Friday, October 31, 2008

"It" is a Guilty Pleasure



For someone who is creeped out by clowns, It started out as a morbid fascination. Now It is just a guilty pleasure. The made-for-TV horror miniseries is about nine-tenths great fun. The last tenth is utter crap.
 
A guilty pleasure, for those unfamiliar with the concept, is something that you really like… but would never admit to liking. It is too embarrassing.
 
The thing is, It should have been so much better—or It could have been a lot worse. The book, on which It is based, for instance, is both. Steven King is a gifted writer. He is a true horror scribe. He may resort to life threatening terror or gross-out mental images at times, but the reason a King book sticks with the reader is the horror. He knows how to explore the deeper implications of his “scary stories.”
 
In It he spends over 1500 pages exposing the darker side of the masses, the way hatred and fear can control society. He also takes It a whole lot further than anyone would want to go down that path. In the end true love in community overcomes the evil, but the way he interprets love is possibly creepier than the evil he created. No need to go there, trust me.
 
So the movie could have gone a little deeper into the story, but It is made for TV after all. If you just watch the film version of the story, you are led to believe that the evil is a tangible, cheesy… well no need to ruin it even though this is not a recommendation.
 
In the original story, It is extra-dimensional—a spiritual being—a god with a little g. If the clown of the film could have ended up being the demonic force It was supposed to be, maybe It wouldn’t be a guilty pleasure. 


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trio

Orange packed sunrise air,
Over the mirror of an ice cold straight,
Broken concentric by a jet black fin,
Veiled in a mist of breath.

Virgin white sugar bowl land,
Spotted with needle-laden souls,
Quietly sleeping deceptively silent,
Hiding life under the cold.

Hot, red Caliche Sea,
Isles of Juniper, Yucca, and Mesquite,
Sun baking down radiating back,
Stirring colors of blood and green.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Puss

There are certain advantages to living in a place where they don’t use antibiotics at the drop of a cough. You don’t have as many super, drug-resistant bugs for one thing. Jonah got something on his arm the first year we were here that looked a lot like what took major surgery for me to get rid of in 2005. Here in Germany they gave us an ointment and told us to squeeze the puss out every day… in three days it was gone.
On the other hand, you do occasionally get a gross rash, skin condition, or in Caedon’s case this week- an irritated, strawberry-like tongue for a couple days. This time, however, it turned out to provide me with a chance to have my parenthood questioned and then sweetly vindicated. You see, parenting is one area where this American can feel good about himself next to German culture. We value and obtain (for the most part) respect and obedience, while Germans seek self-sufficiency and self-determination… and then wonder where all their kids go wrong.
In this case I took Caedon into preschool and informed the teacher that he might complain a little at lunch since his tongue was bothering him. Then I took Logan upstairs to his class. Coming back down, I was stopped by Caedon’s teacher.
“Have you taken him to the doctor?” She asked with a look of great concern and slight disgust. “Because I am scared that it might be contagious. Could you take him please?”
My parenting pride a little offended, I protested. “I didn’t think it looked that bad.”
She asked me… and the principle… to come have another look. This time we all agreed that there was nothing there.
“Oh, it is gone now,” she said, “there was a huge, white, puss-looking thing there earlier.”
I smiled to myself as I walked out to the car. I didn’t mention that he had just eaten a piece of sweet-bread on the way to school.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Acts: In Rome (28:17-22)

Acts has one of those frustrating: we’re-going-to-leave-you-hanging endings. What happens to Paul after he gets to Rome? Is he ever tried? Is he ever released? Does he ever make it to Spain? We don’t really know.

Sure a lot of people try to hypothesize that he went on to have a huge impact on Roman culture. He was under house arrest, and those guards of his were surely important highly placed people in Roman society. He must have converted enough of those guys that Christianity spread through the upper reaches of Roman society and eventually, a couple centuries later, Christianity became the official religion of the Empire! All thanks to Paul!
Why do we do this? The story is left untold. God didn’t feel that part was vital for us to know. Is it not enough to know that Paul had the role in God’s plan that we are told about? (For that matter, Christianity becoming the official religion may not be something anyone would want to claim. Who says it was a good thing?)

