First off: neat! It's pretty cool how totally and completely you can change the tone of something with clever editing tricks and a good working knowledge of human psychology and cultural perception. Personally, we always found the original Mary Poppins slightly unnerving, so this version comes as no great surprise to us. But mad props (as the kids say) to Chris Rule for the outstanding job of putting it together.
But what really piqued our interest was the juxtaposition of this "scary" version of Mary with the insistent claims of Tom Carder. To refresh your memory, Tom Carder is the utterly batshit insane, self-contradictory, self-appointed watchdog of the American cinema's moral (read: "my own private Christian") values, in his position as the founder, owner, and all-around chief-everything of the CAP Alert website. As we said in our original Rant on him:
...while we don't share Mr. Carder's values, and we feel he is dishonest about his objectivity (or lack thereof) and lies to cover up his own contradictory behavior, we still agree that this method of analyzing movies — by actually describing the content — is a wonderful and viable concept, which would give parents greater freedom to raise their children as they would like. If only someone without an overt agenda (such as Mr. Carder's Christian fundamentalism) would give this a try, we could start (rightfully) ignoring the bullshit MPAA ratings and make informed decisions on which movies to allow our children to see.
A friend of ours had an exchange with Mr. Carder, regarding the apparent contradiction behind his utter contempt for movies like The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter — because of their portrayal of magic, even used by good characters — and his strange choice to award a perfect CAP Alert score to Mary Poppins — which also features a character performing magic, albeit for "good" purposes.
Carder's response boiled down to two amazingly mismatched statements. In response to the Lord of the Rings movies:
The bottom line is that God clearly commands that witchcraft, sorcery and wizardry are evil. He gives no situations under which these evils are not evil: no conditions under which these evils may be tolerated. There is no such thing as a "good" witch. Not even Wendy.
And in response to Mary Poppins:
The bottom line about magic from a spiritual sense is the source of it, not the use or the user.
*Mary Poppins* presented nothing evil or sinister. Indeed, the character could have been portraying an angel. And she was not hailed as a witch/sorcerer(ess) nor advertised as such.
The source of the power determines the holiness of it, not the user.
So Tommy's contention is that, since we're never explicitly told how Mary can do such magical things, it's "safe" to assume that she's an angel or some-such, and therefore there's nothing evil about her.
But we'd love to hear Carder's take on Scary Mary, Chris Rule's aforementioned mashed-up and terrifying version of a Mary Poppins trailer. Considering how absolutely simple it was to take a few of these things out of context, thus painting them in a quite horrifying light, is it really so "safe" to assume that Mary is an agent of goodness and sanctity? Carder himself says:
Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the actors/actresses demonstrating the sinful behavior or the writers of it.
If Carder feels fine making assumptions about Mary's implicit holiness, does context — the disguise of theme/plot — even enter into it? And if it doesn't, then such assumptions are clearly a personal choice, rather than the objective observation Carder constantly claims that they are.
Perhaps we'll try to get in touch with Tom Carder in the new year, and see what his take is on all this. Of course, we're willing to bet we get answered with stubborn insistence or huffy indignance...so keep the light on for us. Mary is scary, but she's got nothing on "High-Powered Rifle in the Church Tower Waiting to Happen" Tommy Carder.
Are we picking on Tom Carder here? Harping on his insanity? Abusing an expired equine? Yep, we sure are. This is a guy who's probably getting his panties in a bunch over the the new look of Archie comics. So when we saw Chris Rule's clip, we just couldn't help it — we had to have some fun at Tommy's expense. Chalk it up to the spirit of the season and what-not. Ho, ho, ho.
If only someone without an overt agenda (such as Mr. Carder's Christian fundamentalism) would give this a try, we could start (rightfully) ignoring the bullshit MPAA ratings and make informed decisions on which movies to allow our children to see.
I think what you're describing already exists in the form of ScreenIt.com. They are a pay site now, but a subscription is $25 for a year, so it's hardly a burdensome investment for concerned parents.
Well, damn — that's exactly what we were looking for, Aaron! They give you the details, they don't pass judgment...they don't even "score" the films at all, which is Tom Carder's biggest downfall (since his scores assume that you agree with his fucked up perspective on the world). That's the way to do it — let us decide what the details add up to for ourselves and our children. Nice! Thanks for the linkage.
Sadly, Tom Carder doesn't appear to have reviewed the Wizard of Oz, so we can't compare his treatment of Glinda to that of Mary Poppins. Too bad — we were in the mood for a chuckle. Fortunately, we got one from Septina's link.
You want to try to talk to Carder? Come on 2%ers, I am sure there are more constructive uses of your time and sanity on this one. It will fail on the first email as Tom seems to be completely immune from Satire/Common Sense/A different viewpoint
Looking at the site periodically over the year it is clear from his rantings...oops sorry...movie reviews, he is getting worse as I dare say reality starts intruding on his perfect little world of sky people and virgin births. (Apparently nude statues now make 'The List' WTF??)
