The Catholic News Service offers some great help when deciding on a movie to watch. It essentially rates movies according to how well they adhere to decency and morality. I admit that I’m more likely to follow their recommendations when it comes to crassness and sex than violence. For example, I noted that they rated London has Fallen an O for “Morally Offensive,” but decided to watch it anyway.
In the case of Death Wish, I was surprised to find that not only was the remake rated O, but so were the original five movies starring Charles Bronson. This surprised me about as much as finding out that The Outlaw Josey Wales was rated O. In doing a little digging, I discovered that revenge and vigilantism sufficed to earn a film an O rating. Yet, the Death Wish remake does not glorify revenge and casts plenty of doubt on the righteousness of vigilantism.
The following does not count as a proper movie review. The film impressed me as mediocre. Up until the car chase scene, I felt bored enough to want to leave the theater. The movie improved somewhat thereafter, but not enough for the movie to stand out from other Marvel movies.
While pondering the film more deeply, I realized that I only liked two of the characters: Ulysses Klaue and M’Baku, the prince of Wakanda’s mountain tribe. My interest in them comes down to them being the only two characters who gave me a sense of propinquity, character, and interest. (Killmonger had the first two, but it’s hard for me to care about a black supremacist.) Most of the characters struck me as pretty dull: they lacked either propinquity (T’Challa) or character (Agent Ross). The African characters were too dignified and exotic for me to actually like.
Many young men are hooked on the lectures of the Canadian psychologist and professor of the University of Toronto, Dr. Jordan Peterson. A favorite meme associated with him is “Clean your room!” This pithy command encapsulates the idea that, though your life is a mess, you can start organizing the small things. By bringing order to the small things, you can eventually start branching out into larger things. By bringing order to the things around you, you can bring meaning to your life.
An American traditionalist like me is very happy to see that Peterson’s philosophy receives the attention it rightly deserves. But, as a patriot, I’d like to point out that America had its own Jordan Peterson: Peterson’s philosophy has a living portrait in the life and words of Booker T. Washington, a famous black educator and founder of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Peterson can explicate his philosophy of living with brilliant Jungian archetypes and examples from political thought and history. Washington came to much of the same philosophy of living through his life experiences.
Yesterday, I read a frustrating article in The Nation. Reading articles from the Progressive perspective is a good thing for conservatives; yet, after reading the article, one must conclude that it’s far better for Progressives to read about conservatism. (I almost wrote Liberal, but what of liberty is left in a mindset which denies freedom of speech, the right to self-defense, the freedom of association, and freedom of conscience? The rights of sodomy, infanticide, and white guilt hardly make up for those.) The article talks about toxic masculinity and tries to connect gun ownership and masculinity with Trump’s bellicose statements towards North Korea and the killer in Las Vegas. (There’s no need to remember the murderer’s name, and the only reason we’re still talking about him is because we want to know why he did it.) No connection exists between the mindsets of Donald Trump and the killer. Why does Joan Walsh, the writer at The Nation, consider both toxic?
With the concept of toxic masculinity, one would think this refers to masculine excess. Yet, what is excessive about Trump uniting the nations of the world against a deranged dictator? What is masculine about the killer in Las Vegas? The killer may have been bold, but this was the boldness of a demon, who deluges a soul with temptations until the sign of a cross or the presence of angels causes the fiend to flee. It is a cowardly boldness: as soon as the police barged into the killer’s hotel room, the coward killed himself.