The past couple of months have been very, very busy, and I’ve had a number of pieces over at Crisis and at Catholic World Report which I neglected to share here. So here’s my latest link round up. 🙂
The point is this: despite Landrieu’s hints about symbolism, men can move the monument, but it is not the monument that moves the men. But it is easy to make war on a statue; it is easy to make war on the dead. They do not fight back; Lee’s statue cannot lift a stony finger to protest. It is easy to repudiate tradition and history; because tradition is what Chesterton called “the democracy of the dead”; and attempting to erase all evidence of the parts of our history which make us feel guilty or uncomfortable is to refuse to give our fathers who shaped the city monuments a vote.
Because Hollywood secret agents are part of a special circle beyond the rules, we are oddly comfortable watching spies do things we wouldn’t want to see a policeman do. A secret agent can commandeer (and crash) an unsuspecting citizen’s car, or break into a house, or drug a politician, or steal a top-secret file, with no bureaucratic consequences, and, to all appearances, no moral qualms. He seems above the law—perhaps because a spy is already morally compromised. You can’t be a secret agent without lying, and usually stealing. What’s a little housebreaking or homicide when you’ve already made outright lying and theft a routine matter of business?
Based on the gritty trailer, viewers may have braced themselves for an intense film about the agony of life alone—Castaway in space suits, if you will. But that is not how The Martian unfolds. Watney remains stoically focused on surviving, and never descends into the darker regions of depression and desperation that Castaway explores. “I’m not going to die out here,” he says simply, and he never gives in to despair.
That’s all for now. Hoping to get back into the swing of things and post here more regularly in the months to come!