Thursday, March 31, 2005
The Day Gets Darker
The Pope, according to CNN, has been given last rites.
And in what is one of the most macabre news items I've come across in a while, a bag of around 150 dead dogs has been found near a river bank in Virginia.
That's it. I'm going to bed.
Cheering Myself Up
I'm trying to shake off the anger with a couple of fun links...
MCF posted this link the other day. His warning is justified, this is the most addictive thing on the internet.
If you're a Narnia fan, you oughta check out the Narnia Personality Test for a bit of fun. Here's my result, which I'd like to think is accurate:
The score, as of right now:
Convicted Wife Killers:
Free Wife Killers:
Looks like the bad guys are up by one.
It’s hard to be objective right now. I will try to be, though. At least to some degree. The purpose of this entry is not to rant and rave during the height of my anger over the murder of Terri Schiavo. The point... hopefully a point I will pursue with some objectivity, we’ll see... is to point out two articles about the Schiavo case that got my attention over the past couple of days.
David Brooks wrote about it with more objectivity and with better focus than I could ever hope to. He sums up the arguments on both sides of this case with what strikes me as objective accuracy. In fact, the article itself doesn’t really give away his personal position on the matter:
The weakness of the social conservative case is that for most of us, especially in these days of advanced medical technology, it is hard to ignore distinctions between different modes of living. In some hospital rooms, there are people living forms of existence that upon direct contact do seem even worse than death.
The central weakness of the liberal case is that it is morally thin. Once you say that it is up to individuals or families to draw their own lines separating life from existence, and reasonable people will differ, then you are taking a fundamental issue out of the realm of morality and into the realm of relativism and mere taste.
It’s a good piece, worth reading, and you can click here to do so.
I really came out of my chair when I read this item from Carol Towarnicky, however. Her piece on the Schiavo case enraged me. It might be the most offensive editorial I’ve ever read. I will stop short of calling Ms. Towarnicky an arrogant, short-sighted, bitter, self-righteous moron. What good would that do? It would only make me look bad, so I won’t do it. I will, however, open up on some of what she says. And I’m not going to make that much of an effort to reign in my anger. I don’t really have a reason to. So... Ms. Towarnicky, who I have not referred to, I’ll remind you, as a pompous, audacious, malignant cur of a journalist, had this to say:
Throughout this sad case, right-wing religious advocates and their political frontmen - aided in part by a lazy, if not corrupt, news media - have exploited a family mad with hope.... No doubt drawing on experience gained in the extremist anti-abortion movement, they have used commonplace experiences like hunger and thirst to stir up volatile emotions. The better to fund-raise, my dear.
See, this is the kind of thing that might provoke a lesser blogger to call Ms. Towarnicky an iniquitous bitch-hog, but I’d never stoop to that. Instead, I’ll just point out the casualness with which she connects the words “extremist” with “anti-abortion movement.” Notice that she didn’t say “the extremists among the anti-abortion movement,” or “the few radicals that, to some of us taint the otherwise passionate but reasonable people who are opposed to abortion as birth control.” Oh, no. She said “the extremist anti-abortion movement.” Take note: If you believe that abortion is wrong, you are an extremist. Period. PERIOD.
And also note that it is the news media and the right wingers who have exploited the Schindler family throughout this ordeal. Some of you might have been under the impression that the news media was just reporting the Schindler family’s struggle, and that many of us on the right were supporting their efforts. Well, if that’s what you thought, you were clearly wrong. We were EXPLOITING them. I’m so glad Ms. Towarnicky, who is clearly someone I’d never refer to as a feeble excuse for a dog turd, pointed that out.
In fact, maybe I should switch tacks, here. Maybe I should only cut-and-paste the portions of Ms. Towarnicky’s editorial that I can support. Let’s try it that way:
The video of a seemingly smiling and responsive Terri Schiavo represents only a few seconds of at least four hours of tape in which she lies expressionless. Over 15 years, Terri Schiavo's brain has been replaced with spinal fluid. She doesn't think, feel pain, or even know she is alive. Most important, she can't suffer from hunger or thirst. ... Yet House Majority Leader Tom DeLay - who has never met the woman - has the nerve to proclaim, "She talks and laughs and she expresses happiness and discomfort."
