January 12, 2004 Happy Birthday this week!
This Blog is One Year Old this week...can it be true????
January 12, 2004 Big Fish Review

My take on Big Fish- And it is a bit different than any review I have seen...Hollywood Jesus missed the spiritual content altogether Ithink.

Big Fish is another derivative of the Odyssey but this one misfires in contrast to what the Coen brothers did in O Brother a few seasons ago. The power of story to impart truth and the real is an important point. But the movie never really realizes that for this to work it must speak to deeper realities than can be conveyed with mere words. Story enables the teller to wend his way about the listeners subconcious and enable a light to go on. The producers say in a review they are making a point about how the father is communicating "emotional truth" rather than"factual truth"...and every Christian review site I read had no apparent problem with this. This particular story has little point other than being about the storyteller himself. Beyond the hammy acting the run on stories never seemed to have a point other than the father's aggrandizement of his own reality, and I found the implications disturbing.

What's wrong with this is that fantasy is given as a preferred to reality since it is so much more interesting. But I ask- what did this son ever receive from his Father in terms of life lessons or of being able to differentiate between reality and fantasy? Even at the son's graduation Pop is center stage stealing the show and all the attention. He is, literally, a legend in his own mind. Pretty sick.

In the movie the son who is the victim of an absentee father is the one who in the end accommodates his father's inability to deal with mundane reality. The relationship is not repaired, the father belittles the son for wanting to know the truth and not accepting for what he is: a pathological liar. The sad thing is that if as the movie implies the characters he has encountered along the way were pretty interesting but they become pawns in his storyline, revolving around the father at the center of his own universe, not real, interesting people. The son is only asking for coherent truth and all he gets is obfuscation.

What about the son who suffered from the lack of a father as he was growing up because Pop was out writing his own story? Everybody likes the father because he can weave an interesting tale. Yet he is manipulating his sons affections with the stories. Is this a small foible? Even the doctor, the voice of wisdom, states he prefers a tall tale to the truth if the truth is not particularly "special" .

So, IMHO, underlying the fantastic images and tall tales is an outright attack on the concept of metanarrative. Tell a lie long enough and it becomes true. Your story of YOUR life is the one that matters and if you speak it loud and long it becomes reality. Most people will see the show as a cute fantasy, interesting images and accept the premise that since the son cops to Dad's fantasy in the end its all OK.

What do you think?

Car Bomb Explodes Outside Pakistani Bible Society

Voice of the Martyrs

A car bomb exploded outside the Karachi Bible Society in Pakistan today injuring 10-15 people. Police had received an anonymous tip that the Bible Society would be targeted and had stationed themselves outside the Bible Society. When the bomb went off it injured several members of the Police squad. It was a large explosion that destroyed 11 cars. The head of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, said the attack had raised concerns across the country. "This terrorist act has increased the sense of insecurity among Christians. We are shocked, grieved and worried," he said. "These people are bent on creating anarchy in the country."

Another good reason to go digital? National Geographic's first all digital shoot... link via JordanCooper.com

Saw a great old movie that I had never seen, and I viewed a load of old movies during my stint as a night manager for a hotel during my college days.

Our Vines Have Tender Grapes with Edward G. Robinson as a Wisconsin farmer wi ll be shown again on Turner Movie Classics on January 28th at 5:30 AM Central if you want to set the VCR to tape it. made me wonder why it is never shown at Christmas though...
Getting the (error) message- did I post this before?

I saw these serene Japanese Computer messages seen on the computer screens in Japan. Some are written in Haiku. So much more civilised than the messages I see...

The Web site you seek cannot be located, but countless more exist.

Chaos reigns within. Reflect, repent, and reboot. Order shall return.

Program aborting: Close all that you have worked on. You ask far too much.

Windows NT crashed. I am the Blue Screen of Death. No one hears your screams.

Yesterday it worked. Today it is not working. Windows is like that.

Your file was so big. It might be very useful. But now it is gone.

Stay the patient course. Of little worth is your ire. The network is down.

A crash reduces your expensive computer to a simple stone.

Three things are certain: Death, taxes and lost data. Guess which has occurred?

You step in the stream, but the water has moved on. This page is not here.

Out of memory. We wish to hold the whole sky, But we never will.

A simple bit of praise.
Father we thank Thee who has planted
Thy holy name within our hearts.
Knowledge and faith and life immortal
Jesus The Son to us imparts.
Thou, Lord, didst make all for Thy pleasure,
Didst give man food for all his days,
Giving in Christ the bread eternal;
Thine is the power, be Thine the praise.
Watch o'er Thy Church, O Lord, in mercy,
Save it from evil, guard it still,
Perfect it in Thy love, unite it,
Cleansed and conformed unto Thy will.
As grain, once scattered on the hillsides,
Was in the broken bread made one,
So from all lands Thy Church be gathered
Into Thy kingdom by Thy Son.

From the Didache, AD 40-60
versified by F. Bland Tucker, 1895
Good News on the Home Front

Mom is out of the hospital- Oh yes I forgot to blog this- haste makes waste.

My Mom went in for planned surgery but the plan went by the wayside- it was no longer simple outpatient kind but rather the eight inch incision six weeks of recuperation kind. Mom is home from the hospital and resting now. Brother Neil came in from Virginia so brother Tom and I can go back to nursing our kidney stones. Yep you heard right. Seems we both are having problems at the same time.