Truth is we do the same thing with our own role in God’s plan: “You may never know, until you get to heaven, just how great your impact was on the Kingdom of God. You may have indirectly or unknowingly helped thousands of people into heaven!” So what? What if your part in God’s great plan for the ages was for you to be faithful and have an impact on twenty people? What if you were to impact just ten, or five? Is that not enough?

The honor is to be a part of the plan, not in how big our role is. Because ultimately it is God that gets the results. We are simply allowed to be tools in His hands.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Paranoid?

Recently for the first time the world’s population became slightly more urban than rural. By some projections it will be 65% urban by 2030. One result of this is that people, ironically, are more isolated. Community in urban settings is never as strong as outside large cities. Isolation breeds paranoia.
Fear comes in many flavors. Terror is a physical fear for one’s life. Horror is being intellectually “creeped out” by certain implications. Paranoia is a toothless fear that is nonetheless dangerous because it alters behavior. Roman Polanski in his films Rosmary’s Baby and The Tennant did a really good job of exploring paranoia.
Paranoia is based on misinformation or sometimes little truths blown way out of proportion. BBC radio recently pointed out the way the media has so hyped up the fear of sexual predators in England that kids are no longer allowed out as much. This has resulted in a wave of childhood obesity that, statistically, endangers far more children in a far greater way than the actual chance that they would ever be harmed by the predators in the first place. The same paranoia has caused some parents in Britain to be verbally assaulted at playgrounds for taking pictures of their own children.
Parenting is just one of (and one of the greatest) areas that has been impacted by paranoia. Ecological junk science has people completely altering their lives in an effort to save the planet that really does not change anything at all or at times makes things worse.
If you are going to live with fear in your life, make sure it is something worth being concerned about. “Do not fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” –Matthew 10:28

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Back to the Petri Dish

It has been said that the culture of Europe is post-Christian. Another way of expressing this could be to say that it has been immunized against Christianity.
The way a vaccination works is sterile or dead pathogens are introduced to the body. They cause a mild form of the illness, but the body reacts by developing defenses against the invasion and since the pathogen cannot increase it is not a threat.
This is exactly what has happened to the Gospel in Europe. It has been sterilized. Somewhere along the way an attack at the foundations of the faith began, from within the “ranks” no less, as European Biblical scholars and experts destroyed the Scriptural foundation of the Gospel by raising doubts about the texts.
It wasn’t long afterwards that the secular philosophies of the 19th and 20th centuries created movements and political situations that were completely against Scriptural teaching, but the “churches” of the day sided with power and tarnished their integrity, further weakening the foundation of the Gospel.
In much of Europe that last half of the 20th century was dominated by outright hostility to Christianity with imposed Atheism and Materialism being taught to all the population. But throughout it all a secular institution known as religion was allowed enough of an existence to convince people that this was the face of Christianity… old empty buildings and traditions.
Today, even where the real church exists, it is a sterile shell of what it should be. It does not reproduce. It does not spread. It is content to live and let die, and thus the culture is in effect immunized against the Gospel.
We need a fresh sample please.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

When Paganism Would Be Preferable

C.S. Lewis was one of the Twentieth Century’s greatest thinkers in the prophetic way he (as a modern mind) was able to foresee the way society would go in Postmodernism. He also was an Atheist turned Agnostic turned Deist turned Christian who had incredible insight into the way western culture would look as it entered this post-Christian age.
One thing he asserted, that has generated considerable controversy, was that atheists would have an easier time becoming Christians if they first became pagans. (And by this he probably meant Pagan in the general, pre-Christian, spiritualist sense and not the narrower, worship-the-earth, Wicca style Pagans we think of today.)
Whether you want to condemn Lewis as a closet pagan, or defend him as having insight gained from his own spiritual journey, he had a point when it comes to reaching the post-Christian culture. You cannot reach Atheists with a simple, traditional, Bible-belt, canned presentation of the Bible. It starts out from a position of certain preconceptions that atheist thinking simply does not share. Groundwork must be laid; the soil must be tilled a bit. You cannot start with: “God loves you and has a plan for your life.” You have to start with: “There is more to reality than the material world.”
In this regard it is true, that people need to become open to the spiritual world before they can be convinced that the Biblical version of that world is the true one. In that regard, the fact that German youth are becoming more and more interested in the occult is a cause for hope, not just concern. After all, 80% of people in the former East Germany claim to believe in nothing at all. In post-Christian Europe, any sign of a step towards seeing the spiritual side of reality needs to be taken advantage of.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Parenthood

