Sunday, December 05, 2010

Why Political Movie Journalism Sucks: Example #1,349,227

Here's the tempest-in-a-teapot quote attributed to Liam Neeson by the Daily Mail, pertaining to how - if at all - he (Neeson) "squares" the Christian background underlying the "Narnia" movies - in which he voices Aslan, essentially Christ in the form of a talking lion - with his own outlook:

"Aslan symbolises a Christ-like figure but he also symbolises for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries." (emphasis mine.)

Pretty cut-and-dry, right? And note the specific use of the qualifier "for me" (twice in the actual article) to specify that he's speaking of his own interpretation of the character as opposed to projecting onto the books or their author.

So... how was this "reported" by Andrew Breitbart's right-wing "Big Hollywood" site?

"LIAM NEESON: C.S. LEWIS WAS WRONG, NARNIA BOOKS ALSO ABOUT MOHAMMAD"

Lesson over.

21 comments:

Adam said...

So... is there a difference between Journalism and Fiction Literature at this point?

jameshayes said...

@Adam,

In this case, most definitely. This is "spin", not fiction per se. But that isn't to say that it's acceptable by any means. "Big Hollywood" didn't make up what Liam Neeson said, they reported it correctly, but they obviously took his quote and twisted it to serve some sort of ideological goal.

I'm pretty disgusted myself.

RocMegamanX said...

Really, Breitbart? Why the sensationalism?

This is an example of how people make mountains out of molehills.

Salty the Beast said...

So right, Bob. So very, very right. The people who twisted that quote should be ashamed of themselves. Lewis's art, as well as ALL art, is open for interpretation. The only thing Neeson is guilty of is voicing his own personal understanding of the Aslan character and the symbolism it holds for him. It ain't like he's trying to prove he is right or convince others to think what he thinks.
Damn, people should really learn to read between the lines.

Eric said...

I think it's less about reading between the lines than reading the damn lines in the first place.

Arturo said...

(sigh)
I'm speechless

Nick said...

As if my wall didn't have enough forehead-shaped dents in it...

KevinCV said...

@Nick My feelings exactly.

@Bob I dread to think what the other 1,349,226 examples are...

Smashmatt202 said...

Bob, you keep finding new reasons for me to hate Conservatives, don't you?

Ben said...

This can't really come as a surprise. If you had to pick one group of people who would be most likely to believe a book has one absolute, unerring, closed to interpretation message, and that that message had to be defended tooth and nail against any and all aggressors (Real AND imagined), which group do you think you'd pick?

On a side note, when did these people start equating "political correctness" with "anything that doesn't push our agenda?"

Matt said...

Wow... that's just... wow.

Dave said...

@ben when their agenda became explicitly bigoted.


The irony is that he's really far off. LWW is essentially passion of the christ but a fight scene at the end, and the representations of muslims in the narnia books aren't great. The calormen are pretty racist stereotypes in the proper early 20th century way. The less said about tash the better.

The books are pretty explicitly NOT about muhhammad so in that respect Neeson is pretty out there.

What this is really about is the american right's blind hatred of anything non christian in general and islam in specific. Reminds me of the miss universe thing where for the first time ever, a woman of arab descent won. And the right crapped themselves about hwo they were pandering to islam .Ironic since islam and conservative christianity have something in common in their terror of female sexuality, and would both likely be perfectly fine with her being stoned to death as an adultress.

Conway88 said...

It's a sad state of affairs that the field I have chosen a career in (Journalism) has to include the biased pontification of left and right wing "reporters" alike. This is just another example of it. Keep up the good work Bob.

Joe said...

I think it's pretty clear Neeson wasn't talking about Lewis' authorial intentions, he was talking about the inspiration he as an actor was drawing upon in voicing Aslan.

And sure, Lewis most likely didn't have Mohammed in mind when he wrote Aslan. But of the major religious founders, how many actually led troops in battle like Aslan does?

Kind of telling though, that Big Hollywood mentions Mohammed in that headline, but not Buddha, eh?

ZAENGO said...

GODDAMNIT- I- I JUST- GRAAAAHHHHH!!!!
IM SO PISSED OFF I CANT EVEN FUCKING TALK RIGHT!!!!
*punches wall*
vo

Christopher said...

Sigh, stupid conservative-Christian assholes. As a practicing Catholic, I do my best to separate myself from these dipshits

Squish said...

Great site Bob, from Peter Parker's Mephitophelian ordeal to this succinct post about idjits. I found this through the 600 movie blogs You may have missed, and I agree.

Swing by Filmsquish.com/1001, you might be interested in the club.

Jonnyp555 said...

It's a good job Liam didn't sneeze during that interview. It could've been misconstrued as a nazi war-cry

Arman said...

The articles title is unfortunate. The article itself isn't that bad in my humble opinion. John Nolte is one of the better contributors to Big Hollywood.

Alcibiades said...

I can't help but shake the feeling that this bit of stupidity is linked to literalist, original intent frameworks for interpreting literature that conservatives love to use with the constitution and bible. Implying there are multiple meanings is moral relativism, don'tcha know. Literature and art are just obtuse ways of communicating simple ideas, and can only be properly interpreted by using the decoder ring the author provides in his own mind.

Benfea said...

[rightwingstrawman] This is clearly evidence of the librul collectivist-statist-fascist-socialist conspiracy to persecute Christians! They're lying to people and trying to turn a Christ figure into a Mohammed figure! They're expanding the War on Christmas into a War on Christianity!!!!!11!!1!1!oneone [/rightwingstrawman]

;)