Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I know which I'd rather see

You have love stupid Christians. They give one so much material to work with. It amazes me how utterly idiotic so many followers of Jesus can be. Now before I get to the really dumb remark let me put this in context.

This is from one of those Right-wing web sites where people who aren’t sure how to spell journalist think they are one. Some Boobus Americanus out of Omaha, Nebraska has penned his little tirade “Homos on the Range.”

Now the author Doug Patton, from the picture provided, looks like one of those old farts that the world puts up. He comes across like one of those who talks about “going home to be with Jesus” while the rest of us are whispering under our breath: “Why wait. Do us all a favor.” Often women his age are called the “blue rinse crowd” and i suspect that today we’d refer to men like him as the “blue pill crowd.”

What has Patton aroused, if you pardon the pun, is the film Brokeback Mountain. In spite of the gay theme to it the film has been receiving almost universal acclaim. Even Christianity Today had to be somewhat complimentary in their review of it. Now Mr. Patton has written a long diatribe about the film which he has not seen and can’t see because he’s a “real” man.

The story deals with two men who don’t know how to deal with their feelings toward one another. They marry because that is what men did in the West almost 5O years ago -- back when Mr. Patton was middle aged. But Patton describes the film as being about “two young sheepherders who seek regular fulfilment of their lust for each other by engaging in homosexual adultery....” He’s so articulate.

He quotes the alleged film critic Michael Medved a lot. Medved is one of those guys who found out that he can make money pandering to the fanatics in the American Taliban and does. According to Patton, who may not have been fully awake, Medved compared the film to Leni Riefenstahl’s documentary on the Nazi Party Congress of 1933 as a “brilliant, convincing bit of film making, the sole purpose of which was to promote a political and/or social agenda.”

I hope Patton got that wrong otherwise Medved clearly has gone off the deep end. Riefenstahl wanted to make a movie that was dramatic and good film. She wasn’t so interested in making a propaganda film. And anyone who has seen her other films know this style of film making followed her regardless of the topic. The woman is dead and was rubbished enough by false accusations. Nor is there any evidence that Ang Lee was doing anything but telling a good story and producing an excellent film by all accounts.

Patton whines about Hollywood’s obsession with “deviant sex” and the lack of films about “Loving, monogamous sexual expression between a man and a woman committed to each other and to their marriage vows...” Well, maybe its because a film needs some drama to be interesting. A film about Ward and June Cleaver just lacks the drama that makes a good film. And whether the blue pill crowd realize it or not Hollywood often portrays such people. But by necessity of a story line with some dramathat can’t be the central part of the story. It would be like having a film about “Mom and dad take the kids for a picnic.” Wholesome but not entertaining. But Mr. Patton probably thinks a regular bowel movement is the height of drama these days.

Mr. Patton isn’t exactly an Einstein, more like a Frankenstein except the good doctor forgot the brain. But what was the really dumb remark he made that had me laughing? Of course Patton is gaga over the masochistic blood fest “The Passion of the Christ” which he says shows “noble suffering for the sins of all humanity”. The film made money as every Bible bigot in the country lined up to prove that such gore and guts films in the name of God are good for children. But Patton laments: “One might believe that numbers like those would have gotten someone’s attention. Yet, have you seen “The Passion, Parts 2, 3 and 4 yet? No, and you won’t unless Gibson produces them.”

Excuse me! Patton is whining that more films showing Jesus being brutally tortured are needed and not being made. Exactly how do you have “Crucifixion: the Sequel”?

Do they grab the supposedly resurrected Christ and crucify him again? Maybe Patton would have different methods of brutal murder. “See Jesus hung from the neck until dead! Watch every muscle twitch as his bowels break loose. Hear his neck snap. Bring the kids and get spiritual satisfaction.” Maybe they send Jesus to Texas and Pontous Bush refuses to pardon him and a tube is inserted in his arm and poison is introduced to kill him.

Exactly how do you have a sequel to the Gibson film? More blood, more pain, more suffering ---- exactly what is Patton looking for here?

It’s not like a film producer could simply invent a new Jesus torture plot line. If he did the Patton’s of the world would stop taking those blue pills and start taking their heart pills. They would be furious. You can’t do much with the plot line from the Gospels.

You have a certain leeway with them since they don’t agree with each other as to what was going on. But it’s not like you can turn Jesus into a James Bond character. It simply is not the kind of the film that allows for a sequel. The Passion of the Christ was very specific in theme. It was about the bloody, brutal torture of Jesus (as imagined by an old Catholic mystic). That’s it. How does a film maker do a sequel to that? Of course he can’t. The complaint about their not being a sequel just shows you how unthinking such conservatives can be.


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