The one thing in life,
That lives up to the hype,
Unlike birthdays, graduation,
Adulthood and even
The passage from couple
To spouse,
The moment of birth,
The first glimpse of those eyes.
Life will never be the same,
Feelings never as tame.
From this day forth,
I have a child.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Acts: Journey to Rome (27:1-28:31)

This may just be a personal perspective, but of all the outstanding things that happen to Paul and co. on the way to Rome, the viper stands out the most. It may not be the most amazing thing to happen, (between angels and shipwrecks and healings) but it is the most remembered. It is even less remarkable when one considers that it is the least supernatural of all the things that happened on the journey. Poisonous snakes are quite capable of biting without delivering venom and frequently do, so Paul’s survival hardly required divine intervention. Also, Malta has four species of snakes, none of which are venomous. So while the natives of the day likely feared the snake, it was a groundless fear.

The inhabitants of Malta had two reactions to Paul’s encounter with the viper, both of which illustrate beliefs widely held today, even among Christians.

First, they assumed that Paul was guilty, and being judged by the goddess Justice. This belief persists today, even among Evangelicals. The idea is basically that if you live right nothing bad will happen to you. Ever catch yourself hearing about someone’s misfortune and wondering what they did to cause it? Not all bad things are preventable. The idea is to trust God in the bad times, not fool yourself into thinking that life is some sort of game, and if played right will always turn out well.

After Paul didn’t die, the people began to regard him as a God. This is similar to the trend today to see everything as a supernatural event. God certainly does intervene in the world at times, and there are supernatural forces at work in the world. That does not mean that every single little event in life was caused to occur supernaturally. Not every bad thing is caused by Satan or demons. People can be plenty evil on their own. By the same token, God uses a lot of natural events and ordinary people’s choices to accomplish His plans. He is in control, but that does not mean He has to overtly intervene to get His way.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Spiritual Wimps

Do yourself a favor and go to www.theworkofthepeople.com and do a search for “Derek Webb” or “A New Law.” They have a video they made for Derek’s song by that title. It is for sale for $15, but you can view it on their site for free.
No really, take the five minutes and watch it, them come back.
That is the genius of Derek Webb. He makes you think. Half the time, you listen to his songs and think: “Yes! That is exactly right!” The other half of the time you feel really, really uncomfortable.
“A New Law” does a great job of illustrating the problem in the Evangelical Ghetto where we refuse to be “faith seeking understanding.” We want and demand that others simply tell us how to believe, how to behave, and what is the bare minimum we can do to earn God’s approval. The problem is we can’t earn it; we have been given it. That approval should spur us to want to change our lives and seek a deeper walk with God.
Instead we have too often reduced the Christian life to actions and inactions. Go to church; don’t go to R rated movies. Read the latest Christian self-help book; don’t read Harry Potter. Vote Republican; don’t be friends with people who think differently from you. Teach your kids at home; shield them from anything that could challenge their faith.
As spiritual warriors go, we are probably looking like a pretty anemic bunch.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Television: Angel

When Joss Whedon spun the character Angel off into his own series set in L.A., vampires took a back seat to monsters and demons who seemed to be everywhere in spite of the fact that people were largely unaware of them. However, the real monsters and evil in the new series was… humanity. The show does a great job of exploring the fallen nature of people. In a second season story arc, Angel is obsessed with doing battle against an evil law firm. After much effort he is able to defeat a demonic “senior partner” of the firm use its ring to gain access to hell in an effort to defeat the evil powers that reside there. He boards an elevator for the “one way” trip to hell, but when he arrives he realizes he is right back where he started. Evil, he learns, has its source and dwells in humanity.
Ironically, this epiphany serves to spur Angel on in the fight against evil.
“If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.”
What?
The response to the statement by the other character in the scene is:
“I believe… I don’t know what I believe, but I… have… faith. I think maybe were not alone in this.”
She goes on to point out something that happened earlier that could not have happened. A miracle? Evidence of God?
This is the frustrating side of postmodern atheists like Whedon. They see good and evil in the world. They know there is a right and a wrong. And yet they choose to believe that these categories are simply arbitrary and human and that there is nothing bigger than us out there… probably. At least they aren’t promoting the logical yet indefensible conclusion of atheism; that everyone should do whatever they want as evil does not exist.
Note: Angel is a show intended for mature audiences involving violence, sex, and all kinds of “adult” themes and this entry is not to be seen as a recommendation for the show.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

