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Archive for the ‘civilization schmivilization’ Category

I meant to squeeze this in for Veterans Day, but didn’t make it.

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We watched Network (1976) over the weekend; first time I’ve seen it. If you haven’t seen it in a while, or have it somewhere at the bottom of your queue, I recommend moving it up. Things have changed so much in the last thirty years that they’re pretty much exactly the same.

The clip below is one of three major rants by former Union Broadcasting Systems (UBS) news anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch), whose deluded sense of prophetic calling results in a ratings boom for eager conscience-less programmer Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway). I haven’t seen a lot of Lumet‘s films, but I found this more along the lines of PT Anderson than Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, which seemed more like a story one of the characters in this film would have told than the story Network spins.

(Note: This man is going to use words you’re not allowed to say on the major networks. But they can on TNT.)

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I put this up in another format recently, but I love this quote attributed to Gregory of Nyssa’s Life of Moses. I haven’t found it yet, but it’s worth digging for in there:

Concepts create idols. Only wonder understands anything.

Song of the day, by some trick of my ear:

Gillian Welch, “Annabelle”

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One more comment about worldly gain, and then a song. I promise.

A friend from High School is now at the National Review, and wrote this insightful piece about the standards for card playing in the current race. It’s interesting what we choose to get sensitive about, and Palin’s candidacy will give us plenty more time to consider civil discourse. “Restraint means only using three exclamation points.” Hope we don’t get tired of it!

(heh heh heh.)

And, now, as promised, a song.

Marching Band, “Make Up Artist” (my favorite song on the new album is “Gorgeous Behavior”)

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Now, I can hardly believe a word being said on or about a convention stage in the last two weeks, but I thought this was an interesting response: a call for Christians to stand against Palin’s rhetoric, if not her content.

The Matthew 25 Network includes both shunned Obamacon Roman Catholic Doug Kmiec and ubiquitous new kind of evangelical Brian McLaren. Thes’re interesting folks.

Or, if you like to be more passively politically cynical than legitimately outraged, there’s always the Daily Show (HT Pastor Kes).

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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.
(more…)

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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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