Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Theology of Gnomes

I spend a lot of time speculating on the possible underlying science of Fairyland.  Probably more time than is healthy for an unmarried adult male.

I suppose I got caught on this fairy tale bent by C. S. Lewis, after reading his fiction.  There are many themes in his writing, but the one that has most fascinated me is his treatment of the theology of sentient creatures in other worlds.

In the first book written by him, The Pilgrim's Regress, the story takes place in a kind of dreamworld, all of which is the country of the Landlord, a powerful entity living in a castle in the eastern mountains.  The story serves as a very dense allegory (Narnia is more like a simile compared to this) for the various kinds of philosophy considered by Lewis until his eventual conversion, yet the concept of God as Landlord is very compelling.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Upon Watching "Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog"

As I've often said, I don't typically watch movies, because most movies are terrible.  Maybe half of this blog is dedicated to complaining about the stupidity of various movies.  If it's less than half, it's only because I haven't seen any even worth complaining about, not because they've become any less stupid.

I actually don't even own a TV.  Or, I own a TV, and it sits unused in my closet underneath a pile of spare mattresses.  I don't own a DVD player either, though I still have a VHS player.  Somewhere.  It just isn't worth my time, I guess?

Anyway, I say that only because when I come out enjoying a movie, it is something rare and incredible.

I recently watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog, which is available on Netflix.

My only complaint is that it ended too soon.

I actually have a hard time explaining my enjoyment of the film, as is typical for when I enjoy things.  I am not capable of being impressed by visuals or orchestral music or spectacle or anything really I can point to; I guess it's entertaining while it lasts, then quickly bores me after 30 minutes or whenever it ends.  But what movies like this do, is they plant this barb deep into my viscera, then tug and tug until my organs spill out.

Or something like that.

The movie is the kind of thing that tears my heart from my chest and shows it to me, and I am only delighted to learn that I even have such an organ.  It's been invisible so long and beating so low that I forgot where it was.

And it's silly because the movie is a silly musical about an evil mad scientist who falls in love with a girl he meets at a laundromat.  It's ridiculous and tragic at the same time.  Which is probably exactly why it enraptured me so.

The last scene is the hero/villain entering a room of supervillains including "Professor Normal", "Dead Bowie", "Fake Thomas Jefferson", and lead by "Bad Horse, the Thoroughbred of Sin", who is a literal horse -- while singing a disharmonious anthem of loss and grief and the death of the soul in response to tragedy, a song so appropriately and inappropriately titled "Everything You Ever".  The scene takes itself perfectly seriously while at the same time is openly, patently absurd; and all this absurdity and gravity is itself only a mask for the defeated, deflated, withered shell of Dr. Horrible that remains.

It's... I dunno.  It's an incredible movie.  It's the story of the tragic fall of Dr. Horrible, the hero/villain whose tragic flaw is simply being too kind.  It's melancholic and discordant, and yet gave me joy with the small hope that there is any merely human agency anywhere on this planet who might actually understand me.  Like someone read my xanga from high school and turned it into an unattributed musical sci-fi biography.  I imagine many, many loner, melancholic types will sympathize.

I recommend it - selfishly, perhaps - to anyone.  It's live-streaming on Netflix.  It's only 45 minutes.  Watch it.