Good point, Ms. Towarnicky. Tom DeLay has never met Terri Schiavo. But then again, have you? How much time did you spend in Terri’s hospice room? Or could it be that your assertions that Terri didn’t feel pain, know she was alive, or suffer from hunger and thirst are based on what you’ve heard from a third party? Could it also be that Tom DeLay’s belief that Terri could laugh and express happiness and discomfort was also based on third a party report? Could it be that both of you, neither of whom had actually met the woman, might be assuming as absolute fact the extreme possibilities that support your positions? Oh, that just couldn’t be. That would make you no better than Tom DeLay, the man you so clearly disdain. And we all know that you’re actually a progressive forward thinker. You’re clearly not someone I’d ever dream of referring to as an imbecilic slime-sucking maggot.
But, anyway, I digress:
The troops have been most stirred up by the idea that Terri Schiavo was suffering from "starvation." One doctor described the horrific deaths of Africans dying of malnutrition, comparing it directly to what Terri Schiavo was experiencing. (Dare I ask why, instead of storming Congress on the Schiavo issue, the concerned Christians aren't demanding that we help the Africans who can feel the pangs of starvation?)
Good point, Ms Towarnicky, and it’s clearly not presumptuous of you to believe that all Christians have had to make a choice. That's what it comes down to, isn't it? We can either support the Schindler family OR we can support aid to starving Africans. Oh, NOOOOO, that’s not presumptuous at all, and it doesn’t clearly reveal a DOGMATIC ANTI-CHRISTIAN FERVOR on your part, or anything like that. You’re right. Every Sunday morning, in fact, Christian clergymen around the country go out of their way to remind the flock we don't care if Africans starve to death. (Oh, it’s ok to vocally oppose Terri Schiavo’s murder, mind you, if it helps get some Republicans elected.) Your understanding of Christians and Christianity is clearly complete. Your insight on that issue is further proof that you’re not a contemptible refuse pile of a human being. Kudos.
I could go on and on, there’s so much in Ms. Towarnicky’s article to praise... but I have to stop now so I can go vomit. I feel like I've been choking something back.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
First Al, Now Jesse
First I find myself posting an entry about how I agree with Al Sharpton about radio station Hot 97... now I find that I'm in total agreement with Jesse Jackson about Terri Schiavo:
"This woman's being starved and dehydrated to death," he complained. "Eleven days - no food and no water. This is not right."
"She is not brain dead," noted the man regarded by many as the Democratic Party's conscience. "She is brain impaired. All her vital signs are working."
"And to cut off her food and water his heartless," he admonished.
God bless you, Reverand Jackson. My dislike for your politics will forever be tempered by this brave, just act on your part.
What's next? Will Louis Farrakhan speak out on the deceitful nature of Michael Moore?
Monday, March 28, 2005
Denial of Communion, A Post Script
Yesterday I posted an angry entry about Michael Schiavo's denial of Easter communion to his wife. Shortly after I posted, it seems, Terri was, in fact, given communion and last rites.
I'm glad for that, but the case still galls me. The blogosphere is full of passionate talk about this topic now, and I've steered clear of it because, quite frankly, I don't have anything new to say that hasn't already been said.
But, I will pass on these three items about the Schiavo case from Rush Limbaugh, today... in case you don't listen to him on the radio. These are the points Rush made, but their related by me in my own terms:
1) Barney Frank took some calls on C-Span this morning, and a caller asked him if he'd find it acceptable to execute a mass murderer, such as Charles Mansion, by starving him to death. Of course, Frank said that it wouldn't be acceptable to do that. It is acceptable to starve a handicapped woman to death, but it would be cruel to do that to a murderer. (I can't help but wonder if people like Frank have any trouble sleeping at night. Does their hypocrisy keep them awake?)
2) Many of those who approve of Terri Schiavo's murder feel sure that, by starving her to death, the powers that be are granting her a "euphoric, painless" death. Euphoric? Painless? Alright, then why the hell was she hooked up to morphine today? I was under the impression that morphine was used to ease intense physical pain. But what the hell do I know, I'm no doctor.
