Friday, November 09, 2007

Pop Culture Roundup

This past week I read most of They Like Jesus But Not the Church by Dan Kimball. The title pretty much says it all: Kimball details his conversations with...he doesn't really use a particular term. Unchurched? Unbelievers? The lines are blurred a little. Anyway, he talks to non-churchgoers (particularly those under 30) who don't necessarily profess to be Christians, but who have a tremendous amount of respect for Jesus. Basically, the people Kimball talks to love what Jesus has to say, but think that the church sucks at following him. He spots a few overarching reasons that they give about why they don't care for the church (judgmental, homophobic, oppressive of women, political agenda, stifles true spiritual experience). Kimball then attempts to show how each of these are misunderstandings based on the Christians who keep showing up on TV. Kimball tries to backtrack in a couple places to acknowledge that it's more than just that (he does offer several challenges to Christians to rethink certain positions). Overall, Kimball offers some important insights related to Christians resisting getting sucked into the Church Subculture Bubble, where all your friends are Christians and you spend all your free time at church and you lose all sense of the wider culture and what non-Christians think about things.

I watched The Marine, starring WWE's John Cena, which was a passable action flick that allowed me to turn off my brain for an hour and a half. Cena plays John Triton, a Marine who is discharged after disobeying an order in the field (but if he hadn't disobeyed, he wouldn't have been able to single-handedly kill like 500 insurgents). Dejected, he comes home and takes a job as a security guard, all the while reminding everyone who will listen that he's really a Marine, in case anyone forgets what movie they're watching. Then Robert Patrick shows up to add credibility to the movie and to kidnap Triton's wife, so Triton uses his Marine training to chase the bad guys like a Marine would do if he was a Marine. Like I said, it's a passable action movie with some good funny bits (his stint as a security guard was pretty amusing, as well as a nod to one of Robert Patrick's previous roles).

I watched a seriously good football game between Michigan and Michigan State this past Saturday. I might not have written that if Manningham hadn't caught that touchdown pass late in the 4th, I would have forced myself to do it anyway. MSU put up a fight and it really seemed like they were going to pull it out, but then Michigan marched down the field a few times in the second half. It was sad reading other blogs and forums the next couple days though, because everyone, both UM and MSU fans, were saying, "Yeah, we knew that would happen." Sorry Sparty. I thought about calling the one MSU fan I know to congratulate her on a good game, but I doubt she would have appreciated it.

This week's House featured a trip to CIA headquarters to help out with an agent suffering from an unknown illness. Higher-ups wonder if he's been poisoned. So House argues with another doctor and flirts with the hot CIA chief of medicine-type person. Meanwhile, Foreman tries to keep House's team under control, which is difficult for him as at least twice different members go behind his back to run tests or administer treatment. House's case had an amusing payoff based on how much the CIA would tell him about the patient, and then he comes home just in time to figure out that one of his team members was screwing their patient over For The Greater Good, giving her polio so that he could cure it and Raise Awareness~! I didn't like that guy anyway. So now House has whittled his team down to five (I hope that blonde chick is next), except now the hot CIA chief of medicine-type person has shown up to work with House. What a great show.

This week I'm back to Pink Floyd.

Around the web, there's a website called How It Should Have Ended. Here's their take on Spiderman 3 and the original Superman.