I am trying very hard to keep an open mind, but alas such sorry displays as this are making it a labour of Hercules.*stalks off angrily muttering "if you wanted to make more bloody Buffy then why didn't you just buy the rights instead of pissing all over one of my favourite fictions?..."*
New series of Doctor Who seems increasingly likely to su... Suppurate? But if you wanted a tabloid headline you should have used: "New Who Due Sonic Screw?" With Dr Who and BP the connotation doesn't matter.But honestly Mr. R. (sorry, noisy and prolix comments follow), at your age Dr Who shouldn't be maximally prioritized, I guess, and the symbolic stoning of Ken Livingstone and Prince Harry are much more important than Charles and Camilla. Auschwitz has replaced Calvary as the central western symbol of human depravity and unmerited suffering, and the Jewish people have become the new Lamb of God sacrificed for the sins of the world. The Christian Churches don't simply acquiesce in the blasphemy, they actively endorse it. If the Narnia film accurately reflects contemporary theology, the Black Witch will wear a swastika armband and jackboots and sacrifice a kitten called Annslan. You're a Lewis fan: do you think he would have had nothing to say?
My, my, Anonymous, you've got a right old bee in the bonnet, haven't you? Give us a tick and I'll see if I can get your toys back in the pram.Seriously. Re-read your comments, and think about how bloody ignorant and downright crass they feel. How dare those evil Jews get all self-righteous about Auschwitz, eh? The nerve.
And additionally, they've got sweet bugger-all to do with "Doctor Who".
Don't judge a TV series by the cover of a book. Though it is an awful cover.
Erratum: For the symbolic stoning...are much more read the symbolic stoning...is much more.Thanks for the link, Sam. It provides further proof of what I said about our new religion: "The worst sin of all (and rightly so) is anti-Semitism..." When The New Statesman talks about sin without sneering, you know something interesting is going on. For a non-event, the affair is attracting an extraordinary amount of attention: the prime minister, the Board of Deputies, the Commission for Racial Equality, etc, etc. Then there was the Prince Harry non-event and the Mel Gibson non-event, and the introduction of a national day commemorating the liberation of a Polish concentration camp containing very few British nationals by the chivalrous, democracy-loving rapists and war-criminals of the Soviet army (prop. J. Stalin). I honestly think Lewis would have had something to say about it all (and not just parts), even when a new series of Dr Who was in the offing.
ObDrWho: I doubt that C. S. Lewis would have been very happy with the episode in which a devout comunist repels vampires with a hammer-and-sickle, either, but so what? The Curse of Fenric. Did you notice that when the Doctor repelled the vampire, he was chanting "Susan, Ian, Barbara, Vicki, Stephen, Dodo..." etc?In memory of C.S Lewis, I tend to only write anything substantive for this page at weekends. I use my weekday evenings for doing more worthwile things, like playing Knights of the Old Republic and studying The Shepherd of Hermas. Who is terribly, terribly boring, and, come to think of it, doesn't think much of Jews.
I've now been told that my opinions "feel" "bloody ignorant and downright crass" and are "increasingly disturbing". But I haven't been told that they're untrue, which is surely the important thing. Or do we judge the truth of a proposition by the emotions it arouses in us? That would speed scholarship up a bit....one obvious point here is that Andrew is not, in fact, C. S. Lewis, and is not obliged to follow your notions of what you think C. S. Lewis might be writing about if he were alive today. Andrew, like nearly all of us, is not C.S. Lewis, but unlike most of us he has been heavily influenced by Lewis, is deeply concerned about Christianity like Lewis and has some of Lewis's literary talent (and independence of mind). If my notions (identical to my thoughts, btw) are wrong, the answer to my question above is "Yes". Presumably....studying The Shepherd of Hermas. Who is terribly, terribly boring, and, come to think of it, doesn't think much of Jews. Try Chaucer, who isn't terribly, terribly boring but doesn't think much of Jews either. Until very recently, Christians never did. Of course Jews, now as always, don't think much of Christians, but it would feel bloody ignorant and downright crass, not to mention be increasingly disturbing, to suggest that they might try to undermine or distort Christianity in any way as a result. In fact, it would be blatantly anti-Semitic, and as we read in the Gospel according to the New Statesman, ch. i, v. 1, that is the worst sin of all (and rightly so).And btw Sam, if you find my opinions disturbing, it's lucky you weren't born 500 years ago or under Nazism or in modern Iran. Then again, perhaps not: the ovine mind is disturbed by dissent, not consensus. Not that that's a criticism: most human beings are ovine, though some, like those running our new religion, are lupine or vulpine. A few, like Lewis, are pastoral.(And yes, I know you've tried Chaucer.)
