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It almost makes me wish I had a wardrobe

I was channel flipping last night and ended up catching the last 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the movie adaptation of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I had avoided watching the film before now for a variety of reasons but mostly because I feared it would stink on ice. The Golden Compass was a wretched piece of disjointed shit, but at least I never liked the books to begin with. I had, however, really enjoyed TLTWaTW when I was a kid and wasn't looking forward to having the memories stained with a badly produced adaptation.

So it was with some hesitation that I didn't immediately flip the channel, but the results were pretty impressive. The film looked fantastic with the visuals and the children acting the parts...well, they were at least pretty par. It wasn't like The Phantom Menace debacle or anything. I ended up really enjoying the movie, and it made me think about the books that I had liked as a kid but hadn't read in decades. I'm not even sure if I read the entire series since the details of the plot now escapes me. All that I remember now are disjointed bits and pieces. As in any case where memory fails me, I went right to wikipedia and refreshed my memory. What I found really pissed me off.

I had never been aware at just how ridiculously anti-C.S. Lewis some modern authors were. I knew that Pullman wrote the Golden Compass as an anti-Narnia screed against religion, but I felt safe in dismissing his point of view since his books were crap and the movie made me want to puke my eyeballs out of my head. It was harder to come to grips with why Neil Gaiman would so blatantly pervert Lewis's words just to further some twisted lefty point of view. The whole situation revolves around the character of Susan in the books. She, along with her older brother, eventually grow old enough that they can no longer enter Narnia. However, during the Last Battle all of the family and friends who had defended Naria in the past were called by Aslan to the world so they could go on to Aslan's Land, a version of paradise. Well, all except Susan, which is where the conflict begins. The Anti-Lewis fanatics claim that the reason that Susan was denied 'Heaven' was because she had discovered her own sexuality and since Lewis was a raging misogynist, that automatically meant she was no longer pure and deserving of salvation. The entire idea is ridiculous and stems from a single quote by one of the characters when asked why Susan wasn't with them.

She's interested in nothing except nylons and lipstick and invitations.


I dunno what these spazzcases are smoking but I read that sentence and I immediately think of someone who is only interested in frivolous, materialistic crap. Who in their right mind reads that and comes to the conclusion that the person is simply someone exploring their sexuality? She's interested in _nothing BUT_ those items. At the very least it's describing narcissism.

Add the fact that characters later say that Susan thinks all of her childhood adventures were just make believe, and I don't see why she would be called. It has nothing to do with whether she was dating boys, having sex, or engaging in fucking S&M orgies. As written, it seems clear why she wasn't called with the others and it's either a lack of belief in Narnia, or that she had become a self-absorbed dingdong.

Supposedly, Lewis said in a quote that Susan's story was not at an end and that only seems to make sense. If she had become a frivolous narcissist, it's easy to believe that tragedy would shake her out of it. It's only too bad that Lewis never had the chance to finish that story since its absence only gives people with an axe to grind the ability to twist and denigrate his work.


Oh, and I found Lewis's quote:

"The books don't tell us what happened to Susan. She is left alive in this world at the end, having by then turned into a rather silly, conceited young woman. But there's plenty of time for her to mend and perhaps she will get to Aslan's country in the end...in her own way."

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
jirel
Feb. 1st, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
I used to really hate trying to "find the meaning" of books in literature class in school. The ONLY book I ever felt was improved by that was Ayn Rand's stories, but she's a completely different case.
jirel
Feb. 1st, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
BTW - want to hear about someone worse off?

PREFACE: Do not send money or anything else but your prayers, positive thoughts, and moral support in the form of comments. This is NOT a public pity party...it's my journal, and sometimes when things get to rock bottom a person has to document where they are so they can look back and see where they've been, because my life will not always be this discouraging and I know that in every fiber of my being. So light a candle if you must, but send no gold nor goods. We'll survive. We always do...


I was in the shower, having awakened for the seemingly thousandth time in a puddle; I had overflowed my adult diaper, because I can't afford the medicine that keeps my surgery-damaged bladder in check. Chris came in to strip the linens and the waterproof mattress pad and wash my wet nightshirt........

Seventeen months of applications and resumes, of hope and amazement that nobody even wants to interview a man with talent and education, most likely because they can figure out his age from the application (illegal to consider age but try proving it), or they assume that he is retired from the military and has a comfortable retirement that keeps the wolf from the door. Remember in the post-Gulf War era when the military was ordered to divest itself of personnel? It was called the Reduction in Forces Initiative, or RIF, and was supposed to have been done solely by attrition, but since people in charge looked even better if they got rid of as many as they could, perfectly able people with good evaluations and recommendations for retention were maneuvered out because they were within a few years of retirement. Think of all the retirement money the government wouldn't have to pay! It didn't just happen to Chris, who was four years from retirement, but tens of thousands of military members and their dependents who had put in long time away from family and home, whose families had moved all over the world every eighteen to thirty-six months, .....

So Chris, kicked out of the military and his future benefits even though he more than worked up to and over expectations for his job and was recommended for retention was out. Period. No more shopping at the exchange, no more medical care, no more retirement. Nada.

.....

Recently Chris went to the newly revamped Veteran's clinic. He'd been losing weight (a good thing), peeing about thirty times a day, and drinking water like a camel. When he tested his blood sugar on my meter, it blew out the top number of 600. He was waiting in line the next morning, and a kindly and alert nurse sent him before anyone else to the diabetes clinic where they found his blood glucose in the 800 range. He was immediately put on insulin, and they changed his depression medicines and gave him something to help with his chronic insomnia...

But the nightmare isn't over yet. His unemployment was extended by the administration, but somehow they dropped him from the program. The system (on computer of course, they closed the local unemployment offices) tells him he still has benefits, and so he dutifully applies and they confirm his application for benefits and then nothing...no check. It's impossible to get through to them on the phone as voicemail picks up, says there is an hour wait and then disconnects him. All day long! Emails get ignored. Finally after writing the governor's office four times, a human being there said that they would forward his problem to the right department in Tallahassee. As yet, nothing has happened, so we wait without income since 10 December and no job prospects in sight and wonder how many more meals of pancakes we can get out of the few remaining eggs and bag of flour. I drink a lot of tea and hope that the calcium pills I take each day will make up for the lack of dairy in our diets.....
henwy
Feb. 2nd, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
Eh? Not to be a contrarian or anything (Ha!), but what in the world did he do or not do to not get retained? The military is still stoplossing craploads of personnel, forcing them to stay deployed. I haven't heard of anyone actually getting let go when they wanted to stay.
tshell
Feb. 1st, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
i've read the whole chronicles... but somehow i still can't remember..is susan the first girl who went to narnia? or was susan the oldest girl?

i only remember reepacheep.. i think that was his name... the little mouse who wanted to kick everyones ass. :D
henwy
Feb. 2nd, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
Susan's the older girl. Frankly, I found her to be kinda obnoxious in the movie portrayal. I don't really remember much about her from the books.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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