Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe: Jebus Says It's OK To Bite Your Enemy's Face Off

Wanted to see "King Kong" or "Memoirs of a Geisha", but no 7:30-8:30 playtimes. So, we went to see "Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe". I read the books around 30 years ago, OK but certainly not Tolkien. Anyway, at 2h12m, the movie went by fairly quickly given that it was relatively boring. Lately, I seem to have a problem with fantasy when it is entirely of an arbitrary nature -- like "what are they going to pull out of their ass next?" I think you have to stay very close to the archetypes for a fantasy to work. I think, tho, even worse, is when it is fantasy with a subtext, particularly when the subtext is christianity.

It is well known that C.S.Lewis was a christian apologist, and that Aslan is indeed supposed to be a jebus figure. *** SPOILER ALERT *** But, in a fantasy context, what a load of crap. The movie is full of Greco-roman mythological creatures, all of which christianity seriously suppressed. My favorite was the ending tho, where Aslan (off-camera of course) bites the face off of the White Witch. Which gospel is that in?

It was amazing tho. No show times for King Kong, and this thing was playing on 2 screens, and the theater was full -- of dumbass christians, sent by their preachers to enjoy the christian values of this "wonderful" movie. Fucking shit, these morons will apparently believe anything that anybody tells or even suggests to them. They started out the movie laughing aloud at not particularly funny stuff, and ended it with "Wasn't that just wonderful?", "Oh yes, wonderful.". Grrr. I'd say a mind is a terrible thing to waste, but I think that sometimes, when you raise people to believe instead of think, that not much in the way of a mind ever develops.

My friend David sent me this link to some great atheist t-shirts. I have to pick out a few and start wearing them to the Fayette Mall on Sunday.

Been on a science fiction binge since finishing "Meta-Math!". Read a collection of short stories by John Crowley, "Novelties & Souvenirs". These are nice stories, an extended time travel one "The Great Work of Time" is very nice. Crowley writes very well, i.e., almost serious literature. His early novels "Engine Summer", "Beasts", "The Deep", and "Little, Big" are most excellent. He hits the archetypes hard -- a very nice recursive turn in that they tend to be fairy tales where at some point the characters begin to realize that they're in a fairy tale. His newer novels, "Aegypt" and "Daemonomania" are very well written, but don't have the charm of his earlier stuff.

Then hit my excellent local library where I have not been in months. Interesting, "No Cell Phone" signs up. Picked up 5 sci-fi novels. First read one of Octavia Butler's early short novels that I seem to have missed somehow, "Survivor". Very nice read. I really liked how her first 5 or so novels had 2-4 intertwining themes, but done in a way such that you can read them all standalone. Her 3 Xenogenesis novels were very good, and her newer stuff is also very readable.

Then read Greg Bear's latest, "Dead Lines". So, as previously blogged, after having one character experience god in "Darwin's Children", now we have a life-after-death novel. I was wondering, is he just getting old -- checked, he's 2 months younger than I am -- so he's definitely getting old. Well, he has a new one out, "Quantico", we'll see if it has creeping supernaturalism in it as well.

Just finished yesterday "Reflex", by Steven Gould". This is the sequel to his 1st novel "Jumper", which I loved. It reminded me of a book I would have loved when I was 12-15 and 1st reading escapist literature heavily. Plus, the main character's superpower, teleportation, is reminiscent of Gully Foyle in "The Stars My Destination" (still no apparent progress on Russell Crowe playing Gully Foyle). Anyway, "Reflex" is a totally pleasant read, I was sorry when it was over. Gould's other novels, "Wildside" and "Helm" are also great reads, they do the same thing, somehow make me feel like I'm a teenager again.

Made a fire in the fireplace yesterday, 1st time in probably 15 years. Only 4 seasoned small logs, kept it going around 2.5 hours. Tending a fire is great stuff, I love the smell and the feel of it. When I'm biking and I smell woodsmoke, it really slaps my mind -- million year old circuits kicking in.

It's like walking in the dark. I have gotten to really enjoy that in the summer, it really wakes up your senses and your old, old brain -- you're back to being a primate who knew that there were lots of things in the dark that wouldn't mind eating you, better be alert. Like the time I was hiking in the Saguaro National Monument east of Tucson and Mr. Rattlesnake rattled "hello" from 18 inches away -- I was definitely more awake and alive for the next hour of the hike.

Time for lunch, then see if I can get a load of firewood delivered. High in the 50's today, but we should have some more cold weather before the winter's over, I am looking forward to more of the fire thing.

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