Is anyone else tired of 'Narnia?'
Please forgive me for this blog-complaint. I try not to be one who takes out my petty frustrations on my keyboard. But with the upcoming release of "Prince Caspian," I have been overloaded with Narnia advertising. First, the full-length preview before the movie "Ironman" (which, by the way, was more than tolerable). Then, ABC is replaying the "The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe" complete with interviews with the characters, clips from the upcoming movie, and way too many commercials (I think the broadcast went for 3 hours). Today, as I peruse the blogosphere, I run into at least three separate websites that have Narnia video clip advertisements.
To be honest, I'm not exactly sure why this turns me off so much. Perhaps it is my deranged need to always be "different" or not following the crowd. Ever since high school, if something was popular, I hated it. And I'll admit, my disdain could be just that juvenile. But I get the sense that there is something more...
It seems to me that the Christian pop-culture dollar is very easy for Hollywood to lure and attain. Certainly not the first, but perhaps the most infamous, "The Passion of the Christ" showed us that Christians will spend millions on a movie they fully endorse - including booking entire theatres for their congregations to be ensured a seat. I still still movie posters for Mel Gibson's interpretation in pastor's offices and youth rooms. What will happen after six installments of Narnia?
I was a little young, but I certainly remember the day when Disney was labeled "evil" by the Christian community. The cartoons had subliminal messages; the corporation supported the gay-rights movement and Pocahantas worshiped trees and "mother earth" instead of Jesus. But now, with Narnia, the Christians are back on board without a second thought! I see more advertisements on "Christian" webpages (Sojourners, BeliefNet) than anywhere else. Obviously, the Christian dollar has power in the media market.
And I think that is what bothers me. The blatant targeting of my money sends an implicit message that, as a Christian, I will only buy Christian books, DVD's and movie tickets. It tells me that I'm too dumb to know the difference between a good movie, and a movie that should never have been made (I'm pretty sure C.S. Lewis would have more than a few issues with his books being mass-marketed like this). The saddest part of all is that the media market implicitly tells Christians this message through extensive and blatantly targeted advertising, and we confirm that message by making the movies multi-billion dollar successes.
So bring on the cereal boxes and the action figures. Jesus loves Narnia. Because we all know - C.S. Lewis was a Christian, right? And whoever who wrote "The Golden Compass" hates Christians (doesn't she?), so we better be sure that Narnia makes way more money to prove to the world that God always wins!! And thank God that evil Harry Potter mess is behind us - all of that "magic" talk is straight from the gates of hell.....