Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pop Culture Roundup

This past week I started The Intimate Merton, which is a condensed collection of entries from his journals. It's somewhat amusing that so far, he's actually acknowledged that he's writing with the intent to publish them. It sort of begs the question: how private are our private lives? I'm at least this self-aware when I journal, for instance. There are certain things that I won't write about, knowing that someone might sneak a peek or decide that they are worth publishing (doubtful). Or maybe that's paranoia. Or both. Anyway, Merton is quite candid about his thoughts and feelings during his travels. It seems to me that for him, the more important thing than what he writes is how he writes it...he says that he wants to purposely write with a certain poetry and flare so that if and when they do get published, they'll be worth reading. It's quite obvious that he's a serious writer...he even rags on publishers for not picking up his manuscripts. That's amusing.

I also read the final Harry Potter this week. My lovely Potter-obsessed wife wouldn't let me read it until she was finished (that didn't keep me from reading the first two chapters while she was outside gardening...mwah ha ha!). Don't read ahead if you don't like spoilers or crypic allusions. I think that Rowling did a good job playing up the sense of foreboding...you never knew when the Death Eaters might catch up with Harry and his friends. I had some issues with the last couple chapters, though. First, one character's...uh...unfortunate situation...seemed pretty anti-climactic. I expected this character to get a bigger finish (but had it pretty well figured that he'd get a finish). Then there was a chapter that reminded me of the scene in the second Matrix movie where Neo sits and listens to The Architect for five minutes...which if you know that scene, isn't meant to be a positive statement. And then the details in the Big Final Battle seem a little fudged. Mrs. Jeff tried to explain it to me, but I still didn't get it. So this wasn't my favorite...I liked Goblet of Fire and Half-Blood Prince the most.

We're probably going to see The Simpsons Movie tomorrow afternoon. Sweet.

I've been on a huge Pink Floyd kick lately. I was listening to The Division Bell--after quite a long while of not listening to it--on the way home from a friend's house the other day and thought, "Holy crap...I really really enjoy this." My copy of Wish You Were Here didn't burn right, so Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9 skips. Guess I'll get a proper copy of that. It's probably my other favorite right now besides Division Bell. Coming in third is Dark Side of the Moon. I'm into the more spacey Floyd, rather than the grittier Floyd. Fun fact: I quoted Brain Damage in worship this past week.

Around the web, the dramatic prairie dog made me laugh really hard. It's the simple things that do it, really.

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