Resurrection Gives Us Joy in Lent & Death

La-Pieta-IYes, as cliché as it is, I’m watching the new Bible mini-series on the History Channel. I’m actually enjoying it. A few things are odd (the ninja angel, for one), and they made some interesting choices on what to leave out (was the extended Sodom sequence really worth cutting out the entire Exodus story, Wilderness wandering, and golden calf rebellion?). But there is still a sense of ownership, that this is our story.

(Side note: for those of us that study the Bible and don’t necessarily think historicity is the highest purpose for which it was written, it’s encouraging to still feel that feeling of identity-formation when encountering our story–even when it’s seen as “just” a story.)

Anyway, a review of the show is not why I’m writing today. I just had a brief thought I wanted to share.

In Episode 1 of the mini-series, we see Pharaoh’s son die at the end of the plague sequence. Watching him carry the pale, lifeless body of his son, it reminded me of Michelangelo’s la Pieta (a version of which you can see above). It was actually quite moving, and I was surprised that I only realized now the sadness of this part of the story. Continue reading


Girls: my new obsession

The TV show. The TV show. Rest assured, I mean HBO’s new dramedy, produced by Judd Apatow, about four twentysomething girls living in New York City. It just wrapped up its first season, and it was amazing.

Why was it amazing? Well, a few reasons. The writing is wonderful–it’s funny, thought-provoking, real, and profound. The characters are distinct and well-acted.

The show casts outright indictments against many of the marks of current twentysomething culture, revealing our narcissism, obsession with irony, and incessant naval-gazing; our infatuation with “becoming” and “being” more than “doing”; it betrays how our
Facebook culture has reduced our self-identity to the level and substance of a “Profile”, and the way we present ourselves and relate to others appears more like a well-manicured “Wall” (or rather, “Timeline”) rather than real, human interaction and messiness.

Further, the show shows genuinely messy and hard friendships and relationships. Granted, other media does this, but Girls is the best I’ve seen at showing how these difficulties are not “hiccups” or “things to overcome and get past”, but instead are the very things that challenge, shape, grow, and mature the characters and ultimately help them overcome those above-mentioned shortcomings of contemporary culture. It’s only by our messiness colliding and us holding on (as opposed to discarding) one another that we will become who we are trying to be.

Yes, the show takes us into the most intimate moments of characters’ lives–moments that are at times beyond our normal sensibilities of sexuality, relational “health”, and humor–and so many people (especially Christians, the primary readership of this site) will want to think long and consider deeply before embarking on this show.

Girls is indeed unflinching in its voyeurism and dysfunction, but it’s precisely that rawness and nakedness that ultimately turns the accusing finger towards us, exposing the ultimate delusion of our generation: that we’ve made emperors of us all, but emperors, in the end, with no clothes–more naked, awkward, fearful, and in need of covering than anyone that shows up on that screen.

But it’s also a comedy, so in the end, it reminds us not to take ourselves, the show, or even reviews of the show too seriously.

It’s so good.

“Okay, So Jack Bauer Didn’t Die”-Patrol Mag

Another week, another article in Patrol Magazine. This week, I wrote a response to my article two weeks ago, “Jack Bauer Must Die“.  The response was needed because, as the title of my current article implies, the series finale of 24 happened and Jack did not indeed die.  Here’s the link:

“Okay, So Jack Bauer Didn’t Die”-Patrol Mag

Once again, just as the last article, this article isn’t even so much about the show itself as it is about what this show, and it’s ending says about our culture and what is profitable.  Please comment freely here and on Patrol.  I’d love your thoughts.  You can view all of my past articles for Patrol Magazine here. [p.s.-starting next week, I’m changing my blogging philosophy, which will result in a very different feel for this site.  More to come.]

“Jack Bauer Must Die” -Patrol Mag

My original title for my article this week for Patrol Magazine (before the editorial chopping block) was I’m Calling It: Jack Bauer Will Die (On Morality & “24”).  The article concerns the television series 24 and it’s upcoming series-ending finale.  My theory?  They’re going to kill Jack Bauer, the show’s iconic main character.  Read the article to find out my reasons why:

“Jack Bauer Must Die” – Patrol Magazine

It’s far more philosophical than “televisional”, so don’t worry.  I did not intend to bog people down with plot minutiae and spoilers.  Speaking of, as far as spoilers go, there are only a couple concerning very recent episodes of the current season, and even though are fairly nebulous.  Besides, how the story is told is just as exciting (if not more) as what the story is.

Continue reading