True Community

A recent reading of Larry Crabb’s, Becoming a True Spiritual Community, combined with a four day long retreat attempting to apply this book, along with repeated hearings of the soundtrack to the Buffy episode: Once More With Feeling, converged to become a deep contemplation of the way church fails to be what it was created to be.
Morgan Scott Peck in his book, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, describes a four stage process of becoming a True Community:
Pseudo-Community: everyone plays nice and only show their good side.
Chaos: people become comfortable enough to be real with each other. At this stage, leadership is tempted to organize and keep the interaction under control. If this is done, the group will become an organization and not a true community.
Emptiness: the group stops trying to fix and heal each other, and begin to accept each other’s brokenness leading to…
True Community: a place of true respect and awareness of each other’s needs.
This sounds a lot like what Crabb is after in a spiritual community. It is also quickly evident that most churches today are firmly stuck in Pseudo-Community, and those that have moved on are merely Organizations.
The Church is not an Organization. Those that are, are less the Body of Christ and more akin to any other human club. Clubs can be built around any common interest, including God. However, if we really want to experience the miraculous coming together that Jesus intended the Church to be, we need to do things differently. It is not enough to have a common understanding, a place to meet and rules to follow. In fact, there may be something to the idea of tossing all three of those ingredients out.
But that is another ball of wax…

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Flywheel Ruminations

If you want a dead giveaway for a homemade—very independent movie, check the soundtrack. They tend to overpower. That being said, Flywheel has some really good production values. It is a frankly amazing achievement for a movie put together by a church for $20,000.
Like most evangelical Christian movies, it is made to send a message. Living life by your own rules does not bring satisfaction and fulfillment. God has a better plan. It was probably made with the intention of reaching people who do not know God, and convincing them to get to know Him. Also, like most Christian movies, it probably doesn’t accomplish its stated goal.
The real audience of this film is made up by lukewarm Christians who need to really commit. At that, it is pretty effective.
One complaint. It hovers dangerously close to that version of the Gospel that is baptized in the American Dream. Turn your life over to God, and He will make your business successful. He will bless you financially. Commit to setting things right and you will never suffer. Pay back the money you stole, and God will see to it that you don’t suffer any pain, you won’t have to go hungry.
OK, maybe that is a little harsh, but it is evident enough throughout American Evangelicalism to be concerning.
Meanwhile if you want to reach the lost with film: drop the prosperity in favor of reality, tell stories that ring true and show all sides of faith—including the difficult, have the sin be as evil as it really is, and present the Gospel played out in everyday life. It is the Gospel. Don’t make a sales presentation, and don’t try to make it appealing. On its own it won’t make sense to a lost person anyway…so embrace the fact that you are merely collaborating in getting the message across.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Acts: Agrippa (26:1-32)

There is a German actor, named Ben Becker, touring the country with a live show: “The Bible: the Spoken Symphony.” He reads the Bible for three hours accompanied by an orchestra and a gospel style choir. It is a spectacle. It seems to be successful. It is perhaps a reason for Christians to celebrate, but not for the reasons you would think.

People are hearing the Word of God, in a respectable, sincere and engaging way. However, the people presenting the show do not see the material as anything more than great literature and the audiences are probably mostly in agreement. In the promotional material, one of the composers speaks of the show as being great because people are encountering the Bible, “not in a religious sense, but in the sense that they have never really listened to the words.”

This is wonderful in a way, and the content of those words will perhaps impact people’s lives in spite of the lack of belief of the presenters. It really serves to remind us of an important fact of life:

Familiarity, appreciation, respect, and interest in the things of God do not automatically result in belief that changes lives. Agrippa was a man who was well versed in Judaism and probably somewhat in “The Way” as well, but when Paul thought that might make it easier for him to believe, he found out he was wrong.

