Stickin’ it to the Man

Sometimes my faith in humanity is suddenly restored. We’re currently seeing some films at the Fantasy Film Fest, and the three films we saw so far have all been surprisingly awesome. They also all share a common and incredibly important subject matter: standing up to the powers that be. As different as Black Dynamite (hilarious beyond words), Push (touching and exciting and brilliant) and District 9 (gut-wrenching and ultimately beautiful) may be, this is the central ethos of all three films. And that is most encouraging.

Detailed reviews to follow. (Next at Fantasy Film Fest: Wasting Away and Moon. Not expecting too much of either, though Moon is likely to be a lot better. We shall see.)

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12 Comments

  1. Sticking it to the man is one thing. But I believe that the correct path isn’t rebellion, but rather finding a man who will smooth out the bumps and ruffles in the system and will run it smoothly, albeit with a somewhat strict interpretation of the rules, laws, and guidelines of the system. Leave some room for compassion and humility, though, and that’ll smooth out the rest of the wrinkles.

    Then again, if we find a man who seems like he’s doing just that, it’ll already be too late.

  2. But it’s the system itself that is based on greed and exploitation. You can’t run it; it runs you. You can only get rid of it.

    Then again, if we find a man who seems like he’s doing just that, it’ll already be too late.

    It’s never too late unless we blow up the planet or wipe ourselves out some other way. While there is life, there is hope.

  3. JM

     /  August 31, 2009

    Maybe in fiction, but not in reality is humanity something to put faith in.

  4. Humanity created those stories. Humanity went to see them.

  5. JM

     /  August 31, 2009

    I don’t think visiting a movie festival qualifies as representing humanity.

  6. No, people achieve that by being born.

  7. When I said it’d be too late, I was referring to biblical prophecy. When he comes along, it really will be too late, and he’ll be too good to be true.

    A man is coming in 13:1, to charm the daughters and the sons.

  8. Ah, but you see, if you believe that – I don’t, obviously, but if you do – you still don’t know when that will be. Christians have been saying it will be “soon” for 2000 years now, and too many of them have stood by letting truly evil things happen because the end times were coming anyway. I don’t think Jesus would approve of that.

    (Also, even within Christianity, this whole concept is quite controversial – witness postmillenialism, for example.)

    William Blake, on the other hand, might have argued that the Apocalypse is taking place right now – so the only way to actually cause the Kingdom of God to come about would be to change our world, to fight for justice and equality.

    In the end, even a believer must admit that the ways of the Lord are mysterious, and the only thing that is for certain is that the person the Christians consider to be the Messiah ordered them to love their enemies and to fight injustice.

    If Christ was here now, he‘d be stickin’ it to the Man. He’d be first in line. That’s what he did back then, after all.

  9. What Christ did was point out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, but he never once broke the law or incited rebellion. In fact, when asked about taxes, he said to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.” Although the deeper point of that statement was that we should give ourselves to God since we’re his image bearers, he was still saying that we should pay taxes. It’s their money, their system, and it’s got Caesar’s image on it.

    The Lord’s mystery is actually half my argument in support of Christianity, and the other half is that fair-mindedness makes for a lack of plot holes. Not really relevant, but I thought I’d share that.

  10. What Christ did was point out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, but he never once broke the law or incited rebellion. In fact, when asked about taxes, he said to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.” Although the deeper point of that statement was that we should give ourselves to God since we’re his image bearers, he was still saying that we should pay taxes. It’s their money, their system, and it’s got Caesar’s image on it.

    Yes, he did suggest the separation of Church and State. I like that. (He also broke many religious laws, and defended those actions.) By doing so he also made sure to stay away from Jewish nationalism of the time, because that’s not what he was interested in.

    But he also made his followers give their money to the poor (and not just a little – the guy was affecting property relations), and was killed because he was inciting to revolution by his actions rather than by his words. Christ was not meek – think of him in the Temple, so pissed off that he’s overturning tables and chairs – and he caused a fair bit of trouble because of what he told people to do in terms of money. Remember what he said about rich people and the Kingdom of God?

    If Christ was born today, where do you think he’d be spending his time? In the ghettos with the poor, and protesting on the street, and in the end locked up in Guantanamo or in some other torture camp. Would he approve of a system based on the glorification of greed? I greatly doubt it.

    And in the end, since you cannot possibly know when his return would happen (it’s supposed to be a surprise), all you can do is live life by his teachings. And those teachings very strongly suggest that allowing a system to continue that regularly murders and exploits for the profit of a small group of people is not all right at all. Of course Christian resistance must be non-violent (as someone should tell all those anti-abortion nutcases who kill people), but the teachings of Christ do necessitate resistance, even rebellion.

  11. Christ didn’t suggest a separation of church and state- telling people to pay taxes while telling them to give themselves to God just doesn’t have any correlation to church-state relations in my eyes.

    And while he was becoming popular among a lot of people, the major reason the Pharisees hated him was because he was right. His being right infringed on their power and authority, but this was used for abuse. In the end, they tried to get Pilate to crucify him (their laws forbade it), Pilate said “Do whatever you want,” so they put him up to the most humiliating punishment in the history of man.

    If you’re suggesting that Christ was a socialist, though, I totally agree with you. I think heaven is a socialist society.

  12. Christ didn’t suggest a separation of church and state- telling people to pay taxes while telling them to give themselves to God just doesn’t have any correlation to church-state relations in my eyes.

    I think it very much does. It clearly sets up a line between secular political matters and personal religious matters.

    And while he was becoming popular among a lot of people, the major reason the Pharisees hated him was because he was right. His being right infringed on their power and authority, but this was used for abuse. In the end, they tried to get Pilate to crucify him (their laws forbade it), Pilate said “Do whatever you want,”

    I think it was a lot more than that. It was definitely a matter of authority, but his focus on economic matters is also particularly significant. I mean, imagine what it must have been like, to have someone who is all about redistributing wealth become so popular.

    so they put him up to the most humiliating punishment in the history of man.

    That, unfortunately, is not a true statement. I wish it were, but humanity has come up with so much worse. Hell, Christian institutions have come up with so much worse. They specialized in that sort of stuff for several centuries. I guess we can all imagine what Christ would’ve thought of that.

    If you’re suggesting that Christ was a socialist, though, I totally agree with you. I think heaven is a socialist society.

    That he was. That’s why I like him.