Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Robust Religious Fervor of Mary Poppinsists

The Mary Poppins tale is an extraordinarily enticing one.

Last night during our Christmas season vacation downtime I went with my family to see the latest film, the first real Disney sequel to the original. 54 years later, they put together one they thought would be a worthy offering.

It wasn't. It was long, dry, and tedious. The music was utterly forgettable, quite unlike the genius score of the 1964 classic. The acting was uninspired, with the exception perhaps of Emily Mortimer -- and no, Emily Blunt as Mary was so affected it took away from the genuine charm of the character. Julie Andrews' rendering drew no attention to herself even though she never denied who she authentically was. Blunt's character, meanwhile, was always looking at herself in the mirror and while there may have been some point to that, it only made her appear uncomfortably vain.

This was merely a re-imaging of the original, and I was afraid of that. I was hoping for something fresh and invigorating -- no, it was just disappointment throughout. They pretty much did the number with the carousel and penguins in the park only here it was a vaudeville show, they did the number with the chimney sweeps only here it was gaslamp lighting bicyclers, they did the number with the joke-telling uncle only here it was the eccentrically goofy cousin, and at the end of the film they did the number with the kites, only here it was balloons. Annnd... yeah.

There was virtually nothing originally imaginative at all. And this is one of the distressing things about what this film demonstrated -- it is that creativity in Hollywood appears to be dead. The people working there are so consumed by political correctness and identity politics browbeating that they've jettisoned every inventive and imaginative bone in their bodies.

One of the bank examiners was a black man, and trust me, there is nothing wrong with any race playing any character (see why I have to say that, so the thought police doesn't ring me up as racist) -- the problem is in movies when you're staying true to the times or culture depicted you may simply have to racially discriminate. The biopic on Martin Luther King Jr. will justifiably discriminate against all white persons in its casting for the lead role. Those casting for the biopic on Abraham Lincoln will most likely discriminate against anyone of Asian descent.

Not only did I not buy into this casting decision because it never would have happened in early 20th century London, but they went ahead and made this black character the good, principled bank examiner, while of course the white ones were the evil miserly scoundrels. Again, portraying any racially minority character as good and principled is not a bad thing at all, it's just I know why they did it. It is because Hollywoodites are so consumed with making themselves look good by trying to give us some object lesson that black people are good. Sorry, but this is offensive to black people.

Many, many black people are very, very fine people, and it is not because Hollywood has sanctimoniously portrayed them as such. They are because they are. And many, many white people are very, very not racist. Yet Hollywood continues to feel it must hammer the filmgoer with the idea that it is their job to instruct us about how racist whites are and how good blacks are and all whites better start listening to us morally advanced people about that and all blacks look at us we've got your back. Sorry but this is offensive to anyone who genuinely wants integration and reconciliation -- it has just the opposite affect and generates distrust and suspicion.

This may be considered a minor thing in this film, I understand that -- but it is plainly another example of the ugly racialism that reigns in the Hollywood-imbued social milieu.

Yes, indeed, it is a religion.

And this religion of the Mary Poppins followers is quite a powerful one.

There is a name for it, and it is indeed woven in the thoughts and feelings of those who do not understand and know God, or who treat him like a fairy tale character that they may particularly like because, you know, it's the one Mom and Dad told us we're supposed to like, or because he's kind of the main guy of the peculiar religion of some people it is best to politely humor, you know -- don't want to be too mean since we are the enlightened ones you know.

It is called gnosticism, and it is insidious as all get out.

Mary Poppins and all her devotees are exceptionally refined gnostics, and they may not even know it.

Modern-day gnosticism is the idea that one may have an inner light to know more than anyone else and to make things the way you want them to be in your world. The material world is the lesser and the only thing that means anything is the way one may be tuned into the spirit world. Mary Poppins Returns was a gnostic masterpiece, and again profoundly entrancing -- who wouldn't want to dive into a beautiful underwater paradise, dance with delightfully idiosyncratic cartoon characters, or take a balloon ride to the clouds -- which, by the way, to me was terrifying because I kept thinking, what if they accidentally let go of the string? As they rose higher and higher I simply couldn't help but ask: What apparatus did they have to allow them to get back down?

Yes, it's a fantasy, I know -- just go with it. But even with fantasy suspension of disbelief must be respected. Most of the fantastical events in Returns were just contrivances, and very annoying.

See, the original Mary Poppins at least stayed grounded to a large extent, keeping the main flow of the story going: how Mr. Banks would renew his relationship with his children and find joy in life again. If author P.L. Travers' intentions are accurately depicted in the film Saving Mr. Banks then it is not hard to comprehend why we so viscerally feel that vibrant relational meaning and family bonding theme in the story. This film made an attempt at that but just failed miserably, some because there just isn't that connection -- this plainly feels like Disney is just cashing in on the popularity -- and much because the direction was disjointed and unfocused.

The modern gnostic thread was just too pronounced however, it really is the Hollywood religion. It was especially pronounced in the metaphorical nature of the gaslamp lighting and Jack's "Trip a Little Light Fantastic" song. The actor Lin-Manuel Miranda is wildly famous for his Hamilton musical (probably the most celebrated racialist paean out there), and in real life he has demonstrated his enthusiasm for sodomism. The film features a scene and accompanying music about turning the world "turtle," and the entire room goes upside down. These kinds of things are subtle but clear gnostic messages that you should explore other sexual expressions than the one that is "right-side up" so to speak. How fun and liberating it is to go "turtle"!

Please, it is just harmless fun, innocent and carefree diversion. Please! You take it all too seriously.

Yeah, I do that. But I only do it because it is just in my blood to share what I see so that some may be aware of how they're being played. Indeed it is that much more dangerous when this stuff comes through the mildest, simplest, funnest children's fair.

Needless to say there was never a mention of Christ, and sure some will say He doesn't fit in the Mary Poppins story. I believe this is only because we've all already been convinced the gnostic storyline is the only one that works. Never mind that in Victorian England many people were very devout Christians.

So here is yet another spectacular Hollywood rendering of the gnostic, humanist, atheist, and in this one magical, spiritist, occultic way things are or should be. It'd be great if everyone thought this version of the Mary Poppins phenomena was as dreadful, maybe they'd actually see the Disneyfied gnostic dreck for what it is, but I'm afraid there are still legions of fans who sincerely thought this was anything worthwhile.

And they do so at their great peril.

I have to add here that in my devotional this morning was this verse, and I'm including it much because as you see the title of this blog endeavor is "Wonderful Matters." It is from the 25th chapter of Isaiah:

"Lord, you are my God: I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago."

In contrast to Mary Poppins, God does actually do the wonderful things we want, in real actual reality. No, He won't defer to demons disguised as fun-loving magicians. He does love you enough to give you what your heart truly does desire.

Thing is you've got to ask Him.
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