Saturday, 21 November 2009
Vampires Can't Be Good Catholics
The Vatican has decided that, on balance, all things considered, it's against vampires. Damn. I had a tenner at Ladbrokes that said the Pope would, in his Christmas message, say that demon-possessed bloodsucking corpses in cloaks were more in accord with the tenets of the Council of Nicaea than, say, Methodists. (Thought I was going to type Muslims there, didn't you? So did I, but you've got to be careful these days.)
Anyway, the Pope's propagandists say the Twilight series of books by Stephenie Meyer are a Bad Thing, as is the series of popular feature films currently being produced to - if you read the Daily Mail - DEPRAVE OUR TEENAGE DAUGHTERS! For the Daily Mail, anything that is new and popular must deprave somebody, and if they can get a picture of a nubile young lady in the story, badda bing!
But I digress. This is what the bead-jigglers think, allegedly:
According to the Daily Mail Monsignor Franco Perazzolo, of the Pontifical Council of Culture, said: "Men and women are transformed with horrible masks and it is once again that age-old trick or ideal formula of using extremes to make an impact at the box office.
"This film is nothing more than a moral vacuum with a deviant message and as such should be of concern."
The Mail added that a spokespriest said the film gives a "mixture of excesses aimed at young people and gives a heavy esoteric element."
No, I have no idea what 'gives a heavy esoteric element' means. I very much doubt whether Ms Meyer's popular books contain scenes in which people offer each other containers of transuranic isotopes. That would be a bit of a sci-fi twist, I admit, but rather spoil the Gothic ambience.
As the Register points out, the Vatican needs to get its ducks in a row on supernatural evil, because it will keep chopping and changing in a most un-Catholic way.
The Vatican had long condemned the Harry Potter series, claiming it would corrupt impressionable young children and turn them onto the occult, or at least onto the English boarding school system. Then, it turned around and praised the film version of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince for its sharp delineation of good and evil.
Likewise, the Vatican had a long-running downer on Dan Brown and The Da Vinci Code - understandable perhaps given its rather anti-Vatican stance. Then, earlier this year, it faint-praisedly damned Angels and Demons as "quite harmless".
Flip-flopping on works of fiction, eh? And I seem to recall Galileo got an apology a few years back. Dear me. You can't rely on anyone these days.
Re: Twilight, I haven't read it, but Karen at work (who's thirtysomething) is reading the first book and loving it. I suspect this is because its girly slushy gushy kissy kissy heaving bosomy stuff. Or I would like to believe that it is. I have a rich inner life.
But let's consider this Catholics vs. Vampires thing. Isn't there a case to be made for vampires to be a heretical Catholic sect? Consider the evidence.
Vampires emerged in medieval Europe (like the Hussites and Cathars).
They dress stylishly, in flowing clothes, not unlike clergy.
They slake their various lusts on nubile young people - no further comment necessary.
They live in vast, stone edifices and haunt graveyards (I'm still talking about vampires).
Then there's the weirder stuff. Vampires are immortal, and of course one of the main selling points of Catholicism is that it offers you immortality (post-death) if you sign up. Blood - vampires are created by sharing blood, and Catholic immortality is (I'm told) something to do with blood.
Gosh, it's almost as if this vampire stuff was a pop-culture critique of the crazy doctrines of mass religion.
And now, a funny video.