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July 9, 2006
'Dead Man's Chest' Has Largest Opening In Hollywood History ?Topics: Culture and Society
Consider me out of touch, call me old fashioned, color me confused.
However, I feel compelled to ask: What does "Dead Man's Chest" raking in the largest opening take in Hollywood history say about our civilization?
After all, aren't we talking about the story of a "boozy whoozy" pirate in a movie described by Salon.com as "having no real plot, just a collection of ostensibly thrilling, (violent, nonesenical) situations strung together with tenuous bits of expository dialogue."?
Does its attraction, along with other emerging cultural and societal trends not bring to mind words and phrases like "shallow, self-absorbed, lacking in civic, cultural and moral virtues, prone to and fascination with violence, hysteria, meanness and vulgarity, and lacking in self control," seem too strong? I don't think so!
What ever happened to the old traditional virtues of "prudence, thrift, industry, honesty, moderation, politeness, self-restraint," good manners, fortitude, .... you know the rest.
N.Korea is threatening nuclear war, an Iranian Islamofascist regime is pretending to not be lying while they develop nuclear weapons, Islamic terrorists all over the planet are bombing, shooting, kidnapping, and cutting off heads on an hourly basis, Israel is in Gaza trying to get their kidnapped soldier back and trying to get the Palestinian Islamothugs and the Palestinian Arab culture of death to stop lobbing rockets over the border into Israel, Islamic terrorists have virtually taken over Sudan, ..... and need I go on?
And what drives Americans to the theaters in droves? Not a movie of any cultural, historical, religious, political, or societal importance - rather, a movie of complete non-sensical hogwash.
This while our media writes playbooks for our Islamic terrorist enemies to defeat us, our politicians work feverishly to keep our government from having any secrets to fight our enemies with and stop the Islomothugs from killing us, and the media, the politicians, and our judiciary work together in lockstep, following an agenda to civilizational oblivion, ....
Oh hell, I'll quit ranting before I get too carried away and tell you how I really feel about .... !!! Besides, these matters have already been addressed, albeit in terms of British society. However, inasmuch as we seem determined to follow the European model of civilizational decline, the description seems appropriate. And, as you may have already guessed, the target of my criticism is directed toward the effects of secularization and its "attendent social evils" such as the disappearance of civic virtues, good manners, ingrained personal habits of self-control and moderation, and the national mistrust of excess."
Such matters have been addressed by Theodore Dalrymple, in "Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses":
Dalrymple does not seem to be a Christian, but he regrets British secularization and its attendant social evils: "The loss of the religious understanding of the human condition -- that man is a fallen creature for whom virtue is necessary but never fully attainable -- is a loss, not a gain, in true sophistication. The secular substitute -- the belief in the perfection of life on earth by the endless extension of a choice of pleasures -- is not merely callow by comparison but much less realistic in its understanding of human nature."Does any of this sound familiar to you?
He loathes the way that Christian ethics and community morality have been replaced by the puerile and fitfully livid morality of tabloid newspapers (to which I add - the media in general)."To make up for its lack of a moral compass, the British public is prey to sudden gusts of kitschy sentimentality followed by vehement outrage, encouraged by the cheap and cynical sensationalism of its press. Spasms of self-righteousness are its substitute for the moral life."He suggests that the illimitable prurience of British newspapers, and their ruthless, sanctimonious targeting of public figures, "has an ideological aim: to subvert the very concept and deny the possibility of virtue, and therefore of the necessity for restraint". Surely the collective intention of British smut-hounds is to deny or nullify any authority other than their own: to discredit specialized expertise, disinterested professionalism, educational superiority, technical precision, so that every over-emotional, stridently emphatic and ill-educated member of the public can believe that their opinions even on the most intricate subjects are as valuable as anyone else's.
Intellectuals, writers and artists who frivolously or exploitatively play with images drawn from real-life cruelty, and who express mitigating admiration for violent ideas, self- immolation and sterile self-absorption draw Dalrymple's sustained contempt. He cannot forgive "the unrealistic, self-indulgent, and often fatuous ideas of social critics" for ruining the British underclass with "disastrous notions about how to live".
You say, "All this, extropolated from just a movie about a pirate"? "Don't you think this is a "bit of a stretch"?
Yeah, I know, but that's what happens when I get fired-up about the dumb things that our society considers important and pays great attention to, while ignoring the more important things like having a civilization left for our kids and grand kids to grow up in. America wasn't founded by and pioneered across the West by weak-minded, non-spiritual, unpatriotic, cowardly weaklings - whose attention could be so easily drawn to matters of such little importance as what amounts to complete fiction of no redeeming quality.
If you're looking for a good review of the movie (good means I recommend it), you'll find it here.
Posted by Richard at July 9, 2006 4:27 PM
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