Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Demi-God and Dido

It came to me as I sat in that theater that the culture of the West was most definitively returning to the model of the Greco-Roman. The movie had several themes running through it, echoing the same themes seen in seventy-five percent of the films pervading cinemas across the US.

There are two that encapsulate all others. The first is that of the demi-god. Whether it is Tony Stark or Peter Parker, these heros seemingly reflect the old legends of Hercules, Aeneas, Achilles, Hector, and other like demigods. In short, the heros of these films are people who come to find their inner god. They burgeon this inner god through technology (or magic) and intellect, and reach completion by acquiring such power as only God is supposed to have. This is then amalgamated with the same sinful nature that led to the ultimate death of the Greco-Roman hero, and likewise to the destruction of the Hollywood hero, though the film rarely ever confesses such a fate. They have not yet discovered that power without holiness kills.

The second theme is that of the family. These same Hollywood demigods are loners. They, like the old Greek gods, have given up the holy model of sacrifice: the father sacrificing himself for the mother and child, the mother sacrificing herself for the father and child, and the child rising up to call them both blessed. The Hollywood heros, however, still luxuriate in something that seems to be a sterile sexuality. They each have their Dido, and if they are lucky, their Helen, but their union never portrays the commitment of selfless love, and thus never brings forth the contentment that is birthed from giving, not receiving. Their supposed love does not bring forth the fruit of love, the child, and therefore it is not lovely.

These are the evidence of secular individualism. They are what characterized the culture of the Greeks and Romans once they deserted the hearth and the home for domination. Education became idolized above relationship. In this educational system men like Socrates taught a breaking up of the family in favor of the government. Thus the fertility of the home was replaced for the impersonal institution, the fruit of true loveliness superseded for the sterility of selfish passion, the holiness bound up in divinity exchanged for the Greek role models of vain conceit and corrupt power.

This culture self-destructed. So shall ours.


Amy said...

"Power without holiness kills..." I really like that statement. This is a very good observation. Everything you said was true!

Briana Monet Mahoney said...

Yes, you are so right! We were just talking with a friend about the new superhero movies the day before you posted. We were remarking on how the lines of good and evil are muddied and almost interchangeable in a lot of the movies these days. We were talking about the progression of the 1.. 2.. 3 movies, such as Spiderman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, etc. Take for example Spiderman, he starts out as a “good” guy doing good things. By the end he has a split personality (good and evil) and the “goo” (by no fault of his) has made him do bad things. (I didn’t watch the movie but that’s what I’ve heard.) It gives kids the idea that you can be a bad.. good guy, if that makes any sense. Pirates of the Caribbean starts out with Will Turner against the pirate and Davy Jones. By the end he is a pirate and Davy Jones.(not to mention that at the beginning Elizabeth Swann acts like a girl and by the end she is acting like a man, but that is another subject.) Then there is the old Star Wars trilogy and the new Star Wars trilogy.

When we were little kids, I remember “playing” Star Wars on our back porch. The porch swing was our spaceship. Israel was Chewy, and he would push the spaceship for us and make an “Aarrrgh” sound every now and then. I got to be Leia (age has it’s benefits, I was casting director) and Katie was Luke. Poor Christy was Han Solo and she never wanted to stay frozen in the carbon ice.:) Anyway, in the old Star Wars, at least Luke Skywalker (in white) was the undoubted hero against Darth Vader (in black). By this generation with the new Star Wars movies, the focus is Anakin and his Darth Vader end. What are the kids these days “playing” when they think of Star Wars? The products for kids are mostly Darth Vader, bounty hunter, type things. (not to mention the other products for kids, skull and crossbones (even on baby shoes), and an emphasis on vampires and the black arts.) I understand that the newest three movies are prequels to the oldest three movies, but not all the kids these days know that. For some of them, all they know is the climax of evil. My violin student came one day and was talking about Star Wars (he loves it). I asked him who his favorite character was. He said “Anakin, what’s yours?” I replied that my favorite character was Luke Skywalker. He said, “Who’s Luke Skywalker?” I was so surprised I hardly knew what to say. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20 You are right, We can expect destruction when the Bible says “woe” unto us.

By the way, the other day I was trying to find the source of a quote, and I found it on a great little website called It seemed like something you might be interested in knowing about.

We love you all! Hope you and your family are doing well!

Christyn LaNae Mahoney said...

Another great post!!! All of your posts are good.

We enjoyed going back and reading all of your old posts. We especially like it when Gretchen writes about the same event on her blog. We love getting both perspectives. It's kind of like getting the different Gospels.:)

I hope everything went well for Annie's wedding. We were praying for everything to go smoothly.

Katelyn LaRee Mahoney said...

I agree with you Camille. It is very sad to see our country heading towards destruction. We pray that the people will turn back to God. There should be a fear of the Lord in our country. “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.” Proverbs 16:6 God stands ready to forgive.
We have been watching some of your favorite movies that you listed on your profile, that we haven’t seen before. One of them reminded us of a movie that we really like called “Big Country,” with Burl Ives and Gregory Peck. I thought that you might enjoy it, if you haven’t already watched it.
Thanks for posting. I always look forward in reading your writings. I enjoy the meaningful subjects. God bless you and your family.

Camille Rose Wolaver said...


Thanks for the comment! :) I'm going to email you sometime soon…

All the Mahoneys:

I love getting your comments! They're always so insightful and interesting. Your childhood stories about Star Wars and such are so funny, Briana! Yes, and it's so true that lines between black and white are getting very fuzzy and grey now-a-days. Even the heros are people who, in any Christian society, would be deemed very immoral people. Hahaha! I completely agree with you about Elizabeth Swann in the last Pirates movie! That whole ending was such a let-down. I don't understand why Hollywood never realizes that the thing that people like most are faithful, feminine heroines who must be saved by courageous, faithful, masculine heros––not vice versa. Thanks for the website, too! I'll enjoy looking at it.

Many blessings to you three!

Captain Starch said...

Annie got married?

That's the first I'm hearing that...

I would have thought there would have been a post on the band's site about something that exciting...