And Another Thing…

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While I Was Out

I got caught up on a couple of things at my internship and the instructor for the only class I am taking cancelled one of our major assignments, so here I am. What’s more, hundreds many a handful a couple of my beloved readers have written to ask when I plan to return, so here I find myself. What did I miss? Well: This twitter thing has caught on something fierce, a development which I absolutely did not expect. I won’t be taking this up, however. I can’t imagine that my life is that interesting minute by minute, even to me. I’m sure that I missed blogging on some other things, but for the life of me I can’t think of them right now. Consider this an invitation to do an open thread in the comments.

Books

I recently finished Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Victor Gischler. I think whether or not this book is for you will depend on your response to the title, because it delivers exactly what the title promises: an action-packed post-apocalyptic satire set in a future US where the most powerful business, bordering on a fiefdom, is a strip bar franchise. The humor is dark but the characters are endearing. Right now I am reading L.A. Outlaws by T. Jefferson Parker. So far, it is a good read with an interesting plot and believable characters. More after I finish it (maybe).

 TV

Battlestar Galactica came to its eagerly anticipated ending, and the results were interesting: neither the GREATEST ENDING OF ALL TIME as some critics have trumpeted nor a complete failure as other critics insist. Spoilers below:

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Begin spoiler. I was glad that the long-suffering Colonials finally got the best of the Cylons and found a new home (which as it happens is our Earth some 150,000 years ago). I was surprised at the overt spirituality of the final three hours, as it is revealed that much of what has happened over the course of the series occurred as the result of some pretty heavy-handed divine providence. While I am always happy to see faith treated seriously in books, movies, or TV (especially in a science fiction show) I was slightly disappointed as the way that it was handled seemed a little sloppy and sappy. Regardless, it was a life-affirming, bittersweet ending to one of the best TV shows in general and one of the top five sci-fi shows ever. End spoiler

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MOVIES

Watchmen, of course. As a fan of the graphic novel I enjoyed it. Director Zack Snyder did his best to reproduce the book, sometimes frame for frame on-screen with mixed results. The actors looked like flesh-and-blood reproductions of their drawn counterparts and each nailed their respective character to a tee. However, the best was Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach. He became the character in his voice, body language, and demeanor; he was simply (and I don’t use this word often) brilliant. In the end my opinion is best summed up by my brother’s statement as we walked out of the theatre: It was as good as it could possibly be.

Christine and I recently watched Appaloosa, and dug it. It’s a classic western story of lawmen (Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen) come to clean up a town run by a wealthy, despicable rancher (Jeremy Irons). However, there are plot-twists aplenty that will hold the viewer’s attention, hilarious (if crude) dialogue, and genuine tension over the outcome. As with any good western, there are plenty of visceral pleasures in the majority of shots and, did you see that cast I listed? 

POLITICS

President Obama continues to suck according to right wingers, and can do absolutely no wrong whatsoever according to left wingers. And on this farce called American politics goes.

FAITH AND RELIGION

Apparently, Christian influence in America is waning. Raise your hand if this surprises you. No one? Okay, moving on. I think that in the long run, this could be a good thing for the faith in the US. If this trend continues, then we will see a drop in the numbers of “cultural Christians” i.e. those who identify themselves as believers because Mom and Dad took them to church on Christmas and Easter, or because they are Americans, or whatever. A Christian population that is less political, less comfortable with the culture (or putting out schlocky imitations of the culture), less entitled (because God loves America firstest and bestest!) and less likely to serve as “useful idiots” for either the right or the left is a population that will be far more Christ-like, in my opinion.

The progressive and traditionalist wings of the churches of Christ are attempting a dialogue over at Grace Conversation. I hope that this proves to be a productive effort. If history is any indication, probably not, but us believers never hope in vain, right?

SCHOOL

Less than a month and I am done. Completely. ‘Nuff said. As I prepare to end this stage of my life, look for me to get a little sentimental as I consider the experience and the many fine people who have come into my life during the course of it.

MUSIC

I am so behind on what is new and good it’s not even funny. Recommendations from those who know what I like would be welcome in the comments. However, I am very excited about the long overdue return of the Arc Angels (with thanks to Matt S for making me aware of this).

FAMILY

Christine is well and currently out of town on business, but she will be home Friday. Max somehow managed to catch kennel cough even though we had him vaccinated months ago and have never put him in a kennel. I am stuffing cough suppressant and antibiotics down his throat and it’s as much fun as it sounds like.

So what’s new with you?

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Filed under: Books, Faith and Religion, Geek Stuff, Movies, Music, Politics, School, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

16 Responses

  1. Kelly says:

    Glad to see a little slack has been cut for you my brother! I can’t wait for you to finish school for my own selfish reasons (I want to hang out with you more!) Things are moving right along here in Staunton. Brooks comes home for a week on the 19th (can’t WAIT!) I am currently reading ‘When Science Meets Religion’ by Ian Barbour, which is as dry as it sounds but fascinating, I think you’d dig it. Do you own that go-go girls book? Sounds like something I’d enjoy! No TV in my life until football season comes back. I haven’t heard a whole lot of new music, found a cool blues website that does a podcast kind of thing called Uncensored History of the Blues that I’d recommend though. I guess you saw the e-mail that TBR is officially broken up, but that has actually worked out well for me, as Scotty and I are working on some local gigs, doing some cool newer (compared to Muddy Waters!) stuff like Ophelia by the Band and Lonesome Whistle by Little Feat, even some Ben Harper and Ray LaMontaigne! I went and saw Watchmen again with a friend, I think basicly if you like superhero movies it is the king-mother, if not you’ll likely find it pretentious. Rent ‘In Bruges’ and ‘Funny Games.’ Trust me. Still waiting on that change Barack, hopefully, but not holding my breath. Hope Christine has a safe trip and Max feels better soon! PMB

  2. odgie says:

    Kelly,

    Will you, Jenny, or Mom and Dad be coming up to get Brooks? Let me know. And yes, I will be far more available after May 1st (well, technically after Christine and I return from the beach).

