Saturday, June 29, 2013

Never Say Die - Modernity and Morality - Part 1

Jeeves and Wooster
“Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie shouldn’t age,” says my Dad, leaning against the kitchen counter. “Seeing them get old…it just doesn’t…it’s weird.”

Back in the ’90s, the two British actors co-starred in Jeeves and Wooster. Fry and Laurie played, respectively, the unflappable, omniscient valet, Jeeves, and his dimwitted, talkative employer, Bertrum Wilberforce Wooster. The stories are set in an idyllic pre-war atmosphere, where the greatest ill that can befall a man is ridiculous romantic dilemmas or bogus get-rich-quick schemes. Let’s be honest, it’s pure escapism—albeit escapism with lively wit, brilliant plotting, and hilarious (if somewhat one-dimensional) characters. No one ages and, of course, no one dies.

That’s why it’s so weird to see old Fry and Laurie. I had a similar reaction to seeing Anthony Valentine in a modern movie. I’d had a crush on him in the 1975 TV show Raffles…and suddenly, he was in his seventies. He's old enough to be my grandfather.

Why this violent reaction, this jerking back from reality?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bill Whittle on The Lord of the Rings

It's been sixteen days since I've posted - about the longest interval in my year of blogging. In the face of this deplorable neglect, I started to get desperate. Thus, I'm pulling out one of my emergency blog subjects: The Lord of the Rings.

Bill Whittle is one of my favorite political commentators. He works for, and is involved in three internet TV shows - hosting Afterburner and The Firewall and co-hosting Trifecta with Stephen Green and Scott Ott. He consistently turns out classy, intellectual commentary on current events. He'd mentioned Tolkien several times, so I was curious as to what the story was.

His take on it, somewhat predictably, involves politics. I don't entirely agree with him, but it's certainly a credible and important interpretation.

The relevant section is from 39:00 to 48:50.



Saturday, June 1, 2013

Looking Back - Logos Bible Study

My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday. 
~G.K. Chesterton

In this forward-looking, progressive age, very little attention is paid to the past. Even among Christians, the attitude persists. In general, we prefer the New Testament to the Old. "Well, it's the old covenant. It's all been superseded. Sure, the Ten Commandments, but not all that other stuff. Just a lot of killing and kings and judgment."

Myself, I've always enjoyed the Old Testament, but sometimes, we all need a little help. Of course it isn't necessary to know historical context, geography, languages, culture, but those things flesh out the story and can give a whole new spin on well-known tales.

Did you know the Witch of Endor was a ventriloquist? Did you know Jonah was resurrected from the whale? Did you know that Jephthah didn't kill his daughter? Do you know who Jephthah was?

Is all that true? It could be. I'll bet it never came up in Sunday School. In dozens of podcasts, Dr. Bill Creasy examines the Bible from a unique perspective. As a marine he has knowledge about military maneuvers, he was stationed in Israel, he knows the languages, he knows the land, he knows the culture, he's got a sense of humor. Logos Bible Study really is the "most comprehensive, in-depth Bible study program on the planet." Dr. Creasy really knows how to make it all come to life - the New Testament as well. Are some of his more unusual claims right? I don't know. But he takes Paul's "test everything" seriously. God means us to use our imagination.

Check it out here. You can thank me later.