Bad Revising

Bad Revising

My last post was on how I revised the work of a writer on our team. (external link).

The next example is of bad revising, in which some unknown scriptwriter revises the book of one of the greatest minds of the 20th century. The arrogance and gall of this writer is appalling.

“The novel’s utopian vision, with its ugly flares of racism and misogyny, also required renovation. ‘The book’s hugely problematic,’ Wiener said. So the show pivoted toward equality, race-bending and gender-flipping several of the supporting characters.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/13/arts/television/brave-new-world-peacock.html (external link)

This paragraph relates to a new miniseries which is bringing to life the book Brave New World. The New York Times, incredibly, quoted that writer’s drivel.

If you’ve read Brave New World, I’d suggest reading Huxley’s set of essays in Beyond the Mexique Bay, particularly ‘Copan.’ It is masterful creative nonfiction (external link), with Huxley speculating and ruminating on many themes besides a drugged out future.

Huxley is challenging. He was formidably educated and conducted provocative, mind-enlarging essays. He wrote for the well read who were brought up with the classics and who knew Greek and Latin. Still, this is like having the company of a very smart friend. Learn to keep up. Because it’s worth it.

As with all difficult writers, however, the internet has made him more accessible than at any other time. While reading his writing on the web, you can look up his references and allusions as you go.

To read the uncensored Huxley is to know the true, full man of his time, not the man we want to manufacture today.

It is an absolute tragedy that young people will watch this bilge and think this film represents the book.

It is a continuing tragedy that our history is being erased to fit the times, that our society, our great achievements, and yes, our great writers, are all being brought low to satisfy our present day short attention span culture, with its attendant political correctness.

Henry Ford once declared that history was bunk. That’s not a bad quote from a semi-literate. But to have academia embrace that thought is a breaking down of our most bedrock intellectual principles. It does violence against reason.

Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. We’ve heard that maxim since third grade, it’s accepted wisdom. Inviolate. Yet, how do we learn from the past if we alter its record? A bumper sticker once read: “Seat belts, helmet laws. What next, Comrade?”

Huxley’s Doors of Perception led me to try LSD. Twice. His experiences with that drug while it was still legal were beautifully expressed. So much so that I had the confidence to try it when the right opportunity presented itself.

I’m waiting for that book to be banned. For their own good, we can no longer let young people make free, risky choices. We want to take away all risk today. Look at our colleges.

They have gone from trying to protect a young person’s physical health to protecting their mental health and their emotional state.

Dare to read. Dare to decide. Dare to think on your own. We are now shaming people who do.

I have a suggestion for those crippled  screen writers. Work on your own writing instead of tearing down the writing of someone else. Someone you will never equal.

Here are just two paragraphs from Beyond the Mexique Bay, a travel book into the land and mind of a distant place. Numinosity, by the way, refers to something invoking a strong spiritual feeling, perhaps of the Divine. . . .

Esquipulas is the home of a Black Christ of such extraordinary sanctity that every January pilgrims came, and still come, from enormous distances to worship at his shrine. It seems that in the eyes of all the aboriginal American races, black is traditionally a sacred colour; so that what draws the worshippers from as far as Mexico in the north, and as Ecuador in the south, and even as Peru, is probably less the saintliness of the historic Jesus than the magical sootiness of his image. With us, black is symbolical only of grief. The black uniform of our clergy is a kind of chronic mourning that is meant, I suppose, to testify to the essential sérieux of their official character. It has no magical significance; for on all ceremonial occasions it is discarded for a praying costume of white linen, or of cloth of gold, or of gaudily embroidered silk.

But though black is not with us a sacred colour, black images of exceeding holiness are none the less fairly common in Europe. The reason, I suspect, is that such statues have a somewhat sinister appearance. (The Holy Face of Lucca is very nearly black and, with its glittering jewelled eyes, is one of the strangest and most terrifying sculptures ever made.) In Otto’s terminology, black idols are intrinsically more ‘numinous’ than white. Numinosity is in inverse ratio to luminosity.

Last thought. Do you think our idiot screenwriter could ever pen something like that?

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