Comments based on Aliens, Monsters and Creepy Creatures
New April 23
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From "AcidFlames": I believe that you guys take things just a little bit too far. I read that you think that the aliens in the movie Signs are bad. This made me laugh, a lot. Not only was signs a terrible movie, it is definitely not as bad as you say it is.
The aliens in signs were pathetic. They were a race of aliens who needed resources and came to earth to wipe us out and take them. Thus the humans retaliated and fought against them to keep our planet. In respect, the aliens were evil and the humans were good, they were defending themselves. Everyone would be on the human side, that is the good side, unless of course you are a stupid or twisted individual. I see that this movie could only teach you to respect our planet more.
The movie was only an excuse to tell a story about how a man's wife died anyways. The aliens were just thrown in to make it look like it had a plot.
You cover all these different forms of entertainment and criticize them, and you also talk about some current issues like what is happening in the middle east, schools, etc. I remember reading an article about a teacher oppressing a child because she believed in god, which though I am atheist, I do believe is wrong.
The only thing I don't understand is that if you care about children so much, why didn't you cover anything about the priests that molested children? So making a card game with fantasy creatures is wrong, but molesting children is not? Oh wait, if you wrote about the priests it might hinder your website because the majority of those who visit are christians.
To sum this up: If there is something that you can show off as 'an issue' that can benefit you or make you look good, you talk about it. However if it is a real issue but it may harm your religion, you don't talk about it. You are very hypocritical, and fake.
There is no need to discuss priests who abuse children. That issue has been well covered by the mainstream and Christian media. In contrast, I try to show the subtle but persuasive messages behind the myths and stories that fascinate children today. As for this movie, I wanted to show the truth about actual "alien" encounters. They aren't just evil invaders from a distant planet who can be chased away by human ingenuity.
From Fred: In your piece about monsters and aliens, you accuse the "mass media marketing system" and Hollywood of dulling the god-given gift of fearing the terrifying and the repulsive. From the piece, I can see the point of your article was to show how popular media has created a bond between children and the demonic and hideous.
Not so. Human beings have a natural excitement and curiosity with the fearsome and scary (maybe its the adrenaline glands, I'm not sure). It is for this reason that people wait anxiously in line to ride a roller coaster and to go see horror films, such as Psycho or The Silence of the Lambs. (None of those, by the way, have a whisper of alternate worlds in them, but they were still extremely popular.) Call it perverse, or unnatural, but our excitemnt with the repulsive exists, and has existed long before the movie making machine existed. Ghost stories have been told long before even cameras were invented.
If the movie industry has done anything with our attraction of the horrific, it is merely presented it, not created it. Children will, regardless of whether or not films exist, will always love the next spooky campfire tale, or horror tale, or what have you.
In short, children, as well as everything else, have always had an attraction of the supernatural. There has been no conditioning or brainwashing done by Hollywood to get children to embrace horror.
You are right. Human nature delights -- and quickly learns to crave -- entertainment and thrills that include the scary, shocking and occult superpowers that feeds the imagination and thrills the emotions. But that doesn't make it good.
When you add these four -- our capricious human nature, titillating temptations, easy access to immediate gratification and the absence of absolute moral standards -- you have the deadly context for social transformation and decay. That's what happened in Rome [The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire]. See America's Spiritual Slide and Three kinds of temptation.
From Jeannon Kralj: I was listening to an archived John Loeffler show with you and you were talking about these weird little characters that are being peddled to our children.
I looked through a February 2003 Better Homes and Gardens magazine yesterday and there was an ad for Huggies Supreme diapers with several of these carefully crafted characters.
This ad mainly is for adults who may buy the diapers, but the adult is supposed to learn that your children having contact with these kinds of characters (through watching cartoons on TV at home, etc) is fun and cute and sweet. There probably is also the association of clean and sanitary and nice -- throw away diapers.
The characters look to be wearing cute little blue overalls like toddlers wear. Their bodies are shades of green like aliens. Their eyes are huge and innocent looking like Keene paintings. They have pointed ears and definitely suggest the gargoyle picture. They have noses that look like darling koala bear noses. One of them has old man kind of glasses on the end of his nose like Mr. McGoo. They all have a smile on their lips. The human baby in the middle is laughing and smiling and playing with 7 of these little guys.
There is a small picture of the actual package the diapers come in and it appears as though one of these kinds of characters is on the package too.
So this is a perfect example of this subtle societal demonic manipulation, and it is geared toward adults as well as children.
Thank you, Jeannon, for sharing your insights with us.
From Martel: This email is really in response to the quote from Larry McLean that Berit made. On one hand, it does have a degree of truth behind it- in particular the reference to creatures part jaguar and part human: Aztec myth spoke of both human/jaguar hybrids and of sorcerers who were able to turn themselves into jaguars. Both were seen as utterly evil.
However, I wouldn't agree with his claim that pagan religions worshipped serpents and dragons because these represent the Devil- rather, where the serpent is used, it is almost exclusively a symbol of fertility and rebirth (because of the way that the serpent sheds its skin). Certainly, that was the way in which it was used in Crete, Egypt and Libya.
Look again at McLain's statement: "One of the most popular combinations is human and serpent. You can find them on the toy shelves. It's not surprising that pagan religions worshiped serpents and dragons, for the Bible tells us in Revelation 12 that the old serpent, the dragon, is Satan the devil."
The Bible tells us that dragons and serpents represent Satan. But the pagans in the ancient spiritual systems didn't know that. They were deceived -- by the deceiver himself -- into trusting that their man-made idols were endowed with spiritual power and could be bribed into helping them.
By the way, from what source is it taken that the tongue hanging out over the chin is a sigh of demonic possession? I ask because this is the way that the gorgons are normally depicted in Greek art- and it must be noted that the Greeks had a considerably more negative view of snakes than most of the cultures which preceded them.
The reference to the protruding tongue also came from Larry McLean, and I don't know his sources. But, this weekend, I will try to post an explanation on our symbols page based on our sources.
From Mona McNee: Yes, I too have noticed that children's books now are no longer about a child's world (at least Peter and Jane had parents and a dog, ordinary), but about space travel, magic and wizards (now Harry Potter), science fiction, animals that can talk and so on. The late James Webster wrote lovely stories about Shorty a dog, events that could happen to our own children. We also used to have stories about heroes in history, and stories with a moral - Aesop's fables, and "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild" as a role model. With unreality on TV and in storybooks, what effect is this having on our children?
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