Sunday, April 19, 2009
Juxtapose the two locations of Afghanistan and New Zealand. In one you have young men from the living heart of Western Civilization, the New World, who confront and overthrow the forces of ancient obscurantism and bigotry in a location as remote as the moon. They are there because in a moment of energy the heart of the civilization knew that the Enemy, an irreducible evil, must be tracked to its lair. The place these men come from is vigorous, engaged to the world, dynamic and inclusive but deeply connected to the both the past and the future. On the other you have an outpost of an old empire that seeks security in withdrawal and isolation. It has become almost a Disneyland museum of the past, cosseted and protected by those whose sacrifices it resents. How fitting that the Tolkien books were filmed there. If America has assumed the role of Gondor standing a weary watch in an unending war then New Zealand has sought the peace of Gondolin hiding in a secret world.