Neither Promotion nor Prevention be!

Time for a little international news.

Never one to flee from a ghost (loud groan!), Nick Packwood (fresh from a little blasphemy-blogging) links a Guardian piece about the curse still haunting the Guildford Cathedral, site of the 1976 Omen film:

....the negative connotations of this scene from the 1976 horror film The Omen have overshadowed Guildford cathedral, where it is set, for 30 years. Now the cathedral's dean, Victor Stock, has used the release of a remake of the film to launch a scathing attack against all those concerned.

Stock believes that The Omen should never have been produced and has urged audiences to stay away from director John Moore's new version, released this week, which stars Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles, Michael Gambon and Pete Postlethwaite. The film follows the assimilation of the 'son of the Devil', Damien, into an ordinary family, who are soon the centre of tragic and bizarre events. The story takes its inspiration from the Bible's Book of Revelation which purportedly predicts the rise of the Antichrist.

Stock said: 'It was a disaster, it should never have been done. People who were a bit thick were frightened to come into the building. If I was dean then, I never would have allowed it. After that, the damage was done.

Nick, who thinks the cathedral's dean protesteth too much, nevertheless agrees with him on one virtue:
Dean Stock and I are at least in lock-step agreement about the virtue of stawing away from this remake. A remastered, rerelease of the original for today's auspicious 6/6/06 date would have been clever and respectful. Using Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles as grotesque meat-puppets in a scene-by-scene remake is just panto without the jolly hockey sticks and the warm glow of gin, tonic and good company. "Michael Gambon should know better." Quite right.
Grotesque meat puppets? Sounds like the Six Hundred and Sixty Sixth Sick Sheikh's Six Hundred and Sixty Sixth Sheep's Sick to me!

You never find me promoting such stuff! (I saw Brokeback Mountain and grew so tired of the sheep that I never bothered to count them.)

But to promote and to prevent! That is the question for the Saudi religious police, who have announced a crackdown on magicians and sorcerers for (what else?) blasphemy:

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's powerful morality police is launching a witch hunt in the birthplace of Islam.

The Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is setting up special centers in all cities to "register complaints on sorcerers and charlatans, track them and terminate them," the authority's chief Sheikh Ibrahim bin Abdallah al-Ghaith told al-Madinah newspaper.

Islam forbids magic and practicing it is considered blasphemy.

I'm thinking The Omen might not be ready for the Saudi market, but I could be wrong.

I haven't seen the film, and I don't know whether I dare. For starters, I have a strange and unexplainable tattoo that appeared on my body during adolescence. And from Dean Esmay's discussion of Anti-Christ Big Business, I learned that God does not hear the prayers of a tattooed man:

Supposedly Islamic Fundamentalists are now the forces of the anti-Christ. Which is kind of funny, because the Muslims believe Jesus is coming back too, and they hope to follow him. And, they aren't allowed to put any marks on their body, which would kind of ruin that whole "mark of the beast" schtick the forces of Satan are supposed to put on their bodies. Don't laugh, I've had Christians try to tell me that soon Muslims will accept "the mark of the beast" on their hands or foreheads. No lie. Thank you total fraud Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, and the rest of their den of thieves.
This cursed apocalyptic doom magical blasphemy business sure gets complicated, doesn't it?

I'm having lots of trouble with interpretation today.

(I'd consult a classical augur, but I generally say "Baah" to magic!)

UPDATE (6/6/6): Today just keeps getting more and more complicated. Now it's Glenn Reynolds the anti-Christ, exposed and damned forever with irrefutable numbers. Glenn avoids the issue by raising pay issues, which is not surprising in light of his 666 Satanic posts per day.

(Actually, my suspicions were raised last year when Glenn was accused of helping the Anti-Christ Liberties Union.)

MORE (6/6/6): Dean Esmay links this post, adding that it's "nice to see the Saudis have at least made it as far as the 17th century." (Might that be 1666?)

posted by Eric on 06.06.06 at 03:53 PM


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» 6/6/06 from Dean's World

In honor of 6/6/06, Eric Scheie notes that the dean of Guilford Cathedral, which was featured prominently in the 1976 classic "The Omen," is blasting the original movi...

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Tracked on June 6, 2006 7:56 PM


I love the idea of magic.

Just show me some that works.

Dean Esmay   ·  June 6, 2006 7:45 PM

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