Topic: "Next Door Neighbors" (3)
Occasionally, Frodo will get into an argument. Arguments, to Frodo's way of thinking, are good for the soul. If an opponent in an argument actually raises a valid point, not previously considered, Frodo then finds himself spending weeks, if not years, contemplating the fact that the destruction of the Ring may have been delayed because of Frodo's inept philosophical discourse. Frodo therefore often withholds comment on seemingly appropriate subjects until he has given greater consideration to an issue. The following point was made with Frodo somewhere in the 1970's, and he has never brought it up for consideration since the night that the point first was made.
Frodo and Thorin Oakenshield were discussing relationships between the races which comprise the diverse citizenry of Middle Earth. This tended to be a subject that was discussed amidst the presence of mead and tobacco, varieties of which were all about. Thorin listened to Frodo bombast about the need for tolerance, and the acceptance of all on equal terms. Thorin queried Frodo if he truly believed that bias was so clearly defined that black-and-white, Christian-and-Jew, homosexual-and-heterosexual were among the distinctions that are bounded by the rules of law. Frodo answered in the affirmative, much to his continuing chagrin.
"Well then, Mr. Frodo (with specific emphasis on the title used)," he said, "What about butt-ugly?"
"Pardon?," responded Frodo.
"Frodo, answer my hypothetical distinction about the man whom your sister would introduce to you as her husband-to-be. One choice would be the great actor, and grossly overweight, Charles Laughton. The other being Harry Belafonte. Which man would you prefer, in all candor, to be associated with and to introduce as your brother-in-law to all with whom you ever come into contact?"
Frodo paused, and remained silent.
All right then, let's assume that one of two women walks up to you this evening and proffers her favors. Which of the two, the great voice of Kate Smith, or the subtlety of Lena Horne catches your interest?"
Frodo looked about for something else to smoke.
"You see Frodo, prejudice is not about the distinctions we define by law, prejudice is about ugly. We are prejudiced against those whose appearance and mannerisms are unattractive, at least comparatively."
"You mean," said Frodo, "that hook noses and gargantuan appetites are what repel us, and not the color of skin?"
"Frodo, you know as well as I that some dark-skinned and light-skinned black people hold each other in disregard. Prejudice exists to separate us from others on many levels, but we should never forget that beauty is all-inclusive."
Frodo was thinking about that discussion, as he listened to the latest commentary on Paris Hilton. If only he could now reach out to his old friend Thorin and ask him to explain why Frodo would not want to be associated with Paris Hilton. Perhaps Thorin could amend his theorem to distinguish stupidity as an addendum. Frodo doesn't mean to pick on Paris Hilton specifically, but George W. Bush also has a hook nose.