Friday, September 15, 2006

Pop Culture Roundup

For quite a while, I resisted picking up Adventures in Missing the Point, team-written by Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren. For one thing, I'd read enough from them individually that I didn't think that their combined thoughts would be very novel. Plus, every time I tell myself that I've had enough of books and blogs that list off all the ways the church is getting it wrong, I allow myself to get sucked back in. In this case, they start off with a good story about a guy walking into a Home Depot and being ignored by the workers. These workers originally had gotten into business to help people and now they're too self-involved and complacent. Then they ask if the church has become the same way. After reading this much in the bookstore, I thought, " I want to read the rest." The two alternate chapters, and the other is given the opportunity to respond. For the most part, Campolo and McLaren are on the same page as self-critiquing (and thus somewhat exiled by their peers) evangelicals, and they agree with each other most of the time. It will be fun for people familiar with their styles to see the contrasts in approach: McLaren is his Generous self, and Campolo more in-your-face. If you'd like a somewhat condensed introduction to both authors, give this a read. A lot of the points that each makes can be found in their other books.

We watched Garden State this past weekend, which surprised me because it was so freaking good. Zack Braff plays the lead character, an actor trying to make it in Los Angeles called home after his mother dies. If I try to divulge the plot here beyond that I'm going to screw it up. It's a great character piece that explores what it means to really feel something for the first time. Seriously, I'm not going to do it justice if I try to write about it. Just watch it.

As far as TV goes, I've been very sports-oriented lately. ESPN has been carrying a decent portion of Detroit Tiger games. I've been enjoying that, because sometimes when I flip on ESPN it seems like the only two baseball teams that exist are the Yankees and Red Sox. Oh, and sometimes the White Sox since they're the world champions. Lately, though, it's been painful to watch the Tigers (because they've been losing ground in first place, I mean...not the past 19 years...well, that's been painful, too). I watched a little bit of their game against the Rangers on Wednesday when it was 8-3, and when it shot up to 10-3 I shut it off. And that was with Verlander starting! You're killing me, fellas.

I've been listening to Johnny Cash a lot recently. We visited some friends in Bowling Green this weekend, and they had Cash playing on the stereo a lot. So I came home and went right to the library the next day because libraries always have Johnny Cash. As simple as his musical arrangements were sometimes, he told some great stories. In particular, I've been digging "Folsom Prison Blues" and "A Boy Named Sue."

Around the web, here's a hilarious Daily Show clip on Islam vs. Christianity. And this one from Stephen Colbert on the 10 Commandments in public places, which is more sad than funny. Or funny because it's sad. Or something.