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A Christmas Carol (2009) 3

Some notes on aristocracy & democracy

The nephew is followed by men coming to ask charity – not for themselves, but for the poor. – On the authority of the laws, which require that the good be generous. The laws appear at Christmas most clearly, because they are least harsh then.

The uncle, stern […]

A Christmas Carol (2009) 2

The question of soul

So here is the work of reason: If we identify the good as the useful, then money is the most useful thing, allowing the acquisition of all others. The practical economist should rule – Scrooge! By his practice & example, mankind would do well. He rules by excellence, not by […]

A Christmas Carol (2009) 1

A political quarrel in the beginning of the story

Our story begins when Scrooge buries his partner Marley. We learn he was sole executor. They were like brothers. Much like Achilles with Patroclus, Scrooge sees himself die with his friend. But he is unaffected, however much the fact of death is impressed upon him. […]

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

A note on home & adventure

This story also begins twice. First, we see a race of dwarves, great miners & craftsmen. Their love of gold is almost unexplainable. They build their own caves, wherein they live. In the fullness of time, their wealth attracts a dragon. They disperse thereafter, trying to reconquer their […]

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

A note on cities, walls, & armies

We have seen men retreat into caves behind their castles; the art of building houses, cities, & to protect them by walls seems to be one of the necessities of civilization. Freedom without these things is mindless. Inside the city, freedom shows itself as freedom from necessity. […]

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

A note on political freedom & war

We mentioned that the wizard is the first to show the willingness to sacrifice his life for his cause. His friends take the lesson to heart. We reflect that good men are easily lost to necessity this way, their cause none the better. So what was the […]

The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

A note on aristocracy, war, & democracy

The movie begins twice. First, in an ancient past – a story some of whose actors, those who were there to see & do, are still here to tell. It is a story about an evil so powerful that it proved that power is as such evil, […]

Rise of the Guardians

A note on wonder

As fear is to wonder, so also there are Dark Ages opposed to other ages, which we may call Enlightened. Pitch, the boogieman himself, tells of these things. He wants power again; he might think, people being ungrateful, fear is preferable for rule: For people love you at their whim, […]

Life of Pi

Some notes on religion

The boy Pi apparently believed in about as many religions as he found. His father tells him that makes no sense. Then again, he also says that about belief in God. It is irrational, unlike science, which finally gives man knowledge. He cannot tell his son that believing in anything […]