Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hungering for a Good Movie

I can't keep it in. I have to put up a good rant in a post about The Hunger Games. A long time ago my best friend came up with an honor for movies that really stink up the place. It's called the Slap Shot award after watching the Paul Newman film about ice hockey that had him squirming in his seat it was so bad.

This happened to me tonight watching The Hunger Games. I was squirming the entire evening. I didn't leave because I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I stayed for the agonizing duration.

I'd actually heard that there were some profound insights in it and interesting things to think about. I discovered that there were none. It wasn't enlightening or edifying in any way. Oh what about Katniss caring so much about her sister that she's goes in for her, that's kind of a Christ-figure kind-of thing to do? Yeah, but so what -- any film can have that, and lots do. Eh.

I will say that there was the idea about the way the World System considers its inhabitants, which I plan to address in my next webzine home page piece -- it was indeed a reason I wanted to see the film.

But other than that, this was a great big self-absorbed contrived melodramatic piece of caw-caw.

What gets me is that bazillions of teenagers are so infatuated with it, many even getting all into archery because Katniss Everdeen was so good at it. But what this really was was this: The author Suzanne Collins watched American Idol one night and thought, "Hey, what would happen if all the contestants, instead of singing, fought to the death to be the last one standing? Ooooo..." Then she wrote a story which, if the film is anywhere near an accurate reflection, turned out to be a predictable and unimaginative waste of time.

For one thing, there was no one to root for. The supposed protagonist, Katniss (and I'm already getting really tired of writing such a phenomenally stupid name like "Katniss") still went out and killed a whole bunch of people. Why is she any better than the other murderers in the show? Even little Rue was just as malevolent when encouraging Katniss to drop a hive of yacker-jackers (or whatever their wasps were called) on top of a bunch of people.

"But wasn't that the point? To be the last one standing after all the others have died?"

Really? So many would allow themselves to be given over to the whims of the powerful people exploiting them for their entertainment? Just because the system's gods tell you to go kill people does that mean you're still going to do it? And even if we grant that they're all just going to follow orders and murder everyone they can, then what more was this movie? All it did was just boorishly showcase the horrors of the distopian gladiator battle and nothing more.

Finally, I have to shout this to all the film directors out there, and maybe by chance they'll hear. I've always been hoping like crazy that somehow, someway, they would stop moving the camera all around in herky jerky motions. It was done once a long time ago to see how it worked, that's fine. I'm great with film experimentation, no problem there.

BUT PLEASE STOP IT.

Please, I beg you. It's time to stop. Yes there is the thought that it makes it all more real, but ya know Mr. Film Director? It makes it feel like you're doing the viewing of the movie for me, and I hate that. You may think it's great to just get that feel of trying to get the picture as regular human participant in the film, but listen -- it doesn't work. It is just really, really aggravating.

Plus, no one ever mentally registers a scene in their life with that scene moving all around, unless I guess they are really dizzy for some reason. But most people? 99% of the time when they are generally not dizzy? They scan a scene and it's pretty much framed in their field of vision pretty steadily. Sure they may not register everything there. Sure they may be enduring some emotionally trying or even severely traumatic experience. But the scene doesn't move around in front of them.

What a supreme pain in the ass to have to watch a movie as if I were dizzy. And to give credit to The Hunger Games guy, it happens far too often in too many movies and television shows.

So one more time just to emphasize. Film directors, pay attention: STOP WITH THE CAMERA JERKING ALREADY.

What could have made The Hunger Games better? They could have gotten into the meaning of the way the powerful inhabitants of this place could get a way with manipulating things the way they did. They could have had some much more noble responses from the participants. They could have simply had more plot twists and deeper character development.

And they could have addressed the profundity of human sacrifice, but I'm not surprised because no one knows how much it is practiced all around us as a matter of habit right now. The World is indeed one big Hunger Games event. But then, that's the thing I'll be getting into with my home page piece.

So yeah, maybe it doesn't deserve the Slap Shot award because its premise is still a fine jumping off point for some great elaboration on the immense value of the Kingdom and living for Christ.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Forget the Church, Follow Andrew Sullivan's Jesus

I was browsing in a bookstore today, and happened upon last week's edition of Newsweek. The cover featured a picture of a modern-day urban working class Jesus hittin' the streets. The title blazing across the middle of the page: "Forget the Church, Follow Jesus, by Andrew Sullivan."

I haven't read the piece, but knowing a bit about Newsweek, and knowing a bit about Andrew Sullivan, I can pretty much tell you what's in it. Let me guess. It'll talk about how the Christian church, or any organized religious institution (don't want to be ecclesiastically insensitive now), is just not meeting the needs of people. It'll say that we just need to get back to the Jesus who told us about love and peace and equality and democracy and really touched us with transcendent meaning.

