I’m back to writing for Beneath the Tangles again. May this become a habit! This recent post covers my reflections on lust which were inspired by episode six of Combatants Will Be Dispatched. I hope that you enjoy it.
The Halloween season has given me some impetus to think about the horror genre. A while back, an academic named E. Michael Jones was on the Patrick Coffin show explaining how he thought about the horror genre. He has written at least two works on this subject: Monsters from the Id: The Rise of Horror in Fiction and Film and Sex with Monsters. Jones believes that the modern horror genre arose as a reaction to the free love movements of the 19th century and reached its full flowering following the Sexual Revolution. Many persons were hurt by the myriad problems which inevitably arise from sexual licentiousness and enjoyed a cathartic reaction from a central message of many horror stories: sex can kill you.
You all know how this story ends. Or, if you don’t, School Days should be on your list.
School Daysmight be the anime locus classicus for such a theme, but my dear readers know–know even a priori–that playing Don Juan for a length of time is going to lead one to embarrassing, painful, and even dangerous situations. People don’t like being used as playthings, and the relatives of the playthings take an even dimmer view of such conduct. The fact that one’s partner consents to the relationship does not take away from the feeling of being used. The Sexual Revolution tried to paint promiscuity as a desirable thing, even promoting contraceptives and abortion so that women could participate in “consequence- free” sex.
Here’s a post I originally intended for my column on Beneath the Tangles. However, I forgot that the site is concentrating on Key visual novels for Holy Week. But, the article came out decently well and it have a perfect screencap for April Fools’ Day, so I’m posting it here. Next week, I’ll go back to writing about Ashita no Joe for the column Examining Old School Anime. Hope that you enjoy it!
This April Fools’ Day, let’s take a break from Ashita no Joe and delve into Urusei Yatsura instead. I wished to write about something more humorous than usual and figured that romantic love made for the perfect topic. But, just how is romantic love a religious topic? Why, moral theology concerns itself with romance, especially the sins of lust, more than any other topic! Consider that two out of the ten commandments prohibit lust, one of the Six Precepts of the Roman Catholic Church bids us to follow Church laws on marriage, St. Paul singles out fornication as the sin to avoid most (1 Cor. 6:18), fornication was a prominent issue at the very first Church Council in the Acts of the Apostles, romance stands as the chief difference between the ordinary vocation (marriage) and the other three vocations (single, priestly, and religious), and Christ’s very relationship with the Church is described as a kind of romance with the Church as the bride of Christ.
But, the Church deals with romance as a grave matter; however, that’s the least helpful way to deal with romance in one’s personal life. Imagine proposing to someone by saying that they wish to marry them in order to build up the Body of Christ and cool the flames of lust. How quickly would anyone run away from such a proposal! St. Francis de Sales puts the matter much better: “If a man and woman love each other, they should marry.” Love itself has been described in Plato as “divine madness.” When one considers all the absurdities and misunderstandings concomitant with romantic love, the idea of divine madness applies to this form of love more perfectly than the others. Traditionally, these misunderstandings are said to have been caused by the Fall. Yet, since Adam and Eve did not realize the simple concept that they should talk over major decisions before making them, the relationship between the sexes could not have been too much better in the state of Original Justice.