Interview with the Oldest Member

This passed on by Sherwood Smith in one of her Bittercon posts:

Elves are glamorous. They’re tall, cooler than people, dress well, have great taste in music, and are all-round athletes, as well as being immortals with magical powers. And they’re in tune with nature, too. But are they really? Most elvish societies are intensely hierarchical with a few uberelfen at the top and many more peons at the bottom. And there’s no way for a peon to work his way up, since the master race is genetic. Tolkien’s Elves were fairly benign, but the elves in many of the derivative fantasies that followed on don’t look all that different from what we could imagine finding in a world a thousand years after a Nazi victory: the horrors at the start are long forgotten, but now there is a master race. Unfair?

Certainly unfair, if the elves are not permitted to respond on their own behalf. To remedy the obvious injustice of allowing mortals to sit in judgement upon the Fair Folk by gossiping among themselves — and consulting, moreover, those who have never known or even seen an elf — it seemed natural to me to find an elf, an old and notorious one, and if possible one of the ‘Uberelfen’, and put him on the witness stand.

Since it is Tolkien’s elves who are the principal corpora vilia in this debate, that gave me a clearer idea where I had to look. After some difficult negotiation, I was able to procure an interview with a particularly senior and ‘uber’ one of his Eldar, the results of which I now humbly offer in aid of justice.

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