boon-dog-gle: (noun) work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
free: (adjective) provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment.

4/10/07

random, unconnected thoughts...

It occurred to me the other day that one of the things that marks The Office as such an excellent show is that Karen is likable. Sure, most people want Jim and Pam to get together. But a lesser show would have portrayed Karen as a *itch. That's the kind of thing that happens in bad TV shows and movies all the time: the lead character is dating a horrible person and everybody in the world except that character can see that somebody else is better for him/her. In The Office, however, while we might really like Pam, we can like Karen too. So, it's not so easy just to root for Jim to dump Karen and go out with Pam. In that way, the show--as absurd and exaggerated as it is--is a lot more like real life. Most of the time, the bad guys aren't walking through the streets wearing black hats to make them easy to spot. We're just a bunch of flawed people trying to make the best of it.

Barabbas is my favorite of the "biblical epic" movies, by far. I watched it again (Easter) Sunday night, when they showed it on TCM. Anthony Quinn gives a powerhouse performance performance as Barabbas, even though he actually doesn't have a lot of dialogue. In movies these days, the only way a powerful performance is achieved is by some guy talking a lot with a raised voice (think of any Al Pacino movie). Quinn was able to be both subtle and grand at the same time. I'm kind of a sucker for grand, old, historical-epic type movies anyway, and I can even take a perverse enjoyment in a bad one. Even though it has some 1960's movie cheese factor, Barabbas is objectively good. Ben-Hur may be technically better, but I like Barabbas more. Several times during the movie, Barabbas cries out with anguish, anger, and confusion, "That man died in my place!" It gives me chills. We are all Barabbas.

You know what else gives me chills? The weather in St. Louis. Whatever happened to global warming? High temps the last several days: 44, 43, 38, 37, 47.

Several ideas/expressions are related to both light and intelligence. Someone who is smart can be "bright" or "brilliant," and it can be indicated that someone has an idea by either the image or expression of a "light bulb turning on." I don't know what to do with that information. It's just something I noticed.

I'm fatter than I've ever been in my life, and I can feel it. I desperately need to get back to being active this summer. I'm thinking that I need to start running again, which is a dreadful prospect to me. I used to love running. But anytime I've tried to start up again in the last several years, it just doesn't have the same feeling. You would never know by looking at me that in high school track I ran a 4:54 mile and a 10:28 two-mile. Part of my problem is, once you've done that, "jogging" around the neighborhood streets just doesn't have the same thrill. Suzanne says I need to goal to shoot for, like a 10-K or half-marathon. That's probably wise.

From Theophilus of Antioch (c. 180-85):
A fluent tongue and an elegant style afford pleasure and such praise as vainglory delights in, to wretched men who have been corrupted in mind; the lover of truth does not give heed to ornamented speeches, but examines the real matter of the speech, what it is, and what kind it is. ...You call me a Christian, as if this were a damning name to bear, I, for my part, avow that I am a Christian, and bear this name beloved of God, hoping to be serviceable to God. For it is not the case, as you suppose, that the name of God is hard to bear; but possibly you entertain this opinion of God, because you are yourself yet unserviceable to Him.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I like your quotes.

What great reasoning--"I like being called a Christian because it means (among other things) that God can use me."

G.K. Chesterton...

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."