Friday, May 14, 2010

Hither and thither 5/14/10

Busy week. I am bound and determined to get that Proverbs manuscript gone over finally today. God willing. So, I'm getting HT right out. There may be updates, but if you check back at noon PT, you should see them all.

Still, I've a few things for you to chew over.
  • Just... can't... take... eyes... off... of... that..... Must try!
  • You know, seriously? I have the same reaction when I see someone chewing gum while I'm preaching.
  • And while I'm on that, at some point this year, I had a first: a preacher, chewing (presumably) gum as he preached.
  • I have no opinion about this list of the six worst Christian bands, ever. [WARNING: I don't know whether that site had inappropriate pix of scantily-clad women in the sidebar originally and I just missed it, or whether they were added after I grabbed the link. Either way, they're there now. Sorry. This is a constant problem, and I can't use a lot of neat things I find for that very reason. It's as if 3/4 of The Intrawebs is run by a poorer class of 13-year-old boys.] Mostly I recognize "The Killer Bees" (aka Stryper). I was "there" at the start of Christian rock, going to Calvary Chapel's Saturday night concerts in Costa Mesa. That was a lot of fun. We all wanted these bands to make albums. To most of them who did, something happened between the live concert and the studio. Something bad. My feeling was that the "something bad" was old white guys who didn't understand rock and said "You know what this needs? Strings! Strings and... and less guitar! And less drums!" Before you know it, all the crackle and pop and sizzle of the live performance was produced out. Result: elevator music. (Hi Justin!)
  • One of the best bands I remember seeing was one called "Aslan." Their configuration and music were reminiscent of Kansas, down to the rockin' violin. Recorded one song on one multi-musician album, as I recall, which was nothing like what we got in concert. Pity.
  • Ooh — reader Yurie Hwang found a three-level Imperial walker bunk-bed!
  • Chan-watchers: make sense of this.
  • Ask me for a list of ten best science fiction movies, ever, and the  list will probably change with each telling. But one movie will always be on the list: Forbidden Planet. If you like scifi, and haven't seen it... well, first, dude, where have you been? See it. Duh. But second, as I've mentioned, the creator of Babylon 5, the best / one of the best scifi TV series, ever, has been tasked with scripting a prequel. That would be J. Michael Straczynski, an atheist who is very interested in religion unless you try to persuade him of anything. (I speak from experience.) I don't now how reliable he is, but this guy claims to have the script in his possession. It's quite spoilery, so I skimmed.
  • And now... The Pietrix.
  • My dear wife doesn't much like going to Golden Corral, because it's so danged noisy. I'm wondering whether this might be the answer. Then Da Boyz and I can get all our meat!
  • Liquid mountaineering. (It's a joke.)
  • From everything I see and hear and read, I really like this guy. Now, how can I get him come be the governor of my state? Schwarzeneggar talked like this is what he did... but he didn't do it, much.
  • Oatmeal lists out seventeen things worth knowing about your cat. I already knew... er, a few. (Dear Wife will say she knew them all.)
  • Ohhhh, dude. About this, I can only say: EPIC WIN.
  • Good to know our congressmen are hard at work. Potty Parity Act. (Thanks to reader Aaron.) See also here.
  • Trying to break the Goldfish habit? Here, thanks to reader Berry Davis, let me help:

  • Got five bucks? Then you might be able to win a day with Bill Clinton. Gotta say, I'm tempted. But I'm pretty sure that, after an hour or two, he'd be begging me to take my $5 back.
  • Reader Tim in Minnesota has solid rocket fuel for the paranoids in the audience.
  • In a hard-hitting editorial, Jeffrey T. Kuhner explains why Obama Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is a horrid choice for the court. He notes that she is "a radical leftist who would rubber-stamp Mr. Obama's transformative socialist agenda, and she "is not an independent, serious nominee, but an Obama ideological clone," and "incompetent apparatchik, whose only purpose is to blindly advance Mr. Obama's revolutionary progressivism." Then he says some really critical things. Would to God voters had sobered up and heeded the warnings in time.

  • Jacob Sullum specifically (and euphemistically) notes that Kagan "looks wobbly on freedom of speech." He notes her assertion, in a case argued before the Supreme Court, that "Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs." In other words, if the government decides that a given speech (editorial, blog post, sermon) has no "value," it may Constitutionally forbid it. Chief Justice John Roberts replied that this claim was "startling and dangerous," and added that "The First Amendment's guarantee of free speech does not extend only to categories of speech that survive an ad hoc balancing of relative social costs and benefits," and that "Our Constitution forecloses any attempt to revise that judgment simply on the basis that some speech is not worth it."

