Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

A short video celebration of the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mormons Entertained to (Spiritual) Death

A family or individual decides they want to watch a movie for the weekend. As a believing and practicing Mormon, they don't want a movie that will go against their morality at least more than can be reasonably tolerated. Life isn't perfect after all and we live in a world filled with sinners and differing views that can't be easily ignored. Short of becoming a recluse there isn't much that can be done in this life to keep away from all imperfections. Even those who want to be perfect need repentance. Regardless, looking at advertisements and reading Internet reviews makes the choice frustrating. All the movies seem to have gratuitous sex, violence, and profanity beyond the decided upon reasonable tolerance levels. This is even the case for those that look halfway decent to watch. There doesn't seem to be anything left to do other than go to the least offensive.

Hold on. There are other choices, although perhaps not the ones that are wished. It seems the defualt option has been to use a "offense filter" program that takes out unwanted parts of a movie. Related to this is a demand that film directors and producers release several versions of a film for larger consumption. On the surface this sounds great, but it doesn't resolve other problems like the overall message of a movie that might be equally offensive to the religious Mormon That can't be cleaned up. Besides, no matter how logical the argument might be that airlines and television have a cleaned up version, the denizens of Hollyweird are not going to listen. They live in a different world where artists come first no matter how hypocritical and false that label. If they put their work out for the public to see then they shouldn’t cry foul when the public has a voice to judge them and their works. You want to be a non-sell out artist? Stop selling it as a product. Consumers can always with a book cross out words with black marker, or even rip out whole pages, chapters, sections, whatever. Basically that is the point of Cleanflix. True, you shouldn’t really do that with a library book that is similar to renting a video. However, that choice doesn't exist when owning a movie or music copy.

The best choice, and the one that I think Mormons should grab hold of as a few already have, is not to attend or buy any entertainment product unless fully in conformity with an individual comfort level. This is an option that an increasing number of people are doing (and not just Mormons); opting out of movies, music, and television shows altogether. Most discussions are going under the assumption of people who are movie viewers, and there has been a trickle of fewer of those. Consumers might not be able to control what goes on the screen, big or small, but they can control the wallet and their eyes and ears. If producers and artists don’t change, then there is the opt-out choice that some have discovered.

Creative purists have a mocking tone and snobbish disregard for the feelings of others that writers and directors shouldn’t get the respect as artists some demand. If they want to turn their noses at those who feel the work is gratuitous, then vow to keep them from getting any of your money. The road to reform, personal and otherwise, starts there.