January 08, 2002
Conservablogger recommendations

One of my readers (yes! I have readers! woo hoo!) wrote in to recommend Damian Penny's Daimnation blog for a good alternate viewpoint. I like his style and will add a link for him when the template server is up again. Thanks much for the tip.

I've also decided to give InstaPundit another try, which paid an instant dividend here - scroll down a bit and you'll see what I mean.

Getting back to Damian Penny, he criticizes Roger Ebert for a recent "Movie Answer Man" response. Penny says:

A writer to Roger Ebert's Movie Answer Man reports that a school district in Fargo, ND, cancelled a school trip to see the "Harry Potter" movie out of fears its portrayal of witchcraft would violate the separation of church and state. That's bad enough, but Ebert's response - that "I can understand the principle involved" - is even worse. I hope to God he was being sarcastic. I've feared for Ebert's critical faculties ever since he thrashed the hilarious Zoolander for being offensive to Malaysians.

Now here's the q-and-a that bothers Penny:

Q. A school district in North Dakota did not allow students to attend the premiere of ''Harry Potter'' in Fargo. They feel the portrayal of witchcraft would be in violation of the separation of church and state. I am very disappointed about the action being taken and I really feel for the kids.

A. Since this was to be an official class trip, I can understand the principle involved, and hope the school district applies the same standards to public prayers at football games, etc.

I can understand the principle too, but it has nothing to do with church and state. It has everything to do with not wanting to piss off the type of parents who think exposure to Harry Potter will turn their kids into a bunch of chicken-sacrificing Ozzy-Osbourne-listening devil worshippers. There's a better way of dealing with this, and it takes into account those who object (which, after all, they have a right to do) without punishing those who want to see the movie. It's called a "parental consent form". Get your parent to sign the form and you can see the movie. Otherwise, you don't. What's so hard about that?

Maybe I'm just from another time and another place, but I recall going to see a Truffaut film with my French class while in middle school. The movie was called L'argent du Poche, which means "Small Change". I remember exactly two things about this movie:

  • I learned the French expressions for the F word and the S word. Later, when I took French in college and was required to buy a Harrap's dictionary, I learned that the French have different words for them depending on whether they're used as nouns or verbs. You gotta love a language like that.

  • Being a French movie, it was required by French law to feature a nekkid woman. I would have enjoyed that a lot more if my mother had not been a chaperone for the trip.

Anyway, I have also received recommendations for (and had the time to check out) QuasiPundit, The Cynicologist, and Through the Looking Glass. I hope they're as edifying to you as they are to me.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 08, 2002 to Blog stuff | TrackBack