Friday, September 21, 2007

Random Highlights

There are a few things I've wanted to comment on lately which are unconnected to one another except by the virtue that I only have short things to say about each of them:

My wife and I saw Mute Math live in Regina this month. I'm not a huge fan of their songs (mostly because the lyrics are lacking and the lead singer doesn't do it for me) but I do love some of their instrumentation. Their bassist and drummer are incredible and some of the stuff they did on stage was truly exciting. But what stole the night was the opening band, Pilot Speed, whose lead singer can be seen at left. They gave us a real great opening act full of passion, mounting walls of sound and crescendo, and even a bit of that Radiohead sound. Some of the songs gave me goosebumps. I bought one of their albums at the show and it is full of epics. It is always a pleasant surprise finding a new band!

Watched Crimes and Misdemeanors by Woody Allen a while back. Only gave it four stars, but have to admit it was a pretty awesome movie that I've come to appreciate the more I've reflected on it. It was Allen's most philosophical film and certainly explored and exposed the trappings of evil in a way which gave no easy separation between the good guys and the bad guys. In fact, even though the adulterer in the film is entirely to blame for his problems and the spiral into worse and worse evils, upon reflection one sees that the wife with an unforgiving nature shares at least some complicity in the whole mess. This isn't to say that she is to blame for her husband's affair, but it got me thinking about how unforgiveness contributes to the spiral of evil moreso than true forgivness ever could.

I laughed in our first Chesterton class when my professor showed this cartoon of GKC boxing Marilyn Manson . I don't know why it was ever drawn but it is a comical image. I can't imagine Marilyn Manson with anyone from early 20th century England, but I imagine GK would have looked as perplexed as he does here, and that he would have made Manson laugh. While we're on the topic, here are some great lines from GK's Heretics:

"Mr. McCabe thinks that funny is the opposite of serious. Funny is the opposite of not funny, and of nothing else."
"The people . . . who really take the name of the Lord in vain are the clergymen themselves" (103).
"Once men sang together round a table in chorus; now one man sings alone, for the absurd reason that he can sing better. If scientific civilization goes on (which is most improbable) only one man will laugh, because he can laugh better than the rest."

Finally, I must say how excited I was to hear yesterday that the compensation process has begun for those First Nations people who were abused in Canada's history. Whatever money is given in compensation for abuse will be too small and perhaps too late, but it is better than nothing in the same way that facing a problem is better than letting it fester forever. I saw a soundbyte of someone asking if the money would be spent wisely and was so glad to hear the guy behind the podium call the person out for racism. What I was most thrilled to hear was that in a year Canada will begin a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In my opinion this is a much needed thing for our country and I will be watching it with keen interest. I am pleased to see that Chuck Strahl is the MP involved in all of this. He is a good man.


matthew wilkinson said...

HEY! I haven't been here in a while. I've got some reading to do to get back up to speed. I'll start with 'Blanket Forgiveness.'

So I guess you really are going through my list of movies. Wow. I'm glad 'Crimes and Misdemeanors' has had you thinking. The repeated references to the eyes of God and Sam Waterston's vision was what really got to me.

A Truth and Reconciliation commission? Really? I had no idea.

I'll be around more often now, methinks.

jon or angie said...

good to have you back around matt.

i had never heard of the T&R commission coming to Canada until now either. I think it is good, if for no other reason than it will (hopefully) force Canada to face its own racism instead of gawking self-righteously at all of the other countries.

crimes... was a very well done peice of work. i feel i must watch it again.