The Selfishness of Playing to Your Strengths

Calah Alexander has a post up about her frustrations with Disney storylines, where plot can warp around the characters to make sure they get whatever they wanted at the beginning of the movie.  Ariel's father is portrayed as tyrannical, not prudent, when he tries to forbid her from chasing after Prince Eric, even though her choice puts her entire kingdom at risk.  Magic abounds to help characters realize they've been special all along, and that they deserve their happy ending.  She writes: See, … [Read more...]

Peeta Already Kicks Ass, No Blood Needed

In the run up to the release of Catching Fire, the second Hunger Games movie, the director sat down with io9 to discuss some of the changes they made to the second film.  For instance, they bowed to fan outcry and swapped Prim's cat so it looks more like the book one.  An exchange at the end of the interview caught my eye.  (Spoilers if you're unclear on the premise of the new movie, I guess):One of the things I really enjoyed about Catching Fire was a change you made. In the first movie Pe … [Read more...]

Disenchanting the Villain

First Things has a review up that I liked very much of a Macbeth that the reviewer did not like very much.  Kate Havard watched a Macbeth that took all the tragedy out of the Scottish King, reducing the title character (played by Ethan Hawke) to a stumbling, unpleasant man.  She writes: Yet there’s something right about making the Scottish tyrant so vulgar and unromantic. It reminds us Macbeth is ultimately a butcher, not a hero. True, in a more nuanced Macbeth, we’d see him as both: a fallen he … [Read more...]

Philosophy Class Should Be Perilous

Over at Friendly Atheist, there's a trailer for a terrible looking Christian movie, where a noble Christian student stands up to his bullying atheist philosophy professor who begins the semester by essentially asking telling his students that they'll need to disavow religion in order to pass.  Cue the intense stares, montages, lazy apologetics, and guest appearance by a Christian rock band.Hemant Mehta titled his post "This Must Be What Christian Apologists Think A College Philosophy … [Read more...]

Prizes for the 2013 Ideological Turing Test

This year, I decided to have prizes for the Ideological Turing Test, and to have the winners pick them out for each other.  The two contestants who were most successful at aping the other side swapped books, and so did the two people who, when writing their true beliefs, were the contestant that the opposing side most wanted to have coffee with.  I asked each of them to give a few reasons for their recommendations before I made the purchases.  (And, for reasons that will become obvious, I was ve … [Read more...]

Let there be shame and confusion

A few days ago, I was praying the Midday Prayer of the Divine Office, and I was struck by the juxtaposition of two of the psalms slated for that day (Wednesday, 31st week of ordinary time).  First there was this part of Psalm 70: O God, make haste to my rescue, Lord, come to my aid! Let there be shame and confusion on those who seek my life.O let them turn back in confusion, who delight in my harm, let them retreat, covered with shame, who jeer at my lot. Which was shortly followed … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (11/15/13)

--- 1 --- I can't decide if I want to roll my eyes at the sheer number of [X] Hall of Fames that exist or to feign approval until the eventual creation of a Hall of Fame Hall of Fame, in which you can see scaled down miniatures and blown up photos of the best niche museums.  I discovered the existence of the Toy Hall of Fame this week, when they inducted two new toys: chess and the rubber duckie.    The news story says that honorees are chosen "on the basis of several factors including ico … [Read more...]