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The Deadliest Sin
by Amanda Knoss

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Pretty much sums it up.

Pretty much sums it up.
What does a mildly psychotic, gay-hating Baptist reverend do when he is with a lack of funerals of actors-portraying-homosexuals to protest?

Why, picket the funeral of a Canadian of course.

Us diabolical sinners up north partake in way too much gay sex, adultery, divorce and abortion to deserve to live on God's Green Earth. (Whoops, I mean Phelps' Green Earth... sorry Reverend.)

I had heard from a co-worker that Rev. Fred Phelps, well-known for his drama-queen antics against homosexual folks, was 'siccing' members of his Westboro Baptist Church to protest the funeral of a young man who was recently stabbed to death on a Greyhound bus here in Canada. The murder was gruesome enough to warrant international attention.

All the better to climb into the limelight, my pretties.

Apparently the WBC had set its sights on this young man's funeral because of Canada's legislature involving abortion, gay rights and adultery.

Alright, I hear you. You hate something (or everything, whatever floats your boat) and you picket it. I think the WBC's methods are disgusting and deluded, but what's free speech without a couple of wack-jobs to keep us entertained?

But as far as I know, the victim was as follows:

- not committing a homosexual act at the time of the incident
- not committing a sexual act of adultery at the time of the incident
- not receiving an abortion at the time of the incident (nor ever, might I gander)
- not partaking in a divorce at the time of the incident

In fact, there's been no evidence to suggest that this young man had ever publicly done anything to warrant a circus for a funeral. What could the traveller possibly have done so wrong that not only resulted in a gruesome death, but also the blessings of a loony reverend?

Apparently murder is not on the WBC's "to hate" list.

Apparently Canada is.

And apparently,
Indulgence is the Debul.

Indulgence is the Debul.
the poor man is running out of things to cry about.

Well, rather than waiting for poor Jake Gyllenhaal to pass away (I wish him a long, happy life,) I propose that Phelps skip the funerals and just protest the sources of sin themselves- the movies.

Just think, Mr. Phelps- not only would you have an infinite number of films to rise against, but picketing movie rental places around the country is bound to get you what you crave - a headline and a couple of seconds of six o'clock footage.

When one actually sits down to think of it, every single movie promotes some sort of sin, from driving way too fast to glorifying the con-artist life. No wonder we're all doomed for Hell - if this is our entertainment, we are all horrible people.

In fact, I'd have to gander that most movies involve more than one sin - maybe even two or three!

We could look at it from the perspective of the Seven Deadly Sins. Made popular hundreds of years ago, these seven main sins have Christian roots and are meant to warn us humans of the threat of eternal damnation.

The film CRUEL INTENTIONS, for instance, just seethes of the cardinal sin lust. Inspired by the French novel Les Liasions Dangereuses, this horrible movie revolves around the lust of teenagers, unmarried sex and even somewhat of incest (Ryan Phillipe's Sebastian yearns for his step-sister Kathryn, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar.) If that weren't enough, the lustful INTENTIONS incorporates a little bit of wrath, envy, pride, greed... well if we look hard enough, we might find more in there too.

The evil movie CHOCOLAT, starring Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche, takes gluttony to the next level when the main character opens up a chocolaterie and causing tons of townspeople to indulge. The gluttony goes to the next level when folks even begin to lust after each other! Not to mention that the main
Evil in its truest form.

Evil in its truest form.
character is a single mother and somewhat of a (gasp) gypsy.

A common theme in many box office films these days is that of greed. This cardinal sin has movie characters lying, cheating, stealing and overall, enjoying life. This cannot go on! In 1960, the exciting and evil OCEAN'S ELEVEN hit the theatres, featuring The Rat Pack (who promoted way too much enjoyment to begin with.) The story followed WWII vets who go on to rip off five Las Vegas casinos. Now if this weren't blasphemy enough, OCEAN'S ELEVEN even inspired a remake with two sequels! Greedy, greedy people.

Sloth is a bit more difficult to peg down. It can also be described as 'laziness.' I must be slothful, as I'm sitting at the computer rather than running around shouting at other people. But I guess I'm heading there anyway. And you know who else is too? James Bond. Daniel Craig's James Bond, that is. Although always with his hand in excitement, the man is lazy. He has to do everything the easy way - rather than researching a bad guy, he just sleeps with the man's wife (lust!) Rather than going after the bad guy, he sits down to have a game of poker with him! The nerve of some people...

One could say that every one of the films already mentioned has a bit of wrath in them. HEAVENLY CREATURES, however, takes the cake on the wrathful scene. When the families of scarily close friends (lust?) Pauline and Juliet (played by Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet) try to break the girls apart, they vow to do anything to prevent this from happening - even murdering Pauline's mother. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

Envy is another cardinal sin that effects the movie business immensely. Film-goers envy the actors and often the characters. Characters are driven to greed, wrath, and other horrid sins thanks to this one. If crazy children's mascots weren't creepy enough, imagine them with
Going straight to Hell.

Going straight to Hell.
the sin of envy! In DEATH TO SMOOCHY, a jealous Robin Williams portrays washed up children's television show host who is replaced by Edward Norton's Smoochy the Rhino. Williams' character is so jealous that he even wants revenge on Norton (wrath!)

Last but not least in this seven-car pile-up is pride. Pride is an awful thing. Like envy, it promotes the life of the other sins. Take a look at ZOOLANDER, for instance. Model Derek Zoolander is so proud that it blinds him to everything else. His father is so proud that he refuses to accept Derek's metro-sexual existence. And rival Hansel is much too proud to admit that he admires Derek for the first half of the movie.

It doesn't matter whether or not the people in these films finally get onto the right side of the tracks. It doesn't matter that they are pieces of fiction. What matters is that this medium - this motion picture stuff - is spreading sins like the plague. According to Rev. Fred Phelps, an actor who plays a gay person is as bad as Satan himself. Can you imagine what waits for you if you've seen even one of these blasphemous films?

So let the man picket Blockbusters all over the country. It will keep him busy, cause him to avoid desecrating funerals and allow him to engage in any delusion he wants.

One has to wonder how many movies he has seen...

Notes:
1) Canadian + Movie Fan = Lethal dose of Hell coming right up (or at least a long stint in purgatory - we do say "sorry" a lot up here.)
2) This column was written tongue-in-cheek. Please do not take offense (unless, of course, you support the WBC.)
3) Canada attempted to stop the WBC from crossing the border. Although members did manage to slip through, they did not show at the funeral. Hundreds of peaceful supporters for the young man did, however.



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The new, the old and the ugly of film through the perspective of realism, fanaticism or just plain late-night insomnia… ism.


Other Columns
Other columns by Amanda Knoss:

Secondaries: Part Two

Ub Iwerks: Engineering Creativity

UK-Crazy

Star Wars Cubicle Gear

Mano-a-Mano: The Travolta Role

All Columns


Amanda Knoss
If there's something Amanda can't commit to, it's a single taste in films. She believes that Walmart, Starbucks and a certain super-power government are going to clan together to take over the world. Either that, or she's over-caffeinated again.


Contact
If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Amanda Knoss by clicking here.


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