Friday, December 07, 2007

Small minds

I am upset. What's worse is that I'm not entirely sure how I should best formulate this in order to help you understand exactly why. Well, I should start somewhere, so here goes.

I am so tired of small-minded people. For the most part, I refer to small-minded religious people. I think you know of whom I refer to. Currently, these people are up in arms over a film called The Golden Compass. These people, I think, are the same people who started campaigns against the Harry Potter books/films and The Da Vinci Code. What bothers me is not necessarily that these people have the opinion that they do. What bothers me is that they refuse to listen to other opinions that differ from their own.

OK, Let's review some of the facts. 1. Phillip Pullman is an atheist. Big deal. Is there some kind of a rule that states that people of religious faith have a monopoly on having their voices heard? Is there a rule that states that atheists are incapable of creating meaningful art? 2. Pullman, apparently, wasn't too big of a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia. Who cares? Personally, I think that they do tend to be venerated a bit much. This isn't to say that I didn't like them. On the contrary, I quite enjoyed them. I'm just not sure that they're as good as some people think. (just my humble opinion) 3. He wrote the His Dark Materials trilogy as a response to Lewis' books. I think that it's actually kind of cool that someone would create an entirely new series as a response to an existing one.

Now, tonight, my brother mentioned the film and a few of the people that we were with went off on how it supposedly preaches atheism. Perhaps these people ought to do their reading. If they had, they would have learned that, ever since the film was first adapted for the screen, (the current screenplay is actually the second version that's been written) the "anti-religious" aspects of Pullman's novel have, apparently, been dialed down to focus more on the heroine, Lyra, and her journey. Besides, as an intelligent moviegoer, (and a total film geek) I think that I have the mental capacity to differentiate between what is real and what is just a story. I don't watch a Star Wars film and then try to make a flying leap to cross the street because I saw it in one of the movies.

Furthermore, what about the notion of the questioning of organized religion? Why is this a bad thing? In addition to that, I think that art that makes people think about what they believe is a positive thing. If you don't know why you believe what you do, isn't that really a very shallow place to be in? What does that really say about you?

Now, I've seen the trailer for The Golden Compass and it looks interesting. A friend and I have talked about going to see it with some other people. Now, with all of this hoopla over it, I only want to see it more. I think, in some way, I don't want to let these small-minded people win. Maybe that's childish of me to be so rebelliously idealistic. But, maybe, just maybe, I might be right.

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