  • Today's Title of the Week is: Have aliens hijacked Voyager 2 spacecraft[?]. Well... it was sent out before the Arizona law....
  • Last week I linked to a creepy, Orwellian tax collection commercial. Since then, some creative Republicans (—oxymoron?) used it as a model for a pretty sharp ad. Check it out.
  • I link to Challies just about as often as he links to me. But this is a terrific idea and a good read. Tim selects quotations from Joel Osteen and from fortune cookies, and asks readers to guess which is which. (I only got six right.)
  • Reader Trogdor thinks the good Admiral should have known better.
  • Only a few will care about this one (maybe Frank). Artist Frank Frazetta just died. Frazetta most famously did artwork for book covers, among other media, including the Conan books. He had a very distinctive style. Unfortunately, a lot of his art would have to be rated PG-13 or mildly R. Below are a couple of fair examples of what was distinctive in Frazetta's paintings: sharply-focused center, fading out to chaotic edges. Very vividly gave the "feel" of the fantasy-universe in which the stories were set. As a young teen, he inspired me to try oil painting.

  • Introduction of "contraceptive methods" was not entirely good, leading to irresponsible promiscuity, and making faithlessness too easy an option. Marriage is the cornerstone of society. A supportive husband can make the difference between abortion and giving birth. But hey, it's not me saying that. It's Raquel Welch.
  • This is a heartwarming video from over at our Rachael's place (as opposed to my Rachael, the DAOD).
  • Once you get past the too-common offensive acronym in the title, this is a pretty funny series of pictures of guys ironing in various bizarre situations. Like these:

  • IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP. Summer is coming, I imagine many of my readers own guns. Here's a little tip you should memorize, and make all your family memorize. If you ever hear, coming out of your mouth or anyone's mouth, the words: "Don't worry, this gun's not even loaded!" — consider that a Sign from God that you should stop everything, and seriously reconsider whatever you were about to do. Ask late gangster Phillip Collopy. Or, for that matter, one of the most talented guitarists ever, Terry Kath. Except you can't ask them.
  • Reader Al Sends thinks he may have found the worst web design, ever. I think he may be right.
  • Aaand...


Zaphon said...

Sci-Fi...My favorite-The Star Wars Trilogy...old-style..before the dark times...before the days of Jar Jar Binks & hyper-CGI. ahhh, Lucas...what have you done?


JK said...

Dan...I'm very slow.

Please help me with the last picture: of the storage container and plastic tarp.

DJP said...

Complete this sentence: "It's a ____!"

JK said...

I guess you didn't understand the word "slow..." modified with the adjective "very..."

(Scratching my's a blue it's a storage container in an empty field and the admiral can't figure out that 10,000 imperial storm troopers are inside and will defeat the rebel it's a ________)


Al said...

JK, a couple of movies are at play here... the second one is I Am Legend...

get it?

al sends

DJP said...

Even I am not sure what Al means.

Let me try again. What three words is Admiral Ackbar famous (on this blog and everywhere) for saying? And what is he standing in front of?

Now I must really get back to the Proverbs ms.

Fred Butler said...

This may be a blaspheme, but I watched Forbidden Planet at the begging of other Sci-Fi geek friends of mine and *gasp/flinch* didn't really care for it...

As for terrible web design, you have to see THIS! Sound up for maximum effect.

And as a shameless link troll, I had an encounter with Stryper I recount
HERE if anyone is interested.

DJP said...

Fred, you are banned until you realize how truly awesome FP is.

Okay, not really. But seek professional help.

Mark said...

From the author of the Ten worst bands: "...the sad fact is that many Christian musicians spend too much time praying and not enough time practicing their instruments."

Is this even possible? At the very least, it shows his bias. Plus, he even puts a gay band on the list. While I suppose that automatically makes them worst Christian band, I wouldn't have even thought there was such a thing, nor given them any sort of credence by mentioning them.

JK said...


Gee...I didn't realize I was interrupting the Proverbs work...forgive me!

And this blog and THAT question has been interrupting my sermon study! (feeling very slow that I couldn't get it and having to check back so I could...I "vow" not to look at HT on Fridays anymore!)

VcdeChagn said...

Frank Frazetta died :(

I remember his distinctive covers on many many books.

Never liked the Conan books though, but he illustrated many other books (early Piers Anthony Xanth books, Philip Jose Farmer's books, etc)

Anonymous said...

dc Talk? Really? Clearly he has no clue what he is talking about and simply found a few old videos that he thought were funny and made an article about Christian bands.

Al said...

Here is what I am saying…

Akbar is from the first movie (trying not just give it to JK)… the box and tarp remind me of the scene in I Am Legend where Neville loses his dog. I may be misremembering the scene though.

