While the world moves on Rivendell falls silent...

While the world moves on Rivendell falls silent...

by Hugh Andrew
article from Thursday 25, September, 2014

THE SONGS have fallen silent in Rivendell. That beautiful leafy glade which for the past few weeks has rung to the peel of elvish voices in ever more frenzied chanting now echoes to the sounds of howls and lamentation. For the unthinkable has happened. The Hobbit/Elf alliance of the Free peoples of Middle Earth was decisively beaten by Lord Sauron the Great and the Orcist grouping. Frodo voted 'No' and handed the Ring of Power back to Lord Sauron with the words 'its safer in your hands'.

All seems the same, the lights of Rivendell still glow, powered by the giant wind turbines paid for by Lord Sauron's energy levies, but the heart has gone out of the Free people. Worse still, Gandalf the White, their leader in the struggle against oppression has stepped back from the fray 'He is a God, he is the greatest personage ever in Elvish history' sobbed one hysterical elf 'Not simply Elvish history. Everywhere in the Universe' lamented another. As I walked through Rivendell a strange sight greeted me.

On a bandstand structure sat a lonely figure. Every so often consumed with rage he would stand up and shake his fist at the heavens, then he would fall to the floor and wail in lamentation. Then he would pick up his ipad and type. The structure was surrounded by thousands of swaying acolytes raging and wailing in tandem and they too were busily typing away. I turned to an onlooker: 'Who is this?' I said. They looked at me mournfully 'That is Alan Bissett and he is Angry, he is Weeping. He has come here to be Alone surrounded by thousands of his acolytes. He is Speechless. He is Without Words and is tweeting his silence every few minutes. His acolytes are sharing his Pain and spreading it so that All Know Alan's Hurt. Later on he will take his clothes off for his stage show.'

Further on two other figures were frenziedly whipping each other. These were Honorary Elves McWhirter and Bell. I asked them what the future held. A palsied hand grasped mine.

'And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.
And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

Honorary Elf McWhirter, you have ceased your flagellation. Lay it on, lay it on. Ah that's better'

'Do you feel perhaps you have lost a little journalistic objectivity in your coverage?'

Four rheumy eyes peered at me 'What do you mean?'

'Well I am thinking of articles such as: Mine Eyes have seen the Glory of the coming of the Elves, Glory to thee my Alex this night, Hark a Thrilling tweet is sounding, or When I survey the Wondrous Saltire'?

'We have sat at the right hand of God, we have supped with him. He is the way, the truth, the light and many free dinners. We objectively praise and laud him to the skies'

'Also there was a certain anti-Orcist tone to the campaign wasn't there?'

'Nonsense, some of my best friends are Orcs. They have filthy habits, bad breath and are consumed with greed and hate for us but we love them too as we are bound to do. New Rivendell would have had a place for them too. Preferably downwind. By that boggy bit where no one else wants to live where we buried those Oliphants that got the plague'

'Have you ever been to Mordor?'

'Hateful place why on earth would I want to go? Look can we get back to our wailing and flagellation please? We don't have time to waste not communing in self pity'

I walked on puzzled when a familiar face leaning on his staff greeted me. It was Gandalf himself.

'Gandalf, what happens now?'

'Well quite simply Rivendell will cease to exist. Our pure Elvish land will be at the prey of foreign speculators and international capital'.

We turned past the Trump International Golf course, and wended our way through the Amazon warehouses towards the foundations of the Murdoch Press Tower.

'Yes, I simply wanted to put on the Ring of Power to do Good things. To create a mildly redistributionist left wing Nirvana on lower taxes and higher spend. I just wanted to help people. Sauron doesn't care.'

At that moment a beep sounded. We turned round and a line of trucks sat behind us bearing the imprint – Barnett Haulage. A voice came from the first truck:

'Morning Mr Gandalf. More money from Lord Sauron for you. Just put it with the rest?'

Gandalf fluttered his hand wearily 'What does it matter now? Yes, yes. Actually can you put it in the new warehouse. The other one is full up'

There was the sound of trumpets and a procession appeared. To the clash of cymbals and drums a gilded palanquin approached.  A figure stepped down in front of us.

'No ceremony. This is just a social call'. It was the Great Historian.

'Lord Gandalf. I have analysed this. I have fed in pig iron production from the Grey Havens, agricultural statistics from the Shire and much else besides. My nameless and unacknowledged acolytes have been slaving for years. And I have news for you. Lord Gandalf, this result did not happen. It is an historical impossibility'

'He changes reality' breathed an elf in awe.

With that the self appointed Titan of Rivendell, Jedi Master, and Purveyor of the Great Truths majestically mounted his palanquin again and slowly moved off.

Gandalf turned to me ‘Yes’ he said ‘We did win. We won the campaign. We won the literature. We won the mass mobilisation. We won every age group bar the ones we didn’t. On every count we won bar the mere technicality – and that is all it is – of the vote. Be assured we wont let that little issue stop us next time’

He turned to to his acolytes: ‘All we asked is for our pride back, all we asked is to stand tall, all we asked was to be different’

‘Be different’ The acolytes swayed and chanted in absolute unison.

Gandalf shook his head slowly and turned away towards his bunker deep under Rivendell.

'We have suffered so much that it only steels us to fanatical resolve to hate – sorry, love – our enemies, a thousand times more and to regard them for what they are destroyers of an eternal culture and annihilators of humanity. Out of this hate a holy will is born to oppose these destroyers of our existence with all the strength that God has given us and to crush them in the end. During its 2,000-year history our people has survived so many terrible times that we have no doubt that we will also master our present plight'

A line of young people faced him, eyes shining. An aide came and said:

'Herr Gandalf. This one ripped down half a constituency of Orc posters. And this one deflated the tyres of cars giving Orcs lift. And she spent the day screaming four letter abuse at orc voters at polling stations. '

To each the leader nodded, giving a half distracted smile, tweaked the odd collar, as he awarded the 'Positive Campaign' medals, working his way slowly and trembling down the line, suddenly a broken old man.

I left the sad scene thoughtfully. As I rode slowly out of Rivendell and the noise faded, the sun seemed to brighten, people worked the fields, gave a cheery wave.

I realised that the world would continue much as before and I wondered about the strange Elvish ways of this people so consumed for so long with talking to themselves about themselves that they never noticed that the rest of the world moved gently on while they still revolved around the same little spot as they had done for so long.

After this Mordor would be a breath of fresh air.


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