Ok, ok. I know I’m rather a late arrival at the party and taking pot shots at yet another bout of Polly Pot histrionics is hardly the most tasking of activities but I really couldn’t pass up the chance of commenting on her views on the new movie version of CS Lewis’s ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’.
General views on Lewis and Narnia first – speaking as an atheist I’ve never been offended by Lewis’s obvious proselytising in the books, just find them a bit po-faced for my personal tastes. Tolkien does ir better and for a real meaty read I’ll generally turn to the Byzantine intricacies of Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy but as a set of fantasy stories for kids, Narnia’s innoffensive enough.
If parents are somehow concerned by the overt Lewis’s overt Christian mythologising then the best antidote I’ve always found is to simply open your kid’s minds to the full spectrum of mythic literature. As literary characters go, Aslan/Jesus suffers from much the same problems as any story-book good guy, what is comic book terms might be called the ‘Superman Effect’ or ‘good guys are just soooooo fucking boooooring!”.
I mean come on, if you’ve ever watched the TV adaptation did you not find yourself thinking, as it came to the bit about sacrificing Aslan;
“Come on. You’re a fucking lion. Why don’t you just eat the bitch!!”
You don’t need to cast your literary net too widely to find kid’s versions of classic mythic stories from outside the Christian mythos and introduce kids to a whole range of far more interesting (and flawed) heroes; just start with the Greeks (Heracles, Jason, Achilles, Odyyseus) and work from there – one your kids get a taste for Theseus, Beowulf, Arthur et al there’ll be no looking back.
Getting back to Polly, her main problems with the film seem to be.
1. It’s got the usual Disney schmaltz about it.
Hell, its a Disney film, whaddya expect? If that’s problem (as it was to Tolkien) you just stick something in you will about them never being allowed the film rights.
2. Disney are actively marketing it to Christians in the US.
Mel Gibson makes a film about Jesus in a dead language that only Christians are going to go and watch and rakes in £600 million at the box office – what the hell else are Disney going to do but pitch to that market.
Thar’s gold in them thar fundies, for fucks sake.
The worst you can accuse Disney of is taking a few tips from dear old Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
‘Bagwash’ as he was affectionately known to his cynics had a simple philosophy when it comes to money – Money is bad karma.
And being the humanitarian he was and an enlightened old soul with phenomenally good karma he decided he could help people out by relieving them of some their bad karma. Lets face it, karmicly-speaking he was so far in th black that the odd Rolls-Royce or ninety-three was barely going to make a dent in his personal karmic bank balance.
Disney are just applying the same principle – if money if the root of all evil then why not relieve a few christians of a bit of that evil – they’ll only thank you for it in the long run.
3. She hates all the religious bits and the fundies will love it.
Fundies are fundies – they don’t need an excuse to interpret everything from their own peculiar view of the word anyway, so why worry if Narnia makes it a bit easier for them than usual.
Lets face, if these twats can conceive of Adam and Eve riding around on the back of dinosaurs then it really doesn’t matter what you try and throw at ’em by way of reason – it won’t stick.
Somewhere out there now, you can be sure there’s a fundie in a Christian publishing company wonder whether he might just get away with publishing kids books of Jesus’s lost stories – Jesus and the Parable of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, for example and were I in his position, I’d go for it – his target market is dumb enough to swallow it so why not?
That’s all I can be arsed to write from now – try Nosemonkey for a good bit of vituperative shouty commentary and start from there – this is Polly, there’ll be no shortage of good stuff to read if you look.