Today would have been Mom and Dad's anniversary had he lived, so I am praying for Mom's sadness on top of her pain. Pray with me?

STOP!!! Don't buy anything from Amazon.com...

...until you read this important announcement from CIVA!!!(christians in the Visual Arts). Did you know that when you access Amazon.com through the CIVA website, that CIVA receives 15% of the purchase price on ABSOLUTELY all your purchases? Thatıs right!

Call For Entries!

The Gallery at the American Bible Society is seeking artistic submissions for Art and Faith in the Modern World: CIVA 25th Anniversary Exhibition. Get the pdf prospectus here.

How to minister to contemporary youth given in ancient 1998

Reaching Youth Today Josh McDowell

The Agony of Comparing Books to Screenplays-LOTR sighting

My friend Larry has a post on the Motley Fool's books discussion board on Lord of the Rings and the agony of comparing the books and the movies.. log in as a guest if you want... Larry says much of what Iwas thinking so rather than a redux ( I can say in 50 words what Larry usually can say in 10 anyways...) here's the post...

Larry's email response to Anthony:

Yes, I agree 100%, and much, much more.

I have decided that without the hindrance of book-plot comparisons, the movies are spectacularly excellent, and almost flawless, a pure joy to participate in. So non-readers got their money's worth, and much, much more!

Every complaint I have comes out of my need to compare the movies with the book(s), and alas for the movies, that need is very great! If there were anyone whom I would prize to do a FAITHFUL rendition to the books, it would be Peter Jackson and his minions, with a different screen-writer. There is so much that is captured well, so well that many times I have said to myself, "Self, the movie has captured that even better than my imagination. (The gates of Mordor, the many towers, Minas Tirith, Mt Doom, not to mention the excellent choice of actors for the characters [few changes])

Still, added to your short observation is:

1. No Scouring of the Shire. Saruman does not get what's due, and a fine fun section of KICK BXTT action by the Hobbits is missing.
2. Miniminizing (to the max) the Faramir/Eowyn relationship. They could have been spectators at a football game for all the movie viewers knew. The one true love story takes fifth fiddle to the one greatly-augmented-yet-impoverished love story.
3. Worse, Faramir, who is pictured as a beacon of high-integrity in the book, becomes a doubter, a mini-Boromir, a mini-Denathor, instead of the anti-Boromir-Denathor. In the book and the tapes, your heart is warmed by Faramir's choice.
4. Of course, everybody lost many favorite parts. The confrontation near the end in front of the Gates of Mordor was missing something. Namely, Sauron's lieutenant, the Mouth of Sauron. Can you remember your first reading of the book, where this was the reader's low point of despair in the entire book? Sauron's lieutenant says (particularly to Gandalf), "I have tokens that I was bid to show to thee -- to thee especial, if thou shouldst dare to come". And he shows them Frodo's mithril coat, and Sam's sword and elven cloak.
As this interchange was rendered by Tolkien -- not a word could have been improved on. In the movie I sat waiting and watching as the gates of Mordor opened, but no lieutenant appeared. A big letdown! (Subsequently, I discovered that they filmed the incident, but didn't use it. I expect it will be in the DVD.)
5. Eowyn was shown with fear in her eyes in her battle with the King of the Nazgul, where in the book she is totally fearless -- and fearless everywhere, near as I can tell. I've just finished rereading that section.
So, the screen writer(s) have adjusted the story, adjusted the morals, adjusted the characters -- and yet, it is one (three) fine movie(s) if you can resist the urge to compare.

But of course, the books are semi-spoiled forever now to first-time readers who have seen the movie....

P.S. And did you ever listen to the BBC series tapes or CDs? Much better than the movie.

Movie: 75% faithful. tapes: 98% faithful.

Well said and 'nuff said!

Lo Carb Lingers..

Speaking of kicking buns here is the meal of the future and the advent of the bunless Whopper . I prefer the Hardees low carb Thickburger for the taste though. It struck me as strange that Hardees has its lo carb burger available in a combo with curly fries intact though. Burger King's site won a Macromedia site of the day for its design and use of Flash but I see lots of pixilation in the images.

Man I love the Atkins diet! I've lost 12 pounds in 12 days with no discomfort whatsoever, just a bit of exercise... I hear Panera bread is hurting and dairy products are through the roof..


Cringe Time- When evangelism Jumps the Shark

This gives a new meaning to evangelism...why I don't wanna be identified as a "dispensationalist"...

Media News and Views

"We just want to be able to present our jiggly women".

U.S. football fans will not see ads featuring scantily clad vegetarians or a political attack on President Bush during February's Super Bowl after CBS said on Thursday that advocacy advertisements were out of bounds on professional football's biggest day. Link via YahooNews..

Jacko Bombshell: 'Jewish' Ex-Wife vs. Nation of Islam

Tomas In the Lion's Den.

According to hospital officials, Tomas says he was ordered by voices from God to go in and taunt the lions. Check out the video...

Flash Sightings at Click

Check out the Frontiers of Flash at Click, which claims the distinction of the web's oldest dedicated e-zine?

From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/