I do feel sorry for him that he obviously skipped over Corinthians 13.11 and is starting to realise the world doesn't owe him a living by telling people they will go to Hell for laughing, dancing and procreating. Of course the fantasy can be prolonged by the gullible sponsors...and surrounding yourself with adopted children.
I also wonder how he manages to adopt so many children over the years?
PS: Mary Poppins is the Witch of Endor in Tom's world.
We're not really going to try to ask Tommy Boy about Scary Poppins — we already know that it's the work of the devil to change an angel into a witch as Chris Rule did. Our mention of doing so was just a bit tongue-in-cheek — after all, as you hypothesized interupt, there are much better uses of our time. Like cleaning the oven, or watching paint dry, or standing on our heads in the corner spitting quarters.
As a funny note, amidst the correspondence we referenced between our friend and Mr. Carder two years ago, good old "love thy neighbor" Tommy was initially extremely hostile in his first responses, noting that he was suspicious of our friend's e-mail because he used "the same 'no shift key' typing they do." (They? Read on....) When our friend explained that he sometimes failed to capitalize in electronic communications out of habit, and asked what Carder's statement meant, Tommy-boy replied:
Then your reason is just rather than arrogance to defy the "rules." Too many kids don't properly capitalize to avoid having to follow the "rules." Not because it is easier or faster or anything like that, just to defy the rules because they can. You cannot imagine what I have learned about the secret hearts of our youth in the tens of thousands of emails we have received.
We just found that hilarious. Yes, we're sure that "the kids" have plotted this non-capitalization for years now. Tom Carder versus the Uncapitalizers! Oh, the horror!
Just want to point out, that if you actually do ANY research into JRRT's letters and the like, you'll very quickly come to the realisation that Gandalf is basically an angel. So Tom "I am a moron" Carder's rants about LotR are not only gibberingly insane, they a non-christian! (JRRT was a strong christian, and wrote LotR with a christian eye.)
It was weird to watch a 1970s show with its "hippie/freek" atmosphere and its saturation with self-enlightenment, self-enrichment, progressive ideas, free-thinking and all those "open mind" issues: how it was so narrow minded and even closed minded to submit to authority and practice wholesome ethics. As an ex-EMT medic I can appreciate the open minded culture of the 70s maybe better than they who lived it. I remember actually seeing an open mind once -- on a surgery table. I saw a second open mind -- all over the inside of the windshield of a car. And I remember seeing a narrow mind -- the victim's skull was crushed making his mind quite narrow. I also remember the rare opportunity of seeing a closed mind -- it was bouncing down a highway still inside its disembodied head after being ripped off its body by the back end of a flatbed truck. Yes, it takes an "enlightened, progressive" ex-medic to truly know what it means to be narrow minded, open minded or closed minded and to know the difference between them. Surely, an open mind can be a good thing as long as the open minded one does not let his brain fall out. Or dry out.
Carder was a nuclear emergency planner? Why? The strong and weak nuclear forces are nothing more than God deciding when nuclei split or fuse. If you pray hard enough, you don't need all those dusty old safety manuals.
Obviously, I'm simplifying the nuclear model for you heathens. But I'll spell it out as a bonus comment. Gravity is God (both start with G, duh), Jesus is the Strong Nuclear Force (which explains the importance of the nuclear family), and the ElectroWeak force is The Holy Ghost (and you can't really explain ghosts, so this is where faith comes in). Which, natch, is why the atomic bomb test site was called Trinity.
Once you realize your only intellectual job is to connect dots, life gets really easy.
Q: I know that there are witches and wizards in C.S. Lewis's Narnia Chronicles. Does this make the stories evil or can Christians legitimately use these things to make interesting allegory?
A: I think the witches were bad, and the lion is Aslan. He's Jesus. So Jesus triumphs, and it's kind of like good over evil. There are demons, there are evil forces, there are angels, and there is the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ, in The Narnia Chronicles, overcomes the curse that the wicked witch has put on the earth. So there's nothing. I think it's a highly spiritual allegory which people have been reading for years and have been blessed by it.
So witches portrayed as evil, it turns out, are just fine...and so are talking, anthropomorphized wild beasts. This excuse for Hollywood "disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot," which would surely drive Tom Carder into an apoplectic fit, comes to us courtesy of his fellow rabid Christian conservative, Pat Robertson. We simply must get these guys together to go bowling.
And interupt, thanks so much for giving us nightmares for, oh, possibly the next three years or so. Not from the grisly descriptions of brains falling out of people's heads, though — no, from the idea that Tom Carder was in a position where he was responsible for providing people with medical assistance. Makes us shudder.
Jason — damn, man, now it all makes sense! And cherubim are quarks, and Satan is...um...sulfuric acid or something...and...well, we're sure Tom Carder could make sense of it all.
