Friday, September 19, 2008

Pop Culture Roundup

I've started reading Hearing God's Call, which is about exactly what you would think it's about. The main reason that I picked it up is I'm actually leading a workshop on call discernment in a few weeks, and it was recommended as background. It has been very helpful, particularly when Johnson describes the "anatomy of call," which includes such things as the role of emotions, the dialogue that happens with oneself and others, finally embracing it, and so on. I could easily pinpoint each of these elements in my own call story.

We keep watching True Blood, although I missed a big chunk of this past week's episode due to Coffeeson beginning "sleep training." From what I can best gather, the main character, Sookie, is developing a friendship with the local vampire, to the alarm of pretty much everyone else. She brings him home to meet her grandmother, who is equally excited about their town having such a being in their midst. Sookie's brother is the voice of rationalized prejudice, uttering lines such as "There's a reason things are the way they are," referring to laws limiting vampire rights. It really is an interesting take on such issues, even if it comes off as corny at times. What's equally interesting is the presence of a gay character to whom no one seems to give a second thought. People in this universe don't direct their prejudices at any kind of human differences.

We also watched Entourage, of course, which featured Vince trying to find a script for his big comeback. The entire episode this week was about Vince becoming more driven: his buddies express surprise that he's reading scripts at all (he used to just go off of whatever Eric told him), and he later barges into Ari's office to tell him that he'll do whatever he needs to do. This season seems to show Vince becoming more of a "player of the game," as it were, rather than his more non-conformist style from previous seasons.

On Sci-Fi this week, they aired a marathon of the show Tru Calling, which features Eliza Dushku as a morgue worker who is asked by some of her corpses to help them. Then basically she lives days over again to prevent these people from dying. Jason Priestley plays the Angel of Death, who tries to work against her and provides a lot of the philosophical side to the show as he argues against messing with fate. Zack Galifianakis (in a role he later discloses he hated in The Comedians of Comedy) plays Dushku's morgue colleague in the comedy sidekick role. Coffeewife and I both liked it, though since Buffy and Angel ended, Dushku hasn't had much luck on TV. What's that? Tru Calling originally aired on FOX? Oh, that's why. Hopefully her new series does better. What's that? Her new show is also on FOX? Never mind.

I listened to Trey Anastasio's Shine this week. It's very Phish-like, which should surprise no one.

I've also been listening to Death Cab for Cutie's Plans. It's more mellow than I remember it being, but I've needed mellow this week so that's okay.

Around the web, check out a vintage post by Michael Spencer entitled I Hate Theology.