3) The court order that removed Terri Schiavo's feeding tube is, in fact, an order of execution and not an order to stop keeping her alive by artificial means. If it weren't, it would not have provided that she is not to be given nourishment by mouth, whether she can receive it orally or not. By banning her from receiving food and water by mouth, the court order insures that she will die, regardless of her ability (or lack thereof) to eat or drink. It is not a matter of removing artificial life support. It is a matter of insuring that a person be murdered by way of starvation regardless of how they might ingest food and drink. Don't flatter yourselves, "enlightened" liberals and Christian-haters, with the notion that you support a natural death, here. Denying a severely injured woman food is not natural.
If Limbaugh's ideas, as I've tried to represent them, aren't eloquent, then that is my fault and not Rush's. As usual, he did a fine job of making his points. I hope I've done him justice by trying to pass some of this on.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Till We Have Faces
I’m currently reading one of the best books I’ve ever read. It might, in fact, be the best book I’ve ever read. That is exactly what I want to say about it right now, in fact… but I feel like I should finish it before I name it the best.
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis is really outstanding. I’m only around half way through the book and I can’t get over how good it is. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big C.S. Lewis fan, having read around 15 or so of his books. Mere Christianity is my favorite book of all time, A Grief Observed is my second favorite. Until very recently, I’ve been a much bigger fan of Lewis’ nonfiction than his fiction.
In fact, until recently, the only piece of his fictional work that I’ve enjoyed (and I loved it) was his children's classic, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Out Of The Silent Planet didn’t do much for me, and The Screwtape Letters probably qualifies more as parody than fiction.
Anyway, recently I started feeling guilty enough about having not read the rest of the Chronicles, so I started Prince Caspian and loved it so much that I flew through the remaining books ravenously. I couldn’t get over how good they were.
And I couldn’t get over how good Paul Ford’s Companion to Narnia is. It’s an insightful, fun, informative read, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Lewis.
Anyway, in the Companion, Ford identifies Till We Have Faces as Lewis’ masterpiece. That was all I needed to know.
Like I said, I’m about half way through …Faces, and I cannot get over how good it is. I can’t remember the last time I read a work of fiction this compelling. Vonnegut once said that a good fiction writer tells us the truth about ourselves by telling us lies about people who don’t exist. With that in mind, I’d say that …Faces is probably the most honest book I’ve ever read. Passages from the book have literally given me cold chills.
If this book is as good in the second half as it has been in the first, I’m confident that I’ll call it the best book I’ve ever read. Even if the second half falls apart, the first half has been so good that I have to recommend the book without hesitation.
Musical Conflict in Terms
Browsing the list of soon-to-be-released albums, I couldn't help but notice this:
I just wanted to say that "Morrissey Live" is a conflict in terms.
Denial of Communion
I’ve resisted posting about the slow murder of Terri Schiavo because… well, what can I say? What is there to be said?
But this boils my blood:
As Mrs Schiavo, 41, entered her ninth full day yesterday without food or water, even her parents’ plea to have a crumb of bread and a drop of wine placed in their dying daughter’s mouth to celebrate Easter Day was denied by their son-in-law.
“Terri Schiavo, being a practising Roman Catholic all her life, has been denied the precious body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Brother Paul O’Donnell, a Franciscan monk, who is acting as the Schindlers’ spiritual adviser, said. “This is a violation of her religious rights and her freedom and allows the Governor to step in. Governor Bush, you have the authority to stop the killing . . . We beg you to have the courage and take action.”
Michael Schiavo is denying his wife communion on Easter Sunday.
We’re not supposed to hate. One of the best ways to destroy ourselves, in fact, is to let the seeds of hatred be planted in the soil of justified anger. We have to resist the urge to feel and express hate whenever possible.
Sometimes it’s really hard.
(PS - Shortly after I wrote this entry, Terri received Communion.)
Friday, March 25, 2005
A Little Fun
I came across the Church Sign Generator and couldn't resist having a little fun with it. Of course, I tried to limit myself to mostly harmless fun, like the sign posted above, and not use the Church Sign Generator for acts of evil, like the sign posted below.
