July 22, 2005

Friday in the wild - July 21, 2005

Pottermania hits the blogosphere this week!

The Jollyblogger just doesn't get the fervour of many of Harry Potter's critics:

IMHO, evangelicals have gotten so wrapped up in moralism that we have lost the ability to read and understand a story. . . .

In all of the stuff I read about Harry Potter I see the same thing happening. There are a large number of Christians who only want to talk about the witchcraft and spend lots of time accusing Rowling of trying to seduce their children into the occult.

[Read Harry Potter is Heating Up Again]

Manasclerk adds:

They're still not great books but can you think of a kids book that is? They're also fairly conservative books, as the guy Wayne quotes points out. Evil is evil, not simply misunderstood. Bad people get what's coming to them. Heroes aren't the strong or the powerful but those who are willing to lay down their lives for their friends. Or people. Or even an idea, like "freedom" or "liberty."

Most kid books are conservative, you know. Children are incredibly reactionary. They live in a much nastier world than their parents think that they do, and I'm not just talking about middle schoolers. Children live in a world that is constantly falling apart, a world with very real monsters like bully kids or older siblings or pressures to be good, even. Parents rip them from the worlds that they create in play, a catastrophe that can happen at any time, without warning it seems to them. They see a darker world than they admit to their parents.

Of course, some kids don't know this fear, having been protected from it by their parents. They are sad creatures. They feel amoral to me, as if something human in them was lost. I wouldn't want to have them on my team, and I certainly wouldn't trust them in a fight. Give me someone who has been afraid, truly afraid.

[Read Harry Potter: Won't Someone Think of the Children? Oh, the Humanity!]

Doug Groothuis risks wrath and shunning from curmudgeonly folk everywhere by changing the name of his blog to Culture Watch.

Ryan DeBarr is making an effort to understand the "emerging church" movement-that's-not-a-movement-but-a-"conversation." Specifically, he has been reading Jacques Derrida and trying to grasp deconstruction, and he doesn't see what all the fuss is about:

Toward the end of the book, Derrida quotes Rousseau: "[Writing] substitutes exactness for expression." To Rousseau, writing is a substitute, or representation, of reality. The representation is prone to limited to modified by the one who is writing. And again by the one who is reading. This makes accuracy difficult, but the greatest violence comes through the conventions of literacy. Words are given fixed meanings, and we tend to force reality to fit our words, rather than conform our words to reality. Over time, written language becomes detached from reality and this obscures the truth.

But never does Derrida say that the truth does not exist or that the truth is unknowable. I grant that I have not read all of Derrida's books, nor have I ready any substantial amount of Foucault. In fact, Derrida repeats Rousseau's belief that truth can be known through the senses.

[Read Words cannot express]

I saw this on CPAC thanks to the magic of videotape and a helpful landlord; The Evil Traditionalist provides the transcript of Dr. John Patrick's testimony before the <deep breath> Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs:

Dr. John Patrick's testimony before the Canadian Senate Committee regarding the same-sex marriage bill is simply outstanding. He deserves a medal of honor for this speech, petulant interruptions by some of the senators notwithstanding.

A Canadian reader sent this to me on Friday, and I've just finally gotten to it in its entirety today. It's long - that's what was taking me so long - but it is without question one of the finest affirmations of what is good and right in a society gone completely wrong that I have yet seen. It is well worth your time to read.

[Read A Canadian Who Makes Some Sense]

Nature abhors a vacuum, and with the relative sanity of Googlers last week comes relative insanity this week.

Till next time, enjoy.