Camille Paglia strikes again! Okay, it was like three weeks ago, but it’s news to me so I’m mentioning it anyway. First it was ignorant gender theories, then it was gay fascisms, now it’s the fear mongering of the anti-alcohol lobby in America. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I’m becoming extremely pro-substance, at least in the sense that I view an affinity with classic “vices” as far superior to modern psychiatric medication. We wouldn’t have so many teens hopped-up on anti-Depressants if they could go to a restaurant and knock back a few. Call me an enabler, I’m just trying to be a good Jew.
Person of Interest is the best show on mainstream television. This remarkable 21st-century action/drama celebrated its third season finally last Tuesday. It is a show which approaches the post-9/11 surveillance age with a fresh, non-judgmental perspective. It is particularly brilliant for two main reasons. For one, it is willing to change up its formula about every season. It’s safe to say that in two years (if it lasts that long) Person of Interest won’t look anything like it does now. Also, it refuses to make easy moral equations, exonerating the protagonists and vilifying the “bad guys”. Everyone’s motives are suspect. No one is above suspicion. Everyone is at least in some way sympathetic. It reminds me of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, which also avoided such boring moralizations we’re so used to in standard entertainment. Can’t wait for season four.
This past Tuesday also marked two very strange and strangely related anniversaries: the first appearance of Our Lady to the children at Fátima in 1917, and the assassination attempt on Pope St. John Paul II (that’s so fun to type!). The fact that these both occurred on the same date is significant, and the Pope credited his survival to the intervention of the Theotokos. When the so-called Third Secret of Fátima was released in 2000, many believed the assassination attempt on the Pope was its fulfillment. I personally have never cared much for apparitions and “prophecies”, but one has to admit that the coincidences here are striking.
Does anyone remember a Dr. Seuss television special called “Halloween is Grinch Night”? The prequel to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, what it lacks in poetic genius it makes up in surreal horror imagery and some really cool eye brows. Go check it out. You will be a better for it. And that scene in the Paraphernalia wagon rivals Pink Elephants for most out-there scene in children’s entertainment.
And on the subject of children’s entertainment and season finales, the fourth season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic concluded this past Saturday. It’s been more or less a great season. This finale, “Twilight’s Kingdom”, is superb, full of world-building, references to mythology, conclusions of story-arcs, and fascinating character development. It appears the writers have adapted the show now that it has such a wide audience to be something more along the lines of Avatar: The Last Airbender or Dragon Ball Z than typical children’s fodder. Who knows how long they can drag this balancing act out.
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