“In such a short time you think to persuade me, Paul?”

Never assume that someone will be open to the Gospel because of their education, community, taste, or any other similarity to your own culture. By the same token, never assume someone will not listen to what you have been entrusted with. We cannot see into the heart.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Topic: Gothic II

Beads of sweat pearled
up on his head and
swirled around the features
on his face.

Deeds of dread curled
round to strike and
hurled themselves like creatures
of fright.

Decisions sped spurned
on by desire not
laid out before teachers
of his grace.

Consequences burned
in his life evermore
witnessed by the bleachers
of past time.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Topic: Gothic I

Quaker, Shaker,
Alien abductee.
Slacker, computer hacker,
Conspiracy theory.
Boogie man, Kool-Aid man,
Gargoyle on the roof.
Tutu wearer, market sharer,
Convict on the loose.
Horticulture, Turkey Vulture,
Shadows in blind alleys.
Loose suture, uncertain future,
Sickness in the valleys.
Extinction, distinction,
Candy coated tomb.
Laughter, go faster,
Monster in the womb.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Horror of Bugs

…Bunny that is. Ever noticed how many Looney Tunes cartoons have elements of horror in them? Or how many horror movies have been inspired by children’s cartoons? It is an extremely common storyline: the small, defenseless little protagonist is threatened by a big villain. He tries to get away but the killer is always behind the next door. The hero runs as fast as is only cartoon-world possible and the bad guy calmly walks after him. He is un-escapable.

Then there are the more obvious horror-inspired shorts; where Bugs Bunny meets Mr. Hyde, Dracula, or Witch Hazel. It is so easy to take scary stuff and turn it into comedy. Why are horror and comedy so intertwined?

Horror experts say that it is a needed aspect of the horror story. It is impossible to maintain such high adrenaline tension throughout a story. We need a release. That may be true in the modern terror oriented horror, but why not just throw in some more jumps?

The answer may lie more in the nature of true horror. Horror, as opposed to sheer biological-fear-for-your-safety terror, is a commentary on serious issues of life. It has always been a way of addressing serious subjects in society. (Any wonder that graphically violent horror involving torture has become popular in the past decade?) In the same way, comedy and satire are ways of addressing serious subjects that may be too taboo for open discussion in culture. It is only natural that the two genres would compliment each other.

Other than that, it is just further proof that classic cartoons like Looney Tunes were always intended for adults. If it weren’t for the silly animation some of those storylines would be downright scary!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Acts: The Tyranny of the Tiny Things (21-25)

Sometimes the mission field can feel like an exercise in simply living. Then again, life anywhere can be that way. We have so many unplanned, but unavoidable things that clutter our lives and our time and push the “big” things back: paperwork, reports, shopping, cooking, illness, etc. Trying to maintain a presence in another culture and another language can make all those things twice as life-consuming as normal.

It is an encouragement to know that Paul also had these sorts of problems, and that Luke saw them as important enough to his story to include them. Okay, not everything Paul had happen in this section of Acts was a “little thing,” in fact they were life and death sorts of things, but they were things that kept him from his goals for years. God had directed him to Rome, but had also sent him to Jerusalem first and we can be sure that all these setbacks were a part of God’s greater plan. Luke uses over a sixth of his book telling us about the church reports, demonstrations, jail time, life threatening plots, and governors seeking bribes that consume Paul’s time for years before he is able to finally head out to Rome, and even then he is delayed again.

We always remind ourselves that true worship is a life lived, even the ordinary moments of life, for the glory of God. So take heart. Even when it seems like we are spinning our wheels and doing good just to get from one day to the next, the lives we live are holy. That is not just to say that our lives have been made holy by the justifying work of Christ, but our very lives—the moments we are given—are holy. Even the little things can be done to God’s glory.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Aliens, Religion, and Egypt

Do you believe in UFOs? According to some surveys, 71 percent of Americans believe the government is covering something up regarding UFOs, and 48 percent of Americans actually believe extra terrestrials have visited our planet.

