It’s been four days since Gandalf visited Bilbo and told him about the ring, or so my UNIX-calendar-file tells me.

Illustration by J.R.R. Tolkien

Sifting through its entries is a DADA-experience few people - mostly sysadmins - know of.
Let’s take a closer look at the memorable events of April 4:


Apr 04  Martin Luther King assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, 1968
Apr 04  NATO Established, 1949
Apr 04  Gandalf visits Bilbo
Apr 04  Ching Ming Festival in Hong Kong
Martin Luther King, Nato, Ching Ming Festival and oh yeah Gandalf. Why someone would put imaginary events from some fictional work inside a public calendar, is beyond me. On second thought, it actually makes sense. Lord of the Rings, NATO - heck, it’s all that funky shit happening outside of my computer and network infrastructure. Toss some ring inside the volcano, North Atlantic Treaty - Pfffrt, all the same on some level I guess. I jest, I jest.

I hope this post is not too abstract for people outside the culture of super-smug *nix-Users. Originally I wanted to write about J.R.R. Tolkien’s work as an Illustrator. I just realized the premise for this was wrong anyway. You see, I thought the Joy Division cover art for “Unknown Pleasures” was in fact from J.R.R. It is not.

Reason for this being that good ole Jay Arr Arr drew and painted some pretty dark shit himself back in the days. Let’s take a look at The Lonely Mountain. I swear I saw that once tattoed on the back of some emo chick. No really. You could slap that illustration on some goth-/black-metal-/emo-album and everybody would go “Ooohh”. Well not everybody. Me and Miss Mountain Tattoo for sure. But let’s move on.

Cover Art for The Hobbit Mirkwood The Mountain Path Riding into Rivendell Troll’s Hill

Repetitive patterns consisting of vibrant lines, rigid geometry - I could swear these are characteristics usually found in schizophrenic art. Mind you, this is only a hunch, I have no empirical evidence for this. Nevertheless, I don’t think one can easily dismiss the haunting, oppressive atmosphere generated by these drawings. Take a look at this italian gallery and decide for yourself.