Category: Pop Culture

Go See ‘Red Tails’ This Weekend!

tuskegee airmen
Real-life Tuskegee Airmen

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George Lucas struggled for 23 years to make the movie “Red Tails.” The film is inspired by the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators to see combat, during World War II. The film is patriotic, inspirational, and action-packed. It stars Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr.Why? Because it features an all-black cast. Black protagonists. Black supporting cast. White people are peripheral to the story.

And Hollywood won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole.

It’s not a story about the plight of African Americans and how a noble white person entered their world and saved the day. (See “The Blind Side,” “The Help,” etc.) It’s an old-fashioned, American-flag-waving war movie. The heroes just happen to be black.  (more…)

BOOK CLUB: Harry Potter Series

Harry PotterWell, I knew attempting to read the entire Harry Potter series in one month was a bit ambitious. (And why did I pick the shortest month of the year?)

I only made it through 4½ of the 7 books. I’ll need to start March’s book club selection, Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, soon. But I’m going to see if I can finish the series by reading it here and there, before the release of the final movie installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, this July.

I’ve really enjoyed the series so far. I don’t find J.K Rowling’s prose very artful (although it’s hard to follow up with anything after reading To Kill a Mockingbird last month!) But it’s not dreadful either, and she is a master story-teller.

For years I’ve wondered what all the hubbub over Harry was about. And now I get it.

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What’s the Worst Movie You’ve Ever Seen?

movie

Recently my friend Tracy posted on Facebook that she had just watched one of the worst movies she had ever seen. (The Legend of Tillamook’s Gold, if you’re curious.)

I began to ponder: What’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen?

I decided not to consider movies that everyone agrees are bad. I would only select movies that were either critically acclaimed and/or well-loved.

For me, it’s a 3-way tie.

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Reflections on LOST: Karma and Grace

lost

This post is fifth in a series on my lingering thoughts on the finale of the TV show LOST.

If you looked carefully at the World Religions Chart in my last post, you might have noticed this: Each religion has their own take on what humans must do to achieve happiness and fulfillment in the next life. Empty yourself. Submit to God. Obey the laws. Achieve harmony.

Every religion except one.

U2 lead singer Bono, in an interview with Michka Assayas, puts it this way:

BONO: It’s a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people. But the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma.

ASSAYAS: What do you mean?

BONO: You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal and opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so you will sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.

ASSAYAS: I’d be interested to hear that.

BONO: That’s between me and God. But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep s—. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity.**

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Reflections on LOST: Comparative Religions

lost

This post is fourth in a series on my lingering thoughts on the finale of the TV show LOST.

In my last post I posed the question: Does each religion simply reflect a different facet of the same truth? Are all the world’s religions right?

This seemed to be the view taken by LOST. And I think it’s the view held by most Americans. But are the world’s different belief systems really compatible with each other?

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Reflections on LOST: The Stained Glass Window

lost

This post is third in a series on my lingering thoughts about the series finale of the TV show LOST.

One thing I loved about LOST is that the producers were not afraid to take on Life’s Big Questions:

  • Why am I here? Is there a larger purpose to life? Or is “this” all there is?
  • What happens after we die? Will I ever see my lost loved ones again?
  • Why must we experience pain? Is it just random, or is their meaning in it?
  • Can my past be forgiven?
  • Has my life been pre-ordained? Or do I have control over my own destiny?
  • Is there a god or gods? What is/are they like? How involved are they in daily human life?

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Reflections on LOST: Jesus and Jimmy Kimmel

lost

This post is second in a series on my lingering thoughts about the series finale of the TV show LOST.

Did you catch the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show following the LOST series finale, called “Aloha To Lost?” If you missed it that night, you can watch it online here. It was actually quite insightful, and very funny. (Ask my husband what his favorite part was.)

During the show, Kimmel—a huge LOST fan—shared this:

“In a lot of religions—Christianity being one of them—the idea is that life is a test. That you go through your life and if you’re good you go to heaven (or nirvana or whatever), and if you’re bad you don’t—you go to hell or you don’t go anywhere.

My theory is that the whole show…we’re watching Jack’s test. And obviously Jack passed The Test.”

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