BAM! BAM! BAM! (Excuse Me, I'm Banging My Head On My Desk)
Another highlight from the London anti-war rally:
"People poured into the capital from across the country, including 29-year-old human rights author Susanna Akono who traveled in a coach from Kent.
" 'The war on terror is wrong because it is not going to end terrorism when you have people such as Iyad Allawi (Iraq's outgoing prime minister) being put in power,' she said, with an anti-war poster in her hand.
"Akono, who is from Cambodia and is married to a British man, plans to go on a hunger strike from April 14 in protest against the continuing war on terror.
" 'I want to do everything I can to make sure my child has a secure future,' said the pregnant activist."
Sounds like she's got the makings of a GREAT friggin' parent.
Melissa Etheridge=Good. Me=Bad.
After the Grammys last month, I posted an entry mocking the celebrities who attended. I posted a number of pictures from the awards ceremony with smart-aleck captions. One of those pictures was of a bald Melissa Etheridge, who I identified as an “elderly man.” I was mocking her based on my assumption (my foolish and contemptible assumption) that she’d shaved her head to make a fashion statement, to draw attention to herself, to come off as a freaky lesbian, and maybe to shock her career back on track. I was wrong.
Boy, was I
Turns out, Melissa Etheridge’s bald head is the direct result of treatment for cancer. She’s chosen to appear bald in public as a way of supporting other women who are going through the same thing.
I apologize to anyone I might have offended, including Melissa Etheridge herself. Just for the record (he whimpered), I think her first two albums (her self titled debut and Brave and Crazy) are wonderful. I honestly had no idea she had cancer. I was presumptuous, pretentious, and uncharitable. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my room, hiding under my bed or in my closet, trying to remove my big stupid foot from my big, stupid mouth.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Hot 97, Al Sharpton, and Sunday Morning
For me, it’s the beginning of a strange day when I find myself drinking my morning coffee, reading the newspaper, and commenting to my wife about how I agree with Al Sharpton.
I’d hope it’s obvious that the coffee and the newspaper aren’t what made the morning seem weird to me.
Sharpton wants the FCC to turn a critical eye to New York radio station Hot 97, the big apple’s epicenter of hip-hop, violence, and garbage radio. And that makes sense to me. Hot 97 should probably be examined closely. This is not only the radio station that broadcast a tasteless parody song mocking tsunami victims (vile, but not a crime), but also one of the stations that airs songs wherein rappers threaten to kill one and other. What makes Hot 97 different from the other stations that air violent rap songs? Well, for one thing, rappers actually try to kill each other in front of Hot 97. A couple of weeks ago, a member of the entourage of a rapper who calls himself “The Game” was shot in front of the station after rapper “50 Cent” said on air that “The Game” was no longer a member of “50 Cent’s” entourage, called the “G-Unit.”
To adults, this kind of thing seems silly. One guy goes on the air and says that you can’t play with his friends anymore? Whatever. To rappers, however, this is a matter of life and death, and worth trading gunfire over.
This isn’t the first shooting outside Hot 97. Rapper “Lil’ Kim” is facing a jail sentence for perjury stemming from her knowledge of and/or involvement in a rap shooting at the station in 2001. That shooting involved rappers who call themselves “Capone” and “Noreaga.”
If you’ll excuse the aside, can somebody explain to me why the hell rap music is so popular? It’s unoriginal, uninspired, boring garbage. With few exceptions (The Beastie Boys and Outkast, actually, are the only exceptions that come to mind), rap music is infantile school-house rhymes, perpetrated by idiots who steal their names from the real-life gangsters they admire (Gotti, Capone, Noreaga, Murder Inc, etc). Besides, their rhymes are usually set to stolen beats from older, better, more original songs. And you can call it sampling all you want… you can protest that it’s an art form unto itself and that a corn-fed southern cracker like me just wouldn’t understand… and I’ll still say it’s garbage. If I play a Perry Como record and, over top of it, record myself yelling that I want to kill my wife, you wouldn’t think I’m a genius. You’d think I was an idiot and a nutcase. Why would I be considered a genius, then, if instead of being a corn-fed southern cracker, I was a ghetto-raised street thug… and instead of a Perry Como record, I used a Parliament/Funkadelic record? It’s nonsense.
