Whacked in the head by "Wildflower"

Sheryl Crow's Wildflower is mind-boggling.That is, it is full of simplistic, dismissive questions about religion; exhortations to "live it up" as if there's no tomorrow; plaintive questions about her general bewilderment about spirituality and the afterlife; and lines that shrug off any idea of "sin" with assertions that "we were apes before we spoke of sin." (And so we should revert back to apes, Sheryl? Is that what you want?)In "Letter to God," she seems open to the idea of God, … [Read more...]

Specials: New Image is here! Gresham interview, part 2.

Wednesday's specials:Good news! I've just snared a deal for a new monthly film column. Can't tell you where yet, but I'll give you the details soon.THE NEW ISSUE OF IMAGE IS READY FOR YOU Click here to peruse the contents of the new issue. (New Scott Cairns poetry! Woo hoo!) The latest Image update sums it up like this: Image issue #47 features Texas portraitist John Cobb's chapel, a portable structure composed of panel paintings of his friends and neighbors. Also: John Terpstra's … [Read more...]

"The Elements of Style" … the opera!

I heard this on NPR during my carpool commute in to the office today.The Elements of Style ... the opera.You won't believe your ears. … [Read more...]

Woody Allen has "ganed no wisdom"

CNN talks to Woody Allen: Allen, who will be 70 on December 1, says age hasn't brought wisdom. "I've gained no wisdom, no insight, no mellowing. I would make all the same mistakes again, today," he tells the magazine.I think this statement is borne out in his last film, Melinda and Melinda, which finally I saw over the weekend. Where his earlier films seemed to be asking serious questions about choices and consequences, now Allen just seems content to turn a bunch of selfish characters … [Read more...]

Specials: Winter Solstice. Undertow. Bortz scratches. Aslan talks. Hobos bite.

I'm back from a bout with the flu, and a couple of days of recovery on beautiful Whidbey Island, surrounded by sun, surf, sand, and DEER... deer everywhere.I wanted to tell you about what I saw last week BEFORE falling ill...I rented two films on DVD that had striking similarities. They were both about men trying to cope with the deaths of their wives while raising two sons.Winter Solstice was one. Wonderful, meditative, beautifully filmed, and relatively overlooked by moviegoers, … [Read more...]

A Loss for Over the Rhine

Today, Linford Detweiler posted some thoughts, with his usual eloquence, about a painful loss for him and for Karin Bergquist.Anyone who's ever loved a pet will understand and sympathize. … [Read more...]

Bono on the Cover of the New Rolling Stone

Thanks to Josh Hurst for bringing THIS to my attention.As is so often the case, Bono gets in some quotable stuff about his faith. Do you pray or have any religious practices?I try to take time out of every day, in prayer and meditation. I feel as at home in a Catholic cathedral as in a revival tent. I also have enormous respect for my friends who are atheists, most of whom are, and the courage it takes not to believe.How big an influence is the Bible on your songwriting? How much do … [Read more...]

Fans of "Sports Night," rejoice!

If I had to choose my all-time favorite television series, "Sports Night" would be on the short list with "Firefly," due to the sensational characters developed by writer Aaron Sorkin. The DVDs are available, and well-worth tracking down, even if you aren't a sports fan.Thus, I cheered when Darren Hughes alerted me to this, a new Sorkin-scripted show that takes place in the same kind of environment as Sports Night... only this time, the characters are the staff and stars of an SNL-like … [Read more...]

At long last, the legendary, hitherto-unseen photo is revealed!

FINALLY the Pope's official photographer reveals the legendary photograph of Pope John Paul II wearing Bono's shades. … [Read more...]

Specials: Aslan & Paganism, Serenity and Government

Today's specials:Peter T. Chattaway has been threatening to write an article about just how much pagan mythology is scattered throughout The Chronicles of Narnia, and I hope he does it. There has been a lot written about why Narnia is "good" and Harry Potter's world is "bad," but the situation isn't nearly that simple. There are so many similarities between the two series, and I think Chattaway's going to highlight that for us one of these days. At least, I hope he does. Someone … [Read more...]