Saturday, August 06, 2022

Am two episodes into Netflix's adaptation of The Sandman and...

 ...maybe I should give it time to still prove itself?

The Sandman from Netflix is attempting to pull off what most of us have deemed impossible: adapting the classic graphic novel written by Neil Gaiman, into a television/motion picture format.  This has been a project about a quarter century in development, going from one set of hands to another.  I've been a fan of the comic series for more than twenty years now, having bought the first volume about a week and a half after 9/11.  The Sandman was the literary escape I needed just then, and I've since read the entire series.  Heck, at one point I had every issue loaded onto my iPad.  

So I'm a real fan.  And I've been looking forward to seeing how it would fare as a Netflix series: arguably the perfect medium for an adaptation.

And now, having seen the first couple of episodes?

It looks right.  It's hitting on all the right cues visually.  That isn't a problem at all (though at the risk of being labeled a racist I do think that Death should be the pale goth girl that she is in the comic).  But something is off and it's making it hard for me to get completely engorged by this series.  The first episode is a fine replication of The Sandman's premiere issue, other than introducing the Corinthian WAY too early in the story.  But the pacing could have been better.  The episode ran a little long and with some editing could have spanned maybe half an hour.  There are ten episodes in this first season and I'm wondering if Netflix erred in devoting almost an hour to each one, when perhaps each issue could have thirty minutes of screen time devoted to it.

Speaking of the Corinthian, I don't really care for him being turned into the stereotypical bad guy of the tale.  Again he looks perfect, but his execution is so wildly off that it corrupts the story around him.  Then again, that is perhaps counterbalanced with touches like Cain and Abel, who are exactly like I imagined they would be from the book.

Apart from the matter of Death (which to be fair, I haven't gotten to see her really in action yet) the casting is strong in this series.  Tom Sturridge is as close to a perfect portrayal of Morpheus as we're apt to get, and he brings the right intensity and sense of vengeance to the role.  Vivienne Acheampong has won my approval as Lucienne.  In fact, other than being gender-flipped from the graphic novel her attitude and speech are pretty much how I envisioned Lucien's.  Charles Dance turns in a fine performance as Roderick Burgess, the sorcerer whose dark ritual imprisons Dream for a century. 

Yes, all the right ingredients are there.  But two episodes in and it's not resonating with me at all.

Or, maybe it really is simply the matter of being unfeasible to adapt The Sandman books.  Reading about Morpheus and the spheres he influences is a dense exercise.  It requires a fluid mind switching on and off between the worlds of waking and the Dreaming.  Gaiman weaves a thick tapestry rich in metaphor.  Which, is what the Endless (Dream and his siblings) are: anthropomorphic embodiments of the base concepts of the universe.  How does that translate off the page and onto the screen?

I suppose I'll give The Sandman a few more episodes to convince me.  But if not, there are the books and I will always treasure them for the company they have provided.  Imagination is a beautifully protean thing, and some things don't need to be seen on the screen to be fully appreciated.

But I will say this: Netflix's The Sandman it is an admirable attempt.  Maybe others will find it suits them in ways that a book cannot.  And that will be fine, too.



Friday, August 05, 2022

No, I do not "hate" anyone LGBT

Sigh...

I shouldn't have to make this post.  But as it seems how EVERYTHING today is supposed to be qualified, quantified, factionalized and most especially sexualized...

Contrary to what some have claimed, I do not now nor have I ever harbored any kind of hatred toward those who have chosen the homosexual lifestyle.  Or who are bisexual.  Or transsexual.  Or whatever.

As a Christian, I am called to not hate anybody.  I am in fact commanded to hate my own sin and my own fallen carnal nature, before I dare levy hatred toward another.  It is part and parcel to the "dying unto self" that those who follow Christ are told that they must do on a daily basis.

That does not mean however that I can or must acquiesce to any activity that is self-destructive.

And that, is what LGBT behavior is.

I've seen the damage and disease and ultimately death that is wrought by homosexuality.  Have looked at the photos of lacerated anal tissue.  Viewed images of penises wracked with things that no healthy male should have.  I have read the journal articles, about gay men and lesbians being far more prone to cancer than those who are not.  Human papillomavirus is a really nasty thing to subject one's genitalia to.  I have looked into the faces of people who have contracted full-blown AIDS, and those are eyes that I pray I never have to look into ever again.

Homosexuals have, on average, a lifespan twenty years shorter than that of heterosexuals.

Let that sink in.  A gay or lesbian person is likely to have two full decades shaven off their life expectancy, because of the all too physical consequences of homosexual behavior.

These are not things that can be "wished away" for sake of sexual license.  These are stone cold hard facts.  This is reality, that can NOT be escaped from because of one's "feelings" about the matter.

LGBTwhatever is incompatible with human design.  Its myriad of associated diseases and disorders attest to this.

How do I, as a person called by God Himself to love others, reconcile that love with the expectation that I am to celebrate a "lifestyle" that leads so very often to death?

I can not.  I can no more endorse the LGBT community than I can endorse cigarette smoking, or abusing crystal meth.  Because those are self-destructive behaviors also.

I can love homosexuals.  I can love lesbians. I can love bisexual individuals.  I can love transsexuals, though what they do to themselves is especially haunting.

But as a Christian (who fails and falls more often than not), as an objectivist who understands the concreteness of reality, as merely a human being trying to be decent... for those reasons and more, I can not love their kind of behavior.  Because when you scrape away everything else that's Chris Knight, you're left with someone who simply does not want to see anyone die.

No, "love is love" is not true.  There are many kinds of love.  There is philios: love of brothers and sisters.  There is the love of parents to children.  There is logos: the love of God.  And, yes, there is eros: love expressed sexually between man and woman.

What the LGBT community and its supporters demand we accept is not love at all.  It is lust.  And they want said lust to be without the burden of personal responsibility.  And THAT again is a denial of reality.

If you love a person... and I mean really love someone, you will NOT selfishly lead that person to demean themselves for your own desires, at risk of their health and even very life.

I love my friends.  There are men who are as close and dear to me as real brothers.  I love them and I would die for any of them.  But not for an instant have I been tempted to take it to an entirely different and inappropriate level.

Once upon a time, not very long ago, most men and women were capable of accepting that.  That love is a many dimension-ed notion and that each kind had its own unique place in the scheme of things.

We were a better people, then.  Not a perfect people.  But we were at least striving against the baser instincts of carnal nature.  And we accomplished great things because of it.

As a historian, I know also where unrestrained sexual pleasure leads a society to.  And that as much as anything else persuades me about the truly insidious nature of the LGBT lifestyle.

I could easily sit here all night, and rattle off a dozen reasons and more why I can not celebrate homosexuality and transgenderism.  Just as easily as I could tick off all the reasons why I must condemn it.

And I hope that my many friends who are LGBT will at last understand where I'm coming from.

Finally, know this: sex is a sacred, holy thing.  It is something that I believe should be celebrated within the boundaries of husband and wife.  In my sincere philosophy ALL sexual sin is equally abhorrent.  I can not disapprove of LGBT behavior any more than I can of sex outside of marriage.  That makes me come across as a prude, I know.  But there it is.  I have plenty of friends who do not agree with this.  And that is fine.  But so far as I know none of them have called me "hate-filled" or "polygamaphobe" because of it.

Sex is not a toy.  It's not something to be engaged in frivolously.  It is meant to be a sanctified act.  "The marriage bed is to be honored by all," scripture tells us.  If that was done more often, maybe we wouldn't have things like children without fathers, venereal disease and shortened lifespans.

That is all.