Transport yourself to the global learning hub that was 4th Century Alexandria. The heavens are getting more organized: Greco-Roman polytheism is giving way to Judeo-Christian monotheism. The firmament is getting more chaotic: a crazy, infinite disinterested cosmos is replacing an orderly, geocentric human-focused universe. Scholars preserving ancient books street fight with zealots promoting revolutionary ideas.
A movie about all this (Agora) completes what our previously-reviewed film (Alexander) began. Greco-Roman history is wrapping-up. Our main character Hypatia is a woman, a skeptic and a teacher caught up in theological gang wars for Truth. Rachel Weisz portrays Hypatia smartly and radiantly.
The story details blood feuds between polytheists and monotheists, then Jesus-centered Judaism versus other forms of Judaism. Let's all kill for God. This historical episode reminds us how dark things get when people think their understanding of truth must be brow-beaten or club-beaten into others. How appropriate the title Agora is. This means public space for the free exchange of goods and ideas.
Alas, corralling those who wander from the herd continues today. Even this lowly blogsite is criticized for not choosing a literary prison ... I mean genre ... and remaining within its walls. How dare I mix concern for human justice (such as this entry) with raucous inappropriate humor (such as the last)?
Many men refuse to cry and resist empathizing with others' suffering. Many women can't laugh recklessly and resent those who do. Too bad. I appreciate people who courageously support this blog, which aspires to be both heartsy and ballsy. (Following options are at the bottom of this page.) Here, I urge male readers to feel compassion for victims of earthquakes and tsunamis. Here, I urge female readers to experience an earthquake and tsunami for themselves with me. Ecclesiastes says, "There's a time to weep and a time to laugh." Deal with it.