Yes, I cribbed that title from an R.E.M. song.
Today's Good Friday. That got me thinking about a film I've never seen and still don't plan to: The Passion of the Christ.
I managed to stand against the tidal wave of popularity that film enjoyed back in 2003. The kind of furor that spurred middle-aged, suburban housewives to dig the gold cross necklace from the bottom of their jewelry boxes. It might be well-shot and well-directed, but I have zero interest in seeing it. This is not based on religious grounds, even though I don't want someone else urging their religious interpretations upon me.
It's because it basically sounds like torture porn. I was raised a Catholic. In the Church (and possibly other Christian denominations, I'm not sure), there is something called The Stations of the Cross. It's basically a stage-by-stage breakdown of the execution of Jesus, all the way from the sentencing to the placing of his body in the tomb. Like it or not, I've got the whole thing committed to my mental hard drive. I just don't need to watch one person, whoever they were, tortured and put to death by a hoard of other people. And from all accounts, director Mel Gibson was not skimpy on the blood. "I had no idea the human body could even hold that much blood," I remember one film critic saying. I'm certain that the crucifixion was an unbearably gruesome affair because Catholic school spared no details. Therefore, I don't need to see it. I refuse to see any of the Saw films, either.
And then there's Mel. I feel like I've followed his acting career from the beginning and that he evolved with me through every stage of my life. First he was Mad Max, The Road Warrior during my teen years. When I was a young adult, became William Wallace in Braveheart, one of my all-time favorite films. Then he was Rev. Graham Hess in Signs, another one of my top favorites, as I settled into married and home-owning life. In a few ways, I came to admire him. All of his recent bad press and abusive behavior has severely tarnished his image in my mind and the minds of others. To have him give me a two-hour Biblical lecture would just be too much at this point. Does that condemn my mortal soul? Nehh...I'll take my chances.
"Karma police, arrest this man
He talks in myths
He buzzes like a fridge
He's like a detuned radio"
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