Santa Monica Daily Press Interview with Screenwriter Michael Chase Walker

Santa Monica Daily Press Interview with Screenwriter Michael Chase Walker

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Call Me Crazy, Maybe! Or, why it’s futile to argue with a fundamentalist

Radical Departures

Conventional thinking subscribes to the idea that some one arrives at their beliefs through a process of experience, deliberation, rationale, and influence, when actually a person is psychologically, even genetically, predisposed to conform to a belief system that caters to and supports their subconscious pathology. If you’re a fundamentalist or radical of any stripe it is neither a rational decision nor the function of an outside (divine) intervention or influence — nor can it be ascribed to the particular persuasiveness of any one doctrine over another. You choose your belief according to your own genealogical and psychological profile. This is what makes it so hard to reason with a fanatic, or, a fundamentalist, because you are not arguing with a typical form of ratiocination. You are confronting someone’s pathology which they are incapable of separating from their perceived reality.  If you call a sane person crazy they’ll slough it off, but call an insane person crazy and they’ll react violently in protest. A fanatic or a fundamentalist is impervious to reason because it is not in their psychological best interest.

 

I read this book in 1986 and it remains the most fascinating examination of the psychological causes of political radicalization, fundamentalism & religious fanaticism. So strange to see us grappling with the causes when this brilliant psychiatrist nailed it 25 years ago. Can you believe this is the most burning issue of our time and the book is out of print?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0156757990/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_jgyCrb0FDNVVG via @amazon

The Gene Pool That Couldn’t Shoot Straight by Michael Chase Walker

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How is it Americans so routinely get it wrong? I swear we could have Jack The Ripper by the short hairs and arrest his dog for public indecency. Bin Laden attacks from Afghanistan, we invade Iraq. We demand background checks, but permit gun shows to carry on unmolested. We clamor for tougher gun registration, but ignore the 600,000 stolen every year from so-called “responsible” gun owners. No matter who or what the issue is Americans seem genetically wired to round up the least likely of culprits and shoot the wrong guy for the wrong reason.

Take progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald who recently lambasted neuroscientist, Sam Harris, author of “The End of Faith” for inciting “Islamophobia” and racism. http://gu.com/p/3eq3n/tw

Sam Harris has for the last five years attested himself to be a brilliant, reasonable, and painstakingly dispassionate point man for one of the more burning issues of our time, i.e. the insidious and deleterious impact of ancient belief systems on our modern civilization and culture. Sam has been especially critical of those who would misguidedly standby as extremists take advantage of our own tolerance and constitutional guarantees and insinuate their backward religious doctrines into every aspect of our society:

North Carolina attempts to declare itself a “Christian” state, same sex marriage, women’s reproductive rights, evolution, science, and even our own national history are being assailed and rewritten daily by fundamentalist fanatics like, David Barton, with the support of U.S. Congressmen and women like, Louie Gohmert, Todd Akins, Richard Mourdock, Virginia Foxx, Michele Bachmann, and Dr. Paul Broun, but, who does Greenwald go after?

Blam blam, oops, missed!

In fact, the whole discussion of atheism v theism seems to veer astray most of the time, with atheists themselves waylaid by that old canard: “atheism is just a belief”, with no empirical evidence or science to support it.

Invariably, we are drawn into tangential discussions of Darwin, Einstein, Higgs Boson, the Big Bang, evolution, Stephen Hawking, and, more recently, Christian poster child and apologist, NIH director, Dr. Francis Collins. The sad truth is arguing with a fundamentalist with science is akin to discussing modern air travel with an Amazonian pygmy. However detailed and scientific the explanation their frame of reference will always be an “Iron Bird”.

But, we do have the science! Huge heaping irrefutable empirical mounds of it. How do we know? We found the bones, baby! Forget physics, try archaeology, anthropology, mythology, the science of mythogenetic diffusion, migration, and the whole 400, 000 years of species mutation and evolution from Homo habilis to Homo Sapiens; from the caves of the Lascaux through the 10,000 year progression of civilizations. The one constant factoid throughout is, out of the hundreds of thousands of gods, totems, idols, spirits, creators, guides, and deities of man’s creation, most fervent beliefs, and elaborate rituals and religions, not one, nada, none, nil, zero, bupkis have proven to be true. All of them, from the bear totems of Hokkaido, through the greek pantheon, have been committed to the burial grounds of the past. We have the bones!

And thus it will be with the very beliefs that plague us today.

