Thursday, October 30, 2008

"What an Exciting Life We Live"

Tonight I was spending time with my family, and my mother calls downstairs, "Girls, I need you to come up here so we can go through these socks" (she had just purchased them for all of us). My brother, over hearing this, remarks "what an exciting life we live!" Of course, he was being facetious. But really, think about it, shouldn't the "little" things in life be exciting? After all, there are many, many, many people in the world who would just love to own ONE pair of socks, how much more be recipients of some absolutely new socks!

And isn't it the "little" moments of which life is made? After all, "What is the end of fame?/ 'tis but to fill a certain portion of uncertain paper..." (Lord Byron, Don Juan). So take in the little moments, the insignificant, the ones you pass right by, for in the end they are what define your life. And that is exciting.

picture credit

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mr. Holland's Opus (Movie Review)

Mr. Holland's Opus was a touching movie, albeit hard to watch in places, but it contained an encouraging message that I appreciated. A word of warning: this movie is rated PG for mild language. Personally, I'd give it a PG-13 for the language as it is not appropriate for children. The story is one that I think could be very powerful in a child's life, but please use a bleeper if you show it to children. Even though there are some factual errors relating to chronology of events, I liked the way the movie was put together placing historical events within a (generally) accurate context and showing how those events effected people. While this is not a movie I plan to see often, it was enjoyable and I am glad that I have seen it.

2 out of 5 stars.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Emma {Movie Review}

I almost missed seeing this (fairly) accurate movie for its silly tagline: "Cupid is armed and dangerous!" Having actually read the book I realized why they might say something like this, but I also recognized that it would be entirely missing the broader picture of the book if such was actually the emphasis in the movie. Thankfully, the tagline misrepresented the movie, IMO. To be a regular running length the movie was surprisingly accurate. Of course there are things I would change, but in all seriousness I was impressed. The movie is definitely worth seeing.

As an aside, has anyone else noticed/does it bother anyone else that on the cover of the movie "Emma" isn't holding the bow and arrow properly?

2.75 out 5 stars.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Crusade... for the Environment?

Imagine the media reaction if a prominent American Christian leader condoned vandalism at abortion clinics. Now imagine the reaction if he went beyond condoning vandalism and agreed to appear as a witness for the defense at the trial of those vandals.

Then imagine what would happen if he decided to export his religiously motivated crusade to another country.

Well, that's exactly what just happened, except the religion wasn't Christianity-it was environmentalism.

Last October, a group of Greenpeace members climbed a chimney at a power plant in Kent, England, and started to paint the words "Gordon Bin It." The "Gordon" referred to was Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the "it" was a plan to build new coal-fired power plants at the site.

The group argued that they had a "lawful excuse" for their actions: They were trying to prevent even greater damage like "flooding from rising sea levels and damage to species" from man-made global warming.

They were charged with vandalism, and at the trial the star witness for the defense was James Hansen of NASA. That's right, NASA, an agency of the United States government.

Twenty years ago, Hansen first sounded the alarm over man-made global warming. And as time has passed, his rhetoric has escalated. In June, he called for the CEOs of fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for "crimes against humanity and nature."

These so-called crimes included spreading doubt about man-made global warming. In other words, disagreeing with Hansen.

At the trial, Hansen said that "somebody needs to stand up and take a leadership role" in the fight against global warming.

Avoiding "disintegration of the ice sheets [and minimizing] species extinction" requires "immediate action" he said-action that included getting rid of coal-firing plants like the one vandalized.

Hansen's words apparently did the trick because the jury acquitted all six defendants.

Now, reasonable people can differ over the reality of man-made global warming, but it is difficult to see how what happened in Kent met the requirements of a "lawful excuse." That standard, as the judge told the jurors, requires an "immediate need to protect property belonging to another." Even the most enthusiastic proponents of man-made global warming acknowledge that their most dire scenarios are decades, if not centuries, away.

What happened in England is further proof of what author Michael Crichton meant when he called modern environmentalism "one of the most powerful religions in the Western World"-a religion that divides the world between "sinner" or "saved," the "side of salvation" or the "side of doom."

As if to confirm Crichton's point, on the same day the Greenpeace members were acquitted, an English city council voted to impose "hefty fines" on people for using the wrong recycling bins.

So what we have here is an appeal to a "higher law"-made by a U.S. government official no less-calling for an inquisition of sorts, and zealous punishment of even the tiniest infraction.

And the media dares to call Christians "fanatics"?

Reasonable people can disagree about global warming or the role of religion in public life. But there's no excuse-lawful or otherwise-for double standards....

from THE RIGHT KIND OF FANATICISM?: Global Warming and Double Standards by: Chuck Colson, in Breakpoint's Monday, September 29, 2008, newsletter