Al sends

Fred Butler said...

Well, as far as Forbidden Planet is concerned, I will say I thought the play on human sin and depravity was interesting, though it has that Freudian aspect to it, Id, Ego, etc.

But, I will say I liked Fantastic Planet which is about the 100 foot tall, blue Avatar people enslaving humanity and using them as pets and one learns how to get free and leads a rebellion that actually wins one for mankind.

It's one of those weird, artsy foreign films that the Euro folks usually rave about when they have their monthly film festivals. Probably played terribly in Memphis.

DJP said...

Oh my gosh, I remember that. Half-naked blue cartoon women.

Conflict the whole movie, then in the last thirty seconds one part says, "Hey, why don't we just get along?" and the other side says "Okey doke!" — and that's the resolution.

Psh. French.

Forbidden Planet: humor, depth, wonder, imagination, suspense, eye-popping special effects for the time... not even on the same chart.

The Squirrel said...

We used to have a Golden Coral. The Toyota dealership bought it out so they could expand. I don’t need a Toyota, I needed all-you-can-eat steak. Very sad.

Francis Chan is an enigma to me. So much of what he says sounds great, but just seems a bit… off. I can’t define it any better than that…

&, FYI, I have no desire at all to kick my Goldfish habit, thank you very much.


Barbara said...

Worst web design ever - and it's for a bridal shop.

I don't want anyone with that lack of taste going anywhere near any wedding that I might have anything to do with.

DJP said...

JK - no worries!

Barbara - excellent observation.

(I'm here while my Logos recovers from a crash.)

JT said...

elevator music...

Ironically I was thinking just this morning about a new song I might post, and am already eagerly awaiting your evaluation!


Anonymous said...

Deep End

As for sci fi, Forbidden Planet is worthy of bold print!!! Awesome movie.

Lynda O said...

"It's one of those weird, artsy foreign films that the Euro folks usually rave about when they have their monthly film festivals. Probably played terribly in Memphis."

hmm, guess I must have missed that one whenever it came to Memphis... Anyway, the blue-colored women must have been a rip-off of Gene Roddenberry's first Star Trek idea, the woman painted green.

At least Memphis doesn't have the hysterics about prayer breakfasts and TEA parties ... but you have far better selection of churches with good Bible preaching and teaching there, that I only wish we had here.

DJP said...

JTIronically I was thinking just this morning about a new song I might post, and am already eagerly awaiting your evaluation!

Shall I post my evaluation now? Or wait until you actually post it?


Andrew Faris said...


What, exactly, is the problem with the Chan article? Is there something wrong with calling Christians to live a lot more simply?

Andrew Faris
Christians in Context

DJP said...

What is wrong with answering my RFI with an answer instead of a question?

Zaphon said...

Dan's manuscript of Proverbs...prayer item a la Proverbs 16:3.


Jeff B said...

The "Liquid Mountaineering" video should bring the exchange between Jesus and Peter on the Sea of Galilee into a whole new perspective.

Kitch said...

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be rich in you today as you finalize this excellent manuscript!

Al said...

Viz the Chan article... Here is my take:

The American Church is in bad shape, someone should do something. I tried and too many people were listening to me, so I quit.

SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING! I will be in India (or some other third world nation). My gift is point out the problem, not fixing it.

al "the harsh one" sends

DJP said...

Al, I actually think you're being gentle — assuming that this article is accurate. The Chan-note I commented on makes it easy to believe that it is accurate. Chan seems better at begging questions than at anticipating and answering them.

Fred Butler said...

Speaking of Chan and the having to gaze at your navel in order to make a decision spirituality, last weeks Stand to Reason (, I think) broadcast had Kevin DeYoung on it talking about this very thing. They don't mention Chan specifically, but DeYoung makes some smart comments about his own move to a new ministry from a blessed old ministry. I thought of Chan immediately when DeYoung tells his story.

Fred Butler said...

Oh my gosh, I remember that. Half-naked blue cartoon women.

Hence the reason why the Euro people raved about it at one of their monthly film festivals.

GrammaMack said...

From last Friday: "tell us what you think of IM2 [Iron Man 2], without spoilers."

Well, there were parts we liked and parts we didn't like, but overall we enjoyed it. I didn't like Don Cheadle as well as Terrence Howard (or at least kept thinking "That's the wrong guy!") but the switch didn't bother my husband at all.

We were wishing that we'd watched the first one again before we went, as there were a couple of things that we didn't remember at all, but one of our sons told us that there was a scene in The Incredible Hulk that's relevant. Also, they're tying it to the comic books, which any geek would apparently know. :-)

I'll be interested in hearing what you and your wife think. Are you still watching Fringe?

