Landscape With Dragons P.S. (movies)
- One final bit about O'Brien's book I thought might interest folks is
his chapter on movies, which I skipped over and only went back to
later when I was finishing up the book. In the chapter "The Mortal
Foe of My Children", he warns against Dune (the 'hero' commands
worms=dragons=satan & his minions) and the Star Wars movies ("Is this
not Gnosticism?"). In the section titled "Vigilance, Paranoia, and
Uncle Walt", he has good things to say about early Disney: Snow
White, Sleeping Beauty, Fantasia (including, surprisingly enough,
"Night on Bald Mountain"), and especially Pinocchio. But he has harsh
words for the ones made after Disney's death: The Watcher in the
Woods (occult!), Bedknobs and Broomsticks ("softens ancient fears
about witchcraft"), and Pete's Dragon ("cute, friendly dragon") all
get the hairy eyeball. Then he really gets worked up over The Little
Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast ("a nasty swipe at the Church"), and
Pocahontas (portrays white males in a negative way). Most of all he
attacks Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dragonheart, and (of
all things) Jurassic Park. In Aladdin he thinks the hero is too self-
reliant and that he and the princess show too much skin, are bursting
with hormones, and kiss too passionately, but mainly he fears that
after seeing the genie kids will leave the show wanting to summon up
their own demons. His critique of Hunchback is a bit incoherent;
suffice it to say he finds it blatantly antiCatholic and again thinks
there's too much skin on display, questioning whether "viewing such
intimate moments between man and woman is ever appropriate, even for
adults". And I suspect few who've seen Jurassic Park can even guess
at what in it made O'Brien conclude the film was evidence of deep-
rooted antiCatholicism in our culture.
Speaking of Gnosticism, he does finally more or less define it as
anything that teaches self-improvement or considers self-knowledge to
be a good thing. Carl Jung? Gnostic. Star Wars? Gnostic. All
religions that do not advocate abject surrender of selfhood to God?
Gnostic. Gnosticism seems to be for him the great boogyman haunting
our culture, so far as I could tell.
Also discovered that he's written a series of young adult novels
about living through the End Times, a sort of "Left Behind" Jr. Has
anyone read any of these? From what Matt said I suspect his ideas
better in practice than in theory, and I'm curious whether they're
worth hunting down.
- Hello fellows:
I've been off-list for some time. One reason is that
I've been looking after an early Mythopoeic personage,
Jon Lackey. He was the producer of the "Greater
Trumps" masque that was mounted at
the second Mythcon in 1971. He had been in ill health
for much of this previous year.
I'm sorry to report that he passed away on February
26th of cancer.
He was an enormous influence on my life, as well as
many others. He was involved with the very
first campaign to produce a film of "Rings" in 1957.
A major contributor to the SCA, LASFS, a tutor and
mentor to many, RenFair performer, artist, sculptor,
costumer, composer, and so much more.
Please pass this information on to anyone who might
have known him, and have them contact me
as regards a planned memorial.
Bonnie S. Callahan