WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Now that "The Passion of the Christ" has been released, I have made my decision. I shall not see it. My reasoning, I suppose, will be seen as shallow, but I shall stick to my guns. I am not seeing the movie because it clearly abounds with blood and gore, two staples of Hollywood that I abhor. Not only are they revolting, but they are leading ingredients in Hollywood's chief byproduct, fantasy. Practically every film that comes out of Hollywood produces fantasy. I incline toward reality.
As for blood and gore, anytime I have witnessed the real thing the real thing is never so dazzling, colorful and dramatic as Hollywood depicts it. Moreover, real blood and gore never take place in slow motion. The real thing is slam bam and off to the hospital or the morgue.
I recall seeing mortar fire from a faraway hillside hitting buildings in Bosnia. It all happened so fast I never had a chance to calculate quite what was taking place, let alone savor the scene.
Hollywood's dramatic portrayal of blood and gore is another example of one of my most dearly held prejudices -- to wit, the camera falsifies. Devotees of the camera will tell you the camera produces accurate depictions of reality. I believe the opposite. A camera in the hands of a Hollywood cameraman rarely replicates reality and almost always produces fantasy.
For the real Christ, I shall content myself with a reading of the Gospels. And so on to the week's other fantasies, specifically the ongoing presidential candidacy of Sen. John Pierre Kerry, the very French-looking frontrunner in the Democratic presidential race.
When I heard that he was being accused of having had an affair with a young woman, I thought to myself, "How very French." And when I heard Howard Kurtz on his CNN media show say that the story was part of the Limbaugh-Hannity conservative smear machine, I went back to the early stories and discovered that they originated not from conservative sources but from people around Gen. Wesley Clark.
Kurtz's panel of experts also said there was no substantial evidence of an affair having taken place. Apparently, they had forgotten that at least one British newspaper quoted the alleged inamorata's father saying Kerry had pursued his daughter in some vague but troubling way. The father called Kerry a "sleaze ball." Later, the father said he would vote for Kerry, but the man's early aspersion is difficult to explain away.
Well whether or not Kerry had a Francois Mitterrand-like relationship with a cutie, he still seems very Gallic to me. Now it turns out he has a cousin who is mayor of a small French town. Mon Dieu, how French is that? Oh, and by the way, did I hear that he served in Vietnam?