Thursday, February 28, 2013

“Who Could That Be at This Hour?” – a Review

First of all, Happy Birthday, Daniel Handler, a.k.a. Lemony Snicket.

As a lover of sarcasm, black humor, and dry wit, Lemony Snicket’s books have always appealed to me. I loved A Series of Unfortunate Events, featuring the Baudelaire orphans and the wicked Count Olaf. Snicket's latest novel,“Who Could That Be at This Hour?” is in the same vein, and I wouldn’t give it any points on dramatic originality when compared to former work. Still, it’s plenty of fun.
Like ASOUE, in this, the first installment in the All the Wrong Questions series, we have a young protagonist who has to make his way in the world with little help from adults. The time period and location is ambiguous, sometimes feeling like the 1930s, sometimes like the modern day. There’s the same intriguing secret society that hovers around the edges of the tale, but never comes into full view. Lemony Snicket, who is the narrator and main character, loves books, hates coffee, and has had a very unusual education. He also has a female friend who never appears (for ASOUE fans, I suspect this might be the elusive Beatrice.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Concert Pics

Today – I had a confusing morning. This afternoon, I discovered my brother might be a famous apologist when he grows up. This evening, I met Coffey Anderson. And tonight, I accidentally broke my pledge for Lent (that milkshake appeared out of nowhere, I swear). All in all, a pretty busy day.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Coffey Anderson

Me and my family have been following Christian musician Coffey Anderson for years on YouTube, but it was just in January that he got some more widespread notice when a video of his son dancing with him on stage went viral.

Anyway - we're going to see him live on Tuesday. Coffey's been around, shining a light - even at the playboy mansion (which was very cool), where they need it more than anything. Check him out!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Maze Runner - a Review

Life can sometimes feel like a maze, but in The Maze Runner, it really is. A maze filled with ginormous monsters. And secrets. And nutty survivor dudes.

Here’s the long pitch from the hardcover edition:
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Checks and Balances - Gun Control and Self-Worship

In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, there’s been a lot of talk about guns. Or rather, there’s been a lot of shouting about guns. Both sides seem unable to see how anyone could believe differently, and in general, both act from good motives. On the one side, you have the Right, who are prepared to fight tooth and nail against increased gun control. On the other, the Left is pushing for a ban onassault rifles.

I recently listened to a particularly heated discussion—I should say knock-down, drag-out fight—on the subject between ultra-liberal Piers Morgan and ultra-conservative Ben Shapiro. First, kudos to Morgan for having the guts to have Shapiro on there, because Shapiro obviously came with an ax to grind (or a rifle to prime). Shapiro got off to a quick start by accusing Morgan of “standing on the graves of the Sandy Hook victims” to advance his political agenda. He proceeded to not pull any punches.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Truly Great Man - My Understanding of St. Crispin's Day

Shakespeare is the number one best-selling author in the world, with Agatha Christie as a close second. (Taking into account that Bible has one Author, and He not of this world). But while Shakespeare is amazing as a writer, he really wrote to be spoken. When put in the hands of a brilliant director, like Kenneth Branagh, the result is magic. I’ve seen Branagh’s adaptation of Henry V several times, and it still gives me chills. Like Fiddler on the Roof, it’s one of the few older films that stand the passage of time.

There’s one scene in particular, near the end of the movie, which, without fail, makes my heart soar. King Henry V, nicknamed “Harry”, has led the British troops into France, and the Battle of Agincourt approaches. The French outnumber them by a large margin. It’s a pretty hopeless situation.

A fellow named Westmoreland laments, rather understandably, “O that we now had here but one ten thousand of those men in England that do no work to-day!”