Saturday, July 23, 2005

Pop Culture Roundup

As I continue to fight my onset of writer's block, I'm making my way through Help: The Original Human Dilemma by Garrett Keizer. Keizer is a pastor wrestling with the questions surrounding helping others, such as when another is taking advantage of your help, when your 'help' is not helpful, not helpin gin the name of self-preservation, and so on. He heavily works with the parable of the Samaritan and brings out pieces of the story that may tend to be overlooked.

We watched Sideways last night, and it is a travesty that Paul Giamatti was overlooked for an Oscar nomination. And I haven't heard anyone else say so, but I'm a little perplexed that Thomas Hayden Church wasn't. Giamatti has all the heavier moments (which he plays brilliantly), save for one scene for Church. But by that point how can you feel sympathetic at all to Church's character? He plays an actor on the fast track to burnout, and immature to boot. But then again, he plays that well. All in all, a great film. The wine discussion is fascinating in and of itself, or at least I thought so.

About a year ago, I picked up Modest Mouse's Good News for People Who Love Bad News. It reminds me of my first time out of the box as a pastor: a two-month stint at my home church. This album provided part of the soundtrack for that experience. The music ranges from the soft and dreamy of 'The World at Large' to the angry screaming of 'Bury Me With It' and the haunting banjo tune 'Bukowski.' And 'Float On' is just a great pick-me-up.

Around the web, Dave has writer's block, too.