The Justice of True Grit

True Grit is about justice—both human and Divine.It starts with a call for both Old Testament and American justice on the 1870s frontier. It ends with a neat demonstration of the Law of Return.The main players in this morality tale are Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), the lawman who acts as if he is above both kinds of Law. And Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), the 14-year-old girl who starts by invoking the laws of the United States and ends by enacting not just frontier justice, but the most a … [Read more...]

Going for “Gay Gold” at the Oscars

At this year's Oscars, the film The Kids Are All Right is up (amongst an unprecedented ten nominees) for Best Picture, and Annette Benning is also a nominee for Best Actress in her role as Nic in this film. It will be interesting to see whether or not the film and Benning end up the winners; Benning already won a Best Actress award at the Golden Globes, being nominated alongside her co-star Julianne Moore (as the character Jules) for that award. (Mark Ruffalo is up for a Best Supporting Actor … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Kathy Nance on The Black Swan

Inside each of us is a shadow.For Natalie Portman's brittle ballerina in The Black Swan, that shadow could have been her salvation. Instead, it drove her mad.In Jungian psychological terms, our shadows are the parts of us that we deny, but which must be explored and incorporated in order for us to be whole. One way to work with the shadow is to draw it out in order to explore its attributes more fully. When we know our shadows, we come closer to knowing our whole selves.I couldn't stop … [Read more...]

Divine Drama in The Social Network

With very little reluctance, I must admit I'm more than a bit of a luddite. I see computers as something of a necessary evil, and held off from composing any sort of writing directly on the computer well into my first year of graduate education (1998). The mobile phone I currently own barely answers calls and does text messages; it certainly doesn't connect to the internet or have any "apps" of any description, nor even a camera. And while I have several e-mail addresses, a blog, and … [Read more...]

Autism, Fundraising, Willy Wonka and Folk Music

Wired's Autism TestWired has an Autism test on their website. I found it when a friend took it and posted the results on Facebook. I decided to give it a whirl and was surprised by the results and intrigued by the questions. While the quiz isn't a medical opinion or diagnosis tool, it does offer interesting insight into the reality of people with Autism and Asperger's. Take a few minutes to take the quiz. I think you'll find it interesting. I did. My score was 29. What's yours?Circle … [Read more...]

The Secret of Kells

The Secret of Kells is an absolutely charming film about the Book of Kells, Pangur Ban and the strange mythic interactions between Pagan and Christian Ireland.The story centers on Brendan, the nephew of the abbot of the monastery of Kells, who helps Aiden, the illuminator from Iona, work on the Book of Kells. In the process he is helped by the famous Pangur Ban and a mysterious forest girl named Ashley. It's a children's movie and the themes are fairly simple and also very Pagan.Religion … [Read more...]

13 Things I Like About Judaism

Ah yes, it's time again for another 13 things post and I've really been looking forward to this one. Once, many moons ago I was married and wanted wee babies of my own. It was important to me to raise the child in a religious tradition. I had no interest in Christianity and my husband wasn't thrilled about the idea of Pagan kids. So I began to research Judaism. In the end the marriage dissolved, no babies, no conversions to another faith. Although I am Pagan to the core, a part of me has always … [Read more...]

A Conundrum of Conscience

Tonight I watched the new “Clash of the Titans” movie. Growing up in the eighties, the original had been something of a cult classic and had made an impression on me as a child. Sadly, the remake while boasting better special effects is nowhere nearly as good in story line and acting as the original. That however, is not why I am writing about it here. I came away from watching this movie filled with immense ambivalence and a disquiet in the soul. I am used to seeing the Gods poorly portrayed, or … [Read more...]