A simple household candle... or is it?
Few have yet noticed the sinister resurgence of those who revere the name of Saruman.
I became aware of the problem some years ago when a shiny black pillar was erected near to my place of work, and I realised it was a coded reference (a 'dog whistle' as it were) to the Tower of Orthanc. All easily deniable, of course - indeed the pillar was topped by a signpost - yet the dark sympathies were obvious to the sensitive eye, trained by years of being the unacknowledged victim of microaggressions.
We all know that Saruman was the Worst Person Ever; but to hear these cultists, he was a man 'ahead of his time', with 'some good ideas'. 'At least he was aiming in the right direction', they will say - pleading that the man was 'misunderstood'.
That, at least, is as far as they will go in public; but in private it's another matter. There is, indeed a covert Neo-Orthanc party; meeting in shady corners of the internet and seedy corners of our universities. Here, in what they imagine to be 'private', some of the more extremist (or perhaps just more honest?) will exchange their real feelings about their hero.
For these fanatics, Saruman's only 'fault' was that he happened to be on the losing side; and was defeated by an unsavoury coalition of tree giants and reactionaries. But so far as his visionary politics goes? Well, that they believe was wholly A Good Thing.
They will cite his 'advanced' ideas on destroying the 'Nordic' peoples, such as the Rider of Rohan, and replacing them with his mixed Master Race of the Urak Hai - who blended (according to these misguided but dangerous cultists) 'the best' qualities of Dunlander Men and Orcs. Hence the symbolism of the severed White Hand and the cloak of 'many colours'...
Although wanting to cleanse the world of militaristic pale males is - obviously! - laudable; eugenics is an absolutely unacceptable method.
But evil is evil. Saruman employed a nondiverse workforce due to his antidwarfism and dwarfophobic hiring practices; and imposed a glass ceiling on trolls. He practiced unsustainable forestry. He polluted the Isen with the extinction of several rare beetle species. And Isengard had By Far the largest Carbon Footprint of the Third Age.
If you have been unaware of all this, then I am sorry to disturb your peace of mind; but it is necessary to know what is going-on if we are to resist, and hopefully, defeat it.
Once you realise, you will see the signs everywhere, crudely disguised - not only (albeit most explicitly) white-ish hands in various positions and poses; but black shiny long things, things with shifting colours, endless visual references to their hero's hat (pointy triangular things), or his soothing seductive voice (soothing, seductive things)...
The reason I raise this is that me and some mates have started to organise riots and beatings of people we suppose to be in some way connected with the Neo-Orthanc tendency. We have a cool name - Antisa - and there seems to be no shortage of money to pay for our costumes, bike lock batons and coach rides to city centres.
Some foreign guy with a funny accent always foots the bill and is very encouraging - although the single red eye in the centre of his head is disconcerting until you get used to it.
Don't worry about getting into trouble: Antisa all wear masks or headscarves (I told you it was cool!) and nobody ever makes us take them off.
Nor will you be ignored; the mass media are always there before we are, and they are always on our side and can relied upon to conceal any (rare) instances when brothers or sisters get over-enthusiastic or indiscriminate in a good cause.
Remember: when it comes to Neo-Orthancs, they are everywhere and they are evil; and anyone who hates them is therefore, by definition, Good.