Saturday, August 11, 2007

Movies, Books, and "Graduation"

In these waning days of summer, I went to the movies yesterday and saw "Bourne Ultimatum." Besides the over the top score that blasted movie-goers incessantly with postmodern percussion riffs, the camera veritas (read: hand-held, ever-moving, seasick-inducing) method of looking over characters' shoulders at one eye of another character left me wondering what my son was watching with my wife in "Underdog". Meanwhile, movie-goers will assure another multi-million dollar successful week for studios. Little wonder that both Thomas Merton and Walker Percy finally flung up their hands and walked out of theaters forever.

But the New York Times Sunday Book Review features a review of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathy Hallows by everyone's favorite snide evangelist of atheism, Christopher Hitchens. I will spare you his sarcasm toward the lemming-like of western society, but Hitch finishes his critique with:
"I recommend that they graduate to Philip Pullman, whose daemon scheme is finer than any patronus."
In other words, Hitchens wants to keep the kiddies entertained but now with Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. Just after Hitchens pokes his fork into the masses who purchase massive tomes about a boy wizard and who yearn to read about the "posh" and unattainable life of British boarding schools (and magical ones at that), he touts an atheistic equivalent that purports to "graduate" readers, apparently, to "grown up" reality.

"Graduate" tells all about Hitchens. The verb, for him, means to grow up, put in the toy box once and for all the infantile play things of theistic faith in a self-revealing, self-donating God, and join him in the drab gray, humanist, closed-box, realtime "reality" of the 21st century.

Hitch, like all card-carrying members of the humanist country club, believes that truth is ugly. This is his journalistic forte -- uncloaking truth, goodness, and beauty to show the contaminated, crass reality behind the persona (Hitchens coined the phrase to describe Mother Teresa of Calcutta, "the ghoul of Calcutta").

So, readers and, soon, watchers at the movies, get on the bandwagon of post-Rowling reality: Philip Pullman's books will soon be in theaters, starting on December 7th. Be prepared.

1 comment:

D'artagnan said...

No future event has me as concerned as the release of the movie version of "the Golden Compass", and nothing is as vile as trying to steal the love of God from innocent children.

I do admit that Pullman is a superior writer to Rowling, but in the end his crapola may be highly polished, but the smell remains.