So, this one is weird even by my standards, and I'm not as easily weirded out as some people. I have not confirmed the story, but according to the following website, which I discovered thanks to Wendell Wagner's posting the link to the Mythsoc site, a prisoner in the Gulag at Guantanamo Bay has just had the script for the Peter Jackson LotR movie taken away from him (which installment it did not say). The reason given is that a lawyer is not allowed to give a prisoner there anything "not related to the defense of his military commission case". The lawyer has similarly been forbidden to play chess with the prisoner, or dominoes, all activities he'd undertaken to get to know the prisoner and win his trust. Apparently this particular prisoner "wants nothing more in life than to see Lord of the Rings".
As if all this were not strange enough came the news that the Gulag library has "all three installments of the book version of J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy . . . available to prisoners. It was not clear why [the prisoner] wanted the screenplay. Some detainees have complained through their lawyers about long waits for books from Guantanamo's library." Not surprising it'd take them quite a while to read, since so far as I know LotR has never been translated into Pashtun or even Arabic.
So, for humanitarian purposes should we be shipping more copies of Tolkien's work to the Gulag?*
Here's the original link:
*This particular prisoner, by the way, is in the Gulag for having killed an enemy soldier in a firefight six years ago. At that time he was a boy soldier of fifteen. He's been in prison ever since; the Military Commission is seeking a life sentence.
1 day ago