Sunday, January 17, 2010

the Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

This movie was great! It is a fascinating remake of the Dr. Faustus story, and I liked how they did it, using the mirror and fantasy worlds, and the string of truth going through it. Greg went with me, and he liked it, too. It is interesting to keep thinking about the devil, the deals with the devil, glamour, and the "Prince of Lies" concept. The imaginarium scenes are wonderful-- so many new cinematic techniques. And there is a sort of "Harry Potter" quality to the travelling gypsy caravan. One of the things I was most conscious of in Harry Potter was the way the parents of the enemy-at- school of Harry's-- Draco Malfoy-- want him to live and grow up and be ok. His mother ultimately is the one who betrays the dark lord, in order to try to save her son. The same thing comes out in this movie, that the one thing the father truly loves and wishes for is the life of his child. Also, it is interesting that the selling-out of the children's charity is by selling organs from destitute children, so that there is enough money for the charity organization. And too much ego! Today at mass, the Gospel was the passage about the marriage at Cana, and turning water into wine. Of course I thought of the Anne Rice book; and I love the whole thing, of Jesus' being sort of coerced by his mother to provide more wine for the guests. In contrast to the ego of the guy in the movie, Jesus doesn't want to have it known that he works this miracle. In the Anne Rice novel, there is a lovely touch, that the silent girl who is the bride's best friend is healed, in a private little miracle before Jesus slips away to go on to the rest of his ministry. One of my favorite things in our rituals is the baptismal promise-- "do you reject the glamour of evil and refuse to be mastered by it?" and again and again, I think we are overcome by the glamour, and fall in-- but at least we can recover our sense of rightness, and repent, and not allow ourselves to be mastered by it! This movie is a little taste of that question!

Monday, January 4, 2010

To the Mercury News,
daily paper in San Jose, CA:

The most difficult part of the health care reform issue is how much power the corporations will have. Instead of "government by the people and for the people" we have largely been subjected to increasing corporate power over the legislature, and the whole health care field. What many of us would most like to see is true reform, and "reining in" of corporate power. We have begun to understand more deeply that "the common good" for human life is NOT best served by feeding the corporations their daily profits.
Stem cells should be captured from each newborn baby in case of a disease that may warrant stem cell treatment later. The cost is too high for all parents to pay. Mental health coverage should be given to all people in our society who need it. If the congenital illnesses were covered automatically, and the mental health needs met in each community, our society would be so much better off. Corporations are not interested in healing people. They exist for profits. We need to vote them out of power!
Martina Nicholson MD