2 May 2012
3.5 timeouts, i am hard up for ideas edition.
I have tried to write a few posts these last couple of days, and burned the lot. I almost completely struck out on a 3.5 Tuesdays post, but then a random conversation with my kids gave me a flicker of an idea for a cheap and easy post, when combined with a rundown on the posts I burned. So, without further ado, here is something you have long awaited- my top three Disney villains, plus something else.
The Wicked Queen from Snow White. Here's someone who gave kids nightmares for decades. One of Disney's best villains ever, and also their first. Some people think the scene of her transformation, or the scene where Snow White races, lost, through the woods, are the scariest scenes in the movie. Me, I think here in front of the mirror is her at her villainous worst.
Strange what you find in a kids' movie, no?
Magnificent voice acting, with one of the most chilling laughs in movie history. Apparently, there is a movie in the works called Maleficent, which tells the story of the Sleeping Beauty from Maleficent's point of view. Big mistake on two counts. First, as Coleridge noted with Iago, the best villains have "motiveless malignity". They are just bad. Giving them a motive, like Hannibal Lector in some of the sequels, or the Joker in the Killing Joke, or the Grinch in the awful live action movie, is most often a mistake. (cough star wars prequel cough) Their evil is disproportionate, trying to give it an origins, a sympathy for the devil, if you will, just doesn't work. There is just no mathematical formula to balance the equation to explain why they went so deep into evil. Second, the movie is set to star Angelina Jolie. I don't think she is a match for this cartoon. I can't picture her uttering the lines: "Now you face me, oh Prince, and all the power of Hell!"
This was a children's movie, right?
Speaking of the powers of hell: Chernabog.
Were they even pretending this was for kids?
I was going to post on the Dan Savage thing, but quickly got verbose and rambling, so I deleted it. Short version: not a fan, when I finally found an actual quotation, I thought his comments were tame for him, though still not good. Was he acting as a bully when he called the kids names? Yes. Is this ironic? Also yes.
My reflection: Sadly, for years I have been saying that bullying is not simply a matter that there are bullies and there are the bullied. The picture I see painted in anti bullying campaigns is too simple and too wrong for what is a complicated situation. Anyone who has been to school should know better than that. there are circles and cycles, pecking orders and food chains. Someone who is bullied by a social superior will, in turn, bully someone below. The fact that they were bullied does not stop them from passing it on. There have been a few times where I have witnessed someone who was once a victim suddenly finding themselves in a position of power or prestige. We want to believe that such a person would say: I was bullied when I was at the bottom, I did not like it, I will not do the same to others. Perhaps that happens, somewhere, but I never saw it. Every time I saw someone move up the ladder, their response to the new situation was; "My turn."
Savage's comments were his own version of "My turn." Having been a victim of hate, he now gleefully passes it on. The reaction of the audience was the most damning thing of all. hundreds left, but thousands cheered. Their anti-bullying campaign is a lie, and a farce, and they are enacting the oldest rules of the playground, even though they seem to be blissfully ignorant of it, and would probably protest if they were accused; It's okay to be a bully, as long as you bully the right people.
Right now, Christians are the right people, the fair target. Savage was correct, in one thing: not long ago, gays were the right people, the fair target, and now the tide has turned. It may turn again, so let this be a lesson. Remember your catechism, and know that when it comes to spreading hate, it is never your turn.