Sunday, February 22, 2004

dear kyle,

after reading your thoughtful post on jonah's livejournal, i can't say i'm convinced of your position. i mean, i'm sure you're not an evil propoganda-spouting spam robot, but you sure do sound like one! for instance:
Some people, not really representative of Jewish people, but rather self appointed Jewish spokespeople, such as Abraham Foxman from the Anti-Defamation League, seem to have been attempting to denounce this film for months as being anti-Semitic. The news reported that they even stole the script last year! But here's what some Jews say (Jews who don't make it their job to tear apart other people): Protesting Gibson's Passion Lacks Moral Legitimacy by Rabbi Daniel Lapin.
that's silly! i have no desire to "tear apart other people," kyle; i'm just offended by your film.

here are my two reasons: one: passion plays are an old european genre of drama intended to evoke strong emotional response in audiences. overwhelmed with love of jesus and empathy for his suffering, medieval christians wiped their eyes and killed some jews. even if mel gibson doesn't intend his passion play to have this effect, it's astounding to me that he can ignore the history and dismiss legitimate sensitivity concerns.
two: the other day, i saw a movie about nazis. it was a very good movie and very affecting, which meant i walked out thinking "i hate germans." i am a rational, well-educated, tolerant, leftish, western female vegetarian. had a german crossed my path, i would have kicked hir in the knee. or at least glowered.
the passion has been described as a similarly intense emotional experience. in the film, jewish mobs cry for jesus's blood. pontius pilate reluctantly spills it and only agrees to finally crucify jesus when the jews won't stand for anything less. penultimately, the high priest of the jews calls down a curse on his people, declaring them guilty of deicide. i mean, wow! people aren't going to leave that movie with a high opinion of "the jews," are they?

besides all that, kyle, it's hard enough for those of us who are trying very, very hard to have love in our hearts & to ignore the barrage of publicity leading up to the passion's ash wednesday debut without you smearing your chirpy thoughts ("To sum up my impression of The Passion: it's a work of art") on our friends pages. i wasn't even planning on writing this rant until i read your comment. but i hope at least i have shared with you my viewpoint, and maybe you can take it back to mel.

sincerely, &c. &c.

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