Friday, June 16, 2006

The Mystery of Others

Being the Cliff Claven of pop music trivia (at least for the period of time before hip hop took over and I could no longer manage to care), I do not have any room to mock or even approve of any one else's obsessions.

But I think admitting my utter mystification at one of the trends I see on flickr:
Obsessively photographing the daily outfit for future posterity and remarking what effect they feel they're achieving.

To quote the Van Morrison song "And the girls are all dressed up for each other" (from "Wild Night"), seems to be a clue to the phenom, because I don't know a single solitary straight guy who would mentally go further than "she's dressed nice" or "she's dressed oddly"; and to be completely honest, those metal quotes would tend more towards crude erotic summations rather than the G-rated ones here.

Btw, another trend I've noticed on flickr: If a woman has more than one page of photos grouped by "me/myself/etc." she will eventually include a topless or nude shot of herself.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Figure of Speech

Recently read Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell.

It's a nice little piece of apologetics. Contains some good historical stuff about Judaism and other cultural touchstones of Jesus' time, and a nice breakdown of how fundamentalism without the benefit of historical reference often leads to a misinterpretation of the Bible.

I particularly liked the simple language he used. It's way too easy to load up this kind of work with phrases and terms that have a particular meaning within a denomination of Christianity, or have had a universal meaning within Christianity that is different from the common definition. (For instance, even C.S. Lewis spins the word "joy" in his autobiography, Surprised by Joy.) In Velvet Elvis, every word means what you think it means.

However, this is not the sort of book that will convince anyone who already is unconvinced of the reality of the life of Christ, nor will it get any traction with fundamentalists as they are usually immune to any interpretation that is not the literal, face value English language interpretation of any given passage. So, the only audience who will enjoy the book are those like me who are already convinced of most of what Bell has to say.

I did find one great take-away, though. He has a section on things that are labeled Christian, such as music and movies, simply because they contain Christian themes. He points out that actually all things belong to God and essentially are of God. Slapping the label "Christian" on something, particularly if it's merely foisting Christian concepts and doing it rather badly (for instance, pretty much any tune on any Christian radio station these days), may not really be doing a service to Christianity. I like the way he makes the point.

He even compiles it down to a bumper sticker:

"Christian is a great noun and a poor adjective."

I recommend the book for Christians who want to read something uplifting and nice about our faith (a rarer and rarer experience in our culture it seems). Buddhists, atheists, and Christian fundamentalists could probably find a better use of their reading time.
Mutant Powers

I haven't seen the third X-Men movie yet, but am looking forward as I enjoyed the other two. They weren't great, but they were fine, fun entertainments. And, as subversive as it is these days, they actually contained characters who are straight-out Christians.

I never read them in the comic book form though, because I didn't like the concept. It seemed like such a massive cheat.

Most super-heroes have a premise, a finite set of powers and rules they have to live by. Which was true for each, individual X-man or woman, but since any and all weird powers could be introduced through a new mutant at any given time for convenience, it just smacked of built-in, perpetual Deus ex machina. Heck, even the wikipedia article specifically mentions X-men as a key offender.

Now, had they had a little fun with it, and winked at the reader once in a while, it might've been fun.

For example, imagine a mutant who could, say, vomit Nair on queue.

X-man known as BaldBurp: "I will exfoliate you beyond your darkest nightmares!"

Potential evil victim: "No! Please! I'm in the Hair Club for Men and this kind of damage isn't covered!"

But that would never happen.
Saw Good Night, and Good Luck.

It was all that they said it was: a talky but compelling movie about folks in a newsroom discussing the dangers of taking on a powerful government figure.

Of course, had this movie been made at a point in history when we didn't have a somewhat dangerous, out-of-control government, it would not be near as interesting. Since we're dealing with Bush baby and the boys, it has a resonance to it.

However, one thing the movie did unintentionally point out is that our press is much more likely to thrash a politician without fear of recourse than they used to be, apparently, the unresolved trials of Rove's abuses of power and illegally exposing an agent notwithstanding. (And I thought of mentioning Bill Maher's losing his show "Politically Incorrect", but then he lost it because he said the terrorists were brave, which even pissed this ole liberal off, so fuck'im.)

Even though I enjoyed it while watching, there just wasn't a lot of there there, to borrow quote without bothering to look up and attribute the source.

The atmosphere and visuals were perfect. I really believed George Clooney, David Strathairn and Jeff Daniels were 1950s newcaster people.

Robert Downey Jr. is looking old, btw.

I recommend it for a Netflix, a library pickup, or heck if it's on TV just set the remote down and grove.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Shite Bashing


<Nori123> You don't know jack shit
<VioletSky> That's not true, I know him well
<Nori123> Haha
<VioletSky> I'm serious
<VioletSky> Jack is the son of Awe Schitt and O. Schitt. Awe Schitt, the fertilizer magnate, married O. Schitt, the owner of Needeep N. Schitt Inc. They had one son, Jack. In turn Jack Schitt married Noe Schitt, the deeply religious couple produced 6 children
<VioletSky> Holie Schitt, Fulla Schitt, Giva Schitt, Bull Schitt, and the twins: Deap Schitt and Dip Schitt. Against her parents' objections, Deap Schitt married Dumb Schitt, a high school drop out.
<VioletSky> However, after being married 15 years, Jack and Noe Schitt divorced. Noe Schitt later remarried Ted Sherlock and, because her kids were living with them, she wanted to keep her previous name.
<VioletSky> She was then known as Noe Schitt-Sherlock. Meanwhile, Dip Schitt married Loda Schitt and they produced a son of nervous disposition, Chicken Schitt.
<VioletSky> Two other of the 6 children, Fulla Schitt and Giva Schitt, were inseparable throughout childhood and subsequently married the Happens brothers in a dual ceremony.
<VioletSky> The wedding announcement in the newspaper announced the Schitt-Happens wedding. The Schitt-Happens children were Dawg, Byrd, and Hoarse.
<VioletSky> Bull Schitt, the prodigal son, left home to tour the world. He recently returned from Italy with his new Italian bride, Pisa Schitt.
<VioletSky> So there.
<FiPo> LOL
<Nori123> I have actually chortled coke through my nose