Archive for August, 2008


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I watched a bit of the documentary (concert video?) of Joe Strummer, God bless his soul, and the Mescaleros 2001-2002 tour, Let’s Rock Again! Strummer is enjoyable, although there is not really a ton of off-stage reflection. But, that seems to have been his way of doing things. After reflecting on the eagerness of the press to get at the opinions and inspirations of rock stars, Strummer commented that fixating on rock lyricists is about like wanting to get at the ideas of people who create crossword puzzles. While Joe was a bit too humble about how he could string words and music together. . . .

I dig a link I saw (ht who?) to photos of literary tattoos, and was struck by how many folks decided to permanently ink the lyrics of recent songs into their bodies (could be worse, though). Their conviction is impressive, and their sentiments are appreciated, but can a 21 year old celebrity stranger really speak for me for the rest of my life? There’s something about the power of celebrity endorsement to this.

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Today is Mother Teresa’s birthday. Teresa of Calcutta was born in 1910.

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

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HT GRC, who posted an even prettier video. I can’t get enough of these guys this week.

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If you’ve ever given much attention or thought to teenagers, maybe even been one or cared for a few, I recommend this recent post from Stuff about Cari:

Maybe they secretly met up with the hottest guy at Lincoln Middle after changing into the cutest long-sleeved midriff sweater from Abercrombie in the bathroom at the theater after making their dad drop them off outside Sears so no one would see them.

(Also recommended for people who may have known Cari.)

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Young’un (picking up Spider Man lego figure from car floor): I’m going to take Spider Man inside to church today.

Me: Ok.

Young’un: He’s going to think this is craazy.

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[I’m going to talk about this as if you are among the six bazillion people who have already paid to see it, i.e., “spoilers ahead”]

The Dark Knight is a great movie, and there is plenty of print to tell you so, so I’ll skip over that point. Christopher Nolan has crafted something which, as the wife said, I know is good, whether I know if I like it or not.

The film has me mulling over Batman as a story about the “powers and principalities;” Batman as a figure seeking out justice in a way that the rulers and their swords simply can’t accomplish. He has set out parameters for himself to keep his mission clear, and, as someone who operates outside the laws of the land, to keep the boundary between himself and those he pursues. Nolan has named this boundary “thou shalt not kill,” and placed Bruce Wayne/Batman’s refusal to be executioner at the center of the character in both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

The myth of Batman is as powerful as any fists or gadgets at his disposal; a man with no accountability but his own will, which appears steeled in his purpose. And a man who uses fear as much as force to disarm his opponents. This fantasy, and the extent to which we revel in it, is a catharsis for our own powerlessness against the injustice of this age. Despite the order achieved through the power of the state, the state is not to be trusted to bring about That for Which We Hope. No strategy, structure, party, or candidate can fulfill the promises that only God’s reign can, and, says the Bride, will.

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