Girls & Dragon Tattoos

There is a craze in the world these days with regards to girls and dragon tattoos. It’s centred around the release of the new film, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011 version, as there was also a 2009 version).

I’ll go ahead and say I’m not going to be seeing this movie. I, instead, read the first book of the Millennium Trilogy by Swedish author, Stieg Larsson. I wasn’t overly impressed and so I won’t be finishing the book series nor watching the movies.

A friend of mine had the series and so I borrowed them the summer of 2010. I like crime and suspense thrillers, so I thought I might give the series a try. But it was heavy, too much for my taste. I had also thought about quitting during the first book. But I ‘persevered’.

It was within the genre that I like – the crime and suspense thriller. But the sexual nature of the book was, well, over-the-top and perverse. Not your typical Grisham or Ludlum, I suppose.

Today I read an article at Christianity Today that shared some thoughts on the movie. The article was quite balanced. The author recognised that people usually idolise or demonise such things as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She suggested we do neither with this series. But the author still had some interesting thoughts on how the main character, Lisbeth Salander, has become a hero to some young women in our world, a not so welcome thought for her.

I would agree that Lisbeth Salander is not much of a great hero, but I would also note that there is a telling story to learn through Salander. There are plenty of Lisbeth Salanders in our lives – abused, anorexic, angry, embittered, intent on breaking the law, etc. And we are presented with questions to ponder, but more importantly, questions of how to extend the kindness and grace of our Father to them (as to you and I).

I imagine the deep difficulty of reaching these Lisbeth’s and people like her. I can think of those in my own life right now. I actually remember meeting a girl some 10-12 years ago. She was hanging out on what was known as the Highland Strip in Memphis, a short strip of music clubs on a street near the university. Dressed in some black garb, I asked her what her name was. She responded, ‘Nothing.’ That was her name, at least what she desired to communicate as her name. The conversation was saddening to say the least. My heart breaks thinking of it now. And sometimes one needs to be released from seeing it as our responsibility to reach certain people, guarding our hearts from the saviour complex. Such a complex can be disastrous to our own health, leading to overly co-dependent relationships.

Anyways, I won’t be seeing the new movie release. I won’t be finishing off the second and third books. If others do, I will also not champion the cause of being the Holy Spirit in their lives. He is much better than I. The good shepherd is good at shepherding.

But, if we engage in any way with this book or film series, or any other material in a similar vein that heads our way, let us do so with wisdom. It is true that we can learn, learn a little bit about a modern day heroine and her followers. For some, though, like myself, it won’t be worth investing the time. And that, too, is ok.

In summary, it’s intriguing to ponder this literary and film craze of our modern day, to think of the implications of a character that has merely been invented for a fiction work, yet represents a host of young ladies in our world, with even some of them referring to themselves as ‘Nothing’. God have mercy and extend his tender grace to the Salanders of our world.

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