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Archive for December, 2005

I realize the movie has been out for several weeks, but in case you’re still sitting on the fence or just haven’t gotten around to seeing it, here’s my report:

Having survived the Lord of the Rings movies, I had decided fairly early that I would give the new Narnia movie a try, but have been in no hurry to do so. My wife and I finally saw it last night. It’s excellent. For fidelity to the book, I would rate it above The Lord of the Rings. I was very pleased with the lack of various objectionable things which I will lump into the term "Hollywoodization" and hope you understand me. It wasn’t totally absent, but it was far less intrusive. Karen and I both thought the four children were pretty much perfect.

If you don’t plan to see it because you don’t want your imagination taken over, or have a principled objection to going to the movies in general, I certainly won’t try to talk you out of your opposition. But if you don’t have any such objection, this one is worthwhile, and I don’t think it will spoil the book for you.

On the way home I said to Karen that the great battle seemed a bit anti-climactic. She agreed but added that she thought it was so in the book as well, which I think is true. The Lion etc. is in fact not my favorite of the Narnia books, although the opening is wonderful. The allegory always struck me as obtrusive. So I’m optimistic now about what we might expect from the rest of the Narnia films.

Maclin Horton

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Continuing

T.S. Eliot on Christmas trees.

Maclin Horton

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A Few Christmas Notes

I have to push my favorite Christmas album, A Tapestry of Carols by Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band.

Rock fans may recognize Maddy’s name as the one-time lead singer of the English folk-rock band Steeleye Span. This is not a rock album, but it isn’t your traditional Christmas fare, either. The Carnival Band plays a miscellany of instruments including fiddle and drums and various winds, and the album manages to be both rollicking and reverent. I push it on everybody I know. Not everyone likes it, but those who do like it a lot. The link above is to the album’s page on eMusic, a music subscription service. I’m not positive whether you can hear the samples without being a member. It’s on a small  label and you may have trouble finding it in local stores unless you live in a big city, but Amazon has it.

Amy Welborn (of Open Book) has a fine, a very fine, Christmas meditation on National Review Online.

And here’s something of mine, which appeared in the National Catholic Register some twenty-plus years ago and which I always kind of liked.

I wish all a Christmas which is both holy and merry.

Maclin Horton

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How Many People…

…can read this story and not make any connection between what Stalin was up to and current schemes to use genetic engineering to perfect the human race?

I love the USA, but it often seems like there is some kind of race going on between evangelization and techno-paganism here, and that if Christianity loses the consequences are going to be pretty dire for the whole world.

Maclin Horton

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Update on the Outrage

UPDATE ON THE UPDATE

(See "Outrage" below.) On further reflection, I’ve decided to remove the remarks I had posted here. The editor of America has apologized, and unless he or someone else at the magazine decides to say more, that’s the end of it. A plague on this fruitless speculation about motives and responsibility. There’s too much of that around already.

Maclin Horton

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Stained Glass and Organ Music

We could use more of both.

Maclin Horton

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Outrage

NOTE: the link below is to a sacreligious image.

I decided some time ago that I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time and mental energy on the Church’s problems, specifically those involving clergy, theologians, and others who reject the Church’s teachings but nevertheless remain in their positions. We all know the basic lay of the land at this point, many good things are happening in spite of these people, and their influence seems to be waning rather than growing. I haven’t wanted to spend more time than necessary in what Daniel once called the "ain’t-it-awful" branch of Catholicism.

But this advertisement that apparently just appeared in America is such an outrage that I find myself wondering why someone hasn’t been struck by lightning, and thinking that I should be saying prayers of reparation. I’m a pretty easygoing person who doesn’t usually think or react this way. The fact that the ad appeared is symptomatic of something catastrophically wrong. I find it hard to imagine that there will not be serious fallout from this. Even as I write I find myself thinking that there must be some explanation, some mistake, some oversight by which one malicious person did this without the editor’s knowledge. It’s that bizarre. It’s more than that–it’s wicked.

The image itself is no more than another typical stunt from the fantastically corrupt world of art. But how did it come to appear in America? Is it conceivable that any serious Catholic could see the image and not be appalled, would in fact propagate it? No, it is not conceivable.

Maclin Horton

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