stare into the fist of dredd…

And speaking of that… Some reflections on faith. I have always thought that no matter how idealistic are ones religious notions, that there is an inherent fraudulent aspect to faith. After all, “faith” is the belief in that which is not rational or provable, hence, the belief in the unbelievable, otherwise, you wouldn’t need faith to believe it. I imagine that when anyone who has “faith” really thinks about it logically, they must realize that there are no gods to have faith in and hence, must either abandon those beliefs or continue on for some other personal or social reason. After all, the Pope knows darned well that he doesn’t communicate with “god”, he is just there to interpret that book… Those frazzled remainders of many edited and intermixed scrolls written thousand of years ago by some old men in the desert, seeking justification for their power and ways to keep society together in a way they felt desirable.

Since no one really believes any of that stuff, yet most folks pretend that they do, it always gives me a little tickle when things pop up that rattle it. The discovery of texts that implied that Judas was in cahoots with “Jesus” rather than against him, as some ploy to help him on his martyrly mission, that really throws the two thousand year hatred of poor old Judas for a spin.

And now? Mother Teresa (for more on her, be sure to read Christopher Hitchens Missionary Position… regardless of what one may think about Hitchens, the Vatican did call on him to be the devil’s advocate in the beatification of Teresa)? In a soon to be published book, Teresa’s writings show that she questions her faith (with such great ones as “What do I labour for? If there be no God _ there can be no soul _ if there is no Soul then Jesus You also are not true.”) in a rather dramatic fashion… “They” are claiming that atheists may misinterpret it? Well, it’s pretty straightforward, from what has been released so far, that she hadn’t believed in some god for decades but continued on in her work, one would imagine for other reasons.

On to funner fictions and more relevant things…

I was disappointed, yet relieved that my disc of Judge Dredd was not actually 183 minutes long as the case stated, 90 minutes really is enough. Though, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been fond of Judge Dredd since I first came across the Eagle comics versions in the early 80’s. While those were exciting action comics with a humorous side, these filmmakers sure forgot the golden rule of action movies: Action and comic relief don’t mix! Stallone is almost perfect as Dredd, and he has a great backing cast of much seriousity: the always fantastic Max von Sydow, the maybe-not-fantastic but always tensely exciting Jürgen Prochnow and the humorously bold Armand Assante were out to take care of business! But then, wait, what is this gnat under Dredd’s arm? Annoying both him and the filmgoer (and doing endless damage to the suspension of belief that is necessary to enjoy these kinds of films?) well, it is the always excruciating and untalented Rob Schneider! Pretending again to be comic relief, when he hasn’t a twinge of comic sense. Ruining the mood and soiling those wonderful sets!

But the movie? Well, it makes me think of lots of other movies, but the first one is Conan, even starting off with the narration and said narration being by James Earl Jones! Aside from that, the basic story: bad guys frame Dredd, Dredd escapes and comes back to set things straight, people die left and right. Megacity One is reasonable, although 12 year old CGI doesn’t really do it, the story follows all of the expected twists and turns and it is pretty dumb, but it’s fun and Stallone, his manner, his physique, his voice? I think they do a great Dredd.


body by stallone, suit by versace

Oh yeah, we also watched Little Children tonight. One of those that was a good movie, but one I never want to see again. Why? Well, the subject matter revolved around multiple infidelities in a very serious manner and also had brushes with a child molester and with harassment, parental death and with people who’s lives were falling apart to the point where they had few options left. But it was a well done drama and quite involving story of two married people who start having an affair while their spouses are at work, the children who are the pivot around which this affair rests and the local sex offender.

We also, I am reminded, watched The Linda McCartney Story. It was alright. At least it had George Segal who is fine. But the actors freaked me out, it was like they tried to hard to make them look like the Beatles, so they ended up just looking creepy and weird… And, while not ever having been a Beatles fan, I don’t take sides, but they really do take Paul’s side and make Yoko out to be a weirdo and a terrible influence on John and make John look like some kind of drugged up spazz.

3 Responses to “stare into the fist of dredd…”

  1. Thud on August 26, 2007 08:04

    I find your assumption that all religious belief is intentional fraud pretty specious and dismissive. Would you care to explain to me what data you have to support that position?

  2. Ashley on August 26, 2007 23:47

    I don’t know abut specious, though I imagine that people might consider my attitude towards religion to be dismissive and quite possibly ignorant. I have just never been someone who has much experience with religion of any sort, so to my eyes Jehovah, Thor, Amon-Ra, Enlil (who some claim is the basis for Jehovah) and all the thousands of others are all about the same so I just don’t “get” faith or the “this god not that god” thing.

    Which would lead me towards neutrality, but with how much death and misery has been laid at the alters of religion over the years, I do bear it some amount of negativity. Of course, in the absence of religion that same harm may have been done in the name of something else (nationalism, say… Something else which I don’t get)… And of course I realize that not all faiths are so inclined towards violence and “everyone but believers is doomed!” ideas, so those don’t bother me much, and there is a lot about Buddhism which I respect quite a bit. But I still don’t get them, or get why people are so interested.

    But really, I believe in humanity as a whole and in people as individuals. And I am put off by any philosophy uses fraudulent “carrot and the stick” stories to coerce behavior or any “being” that takes the blame for people’s actions and thoughts (whether good or bad) away from them. The Ten Commandments? Most of those are common sense. To think that there has to be some all-powerful creator to let us know what is right and what is wrong? To know that it is wrong to kill someone? I find that insulting.

    So there are my two cents. Of course, it doesn’t really answer your inquiry, but it is the background that leads me to think my thoughts. And yes, I maybe was a bit hasty and rude with my “no one really believes that stuff” statement, after all, I don’t really know how and what other people think.

  3. Thud on August 27, 2007 05:45

    Thanks, Ashley. People believe or don’t believe for whatever reasons, which is fine. It’s no skin off my nose if you don’t follow a religion, although I think positions that claim to be rational probably require greater, not lesser, understanding of religion. Maybe I’ll post about that later.

    That was my squawk: I don’t think you have grounds to claim that no one really believes, and I don’t think you have grounds to claim that, logically, there are no gods. (Not least of which because the definition of “gods” is so confusing.)

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