Scientific fact argues pretty clearly against any aliens visiting our planet. The sheer distances involved, the payload of fuel required to travel such distances, the cultural technology required to undertake the journey, the fact that a whole culture would have to live on the vessel for multiple generations, and decreasing odds that another planet shares all the unique characteristics to sustain life let alone an advanced civilization all make it unlikely that an extraterrestrial has physically set foot on earth.

However, it is interesting that so many people have had so many similar experiences around the world. One school of “scientific” thought has considered that perhaps the visitations are real, but that they are not from another planet but another dimension. Interesting. Coincidentally, the majority of UFO observations have been made not by Astronomers but by Astrologists and people interested in the occult.

Maybe the whole fuss has been caused by visits from spiritual beings and not little green men. The Bible teaches that religions have their roots in “teachings of demons.” A couple of movies have touched on this idea in the past several years. Stargate played with the idea of Egyptian religion and mythology being created by extraterrestrials. Just this year, the latest Indiana Jones had Mayan religion begun by “intra-dimensional beings.” Some people were upset that the latest entry had gotten away from a religion based thriller and had gone sci-fi. The fact is it didn’t.

So, maybe the planet is being visited by “outsiders.” Just not in the way that most people think.

*If you find this idea interesting, check out Hugh Ross’ “Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men.”

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dracula and Vampires and Their Christian Themes

The same friendly contest that spurred Mary Shelly to write Frankenstein inspired Byron to try his hand at a vampire story. His friend John Polidori took those attempts and created the vampire genre of literature. Years later, Bram Stoker wrote the vampire novel most influential to horror, and film as well. More movies have been made about Dracula than any other fictional character, save Sherlock Holmes.

Dracula and vampires address just as many if not more moral and religious themes as Frankenstein. However, where Frankenstein focuses on humanity’s capacity for evil, the vampire myth addresses the nature of evil itself. In vampire stories evil is real. It will destroy you and it is terrifying. And yet the evil in vampire stories is enticing and appealing. Much in the same way evil can be in real life. Most vampire stories focus on the issues of recognizing evil, what protection there is against it, and how to defeat it.

Over the years, a fascinating evolution has occurred in the vampire myth that is traceable by viewing the movies released over the years. The myth began as explicitly religious in nature. Vampires were pure evil and the forces of good were always religious, Christian even. Over time the idea of good and evil has become clouded and there are a lot of shades of grey and God is rarely a part of the story.

One theme central to the novel Dracula that has rarely made it into film is the “community of believers.” Where Dracula himself is rarely seen in the novel, but more of an “off screen” presence, the vampire hunters are the main characters. They represent a sort of church; a group of people bound together by their belief that the world rejects.

This genre and its themes are too extensive to cover in a 300 word blog entry. In fact, Nonmodern has an 18-20 chapter book outline with a few sample chapters if there are any publishing houses crazy enough to try to market it. Who would read it? The Christians would reject the horror elements, and the horror fans would scoff at the Christian interpretation of those elements.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Frankenstein

Nonmodern has already argued that horror is among the best genres for both literature and film. It being October, the time has come to really expand on this idea.

Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus is truly a case of the horror genre used as a morality play. The ideas of science and progress are dealt with alongside the questions of ethics and responsibility. When and where does science draw the line? Does progress and knowledge have limits beyond which mankind should not dare to tread?

The film adaptations, especially the Universal Studios series, have shaped the way culture remembers and thinks of this story. Most people have not read the book, and not many more have seen the films, but everyone has a mental image of Karloff’s incarnation of the monster and the themes that the movies address.

There were (ironic) fears when the original 1931 movie was released, that religious groups would protest it because of its theme of “divine presumption.” The sequel, Bride of Frankenstein 1935 increased the religious imagery and darkly humorous elements, but continued the exploration of the main theme: where do ability and permission part ways?

Son of Frankenstein 1939 is maybe the least known of the Universal movies. (It did serve as the main inspiration for Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.) It is still a good entry in the series, and it more than the other two films focused on a third theme of the Frankenstein myth: the danger of the man of the masses. People in crowds can be very scary indeed. Why is it that a mob is so willing to give up rational thought and commit hasty and violent acts? Considering the current state of international markets and where America is politically, perhaps this is the most enduring legacy of the Frankenstein story. Humanity has a great disposition towards stupidity and evil.
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