|Recomended Reading, Viewing & so on. (Under Construction). Previous Page [Subject Index]|
Casting The First Stone,
Robert A. Gilbert,
Give me that old time religion? Except, of course, that Christian fundamentalism isn't particularly old, or particularly religious. What it is, in many of it's manifestations, is a deeply intolerant social movement concerned with establishing and maintaining a parochial, deeply conservative, inflexible moral order. Casting the first Stone follows the causes espoused in the name of religion by Christian fanatics on both sides of the atlantic, and examines the way in which both the mainstream Church and democratic institutions are being propagandised and undermined by an unrepresentative minority. Particular attention is paid to the rise of the satanic ritual abuse myth, and the continuing campaign against abortion. An excellent resource if you're after names, dates, places and examples of religious fanatics in action. Highly Recomended.
The other reason for reading this book is that your webmaster gets mentioned as a continuing and reliable source of information concerning these lunatics. Well, everyone has to have a hobby? Incidently, Robert Gilbert is one of the contributors to the Encyclopaedia Britannica section on Occultism and esoteric belief systems. That's not so strange, what is, is that he never mentioned it to me, even in passing, and I've known him a good few years now. - Damn - I would have done. Twice, probably. At least.
Dracula - Dead and loving it,
A Mel Brooks Film,
Mel Brooks - what can you say? Either he scores bigtime as in Blazing Saddles, or falls flat on his face as in Spaceballs. Happily this effort is a resounding success as Dracula/Leslie Neilson experiences the problems a real vampire might encounter. Closely follows the original book by Bram Stoker, at least for a while. The exquisitely depraved female vampires are an added bonus.
Crimes of Passion,
A Ken Russell Film.
Kathleen Turner is perhaps one of the most versitile actresses around, second only, to Ms. Weaver. In this Ken Russell film she plays China Blue, a successful fashion designer by day, and a consumate hooker by night. Yes, I know it's a cliche story line, but Turner carries it off extremely well, professionally, one might say. China Blue is stalked by a religious maniac (Anthony Perkins) who seeks to save her. Excellent dialogue between the two. Be sure to get the uncut version.
The full title of this book is: 'Spiritual Warfare, the politics of the Christian Right'. It is absolutely vital reading for anyone concerned about the rise of the religious right and their attempts to impose a restrictive and intolerent morality on the rest of us (i.e. the majority). Diamond has a meticulous approach to her subject, and the book is crammed full of facts and figures, many of which the 'religious right' would probably prefer you didn't know, or have access to. Of particular interest is the role of the religious right in various south american conflicts, and the abortion debate (and clinic bombings). Diamond traces the rise of the religious right and the development of its social/political agenda, drawing together many threads into a coherent whole that cannot fail to inform.
Chapter 1 begins with an overview of religious broadcasting as an industry and as political propoganda. Chapter 2 traces the rise of the Christian right, especially in the electorial arena, from the fringes onto the center stage of Republican party politics. Chapter 3 looks at trends in the 'pro-family' movement, highlighting developments in the attacks on public education, reproductive and gay rights. The Christian right stance towards women is more complex than mere denial of gender equality. Chapter 3 deals explicitly with the special role of right wing women activists. Chapter 4 analyses the social psychology of the 'Charasmatic' movement, with emphasis on the practices and beliefs that breed fanatical militancy. Chapter 4 also dissects the various strands of 'eschatological' or 'end-times' theology and explains the distinct political ramifications of 'Armageddonism' versus 'post-millenialism'.
One of the primary functions of the U.S. Christian Right has been to thwart the peace activism of progressive Churches. Chapter 5 diverges somewhat from what is normally thouht of as the 'Christian Right' and treats the so-called 'neo-conservative' movement's campaign against liberationist theology in the U.S. and abroad.
Chapter 6 places specific Christian Right projects in Central America and the Philippines and on behalf of the governments of South Africa and Israel in the context of "low intensity conflict'. religious groups play an invaluable role in 'low intensity' or 'counterinsurgency' warfare, particularly in areas of 'humanitarian' aid, relief and development work, propaganda and psychological warfare operations. Chapter 7 deals with related themes, but with a sharper focus on the role of right-wing missionaries and their integration into the U.S. foreign policy apparatus. Chapter 7 hilights the social science aspects of missionary work; the use of language, the concept of 'people groups,' the philosophy behind evangelical evelopment projects and specific instances in which U.S. missionaries have bviolated the sovereignty of 'target' populations.
Very highly recomended indeed.
The Time Ships,
Baxter does H.G. Wells in the authorised sequel to The Time Machine. Arthur C. Clarke said of this book: