How do you finish being angry?

This review of Lawrence Cunningham's The Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitor's Guide is part of the Patheos Book Club, and my copy was free.My college debate group had many aphorisms, one of which was, "All sins are pride."  So I read The Seven Deadly Sins: A Visitor's Guide waiting to see what Cunningham had to say about my sin.  I didn't expect to be caught by his meditation on anger/wrath, which I've always thought of as the most boring sin.Coming from a background of stoicism, I just see ang … [Read more...]

The Inspector Javert Medley [Sequence Index]

I may not have drawn little hearts in my middle school notebooks labelled "Leah + Inspector Javert" but I've loved him far too much since the first time I saw Les Miserables.  (And, this year, I immediately dibsed his part when organizing a Les Mis flashmob).  But some of the things I've loved most about the adamant Inspector are the things I've had to set aside in order to be a Christian.  So, to mark the occasion of the movie's release, I wrote three meditations on the  … [Read more...]

Javert and Valjean at Prayer

The two things I found most frustrating about the Les Mis movie were the camerawork and Russell Crowe's performance as Javert.  And they both came together to annoy me during "Stars."  Crowe is sad-eyed instead of steely from his first appearance and, for this number, director Tom Hooper places him on a ledge.  This seems to be done simply so that Hooper can set up some parallelism in his cimematography; the shots of Javert walking right along the edge of the roof in "Stars" are echoed when he pa … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (12/28/12)

--- 1 --- Tristyn Bloom of First Things was desperately asking people on twitter and facebook if they'd seen a funny sketch about music theory that was in French.  I confess, I didn't understand her urgency until she finally turned it up and I got to see it:--- 2 --- No big review of Les Mis forthcoming, btw.  I really enjoyed it, and my complaints are pretty much those of all the reviewers (the cinematography is a bit distracting and Javert isn't tough enough).  However, you will get one … [Read more...]

Give Me (and Javert) a Firm Place to Stand

While googling to nail down some of Javert's lyrics, I ended up on his IMDB quotes page, which draws on film adaptations of the book going back to 1935.  And, looking over these selections, it's clear a number of productions have seen Javert as some kind of atheist, possibly of an existentialist stripe.  One movie has him saying, "There is no God. There is only the law. Good and evil do not exist outside the law."But the Javert of the book and the musical isn't a heathen; he's a heretic.   … [Read more...]

Up for a Quest?

Scott/Yvain has previously written a truly delightful Dungeons and Discourses game (inspired by these two Dresden Codak comics). Here's an excerpt (which doesn't even include any of the musical numbers or the ingenious solution to Nagel's question: What is it like to be a bat?) In his roundabout way, he identifies himself as Heraclitus, the Fire Mage, one of the four great Elemental Mages of Platonia. Many years ago, he crossed into Origin on some errand, only to be ambushed by his arch-enemy, … [Read more...]

Javert: No Quarter Asked or Given

I first saw Les Miserables when I was in middle school, I think, and I was on the edge of my seat from the opening number.  But the moment that transfixed me was Javert's joyous "Stars."  I was in love.There was nothing I wanted so much as to be like that man, ramrod-straight, inviolate, and wholly consecrated to duty.  In fact, when informed of my conversion, one friend, initially puzzled, said, "Well, I guess you've always been a bit of an absolutist."  But my Javertian tendencies are a … [Read more...]