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Well, they are again going to try to film a book that was formative to me: one of my absolute favorites from the age of ten on. The trailer just came out, and it looks fairly spectacular in some ways. You can see it here.


Then I saw this:


And, of course, there is this.

These three stories are rightly beloved by many thousands of girls and women. Did you catch the common theme? I honestly didn’t until just the other day, and--

I’m shocked that it took me so long to notice, actually. In each of these stories, a young girl on the cusp of adolescence rescues her little brother. Read more...Collapse )

New story!

I had a story accepted for publication by Sick Lit Magazine. It came out today! Here is the link:

https://sicklitmagazine.com/2017/05/05/sorrow-by-mary-johnson/
So, I went to the local climate march today. Hundreds of people were there! (Pics will follow when I edit this post; I'm writing this quickly) As with the other protest marches I've attended, there was a very good feeling of community and peace. But-

I began conversing with a young woman next to me. She said her dad (I think it was her dad) was a Fox news watcher and basically believed all the propaganda; in particular, he believed science was no truer than religion. In other words, to him, science wasn't about facts. It was mere opinion.

I'm still tired from the bug I'm fighting and the words didn't come to me then. I did manage to say (what I truly believe) that it's shocking to me that so many of my fellow citizens are so poorly educated. But here's the thing:

This young woman's dad wasn't entirely wrong. It is true that many people who promote science also promote materialism. And materialism isn't a fact; it's a belief. But science is NOT the same as materialism. True science is a way of examining the natural world to discover facts about it. You may have a very active spiritual life and be a scientist (Our Pope is a good example), or you may be a die-hard materialist and have no idea of the scientific method. Of course, all scientists are focused only on the physical world while doing science. Naturally! That's what science is for; it's a means of discovery, a quest for truths about the physical world.

What Fox News, and other such "sources", have done is to confuse the scientific method with materialism. This is wrong and dangerous, and leads to confusions such as this young woman's father had. Such confusions are all too common in America today.

BTW, our local climate march was led by several groups of nuns. One young woman was carrying a poster illustrating "Laudato Si", the Pope's beautiful call for care of the earth. And there were pro-science signs EVERYWHERE! Catholic groups, Jewish groups, hard-left groups--everyone was carrying them.

Because, as I said above, science is true.

dreamwidth

Yikes! As if I needed another blog, I now have a Dreamwidth account. I'm mary_j_59 over there, and, for a while, I'll be crossposting in both places. I don't intend to leave live journal until I have to, but so many of my live journal friends have left for Dreamwidth, and I'm a bit scared about possible copyright problems on livejournal. So my journal is backed up there as of tonight. It was very easy, and I like the ethos over there, from what I read of it. We'll see how it goes.

On adaptations


This photo of Goshen is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

So they are again trying to film one of my childhood favorites, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Honestly, it’s a book I still love, and I am filled with trepidation. Oh, I’ll go see it when it comes out next year. I’m almost certain to, unless it’s completely panned. But the Canadian TV movie from ten or fifteen years ago was a very mixed bag, and I’m very much afraid this version will be, too.

Why? I admit I was a little startled when I read that the director insisted on having primarily people of color in the cast. And then I thought about it. It does change the story, which is set in rural New England in the early 1960s. African Americans really didn’t live in small New England farming villages after WWII. They did before the war, and the loss of this population is one of many American tragedies and injustices. But_

One of the points of the story, and, indeed, of the series, is that Meg’s family are outsiders. Making Kate Murry of African descent, and her children mixed race, is a good way of emphasizing this. And these are beautiful children! If they can act the parts and get the characters across, it doesn’t matter in the least that they don’t look like the characters in the book.

But I’m disappointed that the filmmakers didn’t bother to film in the book’s actual setting. To me, one of the great pleasures of Madeleine L’Engle’s books is the love and care with which she evokes the New England landscape. A Wrinkle in Time begins, very specifically, in northwestern Connecticut in early autumn. Madeleine L’Engle lived in Goshen. The early scenes in Camazotz are meant to look like on of the local mill towns. This—the foothills of the Berkshires, and a part of the Appalachian chain—is a lovely landscape. It’s not spectacular or dramatic, but it is quietly, subtly beautiful. I’m sorry they didn’t see fit to film the book where it was set.Read more...Collapse )
I know; it’s been a long time, but I’m finally back, and with a new, very green recipe just in time for St. Patrick’s day! This will serve four aunties for a breakfast dish, or eight reluctant small boys. It’s quick and very simple if you can find frozen broccoli rabe.

Read more...Collapse )

The Culture of Death, Part 3-

Sorry! It's another political post. As I say below, I was inspired to write this by our readings at Mass these past two weeks. They were almost scarily relevant.

Before our current president (I suppose we must call him that) took the oath of office, I had a brief conversation with a friend. “Young women I know are in tears,” she said to me. “I can’t understand it. I think it has to get worse before it gets better.” At the time, I was rather shocked and startled, but I’m starting to agree with her.

It’s not that Trump isn’t awful. He is. He is even worse than I imagined he would be, and the appearance of Swastikas on public property is absolutely chilling. All the bullies, racists, and neo Nazis seem to have been greatly encouraged by recent events. And yet- Read more...Collapse )

The women's marches-

I know nine women who marched on Saturday, and I ended up joining a small local march myself. It was a beautiful experience. Now we have to find a way to stay united and keep pushing for a humane and civilized world. Here's a short film I took.
Ah, technobabble! You’re happily watching some science fiction show or movie, and some character comes out with a string of incomprehensible syllables. For example:

“Captain, the phase inverters have reached 2000 degrees kelvin. If we don’t reverse their polarities, they will implode!” (* Please note: I made up that example on the fly. I think it’s nonsense even for technobabble.)

“Huh?” you say to yourself. Then, if the writers have done their job, you’ll either say to yourself, “Oh, I see. Their engine is overheating, and they need coolant,” or else you’ll just ignore the technobabble and focus on the story. If, however, the writers have not done their job, you will get annoyed.

Of course, each reader, writer, and viewer has a different tolerance for technobabble, and a different idea of what might make it especially good, or especially bad. I’d guess that, for most of us, it’s usually especially bad. Can there be a way to write it well?

I think there might be. I’m going to preface this by saying I have no desire to feed the flames of the Star Trek versus Star Wars arguments. I like them both. To be absolutely accurate, I am a passionate Niner, love the original Trek, like Next Generation, and also like the first three Star Wars movies. It’s quite possible to love both Trek and Star Wars. It’s also quite possible to get annoyed by technobabble in both franchises!Read more...Collapse )

The Culture of Death, part 2

If they do these things in the green wood, what will they do in the dry? (Our Lord Jesus Christ)

I went to a funeral a week ago exactly. It was for a good friend of one of my aunts, a woman who was also a friend of my parents'. A brilliant Indian summer day; a little wooden church by the sea. The woman whose life was being celebrated was a WWII vet, so she received military honors. Read more...Collapse )

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mug, tea, writer
mary_j_59
mary_j_59

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