The King’s Speech

We finally saw the multiple-Oscar nominee The King’s Speech.  What a great movie!  I had expected in this account of King George VI and his speech therapist a light-hearted and humorous ‘enry ‘iggens My Fair Lady story in reverse.  But it was so much more than that, an in-depth character study of the king’s second son, so dominated by his royal father and tormented by his shallow elder brother that he suffers from a major speech impediment, a problem with… Read more

Humans tie with computer in Jeopardy

The computer could not defeat humanity in Jeopardy, at least in the first round.  They tied.  The showdown between “Watson,” a specially-programmed computer from IBM, and Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The show is syndicated and is usually on at 7:30 p.m. ET. Man matches machine in Jeopardy! showdown • The Register. So even if Watson wins, will that mean that computers have a greater mental capacity than human beings?  I would… Read more

Adult culture

Picking up from the music posts last weekend. . . . Country music draws from the world of adults:  marriage, family, work, church, but also alcoholism, adultery, divorce.  (Country music is not intrinsically more wholesome, though.  It is very frank about sex–premarital, extramarital, but also marital–and is full of bad examples.) The other popular musical genres–indeed, virtually all of pop culture, including television and the movies–draws from the world of young people:  dating, singleness, play, undefined spirituality, drugs, premarital sex,… Read more

Romantic love and marriage

For St. Valentine’s Day. . . . Did you realize that romantic love, as it blossomed during the Middle Ages, was originally nearly always outside marriage (e.g., Dante and Beatrice) and often adulterous (e.g., Lancelot and Guinivere)? And did you realize that romantic love was brought into marriage, both as a precursor and as a fruition, by the Reformation? See C. S. Lewis, The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition (New York:  Oxford University Press, 1958), pp. 13-15,… Read more

Mubarak steps down in Egypt

President Mubarak, despite what he pledged just the day before, stepped down from power, the result of an 18-day popular uprising in Egypt.  The military is in control for now and has promised both democracy and continued peace with Israel: The ruling military pledged Saturday to eventually hand power to an elected civilian government and reassured allies that Egypt will abide by its peace treaty with Israel after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, as it outlined the first cautious… Read more

Special music edition

I’ve gotten out of touch when it comes to new and recent music.  What are some good songs, albums, and artists?  Describe them, saying what’s so good about them.  I’m curious about all genres.   Special gratitude would go for songs that would be listenable to someone who is not  young. Read more

“The greatest Lutheran bar band, ever”

That would be the Jayhawks!   I had no idea that Mark Olson was a Lutheran.   I heard them in concert years ago.   Thanks to Larry Wilson for alerting me to this fact.  From the Mockingbird Blog: I once heard The Jayhawks described as the “greatest Lutheran bar band ever,” and though I’m still not exactly sure what that means, I know I like it. It’s certainly better than the “alt-country pioneers” label they normally get saddled with. Or worse, heirs… Read more

God in country music

Joe Carter conducts a fascinating comparison of how country music talks about God, marriage, children, as opposed to the absence of such topics in pop, hip-hop, R&B, and even adult contemporary.  The post defies excerpt, so read it here  Finding God in the Gaps of Country Music | First Things. Why do you think that is?  It can’t be just the age of the listeners, since lots of young people listen to country music, and young people can be religious. … Read more

Tea partiers kill Patriot Act

Tea party Republicans  in the House of Representatives joined with liberal Democrats to vote down the Patriot Act, which gives the government wide powers to investigate potential terrorists, some say at the expense of civil liberties.  The Obama administration wanted to extend the bill, which is set to expire, and mainstream Republicans were on board with that. The surprise defeat of the bill has lots of pundits confused.  Aren’t the tea partiers right wing extremists?  Aren’t they the type that… Read more

Did the Huffington Post sell out?

Did Arianna Huffington just sell out her fellow progressives? In the literal sense, she undoubtedly has: The sale of Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million (including a large pile of cash going to Huffington herself) means this powerful liberal voice is formally joining the “corporate media” its writers have long disparaged. There are also some indications that she has sold out in the ideological sense and committed the Huffington Post to joining the mainstream media – the evil “MSM”… Read more

Follow Us!