Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thou shalt not…

…break into my husband’s car and steal his ipod and his satellite radio.

Yeah, merry frigging Christmas. At least the folks at Sirius were nice enough to replace the unit for free, since we’ve been nice enough to subscribe to their service for like three years. And whoever buys or is gifted with Hubby’s radio will be unhappy to find it's been deactivated and won't work. Punk-ass kids.

Speaking of commandments, most of y’all know there's a lot of talk about boycotting the movie, THE GOLDEN COMPASS. (I contend the mediocre box office has more to do with a lack of interest in Nicole Kidman and a lack of scenes wherein Daniel Craig is disrobed, but that’s a discussion for another day.)

As a writer, I hate the idea of anything that feels at all like censorship, but as a mom, I fully understand the primal need to protect my kids.

I've read info from a number of Catholics and Christians who are up in arms and spreading the word that Philip Pullman, author of the books on which the film is based, is atheist -- which is true, and people of religion certainly should consider this before choosing to take their kids to the film. But some of these folks are also mixing in inflammatory stuff that isn't true, intended, I imagine, to up the indignancy level.

Hypocrisy pisses me off. (“Thou shalt not lie” anyone?)

We all have to do what's right for us and our families, so in the spirit of making well-educated choices, I'm sharing an article about THE GOLDEN COMPASS (link below) which states in part (emphasis added):

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting gave the film, which is rated PG-13, a warm review. The film is not blatantly anti-Catholic but a "generalized rejection of authoritarianism," it said.

While noting the story's "spirit of rebellion and stark individualism," the office said Lyra and her allies' stand for free will in opposition to the coercive force of the Magisterium is "entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching."

Sister Rose Paccate, director of the Pauline Center of Media Studies in Culver City, Calif., said the books portray benevolence toward children and a God figure — just one that's much different than the one Christians know.

She sees irony in calls to shun the film, considering that one of Pullman's central themes is that people should not follow orders and forfeit critical thought.

"If you just say 'no' to your kids without engaging in a conversation, they're going to see the movie anyway and all you're teaching them is power, not really teaching your values," Paccate said. "If we have faith, what are we afraid of?"

Donna Freitas, a visiting assistant professor of religion at Boston University, goes a step further, calling the books a "theological masterpiece." Pullman's intent aside, she views the trilogy as a treatise on Christian belief.

To Freitas, the series' mysterious "Dust" — portrayed in the books as connected to original sin — represents the Holy Spirit. Pullman is not attacking religion but those who use power to corrupt, she said.

Freitas, who co-authored a book on Pullman and religion, says that "ultimately, the arch of the trilogy is about revealing God."

Full article here.

A friend I sent this info to thanked me for taking a stand, but I'm neither for nor against the film, really. I haven't seen it and don't know anyone involved (although I've met Chris Weitz, and he seems very cool and genuine). Is it still "taking a stand" if the only stand I take is to make informed choices? I'm not trying to talk people out of skipping the film, but an uninformed, lemming-like boycott is the kind of fanatical response that scares the living hell outta me.

Maybe I'll lobby for an 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt think for thine own self.”

Oh. Snerk!

Waitaminute. I take it back. That’ll never fly…


Blogger Brett said...

Can I just boycott it on the grounds that it's too damned expensive to haul the brood to AMC these days?

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Bashful B. Mayer said...

Thou shalt think for thine own self?

Has the Catholic League started boycotting you yet?

I just finished the book and I really, really liked it. And I really, really want my daughter to read it before she sees the movie.

But it looks like the kind of thing you don't want to see on the 26" RCA, and without a disrobed Daniel Craig how long can it last at the mulitplex? What should I do?

As for my opinion on this religious stuff, let me state up front that I'm a half-Jew, half Christian, was raised atheist, I live with 3 Jews (the wife and daughters), grew up in a neighborhood that was 99% Catholic where I played hockey at St. Matts and coached CYO basketball and I'm just gonna keep my mouth shut.

8:58 AM  
Blogger MaryAn Batchellor said...

Those who made the film did so under the same freedom of speech protections as those who are objecting to the content of the books and film. We don't have to like everything out there. But there's a difference between accepting somebody's right to make it and condoning it.

11:44 AM  

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