It seems to me, however, that the deficiency with the Christ-and-Culture scheme...– The Church as Culture | First Things
Ancient Evangelical Future: Liturgy That Gives... →
Op-Ed Columnist - Life After the End of History -... →
Though I’ve heard that he’s the youngest Op-Ed columnist for the NYT, Douthat just keeps hitting dingers. He’s not the theological figure R. J. Neuhaus was, but it seems more and more that First Things should have nabbed him.
The People's Democratic Republic of Magic
Marnie and I went to Disney on Tuesday. It was an hour-and-a-half drive from where my parents live to the $14/day parking lot at the Magic Kingdom. Growing up in Florida, Disney is ever-present and often taken for granted. It’s the cause of relative’s visits, but rarely the source of much excitement. I never went there from the age of 13-18, except when our church youth group...
The best movies of the year and the decade. - By... →
I’ve seen 1/2 of this list (dang kids), but liked all 5 (Adventureland, Ponyo, Mr. Fox, The Hurt Locker, Drag Me to Hell + runners up Anvil and Up).
Op-Ed Columnist - Heaven and Nature - NYTimes.com →
Just in case anyone is wondering, ”exchanging gifts” is the term for the way we celebrate Christmas by swapping presents. If you are a Christian, you can “exchange gifts” more than once, in celebration of Christmas, but you don’t “do Christmas” more than once. Also, people, baby’s are due, couples are expecting, but only women are pregnant....
Exhibit A in Moral Art: Tourist Season by Carl... →
Everything Carl Hiaasen has ever written had an palpable moral tone: specifically, ire over the idiotic destruction of Florida’s natural beauty. It seems silly to say that Hiaasen’s work would be aesthetically more significant if this moral, even propagandistic, element were removed. The reason Tourist Season is good art isn’t because Hiaasen is somehow ambivalent about any...
A passion for Christian films | Overstreet... →
Can’t say that I’m 100% with Overstreet here: Jeffrey Overstreet, novelist and Christian movie critic for Image Journal, remains skeptical that a big Hollywood budget is really what the Christian film genre is lacking. “I think all art breaks down when it is for or against anything. It becomes manipulative and propagandic,” he told The Washington Times. He said this is...
Watch This: 70-Minute Video Review of Star Wars:... →
A Christmas Carol Reading: Our Holiday Tradition
People think that ritual is boring or irrelevant. But ritual is really super important. We all actually live by ritual, especially at Christmas. My favorite Christmas ritual is reading A Christmas Carol out loud. I love this more than getting presents. But this is not a ritual for everyone. First of all, it involves reading 19th-century British prose in front of a group of people. This is...
The Most Controversial Video Games of the Decade ... →
I send no cards and give no presents except to children.” So C. S. Lewis wrote...– C. S. Lewis Blog: Joy to the World: Lewis on Christmas Mirth
John Lennon's Born-Again Phase | Christianity... →
This is an excerpt from The Gospel According to the Beatles. I’ve never heard this before, and it sounds like it’s been under-reported. Also, interesting connection to the late Oral Roberts.
Slate's year-end gaming club. w/ Discussion of... →
Like every other aspect of geek-culture, gaming has moved to the mainstream. Two key questions float to the surface in Slate’s dialogue: Are games art? and Are certain games immoral? Seems like the answer second question should obviously be yes. The real question is, what does this ‘yes’ mean? W/r/t the first, I imagine that, no matter how popular they become, narrative...
Modern Warfare 2 wants to be a game where life is precious, and where you get an...– Review: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Videogames - Boston Phoenix
Sufjan Stevens - Songs for Christmas →
If you haven’t got it yet, get it now.
Pitchfork: The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s: 20-1 →
I’m down w/ the Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and even Daft Punk pics, but #1 still leaves me cold. Why not “Hey Ya”?
~Caravaggio's Annunciation →
I’m almost always annoyed with Caravaggio. They guy can compose awesome chiaroscuro layouts like a ninja, but he either never thinks about what he’s painting, or else he seems to actively undercut his subject matter.* Basically, he’s the Michael Bay of the 17th century. *See the description on this painting for yet another example of the reason Caravaggio annoys me.
“…essays on everything from memory and surfing and Esperanto and...– David Foster Wallace, “Total Noise”, The Best American Essays, 2007… (via here)
The Philosophy of Horror | University Press of... →
This is coming out in 2010… I just read the proof for my essay in it on horror as a way of reflecting on our moral intuitions. I’m proud of my essay, and the other ones look quite good as well. Esp. looking forward to reading Jeremy Morris’s “Justification of Torture-horror”, which ties into my current research project on immoral art.
Just saw Avatar. It was sort of Aliens from the alien pov. In Ferngully.– leverus
Morality on the Brink of the Singularity
I recently discussed immorality and art with my class. Esp. w/r/t the recent firing of a Jessamine Library Assistant. The question, as posed to my students, centered around the more tradition question of the consumption of a single piece of morally questionable art. But the more pressing question is really this: What happens to morality as we enter the singularity? If the default mode for...
Ohana and the Fairy
Okay, due to (moderate) interest in my post about the book I’m making Marnie for Christmas, here’s one story from the “collection”. This was written by Marnie in her usual fashion: sitting in the comfy chair next to my desk and dictating. I’ve helped and prompted a bit, but this is basically the story she told me. Maybe it drags a bit at the beginning, but it has...
LINK: Aesthetics: Image, Artwork, and Truth: C.S.... →
*** Shameless self-promotion. Here’s a bit of interaction with an essay I wrote for C. S. Lewis as Philosopher (IVP Academic).
Yuletide Greetings: Allow?
What’s the point of the Christmas card after Facebook? You can see pictures of my family online, and catch up with what we’re doing. There’s no need for a printed Christmas picture and a tedious letter, that’s for sure. Is it just to prove that I care about you 44 cents worth?
LINK: Neil Gaiman Comments on Jessamine County... →
Neil Gaiman, big time author, blogs about the affairs of little old Jessamine County, right here in my backyard. Gaiman gives a decent account of the firing of a circulation assistant for her attempt to prevent an 11-year-old from checking out Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier. He’s also rightly sensitive to the particulars of the case, where the...
LINK: Social-Network Game 'Mafia Wars' Attracts... →
Great description here of Facebook time-suckers FarmVille and Mafia Wars. Grossman correctly assesses the psychology of the game: “One of the keys to Mafia Wars’ appeal is that it’s easy. Unlike in a “real” video game, you can’t really lose. The constant stream of rewards is addictive; you become like a rat who can’t stop pushing the lever to get the...
The recent SNL sketch “Potato Chip Thief” seemed less SNL, more Kids in the Hall. Fine by me. I’ve always loved the 10 to 1 sketches the most. Jack Handey wrote this masterpiece: http://bit.ly/7yNFmo
Christmas in Wilmore →
Christmas in Wilmore was as perfect as always. It might be my favorite expression of civic life ever. The mayor helps light the Christmas tree. The graphic design shop gives out awesome Wassail. And Wilmore UMC dishes up cheap, evil chili dogs. The only problem is finding information on it, for which the Wilmore website is nearly useless. Plus, they have the most depressing picture imaginable...
LINK: I Was Wrong About Church Buildings | Out of... →
I’ve been saying this for a while: The look, design and meaning of church building is far more important that most Christians realize. Bashing the importance of the building ignores the aesthetic dimension of human life and the church’s role in bringing people to worship; plus serving the community as a signal of transcendence. It’s nice to hear somebody else champion...