A new strategy: suing liberal institutions for claiming to be non-liberal
William Peter Blatty, 85-year-old author of The Exorcist, is suing Georgetown University for falsely calling itself a Catholic institution. What a great idea. Evidently Blatty believes that words, such as “Catholic,” have objective and stable meanings, and do not mean whatever anyone chooses to say they mean. Laura Wood posts the Washington Post article.
Also, here is a critical VFR discussion about the movie of The Exorcist, titled “How liberalism with pleasing words wins us over, to our damnation”; and here is an entry about The Possessed, a remarkable made-for-TV movie which tells the true story that The Exorcist was based on, the only documented case of an exorcism in the United States.
I would enter a word of support for The Exorcist—both the movie and the book it was based upon. I saw the movie as a young teenager, and it had a profound effect on me. It wasn’t just that the movie terrified me, as indeed it did (I can still work my way into a bit of a terror, just remembering scenes from the movie). No other movie has so frightened me. I have thought from the very beginning that the reason this is so is that, unlike other horror movies, The Exorcist is based upon true events. It is unapologetically a horror movie about horrors that, it argues, are real. Horror, like most genres, asks us for the duration of the performance to suspend our disbelief, so that our emotions can be engaged in responding to the events portrayed on screen as if they were real. Many horror flicks throw in a dollop of arch humor or irony, to make it easier for the audience to disengage when the time comes. The Exorcist, by contrast, asked us to suspend our disbelief permanently, precisely because the events portrayed on screen were faithful to reality. It provided no self-conscious humor, no hint of Hollywood’s typical self-referential allusions, that would have said, “this is just a movie, wink wink nod nod.” With even most straightforward horror movies, it is easy afterward to shoot holes in the plot, and so dissipate the residue of hormonal terror. Alien freaked me out for a while, until I figured out that the monsters it portrays make no metabolic sense. Not so with The Exorcist. It said, “Never mind all your high-falutin modern sophistications, this stuff really happens—deal with it.”
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 21, 2012 07:25 PM | Send