Anonymous: Tried Chaucer, you might say that, yes. As in "written a thesis on him."Your debating tactics appear to involve picking up a particular word or phrase I have used and riffing on it. I mentioned "The Shepherd" only because it happens to be on the top of my "to read pile", as an example of the kind of thing that I might do in an evening as well as post to this blog. Not otherwise relevant. Delete it and replace it with some other book that an Andrew might be reading, if you prefer. I did say that the reason that I set up this blog was because I wanted to have a go at shooting from the hip and posting first drafts, rather than the very heavily worked-over and revised pieces that I was putting in the old forum. Granted that, it would be nice to be allowed a little lee-way in my precise choice of words. Having to go back and work out why I typed exactly what I did type is not much fun for me, and not very interesting for anyone else. I might possibly indicate whether I thought what you are saying was true if I had the faintest idea what you were saying. It is probably true that some Jews have at some times tried to distort and undermine Christianity. It is certainly true that many Christians have at many times tried to distort and undermine Judaism. I guess there has been a lot of innocent misunderstanding on both sides as well. But that is not your main "proposition", I suppose. You flit from proposition to proposition and I don't actually know where you are coming from. Your starting point was that I was too old to like "Doctor Who", to which I can think of no response but "Sucks to you!". How we got from there to the Jews, I am not quite sure.Is "ovine" like an egg, or like a sheep? Yes, I like Lewis a great deal, and know his works intimately. Perhaps you could let me know what John Lennon would be singing about if he were alive today; or what Jack Kirby would be drawing about if he were alive today, and I'll be sure and write a paragraph or so on that. It would be helpful if you could use some better handle than "anonymous", by the way. You appear to know who I am, but I don't know who you are.
Possibly this is an improper introduction from a mostly-lurker (posted a bit on meta-rants, but left after the election), but who is Ken Livingstone, why is this guy on about him, and what does it have to do with Dr. Who?(ObDrWho: I don't really know from classic Dr. Who, but as far as that book cover goes, I can smell the suck all the way over here in Oregon.)
Sorry, there was too much to respond to in detail and it's not my blog, as someone pointed out. Thank you for respecting Christian principles of forbearance and charity. I don't myself, but if I did, you wouldn't be able to, if you see what I mean.Perhaps you would be happier finding a different flock to hang out with? This is a very ovine POV. Bleat with your own flock. That way we'll never encounter an opinion that disturbs us by questioning our view of the world. It's also an ovine POV to say "we can pretty much all agree that we're lucky" not to have been born 500 years ago etc. No, include me out. A lot of what we think is self-evidently Good and True or Bad and False is taken without thought from our upbringing in a particular culture. As Lewis stresses more than once.I'd advise a deep breath or two, followed by a reflection on the question of whether acknowledging mass murder as a great evil constitutes blasphemy. I'd advise a reflection on logic. From "It is blasphemous that Auschwitz has replaced Calvary and the Jewish people the Lamb of God" it does not follow that I believe acknowledging mass murder as a great evil constitutes blasphemy.Tried Chaucer, you might say that, yes. As in "written a thesis on him." I was using meiosis. If you have an "MA in Medieval Studies" it follows that you're very familiar with Chaucer.Is "ovine" like an egg, or like a sheep? Is "lupine" like a pike (with fins), or like a wolf?Your starting point was that I was too old to like "Doctor Who", to which I can think of no response but "Sucks to you!". How we got from there to the Jews, I am not quite sure. "Baa humbug!" would have been better. You are too old to take Dr Who seriously (1 Corinthians 13:11), and the Jews are a very powerful and very important group (or rather, some of the Jews. It's not synchronized swimming). When Christianity recognized their potential for mischief, it was strong. Now that it doesn't, it's dying. Yes, I like Lewis a great deal, and know his works intimately. Perhaps you could let me know what John Lennon would be singing about if he were alive today; or what Jack Kirby would be drawing about if he were alive today, and