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Saturday, May 15, 2004
Tolkien, Zeus and The Easter Bunny

OK. This is supposed to be a political blog: an account of this campaign, and there WILL be a connection. But first, I would like to talk a little about Pop Culture and the deteriorating standards of literacy that seem to come with it.

I was raised on the ILIAD and the ODYSSEY. From an early age, nearly diapers, my Mother read me the stories of those legendary heroes and gods, and I remember weeping bitterly at the death of Achilles. To this day, that remains with me, even if a lot of the story needs refreshing in my mind.

Of course, at the same time, I was raised in our shared Judaeo-Christian mythology: Samson and Moses, David and Goliath, Joshua, Elijah, Judas and Jesus.

And, later, that requisite set of paperbacks found in every dorm room in America, I think, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, a watershed novel that literally invents the genre of adult fantasy! Or, at least, rediscovers it from such ancient sources as Plato's REPUBLIC and, of course, the ILIAD and ODYSSEY.

So, in this, my twenty-eighth year as a professional literary critic -- and with a brief stint in Hollywood as a film critic who had actually WORKED on films and knew the where, why and how -- I am quite naturally appalled to watch hundreds of millions of dollars (no exaggeration!) spent on three films that GUT the fundamental narratives of all three!!!

In "The Passion of the Christ" there is no resurrection!

In the "Lord of the Rings" there is no cleansing of the Shire!

In "Troy" there are no gods! Worse, from what I've read, Achilles lives to take part in the famed ruse of the Trojan Horse!

To all three I cry "Sacrilege!"

If these movie morons want to gut the very fundament of Western Civilization, of our great myths (whether you believe in the New Testament or not, the Resurrection is the crux of THE crucial tale in all of Western Civilization) -- well, I have no words to express the depths of sorrow and loathing I feel.

Still, all three stories will endure, but there should be a tenth circle of Hell created by Dante for the express purpose of housing the boobs who so dishonor our collective literary heritage.

And yet, it is not with the filmmakers I have the greatest quarrel. They are, after all, Hollywood people, which is not really like being people at all: boobery, subliteracy and hubris masquerading as Great Art. It is so repellent that even Hollywood makes movies about how awful it all is. That is merely the cliche.

No, the quarrel is with the movie critics, who seem to have supplanted ROLLING STONE rock critics in the arena of pointless hubris surrounding a chunky nougat core of ignorance in a sort of demonic candy bar of pointlessness.

The old saw used to go that as regards Writing: Those who can, do; and those who can't become sports writers.

Now they become movie critics.

Not one, not ONE of these arrogant boors, it seems (and I've spent hours online looking) gives a hoot that the Three Great Tales made into films of the past year each miss the fundamental point of the tale that the movie purports to be a visual transcription of.

Lord of the Rings: Having been through the epic War of the Ring, the Hobbits, no longer accompanied by wizards, warriors or kings, return to their home only to confront the actuality of evil, men who have enslaved the Shire in service to the Evil of Sauron, and who continue, even after the Dark Lord's fall. The Hobbits show that they have been changed by their experience, and rout the bad men, only to find that the evil has come all the way to Frodo's front door, in the person of Saruman himself (with Wormtongue in toady). Frodo is able to forgive Saruman, and sends him on his way, and Wormtongue murders Saruman and is cut down himself.

This brings the books to their MORAL conclusion, and fulfills the exposition of Frodo's character that completes the books. The critics think it's OK that the subliterate Kiwi moron leaves it all out. The critics say NOTHING.

The Passion of the Christ: After watching God In Human Form tortured to death for two hours, he's buried. The end. Maybe Mel was hoping for a sequel? The Critics, again, say damned little. I guess it's OK to strip the whole POINT of the story of the passion, and the whole central mystery of the Resurrection and, therefore, the Redemption of Mankind from the movie? The critics remain mute.

Troy: The central moment of the Iliad is the death of Hector, the impious desecration of his corpse by Achilles, and the vengeance of the Gods on Achilles for his act by allowing prissy, wussy Paris to shoot an impotent arrow that pricks the famed Achilles heel. It is the interplay and the rivalry of the Gods -- including the Golden Apple of Eris (Discord) and the rivalry between the three Goddesses, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite that is the cause of the Trojan War in the first place. To strip the tale of THIS is every bit as apalling as deciding the Resurrection isn't interesting by Gibson. Once again, the critics are mute.

I call this a professional abrogation by each and every writer who has participated in this travesty of critical thought, who has toadied to the numbskulls and self-important imbeciles who would so desecrate our shared heritage with their assassination of three such important pillars of literature.

Now, how does this relate to the campaign?

How is this: Both Mitzi Colbath and I have this week expressed our helpless sense of outrage at the fact that NOT ONE Lane County Media source has seen fit to mention that Paul Holvey's money comes, 93 cents out of every dollar, from outside the district.

Not one has considered this fact "newsworthy."

This usurpation represents a FUNDAMENTAL attack on the very idea of self rule.

But, alas, the "journalists" here in Lane County, supplied with the facts though they were, seem as qualified in their field as, well, film critics.

For all the ink they spend around here talking about education, it might be nice to actually get some evidence of some. Because, from where I sit -- as a writing professional for nearly three decades -- this lack of professionalism, this malpracticeby our local 'journalists' is every bit as apalling as what's been done lately by the film 'critics' to Tolkien, Zeus and the Easter Bunny.

68 hours left to go in this election. Tick tick tick tick.


Thursday, May 13, 2004
And the Smear Goes On ...

I've been dealing with not only the concerted attempt by the DPLC's powers-that-be to smear me to Democratic insiders mere days before the election, but with the "official" response that claims NO MISDEEDS WERE enacted!

Astonishing. And B.S. -- Rick Klaastad had every right to respond to me ... on HIS webpage (but he's too uninterested to create one, even though they're easy and free and templates are available for anyone who wants to dabble).

Not in the official newsletter of the Party.

So, take a look at http://www.hartwilliams.com/hd8/smear2.htm
And wonder why the EUGENE WEEKLY found the city council money so "dirty" but that 93 cents out of every dollar of Holvey's coming from OUTSIDE HD8 not even worthy of mention?!?!?!?!

I guess Alan Pittman got his Journalism degree out of a box of Cracker-Jacks.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Breaking NEWS!

Today's blog is HERE.

Yesterday's blog is HERE

Some people will do ANYTHING to win, I guess. Many dollars. Little sense.

blog blog blog

Sunday, May 09, 2004
Today's Blog

Well, the smear goes on.

Today's blog is ... er, well, I'm going to embargo it until Monday morning, when I'll ...

Well, you folks -- especially the "do anything to win" folks at the Holvey campaign who are beginning to look suspiciously like the Bush campaign ("Real Democrat", my grannie's lavender scented bloomers!) -- will just have to wait until tomorrow.

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mothers.

And the same to the Holvey Campaign, who are, each in their own way, mothers themselves, albeit in a hyphenated version that utilizes the term and which we will not reproduce here in deference to Michael Powell and the FCC's current majority.


hart williams
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