Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. T. Thorn Coyle and Solar Cross reiterate their support for Pagan chaplain Patrick McCollum in the wake of his official statement regarding the recent Ninth Circuit Court ruling. The seemingly annual article about Salem trying to branch out from its Witchy image has been posted. Unsurprisingly, tourism is the city’s largest money-maker, bringing in an estimated $99 million per year.

Quick Notes: Spartacus, American Gods, and James Arthur Ray

Just a few quick news notes for you on this Friday. Swords, Sandals, and Sex: I know I’ve been talking about Starz new series “Camelot” quite a bit lately, so today I’d like to highlight an excellent essay concerning its stylistic predecessor at the cable network: “Spartacus.” Academic and Patheos.com columnist P. Sufenas Virius Lupus has recently watched both seasons of “Spartacus,” and files this examination of how the show treats sex, history, and religion at his personal blog. “However, my main critique of the newer Spartacus isn’t its history, nor its sexuality (although more will be said on the latter in a moment), it is precisely the matter that Rome got right (even though some bits weren’t quite right in terms of timing, e.g. the taurobolium in the first episode)–the religious aspects of Spartacus: Blood and Sand and its successors is very off. In the 1960 Spartacus, the character of Crassus (a member of the First Triumvirate) says to the very young Julius Caesar at one point that he’d like to obtain a pigeon for a sacrifice, to which Caesar replies that he thought Crassus did not believe in the gods; Crassus replies, “Privately, I believe in none of them; publicly, I believe in them all!” And this is precisely the matter that the newer incarnation of Spartacus goes wrong on–it makes the matter of the gods too much about “belief,” when that is not what pre-creedal religion’s spirituality was based upon.”

Film Reviews: Stardust and Rome

My schedule allowed me to see the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “Stardust” during its opening weekend (a rare occurrence in my household), and since I plugged the movie on my blog earlier this week I thought I would provide a review. But let me preface by quoting a small bit from Roger Ebert’s review that mirrored many of my own feelings concerning “Stardust”. “There are lots of other good things in the movie, but they play more like vaudeville acts than part of a coherent plot. It’s a film you enjoy in pieces, but the jigsaw never gets solved. I liked it, but “The Princess Bride” it’s not.”

Stardust Trailer

The trailer for the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel “Stardust” has been released, and can now be found on YouTube.With the magical themes and adventures within the land of Faerie, not to mention Gaiman’s already enormous popularity among modern Pagans, I’m sure many of my readers will be looking forward to this one. No doubt you’ll hear more about the film on this blog as news and interviews start to surface.