Most likely he included some conciliatory stuff to assuage the worries from that group of Jesus appreciators, and some other niceties to appease this other group of Jesus affecionados. And he probably belched some things about what the church to could do to be more real and inspiring, as well as some ideas about how anyone could really address the world's bad things by just paying attention to Jesus. I'd bet he concludes with some pithy remarks designed to get readers to believe he's just right there with them in their struggle... and so is Jesus.

"How can you be so unfair!" I hear. "You don't even know what he said!"

I don't have to. I know what Newsweek is about, and I know what Andrew Sullivan is about. Never in a million years will they ever talk about Jesus.

They'll only talk about the World System's Jesus.

For instance, Newsweek is only a loud spokes-hole for that World System, the vast network of law administration services for a populace wholly given over to their rank sinfulness. This system's Jesus is marketed as the face of that network, only a spectacular icon to get people to commit to Caesar's rule over their affairs, a perfectly legitimate operation I might add. Andrew Sullivan is merely an extraordinarily eloquent writer employed to use spiritual, religious, and even biblical language to shackle people more firmly to the System.

Sullivan himself is a sexually reprobate individual, an avowed homosexually active man with a very vocal defense of homosexual behavior. It is not even that he has homosexual feelings or has been seduced into a homosexual act. The greater sin is that he promotes it openly, declaring with millions of other World inhabitants that homosexual acts should be widely celebrated. Is this my own opinion? No, it is Jesus who says this. Check out the beginning of the 18th chapter of Matthew, you can't miss it.

I'm not going to get into all the issues related to homosexuality, but I do want to point out that I do agree with Sullivan that the church fails to provide any meaningful context for understanding these issues, but that is because the church is not The Church. The World's church is just a branch of the World System, and Sullivan's critique of it is ultimately impotent unless its "blown cover for cover" purpose achieves the ends of the top World operative. The True Church is so marginalized that no one listens to them, but then, World inhabitants are so deaf to Truth they wouldn't even know what it sounds like.

The case in point regarding sexuality is that any sexual sin is an exploitive act, including a homosexual one. It is not as much whether or not someone's homosexual behavior affects me, it is that a homosexually-minded individual exploits another when engaging in physical intimacy with another of the same sex, just as much as an adult expoiting an underage individual does. Furthermore, any abuse of another in a sexual way is simply a form of human sacrifice, the appropriating value from another at his/her expense.

To Andrew Sullivan's credit, maybe in this piece he is crying out for someone -- traditionally considered to be in "the church" -- to share with him Jesus, to free him from his agonizing spiritual slavery. Maybe he is brashly blithering about the conceptions of Jesus with which he is familiar, hoping somewhere in there is one that someone will tell him is the real one.

I do pray for Andrew Sullivan, and for the editors of Newsweek. Jesus tells people to do that, too. But as assigned administrators of Caesar's public relations operation, as much as they are out of presence of God doing Cain's work, they're just doing their job. Any one of them can never know Him unless they get out of the World and into the Kingdom. When Andrew Sullivan eventually says, "Yes, I deserve to have a millstone around my neck and thrown into the deepest sea. I've been terribly, terribly wrong to promote something that is wretchedly exploitive and wicked," and then turns to the Jesus Who Holds the Universe in His Hands, and Also Saves With the Most Abiding Love, then I'll know that he means it.

Yeah, I deserve to have a millstone around my neck too. I've done some horrific things to others too. Deceit, murder, betrayal, theft -- even sexual exploitation. The entire range of human sacrifice practices. But I turn to Christ and His mercy to understand mercy, and do it and learn more of it then do it some more. And then I can see -- indeed revel in the profound value of self-sacrifical sowing-to-life for those whom God has put into my life.

Sullivan may certainly speak of those things too in his piece. Mercy, grace, wholeness, I figure that's all in there too. Great words, yes.

But if it isn't real, it's just World piddle.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Empire of Cain as Extractive

Found this brief review by Paul Craig Roberts of a book that pulls no punches in speaking of Cain's Administrative Authority as all about human sacrifice, here referred to as something I've often called it: value extraction. Nothing much to say about it, except to draw attention to a work that merely elucidates the reality of World System activity.

I should add, however, the disclaimer that I don't in any way censure what the World System does, as so many do including Mr. Roberts (from the smattering of what I've read of his). I only point out for purposes of understanding. Radical Selfists rant and rail against it as if they can change it, Devout Romanists defend with all sorts of casuistry, often the two intertwine to cause great confusion only to give richer voice to those who pull them further under their thumbs.

I merely encourage readers to consider the Kingdom approach. To observe it with insightful understanding, pray for those immersed in it in whatever way they are, and share with those who may actually be seeking the only way out of it.

Or rather, indeed, The Only Way.