Monday, December 31, 2007

we are (by default and quite stupidly) ceding a strategic battle in the culture war to the crazies

I love Iorek Byrnison. He's the bear on this poster. In the story, he is the exiled sacred king of an arctic civilization. For his archetype's sake and the love of existence, please support the Golden Compass.

We Nowists won the Harry Potter round- the movies have all been succesful, and they have spread their good magic memes far and wide. However, we haven't stood by Phillip Pullman as he is attacked for killing a deified version of Authority, and now the movie has largely failed and there will be no sequels. People have trash-talked this film and we should stick up for it. I'm guilty for not hyping it or seeing it yet, I have read His Dark Materials though! The stories indicate the mind of a practicing, faithful person. Evidence?

Institutionalized religion is charicatured by accentuating its flaws but exhaulted for its possibilities. Catholics today admit, psycho powermongers have spattered the religion with blood of bygone innocents. Seeing this on a big screen with a big CGI budget and Hollywood stagecrafters really touches nerve in some people. Humiliating, embarassing, but since we can't actually change the past we certainly won't do better now by falsifying reality in our own minds to delude ourselves- the way forward would totally be blocked by willful inner darkness.

For those who haven't read or seen the material, it's a good versus evil trilogy in which the good guys dimension-hop, time travel and ride as fast as they can on all sourts of imaginatively portrayed mounts to form "The Republic of Heaven". Presumably if you're trying to build "Heaven on Earth", you're doing God's will, correct? I think so. There's one thing the Fundies can't seem to get over, though, so... SPOILER ALERT:

Near the climax of the story, our protagonists kill a decrepit old being who had usurped the multiniverse way back in the day; their parents kill the great tyrant's successor. This is not an attack of a Catholic creator god, or a pair of Gnostic creator gods; it's not promoting a rebellious Lucifer, either. The message is that our reality has been hijacked by fascists (origins unaddressed), and that our task is to figure this whole thing out, get free and all be in loving communion. To me, Christianity is all about figuring out the Mystery of righteous, wonderful living and transcending the illusions that a biological existence limits our perceptions to, so where's the argument? Through masterful story telling, Phillip Pullman is inviting a shakedown of Christian faith. America's human denizens act blindly as tools for whatever started this boycott, and many other, more nefarious projects. If we can use this flick to erode their blinders, the Noble Savages's social environment would be that much more free to enjoy. Go support the Golden Compass, y'all.


Hakim Baker said...

Well, I'm going to donate blood plasma today for a few bucks, and the city buses don't go way out west to the Showplace 12 Theatre, so I'd have to take a cab ... but I could go see it.

Isn't it weird how robots in media-trance will fight that which hopes to help free them?!

You might like Radio Free Albemuth by Philip K. Dick. It's less crazy than VALIS.

Hakim Baker said...

Consider all the impressionable kids from narrow worlds who do see the movie, and might be prodded to step off the treadmills of Empire and look for cracks where the light shines through.

Pop culture can spread interesting memes around all over the place, but then what? Episode IV A New Hope came out thirty years ago. Fight Club came out eight years ago.

My preferred longer-term strategy is more about raising kids and permaculture. If we can eke out a free Zion (metaphorically underground), then whatever fnords are streaming at people in the Matrix won't matter so much to us, free in body mind and spirit.

Shadowcrrew, why was your entry posted on Dec. 31, but we didn't see it til January 9?

Come visit!!!!!!

Mary said...

That is am amazing way to look at the Golden Compass. I think one of the reasons why I loved the series so much is how it approached religion. It's sad that the movie didn't get much attention. But perhaps it will persuade people to read the book because typically the book is better than the movie. We still need to go see that. But from the looks of things we may have to wait until it comes out on video. Ohs well.

And yes, when did you post this? I don't remember seeing it at all until today.

Much Luff!


shadowcrrew said...

hahaha, it is very wierd how people fight those who try to help them. this culture teaches you how to act wrongly. i got ahead of myself three years ago, talking about polyamory. i hadn't even learned to love myself yet. as the quaint slogans used to read "kill capitalism before it kills you"

Hakim, i can't endorse selling your blood to see the movie- unless your blood is already abundant to the point where it spills out your nose, in which case that might be an excellent use for it. I worry about spreading viruses, though.

There's a big gap between what ya see on a screen and what you do in a community- that gap is experience. People have got no problem seeing Yoda livin' simple in the bog on Dagoba, doin' his yoga and eatin' his swamp soup, that shit's tight, right, many would agree. Unless they've experienced some of it though it means not a thing- the grocery conspiracy's got the food locked up in their stores and in our minds, while the housing inspector codes keep you from building what you need to thrive. Mike taught me about that angle. And props to my merry Mary for trying the turkey tail mushroom tea.

There's some potential for pop culture to open doors for people, and maybe nudging with a bit of commentary can faciilitate those changes for people. For instance, I got psyched about certain video games when I was younger, like Prince of Persia, not because when I played them it was a healthy or productive use of my time, but because afterwords I was jazzed up to get in shape and run across the city, scale walls and the like. Without reading about the traceurs though, it never would have occurred to me to even try!

ah yeah, in scatterbrainedness one can start a post and then save it for finishing later, and then when you publish it, the silly thing pops up in the post queue from the day ya began. oops.