I'll be sure and write a paragraph or so on that. Do you seriously think what concerned Lewis can be compared to what concerned John "Imagine There's No Heaven" Lennon and Jack Kirby (now that I know who he is)? Or are you just being casuistical? I've described the situation, and it's more serious than the Reformation. The Reformation only split the Church, it didn't put a rollerskate on the steps of the cellar, smash the light, then ask her to check the boiler.Not that the Holocaust cult is the only rollerskate on the steps, but I don't want to disturb anyone any further. There are other topics I think Lewis might have written more than "a paragraph or so" on, because he understood "By their fruits ye shall know them." But he could see the fruit while it was still blossom. People who can't see it while it's ripening on the tree are going to end up choking on it.Missionary work to the priests of one's own church is an embarrassing role; though I have a horrid feeling that if such mission work is not soon undertaken the future history of the Church of England is likely to be short. (Lewis in 1959)A third of Church of England clergy doubt or disbelieve in the physical Resurrection and only half are convinced of the truth of the Virgin birth, according to a new survey. The poll of nearly 2,000 of the Church's 10,000 clergy also found that only half believe that faith in Christ is the only route to salvation. While it has long been known that numerous clerics are dubious about the historic creeds of the Church, the survey is the first to disclose how widespread is the scepticism. (Daily Torygraph in 2002)
Anonymous:Well, that is the second time your essays have sent me to the bookshelf for a dictionary. (According to one of those "geek tests" that sometimes get passed around the office, it is geekish of me to own more than one dictonary!) According to Collins, a Casuist is one who attempts to resolve moral dilemmas by the applications of general rules and by the careful distinction of the cases to which these rules apply" although it does allow a secondary sense of "reasoning which is over-subtle." Anyone who has studied my oeuevre as carefully as you evidently have must know that John Lennon and Jack Kirby are two creative persons whose works I have studied carefully and greatly admire. My over-subtle point was that I don't see why my admiration for Lewis imposes on me any obligation to only make comments on those subjects which I (or at any rate, you) think he might have written about; any more than my admiration for Lennon or Kirby impose on me an obligation to write about what I think those lumninaries would have written, sung, or drawn pictures about. Kirby's real name was Jakob Kurtzburg, but let's not go down that path just now.I think it unlikely that St Paul was thinking of Doctor Who when he wrote that when he became a man, he put aside childish things. I doubt, to be honest, that when Our Lord said that we should become as little children, he was (humanly speaking) thinking of science fiction TV shows either. Lewis, on the other hand, said that there was no book that was worth reading at 12 which was not equally worth reading at 50 (apart from books of information.) He certainly approved of adults reading fairy stories and other children's books; and is known to have read low-brow sci-fi pulps. He never owned a TV and didn't think a great deal of cinema (although he liked the first half of King Kong and parts of Snow White); so I assume his attitude to Doctor Who would have been slightly patronising ambivalence. I am a self-confessed geek: I own two dictionaries and can name more than five hobbits. I write about Tolkien, Star Wars, comic-books, and role-playing games. If by "take Doctor Who seriously", you mean "watch it with my brain engaged", then, yes, I do take it seriously. If you mean "believe that it's true" or even "believe that it's great art" then I don't. I think that, in the UK, Doctor Who, (like Morcambe and Wise) has an exaggerated importance because there was a period in the '60s and '70s where literally everyone watched it. I think that there is an analogy between geekdom and sexual fetishism: there is nothing wrong with finding your lover's feet sexy, but if you find nothing in the world sexy apart from women's feet, then you may have a problem. There exist sci-fi fans who are interested in nothing but sci-fi; there exist sci-fi fans who are interested in nothing but a particular author, or a particular TV show. They may have a problem. Do you think my interests are too narrow? DO you think that I care what you think?By the way, you started this by referring to "Dr Who