Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

Archive for April 2007

Studio 60 Returns

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Written by taj

April 29, 2007 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Television

Congress, on Ice

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I do not understand the sentiment of supporting the troops and not the war.  To me it feels like saying you support the Redskins, but you hope they lose on Sunday.  Offering support connotes the achievement of a shared objective, right?  But then you have those who feel compelled to ask you what you mean by “objective,” and by then, the argument has become a contest so steeped in semantics that the real struggle gets lost in a volley of mere words. 

Another chapter in this contest finds closure today in the passing of yet another bill requiring the withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq in six months’ time.  And Bush has already promised to veto.  Pretty soon someone will need to dig up what Einstein said about insanity. 

My particular hang up here is the complete disregard for common sense.  The House knew going into this that they lacked the votes to overturn a presidential veto.  Which compels me to ask why they wasted their time drafting legislation they knew would never make it past the Oval Office. 

In two hundred years, we’ve gone from “give me liberty, or give me death” to “give me what I want or I’ll give you red tape.”  Partisan politics isn’t the problem here.  It’s selfishness.  It’s greed.  And it’s turning into a farce. 

Written by taj

April 26, 2007 at 4:39 pm

Posted in Politics, Questions

Another One Rides the Bus

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Someone tells me at least three times a week that my life will change when my baby is born.  It’s only Monday and I’ve already heard it once.  But my lovely wife and I are taking whatever proactive measures we can, one of which entails me riding the bus to work.  We only have one car, see, and she’ll need it to cart the little guy around once she returns to school in the fall.

What I know of public transit comes mostly from Hollywood—the crowded hordes of business men standing in the isle, clinging to little ropes hanging from above, and whatnot.  And while I know a Los Angeles city bus would never make a fifty foot jump over a gap in a freeway overpass, it’s still fun to watch on screen. 

I stepped on board, and thankfully, I was not greeted by the stench of the cleaner they must use to scour public school buses.  The seats on public transit, I discovered, may still cause the caboose some discomfort, but at least they’re upholstered. 

The small crowd I encountered this morning seemed well acquainted with each other.  I actually felt a little out of place.  Most of them knew each other by name.  I don’t why that surprised me—you don’t think of finding community on a bus when you’re not usually the one to hitch a ride.  This crowd did quite well together.  I sometimes wish I could find such fluid chemistry in church. 

I know this isn’t a problem with all churches.  Many churches have community nailed down to a science.  They recognize that building relationships and earning the right to be heard does not entail leading a person to the altar as quickly as possible.  I’m happy to finally be a part of a church that is starting to take that particular ride.   And some of us feel out of place, but we’ll get over it.  Those riding the bus can be my teachers for a while, I really don’t mind. 

Written by taj

April 23, 2007 at 4:54 pm

J.K. Rowling, Writer of Plain Old Books

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One of my favorite recent memories of going to the movies was when I went to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

I sat near the front with a friend, and through the whole movie, I could hear a mother seated behind me whispering back and forth with her young son. I don’t usually like people talking during movies—which is funny because I am a frequent sinner. But I have likely never enjoyed hearing someone talk during movie than this time.

At every scene—and I do mean nearly every scene—the mother whispered to her son, “do you know what this is?” And his reply, “Yeah, this is when they…” I gathered they had read the book together before coming to the movie. I loved listening to them go back and forth, enjoying their favorite moments from a plain old book play out on screen. I hope my little boy and I can annoy folks at the theater with such enthusiasm some day.

Therefore, I’d like to highlight J. K. Rowling’s reception of one of WIRED Magazine’s Rave Awards. I’ll let the write up speak for itself…

“In 1990, before the rise of Second Life and World of Warcraft, before the triumph of MMORPGs, a young woman named Joanne Rowling was stuck on a delayed four-hour train ride to King’s Cross station in London. She began to conjure up an outcast boy heading to a sorcery school called Hogwarts. Seven years and countless drafts later, the first Harry Potter novel plunged readers into a parallel universe more compelling than any online world imaginable. Rowling was paid a $4,000 advance. Today she is the first person to become a billionaire by writing books. And when “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final volume in the series, apparates on July 21, it will mark the conclusion of an incredible run: more than 325 million books sold in 200 countries, not to mention the $3 billion or so earned by the first four movies and billions more from games, action figures, and product tie-ins. Rowling is the reigning master of what you might call MMFWs-massively multireader fictional worlds-inspiring a generation of screen-fed kids to devour old-fashioned books on paper.” -Liesl Schillinger (emphasis mine)

Thanks, Joanne, for reminding us that books—on paper, no less—are still cool.

HT: Mugglenet

Written by taj

April 21, 2007 at 7:29 pm

Ready to Sail the Dawn Treader

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I read yesterday that director Michael Apted will take the helm for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader once Prince Caspian wraps production.  Apted earned his salt as a solid character director long before the Christian community swooned over his work on Amazing Grace.  He’ll steer the ship well. 

Dawn Treader reads more episodic than the other novels of the series.  The only real goal for our heroes is to sail to the End of the World, which the uninitiated might think is a riff on the third Pirates film.  By itself, the premise seems a little wooden, but Lewis’s narrative adds plenty of color to render an epic journey. 

He leaves so much open to the imagination, however, that I just hope the writers don’t muck up the adaptation.  The technique works terrifically for a book, which of course was the idea.  I do not imagine Jack would have enjoyed seeing his stories put to film.  As much as I enjoyed The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, there were a few places where they just didn’t nail it as well as I would have liked.  But that’s me, and I could be wrong—pick your cliché.  Jack might have loved the movie.  Douglas Gresham’s involvement certainly helps to ensure the integrity of the vision. 

Here’s to a successful voyage.  The Dawn Treader sets out May, 2009. 

Written by taj

April 19, 2007 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Books, Movies, stories, Writing

Far Away

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The organization I work for has associates out in Blacksburg, VA involved in the shooting, and we’ve been receiving regular updates from our people there.  These stories seem so far away when you just watch them on the news. 
Reports and other writings have already brought up the issue of gun control, which to me seems pointless because people found numerous ways to kill each other long before anyone ever dreamed of concealed firearms. 

But you try to make sense of these things when they happen.  You can’t, but you try, and it usually entails placing blame on something easier to deal with—like taking away guns—than anything that might be on the inside of us. 

So we think if we take away the guns, everything will be okay.  My memory might be faulty, but I do not recall whether the 9/11 conspirators ever drew a gun. 

No one likes to talk about evil.  Once you place evil into the mix, it means you might have to blame yourself, and we can’t have that.  We can’t stand to imagine that the person standing in the mirror could ever…

So we just shrug, and push that thought far away. 

Written by taj

April 18, 2007 at 1:28 pm

Posted in Life, Politics

A Word from Jack

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“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” 

–C. S. Lewis

Written by taj

April 16, 2007 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Quotes

On (Short) Hiatus

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I am going to take a break from blogging for a few weeks to try and shore up some writing projects I want to finish before my little man arrives in May.  The doc still insists the due date is May 21st.  I don’t know.  Her last ultrasound put her due date a week earlier. 

Ergo, time is of the essence, and I need to back away from some of my commitments.  I may drop in from time to time if I feel like sharing something.  When I start up again, I want to try and get that series on writing stories from first draft to final going as well. 

Be back soon…

Written by taj

April 3, 2007 at 4:39 pm

Posted in General