Posts Tagged ‘television’

… but doesn’t know quite how to deal with it. For instance, they start off telling of a movie currently in production about “a spoiled young American who goes on a partying trip to India and gets pulled into the search for a little girl who was sold to human traffickers. The film was partly shot in India and centers around Dalits, the so-called “untouchables” on the lowest rung of the traditional caste system.” The profits from the film are earmarked to help the Dalits. You would think liberals would be falling over themselves to praise a project that aims to selflessly help some of the most oppressed and poverty-struck people on Earth, and that champions a fight against modern day slave traders. But here the praise is muted, and countered by people who just really aren’t sure churches should be in the movie making ‘business,’ regardless of intentions. And then there are those who just wish silly old “conservative” Christians “would look more closely for spiritual themes in Hollywood’s movies”. Because, you know, sometimes they’re hidden in there. (OK, sometimes they are. See this BreakPoint list of recommended films, for starters. Not that I agree with all their recommendations or thumbnail summaries, but, hey, it’s their list…)

On the upside, at PBS, there is some actual reporting mixed in with the hand wringing; for instance, that Fireproof was the highest grossing independent film of 2008. And, although the reporter ‘balances’ the story by talking to people with strange, hypothetical concerns (one of my favorites was the gentleman who frets that if these movies are too successful, a genre will spring up, which will somehow then cause the films to be cut off from the mainstream…), on the upside, a handful of people working on church productions were allowed to have their say, and successful movies were given their due, if perhaps grudgingly.

There did seem to be undue concern, I thought, about these films not being done in Hollywood by the entrenched film industry. To which, I say: let the best movies win.

Years ago, my husband and I were driving to a nearby city to pick up business supplies, and midway there we saw a long, and I mean long, line of people outside a shopping center complex: all ages, families, singles, richer, poorer. Amazing. We stopped to investigate, and traced it to a movie theater. The film that had drawn the attention was Driving Miss Daisy. We hadn’t heard of it, but since we were on a shopping expedition, and not keeping an appointment, and had some wiggle room as far as time went, we blocked out the time to see the movie. Chatting with people in line, some were back for the second or third time to see it. Others were there because friends had suggested it. We really liked it, too. Is it a classic? Maybe. Maybe not. But it is a good movie, head and shoulders above the trashy amusement so often delivered by Hollywood in recent decades.

For that matter, as I remember it, it was a nice mix of musement and amusement. And don’t tell me that musement isn’t a word. I don’t care. Muse means to think. A-muse means to not think. (Literally. It means that. Atypical means not typical. Amoral means not moral. Amuse means to not engage your mind.) Driving Miss Daisy was a film that not only entertained, it asked you, politely but firmly, to consider a few things carefully. Musement. Definitely.

Please understand. I can understand that some people might not like the movies being produced by churches. That’s fine. Before I became a Christian I rather deplored Christian themed movies myself, and these days there are some sorts of Christian films I don’t think much of, either. We all have our tastes.

Please understand. I can understand how people who make their living making films might feel undercut by films being made largely by volunteers, as so many of these church films are. I have a love-hate relationship with ebooks; whatever I may think about their merits (and, frankly, I really like ebooks), I am afraid they might spell the death of the already beleaguered brick and mortar bookstore industry. I also know of previously robust traditional publishers who are sweating, not sure yet how, or if, they can stay afloat in an age of ebooks and print-on-demand technologies that have unleashed self-publishing on a scale never before seen. I used to laugh at stories about buggy whip makers resenting the rise of the automobile. I no longer laugh. But I don’t wish we didn’t have cars. And I also don’t wish that we only had films made by Hollywood.

On Facebook yesterday, at the page of a Hollywood insider who professes to be Christian, I stumbled across a conversation where participants were coming undone over the movies discussed in the PBS article. That’s where I found the link, actually. (I have long since stopped looking to PBS for much in the way of useful information.) And I do mean undone. The opening salvo, from a guest, was “Trying to figure out if this is yet another example of yeast congealing… instead of leavening the lump.” The hostess came back with, “This is yeast hating itself and its place in the cosmos and rebelliously deciding that it wants to be something else entirely.” To which the man who had launched the opening salvo said, “Ah, yeast committing suicide rather than being a martyr. What a waste.”

What a waste, indeed. But not the movies they are deriding, some of which have brought cheer and joy and inspiration and, dare I say it, musement, to many.

If I remember right, St. Augustine had experience with people acting like this, and described them better than I ever could. I was skimming The City of God this morning, looking for the precise quote or two I wanted, but so far am falling short. I came across a reference to one of the banes of the Greeks being that they loved contention more than truth. That sort of fits, perhaps. But what I wanted was the part where he talks about the literati who love wordplay so much that they wildly applauded ‘wit’ if it struck them as original, and lost pretty much all correspondence with reality along the way.

Anyway, it struck me as sad, and sorry, and nasty, what they were saying. And I wonder if it says more about them than they mean for it to. “We are the gatekeepers! You can’t have anything happen outside our gates!” Perhaps? I don’t know. It also reminds me of girls who don’t get invited to the prom, and respond by sneering at the very idea of proms. Sour grapes, you know. But I don’t know. I can’t translate stuff about yeast supposedly hating its supposed place in the cosmos. I’m not really sure I want to. Do I? And how it fits into a story about people who are, as it happens, trying to make movies not leavened with the ungodly yeast that’s taken over so much of the movie industry, just beats me.

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hat tip: The Anchoress

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… was at least in part because of little things like this guest appearance on Dean Martin’s show, where (among other things) Wayne talks about what he wants for his daughter as she grows up.


