Saturday, December 8, 2007

Yeehaw for movies that piss off Christians!

Well, I don't often notice stuff that sparks my interest on the ol' Yahoo home page. But once in a while certain things come along that motivate my attention. When I'd recently heard that The Golden Compass was torquing off Catholics AND it was eliciting strong emotions from movie goers in general, I figured I ought to check it out. I clicked a link on Yahoo expecting a story. Instead I got a list of responses from plain, honest folk with opinions and internet connections. Following is one person's comments in their entirety:

By hensleyswer (movies profile) Dec 7, 2007 84 of 286 people found this review helpful
I would and will never take my kids to see this movie .You all may not know what the True meaning of this movie is..... Well they won't show it for a couple of books and movies but the whole moral of the story is to KILL GOD! Any movie that is made around killing God is is not worth my time seeing. What are we teaching our children by allowing them to watch this. They will be so hooked on the first movie then They will want the books then after they have read all the them then us as parents will say what did we do. The movie looks appealing its suppose too so it gets our kids hooked.

Okay ... where to even begin with this? Is it real? Sadly, probably so. What is also sad is that the author has procreated, multiple times, and is most likely nurturing her/his offspring to be just as paranoid. And another sad thing -- 84 of 286 people found this review helpful! That's 29.4%. Yikes! Nearly one in three people are potential paranoid nut-job sympathizers. But I digress ...

Here are a couple of free pointers/observations if you, like this person, are tempted to unleash your decidedly strong proclamations to the electronic community:

If you're a kook who wants to make a point, whether in print or via audio, it's best to A) not let your emotion run ahead of your typing or speaking and B) have a basic command of English grammar, spelling and mechanics. For example, the rather arbitrary capitalization of "True" might have been better reserved for "they" in the next sentence since our writer obviously believes there is a collective, monolithic (and atheistic) They who are out to "KILL GOD!" Since so many movies are apparently, according to this person, "made around killing God" I think the next time I find myself in a video store I'll ask where the "God Killing" movie section is located. By the way, if your God is omnipotent and omniscient the way Christian folk say he is could he ever be killed by puny, pasty Hollywood movie types? Couldn't he outwit them with his divine knowledge or just smite them for the divine hell of it?

Rarely outside of stream-of-consciousness style (a la Kerouac) do I see quadruple run-on sentences. Nice job. However, this succession of causes and effects left me a bit stymied: is it anti-God movies or movies with an accompanying book series you're lashing out at? Your working thesis seems to be "the role of subversive, anti-Christian movies is to 'get kids hooked.'" That's interesting. Are they produced by the likes of drug dealers and pimps then? Or, more likely are they backed by corporate interests representing junk food, branded toys, computer games, clothing, etc.? Dear Author, I think what you need to realize is that our country's consumer-driven marketing machine is what you really ought to be decrying and consequently seeking to protect your children from.

Let's quickly revisit this notion of the singular, atheistic, God-killing "They." Admitting a vivid belief in a seemingly real, conspiratorial "they" is grounds for most psychiatrists to recommend medication. Apart from that, are you actually implying that our nation is host to such a strong godless movement? Have you checked the national trends in faith-based/moral voting decisions? Have you heard the Christian-laden proclamations of vote-hungry mainstream politicians? Well, in a twisted way you are correct -- the God of your "Christian nation" is under attack, but not by a singular group of men and women. Your foe is America's shining star, our greatest export -- capitalism. Capitalism is killing God. I don't know how best to break it to you, but capitalism is the official religion of America.

Of course, this might suck if you are an American Christian. However, that is another fallacy -- America is not a Christian nation. Apart from the money-grubbing capitalists there are Native Americans, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Pastafarians, Unitarians, agnostics, atheists, etc. Christians, by buying into the "Christian fallacy" are making matters worse. The true national religion of capitalism is propped up by the government who has all you Christians duped into thinking your right-wing, conservative political heroes are fighting to take America to the moral high ground. In reality they are just making more money for themselves and their corporate buddies at the expense of effectively sending our nation to hell in a handbasket (i.e. socially, environmentally, geo-politically). But as long as narrow-minded folks keep voting in terms of single moral issues (e.g. against abortion and gay rights, in support of prayer in schools) then real change will be stalled. That's right -- your "Christian" leaders elect are selling out God in the name of capitalism but you're too blind to notice because compromise might mean backing off from the staunch moral stricture your Christian blinders have forced you to see as the only way. In a rather beautiful way it's poetic justice don't you think? Considering the harmful centuries of Christian hegemony to have God usurped by an economic system seems only fitting. Of course, it still doesn't make matters any easier for non-Christian Americans. We just wish you fundamentalist wackos would quit trying to act like the country should be run based on your misguided, shallow, incestuous by-product of a centuries-old, closeted affair between church and state.

I'll end on a fun note. Over Thanksgiving weekend, my father-in-law, Brian, brought up the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Upon doing a little research I discovered some things that are imminently funny, cohesively intelligent and quite readable. I submit for your pleasure the Flying Spaghetti Monster's commandments, "The Eight 'I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts'". Now here's a doctrine that is current and applicable to our times, easy to read and inclusive of our fellow human sojourners on Planet Earth:

1. I'd really rather you didn't act like a sanctimonious holier-than-thou ass when describing my noodly goodness. If some people don't believe in me, that's okay. Really, I'm not that vain. Besides, this isn't about them so don't change the subject.
2. I'd really rather you didn't use my existence as a means to oppress, subjugate, punish, eviscerate, and/or, you know, be mean to others. I don't require sacrifices, and purity is for drinking water, not people.
3. I'd really rather you didn't judge people for the way they look, or how they dress, or the way they talk, or, well, just play nice, Okay? Oh, and get this into your thick heads: woman = person. man = person. Samey = Samey. One is not better than the other, unless we're talking about fashion and I'm sorry, but I gave that to women and some guys who know the difference between teal and fuchsia.
4. I'd really rather you didn't indulge in conduct that offends yourself, or your willing, consenting partner of legal age AND mental maturity. As for anyone who might object, I think the expression is go fuck yourself, unless they find that offensive in which case they can turn off the TV for once and go for a walk for a change.
5. I'd really rather you didn't challenge the bigoted, misogynistic, hateful ideas of others on an empty stomach. Eat, then go after the bitches.
6. I'd really rather you didn't build multi million-dollar churches/temples/mosques/shrines to my noodly goodness when the money could be better spent (take your pick):
-- Ending poverty
-- Curing diseases
-- Living in peace, loving with passion, and lowering the cost of cable. I might be a complex-carbohydrate omniscient being, but I enjoy the simple things in life. I ought to know. I AM the creator.
7. I'd really rather you didn't go around telling people I talk to you. You're not that interesting. Get over yourself. And I told you to love your fellow man, can't you take a hint?
8. I'd really rather you didn't do unto others as you would have them do unto you if you are into, um, stuff that uses a lot of leather/lubricant/Las Vegas. If the other person is into it, however (pursuant to #4), then have at it, take pictures, and for the love of Mike, wear a CONDOM! Honestly, it's a piece of rubber. If I didn't want it to feel good when you did it I would have added spikes, or something.

Now, that sounds like a solid foundation for leveling the playing field and getting started on some change in the right direction.