You Need to do That, Do You?

Here’s the trailer to 2012, a big budget Hollywood film premiering soon. Presumably before 2013. The hook is that the Mayan calendar doesn’t go beyond 2012, hence the assumption that the world ends then.

I don’t know what you noticed in the first 52 seconds of that trailer, but I’ll tell you what I did. The film needlessly destroyed (I wanted to say raped or butchered, but felt that was too hostile) major Christian artistic symbols.

In the trailer, they chose to destroy the statue of Christ the Redeemer, over Rio de Janeiro.

Why?

They chose to showcase the destruction of Michelangelo’s classic painting on the roof of the Sistine Chapel.

Why?

Do you think for a nanosecond they would have chosen to destroy, on film, Islamic Holy places?

No.

I guess we Christians are too wimpy. Well I’m standing up. This is wrong. I don’t want to see crap like this, edited like this.

Any reader of my blog would, I think, agree that I’ve never played the race card or the religion card. I’ve never done a “oh your argument hurts my faith” post. And I never will. I don’t think I’m playing the religion card now — since most of my readers are atheists — in outlining my sorrow, and, yes, anger, at this.

You’re welcome to see this film. I applaud the right of the producers to make this film. It’s constitutionally protected speech that congress — and state governments — can’t [and shouldn’t!] interfere with. Well as one tiny blogger, I interfere. What they are doing verges on malicious. Don’t like it; don’t intend to pay to see it.

You aren’t persuaded? Now imagine everything translated to Islam. People professing Islamic faith have killed hundreds of thousands, some horrifically. I am enraged at the insult to my faith.

Are you a little more persuaded?

So be it.

For us all. Pluralistic, genuinely tolerant societies matter. Liberals used to believe in this kind of thing.
-wolfe

14 Responses to “You Need to do That, Do You?”

  1. wolfe says:

    To non-believers like (I assume) my good friend Sam. You are absolutely welcome to say, “Hey I don’t believe in that old guy who allegedly existed and allegedly rambled round in the desert and allegedly made some comments”. That’s cool.

    I’ve never asked any of you to share my beliefs. I suck, horribly, as an Evangelist.

    But you can understand my sorrow as having my Savior — as I see things — literally ripped apart.

    Torn into pieces.

    Not too subtle, Hollywood.

    -wolfe

  2. Danny says:

    It does often seem as if people demanding tolerance only demand it from others and not themselves.

    I guess that production companies do these sorts of things because Christians fail to kill the producers of media mocking their faith. Other faiths tend to succeed. Well just one lately that I can think of. In the long run, societies which hold it acceptable to cast out faiths which are tolerant may find themselves with the less tolerant variety. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen here.

  3. Sam Adams says:

    Personally, I try to have few beliefs and maintain an agnostic attitude about as much as I can about everything I believe no one can adequately explain, because, frankly … well … who the hell am I to say? I don’t know more than anyone else, and vice versa.

    I used to shoot my mouth off quite a lot when I was a young man and needlessly alienated people. I’m happy to keep my opinions to myself these days. I’m absolutely certain that my ignorant opinions of God, man’s existence, the afterlife, etc. etc. etc. is no more or less ignorant than anyone else’s.

    @ wolfe: As an evangelist you’ve done your job. You put the message “out there” and it will attract people on its own merit.

    @ Danny: Amen to your first sentence. As to your second, there are militants of every faith everywhere, even here. I have personally witnessed several times people I know persecuted by righteous Christians for their difference of belief.

    Most religions preach tolerance and peace. But the true believers of any religion live by their faith that we are all one people under God. Or Gods.

    Dang it, I’m getting kind of preachy here. Let’s just say we all agree it’s a good idea to let each other believe whatever crazy thing they want and not throw bricks through their windows or burn their churches down.

  4. Female says:

    Sorry but I’m really not persuaded at all that this is a bad move by Hollywood. I’m sure you’re all so suprised by that.

    Here’s my argument.
    Hollywood is in a Judeo-Christian country.
    The movie is about the end of the entire world….it would seem though that the makers really only think the Judeo-Christian world is what is important to witness the destruction of all, nowhere else really rates in importance.

    Wait, I’m not finished.

