Monday, October 24, 2005

More on Narnia and other stuff

My children were relieved to hear about Barb Nicolosi's Narnia Review because they've had a long-time pet theory about Disney turning books into movies. According to 12 year old dear daughter, in these Disney movies, no one can die and they always put in a scene where someone is hanging on to a window ledge or cliff or some such thing... with one hand... for dear life.

I absolutely detested the old version of these movies - was it BBC? - especially The Silver Chair. Although I'm always at risk of being disappointed (what doesn't carry this risk), I usually welcome attempts at rendering favorite books into movies. It's enjoyable to see someone else's "vision" of the book (and we all take such different things with us when we read a book that a great book can be a truly unique experience for each reader), but, perhaps more importantly, in our day and age a movie tends to bring a book into the popular culture in a special way. Let me try to explain.

When I was a child, our family was very different from anyone else we knew. We read things like The Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings. Our dad worked out of our home and my mom attended daily Mass. There were seven of us children (when we moved to our last family home, rumors went around the parish that we were a blended family from two different marriages). My mom was heavily involved in the proLife movement and ran a Crisis Pregnancy Center when I was too young to remember. Anyway, we were real oddities for the 70s (when I was a small child) and, in some ways, were a homeschooling family long before my parents formally took us out of the local schools.

A lot of good people today worry that things are getting worse: the pro-life movement hasn't made any progress, families are falling apart, more and more good books are going out of print, the priest-abuse scandal signals the greatest crisis in Church history, etc. My theory is that we've actually come past some of the very worst of it; it's just that more and more people are waking up to the problems (and that in itself is a very good thing).

Sure, we still have a lot of problems to deal with. This has never NOT been the case since the fall of Adam and Eve.

Much of the priest-abuse scandal dates from decades ago. I strongly believe that, overall, it's a good thing that it's coming to light, because how else can it be corrected?

When my Mom was working in the pro-Life movement, there was much more resistance by Catholic schools and parishes to be involved than there seems to be today.

In the end, what I see is a lot more families attempting to follow the same model that our family did 20 and 30 and 40 years ago. A very small sampling of this is the way that Narnia and Lord of the Rings have become more popular.

Did that make any sense? :)

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