I finished reading Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis) this week and really particularly liked the last couple pages of the last chapter "The New Men." The whole book was a good read, don't get me wrong. I found Lewis entertaining, though provoking, and educational. I'm going to begin reading The Screwtape Letters, and I've got high expectations.
The last bit though was great. He had been pitching the idea of New Men, which more or less could be summed up as (in his words) little Christs. He gives us qualities that would help us recognize one of these New Men. Actually, it might just be better if I take the paragraph and give it to you below.
"Already the new men are dotted here and there all over the earth. Some, as I have admitted, are still hardly recognisable: but others can be recognised. Every now and then one meets them. Their very voices and faces are different from ours: stronger, quieter, happier, more radiant. They begin where most of us leave off. They are, I say, recognisable; but you must know what to look for. They will not be very like the idea of ‘religious people’ which you have formed from your general reading. They do not draw attention to themselves. You tend to think that you are being kind to them when they are really being kind to you. They love you more than other men do, but they need you less. (We must get over wanting to be NEEDED: in some goodish people, specially women, that is the hardest of all temptations to resist.) They will usually seem to have a lot of time: you will wonder where it comes from. When you have recognised one of them, you will recognise the next one much more easily. And I strongly suspect (but how should I know?) that they recognise one another immediately and infallibly, across every barrier of colour, sex, class, age, and even of creeds. In that way, to become holy is rather like joining a secret society. To put it at the very lowest, it must be great fun" — C.S. LewisHe expands on the idea more, but that portion was extremely interesting to me. It really does sound like great fun, something worth pursuing. Lewis would have been a great man to know, I think.
We watched Beauty and the Beast this week. One of the better Disney movies, I'd say. Belle is a great princess, and Gaston is a great prince. I mean, Beast is a great prince. But really though, I like how they slot in at least two cliches, Gaston (handsome rescuer) and villain who traps the maiden in the tower, and turn them on their head. Gaston is sort of an overbearing swaggerer and the Beast didn't even think of keeping Belle trapped in the tower until she mentioned it (which hurt him).
The story's got that weird Stockholm Syndrome thing going on, and Beast is quite obviously a beast when she's falling in love with him, but it is a fairy tale. You've gotta let some things slide like how she was able to hoist him onto the horse after the wolf battle, or how his painting reflected his older self instead of his younger self, or why some animated objects had faces when others didn't, or why Beast was punished at 11 years old for not letting someone into his place, or (and this one didn't come up until I was doing some research just a bit ago) how did the people of the village not know about the beast? The curse only happened like 10 years ago, there are people living in that village that would have been alive at the time of, not only the curse, but the rule of the family beforehand. You've gotta let some things slide. I don't know if you have to let it all slide though...
Seriously though, don't watch Foodfight!.