    People traditionally from Judeo-Christian countries will see this and get the full impact because important symbols of their very own culture are seen to be destroyed.
    It makes no difference if they are atheists, because those are still major cultural artistic symbols breaking.

    People in Islamic cultures who see this will get a message while watching this film. That message will be. Your religious symbols aren’t even important enough to even bother showing the destruction of during what is arguabley the most important event in mankinds history. Suck on that.

  5. Female says:

    OK I’ll say it a little nicer…ruminate on that hegemony, m’kay.

    and yes I do know that it is against Islam to create religious artworks etc so the producers probably couldn’t find any Islamic art to destroy anyway, but that doesn’t change the fact that this film promotes the ‘world’ as basically just involving Western culture.

  6. Danny says:

    Sam: I certainly agree with you that Christians can persecute people. I’m confident I’m not the only one who sees many churches often as collections of people trying to be more pious than everyone else (including each other at times). Although I don’t necessarily agree with either of the following; I think we could draw a line between killing people because they say something we disagree with and killing people because we believe they are killing others. I think the matter at hand is the first one.

    I think you could make a comparison between the Danish cartoon incident(s) and the publishing of works which mock Christianity. The biggest outrage I can think of was the Monty Python movie “The Life of Brian”. I don’t remember hearing about death threats or bounties being placed on their heads. The movie was banned in some states, many boycotted it…but no one was kidnapped or killed over it (to my knowledge at least).

    Female: I’m sure they could have blown up a mosque. There are quite a few of them and they are certainly art, even if not considered so by all who visit them. You may be right, they might not have intended for the world outside of the West to watch the movie. It may just be an attempt to show people what the producers believe will sell. There are certainly a lot of folks who use their platforms in movies to mock Christians only here in the states though. Who knows?

  7. Female says:

    Hi Danny, they could have blown up a mosque but then that might have been seen to be going a step too far, because a painting and a statue are not churches. Perhaps I’m wrong and for practicising Christians the statute in Rio and the painting in the Sistine Chapel are considered holy, but in my mind, they’re not.

    I think the producers most definitely do want as many people in as many countries as possible to see the film to get the best return on their investment. I’m equally sure that if they blew up a mosque, not many Islamic people would want to see it or be too happy, and it would probably end up with a million fatwas being placed on their heads. Though it would certainly generate them much media controversy and free promotion. Must have been a hard decision for them to make. Kidding. Have you ever heard of the comic ‘the 99’?

    Kuwait psychologist devised the idea to create Islamic superhereos for Islamic children so they could have heros other than suicide bombers.
    Allah apparently only has 99 powers so each of the heros is based on one of these. They aren’t all male heros, some are female, and they are from all different countries. The comic is put together in New York. The editing is very strict, they have to be so careful with every little thing so as to avoid offence. Female characters in western comics are typically drawn overly curvaceous and sexualised, but in ‘the 99’, even the curve of a character’s back has to be monitered to make sure it’s not too titillating.

    I believe the creator still might have a few fatwas on his head. He is basically trying to influence young people away from extreme fundamentalism (aka death wish religion) and towards normal, civilised human qualities. There is also a theme park in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia based on the comic.

    I don’t think it’s a stupid idea for Hollywood to be careful but my point was that regardless of their motivation for not blowing up a mosque, this is still a movie in which the hegemony of the West is promoted even if western symbols are seen to be destroyed in it.

  8. Danny says:

    Hi Female, missed you :)

    “The 99” seems interesting…never heard of it before.

    I do wonder if the trailer is different for other parts of the world they are releasing it in. Replaying it, there is actually a 1/2 second showing of the Mosque in Mecca. Maybe they destroy it during the movie also? I haven’t seen it yet. I’m pretty sure it will be showing the “hegemony of the west®” as this is the same movie which has humanity escaping from earth on giant colony space-ships. There’s even a website where you can pick up a ticket to escape on them…

    http://www.instituteforhumancontinuity.org/

    Speaking of movies about escaping from a destroyed earth on a colony ship… Seen Pandorum? I thought it was pretty good but apparently the movie lost 30 million.

