Saturday, July 07, 2007

Pop Culture Roundup

It's a day late, but whatever.

I've been reading
Jesus out to Sea by James Lee Burke. In an effort to read something not related to church or theology, I picked up this book of short stories, which are meant to be set against the backdrop of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Hardly any of them mention or even allude to that event, though. The one I most recently read, "Mist," is the first to deal with it in any sort of direct way as it follows a young woman trying to cope with her alcoholism. There are, of course, theological themes to be parsed out whether Burke intended them or not: welcome, the treatment of creation, atonement, brokenness...just to name a few.

At the same time, I couldn't help myself and started reading
The New Friars by Scott Bessenecker. I'm not very far into it, and just sort of picked it up on a whim to begin with. Bessenecker seeks to profile some young emerging types who have chosen to go live in the midst of the world's poor. He spends some time explaining how people are largely trapped in poverty and dispelling the myth that anyone can make it out if they just try hard enough. He provides some commentary on how governments and corporations contribute to this problem. And he presents the monastic orders that have taken vows of poverty over the centuries in order to more fully identify with the people they wanted to help, showing that some in a new generation have made this choice for themselves. Perhaps the most well-known is Shane Claiborne, who wrote The Irresistible Revolution and who adds his own blurb to the back cover. Bessenecker's best phrase so far is "spiritual flabbiness," which he aims at most of the Western Church, if not the American Church in particular.

I'm going to see the Transformers movie tonight. My inner 8-year-old is giddy with delight.

Entourage continues to move along at a somewhat predictable pace. For a couple minutes, we worry that Medellin won't be accepted by the Cannes Film Festival and Vince may lose a $100,000 bet on a soccer game. In the closing two minutes, the movie is accepted by Cannes and Vince makes money. It's a fun lighthearted show, but the only real tension it ever had was when Vince was wrestling with whether to do Aquaman, and the time between the episode when Ari was fired and whenever the show started up again.

The Tigers and Indians are tied for first again this morning. If they keep this up, it really will go down to the wire. All in all, I'd like to see Detroit finish what they started last year (maybe with a freaking Central Division title this time, too). Their last three games against Cleveland and Boston show that they've got the chops to do it, too. And wait'll Zumaya comes back...even better. Meanwhile...uh...what happened between the White Sox and the Twins the other day? 20-13 is a football score, people. That's the exact opposite of a pitchers' duel.

Around the web, I actually found
a funny Mad TV skit. It's a parody of the ridiculous hype around the iPhone.