Thursday, November 20, 2003

The Britney Spears Phenomenon

I don't get Britney Spears. She's the one we watched grow up on videos, right? She started out as a little girl on one of the star search shows. She's done well since then. I heard she heads a $200 million empire with dozens of employees. I watched her the other night as she was interviewed by Diane Sawyer. She came across as vacuous, sensitive, nice, trailer park White version of Michael Jackson except maybe not as perverted--yet.

Yeah, but can she sing? I'm not sure that's a requirement. Consider Bob Dylan. She's interesting though. I watched for 30 minutes before my mind wandered on to more important things. After 30 minutes I didn't know any more about her music than I did when I started watching. I know that she's rich, pretty, well known and widely recognized. If she lived next door I'd like her. So, enough about me and my lack of relationship with Britney.

One of the blogs on my list to the right is Toby. He reviewed Britney's new album for his college newspaper. It's very insightful. I never realized. Toby, you are so in the zone!

Thursday, November 13, 2003

A Letter from West Virginia

Not exactly a letter, but my blog cousin, Sara, over at Hillbilly Sophisticate, is my single source for commentary about Jessica Lynch, our reluctant heroine. I agree with Sara. I thought Jessica was very composed, and surprisingly well spoken for someone not used to being in the public eye and speaking a lot. Diane Sawyer has always reeked of empathy, so she would have been my choice of all of the news models with whom we are familiar.

Have we learned anything from this entire episode? Probably not, but it is a cautionary tale.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Prayers placed gently upon the wind

A long time ago when my life was in a period of extreme turmoil, I was touched by an angel. Out of nowhere, I ran into a wall of calm. It was a profound experience. I never forgot the name of the person in the center of all that calm. I've always wondered what became of him. Last week I asked the gods of Google if they knew. They did.

I think the year was 1969, maybe 70, and Ben Torrey was about 18, maybe 19, fresh from Korea where he had been living with his parents at a primitive Christian community in the mountains of central Korea. It was called Jesus Abbey. This boy man radiated empathy and calm, as yet unspoiled by the American common culture. I think I was struck dumb. I've never forgotten him nor the impact I felt from just meeting him.

It was like getting a postcard from God telling me "oh by the way, you remember that nice young man you're always praying for? Well, he's doing pretty good. Just thought you'd like to know." Of course I wrote to him in an expression of my joy at having the opportunity to know that he was doing well.

Thanks, God. Ya' know, God, he's one of your better efforts.

Friday, November 07, 2003

The Right Christians

This is my favorite new blog this week. I'll tell more when I know more about them.

Obscure Bible Passage of the Day: Jeremiah 12:1-3

You will be in the right, O Lord, when I lay charges against you; but let me put my case to you. Why does the way of the guilty prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? You plant them, and they take root; they grow and bring forth fruit; you are near in their mouths yet far from their hearts. But you, O Lord, know me; You see me and test me—my heart is with you. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and set them apart for the day of slaughter.(NRSV)

Jeremiah wonders whether justice will ever come.