Kupelian asks repeatedly what our reaction would be if an incestual relationship, one between an adult and minor, or one between drug dealer and addict were crafted with the players 'humanised'. Alas, until Hollywood's drive to normalise perverted sexual acts first overcomes the hurdle of humanising homosexuality, we may never know what the result of such movies would be. I fear such idle musing is fruitless and laughable, hurting the credibility of his wider argument.
'...when you leave the theater, unless you're really objective to what you've experienced, you've been changed - even if just a little bit,' states Kupelian in a powerfully moving moment. A wretched, small part of myself must agree, and his openness with his readership forces me to be similarly frank. While watching American Beauty I ached - ached! - to be a man comfortably in his middle age, agonising over his lust for a teenage girl. Who can forget Hitler: the Rise of Evil? The passion, the fear, the intensity of Robert Carlyle's performance swept me up in its despicably liberal detailing of Hitler's humanity - I could already hear those thousands of jack boots marching all for me, the sound of Communists being bludgeoned in the streets for the benefit of my personal ideology. Watching What Lies Beneath forced me to see, to hear, to feel the love and compassion of a man who is also a murderer - and I desired, oh how I desired so very strongly to turn off the television, because it's a terrible movie.
And that's what makes Kupelian's overarching point so beautiful, for all of Brad's nitpicking. Seeing that the most vile people who will touch our lives and leave their mark upon history are not fictional monsters crafted to scare us away with a clear moral message, but human - with terrifyingly familiar motives, loves, passions, beliefs, fears and vulnerabilities - makes it that much harder to stick to our principles. Ethics are fragile, darling little things, requiring constant nourishment and support. Nothing threatens to shatter their frail yet clear-cut frames more than the dark shadow of understanding, which could blacken and overwhelm our ways of thinking every time we watch movies, unless they in any way involve Mel Gibson because he turns everything he touches to mindless, entertaining dross. As Kupelian argues so vociferously, the darkest knowledge is that which constitutes reality and disagrees with our existing conceptions. Learning could even convince us that our belief in a certain action, concept, way of life or person being evil might not be correct, a heart chilling admission second only in its horror to admitting that we are wrong.
Doubt and the world around us are the worst enemies of the landscape of our minds; the reason derived from such knowledge is the foe of our God given nature.
Oh and our God given nature should not be regarded as sinful in this instance because hating homosexuals is a prejudice society will not ostracise me for having. Otherwise we're inherently wicked, constant struggle with inner evil, etc. etc. Goodnight.
-The Rev. Schmitt.