Skepticism

Skepchick Quickies, Weekend Edition – 7.20

Jen

Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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23 Comments

  1. Regardless of whether Catholics had anything to do with it, I’m glad they’re not making a sequel because The Golden Compass was crap.It was the perfect example of how Hollywood can take an excellent book and turn it into an abomination foul enough to give you the screaming horrors.

  2. I have read the first book but have not gotten around to the other two books yet. I saw the movie first then I read the book which might be why I liked the movie. The book was much better then the movie. That said the movie was fun to watch.

  3. I second the above comment about the Golden Compass movie, I don’t know whether to credit the protests with any significant dent in its success, but it was a horrible film.

    And holy crap, how have I missed out on this whole Spore thing and it’s that prolific already? That is… nerdgasmtasticmongous. (A scientifically measurable quantity of awesomeness equal to approximately 0.3 Whedons.)

  4. On The Golden Compass, I agree with post#1, the movie was crap.

    I am pretty sure they would make a sequel if the first one was a hit.

    I did not like the other two books so I do not see it as much of a loss.

  5. I agree that the movie wasn’t that good, but the fact that the Catholic complainers can take credit for a sequel not coming out really chaps my ass. So whether we credit them or not, they’ll credit themselves and publicize it as such. And most people who don’t bother to think about things (and we know there are many) will just accept that it was the complainers who won. Then advertisers/producers would be all “oh no, we’ll piss of the loud religious people, we can’t make this movie” for other movies. Where’s the free speech in that?

  6. While I don’t think The Golden Compass worked as a children’s film, or perhaps to some even as an enjoyable experience, I do think it had some very interesting themes, specifically the anti organized religion aspects. It was great to see a young girl fighting against abuse and indoctrination, it was also nice to see an alternative to the Narnia series. I know these movies (and the books of course, I’m a firm believer in books>movies) aren’t necessarily pushing Christianity down the throats of children, but they are certainly used by some to do so. In the same way The Golden Compass isn’t trying to force anti-god onto children, it just offers a view that its not ok to be bullied by adults into the church.

    Anyway, I really don’t think the Catholic Church had much to do with this film not picking up a sequel, I work part-time at a cinema and this film didn’t do very well at the box office locally (in Australia) or from what I remember in the U.S. It’s really just a shame that the original wasn’t a better constructed film as I think there’s a great deal to be taken from it.

  7. If the “pastor” of the “church” tithes his income, I’ll be a little more impressed at his religious credentials.

    Although he’d just be tithing to himself, so scratch that.

    I’m not sure whether I’m more irritated at him or at the village council for letting him get away with it. At some point, if they’re going to be that gullible, they can’t complain if they’re out the $80K.

  8. I actually liked the Golden Compass movie, but maybe that was just because it had Daniel Craig in it. Rowr?

    I watched it with two friends, one of whom had read the book, as I had, and the other hadn’t. The one who hadn’t didn’t have any trouble following the plot, and the two of us who’d read the book didn’t find the rearrangements that upsetting. So, yeah. If the producers had had the guts to make the armored-bear fight bloody, the movie might have been considerably more profitable. (-;

    The sad thing, for me, is that the second and third books were “spongier” than the first: lots of good stuff in ’em, but not structured as well as the first. That’s the sort of story which could benefit from Adaptation Distillation. Sigh.

    Oh, and for a future edition of Skepchick Quickies — this link will ruin cornflakes for you.

  9. I haven’t seen the movie, but the Fundy Dementedists raised such a stink about it that I read the book just to find out what all the screaming was about. I’d never even heard of the book or the movie until they started raising holy hell about it.

    You know, the kind of utter bullshit you never get except from clueless fools who haven’t seen it for themselves but won’t go near it because someone else who probably hadn’t seen it told them it was evil – like The Last Temptation of Christ (which was excellent IMO, both the book and the movie). I’m sure that in both cases, the screaming got more people into the theaters than would have gone otherwise. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot………

    The book was decent, but it was no Harry Potter (but then what is?). It just didn’t grab me. (For that matter, neither did China MiĆ©ville’s Un Lun Dun, another “adolescent kids caught up in an alternate reality” fantasy novel that came out a year or two ago and was supposedly great.) But I admit I’d sort of like to see the movie just for the special effects.

  10. When I saw The Golden Compass I just assumed they weren’t planning on making a sequel since they cut the ending early so it had some sort of resolution. They didn’t set up the next movie at all and the everyone who came to see it would have wondered why the hell Lyra has suddenly in a quaint village on the Amalfi coast (sorry, in an alternate universe) and what the hell happened to Rodger. I don’t think the Catholics can take credit for this; the folks at New Line just didn’t feel like dealing with the more complex plots of the second and third (especially third) books.