Anyway, Hot 97 probably should be investigated. For what it's worth, some among the rap community have expressed concerns about it as well. What’s going on there is probably, to a large extent, illegal.
By the way, newly Christian rocker Brian “Head” Welch thinks 50 Cent is worth saving. (That story, by the way, struck me as a bit odd, too). As for me, all I can say about 50 Cent is that his name is about 51 cents more than I'd give you for one of his CDs. I've heard a couple of his songs, and I can't understand what he's trying to say, or why. I understand that he's angry about something, but I don't know what. Maybe it's his inability to speak clearly. Maybe it's because someone has forced him to put a cock-eyed hat on top of his doo-rag. Maybe it's because he doesn't have a sombrero to put on top of that. Who knows. Who cares?
Go get ‘em, Al.
Friday, March 18, 2005
New Nine Inch Nails!
I can't wait til the new Nine Inch Nails album comes out on May 3rd. I'm a huge fan. I was thrilled today to see that the Reznor has posted a Quicktime file of the band rehearsing the first single, The Hand That Feeds. The audio is a high-quality studio recording of the song, the video is low-tech footage of the band rehearsing. The song sounds like straight-ahead metalic pop/rock, maybe closer to the sound of the first album than anything Reznor has done since. Click here to check it out. It's really good!
It’s come to my attention that there are those among us who don’t know anything about coffee. Therefore, I’ve decided to clear a few things up. You may not be aware of this, but I am the world’s leading expert on coffee. In fact, if I were an X-Man, my mutant power would be making a darn good cup of coffee. I consider it my duty to pass on some of what I know, so that maybe the world will become a better place. I hope this primer will be of some help:
HOW TO BREW COFFEE:
There is only one way to brew coffee, and that is with a French Press. I recommend this one. A French press is a device that allows coffee to steep, like tea, so that the essences and oils of the bean are actually in the brew, rather than thrown out with the grounds. An autodrip coffee maker is not, I repeat, NOT, an acceptable way to brew coffee. Autodrip coffee makers were designed by Nazis. They are pointless and unchristian. All of them must be destroyed.
A French Press is sometimes called a Turkish press. They are called Turkish by those of us who love them but can’t bear to say anything good, even remotely, about the French.
Grind your beans and put them in the bottom of the press, and then pour the hot (nearly boiling) water over the ground beans so that it all mixes together.
Lightly stir the beans with a wooden spoon or a chopstick, never with a metal utensil. Metal utensil’s are Kryptonite to coffee. Avoid them at all costs. To be safe, I advise allowing no metal utensils in your home. This will mean that you’ll have to eat with your hands. This is often inconvenient when you serve mashed potatoes for dinner, but it’s preferable to the risk that someone might stir coffee with silverware.
After you stir the coffee, cover the press with the top and leave it alone for three or four minutes. Allow the beans and the brew to steep. Then, slowly and evenly press the plunger to the bottom. Your coffee is now ready to enjoy.
HOW TO GRIND COFFEE:
When brewing coffee with a French (read: Turkish) press, the grind is very important. You must not overgrind your beans. They must be ground coarsely, not pulverized into powder the way they usually are for one of those evil Nazi autodrip coffee makers. A coarse grind, with a few big bean chunks is preferable.
Any coffee grinder will probably work fine. I use one of the cheap $12 Black and Decker ones sold at Wal-Mart. You don’t have to drop a bundle on the grinder, although if you use it frequently enough, you may have to replace it now and then. It’s a small price to pay.
WHEN TO DRINK YOUR COFFEE:
Well, while it’s hot. Don’t let it get cold. Coffee is best drank within half an hour of brewing.
WHAT TO FLAVOR YOUR COFFEE WITH:
Nothing! People who put stuff in coffee (milk, creamer, sugar, maple syrup, ham, etc) are charlatans and frauds, and should be beaten with a broom. Coffee brewed with a French (Turkish) press is delicious, and requires no diluting or tampering. What’s the point in brewing coffee, only to taint it with all that junk? If you want a cup of coffee, drink a cup of coffee. If you want milk and sugar, have a milkshake.
