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Archive for December, 2007

This will only help with those of you who forgot to already buy Christmas gifts, but I’ve been trying to build a collection of alternative shopping resources the last few weeks.* Here are a few, and if you’re familiar with others, I’d be interested to know about them:

Benefitting the poor in 2/3 world countries (generally an “in honor of” gift):
TEAR Australia
Heifer International
World Vision
Kiva (small loans)
Save the Children

Fair Trade/Alt Economics
a greater gift
Ten Thousand Villages
Heartbeats
No Sweat Apparel
People Not Profit
(more…)

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Next two things

1) Saw I’m Not There and The Darjeeling Limited this week. Two films featuring trains, drugs, spirituality, and a life-altering motorcycle accident. Also include interesting casting overlaps with other films in which the same actors appear. Both are among my favorites this year. Only one has David Cross as Alan Ginsberg.

1b) Also watched Year of the Dog. I really liked Molly Shannon. This is a great little movie.

1c) Maybe next time I’m in this position I will have a one man movie festival featuring all one man titles: The Man Who Knew Too Much; The Man with One Red Shoe; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; The Man Who Wasn’t There; The Third Man; The Elephant Man; The Man Who Fell to Earth; The Man with Two Brains; A Man for All Seasons; The Man on the Train; The Minus Man; The Amazing Colossal Man; The Man with the Golden Gun; Last Man Standing; Repo Man. Maybe by that time, The Man in the Chair. Possibly Spider-Man, probably not She’s the Man.

2) “There is an African proverb that says, ‘If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.'”

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1) I can’t stop laughing/crying about this article someone (who will remain anonymous unless she/he chooses not to) sent me today: Forecast: Sex and Marriage With Robots by 2050. Don’t worry, it’s FOX News, so it’s safe for the whole family. See if you can come up with any responses we didn’t already.

2) Also, it’s amazing what people will do for you if you’ll just ask. Er, I mean, HEY LOOK EVERYBODY, more remixes from Gather Round Children! Gabe is so krunk.

3) I think I’m inspired to make a best of 2007 list. Because, you know, everybody wants more of those. Really, I can’t stop, and I’m all into this kind of stuff. I’ve been reading some great ones online. They’ve inspired me to use up my November emusic credits:

Joan as Police Woman, Real Life
Band of Horses, Cease to Begin
The National, Boxer

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Thanks to RSS, I’ve never seen any of your cool widgets, and you’ve never seen the big red button in my blog’s margin that says “click here for free money!” But every once in a while I try to catch up with what folks had in mind for my viewing experience, and sometimes am pretty impressed. The other day I left a comment for Todd, and noticed this NT Wright quote for the first time (anybody remember where this came from? I guess I know who to ask). How cool is this:

We are called to be part of God’s new creation, called to be agents of a new creation here and now. We are called to model and display that new creation in symphonies and family life, in restorative justice and poetry, in holiness and service to the poor, in politics and painting…. …That is the opportunity that stands before us, as gift and possibility.

N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham

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Batman Begins:

As idealistic DA Rachel Dawes receives a kiss her lawyer boyfriend, former child sweetheart Bruce Wayne observes from sidewalk, dressed in dingy hooded sweatshirt.

Viewer banter:*

J: That’s so sexy when a billionaire dresses like a homeless person. If I was super wealthy that’s what I would do. It’s. . . it’s like an expression of true freedom.

D: Is incarnation is an expression of freedom?

J: Yeah, maybe. Right. I like that about Jesus. I don’t buy the romance of “giving up his divinity.” I trust him more because he still is God. I like that he knows something I don’t. He’s choosing this human form, but he still has this divine identity.

D: Like, the romance cheapens the choice being made or the restraint required?

J: Right. Whodathunkit: Batman is a Christ figure.**

Batman Begins:

Wayne squats at the bottom of a cave as the sound of hundreds of bats rushes towards him. Facing his fear and accepting his fate, embracing the symbol whose form will give him his power, Wayne slowly rises as the bats circle and immerse him in a whirling black cloud.

*As best I recall. Actual speakers had more believable conversational tone.
**Actual movie did not interpret itself thus. Maybe.

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A prayer from Thomas Aquinas, from which I’ve been separated over a decade. Thank you, internets:

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart,
which no unworthy affection may drag downwards;
give us an unconquered heart,
which no tribulation can wear out;
give us an upright heart,
which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside.
Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God,
understanding to know you,
diligence to seek you,
wisdom to find you
and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thomas Aquinas

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I cleared a major academic hurdle, and then ended up with the wife and young’uns out of pocket for a bit. In the interim, I’m casting aside all good intentions, and filling my time with media catch-up. I’ve noticed that with the break in assigned reading, my taste for the usual timekillers has totally dissolved (see blog updates). So, more time for the films of my post-comps backslide:

No Country for Old Men: Thumbs up
Beowulf: Thumbs meh
Before the Devil Knows Your Dead: Thumbs in eye-sockets
Michael Clayton: Thumbs grinning Clooney-ly
The Big Lebowski: Thumbs, man
Oceans 13: Thumbs higher than 12, but this one doesn’t go to 11
Hot Fuzz: First thumb rofl, second thumb twiddling
Iron Giant: Thumbs warmed
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: Thumbs cocked, pointer fingers out
Primer (2004): Thumbs happily baffled
The Lives of Others: Daumen ausgeseichnet

I’d really like to see The Darjeeling Limited (now playing at a theater nearly an hour away!), Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and I’m Not There (now playing at a theater!).

My one literary feat: finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Thumbs up. I’m hoping to wrap up at least two more novels before time’s up.

Any suggestions, celluloid or paperback?

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