Monday, November 12, 2007

Behind the Nano Ball

I'm once again participating in National Novel Writing Month. It's that crazy month where thousands of writers decide to write like maniacs allowing their laundry to pile up and live on pre-packaged meals in order to get a novel written in one month.

It's madness I tell you. And I totally love it.

Of course, my well-laid plans went arwy almost immediately as my eldest daughter has been finishing up the last four shows of their production of the musical Annie with the Christian Youth Theater. That means I spent the bulk of my last five days in a high school hallway with about eighty kids. Not exactly conducive to mad writing.

So I got back on the Nano wagon this morning armed with Diet Coke and chocolate. Today's word count completed along with a bit extra to catch up. Hopefully, if I meet my word count AND write extra for a week, perhaps I can still catch up.

The weird thing is (though it shouldn't be weird since it always happens this way), is that this story is already taking me in unexpected directions and there have been a few surprising revelations from characters that I once thought I had control of.


The strange and wonderful life of a writer.

Now, off to make dinner for the kids because even though it's National Novel Writing Month, the kids still need to eat...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Golden Compass Debate

So I'm getting all these forwarded e-mails about The Golden Compass. Have you seen them? I get weary when Christians only step up and say something when they're mad about something.

So here's the basics of what I'm getting:

You may already know about the kids' movie coming out in December starring Nicole Kidman. It's called The Golden Compass, and while it will be a watered down version, it is based on a series of children's books about killing God. (It is the anti-Narnia.) From what I understand, the hope is to get a lot of kids to see the movie - which won't seem too bad - and then get the parents to buy the books for their kids for Christmas. I hope it totally bombs because we were all paying attention!

The movie has been described as "atheism for kids" and is based on the first book of a trilogy entitled "His Dark Materials" that was written by Phillip Pullman. Pullman is a militant atheist and secular humanist who despises C. S. Lewis and the "Chronicles of Narnia". His motivation for writing this trilogy was specifically to counteract Lewis' symbolisms of Christ that are portrayed in the Narnia series.

Clearly, Pullman's main objective is to bash Christianity and promote atheism. Pullman left little doubt about his intentions when he said in a 2003 interview that "my books are about killing God." He has even stated that he wants to "kill God in the minds of children". It has been said of Pullman that he is! "the writer the atheists would be praying for, if atheists prayed."

While "The Golden Compass" movie itself may seem mild and innocent, the books are a much different story. In the trilogy, a young streetwise girl becomes enmeshed in an epic struggle to ultimately defeat the oppressive forces of a senile God. Another character, an ex-nun, describes Christianity as "a very powerful and convincing mistake."

In the final book, characters representing Adam and Eve eventually kill God, who at times is called YAHWEH. Each book in the trilogy gets progressively worse regarding Pullman's hatred of Jesus Christ.

"The Golden Compass" is set to premier on December 7, during the Christmas season, and will probably be heavily advertised. Promoters hope that unsuspecting parents will take their children to see the movie, that they will enjoy the movie, and that the children will want the books for Christmas.

Please consider a boycott of the movie and the books. Also, pass this information along to everyone you know. This will help to educate parents, so that they will know the agenda of the movie.

I have two main thoughts about this whole thing:

1 - boycotts can actually work against you sometimes. Look at what the brouhaha over The DaVinci Code did for ticket sales of that movie - basically ensuring Hollywood will make more movies like that.

2 - It's not good enough to boycott movies that upset you. What Christians must do is go and see the good movies. Every time you buy a movie ticket you are casting a vote in Hollywood*. Every single time. It still drives me nuts what happened with Evan Almighty because it was a great movie, that was respectful of our faith, and yet it bombed. I can just see every executive in Hollywood shrugging their shoulders and scratching their heads saying, "Well, we tried. Let's try this instead." And that's exactly how we end up with movies like The Golden Compass. Hollywood could care less whether the movie has Christian or atheistic underpinnings. They really just care that it puts people in the theater seats. So if you aren't going to plunk down your money and cast your vote when the movies are good, then getting in a big stink over what you don't like isn't really going to do much good. It's kind of like complaining about election results when you don't go vote yourself. Or walking into Target and telling them, "I never shop here but I wanted you to know I was offended when you advertised underwear in your flier." Well, if you aren't a consumer then your opinion isn't really going to make much difference to anyone.

I think changing what comes out of Hollywood is a pretty simple thing to do. Trouble is, Christians won't do it. You see, all you have to do is spend plenty of money to go see the movies Hollywood does right and stay home when they put out the bad stuff. If enough people did that it would make a difference. Not right away, but within a few years.

I won't be holding my breath.

In the meantime, be a wise consumer, get all the information, and if you're going to stay away from the Golden Compass then please take the time to write a kind and gracious letter about why you're not going to see it and send it to:

New Line Cinema Production
888 7th Ave. 19th Floor
New York, NY 10106

You can e-mail them on the site - but trust me, it's too easy to delete. Write a real letter.

That's my opinion anyway...

* But you must go opening weekend. Those are the only box office numbers that really matter.