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Scissor happy censors cut everything from the great films of Hollywood’s Golden Age Of Animation they thought might offend anyone leaving very little for those who love these films just as Thomas Bowdler cut everything from THE BIBLE, the works of Shakespeare and other great writers he thought might offend a family around a dinner table. Personally, I find that if the only Shakespeare that can be discussed around the dinner table with propriety is a castrated Shakespeare then I will skip dinner.

2 Corinthians 12:9 Common English Bible (CEB)

He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me.

Almost all of us grow up having been taught, “You are only one person. What can you do?”

If we refuse to accept that the people who say that tell us we are crazy.

People have been telling me I am crazy from as far back as I can remember. I guess I was born crazy.

Steve Jobs (quoting Jack Kerouac) said, “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

He’s right. When we look at the list of the people who have changed this world of ours for the better one thing stands out. That one thing is that in their day every last one of them was seen as crazy, meshugana, what have you.

How can you care for others if you don’t take care of yourself first I often hear.

To a degree that is true. If we don’t put on an oxygen mask in a plane crash before we help others we can’t help others. But if after we have taken care of our self we don’t help those around us well, we’re definitely not crazy.

Too bad.

Saying Socrates was mad because he heard a voice that inspired him is how the mediocre dismiss Socrates.

“You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me, and is the divinity which Meletus ridicules in the indictment. This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.” — Socrates, Plato’s Apology 

We all hear that voice.

I heard it when one day while posting flyers for my programs I met an old friend of mine from Rochdale College in the late 1960’s. As we walked together I discovered he was living on the street. I was astounded to learn this. I said to him, “I have a room.”

Now according to the laws of Toronto I had no legal right to offer him a room. Capacity for unrelated people living together at that time was four. I have learned that now it is three.

My friend said, “I have no money.”

I said, “I know that.”

After he had moved in I helped him get in touch with social agencies I knew would help him. Because I am willing to take in people others will not often those agencies would call asking if I had room. When I could I did.

My friend got his feet on the ground. After a while he grew stronger. Then he moved on but not before dismissing the voice that had called me to help him.

Which voice was that? It was Jesus:

Matthew 25:31-46 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Final Judgment

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

My GOD is not found in a church, a synagogue or a temple.

My GOD is found on the street among the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the jailbirds, the strangers.

This is seen as wrong by more than a few people: “For his part, Reg Hartt is insistent that the Cineforum is not, strictly speaking, a cinema. “It’s a school, not a theatre,” he tells us, before elaborating to say that he considers it more of a public forum for learning about and discussing ideas, comparing it to Gertrude Stein’s Parisian salon. But the fact remains that a large part of the space’s function is screening films for which attendees pay admission. Thus, according to Elizabeth Glibbery, the Toronto and East York Manager of the Municipal Licensing & Standards Division  (  https://ca.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-glibbery-13553816      ), it operates as a place of public assembly, for which the building is not zoned.”[He is] inviting in people who may not be known to him,” Glibbery told us, when asked how a group of people gathered at the Cineforum differs from a group of friends gathered to watch a DVD at any other apartment in the Toronto.

Yes, I am inviting strangers into my home.

As a Christian that is part of what I am called to do.

That so many who call themselves Christians not only do not do that but also fault me doing that speaks to their deafness to the voice I hear loud and clear.

Too many pray to God on Saturday (Sabbath) and/or Sunday (The Lord’s Day) and prey on men the remaining days of the week.

Beating a person for wrongdoing only beats the badness in.

Let them be.

The problem is that they can not let me be.

Nor could they let Socrates nor Jesus (nor, for that matter The Buddha) be.

St. Francis is said to have stated, “Preach Christ constantly (use words if you must).”

I love that.

Preach simply means publish. Publish means at its best to make generally known, to establish.

We establish the Kingdom of God on earth by ignoring the voice of the law of the land which says we can’t help and by following the voice of the law of God which says we must help.

That so few, including Bylaw enforcement officers, choose to be deaf to that voice is their problem not mine.

It is their problem because in that final moment the voice they dismiss will dismiss them saying, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

I am 72.

I don’t need eternal life though if I get it I hope it is better than this one where I definitely feel the ravages of time (as does everyone else my age).

I don’t do what I do because I fear damnation. Nor do I do it because I wish to win favor with a higher power.

I do it because I have been hungry, thirsty, naked, a stranger, sick and in jail and I owe my life to others who helped me.

I do it because I know it is the right thing to do.

I think God, if God exists, would approve that reason as the best reason of all.

When I am on the streets posting flyers for my programs I meet a lot of people who believe they are saved and are concerned because they think I am not.

Perhaps I’m not. I do know that through breaking the law of the land I have physically saved an awful lot of people.

My City Councillor is Joe Cressy. This week I contacted Joe’s office. As in the past when I contacted Joe’s office I got no reply.

“You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me, and is the divinity which Meletus ridicules in the indictment. This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.” — Socrates, Plato’s Apology

Politicians are forever commanding us to do what they know is wrong. How can any person who respects them self become a politician?

It was for this that the politicians of Athens condemned Socrates.

It is for this that Elizabeth Glibbery condemns me.