and the BP." I have no idea what "BP" refers to. I know that there is a lot of theological liberalism in the Church of England, and have said so on several occassions. You have to be careful about generalizing, though: it is a classically "broad" church, and there are happy-clappy evangelical congregations and more-or-less catholic congregations.I still do not understand what, if anything, you are saying about the Jews and the holocaust. I am intrigued as to why you are hiding your identity. If I were required to place a bet, I would suggest that you are Martin Whitman a slightly strange person who posted to alt.books.cs-lewis for a while. But he was American and would not know to call the "Telegraph" the "Torygraph." Yours, perhaps, over-subtlyAndrew
(No, not the same Anonymous - merely one who doesn't wish to provide more people with more personal details than is really necessary, but who is happy to sign his posts. But definitely not someone engaged in that strangulated writing style that seems to imply an bigoted flake who knows how his arguments will be treated if he gives the game away.)Mis-spelling "Morecambe And Wise" and misusing "literally" in the same sentence? Is this the real Andrew Rilstone?-- Phil Masters
The Magisterial Hippophile opined:...someone engaged in that strangulated writing style that seems to imply an bigoted flake who knows how his arguments will be treated if he gives the game away. What a masterly psychoanalysis. But I can't understand "seems to imply". That's rather like "your notions of what you think". Are you Sam Dodsworth in disguise? Or is your literary collar in fact too loose? "...engaged in that strangulated writing style..." would also apparently seem to suggest so. And "mis-spelling" was what might be called dysautologic (which is probably a hapax legomenon, but should be intelligible anyway).Andrew Rilstone said:I am a self-confessed geek: I own two dictionaries and can name more than five hobbits. I don't know how many dictionaries I own: I've never counted and never will. "Geek" is another crude and adolescent American word and I don't think you should confess to being one. "Anorak" is at least native, jocular and mild. (And would Martin know "anorak"?)Do you think my interests are too narrow? DO you think that I care what you think? No, but I think you should. I'll be honest and say I think some of your interests are an example of arrested adolescence and a reflection of Creeping Cultural Cretinization. You can name obscure episodes of Dr Who at the drop of a sonic screwdriver but you can't understand what I mean by "casuistical" without consulting a dictionary. That is not healthy. Being able to do neither might be healthy, and being able to do the latter but not the former would probably be healthy.By "casuistical" I meant "employing a disingenous quibble". You could regard that as anti-Catholic (scheming Jesuists spinning webs of Papist casuistry etc). But apparently you weren't being casuistical. That's even more worrying.Anyone who has studied my oeuevre as carefully as you evidently have must know that John Lennon and Jack Kirby are two creative persons whose works I have studied carefully and greatly admire. My over-subtle point was that I don't see why my admiration for Lewis imposes on me any obligation to only make comments on those subjects which I (or at any rate, you) think he might have written about; any more than my admiration for Lennon or Kirby impose on me an obligation to write about what I think those lumninaries would have written, sung, or drawn pictures about. No, I haven't studied your oeuvre that carefully, or I would have known who Jack Kirby was (and wouldn't now wish I still didn't know). Lewis was not just a "creative person": he was a devout Christian who was concerned with very important questions of morality, culture and politics. Admirers of Lewis should also be concerned with those questions, or why admire Lewis? My reasoning wasn't: Lewis would have written about this and you admire Lewis, therefore you should pay homage to Lewis by writing about it. My reasoning was: Lewis would have written about this because it is very important, and because it is very important, an admirer of Lewis should recognize that and write about it (which doesn't mean "and about nothing else").This is an example of how I think "fandom" is intellectually corrupting. You seem to regard yourself as being a fan of Lewis, a serious and important writer in an ancient tradition, in the same way as you are a fan of John Lennon, a pop star, and Jack Kirby, a comic-book artist. I'm not saying high culture and low culture are mutually exclusive, but