Movie drought

I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve been to an actual movie theater. Summer is my time to go to movies, but I haven’t been to any. None of the recent releases have seemed remotely interesting to me.

Long airplane trips with entertainment consoles have given me a chance to catch up a little, but what disappointment. “Clash of the Titans” was Greek mythology filtered through the new atheism. The theme was “Man must become free of the gods!” Besides that tiresome anachronism, the movie got all of the myths wrong! Thinking to improve on some of the greatest and most wondrous tales of Western civilization, the movie reduced Perseus to an action hero.

Then there was “Alice in Wonderland,” another film that sounded good. But Tim Burton drained the story of all of its humor, logic, fun, and, well, wonder. He tried to make it dark. He turned Alice into an action hero.

The worst was “The Ghost Writer,” in which director Roman Polanski–by the way, Switzerland has decided not to extradite him after all for fleeing his U.S. conviction for statutory rape of a 13-year-old child–sets up a ponderous tale that asks, in effect, how could a thinly-veiled British Prime Minister Tony Blair support the Bush war on terrorism? The movie imagines an ex-prime minister charged with war crimes for that. The reason turns out to be that he was essentially a plant by the CIA who has been running England for years.

So, help me. What have been some good movies lately? I know, the new “Toy Story” and “Shrek.” I’ll Netflix those eventually. (Though I’m running out of movies I want to see on Netflix!) But is there anything not kid-oriented? Our wedding anniversary is coming up, and we always go to a movie as part of the celebration. What should we go to? “Inception” does sound interesting. Is it any good, or will it just annoy me?

One tenet of sexual morality that has come back

Don’t miss Mary Eberstadt’s article in First Things: How Pedophilia Lost Its Cool. She shows that in the 1970′s through the 1990′s sex with children was being presented by many in the cultural elite as not so bad–something to joke about–or even as something to advocate. Now, there is a consensus across ideological lines that adults having sex with children is a great evil. This is evident in the case of Roman Polanski, in which liberals joined conservatives in condemning his violation of a 13-year-old. (In Europe, in Hollywood, and in particular circles, there are still those who defend Polanski and even some who still advocate and practice pedophilia, but they are violators of what is still broadly accepted as a cultural and moral norm.) Why did the trend to pedophilia stop, while other tenets of the sexual revolution moved forward? Eberstadt credits the universal revulsion against the child-abusing priests, who did most of their assaults during the more easy-going 1970′s-1990′s, but hearing the testimony of the scarred adults they victimized as children made the public sensitive to just how evil this was and is.


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