Cotton Mather Action Figure

As your opinionated citizen-journalist noted in Afraid of Our Own Shadow, there’s not much in the culture that doesn’t connect with politics.

Proving once again that great minds think alike, Alex Mar of Salon sees more than entertainment in the rise of exorcism in fiction, movies and practice…

The exorcism movie is the most all-American of “spiritual” films, reducing complex religious beliefs to something more palatable: a take-charge action adventure with clear, targeted results. Much like the Roman Catholic Church, this brand of Hollywood horror frames evil as a diagnosable disease to be cured through extreme treatment, and its spiritual discussion rarely goes beyond the black-and-white “Is there a devil, or isn’t there?” It’s a clear, explicit test of faith in which there’s finally no room for doubt — unlike in everyday experience of spirituality. The genre has a familiar cast of characters, conflicts and a specific message about the nature of evil. Is also a genre with a remarkably conservative slant — a tradition that dates back across the last 70 years.

Read the rest here. I’m coming down with a cold, or maybe just dry eyes from too much screen staring, so I’ll write when I can.

This February,Trinity Rep is playing, ‘The Crucible’. Uganda is purifying itself of homosexuals, aided and spurred on by American evangelicals. The Vatican is training exorcist priests. Maybe it’s not a cultural trend, but I’m watching.