WHERE TO BUY YOUR COFFEE:
The finest coffee shop in the world is the Lexington Coffee Shop in Lexington, Virginia. I am qualified to make that statement because of the following exhaustive research: I buy my beans from two different coffee shops (that one and Mill Mountain Coffee in Roanoke) and the Lexington coffee is better. I suggest that you stop at the coffee shop whenever you are in Lexington and pick up your coffee then. If you never find yourself in Lexington, Virginia, then I suggest moving to Lexington, Virginia.
Keep in mind that all coffee shops (even the one in Lexington) are often frequented by stinky hippy scum. They sit there and drink their lattes and congratulate each other on how cool they are. The best thing to do is pretend they aren’t there. Get in, get your beans, get out. Try to breathe through your mouth so you won’t smell them, and for pity’s sake, no eye contact.
WHAT KIND OF COFFEE TO BUY:
The Lexington Coffee Shop has an excellent Itallian Roast that I enjoy quite a bit. There are also a number of “flavored” coffee beans available (Macadamia, Chocolate, Vanilla, etc) that you may find yourself purchasing now and then if you have a wife. In fact, my wife recommends the Chocolate Raspberry from Mill Mountain Coffee as a personal favorite. (It’s OK, although a bit fruffy for my taste.)
Alright, I hope that clears a few things up. If you have further questions, feel free to e-mail me and I’ll try to steer you in the right direction. Just remember these basics, and you’ll be fine:
Autodrip coffee maker = Nazi coffee maker.
French press = gift from God.
People who put stuff in their coffee = beat with broom.
Best coffee in the world = Lexington Coffee Shop.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
The Whole Internet Quiz Thing
It seems like everybody loves to take those internet quizzes. I know my wife does, anyway... and a lot of the other bloggers I read post results from them all the time. Which Happy Bunny Are You? Which Napoleon Dynamite Character Are You? Which Obsolete Skill Are You? The list goes on and on. I admit, I've taken a few of the quizzes. They seem like a harmless and fun way to waste a little time.
The other day while goofing off at Quizilla, I noticed that along with taking quizzes there, you can make quizzes, too! Well, that's another harmless way to waste time, and maybe even more fun! Right?
Wrong. The Quizilla server is moody and kept locking me out and causing me to lose my work. But after wasting 20 minutes or so with it, I was bound and determined that I was going to finish making my quiz. So, by gosh, I did. And, boy, was it ever worth the effort.
So click here to answer the burning question, Which Random Item In My Car Are You?
More on the Roanoke Times
Seems that contempt for the Roanoke Times is growing among local bloggers. The Salt Lick is another good blog, also critical of the local paper.
I'm in the process of trying to organize my blogroll into something useful... As always, if you'd like to be added to it, just send me a note.
Monday, March 14, 2005
Yes! YES! Go Get 'Em, Lars!
Now, THIS I like.
I live in the Roanoke, Virginia area... and I read the daily newspaper, well, daily. Like most conservatives who read the Times, I've become convinced that Tommy Denton and the rest of his editorial staff at The Roanoke Times are the hell spawn of Satan, sent here to do evil upon the world at large and the Roanoke Valley in specific. Heck, you don't even have to be a conservative to feel that way. You just have to hold the belief that news reporting should be objective and reflect no obvious bias. I've attacked the local paper here at this blog in the past, but I've not had the time or the focus to go after them with the necessary tenacity.
Finally, there's someone in the blogosphere who does have the time and focus.
Writing at RoanokeSlant.com, Lars Hagen is doing his best to expose the Times for what it is. Lars finds and comments on examples of the Times obvious left-leaning bias. Not that he has to dig for them, mind you. Finding examples of liberal bias in the Roanoke Times is like finding examples of drug abuse at a Grateful Dead show. Nonetheless, Lars holds those examples up to the examination they warrant, and it delights me to no end.