It is this resounding death-knell that terrifies today’s fanatics and fundamentalists and fuels their desperate attempts to memorialize them. They know, history, science and time are against them, and will most certainly win out.

Or, as Alan Watts once wrote in his book, The Wisdom of Insecurity,”The great tragedy of Christianity is its obsession with what was true once, rather than, what is true, always.”

And what is the eternal truth?

Well, just as the sun has risen and set for millions of years, so too will man’s gods, goddesses, beliefs and religions and the only truth that will remain for as long as we do is our infinite imaginations.

The Last Unicorn Recording Session w Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury and Michael Chase Walker

30th Anniversary of The Last Unicorn w Mia Farrow, Alan Arkin, Angela Lansbury, Tammy Grimes, Jules Bass and Michael Chase Walker
30th Anniversary of The Last Unicorn w Mia Farrow, Alan Arkin, Angela Lansbury, Tammy Grimes, Jules Bass and Michael Chase Walker

30th Anniversary of The Last Unicorn w Mia Farrow, Alan Arkin, Angela Lansbury, Tammy Grimes, Jules Bass and Michael Chase Walker

In 1974, Michael Chase Walker was living in India researching and acquiring artistic properties for possible productions as full-length animated features. After a chance meeting with former Beatle George Harrison, the two began discussing the prospects of starting an animation studio together. Later that year, in New York City, Walker was interviewing potential animation directors to oversee preproduction. At the time Zander’s Animation Parlour was one of the finest animation companies in New York. Zander’s commercials for Clairol Herbal Essence, and Leggs Sheer Energy were the best on TV, and were designed by graphic artist Keita Colton. At dinner one night, Miss Colton gave Mr. Walker a copy of The Last Unicorn and suggested he make it his first animated production. Walker read it and fell in love with both Colton and the book. He called Maggie Field, Peter Beagle’s agent at Ziegler Diskant Ross and was told the rights were tied up by Judy Balaban and Don Kwine for seven years. When Walker called Don Kwine and offered to buy the rights from him, he was so rudely rebuffed, he had little choice but to call Field back and persuade her to wrest the rights away from Kwine and sell them to him. She eventually relented, and Walker acquired the option in late 1974. [6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Unicorn_(film)

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of my first Motion Picture The Last Unicorn

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In 1974, Michael Chase Walker was living in India researching and acquiring artistic properties for possible productions as full-length animated features. After a chance meeting with former Beatle George Harrison, the two began discussing the prospects of starting an animation studio together. Later that year, in New York City, Walker was interviewing potential animation directors to oversee preproduction. At the time Zander’s Animation Parlour was one of the finest animation companies in New York. Zander’s commercials for Clairol Herbal Essence, and Leggs Sheer Energy were the best on TV, and were designed by graphic artist Keita Colton. At dinner one night, Miss Colton gave Mr. Walker a copy of The Last Unicorn and suggested he make it his first animated production. Walker read it and fell in love with both Colton and the book. He called Maggie Field, Peter Beagle’s agent at Ziegler Diskant Ross and was told the rights were tied up by Judy Balaban and Don Kwine for seven years. When Walker called Don Kwine and offered to buy the rights from him, he was so rudely rebuffed, he had little choice but to call Field back and persuade her to wrest the rights away from Kwine and sell them to him. She eventually relented, and Walker acquired the option in late 1974. [6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Unicorn_(film)

Hey Glenn Greenwald, Sam Harris is not the problem!

ImageSam Harris, the New Atheists, and anti-Muslim animus

A long overdue debate breaks out about whether rational atheism is being used as a cover for Islamophobia and US militarism http://gu.com/p/3eq3n/tw via @guardian

There is no doubt our country is under siege, but perhaps the more dangerous threat comes from the Christian Right and those who would abuse the guarantees, tolerance, and traditions of goodwill our republic extends to all of its citizens. Sam Harris has been a reasoned, responsible and principled voice in alerting us to the extremes of any “faith” that adheres to intolerant, archaic, death-worshipping superstitions that contramand the common good of progress, education, science, and the advancement of civilization. It is not racist, phobic, fear-mongering or wrong to clearly define these distinctions, and make it perfectly clear the enemy is not a race, a people, or a creed, necessarily, but the stultifying and consciousness crushing nature of beliefs forged long ago in ages of ignorance. H.G. Wells once wrote, “Civilization is a race against education and catastrophe.” It is sad and woefully misguided that Mr. Greenwald would misspend his own talent by turning on one of the educators, and not on one of the many looming sources of catastrophe.

http://gu.com/p/3eq3n/tw via @guardian