  9. Female says:

    Thanks Danny, my trolling commitments have been keeping me busy elsewhere. Another ban hammer comes down and I can’t be bothered reregistering atm.

    this is the same movie which has humanity escaping from earth on giant colony space-ships. There’s even a website where you can pick up a ticket to escape on them…

    http://www.instituteforhumancontinuity.org/

    lololols well well I wonder if Sir Richard is a major investor of this movie.
    I’d go see it but John Cusack…really?? It fails the eye candy test which is the only incentive to see any Hollywood movie. Yeah, I’m just like a guy like that hahaha

    Speaking of movies about escaping from a destroyed earth on a colony ship… Seen Pandorum?>
    No I haven’t seen it nor heard of it. I don’t watch much Sci-Fi, although two of my fav movies are sci-fi – i,Robot and A.I.

  10. Sam Adams says:

    All right, I finally got around to watching the movie trailer (I can’t watch streaming video at work … they get upset).

    I won’t comment on the quality of the movie, which looks like the sort of supremely stupid yet typical Hollywood CGI idiocy they excel in, precisely the sort of formulaic but highly profitable brainless shlock I never see because it makes me too angry to sit through entirely without loud and abusive comment. (In the past my indulgent family has had to endure my tirades until they tell me, in so many words, if I would kindly stuff my fist in my mouth so they can see the last hour in peace. We agreed to stop watching movies together as a family that feature things blowing up. Or at least not to invite me.)

    I won’t be seeing the movie.

    But I too am interested in the images selected for the trailer. Not offended, mind you, but I think it’s odd.

    This is a world-wide cataclysm, right? So why aren’t there more scenes of world-wide destruction?

    I think Danny is right where he conjectures if the trailer is edited for different parts of the world. This one seems to be exactly targeted to Americans.

    Considering how abysmally ignorant Americans are of geography, or really of anything outside of the United States, including scenes of Sydney, or Kolkata, or Kuala Lumpur, or Jerusalem would have had little emotional impact. They had to show images that had some emotional resonance.

    And knowing how little Americans understand of religions other than Christianity, the destruction of other non-Christian and especially non-Western symbols would have little relevance to them.

  11. Female says:

    Hi Sam,
    The shot of the landmass falling into the ocean is LA yes? Sydney coastline looks a lot like that, I guess because we’re both on the Pacific.
    Sydneysiders and Los Angelians are also very, very, similiar. I put it down to the beach/surf culture and similiar never ending urban sprawl.

    Here, check out my pics of our coastline.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29739817@N00/3664161071/

    If you want to see more of what a very tiny part of Sydney looks like, check my Sydney set.

  12. Sam Adams says:

    Hi Female, good to see you here again.

    I honestly can’t tell if that’s LA or not in that scene, and to tell the truth it never occurred to me that it would be only because I never imagine the coast viewed from a perspective looking south as it’s shown in the clip. It *could* be the LA basin, but I can’t tell.

    At first I thought it was Manhattan, but now I don’t think so — I don’t believe either the Hudson or East Rivers are that wide.

    I don’t want to go on a tangent (I’ll leave that to you, Female … you’re much better at it than I am), but when I first considered the possibility that scene could be LA, I immediately thought of this song, popular in 1969-1970 by a band called Shango about California sliding into the sea after an earthquake. It wasn’t very popular after the 1971 Sylmar earthquake. I thought everyone would enjoy this song. For wolfe, it has a nice steel drum bridge.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi6NykrfduA

    Very nice pictures BTW. I specifically mentioned Sydney because the Opera House is iconic and unique and beautiful. It would be a shame to see it slide into the sea.

  13. Female says:

    I think it would be cool to see Sydney bust up and slide into the harbour (it’s only a movie) and in fact if there is a movie about the end of the world, then it would be less insulting if the end of mankind in Sydney was shown, as opposed to left out. I am banking on the yoof in Islamic countries to feel the same way, so eventually they’ll realise, “can’t beat ’em, join ’em”.

    While I was in LAX there was an Earthquake tremor. First time (and hopefully last!) I’ve ever experienced something like that. We were about to board one of Sir Richard’s disco planes to JFK. I looked up at the terminal roof and half expected it to start descending towards us. Very scary. I thought this might delay our boarding time, but no, on we got ten minutes later….I don’t understand why they don’t do structural checks on planes after a tremor…

  14. Female says:

    I can’t watch your video link atm, a few intarnet connection issues here. I will do the opposite to you and try and view it from work haha.

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