low culture, by its nature, is seductive and insidious and you should beware of it.I still do not understand what, if anything, you are saying about the Jews and the holocaust. I'm saying that the Holocaust (always with a capital, as in "the Crucifixion" or "the Passion") is now the official religion of formerly Christian nations. What was, for many centuries, the central western symbol of human depravity and unmerited suffering? Calvary. What has become the central western symbol of human depravity and unmerited suffering since the 1960s? Auschwitz. Lewis called one of his schools "Belsen". Someone who did that today would be in for a symbolic stoning as a blasphemer. If a tiny minority can influence Europe and America so profoundly in such a short space of time, something interesting and important is going on.I know that there is a lot of theological liberalism in the Church of England, and have said so on several occassions. You have to be careful about generalizing, though... I'm never careful about generalizing. The C of E isn't so much decadent as deliquescing. If you think there is a lot of theological liberalism in the Church of England, you must also think there is a lot of political authoritarianism in North Korea and a lot of ideological chicanery in New Labour.By the way, you started this by referring to "Dr Who and the BP." I have no idea what "BP" refers to. No, Dr Who and BP. Isn't the blonde actress called Billie Piper?I'm posting as Anonymous partly because I can't be bothered registering and partly because I'm expressing politically incorrect opinions (but two partlys don't make a wholly). Who I am shouldn't affect the truth or otherwise of what I say. I could even be more than one person: couldn't Martin find a British collaborator? Or I could just think I'm more than one person. You say Martin was slightly strange then. What about now?
Possibly this is an improper introduction from a mostly-lurker (posted a bit on meta-rants, but left after the election), but who is Ken Livingstone, why is this guy on about him, and what does it have to do with Dr. Who? KL is the left-wing Mayor of London. He was recently accosted by a Jewish reporter working for a hostile right-wing paper. He didn't like the reporter's questions and likened him to a "concentration camp guard". Since then he has refused to apologize for his alleged anti-Semitism etc, despite coming under considerable pressure to do so. What it has to with Dr Who and the post before this one is that Dr Who/Chaz'n'Camilla don't matter much, whereas the KL affair, in this guy's opinion, matters considerably as an example of a symbolic stoning carried out on behalf of the Holocaust cult.
Dear Martin,I'm saying that the Holocaust (always with a capital, as in "the Crucifixion" or "the Passion") is now the official religion of formerly Christian nations. What was, for many centuries, the central western symbol of human depravity and unmerited suffering? Calvary.In that case, I think that you are a: Wrongb: Sillyc: Not really worth any more of my time. Your method of argument reminds me quite a lot of Dave Sim, although you don't write nearly as well as he does.
Mis-spelling "Morecambe And Wise" and misusing "literally" in the same sentence? Is this the real Andrew Rilstone?I was using all the right letters. But not necessarily in the right order.The O.E.D now recognises that a possible meaning of "literally" is to introduce a particularly apt metaphor, as in "Tony Blair was litarally oozing slime." But there is no excuse for me to use it to mean "nearly" or "practically" or in this case "everybody who owned a TV and had it on at that time of the evening, apart from the minority who switched to ITV." Sorry. My typing sucks.
NOTE: Blogger now lets you type your name into the "name" field without being registered or otherwise leaving your e-mail address. Just select "other" in the "choose an identity" box.I regret having given my real e-mail address out so freely back in the olden days when the Web was called "usenet". On the plus side, there is a nice man in Nigeria who wants to give me all his money, and there are apparently some hot young lesbians waiting for me somewhere.
Martin & Co write:Was it "arrested adolescence" or "Creeping Cultural Cretinization"? Sorry, but I didn't imagine you'd be as offended by what I said as you obviously have been.Btw, "disingenous" was a lapsus calami, not a misspelling. And I'd rather know what that means without a dictionary than be familiar with Jack Kirby or Dave Sim, however well the latter writes. (It's Latin for "My typing produced a partial vaccuum within the buccal cavity.")Q lapidation.