  11. The article on the George Michael guy (nice name, too, haha) said he DIDN’T get clearance from the city council, and that’s part of why he’s in such deep shit. Everyone knows that if you start a fake church for tax purposes, you at LEAST need a formal statement of your creed and at least twenty members who meet at least twice a year. A friend’s accountant father did this, and my friend ended up a bishop. Technically, he can preside at marriage ceremonies.

    But this guy needs to be castrated more because he’s a total PERV. Drooling on female subordinates’ desks?? Time to buy a taser for the office.

  12. Anyone remember when civilization ended because of “The Last Temptation of Christ”?

    The Golden Compass issue directly informs why some of us aren’t willing to let the Eucharist thing go. To paraphrase the philosopher Jean-Luc Picard: “We’ve made too many compromises already; too many retreats. They whine and we fall back. They complain about religious persecution and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!”

    Like the school bully in “A Christmas Story,” standing up to them might just scare them off. There may not be much we can do about The Golden Compass, so we have to resist them where we can. Make them think about whether they are ready to open a potential six-pack of whoop-ass the next time they bitch. They were complaining about this movie before anyone saw it. I encountered people who wanted to ban it even though they had never heard of the books, and certainly never read them.

    Plus — Eva Green probably would have been in the sequels. Damn everyone who is keeping them from being made.

  13. Yeah, you realize that the whole point of that scene was that Picard had forgotten himself. He’d convinced himself that he was the only one righteous enough to make a stand, and completely blinded himself to the fact that he was really out for revenge. Hence all the Captain Ahab references.

    Funny how we frequently accuse the believers of taking their own scriptures out of context to justify their actions. And yet we resort to taking Picard out of context when necessary. And that’s not even scripture. That’s just a movie.

    Don’t get me wrong; it’s an appropriate quote. Like Picard, we all choose where to make our stand against the swarm. All the while we are ourselves in danger of becoming the monster.

  14. Peregrine: Despite what Moby Dick teaches us, I don’t have a problem with revenge. But to be honest, I wasn’t thinking about Ahab when I thought of that quote. It’s more memorable to me because of the way Stewart says “the line much be drawn hee-YAH!” than the actual context.

    But since you bring it up…

    Yes, you can say that I am fighting back against perceived past injustices. I’m not fighting back with anything stronger than satire, because I guess I’m not all-consumed by it like Ahab was. But yes, I want them slapped in the kisser for all the times in the past when they belittled non-believers in one breath and whined about religious tolerance in the next. They haven’t hurt me personally, but they have offended me.

    I’m not so much trying to get even for past offenses, really. I’m just joining in with others who are sending a message that they will have a fight on their hands when they let their arrogance run amok. For me, the cracker thing with PZ was the last straw, and it’s where I’m making my stand, such as it is. I’ll take my chances with becoming the monster.

  15. I’m sorry if I sound like I’m overreacting about this whole thing, but something about it hasn’t sat well with me since the whole mess started, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s my Catholic upbringing, or the fact that whatever happens, I still have to live with my family, (and I’m not entirely sure, but possibly my boss).

    I know how foolish it is. I was born into it, I grew up with it. I had to fight my way out of it. You don’t have to pull stunts like this to show me how childish it is to attach arbitrary importance to something as insignificant as a cracker.

    What’s bothering me is how the reaction to childishness is childishness. Have you ever been the kid on the schoolyard who had his hat (or bookbag, or whatever) snatched away by bullies, who then played “keep-away” until the teacher came along and told them to knock it off? I can’t help but notice the similarities. And there’s no teacher to come along and break it up. We say that we’ve been bullied in the past. There’s no disputing that. But we’re not standing up to the bullies by becoming the bullies.

    We’re all, on both sides, behaving like children over this stupid cracker. And it’s not going to get any better until someone on one side or the other decides to grow up and let it go.

  16. I understand your point, but after years and years of being the ones who let it go, I don’t see the childishness from the other side ending. Quite the opposite.

    I’m not fighting bully-dom with bully-dom. I’m trying to show them how it feels. I tend towards optimism, so I have hopes it’ll help. It can’t help less than what we’ve been doing.

  17. I see what you’re saying Peregrine, but I tend to see these situations as a 3-year-old’s tantrum and mom giving in. Then little Johnny knows that all he has to do is whine to get his way – and even better, whine in public.

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