Sunday, July 1, 2007

A Little Criticism of my Own

The following is from a Time magazine article that reviewed the movie Bridge to Terabithia. Read closely:

"Disney sold this movie as having similar virtues to The Chronicles of Narnia. It does not. It has different and, in some ways, better ones. Rather than being about fantasy, it's about imagination. Rather than overcoming dark forces, the children overcome more familiar struggles: bullies, isolation, the casual cruelty of other kids. While full of wonder, the movie is all too real--there is a death, and it's upsetting, but it's not gratuitous.

Hmmm...what exactly is being said here? Two things: (1) imagination is better than fantasy, and (2) bullies, isolation, and childish cruelty are more realistic crisis's for children (and therefore better ones to overcome) than dark forces. Both are bullcrap.
First of all, implying that imagination is better than fantasy is idiotic. They are not comparable because their relationship is not that of opposites but of a foundation and an augment. A fantasy is a work of imagination, a step following the imaginative process. You can no more say imagination is better that fantasy than you can say a tree is better that its flowers. The flowers have no life without the tree and the tree is dull without the flowers, but neither are better than the other.
Second of all, treating bullies, isolation, and cruelty as the truer threat as opposed to "dark forces" is to attack the effect and not the cause. What exactly brings about bullies and isolation and cruelty? Is it not "dark forces," aka, principalities and powers, rulers of darkness and wickedness, the devil and his angels? Why in the world would one see the effects as being more pressing of our attention than the cause? If ever a doctor focused all his efforts on treating the symptoms instead of curing the disease, we would view him as the worst kind of physician.
Apparently, the "virtues" that we are given here are (1) viewing the process as "better" than its product (instead of viewing both as necessary to give each other life and color), and (2) attacking the results and ignoring the source. What these "virtues" will produce is misguided idiots who will be driven mad as their noble efforts do nothing to curb the evils of the world. Somewhere across a lake on Perelandra, Lewis is sitting next to King Arthur and Enoch, and he's wondering why Time hasn't been burned at the stake yet.