dimanche 19 juin 2011

Douglas Gresham, are you trying to please Lord Gumpas?

Correction of possibly wrongful
impression on this link. Do look it up.

The changes made from the books (we are talking about the Seven Chronicles of Narnia, first three to be filmatised) to the films are, you said, due to "dramaturgic necessity" - my foot! Fiddlesticks!

I have not made the diagrams of tension curves, but any chapter in these books has a good one. Space is not a problem when filmatising classics. In theatres not only audiences but actors get exhausted, or it is even actors rather than audiences who do. In films they can rest between takes.

One could so easily have added a scene in which pupils* forced under Jadis to study a curriculum they did not like with comrades they did not like (talking rabbits forced to sit next to talking foxes) heard a royal herald - why not one of the first talking mice? - announce that school was from hence voluntary. And the two school scenes** in which a teacher is delivered from piggish schoolboys and where school girls are delivered from a shrewish school mistress would have been roaring comedy.

You know well enough that your stepfather hated school. Not learning, but school. Even without Squeers' types, whenever children and youngsters were forced to attend against their will and without consideration for their previous powers*** of getting along with each other. You know also he was told in a letter of a school where everyone was happy. He discussed what this meant for the virtue of hope. I am not sure this is even a good info he got (or that he took it for it, I do not recall his exact reservations).

I met a girl who asked me about my situation. I had been mobbed**** in school. She said noone was mobbed in her class. Then she added that there was this girl who "wept for nothing". Really sobbed for nothing at all. Well, weeping and finding a class full of people feeling - whatever they said when trying to be kind - that she wept for nothing is not a very hopeful and sunny school situation. And is conducive to despair and hate. She ought not to have been kept in school against her will; if her parents wanted that and were not just forced under threat of losing custody they were so far not very good parents, far inferior to a "Pudayta-bird" as parent to your stepfather when he was young. And if her parents are forced to, which is at least as likely, there is something rotten in the state.

You know the anti-school compulsion takes in the books were taken out, and you know they were dear to your stepfather. You also know there was no dramatic necessity for it. Are you trying to please the kind of guys who consider religious and national duties of theirs, including school compulsion (Moslems and Protestants copied it from Judaism with some slanting at Pericles' Athens and certainly not from Christianity or Old Testament or Caesar's or Constantine's Rome) a neglected duty in men whose religion or ancestral national customs do not have it?

I know the quote "Was gut für den Jud' ist, das ist gut" from a man whom I revere. But used by others the quote can mean ... well, I stood yesterday next to a man whom I take for a Jew presuming or having presumed or wanting or having wanted me to have Jewish loyalties. He cursed - in conversation with another man, I could not help overhearing it, and think he meant me to - people eating at McDo without worrying whether it is kosher or halal or not and basically cursing such men to a sexual perversion or to infertility. As if kosher food was God's sine qua non for bestowing the blessing of fertility on men. Or as if God by not making it so had made some kind of mistake.

People serving that sectarian interest have a few ways of pulling it over on us under diverse excuses. One is getting foods less healthy so as to make people concerned about health make choices like unto kosher food worries (note that eating kosher in old Israel when it was the custom was not a worry). Another is to exaggerate those worries until they become kosher food like systems. You know very well how CSL ridiculed that in the parents of Eustace. But for a Christian the proper way of being chaste according to state is not avoiding fat meats like pork and shrimps altogether, but to fast on wednesdays and fridays from meat, eggs and dairy (more continuously under lent, less so in Eastertide which was past the last wednesday, friday and saturday). It is an obligation under individual responsibility according to a collective custom (and I am not keeping it well now).

Now, in a similar way, I do not think Jews have any business forcing school compulsion on us Christians, since we are not obliged to obey the decision made by the successor not of Aaron any more but of God-killing Kaiaphas and of Church persecuting Hanan ben Hanan, who killed St James. Even if that man their successor who decided on school compulsion, Joshua ben Gamla, was less bad against Christians. Muslims emulated from the first, when Christians started doing it there were connexions to Renaissance (Scotland), Enlightenment (Prussia), Reconstruction (US States enforcing reading abilities as conditionn for voting), Communism (Russia). Do you feel we are so obliged? Or do you feel there is any kind of real case for school compulsion?

Maybe you consider this is a kind of debate we cannot take, since "we are at war", the famous clash of civilisations. Legally, in French law, we do have the "plan vigipirate" directed against terrorism. And abused to make society here less free. Muslim violence is avoided, but Islamic state totalitarianism is in the process emulated. And Muslims who are not getting physically violent are overlooked when trying to play the lords.

Now, this brings me to the question: is the function of a legitimate state enforcing decency, starting with itself (and in a Christian country obviously not obeying Jewish or Muslim factionalism disguised as Enlightenment), or is it a way of meeting threats, the more efficient the better? A King sets out to retrieve seven lords who had been lured away. Is it in order to keep a promise he made? Or is it in order to meet a threat of new evil hovering over Narnia? Adding that "for drama" lessens the moral message to statesmen (Caspian is after all chief of state, king, ruler, when on this journey) of decency for decency's sake, without sidelooks on necessity (which was aye the tyrant's plea), and it works out how? By making Lord Gumpas and Pug an evil hovering over Narnia itself? Or by making - what the books do not! - one of these lords a key figure in resisting the Lady of the Green Kirtle of the next Narnia story?

The worst solution is bending. Bending to Lord Gumpases who are along with the school hired Pugs of youth psychiatry and the Pugs of psychiatry for people traumatised in school, in changing the message.

If you make a film out of The Flying Inn*****, will you take away Misysra Ammon and Lord Ivywood out of political correctness too?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
George Pompidou library
of Paris
Trinity Sunday YooL 2011

*Lion, Witch, Wardrobe **Prince Caspian ***previous powers of getting along - a modern would have said "preliminary potential to get along" I presume ****CSL used the word bullied, but in Sweden we took the loan word mobbing *****by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

2 commentaires:

HGL a dit…

I just sent a message to a Jenny, after she admitted to editing out scenes of slave trade in VDD:

Where YOU responsible for editing out that social morality from VDD?
And anti-school compulsion from PC and LWW?

"Douglas Gresham, are you trying to please Lord Gumpas?" - this was, in that case, for you!

here is her admission!

Anonyme a dit…

I reread Dawn Treader on the way to Atlanta, mainly because I was trying to decide what bits would have to be cut for the film (the slave trade bits, I decided – it’s a good part of the book but you don’t absolutely need it, and it would take up lots of time), and I just loved it.