Saturday, January 05, 2008

Do Not Let Us Be Infected By Our Own Propaganda

One has to give Tim credit for trying (and succeeding!) this weekend... I was taken on two dates. Two dates planned by Tim (both of which I was also accompanied by him). Remind me of this fact when he's gone for most of the rest of the month and I am sulking.

Friday night we went to dinner at a cool Belgian/Australian restaurant called Zot in Society Hill. It was really fabulous food and wine and a nice (albeit cold) walk.

Tonight we went to see a play put on by the Lantern Theater Company - Anthony Lawton's adaptation of C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. The adaptation was great. The entire play only had two actors - Screwtape and his assistant, Toadpipe. There was also a screen on which various pictures or quotes would flash as Screwtape was talking to Wormwood.

To break up the dialogue between Screwtape and Wormwood (who was offstage and not audible), there were funny little interactions between Screwtape and Toadpipe as each new letter from him was delivered.

There was a tap dance to Prodigy's "Their Law", a solo dance performance by Toadpipe to "She's Nineteen Years Old", a tango type dance to the Squirrel Nut Zipper's "Hell", a S&M dance complete with a large whip that I swear was awful close to clipping us more than once, and several other performances.

We really enjoyed the play. Anthony Lawson had some notes in the program about the adaptation that I thought were very well-expressed. Here is an excerpt from that:

Based on his preface, I do not think that Lewis meant The Screwtape Letters to be a work of demonology -- he wasn't primarily interested in explaining devils, or in attributing the world's evil to devils. I think Lewis uses devils, as a conceit, to write a work of theology -- that is, to write a book about God -- and to write a work of psychology -- that is, to write a book about the psyche, or soul.

The Christian tenet that seems to most interest Lewis is Love. And the psychological -- i.e. "spiritual" -- crisis that most interests him is our failure to love.

The alternative to love, Lewis argues, is the paradigm of dominance.

So, as appropriate, we'll leave this post with a quote from the book itself.
"The safest road to hell is a gradual oneā€”the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts."
-C.S. Lewis


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