Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wills and Kate to Use the 1928 English Payerbook Service

They're using Alternative Services, Series One: The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony basically the 1928 (English) prayer book. Chuck and Di used it in '81.

So they'll be forced to practice the "the increase of mankind" [1928] instead of "the procreation of children" [1662] and it's OK for them to marry "to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding" [1662] [censored in 1928]. And their delicate sensibilities won't suffer from hearing that marriage is "a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body." [1662] [censored in 1928]

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer wedding service was used for hundreds of years but was a bit too earthy for 1928. The '28 prayer book was not adopted (Parliament voted it down) but its Form for the Solemnization of Matrimony later became the "conservative" service in the Alternative Service Book and later Common Worship of the Church of England. It's "conservative" because it mentions that the marriage is between a man and a woman.

For those who don't think Anglicans are funny, here's an excerpt from Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers (1937) in which Lord Peter Whimsey and Miss Harriet Vane are engaged to be married and are fighting over the details of the service with his sister-in-law Helen. As his mother (the Dowager Dutchess of Denver) records in a letter:
16 SEPTEMBER Helen obligingly presented us with a copy of the new form of marriage service [the proposed 1928 prayer book], with all the vulgar bits left out--which was asking for trouble. Peter very funny about it--said he knew all about the "procreation of children" in theory though not in practice, but that the "increase of mankind" by any other method sounded too advanced for him, and that, if he ever did indulge in such dangerous amusements, he would, with his wife's permission, stick to the old-fashioned procedure. He also said that as for the "gift of continency," he wouldn't have it as a gift, and had no objection to admitting as much. At this point, Helen got up and left the house, leaving P. and Harriet to wrangle over the word "obey." P. said he would consider it a breach of manners to give orders to his wife, but H. said, Oh, no--he'd give orders fast enough if the place was on fire or a tree falling down and he wanted her to stand clear. P. said, in that case they ought both to say "obey," but it would be too much jam for the reporters. Left them to fight it out. When I came back, found Peter had consented to be obeyed on condition he might "endow" and not"share" his worldly goods. Shocking victory of sentiment over principle.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

There Have Only Been 5 Conservative/Libertarian Films

The recent premier of The Greatest Libertarian Science Fiction Railroad Film ever made has made me (briefly) think about the Conservative/Libertarian Cinema.

Contemplation will establish that there have only been 2 conservative and 3 libertarian films ever made (in English).  I must admit that I've never seen the Italian Fascist version of We the Living but it wasn't produced by anyone with any connections to the movement so it doesn't really fit in.

When I talk about "Films", I mean drama not documentary.  There have been plenty of documentary work in recent years (I remember when The Incredible Bread Machine was about it for libertarians) but I don't think of documentaries as Cinema.  I want drama.

And I'm not talking about 25 Best Conservative Movies lists.  My list is not of films that libertarians or conservatives like or that promote our values.  I'm thinking of films that are actually produced to reflect or promote the values of "movement" conservatism or libertarianism.

I've left Red Dawn off the list.  It's a close call what with the Commie invader prying a .45 from the cold dead hand of an American civilian but I see it more as a war film than an ideological one. 

So what are the five films?

  1. The Fountainhead (1949)
    With a screenplay by Ayn herself, I has to be on the list.  It's a pretty good adaption of the novel.
  2. Harry's War (1981)
    His war is against the IRS.  I saw this indie film during its brief theatrical run in '81.  It was explicitly didactic in making the arguments against IRS collection procedures.  Demonstrates the value of collecting used military hardware as well.
  3. Team America: World Police (2004)
    The libertarian creators of South Park take on the war on terror.  Any film that kills off Michael Moore, Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn  (off camera?), Tim Robbins, Helen Hunt, George Clooney, Liv Tyler, Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Janeane Garofalo, Matt Damon, Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Gregory, Danny Glover, Ethan Hawke, Kim Jong-il, and Hans Blix can't be all bad.  Not intended for younger (or, indeed, discriminating) viewers.
  4. An American Carol (2008)
    Satire of a Michael Moore lookalike documentarian coming to love America  was spotty in the effectiveness of its humor but it did serve to out right wing Hollywood actors and had its moments.
  5. Atlas Shrugged: Part I (2011)
    In lean times for the railway cinema, fans have to take what they can get.  There have been complaints about the period setting of the film (2016) when the 1930s might have been better.  But you try and throw a film together in 15 minutes on a $10 meg budget and see if you can do better.  Should be done by HBO as a long-form series but for now it's the leading libertarian/conservative film of the 21st century.