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Lord of the Things

Alcoholics understand  better than most the concept of the double personality. There’s the person we know we are, and then there’s The Other, the spirit who takes control and does things we never would.

Reading this review of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, i learned that Tolkien understood, too.

“1:10:56 There is an argument to be made that the Ring is a symbol of addiction. The whole internal debate Gollum goes through over the ring sounds like an AA meeting.”

i checked out the film at that point and found the following debate between Sméagol and his alter ego, Gollum.

[Nighttime, Frodo and Sam are asleep. Gollum is crouching in a corner by himself.]

GOLLUM
We wants it. We needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little hobbitses. Wicked, tricksy, false!

SMÉAGOL
No! Not Master.

GOLLUM
Yes, Precious. False. They will cheat you, hurt you, lie.

SMÉAGOL
Master’s my friend.

GOLLUM
You don’t have any friends. Nobody likes YOU…

SMÉAGOL
[Covers his ears] Not listening. I’m not listening.

GOLLUM
You’re a liar and a thief.

SMÉAGOL
[Shaking his head] Nope.

GOLLUM
Mur…derer…!

SMÉAGOL
[Starts to weep and whimper] Go away.

GOLLUM
Go away?! [Cackles] HAHAHAHA!!

SMÉAGOL
[Weeping and in a small voice] I hate you. I hate you!

GOLLUM
[Fiercely] Where would you be without me? Gollum. I saved us. It was me. We survived because of me!

SMÉAGOL
[Resolute] Not anymore.

GOLLUM
What did you say?

SMÉAGOL
Master looks after us now. We don’t need you.

GOLLUM
What?

SMÉAGOL
Leave now and never come back.

GOLLUM
No!!

SMÉAGOL
[Louder] Leave now and never come back!

GOLLUM
[Growls and bares his teeth] Arrrgh!!!

SMÉAGOL
LEAVE. NOW. AND. NEVER. COME. BACK!

[Sméagol pants and then looks around.]

SMÉAGOL
We… we told him to go away, and away he goes, Precious! [He hops around in joy and does a little dance.] Gone, gone, gone! Sméagol is free!

Nice summary of the last 22 months of my life…

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About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home. http://about.me/AlKHall

Posted on November 29, 2012, in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. jumpingpolarbear

    I imagine every person struggling with addiction having a Smegol and Gollum inside them going at it :).

  2. Yes. I thought of that too as I was watching it.

    I remember reading thinking that I had a sort of split personality caused by alcoholism. It prompted me to read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which is a great read. I guess it didn’t entirely explain my situation but I did feel like there was an evil half of me that was awakened with a drink.

    • ITSB!

      i thought about Dr Jekyll but didn’t reread it, although i did reread Dracula and even wrote a short story using vampires as an analogy for alcoholism. Evil twins, to be sure.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  3. Chilling scary at the accuracy.

  4. Ha! Funny that you should post this when my home town is going gaga over The Hobbit. And what a great comparison when you read it laid out like that. I call my inner addict my ‘sly wine-drinking fox’ and he’s still lurking there. Just the other day I took a big long sniff of Mr D’s red wine (my poison of choice). And then I took another. And then I thought about how I miss the taste and wondered what non-alcoholic drink would taste like red wine. WTF??!! Fuck off sly wine-drinking fox!! Will he ever? Who knows. But I’m smarter than him, thank goodness. xxxxx

    • Yeaman is pretty psyched about the Hobbit, as well. It comes out 2 days early here so i plan to see it and post a review of it in my bad boy blog. Ironically, that bad boy is also the personality that i attributed my drinking, too, like your Sly Wine Drinking Fox. i love that feeling when other people “get it”. Make sme feel less alone!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  5. fanfrickin’tastic dude! Arrrgh! I’ll never watch this movie the same way.

  6. inthesameboatla

    Is it me, or does that Hobbit movie look like a total ripoff to the Lord of the Rings?

  7. I promised myself that I would come back and comment on this, as I have read it a couple of times and meant to earlier. NaNo was kicking my ass…

    This is a perfect picture of what having an addiction is, but I think it is also a perfect picture of what it is like to struggle between a spiritual, higher, giving and loving version of ourselves and a physical, lower, ego-filled version of ourselves.

    I’m not going to go so far as to say anything about “sin” or “sinners”, although knowing Tolkien and his views on life, he probably was commenting on that…

    I look at it in a more Buddhist fashion, I suppose: the enlightened, unlimited compassionate self versus the selfish, self-filled, narrow-minded, fearful, limited self.

    But then there is also the idea that I just WANT a cigarette/pizza/piece of candy/name-of-other-thing that is not good for me or will make me sick, and it is hard to shut that voice up. I get that. Totally.

    Yeah, hope to be going to see that Hobbit movie, for sure.
    xx
    Celeste

  8. I freaking love this post. Ugh so grotesque and hilarious at the same time.

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