Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Here’s a bizarre little Fleischer classic from 1936 in which a pair of newly-wed flies check into The Cobweb Hotel, but may not be able to check out come morning if they're not careful.

You might remember that way back in our review of Blood of Heroes we mentioned how the Catechism doesn't have too high an opinion of intentionally or unnecessarily injuring one's own body. “Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God." it says, "We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.” Well, maybe I''m being too hard on these two post-nuptial nitwits, but if you happen to be a fly, and you purposely check into a hotel run by a spider five times your size, aren't you just begging for a little bodily injury? (The last time I checked, being masticated on wasn't a walk in the park.) It's a small stretch, but this would seem to me to fall into the category of placing oneself in the Occasion of Sin, an external circumstance which entices you to do wrong.

The Modern Catholic Dictionary reminds us that if the danger of the Occasion "is certain and probable (Big freakin' spider is going to eat you!), the occasion is proximate; if the danger is slight, the occasion becomes remote. It is voluntary if it can easily be avoided. (You don't have to sign the register, schmuck.) There is no obligation to avoid a remote occasion unless there is probable danger of its becoming proximate. There is a positive obligation to avoid a voluntary proximate occasion of sin even though the occasion of evildoing is due only to human weakness." Look, guys, I wanted my honeymoon to start as quick as the next guy, but if the first hotel I passed had a sign out front which said Bates Motel, I think I could have managed to do the right thing and wait for the next one.

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