Tolkien, Trauma, and Transamerica: The Sign of Our Times

by on April 1st, 2006

A dozen gold stars over a piece of used red cotton t-shirt spread itself 30 inches across a loose square bulk on top of which rested a face, nay, a jaw.

A jaw connected by pieces of built in ligaments and muscle clumps adhered to a bone frame sewn together taut by grayish-pink-white skin painted rouge, plastered bright red. This was my perspective of what slowly advanced towards me sheepishly as I was seated in a table of three in the food court of the local mall; a figure of one who I would later be told was in fact, by appearance and character, what one calls a transvestite.

The jaw quivered, the mouth opened parting aside the single thick rectangle of the brazen red lipstick into two tracks. A question came out: “Are you a businessman?” The body and the mind connected to that jaw proceeded to sit down, looking sheepishly at me straight ahead, the eyelids wincing ever so slightly with a sense of confusion and guilt. The thighs that obliquely connected to this jaw oscillated horizontally like a nervous shaved pink log moving in and out of my perspective from the other side of the table.

As I sat perturbed, compelled, and possessed with a troubling curiosity, my friend next to me in his flight jacket, engineer’s boots, and jeans got up, and intoned towards me ‘Lassen wir gehen’. ‘Let us go’. The jaw’s mind did not understand my friend’s language. I translated it to the painted jaw: ‘Alright, I have to go’. We left.

“That was a man” my friend said. “He found you to be attractive. He suffers from a tremendous confusion. They cannot live with themselves.” Traumatized at the unnatural, I replied, “That is really sad.” My friend said, “It is.”

Greatly disturbed by the implications of that single interaction, I asked my friend to test my perspective. “Why me?” He sat for a moment, measured and pensive. “Well there are many ways of approaching that question.” Sensing the tacit I pressed him, “start with one.”

“Well the way you dress, with your polished shoes, suit, open collar designer shirts, propped up cuffs, is common amongst the Latin and Romance blooded men. In this country, homosexuals imitate that look. In combination with your youthfulness, looks, and your outfit he was exploring what you are. He might have suspected or hoped you to be a homosexual. If you turned out not to be, to him, you’d still be a catch, since he dressed up as a woman.” The jaw’s initial question resonnated. ‘Are you a businessman?’ At that single moment that which already made sense; made sense in a deeper way. The revelations were troubling.

For, in the mind of the jaw, in its lonely, confused, pathetic homoerotic fantasies lay the groundwork of our times; The groundwork of a single society. A society of Corporate men thrusting their loose cranks into the virgin pits of ‘prospects’; in its collective and individual phallic exploits, maximizing profit, as the moaning Post-Modern Industrial Engine shrieked on. In this single phenomena lay the tapestry of Post-Modern Industrial Society. A Society of currency, clitoris, and commodities; an afterbirth of a hierarchical machine that has perpetrated itself across the unassuming psyche of the masses by contorting its most visceral and irrefutable instinct: Sexuality.

Sexuality has replaced cultures with the panache and vogue. My suit, my designer shirt, my open collar and curled up cuffs have become the fabric of homoerotic fantasies. My humanity, my organic tastes and inclinations will not be spared, for the one ring of sexuality will transform my taste and personality into the lurid, greasy, and lewd genres of Post-Modern bourgeoisie fantasies.

Sexuality has become then the basic unit of homogenization to the point where the type of sexuality in itself does not matter. In fact, the more types of sexuality there are, the better the prospects. It is the simple concept of product-differentiation.

The notion, propped up and perpetrated by a political correctness engine has pressed upon Tolkien’s proverbial Middle Earth a single round ring through which only the luckiest finger can run through giving the possessor of the fingered ring great power and pleasure. For this ladies and gentlemen is the ring of greed, lust, and yes, essentially sexuality that has darkened the horizon of a Middle Earth Mankind.

For, the Elven way is on the wane. Hobbiton is on the path of a raging horde of orcs and mercenaries. Goodbye, goodbye, Sweet Rome.

‘The days of men are over, The rule of the Orc has begun’.

And so too, has begun the great battle for this Middle Earth of ours as masses and mercenaries move under the sway of the ring, driven by wanton visceral lust and deep inner suffering and turmoil. It rages through the instigated, privatized, collectivized hormones of men and women, distorting their paths and priorities like the schizoid sway of the one ring.

For the jaw-mind transvestite was Tolkien’s Gollum. He symbolized the distortion of our times. Of the fateful last years of Post-Modern Industrial times, tottering on the brink of a Global Incipience. All that is natural is at stake. A rebellion is rising. Tides shall soon crash against tides. Battles for cleansing, battles for being, battles for belonging fought in lonely, confused, erotic minds, in food court tables at local malls, high schools, and cafés.

And so I sit here and write this, in vigilance and hope, as Aragorn the bold asks in this dark hour, will ‘the Elves answer our call?’


“The world is changed, I feel it in the water, I smell it in the air.”

The Lady Galadriel

The Return of the King, Lord of the Rings Trilogy

“The World is changing for who now has the strength to stand against armies of isengard and Mordor. To Stand against of Sauron and Saurman And the Union of the Two Towers. Together my Lord Sauron we shall rule the middle earth. The old world will burn in the fires of industry the Forests will fall. A new power will rise. We will drive the War machine with sword and the spear and the iron fist of the orc. It will begin with Rohan, To long have these peasents stood against you, Rohan my lord is ready to fall.” ~Saruman, Lord of the Rings Trilogy

“With hope or without hope we will follow the trail of our enemies. And woe to them, if we prove the swifter!” ~Aragorn

Alexander Rai