Saturday, June 07, 2008

Pop Culture Roundup

What better way to jump back into things than my signature flavor? Well, probably lots of things. But this is the one I chose.

Over the past week, I read two books. The first was The Final Season by Tom Stanton. Stanton is a sports reporter who went to all 81 home games during the last season played at Tiger Stadium. He chronicles not only the major happenings of the games (including every score), but also the larger events around the city as it collectively anticipates the closing of an iconic ballpark. Stanton relates historical snippets of major events and figures and interacts with many of the stadium's staple characters. He also weaves this around what he experiences within his own family during this time as he attempts to reunite his father with some long-lost uncles, and stay connected to his oldest son who has hit That Age where he starts to pull away for a time. This was a fantastic book, one of my favorites of the year so far. It's about mourning a ballpark that was known to many not just for memories of games played, but also for memories of families who bonded and experiences shared. I could easily relate, as my earliest baseball experiences were at Tiger Stadium. Reading this made me sorry that I wasn't more intentional about experiencing a snippet of that final season for myself.

I also read Brian McLaren's latest, Finding Our Way Again, which is actually an introductory book into a series on spiritual practices. McLaren was apparently charged with writing about why these disciplines are important to a life of faith, and I think he does a great job here. Essentially, McLaren's argument is that spiritual practices prepare us for living out our faith, becoming active agents of what we contemplate by ourselves or in community. He doesn't spend a lot of time explaining specific practices (that's for the later books), but instead explains why they're necessary. In the next week or so, I hope to get a full review up of this one.

We watched National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, which definitely wasn't great. It features the same formula: a mix of historical factoids strung together to create a treasure hunt while staving off the bad guy who wants it for himself. This time, Gates wants to clear his family's name after his ancestor is implicated in the assassination of Lincoln. The bad guy's motivation is only really mentioned in passing and thus I had a hard time caring, and the whole movie felt rushed and forced.

On television this past week, I watched this happen:

'Nuff said.

Our minivan has XM radio, and while listening to a punk/ska station I heard a song by a band called The Blue Moon Boys, whom I'd call "new rockabilly," or something. I don't know why this
band stood out to me during an entire show dedicated to this style of music (actually, the term the host used was "Hee Haw Hell")...maybe because it's the one I remembered. It made me want to go out and rent the movie Swingers.

Around the web...I haven't been on the web that much. So I got nothin'.