Thursday, March 25, 2010

Seeing Alice

I saw the movie Alice in Wonderland this afternoon and really enjoyed it. The idea of an almost-grown-up Alice returning to Wonderland was an interesting twist. The story seemed to draw almost as much from Through the Looking Glass as it did from Alice in Wonderland. Some of the sets were over the top though, but that's Tim Burton's style. I did find the behavior of the White Queen distracting as the way she moved around was supposed to be flowing and whimsical but wound up looking just plain silly. Also I noticed some of the creatures were lifted right out of the original Disney animation; the talking flower garden was identical in the appearance and personalities of the various flowers.

I spoke of Tim Burton's style when it comes to sets and imagery. He used similar styles in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It worked in that movie but he is also going to be directing the Johnny Depp version of Dark Shadows and that kind of concerns me. Part of what made Dark Shadows work is the juxtaposition of the seemingly normal town of Collinsport and the supernatural evils that hide there. I just hope he doesn't use surrealistic sets in that movie.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The forces of Socialism/Fascism/Neo-Feudalism/Mordor have won a major victory and are bringing us to the precipice of a new Dark Ages. What many mistakenly believe to be a way to help the poor and exploited, many of whom really do need help is in fact nothing more than a power grab by a group of billionaires, who have owned the Democratic Party for years. They did this to gain control of other peoples' property and wealth under a guise of wealth redistribution which is 100% upward to them. Under Fascism you may own the property but the state tells you what to do with it. And if you control a Fascist government then you control everything even if someone else owns it on paper. George Soros and his buddies could possibly soon own this country and indirectly own everything in it. It all would belong to the state and they would own the state. End of story. The book Rules for Radicals, written to destroy Capitalism and empower the poor has instead empowered the super-rich to take over.

Now I have nothing against having wealth. The right to acquire as much wealth, knowledge, and prestige as you can and desire by legal means is a basic human right. I have a severe problem with the taking of other peoples' property by illegal means, or by immoral means made legal by immoral legislation. In the Old Testament the Prophets talked about oppressing the poor and near-poor by the wealthy and powerful and this is what those condemned by the prophets did; they would give the poor loans they could not afford and in the end would seize their property when the payment was not forth-coming. Thus because of unpaid loans and unpaid excessive taxation, the land of the poor wound up in the hands of the kings and the wealthy. God had forbidden both high-interest loans to the poor and the needless seizure of their property in the Torah and it was disregarded. In the end the super-wealthy will own or at least control everything courtesy of the government.

It's often pointed out that the semi-mythical Robin Hood robbed the rich and gave to the poor, and in the case of the mythical Robin Hood this was true (though the historical Robert of Loxley was quite different from the myth). What the myth-tellers often overlook is how those rich people he robbed got that way. They did not open factories, invent things or invest in the ideas and dreams of others, but they simply taxed the poor until they couldn't survive anymore. If the mythical Robin Hood were true it should honestly be argued that he had stolen from the taxman and given a refund to the tax-payers.

As a Christian I am all for helping the poor and helpless, but even Jesus said that giving to the poor had limits:

Do not cast your pearls before swine lest they trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces.

Here Jesus was basically saying that you shouldn't give to those who did not appreciate your gift to them and would not give you a blessing and their goodwill in return for the alms. If nothing else, the recipients of charity owe goodwill to those whose labor feeds them. Instead of goodwill there are demands for more and more, followed by temper-tantrums and curses if the money is not forthcoming. Cheerfully giving to those is need is both the sharing and receiving of a blessing, but for those who are ungrateful, neither the giver nor the recipient is blessed or helped.

I enthusiastically support personal and religious charity, but am beyond skeptical when it comes to government charity. The recipients no longer see it as a gift of love (the original meaning of the word charity) and instead see it as an absolute right, which it is not. The goodwill that they are morally obligated to give to the tax-payers whose labor feeds and houses them is simply not there.