It would be interesting to see some more context for your remarks about Pat Robertson's remarks. Based on what you've quoted above, the comment does not seem fair.
I no very little about Pat Robertson, but wasn't he the one who called for the assassination of a South American political leader? That would make him no better than an evil witch himself, since a witch is, by definition, a spiritual hit man.
We're not sure what kind of context you're looking for, Steve. The Robertson quote in question comes from a Q&A session that is posted on the Christian Broadcast Network website — we provided the link to it above.
For our part, we were just musing about the comments of two Christian lunatics, each of whom is willing to make entirely contradictory exceptions to their rules "from on high" when it comes to situations that they just so happen to personally approve of. So, for example, according to them, there's no such thing as good magic...unless it's Mary Poppins in one case or a lion symbolizing Jesus Christ in another, neither for any adequately explained reason.
And yes, you got it right — Robertson is the one who called for the assassination of Venezuelan Presidente Hugo Chavez. We wrote about that remark a while back. You know, the man just keeps making vile, insane statements over and over again, and yet he's still not widely seen as the evil fuck that he really is.
I can agree on Gravity and Strong Nuclear force being of God's will nature, yet not God, but very important angels such as Gabriel (Electromegnetic Force) for he is the messenger that brought news to Maria the Mother of God, Michael ( Strong Nuclear Force) for who is ahead of all the angels in the battle against Hasatan if not Michael Archangel himself. As for Gravity I am not too sure, for on one side it allows for solar systems to form and galaxies to exist, yet on the other side the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate and is that a good thing to be on the long run? As for the Weak Nuclear Force, why is not thy שטן לורד?
aieaa (and your merry band of diacriticals), I am more than happy to be corrected, since I am, at best, a minor prophet. Your electro seems to be very weak, though, since your post sort of broke up at the end there, so I'm not sure I got the gist, really.
No matter. In these murky philosophical domains, gists are overrated. It's the geist you really want.
It does seem as though Dark Energy (Satan, obviously) is winning out over G(od)ravity, so that the universe is eternally expanding into an ultimate sort of cold, lumpy oatmeal of death in a few hundred billion years. But I'm sure God will come up with something. He's got plenty of time. Hell, he invented the stuff.
Not quiet. God did not invent death. Gravity is too organized to be a Satan's responsibility not in his present state which is non-existence. I was unaware that this site has no hebrew letters. To be honest I am not a philosopher nor I am philosophying or whatever you would call that, I just look for patterns, codes, trying to decode nature itself, trying or hoping to know the thoughts of God. Yet you need some sort of evidence to back up ideas and that is a bit more difficult task, yet I can assure you that teleportation is 100% possible. I mean like for an object to move from point A to point B when the distance between A and B = 2,000 km at an instant. I figured that if wormholes could form, but once they formed they would fall apart, even if they existed for a pico second that would be enough for travel to take place for somehting would travel through a wormhole at an instant, so it would take no time to make the journey, however to be honest I have more evidence than actuall theory for teleportation, which is sort of the other way round. I mean, you don't usually invent something, before you have learnt how to invent it.
Loud, indeed. Actually, I said that God invented time, and that Satan was responsible for dark energy, not gravity. But again, I am only a minor prophet, so I could have that backwards. Job never realized he was talking to Satan, after all. Or himself. But I quibble.
Perhaps an analogy is in order. My father once pointed out that the knife, fork, and spoon represented the Trinity, since there are three of each. He may have been onto something (even though he never solved the riddle of the salad fork), as the spork clearly demonstrates a unity of at least two of the members. Now obviously, the spork is a culinary manifestation of the electroweak theory. A spork with a cutting edge would represent the singularity of existence we are all looking for, and handily provide a metaphor for the GravElectroWeak connection.
And conveniently enough, a knspork (the "kn" is silent, like the Holy Ghost, and, well, the rest of the Godhead, come to think of it) would deal nicely with the Cold, Lumpy Oatmeal of Death(TM). Thus, anybody holding a knspork can confidently say, "Eat thee behind me, Satan!" And I daresay, Yuri Geller would have a hell of a time with knspork-bending. He could put an eye out like that.
As for teleportation, I don't know about A to B, but the knspork goes from Alpha to Omega instantaneously. Aside from that, what does teleportation have to do with oatmeal?
I do not know. What I have noticed about the universe is that not everything is in its correct place doing the correct duty. A fire is good when it is inside the furnace in order to heat the house or allow cooking, yet when you take out that fire and put it inside a room, well you surely will burn the house. What I am trying to say is that uranium is good inside the power station, but when you take it out and change it and make a nuclear weapon out of it, the consecuences of using such a weapon on a large scale are devastating. The universe itself is like a four legged table, where one leg is severly damaged, hence the table goes out of balance, yet do realise you can have a three legged table that will be in balance, yet not whilst being a four leg table, with a missing leg.