Check out The Roanoke Slant for the straight poop on the Roanoke Times. And, if you're so inclined, the links below will take you to some of my own posts about Roanoke's own yellow hippie rag:
Underdogs, Fat Boys, and the Roanoke Times
Buggin' The Editor
Gay, Gay, and GAY
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
My Gnarley New Tattoo
As promised, here's a clickable pic of my new LWW inspired tattoo. Wendy took it this morning right after the bandage came off, and my skin is still very inflamed and red looking. I'm sure in a couple of weeks it will look even better than I think it looks now:
Thanks again to Eddie Yeary at Ancient Art Tattoo for the ink. I think he did a great job.
If you're interested, Wendy and I went back today for her tattoo cover-up. There's a full photo essay posted at film geeks.
Monday, March 07, 2005
The Blog of Narnia
I'm getting obsessive. I posted this over at film geeks and I'm posting it here, too... As we get closer each day to the release of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, I'll become more and more obsessed with the movie and blog less and less about other topics.
Such is the life of a Christian film geek. The movie doesn't even come out until December, for pity's sake. Can you imagine what I'll be like in November? Just one big, quivering glob of flesh and drool, occasionally murmuring "Aslan. Winter. Witch. Help me..."
This must be what it's like for Trekkies when they're working on a new Star Trek movie... or tv series... or toy... or t-shirt... or whatever.
According to today's news at the imdb, and the Telegraph, Disney is busy trying to promote LWW as "the passion of the Christ for kids." I have mixed reactions about this. For one thing, that's almost exactly how I think of the book... but for another thing, I don't like the idea of marketers and Disney execs getting their grubby paws all over C.S. Lewis' masterful theology. This whole thing is making me nervous.
And I'm not the only one. Today I discovered that Hollywood Jesus has a link to a Narnia blog, and the writers there are concerned, too:
The facts: yes, Disney (among other studios) has indeed learned some lessons from Mel Gibson's marketing strategy for The Passion of the Christ; and yes, Disney (and other studios, most notably New Line Cinema) does indeed employ publicists to promote their films to Christian publications and audiences; and yes, it would be silly of them not to.... Our contacts who were at the Disney event put together by Motive Marketing in no way characterized Disney's (or Motive's) angle as "The Passion for kids." The storm is already brewing...
Mel Gibson's movie, my choice for film of the year last year, was crucified itself by people who saw it as an opportunity to attack Christianity. I really hope that isn't the case with LWW. And, while I'm glad that Disney doesn't seem to be totally producing a secular movie, it still makes me nervous to have Hollywood types mucking around with the theology of this story.
Much hand-wringing and fretting to come over the next several months.
By the way, if anyone cares, I got my second tattoo today. And, as I'd said I'd probably do for the last several years, I got a tattoo fashioned after a theme from one of C.S. Lewis' books. Can you guess which one? Yep, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Right now I have a big bandage on my right leg, and under it, beginning to heal, is a beautiful picture of the lamppost in the snowy forrest. The artist, Eddie Yeary, did a great job with it. Once it's had a few days to heal I'll post a picture of it at the blog.
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Keep Your Tree Huggin' Hands Off My NASCAR
The eco-fruits are at it again. This time, attacking NASCAR for racing with leaded gasoline. Like any good redneck, I'm a devoted NASCAR fan (I like Kenseth, Marlin, Sadler, Kahne, and a host of others. I'm indifferent about Gordon, and I have little patience for Stewart, Busch, and Jimmy "Mongo" Spencer).
Now, like any good NASCAR fan, I think that the biggest threat to NASCAR is the incompetence of the NASCAR regulating body itself. The way they screw with the points system, harass the drivers, and change things constantly is a detriment to the game. Restrictor plates have ruined the big tracks, and watching drivers get black flagged over every little fart is a constant annoyance.
So it bugs me to no end that the eco-hippies want to impose another friggin' restriction on NASCAR:
The Clean Air Trust “urged” NASCAR in a January 19 letter to consider the supposedly dire consequences of using leaded fuel: “By permitting the continued use of lead, your organization may be putting millions of spectators and nearby residents at unnecessary risk of suffering serious health effects, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.”
Steve Milloy at JunkScience.com has their number, though:
“According to the EPA, lead causes damage to the kidneys, liver, brain and nerves, and other organs,” claims the letter. What it omitted mentioning was that you would have to be exposed to unusually high levels of lead before health effects would result.
