Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

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Abjuration of The Conjuring

July 31, 2013

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It seems that watching “The Conjuring”, which set off my Spider Sense before even making the attempt, was a mistake.  Still, ever one to give something a fair shake of the stick, as it were…

By way of a disclaimer, I should point out that I like horror films.  From “Nosferatu” to “Cannibal Ferox”, from “The Legend of Hell House” to “Silent Hill”.  However, …

From a horror movie standpoint, “The Conjuring” is a pastiche of “The Amityville Horror” 1&2 and Poltergeist in places with a modern remake feel.  The problem there is that the modern feel tends to espouse the steady build-up approach and opt for a rapid jump cut technique that can leave you spinning at times.  Occasionally, it’s easy to forget which house a set is supposed to represent and then, when a character comes into shot, I found myself thinking “What are they doing there?”, when, in fact, the jump cut was so fast that the change in location was temporarily lost on me.

Thinking of editing, it seems rather haphazard at times, like it’s been done by Ray Charles with a cut throat razor.

Soundtrack-wise, this could be just about any modern movie.  Audio tropes abound.  At least the dialogue is fairly clear, which is a change these days.

The actors playing the Warrens give very human performances.  Anyone who’s seen footage of the actual Warrens will know how much of a surprise that will have been.

Content:  Well, here’s where I reach a bit of a sticky situation.  Firstly, the start of the film proclaims that the contents of this film are only just being told now, for the first time.  Well, the book that one of the Perron’s wrote and was published over two years ago must be a figment of my imagination, then.  Proclaiming it to be based on a “True Story”…

There are a slew of problems inherent here.  Firstly, the “True Story” banner has to be considered somewhat flexible.  Paranormal encounters are usually personal experiences.  I’m not in a position to say yea or nay as to the veracity of the experiences of others.  “Based on” also gives the film makers a lot of leeway and that, I think, gets thoroughly exercised here.

Secondly, the Warrens turn up and seem to go to “It’s demonic!” by default.  There’s nothing quite like telling scared people that they’re tangling with a “demon”, I suspect.  If that is, indeed, the way things unfolded, then I would have to call that course of action irresponsible at best.

Now for my biggest problem with the film.  I’m an eclectic grey Pagan.  The whole “evil witch” thing is really not on.  If any of the Abrahamic faiths had been slandered like that, there’d be trouble.  It appears that Christians, Jews and Muslims of all stripes are unassailable as far as mainstream cinema is concerned.  Pagans, often witches, are thrown with abandon into the grinder and vilified.

It’s not on, but I have to accept that my expectations were lived down to, despite trying to approach with some form of neutrality.

Peace and Blessed be!

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Incoming Banhammer?!

May 2, 2013

As I’ve said before, I sometimes scour the internet to see what other people’s view of the world is.  I know what I think but other people can be something of a mystery and, by understanding them a little better, I might just feel more positive about the world and the people in it.

“I’m OK, you’re OK” only works if the other person is really OK.  When faced with arrant jag-offery, I tend to get annoyed and bite back.  C’est la vie.  I’ll leave the passive and meek stuff to others.

On my internet travels, I happened across this blog:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2013/04/what-is-the-matter-with-this-guy.html

Which is decrying an Arch Bishop’s apparent lack of intervention in the case of an alleged child molesting Priest who, until recently at least, was still working with children.  At the end of this piece was the phrase “…going above and beyond what an ordinary pagan moron acting with merely mortal stupidity and wickedness would do.“

Oddly, I found this somewhat irksome and commented on the blog thus:

“Firstly, that is an appalling misuse/non-use of a position of authority. To endanger in any way the well-being of other people, especially children, is a heinous transgression and breech of the principals of trust.

However, “beyond what an ordinary pagan moron acting with merely mortal stupidity and wickedness would do. ” Really? Are you sure you wanted to use this phrase?”

A couple of the author’s readers leaped to his defence with comments like “…you aren’t really what Mark’s talking about with paganism (i don’t think). “

Oh, he means pagans meaning everyone who doesn’t think exactly as he does, rather than Pagans who don’t think exactly as he does.  Well, that clears up that mystery!  I feel so much better.  What, that might be exactly the kind of thing that sets me off?  The kind of bait I might rise to but probably shouldn’t?

Well, dear reader, I rose to it.  Here’s the reply that may well get me banned from his blog.  Boo fracking hoo!

“Thanks to everyone for clearing this up.

I see now that some people have very loose definitions of the term “pagan” and that I shouldn’t be upset.  It’s not like anyone could get upset about the term “child molestation-enabling, phallic headgear proponents” either.

World view now corrected.”

Ah, well, if I’ve managed to enrage just one idiot today, my work  is done.  Let the banhammer fall!

Cheers!

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Different Strokes…

September 15, 2012

Recently, on my voyages around the interwebs, I have become somewhat disturbed by some faith-based posts.

It seems that an awful lot of vocal followers of the big monotheistic faith and its divergent subsets feel rather persecuted if they can’t, for example, proselytize in American schools or if they feel slighted.  Perhaps there are occasions when those people feel their particular denomination/system should be given precedence over all others and that they are above criticism from those who don’t share their particular belief system or, in some cases, any belief system.

Well, this headline just in:  You’re like a bunch of stroppy, spoiled brats and sometimes you need to be told “No!”.   Take your lumps.
While I’m on this train of thought (which is rather peculiar, but it’s my train and I’ll just let it take its course), please stop telling other people they’re going to Hell.  It’s not big, it’s not clever and in some cases, if you’re right, I’ll be happy to be nowhere near you.

Here’s the bottom line, from my particular viewpoint:  Each person’s path is their own.

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Cultural disparity?

May 7, 2012

When I first “came out of the broom closet”, back in 1999, I was worried that some of my friends, who happen to be Christian, would find this revelation to be too much and might distance themselves from me.  I am happy to report that my fears were not realised – those friends gave me a big hug at the time and are still my friends.

That was 13 years ago and on a different continent.

Since I moved to the States, I have found a slightly different aspect of the world.

Most of the people I’ve met here are friendly, tolerant and on occasion politely inquisitive about the Pagan among them.  The folks in the diner don’t shun me, parents don’t snatch their progeny from my path and a local church sent round a deputation with an apple pie when we moved in to our house as a welcome.  Very friendly and terribly civilised.

However, over the past 12 months, a neighbour has told me that she’ll “bring me to the Lord”.  Apparently, my faith is comical because it’s fictional.

I find myself often challenged by said neighbour about my faith and I’ve tried to make it clear that not only do I not wish to get into a pan-deity showdown, my faith is not up for negotiation or to be challenged.  I don’t want to go that way because, frankly, my faith is my own – a personal set of choices.

Proselytizing is anathema to me – everyone gets to make their own choice and find their own path.  Just please, do not prevent me from following mine.

Blessed be!