Topic: "The Forum" (2)
Frodo had never felt quite so alone as he did in the days before the Election of 2004. Despite his protestations to the contrary, all he heard was the ovine acceptance of that which he felt to be untrue. There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction. It was UnAmerican to engage in a War without first exhausting every imaginable alternative. It was UnConstitutional to detain any prisoner without charging him with an offense. It was UnConscionable to deem federally-funded genetic research unacceptable because it potentially conflicted with the interpretation of religious opinion. Only the Senior Senator from the State of West Virginia, of all places, rose to decry the abrogation of rights.
Frodo stumbled upon "The Forum" on the miracle of the Internet. A left-of-center group had included a section in its Web offering which allowed individuals to post their comments, and to respond to others. The theory of "MoveOn.org" was that the input would help this band of Loyal Oppositionists to determine the course of their action. Frodo began to post, and he began to read the impassioned words of Citizens of Middle Earth, like Frodo himself.
Ted, a Greek immigrant in California; Leslie, in publishing in NYC; BJ, a retired newspaperperson in South Carolina; Vicki, an unemployed person whose job was outsourced from Idaho; Tom, a retired TWA pilot in Ohio; Richard, an old student in Missouri; Athena, an artist in California; Carolyn, a housewife in Illinois; and many others who identified themselves as poets, teachers, soldiers, retired, or just plain angry, began to respond to the entreaties of Frodo. We learned that we were not alone, and we found comfort in speaking our minds.
Soon "the Freepers" began their assault. Technically savvy emigres from a site called "The Free Republic" found the forum, and began to post in a vituperative manner, and obscenity-laced language became commonplace. Soon there were obscene pictures, serving no purpose, but transmitted blindly so as to obliterate hundreds of pages of available space. The participants in the forum tried to communicate through the Web back to the initiators of the site to warn them of what was happening. Eventually, the obscenity was erased, and an improved system for screening postings was in place.
Once the Election was over, and Frodo failed to prevent Sauron from possessing the Ring, many of the regulars began to drift away, and to post much less frequently. One of the regulars suggested to Frodo that he begin to Blog because she so enjoyed his style and his passion. Thus began what you read on these pages. Eventually Frodo became another infrequent visitor, as he grew less interested in issues being raised as if no one had ever brought them into consideration before.
Recently Frodo returned to the forum, but it was gone. As he scrolled through the new Website, he found a news release dated in early September. The creators of MoveOn.org had found a series of anti-Semitic postings which were evidently as horrible as they were offensive to civilized men and women. Frodo understood why the forum was no longer there, and he accepts its' demise as a necessary part of the world in which he lives.
With gratitude, Frodo looks back at the avenue opened to him which assured him that there is a Brotherhood of the Ring, and that it exists in the hearts and minds of Hobbits everywhere. The Forum introduced Frodo to the words and the soul of so many that he may never meet in person. It was a great gift. Frodo continues, but no longer alone.