Saturday, September 8, 2007

Feasting on Asphalt & Tolkien

Nathan and I just spent the morning watching the entire first season (well, entire is kind of the wrong word, we watched it all, but there were only four episodes....) of "Feasting on Asphalt." Two link choices for you, either here or here. Have you seen this show? It's Alton Brown, whom we love, from "Good Eats." (When we talk about AB around our house, it could be either Alton Brown, or our original AB, the Adventure Bunny.) Alton Brown driving across the country on a motorcycle with his buddies, eating great local food. Downside to watching the show, no matter what you are currently eating, or what you've eaten recently, the people on TV are eating better than you are. Season Two is on the air now (DAD!! They just cruised through MOLINE on their last episode. No Fish Fry, but they did go to the John Deere factory.)

Anyway, as the show goes to commercial, they always have some "road" quote, which they show paperclipped to all the great photos they've taken of themselves along the way. And in season one, they quoted Professor Tolkien, you know the quote about how one never knows where the road is going until one gets to the end of it.

Nathan posed the question : "Is Tom Bombadil really Tolkien?" and of course my first reaction was "no," because we know that Professor Tolkien really identified with Beren, so much so that it's on his tombstone. (Where is he buried? Why haven't we been there?) But with a little more thought, I do see the appeal of the idea. Tom's the Eldest, he's almost outside of the story. Tom was there, in a sense, before the story started. Tolkien himself is outside of the story. My new theory, if Tolkien put on the ring, he wouldn't have been invisible.

We said we should put the idea before Tolkien scholars. And so, I have.


Goodyear said...

We here at Sunset Cottege are Alten addicts as well. We taped most of the Mississippi River trip, including Moline (saving it for Celia at Thanksgiving). My biggest frustration with Alton is that his website doesn't have the info from his show. He did a bit a while back (Tender is the Loin) about disassembling whole beef loins that I found excellent, but didn't keep track of all the details and it wasn't on his website.

Treebeard also refers to himself as "eldest", but that can't be right because he is "of the World", where the Maier helped create the world. But since this group includes the five Wizards, Sauron, Thingols wife and possibly Balrogs, it seems strange that TB is older than the rest. And I'm not clear if the Valar sung the Maier into existance, or they were part of the original package. MOre researach necessary.

Jim Tschen Emmons said...

Not so much an answer, but a great place to explore and chew some new questions...


Jim Tschen Emmons said...

Okay, that didn't work--go to the Arda website thingy and look at the Bombadil entry. Sorry about that!

Oh, and Jenn, last night, those two hobbits I told you about, they cast the ring into the fire... it was pretty cool ;-)

Nathan said...

No one seems to suggest that tom is tolkien on the encyclopedia of arda. Am I really the first to have suggested it?