Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

MLK’s Dream: Where are we?

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Entering the political season…

Friday, January 4th, 2008

With the Iowa caucuses complete, the political campaign season is now officially underway. I’m intrigued by the series that Adam Hamilton will be preaching over the next few weeks, “Seeing Gray: Faith, Politics and Morality in a Black and White World.” In his weekly email that he sends out to his congregation, he shared this from his recent trip to D.C. that I thought was worth sharing….

If you stand in front of the Supreme Court, to your back is the Capitol, to your right is the Library of Congress, and to your left is the only non-governmental building on the square: The United Methodist Building which houses our Board of Church and Society. It was built about the same time as the Supreme Court building and is a reflection of our church’s belief that faithful Christians should be salt and light influencing our nation and world; seeing that building made me proud to be a United Methodist. Inside on its walls is the Social Creed of our church as it was originally adopted in 1908. Methodists were the first denomination in America to adopt a social creed to go alongside the historic theological creeds of the church. It called for equal rights and complete justice for all people, for safe working conditions, an end to child labor, and for all of society to live by Christ’s Golden Rule.

World Trade Center

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

I’m a little tired today because I stayed up late last night watching Oliver Stone’s, World Trade Center. I actually started watching the movie a few weeks ago, and never finished it. As you can imagine, it’s quite an intense film. I’ve now watched both of the first movies made about the 9/11 terrorist attack. About a month ago, on my day off, I watched United 93. When I heard about each of these films, I must admit that I was quite skeptical about their release. First, I felt like it might trivialize those terrible tragedies. Second, I was worried that they would be received as “political statements” that might polarize audiences. Just as an aside, I don’t mind films that make “political statements” but I really didn’t feel like that would be appropriate given the subject matter.

What I can say is that both films overwhelmed my expectations and to the best of the medium’s ability, captured the horrific moments surrounding September 11th. At the same time, they portrayed in a way that I did not think was possible, the excellence of humanity that was displaced in the midst of those tragedies. So, if you’ve been thinking about seeing the films, I’d strongly recommend both of them. They are not easy to watch. They will take you back to moments that you would probably rather forget, but they are a wonderful reminder of what we value the most; family, friends, and the life we share with them.

Special Announcement

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Departed PosterI watched The Departed on Sunday night after the Oscars.

And after much prayer and reflection…

I have decided to forgive Leonardo DiCaprio for making Titanic.

I can now publicly confess.

I like Leo.

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Lost Easter Eggs

Friday, February 16th, 2007

For those who are still addicted to the ABC series, “Lost,” check out the Lost Easter Eggs blog which shares some images from each week’s episode that reveal some of the subtle clues embedded each week.

You can also check out Josh Brown’s blog. He shares a recap each week which is pretty good.

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Thoughts from a faithful follower…

Friday, October 20th, 2006

S2PosterThis post is a little off the beaten path from some of my usual themes, but I know many of you share my passion for the show Lost. My wife and I have been in on this one from the beginning and even had a Lost watching party with a group of friends during the first season. If you are a fan of Lost who is not caught up on the current season’s episodes, stop reading now.

I am growing concerned about the direction of this show. Most series like to take us to a cliffhanger at the end of the season, and most of the time those cliffhangers take us very close to a direction we think might kill the series. Take for instance, The Office, another favorite, which is doing a great job with the angle they have taken… having Jim move to a new office and providing some distance to the developing relationship between Jim and Pam. Most Office fans weren’t interested in the show becoming a romantic series about Jim and Pam, though we love them so… The Office is about more than just Jim and Pam.

Which brings me back to Lost… A few thoughts about the potential avenues that this season might take…

Don’t turn this into a torture series… The teaser for next week is the one that really might send me over the edge. I have no desire to sit down for an hour to watch “the others” torture Jack, Sawyer and Kate. Especially, and this is the huge thing for me, when I have no understanding at all of what their intentions are… Without knowing who these people are, what they’re about, or why they are even on the island, they just look like evil people who want to torture somebody. What’s the point? Why are they torturing them? They’re not asking them for anything… To me, it borders on being grotesque for grotesque sake… I don’t have time for that.

If you’re going to share more backstory, make sure it adds to the story… In the last two weeks, we’ve discovered two things. Jin and Son had a bad marriage. I think we found that out in season one. Son’s father is a bad man. Yeah, we got that before too. Locke has a hard time trusting people. YES, I get that. He gave away a kidney to a father who abandoned him. Trust me, I won’t forget that Locke has trust issues… Seeing that he was betrayed by a undercover officer who infiltrates the drug ring that Locke previously worked in (what they heck was that about) doesn’t tell me anything about Locke that I didn’t already know. So far, I’ve seen a lot of fluff in season three that doesn’t seem to be taking us anywhere.

New characters, old story lines? Ok, last season when you revealed that there were people on the other side of the island who were in another part of the plane… I was with you… but now we have these new faces who have magically appeared in the original group of survivors. Come on… The whole premise of the show is that you are on a deserted island! And we have the return of the polar bear, who luckily seems to only come out of his cave every 20-25 days.

Make sure your new stories make sense with your old stories… So Desmond can see the future… That might have been helpful to know before the hatch exploded.

Memo to the writers: You’ve got a huge audience of people who have trusted you to take them somewhere… If you don’t know where you are going… figure it out pretty quick.

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Oh no… everybody help…

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

While browsing around Yahoo’s most viewed stories this morning I found this…

On Monday night, the Saturday Night Live-inspired Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip fell to a series-low 8.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

My wife and I have seen every episode of this new series and we love it so far. We were huge West Wing fans and the show has a similar vibe with many of the same cast and crew working on Studio 60. We would be crushed to see this new show fail… So, wake up America! It’s greatness. Tune in Monday nights @ 9:00.

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Studio 60 – “A show worth your time!”

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Studiopass Promote

My wife and I are already hooked on a show we have spent many months looking forward to. As huge West Wing fans, we were really pumped about Aaron Sorkin’s new project and so far we haven’t been disappointed. Event the cast members who we were kind of worried about (Amanda Peet) have been really great.

For those of you who fill pulpits (either physically or metaphorically) each week, you should definitely check out the second show. Matt Albie (Matthew Perry’s character) is the writer for the fictional TV show which is called Studio 60 and has seven days to crank out a great script. In his office, he has a huge clock that counts down until the next show. I thought it would be a great addition to my office to get me motivated for sermon prep. I wonder if I could get one of those on ebay.

Anyways, check out the show. It’s worth your time. In the meantime, check out the trailer below from the greatness of YouTube.


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Lostpedia

Saturday, May 20th, 2006

Lost fans! You have to see this.

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Spanglish

Saturday, December 10th, 2005

adam_sandler51

I finished a pretty good movie today that most of you have probably already seen called, Spanglish. Adam Sandler’s not bad playing the part of a “real” actor. The movie has some great illustrations that can be used for teaching. It raises some great questions for discussion.

How do we define who is living a “better” life?

How do we respond to people when we don’t speak the same language?

What does assimilation mean? Is it necessary? In order to fully assimilate, can anything be kept from our past?

Where do we find our identity? (Last few scenes of the movie)