THE TAILS OF NARNIA
By Elaine Meinel Supkis
Disney made a CS Lewis Narnia movie. It is, as all movies today, artfully done with lots of special effects. It is part of this cultural machine that runs roughshod over ancient mythology and real magic. From the NYT:
With two months to go before the release of its big-budget film "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," the Walt Disney company wants very much to whet audience appetites by placing music from the soundtrack on radio and music-video channels.The NYT itself declared a few months ago that due to the "election" results, they decided to dumb down the paper and make it into a hicksville rag so it would appeal to "Christians". Well, they toned down the NY Angst machine and now publish treacley articles worthy of the Dormouse on a tea binge.
But Disney's tricky marketing strategy for "Narnia" - which includes aggressively courting Christian fans who can relate to the story's biblical allegory while trying not to disaffect secular fans - is particularly tricky when it comes to music.
For some bizarre reason, the religious right has latched onto the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and made it into a hyper religious machine to love more than the Bible. This sort of blasphemy has definite connections with the root problems afflicting American religious rightwingers. It is connected with what is the matter with Kansas.
The Narnia books were written as the British Empire was collapsing. The elaborate structure of the White Man's Burden was going up in flames across the entire planet. The sun was setting in blood red skies as even at the heart of the empire, bombs were exploding.
The lust for cosmic/physical powers was very strong and the desire for British White Children to not only "save" another world but to be blessed by the magical creatures and even more, set over them as rulers! OUCH. With a magical lion, a very nasty species, one that happily eats humans as well as any other animals larger than a bread box, with this ueber sized monster working for the human English Christians, it would help them rule the Magic Realm and all the creatures there.
The lion and his colonial masters fight Nature in order to change the Order of Things to suit them, for the Lion and the Humans are... savannah plains animals! Both, notorious killers of animals large and small! Why would beavers help either? This is of course, put in to show how the peasants of distant lands wish for the rule of the Great Predators. For they would "save" the hard working beavers from...winter. Which, by the way, beavers deal with just fine, thank you. This is why they work hard to build lodges and stock their ponds with trees as food in winter. Snug, they love winter.
Lions hate winter, and humans can only endure it if they strip animals of their flesh and wear it, not to mention, eating them, too.
Anyway, this ridiculous hodge-podge of myth and fantasy includes star creatures of old, pre Christian mythology, working to be dominated by humans? Unicorns bereft of their sexual powers??? Eh? Not to mention wild, hard to tame, lightning laced Pegasus? And the others, well, since when do sylvian goddesses and sexually wild satyrs want to help British Children?
Geeze, I would laugh if we suggest turning school children over to satyrs! Heh. Well. Maybe good, homeschooled Christian kids from Kansas.
And that lion! Ripped right out of the Wizard of Oz without the careful change of making the lion a coward, thus explaining why Dorothy and her little dog weren't dinner, the Lewis lion is supposed to be noble and a killer for he arranges to kill his opponents so Santa Claus and the tooth fairy and Easter Bunny can show up?
What the fuck?
At this point, one has to scream. Fat old Santa is perfect lion meat. A lion would summon him for dinner, yes. No chat. But of course, the English children expect free presents and everyone bowing to them and then to go off hunting for the White Stag so they could kill it, too.
Great. I vote for the Snow Queen who happens to be a rip off of Hans Christian Anderson who didn't mix up his story metaphors nearly so crazily as CS Lewis did.
In sum, if there is any "Christianity" in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," I'm a monkey's aunt.
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