The classic lead poisoning scenario involves chronic ingestion of lead-contaminated dust from deteriorating lead-based paint that is chipping, peeling or flaking in older homes in poor condition. NASCAR fans and the communities surrounding NASCAR race tracks are far removed from such high exposures to lead. There is no evidence that anyone has ever been overexposed to lead because of NASCAR racing.
Besides, read between the lines, and it seems that this is just another group of anti-NASCAR elitists, looking for a chance to mock us rednecks and our drivin'-in-circles game:
The Clean Air Trust nevertheless alleged, “Even low levels of lead damage the brain and nerves in fetuses and young children, resulting in learning deficits and lowered IQ.” Not only is this mythical assertion still unsupported up by any solid science more than 25 years after it was first publicized, it actually originated in the shadowy world of scientific misconduct.
Look, if you latte-drinkin', granola-chewin', squirrel-tongue-kissin', tree-sittin', Phish-listenin', non-bathin', babble-babblin', eco-nut hippy scumbags want to mock us rednecks behind our backs, fine. We're used to it, and we don't care. But keep your damn hands off our NASCAR.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
And He Was So Darn Cute, Too...
Members of PETA were grief stricken today when they received the news that a very large entree had kicked the bucket:
He dodged lobster pots for decades, endured a trip from the coast of Massachusetts to Pittsburgh and survived about a week in a fish market. But a trip to the zoo proved to be too much for a 22-pound lobster named Bubba.
The leviathan of a lobster died Wednesday afternoon at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium about a day after he was moved from Wholey's Market, said zoo spokeswoman Rachel Capp and Bob Wholey, owner of the fish market.
In lieu of flowers, please send bibs and melted butter to:
The Bubba Fund for Lobsters Who
Aren't Too Big and Old to Eat
Care of PETA
P.O. Box 42516,
Washington, DC 20015
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
The Mars Volta
I loved the last album by The Mars Volta. Frances the Mute, their new album, was released today, and I couldn't wait to hear it. Based on one listen, I have to say that it's quite different from their first album. The first half of the new album is extremely catchy and accessible; the second half is more challenging.
I LOVE their first album and probably played it more than any other album lat year. Why I forgot to include it in my Heavy Rotation list at the right, I have no idea. I've rectified that now. Their new album will be getting a lot of play as I try to figure out what to make of it... and their first album remains a constant favorite of mine. I recommend their first album, De-Loused in the Comatorium, to anyone who likes "prog rock" bands like Pink Floyd, Tool, Rush, Radiohead, etc. My verdict isn't in yet on the new one.
I also enthusiastically recommend that anyone who likes artsy music videos click here to watch the video for "Televators" over a DSL connection with Windows Media Player.
Score: God 1, Korn 0
Korn is a rock band, in case you haven't heard of them. They're not very good. In fact, they kinda suck. I've heard several of their albums, and from what I can tell, every decent song they've ever written is on the first half of Follow the Leader.
Anyway, last week one of their members left to devote his life to Jesus:
"I thought I had it all, everything I thought was important when I was a kid — money, fame, pretty women — but I came to a point where I didn't want to live," (Brian "Head" Welch) told the congregation.
Welch confessed to coming to the church as a last-ditch effort to kick a drug addiction. "When I came here I was hooked on meth," he said, stopping to wipe the tears gathered in his eyes.
The guitarist, who showed off new tattoos on his neck ("Matthew 11:28") and fist ("JESUS"), took the stage after a 20-minute set of Christian worship songs from a rock band, as well as a 20-minute sermon from (Pastor Ron) Vietti, who talked about his coming to God and surviving leukemia after being told he would die from the disease.
Korn's lead singer, Jonathan Davis, collects shrunken heads and serial killer paintings, and owns Ted Bundy's car:
"When I want to really feel sick, I’ll go and sit in Ted Bundy’s car. It’s the [Volks-wagen] Bug he killed all those women in. So I sit in there to feel all that evil."
Just wanted you to know that for the record... just in case you're thinking that Brian Welch has lost his mind.
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