A Vane Attempt

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A Series of Innocuous Blogs for  Edification.

THE VERY LATEST:

They Come From Beyond

What's Goin On

When the Jig is Up

Piltdown Deception

Return From the Wars

Trouble With ID

The Life of Emile Zola

Too Many Tear Drops

Small is Beautiful?

A Grand Illusion

Markets and Evolution

Consent at Issue

Nothing... Really

Day the Earth Stands Up

God, Man and Science

Still it Moves

Absolute Obedience

Back to Life

The Reality Game

Good Will Charity

Stage Beauty

The Gnostic Gospels

Only Trouble Is...

The Roots of Slavery

Imperfect Vision

A Story of Ruth

Becoming Like US

Terror: Religious Cults

All Government's Men

Un-Natural Selection

Truth Will Set Us Free

A Limitless Horizon

Combatants By Another

An Ethical Environment 

A New Quest Begins 

Truth Be Told 

In Memory of Warsaw 

Dr. Johnson's Karma 

Soul of the New World 

Newfound Floods

Not the Worst of Evils

A Pathetic Pathologist

The Color of Charity

Black Water

A Matter of "Doubt"

Fright Control -

Norman and the Swan

A Sign in Left

"Sensasucation"

"Suffer the Children"

Hail the Titanic

Inherent Worth & Dignity

Swimming to Salvation

Beyond Ignorance

The Last Home Run

Propaganda's Iron Curtain

A Ghetto of Disbelief

The Conscience of OxBow

Ever, Ever So Good

Galileo's Inspiration

Of Loyal Purpose

A Matter of Moral Authority

Assassination of the Ashes

Dmitri's Questionable Compositiion

 "REAL NEWS!"


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Alphtor Goes Berserk

Postmark Valentine

Lend a Hand

Happy New Year!

To Hell With Dancing

A Rotterveil Christmas

Swamedy

A Bird in Winter

The Eleventh Hour

The Pharmacy

But we Love Each Other

All You Can Be

Besmirched!

Infernal Drumming!

Two Flowers

Surprise Attack! 

Ezra Loves Rachel

Dress Code

Anga Roo Court

Hat Brims at War

Anga Roo Court!

Hat Brims at War

Start Your Engines!

Pygmy Predicament

Holding Stocks

Pygmies!

The Inner Sinkdom

Learning Burning

Action Jackson!

Don't Be an Ass!

Reward-Free Work

You Are the Light

A Level Field

Shoot Ole Willie

Blind Date

A Bird Inside

Doin My Job

Crisis at E-Con

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Brush It Off

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Douglas and Scott

Kid Trouble Pt 2

Kid Trouble

Northern Post

Central D' Saster 12

The Proper Gander

Mortal Massacre

Human Relations Primer

Getting DisOrganized

Sorely Pressed

Central D'Saster 11

Flame Retardant

Central D' Saster 10

School For Scandal 

Something's Afoot!

Antagonism, Again!

The Last Harblingaha…

The Pump Don't Work?

The Extremely Frugal Club

Socks Suck Big Time!

Double Decker 

Get Home 

Central D' Saster 8

Angels Fear to Tread

Shadow Talk

Central D' Saster 7

Black to the Future

Adventures in Advertising

Down & Out Scare Club

Central D' Saster 6

Diabolique Chocolique

Welcome To Tell Gus

Search Me

Limited Overhead

Jimmy Gets High

Rehabilitees

Welcome to Tell Gus2

Central D' Saster

Shot Through the Heart

Inherit the Sin

Antagonism

Twenty Four...Seconds

Central D' Saster2

Hurt Like I Do

Class Morality

Central D' Saster 3

Central D' Saster 4

Central D' Saster 5

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 Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law
 
Rational Magic
February 9, 2010 

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”  Arthur C. Clarke

 

At the very heart of Warner Brothers new film Sherlock Holmes lies an unfortunate secret.  It is revealed at a meeting between Holmes, Chief Justice Sir Thomas Rotham, Home Secretary Coward, and American Ambassador Standish in the headquarters of the Temple of the Four Orders.  Superficially a matter of illegitimate birth, the secret is really about corruption within.  It appears to Holmes, skeptical of secret orders and the powers they wield, that the Temple is in danger of a coup d’état led by the nefarious dark master, Lord Blackwood.  But Blackwood, a serial murderer caught by Holmes, was hung by the neck until dead. In the presence of Holmes and the good Dr. Watson.   It was after all, Watson who pronounced the villain dead!

 

“Be as skeptical as you like Holmes, but our secret systems have steered the world toward the greater good for centuries.  The danger is they can be used for more nefarious purposes.” 

 Sir Thomas Rotham, Chief Justice

 

The Temple leaders believe that Lord Blackwood has used the occult Book of Spells to harness the dark arts and return from the grave.  Holmes, ever the pragmatist driven by rational thought – doubts the entire enterprise.  But when asked by the Home Secretary what his price will be, he agrees to help; though not for the Temple leaders or for a price.  Holmes’ weakness is stagnation.  Without a formidable intellectual challenge, he sits at home desultory, blasting holes in the walls with a pistol.  His is a restless mind.  In constant need of stimulation, else the black dog of depression tears it apart.

 

The film’s leading roles are beautifully played by Jude Law (Dr. Watson) and Robert Downey Jr. (Holmes) with no small measure of passion and wry humor.  The characters  are two long-time friends with a deep camaraderie, each of whom is enamored of one another and a woman.  It makes for a touching cinematic display of friendship veering down the path of familial growth.   The film is energetically directed by Guy Ritchie and dressed with lovely sepia-toned shots of nineteenth century London.

 

What is striking and worthy of the narrative is the agreement by both the Temple’s secret order and Sherlock Holmes that there is a cancer in their midst.  While it emanates from the small circle of Blackwood’s influence, it affects the larger order.  Holmes sees corruption as the inevitable outgrowth of power.  To him, co-option of knowledge by a small group of brokers eventually leads to villainy.  It is not only human in nature – it is endemic to people.  Thus even the temples of good will, given unconstrained power become corrupt.  In this case when the magic of the order fails, the power of rational thought does not.  It is a perfect application of Holmes’ analytical skills.

 

On the deeper unconscious level we might speculate on why it is that Holmes so distrusts the power of the order.  And instead relies on the difficult process of rational thought.  We might say that Holmes despite appearances and anti-social manner, is a religious man.  If he were to subscribe to a doctrine of divine power – it would not be that of a secret order of men.  Rather, Homes would believe that a loving God need not manipulate men for the greater good.  Nor secrete knowledge and power.  To Holmes’ rational mind a loving God would be disinterested in even His own powers.  A true God would care only to shed His grace upon His creation, unimpeded by orders and sects and the occult.  It is after all the Christian ideal to have faith and believe in the almighty Father, for whom the original Temple was built.