The word “glib” means smooth, slippery, lacking in depth ( https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/glib ). The aptly named Elizabeth Glibbery is certainly showing lack of depth  in her condemnation of myself for welcoming strangers into my home.

Here are the upcoming programs I am welcoming strangers into my home to see:

Saturday, June 23, July 7.

5pm: JANE JACOBS: URBAN WISDOM (2004) A film by Don Alexander. Laura Lind, in EYE weekly, wrote, “Reg Hartt’s Cineforum is everything Jane Jacobs wrote about.” What makes this place everything Jane Jacobs wrote about is the constant efforts of the city (including my councilor Joe Cressy’s “deafness”) to destroy it. There doesn’t seem to be much creativity at the top. It seems to me that Toronto has a split personality, a civic schizophrenia. On one level there is the spirit of individuals and small groups who do things…what you might call the vernacular spirit. This is all very informal, ingenious, quite romantic and full of fun, a great deal of fun. It seems to me that the official spirit of Toronto is stamp out fun. It’s pompous, impressed with mediocrity if its very, very big and expensive,”–Jane Jacobs   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUO20–hXw8       .

People have had and continue to have a lot of fun here. I guess that’s why this place must be stamped out.

7pm: FILMS MADE BY SALVADOR DALI WITH LUIS BUNUEL AND WALT DISNEY.

Told by his teachers he had no talent Dali replied, “You are not fit to judge me.” Too many are told by their teachers they have no talent. Not nearly enough reply, “You are not fit to judge me.”

In 1929 Dali met Luis Bunuel by chance  on the way to have breakfast. They decided to make a film which, in the words of Dali, would be “An Iberian dagger thrust deep into the breast of witty and intellectual Paris.” Their second film was banned worldwide. The Roman Catholic Church condemned it as blasphemous pornography.” Well, that depends on our view of what is blasphemy and what is pornography.” To those allowed only to love spiritually any depiction of carnal love must always be pornography but the flesh is only the spiritual slowed down to the point where it becomes tangible. To those truly in the spirit all love is spiritual including sex with the absolute strangers we are called in Christ to welcome into our lives. As for blasphemy, it seems to me the greatest blasphemy is to place words of love our lips while removing them from our hearts. Viewed in this light these two condemned films rank among the most powerful religious documents ever created.

By chance Dali met Walt Disney in a restaurant. Disney said to Dali, “Come make a film with me.” Dali did.

This is an extraordinary screening. You will be entranced.

9pm: What I Learned With LSD A talk by and with Reg Hartt. I learned a lot. So, I have discovered, have many of the people who have come to this program which is why it is a talk by and with myself. I am eager to hear you.

Sunday, June 24, July 1,

2pm: What I have learned about Christ From The Shroud of Turin (includes a video with Barrie Schwartz one of the official photographers for THE SHROUD OF TURIN RESEARCH PROJECT–STURP). The Shroud Of Turin has a lot to teach those of us who will listen.

5pm: THE JAZZ SINGER (1927). Al Jolson. The only singer to approach Jolson has been Michael Jackson which is even more interesting when we consider Jolson was a white man who often sang in blackface (if you think that offensive don’t come) while Michael Jackson was a black man who did everything he could to physically transform himself into an idealized version of a white person. THE JAZZ SINGER remains one helluva powerful movie. It has been remade several times but the lightning struck the first time only. In 1980 I brought motion picture sound pioneer Bernard B. Brown (who worked on this film) to Toronto for three days during which I learned more than I would have in three (or thirty-three) years in university.

7pm: THE BEST OF THE SEX & VIOLENCE CARTOON FESTIVAL. Scissor happy censors cut everything from the great films of Hollywood’s Golden Age Of Animation they thought might offend anyone leaving very little for those who love these films just as Thomas Bowdler cut everything from THE BIBLE, the works of Shakespeare and other great writers he thought might offend a family around a dinner table. Personally, I find that if the only Shakespeare that can be discussed around the dinner table with propriety is a castrated Shakespeare then I will skip dinner.

9pm: The Film Of T. S. Eliott’s MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL (1951). Becket had been the king’s man when he served the king. He was true to his master. The king appointed him Archbishop of Canterbury making Becket God’s man on Earth in England. Becket was then true to God. That cost him his life on earth. The war between the powers of this world and that of the one power that surpasses this world has never been better portrayed. The voice of T. S.  Eliot himself plays the role of the final tempter. These are the temptations  we all face be we Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jew, Moslem or what have you. They are the temptations I face. God grant me the grace to meet them as Becket met them and to meet my finish as Becket met his.

See you at the movies. Strangers are most particularly welcome including Elizabeth Glibbery and Joe Cressy who probably need to come to The Cineforum more than anyone else in this city.

6/23/2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Native American people originally taught that beating a person for bad behavior only pounds the badness in. I’m with them. Let the woman wear what she wants. Show faith in her. Eventually she will come around. It’s time we stopped beating the badness in.

Business people sneer at artists as crazy people. They said Andy Warhol was crazy when he painted soup cans. Originally those soup can paintings were offered at $100 each. Very few people bought them. Today they are going at over $11 million each. Show me a business person who has created anything THAT valuable. And Warhol, unlike them, did it without harming the planet.

 

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