Posts Tagged ‘Leo Grin’
Just last week, Pew Research released the results of a big religion survey, which found, among other things, that non-religious people were more educated on matters of religion than actual believers. Now, given that the questions on the survey were insanely easy, I was not inclined to pat atheists and agnostics on the back for scoring 20/32 over believers’ 16/32. Religious literacy is a problem in this country! Here to illustrate the point for us is Big Hollywood‘s Leo Grin, whose “Catholic grade school” clearly failed him. Recently Grin went to see The Last Exorcism and Let Me In. To his, and no one else’s, surprise, they were terrible! But rather than write a review that was all, “Dudes, these movies were terrible. Don’t go see them,” Grin takes a classic Big Hollywood lateral approach and tries to make a big deal about how there’s not enough God and Jesus and crucifixes in horror movies. He starts with a long bit from Stoker:
“It is the eve of St. George’s Day. Do you not know that tonight, when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will have full sway?”
Those are words spoken by a superstitious old woman to Jonathan Harker in Bram Stoker’s novelDracula (1897). Fearing for the outsider’s safety, she gives him a crucifix. “I did not know what to do,” Harker writes, “for, as an English Churchman, I have been taught to regard such things as in some measure idolatrous, and yet it seemed so ungracious to refuse an old lady meaning so well and in such a state of mind.”
But later, overcome with terror in the bowels of the Count’s Transylvanian castle, he has reason to be most grateful:
Bless that good, good woman who hung the crucifix round my neck! For it is a comfort and a strength to me whenever I touch it. It is odd that a thing which I have been taught to regard with disfavour and as idolatrous should in a time of loneliness and trouble be of help. Is it that there is something in the essence of the thing itself, or that it is a medium, a tangible help, in conveying memories of sympathy and comfort? Some time, if it may be, I must examine this matter and try to make up my mind about it. In the meantime I must find out all I can about Count Dracula. . . .
Now, as anyone with a passing familiarity with the history of Christianity in Europe knows, the reason Harker balks at accepting the crucifix is its status as a Catholic symbol, with England’s political and cultural three-way tug-of-war between Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Puritanism over the previous centuries enough to give any late-Victorian “English Churchman” (ie, Anglican) pause. In fact, a lot of Dracula is about the nearly-modern English identity struggling against its older, European roots: London on the cusp of the Industrial Revolution vs. rural Eastern Europe, no-nonsense Anglicanism vs. superstitious Catholicism, old European aristocracy vs. the new professional British middle-class, etc etc.
Grin’s takeaway from this passage, however, is that there aren’t enough crucifixes in tween Mormon vampire fiction:
Over a century later, Stephenie Meyer managed to write four bestselling books concerning vampires (later translated into a quartet of popular movies) without the word crucifix appearing even a single time in her hundreds of thousands of words.
Meyer is a Mormon! LDS doesn’t use crosses or crucifixes. And while Jesus himself never makes an appearance in the Twilight novels, it does not take a genius to catch the constant usage of Mormon imagery, and the relentless advocacy of Mormon values. Does Grin expect horror novels and films to be not only overtly Christian, but specifically Catholic? Zah?
My hat is off to you, Leo Grin:
1) There is some seriously Freudian shit going on here, 2) They normally do not pay you for being a father.
The piece that follows is standard-issue “wither masculinity” boilerplate. You know the kind: the writer bemoans the death of the tough manly man in a parodoxically whiny tone.
Every once in awhile an action film comes along that revives. That proves that — no matter how strong the political correctness of an age, no matter how pale and pathetic its notions of masculinity, no matter how much Ritalin is force-fed to little boys, no matter how many toy guns, xylophone mallets, and Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots get banned from stores and playgrounds — there are certain aspects of the male soul that are inviolate, and certain primal yearnings that are evergreen. Taken (2008) is one of those films, and its release last week on DVD and Blu-ray should be heralded by lovers of all things red-blooded, hairy-chested, and morally sound.
It’s perfectly understandable to be driven to violence to protect your loved ones, but if you actually have, ahem, “primal yearnings” to beat, torture, and murder people so the womenfolk in your family can know what a Big Man you are, you should probably take a good long look at yourself. It’s enough to justify such things unfortunate necessities, but to consider them your wildest dreams come true? Your true nature finally unleashed? That is messed-up, dude.
Every action movie is filled with its share of stupid implausibilities, but there is nothing stupid about a father’s love for his daughter, and nothing implausible about the sex-trafficking nightmare portrayed in Taken. The legalize-prostitution crowd has gotten a lot of mileage out of putting a reasonable, libertarian face on the whole sordid business, reminding us that, after all, it’s “the world’s oldest profession.” Taken answers back with a growl: “No — the world’s oldest profession is father.” And fathers, for those who need reminding, are men. Males. X-Y.
RAWR! Let’s growl at each other, guys! Oh Leo Grin, you are so manly. Please tell me more about your manliness.
At the end of the day, when all of the sensitivity/diversity/anger management/sexual harassment/conflict resolution training falls away, the male of the species is a killer, the keeper of a bloody heroic ideal that winds through our history and through our myths, back through Snorri Sturluson and Luo Guanzhong, Shakespeare and Malory, Virgil and Homer, and ultimately the Old Testament and beyond. Countless women and children owe their lives and happiness to the men who tread grim paths of death in their defense. Just as many owe their misery to the failure of some men to honor that age-old crimson burden.
And there you have it. All men are killers. Men are made to made kill. If you feel otherwise, you are a failure on a world-historical level.
Remember, it’s the feminists who hate men.