domingo, 4 de janeiro de 2009

The Katurran Journey: The good, the bad and the ugly

The Katurran Odyssey, as you may agree, is a beutifull book. Created by the Star War designer Terryl Whitlacth and the screenwriter David Michael Wieger, certainly this is a master piece in many aspects. The ilustrations are simply amazing and breath taking; both the landscapes, the seascapes, and above all the characters, are beutifully ilustrated; I specifically enjoyed the bats, birds and pterosaurs flying in a the brightly coloured sky. The main character, Katook the lemur, is as cute as a real lemur (his blue eyes make him very beutifull as well, but still I prefer the brown eyed primates), and Quigga is better than all quagga pictures I've seen; I'm now ashamed for having never seen one alive (no one nowdays can anyway). The sea is beutifully decorated in a scene by beutifull fish, cetaceans and icthyosaurs, and Gamic's spectral appearence strongly reminds me of an aye-aye (oh wait, he's an aye-aye). The bone crushers (if they are hyenas, hyenodonts or mesonychians, I have no idea) and the other predators have that charm only real carnivores have, and the golden monkey city strongly is superior in terms of beuty to even the Indian temples or the mayan pyramids. Indeed, everything is beutifull.

However, everything beutifull has its dark side, and The Katurran Odyssey is no exception. Beneath these layers of magnificience lay sublimal messages that are simply horrible to me, and yet very obvious (otherwise I wouldn't be wasting my time writing this crap). Thats why I actually have to sadly compare this book with a series that I, and many other sane people, hate: The Chronicles of Narnia.

Perhaps the most obvious message this book transmits is religion. The story has a particular character that makes obvious what I'm saying. The Fossah (note: mispelling of the word "Fossa", though the word is spelled somewhat like that, in english obviously [I won't involve portuguese because I know english speakers can't pronounce portuguese words correctly]) is obviously the author's answer to C.S. Lewis Aslan: he seems to be (no, he IS) an alegory for Jesus (and he's a feliforme mammal, thus making the connections even more obvious, though I can't accuse the jerks of copyrighting), or at least of the christian God (whereas Jesus and God are supposed to be one and the same I have no fuckin' idea; thats why I'm not christian, as I don't believe in things that contradict themselves!). After all, he is a supernatural figure who is also supposedly the creator of Katurran's world, and most importantly he was also alongside Katook during the whole story and is worshipped by at least the lemurs. Not to mention the fact that he also has his "angels", the swifts and the butterflies. And a heaven like place.

The problem is not the fact this book promotes religion (in fact, I don't mind to read christian literature as long as there's tolerance towards other beliefs), but it also promotes aspects of religion that are morally dangerous. I hope the authors did this as an accident, otherwise they need to explain me a lot of things.

The first is creationism. There's not a single non-avian dinosaur in the whole movie (which lead a critic to say that they show other "prehistoric stars"; check this book's site), but many other prehistoric animals appear, from the Mesozoic Archeopteryx, icthyosaurs and pterosaurs to the Cenezoic mammoths, terror birds, Osteodontornis (a sea bird), Zeuglodon (a primitive whale) and Thylacosmilus (a saber toothed marsupial), as well as the recently extinct thylacine and quagga. All these creatures are seen side-by-side with modern animals (most of them endangered), so its hard to believe a shade of creationism prommotion is absent. I don't need to say why creationism is bad, and if you don't know just contact me and I'll tell ya.

The other is racism and/or specieism (and religious intolerance; keep readin'). Like in many christian fantasy series (Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter [yep, J.K. Rowling is christian], etc.), the villains belong to a specific specie, instead of having antagonists of the same species of the heros. The golden monkeys are an obvious example, and being endangered as they are it would give them a bad image, thus proving fatal for their conservation. Even more outrageous is having the evil priest Gamic as an aye-aye, already in trouble because of religious practises in Madagascar of killing any aye-aye that appears in front of a person. The fact the golden monkeys worship themselves is also an attack to LaVeyan Satanism, and showing the Koloboos as wise but cold is almost like saying "if you are smart then you are evil!"

Thus, while its a beutifull work of art, it certainly its an imoral book

(Yes, I know I got the title wrong; however, while I left the post's title alone, I corrected the title in the message)

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