LBCF, No. 114: ‘Three Days of the Chicken’

So all of the taking-separate-cabs and switching-press-ID tricks that Buck and Steve employ in this little set piece fail to impress. It’s hard to be impressed when all those tricks are in the service of our so-called hero trying to negotiate the terms of his surrender with the bad guys. [Read more…]

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Broken wing (update)

My wife’s arm is now in the high-tech cast she’ll wear for the next several weeks as the tendons in her arm heal. That’s possible because of your generosity, so thank you again. And again and again. [Read more…]

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Peace on earth, good will to all

“So I’ll tell you what the promise of Advent is: It is that God has set up a tent among us and will help us work together on our stuff. And this will only happen over time. …” [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 113: ‘Skipping steps’

Hattie’s behavior in this conversation is later characterized as “nasty.” And her subsequent storyline is the classic cautionary tale of the “fallen woman” — the kind in which the authors make it clear that they think “fallen woman” is redundant. So despite the apparent criticism of Rayford’s motives and timing here, we’re apparently still supposed to interpret Hattie’s hanging up as a rejection not simply of Rayford’s clumsy overture, but of the gospel itself. [Read more…]

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If I get good behavior, I’ll be out of here by July

“It begins with the first gesture of collaboration.” So don’t do that. Also: Sinbad truthers; white voters and the new Ghostbusters; the importance of Jerome; and another story about a shriveled miser who mistreats his estranged nephew Fred. [Read more…]

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Within weeks they’ll be re-opening the shipyards

Randal, in “Clerks,” describes the workers and independent contractors building the second Death Star as “innocent.” But were they really? These are workers who have agreed to help build the literal machinery of death. There cannot be any confusion on that point — this is, after all, the second Death Star, and everyone knows the first was used to destroy an entire world. (Also, just consider the name.) [Read more…]

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Sunday favorites

“Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset. …” [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 112: ‘Mojo’

Later in the book, the Antichrist exercises his mind-control powers in a way that is explicitly coercive. That scene works better than this one because we know it’s supernatural and so we don’t need to actually see him being charismatic and persuasive. But this scene, like the previous one at the U.N., requires that these qualities be demonstrated. When that demonstration proves utterly unimpressive, we end up losing respect for the characters who come away impressed by it. [Read more…]

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