May you finish your book soon!

Halcyon said...

Christopher Christie for President.

I agree that Chan's words feel like a near-miss. Being "more radical" as a Christian is fine...I guess. But being a highly popular pastor with the ear of millions of people is a powerful platform and a grand opportunity. God could unexpectedly direct you elsewhere, but...I just don't know. It seems like such a waste at the moment.

Scott said...

Ok, the speech bubble reminds me of the Cone of Silence from the old Get Smart series. Thank you Nick at Night.

lee n. field said...

Col. Cooper, he say: "All guns are always loaded."

DJP said...

Those are four great rules.

MJ said...

Re Chan. I read his book, I agree with him on many things, I guess I respect his decision. I have issues with the whole, "We who dump our goodies, feed the poor, send mosquito nets to Africa and listen to Bono for deep spiritual insight are more enlightened than the rest of you hide-bound Christians." Maybe I'm touchy about it. I don't know. (Not that there's anything wrong with the above. Except for the Bono thing.)

DJP said...

MJ, as a hint at my response, it is of the same nature as my response to his note "explaining" his lurching out of his church into a life of whatever.

"So, are you really saying ____?"

Stefan said...

JK, Al:

"It's a tarp!"

You're welcome.

(Did I get it right, Dan?)

Al said...

Stephan... OF COURSE... here I went all "three layers deep" to get the dumbest answer ever! I blame the fact that I went to the midnight showing of Robin Hood.

al sends

Stefan said...

Well, we wouldn't expect anything less from an oversystematized, postmill FV Presbyterian brother in Christ.

Stefan said...

Is Robin Hood any good? (Well, duh, it is Ridley Scott directing it....)

I mean, the trailers make it look like a far cry from previous versions of the same story.

threegirldad said...

Ok, the speech bubble reminds me of the Cone of Silence from the old Get Smart series.


Sir Aaron said...

That's reader Sir Aaron so as to distinguish me from my namesake who visits every so often.

I also don't care for Golden Corral. I don't like buffets at all

I can't watch a black and white film that was released two decades before my birth.

I didn't know Squirrels puur. Gene?

I like some of DC Talk's stuff.

You always treat a gun as if it were loaded. But of course, I carry a gun everyday for a living so that's drilled into me.

jmb said...

"Forbidden Planet: humor, depth, wonder, imagination, suspense, eye-popping special effects for the time..."
Anne Francis...based on Shakespeare

"The Thing From Another World (1951) is another great one.

Sir Aaron - FP is in color.

Gilbert said...

I still don't get the last image. Thankfully, my redemption doesn't depend on it.

However, we all need to be saved. By Jesus, and also from this website:

Was blind, now I can s...oops! Back to being blind again!

DJP said...

Absolutely right, jmb.

The Thing is an excellent example of a tense, creepy, spine-tingling SF/horror movie (A) in black and white, (B) very low on special effects, yet (C) totally effective.

The creative directing and the suspenseful score doesn't hurt, either.

DJP said...

Gilbert! My gosh, warn a body to slip on his sunglasses first!

threegirldad said...

You know, seriously? I have the same reaction when I see someone chewing gum while I'm preaching.

One of my college professors banned gum-chewing in his class on the grounds that it had a hypnotic effect that he couldn't ignore.

lee n. field said...

There's an "Adam and Steve" moment in the list of Worst Christian Bands. Ray Boltz and whats-her-name weren't the first.

Worst Web Design is, of course, Bud Ugly Designs.

Yes, I remember Frank Frazetta. The first painting you show is from an old Michael Moorcock "Elric of Melnibone" fantasy, whose name escapes me at the moment and I might yet have out in my garage. The second is (I think) a Conan cover. At least, that's where I first saw these.

DJP said...

I'm sure I bought some books just for the covers. (Hey! I was a young-teen!) Some were very disappointing.

Moorcock would be among the disappointing; Conan among the non-. Particularly Robert E. Howard. He was a very troubled soul, and no one would argue that he made epic works of deathless prose. But he could tell a story, and his language was often very evocative and effective. I'd even add haunting.

Sir Aaron said...

It is? The imdb website showed b&w pictures.

jazzact13 said...

As soon as I saw the DC Talk was among his six worst Christian bands, the list became a joke. Not that he didn't have one or two good picks, but it was obviously his own anti-Creed bias at play, and not much else.

jmb said...

There's a little-known, quite good movie about Robert E. Howard called "The Whole Wide World" (1996,PG), starring Vincent D'Onofrio and Renee Zellweger.

Sir Aaron - Yes, you're right, very misleading. If you look at all 71, though, a couple are in color. And the trailer is in color.