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Please note the reaction of the audience to this Christian ballad sung by Alison Krauss.

America’s jaded, did you say?

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watch this video.

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Sorry about the lull here. We’ve been having a wonderful Indian summer (which simply demanded that I spend some time outdoors), and I’ve been busy building up the Ladies for Life blog, and we’ve been sick around here (winter bugs don’t always wait for winter, worse the luck, and on top of that, my husband’s nerve pain and lung problems have both been acting up pretty good), and I’ve been working my way back from a back injury (which has made it hard to sit at a computer), and we’re laying the groundwork to publish some books (btw: who knew bait and switch tactics were so common in the printing industry?), and the bookstore has needed some attention, and friends and family have had emergencies, and my computer got hacked and the fix left me without some usual features for a while, and internet connection has been hit and miss, and on the plus side my husband handed me an ESV Study Bible on Monday as an early one-year-since-baptism gift, and… And, anyway, it’s been busy around here, and this blog slipped down the sorted-by-priorities list.

I’ve also been in declutter mode again, which you wouldn’t know from looking at the house. I seem to specialize in looking-worse-before-it-gets-better decluttering. On the other hand, I have the satisfaction of knowing how many fewer armloads of stuff we have to work around or move again. One of the things that left the house this round was the television set, and to be fair my husband decided it was time to get rid of that. We cancelled cable months ago after we asked each other if it made any sense at all to be paying to have toxic material pumped into our home. This left us with two over-the-air channels, and a nice screen for DVD viewing. But we haven’t been watching the over-the-air channels, or DVDs, and since we get our news online and via radio, and can watch our DVDs on our computers, and somebody wanted to buy a TV cheap to watch DVDs (so didn’t care in the least that it’s old technology), we sold the TV. Such a deal. Less stuff, more money. I can go for that. It was a heavy TV, not huge but too big to easily dust under, so we are now also rid of a layer of three year old dust that was much worse than I imagined. All in all, it’s an improvement, I think.

I have also been trying to get my wardrobe in line. I finally stopped procrastinating and got some mending done and finished making a skirt and some new slips, but mostly I’m concentrating on deciding what to send to the thrift store. A couple of weeks ago I ran across an old friend who told me with some concern that his wife had 154 dresses. He asked me why a woman would do that. I couldn’t help him there, because I share his concern that a woman with too many clothes has her eyes on the wrong things. But then I went home and looked at my stash of wearables, and was surprised that my not-so-big wardrobe has rather more deadwood in it than I realized. I also have this theory (half-baked, admittedly) that if I get rid of the clothes that are too big for me, it will help me keep off the 15 pounds I have slowly but doggedly shed this year. (Call it culling myself into a proper corner, if you like.)

But of course, it’s also fun to take too-large clothes and cut and stitch them into something new… And I’ve been doing some of that, which has slowed down the ‘send clothes to the thrift store’ project. I no longer have a sewing machine, which means I’m doing everything by hand. It’s a nice hobby, but it can eat up the time like nobody’s business. (Kind of like blogging.) My last homemade skirt was made entirely by hand, but doesn’t look it. I get a kick out of that. (I know. I know. I am too easily amused…)

Seriously, though, ladies, besides simplifying your own life by reducing the clothes you have on hand to a reasonable amount, a lot of families are finding themselves pinched right now, and so a lot of people who haven’t been working outside the home will be going job hunting. If you happen to have job-suitable clothes you aren’t using, now might be a good time to get them to someone who perhaps needs them more than you do. Yes?

The mule deer continue to own the back yard, which sometimes gets interesting. We live in town, but our back yard has fruit trees and we let the grass and other ground vegetation (aka weeds) go semi-wild back there, and it has become a wildlife refuge of sorts. This has its pros and cons. I keep telling myself that a well-manured patch of ground is somehow a good thing, especially in an area being reclaimed from gold mining (this part of town is built over dredge piles, which is a fancy name for piles of gravel left behind huge machines that chewed their way through the valley during the gold rush days), but somehow the fact that it’s right out our back door makes it not seem so. I do like watching the deer (and they get along pretty well with the cats, which can be pretty funny, all the more so because our mule deer seem perplexed by our cats, and want to put their noses up close and have good sniffs, which offends the cats). But I also have a healthy respect for the ability of mule deer to maim or even kill people, so… did I mention that they own the back yard?

Two fast links, for the philosophically minded: Babies and Bottle Caps and Just Look.

Speaking of babies, have you heard that some folks think that putting a fan in a baby’s room, or otherwise improving air circulation, might cut the risk of SIDS?

Fact checking: I’m trying to verify the facts in a story I heard the other day about wells and the water table in Utah, and although I haven’t found what I’m looking for yet, I am finding out some things about the Great Salt Lake that I didn’t know. The same website (Utah Geological Survey) also has a section on dinosaurs and other fossils.

Trivia: I finally know the proper name to call a Japanese wooden doll that I have: Kokeshi. In one of my Japanese dictionaries, the next word is koketsu, which means, variously (according to the dictionary): 1. a tiger’s den, 2. nothing ventured, nothing gained, 3. He who would search for pearls, must dive below. I can see where the second two meanings go together, but tiger’s den seems in a different category, somehow. Anyway, if you’re looking for a catchy new motto to spur yourself on, koketsu seems to have some possibilities…

While we are on the subject of trivia, and the Japanese language, can anyone tell me why the secondary name for the United States of America (behind Amerika), is Beikoku? In lower case, beikoku means rice or rice market or even rice ration-book, or so the dictionary says. There are lots of different Japanese names for rice, but I’m wondering why this one became synonymous with my country.

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