Does anyone have the faintest idea what he's going on about?
Does anyone have the faintest idea what he's going on about?No, but:(a) He doesn't appreciate my attempts at understated irony, so he's clearly far beneath my contempt. (The bit about "Magisterial Hippophiles" doesn't help, either.)(b) He apparently regards an interest in children's literature and pop culture contemptible. There's no doubt a case to be made for this, but even someone like Howard Jacobson can't enunciate it within sounding like a bigoted twerp. More to the point, "Anonymous" argues this point while expressing reverential admiration for C.S. Lewis. So he is, clearly, as you would say, a very, very silly man.(c) He makes statements such as "the Jews are a very powerful and very important group (or rather, some of the Jews. It's not synchronized swimming). When Christianity recognized their potential for mischief, it was strong. Now that it doesn't, it's dying." It would appear from his other statements that he knows he's being "politically incorrect", so I would presume that he realises that he's going to be taken for a conspiracy theorist with a taste for old-fashioned and well-tested bigotry (rather than merely a careless writer), and he doesn't much care. Applying Occam's Razor rather ruthlessly, I'd guess that's because that's what he is.So no, I don't think he's worth any more of anyone's time.
Do psychoanalysts get unfrocked, Phil?...so he's clearly far beneath my contempt. That's good (if unoriginal), but you rather spoiled the effect by carrying on for -- hang on a tick -- another 155 words.He apparently regards an interest in children's literature and pop culture [as?] contemptible. But he reads Willard Price and Grimms' Fairy Tales with great enjoyment, loves the Beatles and Al Jolson, and is currently (and rather impatiently) awaiting the delivery of a DVD of an obscure comedy series from the late 1980s. If that's contempt for children's literature and pop culture, he'd hate himself to become enamoured of them.More to the point, "Anonymous" argues this point while expressing reverential admiration for C.S. Lewis. So he is, clearly, as you would say, a very, very silly man. "Reverential admiration" is a tad tautologous. I'd prefer just "reverence". But I can't see much wrong with "a very, very silly man".Applying Occam's Razor rather ruthlessly, I'd guess that's because that's what he is. Applying Occam's Razor rather ruthlessly. Hmmm. That's more "understated irony", isn't it?So no, I don't think he's worth any more of anyone's time. Amen to that.
The O.E.D now recognises that a possible meaning of "literally" is to introduce a particularly apt metaphorIt does? Seriously?My poor native tongue...
I personally am intrigued by "Anonymous'" statement that "Andrew, like nearly all of us, is not CS Lewis". Which of us does he think it is?Second prize goes to his attempts to sound educated by using words like "ovine" (thus demonstrating the breadth of his vocabulary), and then using them over and over again (thus demonstrating that he has no idea what a broad vocabulary is for).Third prize has to go to his ability to object to the "religious status of the Holocaust", while simultaneously talking about Lewis as if he's some sort of prophet (I'm an atheist, so I could be wrong, but I thought that *jesus* was the central figure in Christianity).Oh, and I should probably introduce myself, since I've just walked onto your weblog, my name's Dan, I'm an atheist roleplayer from Oxford, and I wound up here following a link from your website.
Hello. I'm Arthur. I'm a roleplaying friend of Dan's.Dan's summed up the points I wanted to make succinctly, although the whole "he's putting Lewis above Christ" thing is a slightly cheap shot. I just want to say how much I enjoyed "Anonymous" saying:What has become the central western symbol of human depravity and unmerited suffering since the 1960s? Auschwitz.I'm willing to bet any money you like that "Anonymous" didn't live through the 1950s - or if he did, he was too young to remember much of it. I wasn't around at the time either, but I'm willing to bet that during the 1950s the Holocaust wasn't regarded as just another nasty historical incident, and that Nazism wasn't considered a viable political philosophy. The idea that it took the world 15 years to realise that the Holocaust was dreadful is hilarious.
"Anonymous" appears to be a troll. Better not to feed him.
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