Friday, June 03, 2005

Pop Culture Roundup

I gave up on Are We Hardwired? I just couldn't bring myself to get through it. What I read was informative and I'll use it for reference, but silly me for trying to pass it off as recreational reading. So I've gone to another book on my nightstand entitled God is Not... It's a collection of essays by different authors that finish that sentence in various ways: 'one of us,' religious, nice, an American, a capitalist. The premise that seems to tie each chapter together is that we ascribe to God our own projects, passions, and loyalties such that God becomes Cosmic Approver of what we do or who we are. Furthermore, the argument goes, it is easier to speak of who God is not rather than who God is, hence the approach taken in this book. I've made it through the first chapter (God is Not 'One of Us') which provides an excellent critique of pop culture but is short on a theological counter (the standard fare of 'If we just pay attention to Christ as revealed in God's Word...'). He does stress the importance of communal discernment, with which I agree.

Last weekend I finally got around to watching Ray with a couple family members. Jamie Foxx deserved that Oscar. All in all I found the movie surprising in terms of what it revealed: Charles' heroin addiction and womanizing. It was my own mistake thinking this would just be a rags-to-riches blind-man-overcomes-handicap sort of thing. The movie picks up long after he's overcome his handicap. The film progresses through his early career and his coming to grips with a traumatic childhood, as well as his addiction. Near the end he seems to overcome it all at the same time, and then the movie gives us a brief synopsis of the next 40 years of his career before the credits roll. I didn't really like that part, but the rest of the movie was enjoyable.

In the CD player has been Gov't Mule. I might have mentioned them before. Their album 'Dose' is groovy.

Around the web, check out A Religious Liberal Blog. I've added a few other blogs to the list as well. Enjoy.