Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pop Culture Roundup

I've decided to supplement The Intimate Merton with W. Somerset Maugham's first volume of short stories. I'd read The Razor's Edge in college and loved it, so I decided to give his short stories a chance. "Rain" is a commentary on the brutality and hypocrisy that can manifest in religion, while "The Fall of Edward Barnard" is a brilliant satire of cultural expectation, similar to The Razor's Edge. Maugham is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers.

This past week I watched The Last Kiss, which stars Zach Braff and that chick from the Manly Deoderant Spray commercials who's all like, "I don't want to smell you from here...not here...not even here...I'm hot, buy whatever this crap is that I'm selling." The movie itself is a story of four guys who all have mid-life crises at age 30. Some of them are just on the cusp of settling down, others would rather settle down, one doesn't want to settle down at all. And they wonder if they're ready or if they want to. The main story is Braff's character, who thinks about straying away from his pregnant girlfriend in favor of a 20-something co-ed (the Manly Spray Chick), but Casey Affleck is the secondary story which ends up having a lot of heart. This effort by Braff wasn't nearly as good as Garden State, but it did have some touching moments. The end kind of fizzles, though.

I've been enjoying Galactic a good deal lately.

Around the web, the United Church of Christ Blog Network recently welcomed its 30th blog. We're doing pretty well, I guess.