together, as is my understanding of the process, Frodo will go Dr Strangelove on our asses.

Thus it came as a tragic shock today to learn that the LHC is temporarily disabled while it undergoes repairs. Surely, we must be calm and patient as we sit and contemplate the approaching End of Days. But at the same time, it worries me that the LHC will never fully get going. Something about the project smacks of underachievement. This Hadron, for one, is a dubious choice to pilot the tests. His last public works project, Hadron’s Wall, failed to keep the Scots out of England and now sits a very unimposing three feet off the ground. And what’s this about shooting particles around at almost the speed of light? Gee, that’s almost impressive.

So, unfortunately, we are forced to conclude that, however desirable it may be, there will be no Big Bang, and there will be no Frodocalypse. Nor will there be any free upgrades on Virgin Atlantic, or an extra ten kilos of luggage allowance. Life tomorrow will be much like life was two months ago. Except that our savings will have evaporated and our bankers will be unemployed.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sarah Palin - veep show

The United States is quickly becoming one of the most generous nations on Earth. Through giving so many of its people over to Frodology, mind, body and soul, it is truly working its way into Frodo’s good graces. We managed to recruit and save a staggering 1,500 people in Kalamazoo, Michigan in a single afternoon, putting us fifty-ninth on the government’s Index of Infectious Hysterias. It’s tough competition in the States, but it really is great to see everyone being so willing to just keep quiet and follow.

With so many new members coming from the States, it is unsurprising that we are receiving pleas from Frodologists for spiritual guidance in the upcoming elections. We are truly thrilled to see this, since choosing your President and political leaders should ultimately be a religious question. So today we’re going to examine the qualifications and attributes of one of the election’s hottest tickets: Sarah Palin.

One item with which Mrs. Palin has earned our trust is her stance on abortion. She is firm, unwavering, and will not countenance abortion under any circumstances. Wait, is not allowing abortion a double negative? Excuse me. Mrs. Palin will at all times allow babies to be born. Well that’s good of her. In a similar vein, we Frodologists feel that since conception is a miracle totally inexplicable by science, every fertilized egg is sanctioned by Frodo, regardless of incest, rape, bestiality, or woeful retardation. In this Mrs. Palin’s stance on abortion resembles Frodology’s own “Abortion is for Quitters” campaign.

Another facet of Mrs. Palin’s persona of which Frodology approves is her commitment to moose hunting. Of course if it wasn’t a part of her life as a public official, it wouldn’t be worthy of comment. But since the introduction under Mrs. Palin of a biannual moose bloodletting on the gubernatorial steps as sacrifice to the Aleutian sun gods, big game is fair game. We support moose hunting because guns are cool and you have to shoot something. Plus if you’re shooting moose, you’re not shooting people, and that keeps the crime rate down. And it’s a good thing she’s hunting moose, because the same does not apply to quails.

One controversial area on Mrs. Palin’s record is her position on federal funding. She received criticism for first supporting and then opposing the “Bridge to Nowhere” project. We Frodologists feel this is unfair, as during the period in which she supported the plan, it was actually called the “Bridge from Somewhere” project and was vastly more sensible when seen from that angle.

Perhaps the only black mark against Mrs. Palin’s name is her aversion to spending money on pork barrels. It is possibly the single thing that Jews, Muslims and Republicans all have in common. We think Mrs. Palin should be less embarrassed about federal spending, and encourage her to pass a bill making Alaska the first state to publicly sponsor Lord of the Rings reenactments. Since a similar bill is already in front of the Wyoming Senate, we urge Mrs. Palin to hurry in this matter.

We also thoroughly applaud Mrs. Palin’s total lack of foreign policy experience and knowledge of the outside world. Indeed, to better reflect our own worldview, it should not be difficult at all to convince her that the world is flat. We fully anticipate that, as an insincere fickle religious opportunist, she will also abandon Jesus to the trite lines of a megachurch hymnbook and embrace Frodo in all His glory.

