Thursday, December 6, 2007

Latest Literary Obsessions....

We are listening to The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett. It is set in Hyde Park, home to Uncle Don and Aunt Barbara, and familiar to me. I am loving listening to the story. This, and the first in the series. Don and Barbara's neighborhood has always reminded me in a way of Cambridge, and the characters go to the University school, the descriptions of which remind me of the Tobin School.

These stories, like those of Zilpha Keatley Synder set in Berkley and surroundings, remind me of my childhood in a way that so many current depictions of childhood/pre-teen life don't.

Also, we are looking forward to the release of The Golden Compass. I read all three of Philip Pullman's books in that series, and Ella has read a few of his other books and loved them (including I Was A Rat).

Now, about the controversy over this movie, what is going on? Is this America? Again, I have to think that we have gone completely crazy. There are religious fundamentalist who are opposing this movie. Great, go ahead and exercise your rights while we still have them. But the terrorizing scare tactics are ridiculous.

There was a thread on yahoo movies that said "Children Kill God". Isn't that a titch inflammatory?

For me, I am shocked by the idea that some introduction of a different idea (in this case a novel, and it is a work of fiction, folks, that depicts Pullman's atheistic viewpoint) would somehow instantly jeopardize my soul or lead my children to want to kill God (or Goddess).

I am coming to think we need a movie like this one to make us at least start to think about the dangers of "groupthink". That is, in my opinion, what much of this series is about. It is about thinking for oneself, gathering friends where ever you are lucky enough to find them, and the kindness of children with no hidden agenda.

What could be more wonderful?

In one article I found, there seemed to be some reasonable-ness from religious quarters. The following is a quote:

{begin quote}The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting gave the film, which is rated PG-13, a warm review. The film is not blatantly anti-Catholic but a "generalized rejection of authoritarianism," it said.

While noting the story's "spirit of rebellion and stark individualism," the office said Lyra and her allies' stand for free will in opposition to the coercive force of the Magisterium is "entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching."

Sister Rose Paccate, director of the Pauline Center of Media Studies in Culver City, Calif., said the books portray benevolence toward children and a God figure just one that's much different than the one Christians know. She sees irony in calls to shun the film, considering that one of Pullman's central themes is that people should not follow orders and forfeit critical thought.

"If you just say 'no' to your kids without engaging in a conversation, they're going to see the movie anyway and all you're teaching them is power, not really teaching your values," Paccate said. "If we have faith, what are we afraid of?" {end quote}


Well, anyway. As the title of this post states, these are my latest obsessions. Oh, I guess I edited it to literary obsessions because, uh, I have to say I am obsessed with Britney Spears as well. That could be another post. Maybe.


dorkey5 said...

thanks for the tag! It was fun!

Madeline said...

wow. I didn't even know about the controversy. I'm really in a bubble lately. Jesse really wants to see this movie and then read the book - if he likes the movie or not. He loved teh preview. I am more excited about it now than ever.