    I’ve never heard of that book or Ian Barbour. How did you come across it? I will happily take a look at it once you are done. I do own the go-go girls book and I do think you would like it. The Rollerpimp gave me his copy.

    D’oh! I forgot to mention that I did rent “In Bruges.” I thought that the acting was superb and I dug the dark humor of the story, but man, that ending freaked me out. I loved Ralph Fiennes’ bit at the end: “We have to stick to our principles!” My favorite line though: “They’re filming midgets!” I haven’t heard of “Funny Games.”

    Talk to you soon.

  3. odgie says:

    Oh by the way – i’m sorry to hear about TBR, but did you guys ever have a great run. You, Jack, and Scotty all have something to be proud of in that.

  4. Trey Morgan says:

    I tried an amazing new coffee this morning that I really liked … “Dark Magic”

    Not much happening here, so that’s about it for my world.

  5. Frank says:

    Glad to hear from you again. Good stuff, as usual. The Go-Go Girls thing sounds like fun. Might try it.

    I just finished “Reading the OED” by Ammon Shea. The guy read all of the Oxford English Dictionary (59 million words or so, including the bibliography) in a year. That someone who reads dictionaries could be so interesting and funny is just one of draws here.

  6. odgie says:

    Trey,

    More about the “Dark Magic”, please!

    Frank,

    That sounds like a good read, much to my surprise. I will check it out.

    Good to hear from the both of you, by the way.

  7. Erin Cox says:

    I can second the OED book — good stuff. Along the lines of “The Know-it All” by A.J. Jacobs, same guy who’s behind “Year of Living Biblically”. But I’m a nerd, so take it for what it’s worth. 🙂

  8. Kelly says:

    Jenny is coming to get him, I think Mom and Dad are going to come up and spend the night with you so y’all can see him on that Friday or Saturday. Check with Dos’ Jean! Found the book in a shop here in Staunton called ‘the Sacred Circle.’ Lots of cool stuff! I’d never heard of him either, but I got grabbed by the title and although it’s a little text-booky, I do think you will dig. I’ll trade you straight up for the go-go book! The whole band thing is sad in a way, but we really did accomplish what we originally set out to do, win a competition and go to Memphis. And we put out a CD to boot! I am really proud of what we were able to pull off. Looking forward to getting together with y’all when you return from the beach! Which one you going to? I thought the ending to ‘In Bruges’ was maybe too perfect, but how often can you say that about a movie? PMB

  9. odgie says:

    We’re going to Folly Beach, SC – near Charleston for a week of doing…well, whatever we please.

  10. Matt Smith says:

    I’ve always thought that you were the original Harry Knowles. You used to crack us up with your movie reviews. My request would be for you to do more movie and book reviews.

  11. odgie says:

    Matt,

    I’d never be a quote whore like Harry Knowles, but I get the gist of what you are saying. I think that the movie and book reviews that you are referencing were probably books and movies I didn’t like. Its tough to find material because I am much more frugal and have a lot less time these days so I see less bad stuff (and less good stuff too, but those reviews aren’t as much fun). Rest assured though, when I find something that I really want to take a dump on, the readers of this blog will be the first to know.

  12. becky reeves says:

    Thanks for the update, Mike! Good to hear about all of the many things going on with you!

  13. Rollerpimp says:

    Hey Man I am glad you liked GGGOA. I don’t think he was trying to write a Nobel winner and it was fun from front to back. The homedone transexual is still the best part.

  14. Kathi says:

    Our Max is having surgery on 4/27 to have two teeth pulled and a fatty tumor on his neck removed. The last time they tried (a different doctor), they almost lost him on the table. His new vet is someone we trust highly and so we’re feeling better about it this time.

    Steve got a Wii for his birthday. He was pretty cheesed at Christmas that his son got one and he didn’t…oh well. Patience, my dear.

    I got a Blackberry. I refuse to call it a “Crackberry” and I refuse to treat it like I’m addicted to it. But it is pretty neat-o. 🙂

    We’re very excited for you and whatever the next step may be. Oh, and Steve wants to know if you can come here for the ACL Fest…?

  15. Andy says:

    I know you more or less keep up with bizarre claims of religious persecution, so here’s one:

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/042309dnmetirvshirt.3b41cf0.html

  16. Sharon T. says:

    After scanning through all the insightful (?), well-educated, well-read, and well-Everything comments found here, I’m hesitant to even make my presence known. Intimidating bunch! Never the less, I couldn’t resist leaving my mark and seizing the moment for some well-deserved “Congratulations” to you, Mr. Odgie, on an incredibly persistent achievement via your newly earned diploma. Do we have to call you “Master Miller” now? You’ve come a long way, baby — way to go!!

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