Friday, December 14, 2018

Theatre in the States

It’s abysmal, Mel Bradford once wrote, in words that still resonate today:

The theater of modern America loves to shock but has overdone the trick so often that our nerves are jaded and immune to further outrage. The analogy to the professional stage of our time is that theater which St. Augustine, cultured man that he was, rejoiced to see in ruins. In New York, it is informed by a mesh of radical taboos so inclusive that only Marxist, Freudian, homosexual, or Feminist subjects have a reasonable chance of being treated: plays derivative of Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, and Arthur Miller. Moreover, the New York stage is so strangled by union demands and fixed costs that very few elaborate productions can be attempted, most of them musicals. And even their ideology has become a factor in the equation—as when the staunchly conservative Daddy Warbucks of the comic strip is subjected, by Broadway’s Annie, to the corrective influence of F.D.R. The economics of the New York stage are such that only private lives can be easily represented on it, two to four characters at the most, a few stereotypes, but no historical ambiance or spectacle—a more narrow focus than was encouraged in 1925 by the intellectual climate of Dayton, Tennessee.

The commitment of the New York stage to the values of that city—attitudes roundly rejected by most of the country—gives us a cultural capital that is happy with absurdist or protest drama and therefore alien to the civilization it is supposed to reflect in its art. The patrons of that aberrant theater allowed the deracinated clerisy of aestheticism to dictate to them in questions of taste: to insist that the pseudo-religion of alienation (a problem in all modern literature), of reaction against family, nation and church, have a canonical authority over men and women of sensibility or soul.

One needn’t look any further for ensamples of this than the latest film célèbre, Boy Erased, about the persecution of a homosexual teenager at the hands of hateful, intolerant Christians:

The son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.

It is important that the true Christian view of homosexuality (and other modern sexual lifestyle choices) be given, however, and not distortions of it.  One may do that here:

For an HTML version of the same thing broken up into four parts, follow this path:

Mr Bradford wrote near the end of his essay,

A calculated program of revivals from within the tradition could also further the process, and the conscious sponsorship (with wide publicity directed to our men and women of letters) of a drama which does not take the limiting realities of the human condition as only a source of anger or resentment at the insult to self-experience in the acts of honorable men or the commands of God. New York must be allowed to dry up and blow away, theatrically speaking. An alternative coterie must be assembled, creating space for a rebirth like the miracle of what occurred in Ireland with the Abbey Theater. Good modern plays from Europe should be given close attention . . . .

A good place to look for inspiration of this revival in theatre is Russia, which produced a beautiful animated drama recently named Seraphima’s Extraordinary Adventures, set during WWII under Stalin’s rule.  It is available to watch here at no cost (turn on the subtitles by mashing the ‘CC’ button):

Another one to consider is the film Viy, which is based on Nikolai Gogol’s short story of the same name (it is called The Forbidden Empire/Kingdom in foreign lands).  The short trailer is here:

And the whole thing appears to be here:

For more Russian movies that have grossed well in that country and that look better than the standard Hollywood fare, a list is provided here:

(It must be added, however, that despite these good signs, there are still negative signs as well:  i.e., Russians continue to flock to many Hollywood movies.

All of which only goes to show the continuing need for the South to sunder herself from the broader American culture of death and perversion.


Speaking of death and perversion, Justice Kavanaugh has given conservatives their first reason for disappointment:  voting against allowing a Supreme Court hearing for Kansas’s and Louisiana’s laws banning Medicaid funding from going to Planned Parenthood mills within their respective borders:

But who is more to blame here?  Justice Kavanaugh?  Or is it rather the various State legislators, etc. who pass these laws only for the sake of having something to brag about on their campaign literature for the gullible voters to be in awe over, knowing full well that the federal courts will overturn those laws and that the status quo of child murder, family breakdown, sterilization of women, etc. will continue on?  What we need are State governors, judges, and legislators (and dare we add, kings) who will implement their good Christian laws even when a federal judge attempts to strike them down. 

But that is not going to happen so long as Lincoln’s view of the Omnipotent and Indivisible Union, seated in and dictating from Washington City, remains dominant in the minds of Christians and conservatives.  Nor will it happen so long as the Enlightenment/Founding Era principle of the disestablishment of Christianity, which begets religious pluralism, which begets relativism, which has begotten the Supreme Court’s current abortion jurisprudence, remains enshrined in the highest tables of laws in the several States.


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

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