Words also agree that Mrs. Palin is the right choice. See, ‘Palin’ is an anagram of ‘plain’, but ‘Palin’ isn’t ‘plain’. Thus Mrs. Palin isn’t plain and will be an exciting choice for the vice presidential role. ‘Alnip’ and ‘lipan’ are also anagrams of ‘Palin’, but we’re not sure what they are.

Finally, in the interest of balanced reporting, Obama is a black guy, and they’re people too.

So vote McCain/Palin: a hot piece of AZ and a hot piece of ass!

Monday, September 15, 2008

It’s called faith, stupid!

Frodology has been the unfair victim of heckles and hounding by many ‘scientists’ recently, and unfairly so. I say ‘scientists’ because, really, they’re just corrupting atheist dogs. Everyone knows you can’t have science without faith. It’s like a monkey without a hat: it just doesn’t make sense.

And what is the message of these ‘scientists’? They arrogantly say that we Frodologists are foolish for worshipping Frodo, praise Him, and there’s no ‘evidence’ of a greater ‘Frodo’ ‘pulling our strings’ and deciding our fate. They talk of atheist concepts of ‘proof’. Typical: in the middle of metaphysical discussions of such enormous import, morally debased atheists get distracted by questions of booze and its alcohol content.

They tell us that the onus is on us to prove to them there is a Frodo, praise Him, and without it they refuse to pay the membership fee. They talk of concepts of ontology, and having looked that word up in the dictionary, I can promise you that the study of birds has nothing to do with faith. Merely wily atheist diversionary tactics!

Other doubters and detractors argue Frodo’s metaphysical person cannot be extant and active in the physical world as He would require a physical form Himself. They say that He ceased to have that function when He breathed His hallowed last, expired, and returned to the soil as nothing more than carbon atoms. But how could that be, when carbon and atoms are such recent inventions? You can’t be made of carbon if you don’t know what it is, just as you can’t live a virtuous life if you haven’t been thoroughly schooled in what it is.

And still others doubt that He existed in the first place, cursed be their eternal souls! They say He is a fictional character who only made His way onto paper due to the inspired handiwork of a man named Tolkien. J. Tolkien, specifically. Well, John Tolkien. That is, John R.R. Tolkien. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. Excuse me. They argue that the Word of Frodo was only put to paper centuries after Frodo lived; that the few physical remnants of his life are not verifiably from his epoch at all and are evidence of little beyond the fact that wood existed in the era from which they do date; and that His story is eminently implausible.

The golden nugget of truth from which all Frodologists can take succor in the face of such trying (but ultimately misguided) arguments is that it is written in a book. Nay, three books. Readers are at this point invited to remember accurately that childhood lesson to believe everything they read. Frodo was and is real because a New York Times bestseller says so. It’s the same principle behind dragons. Dragons exist because there are pictures and stories of them. No one contests that. And more than that, it’s not just written in a book, but The Book. Take a moment to appreciate how Truth and Rightness are imbued and conveyed by capital letters. It’s why everyone believed Hitler: those Germans are just crazy for capitals!

But even more significantly, it’s called faith. Why does it need proving when it’s something you can just believe in? I don’t need scientists to prove to me Frodo’s existence or lack of. My faith is that special kind of super belief that escapes the terrestrial bonds of simple pretending and enters that fuzzy gray area in which things are spawned into existence by the mere supposition of their possibility. It’s a concept metaphysicians like to call Occam’s New and Improved Electric Razor, in which the truth is not manacled to the tediously tiresome simplest solution, but allowed to take flight under the soaring wings of boundless improbability.

Ergo, Frodo exists. QED.

By way of disclaimer, the author would like to note that he received special dispensation from Frodo’s Supreme Agent on Earth to discuss the above controversial issues in an open forum. Broaching such subjects without authority is heresy and just cause for excommunication. Or execution. I forget which.

Interested readers may also contact the author for more information about the Fiction for Faith Campaign, the goal of which is to get The Lord of the Rings moved from the fiction section at Barnes & Noble to the faith shelf. To make room for it in its new home and fill the corresponding empty space on the fiction shelf, the Campaign is also lobbying to get the Bible moved in the opposite direction.