Sunday, October 08, 2006

Linkage XXXI

Boratology - Robert Saunders, a professor of a bunch of things at Farmingdale State in New York, breaks down the beef between Borat and his "home" country of Kazakhstan.

It's Dick Cheney's World, Were Just Living in It - A guy in Colorado sees the Vice President in an outdoor mall, walks nearby and tells him he thinks our policy in Iraq is bad. A few minutes later, he walks back through the area and gets arrested by the Secret Service in front of his kid. (Via Michael Froomkin)

What, Diddy's Only Number Twelve? - Jared Weiss counts down "The Fifteen Most Obnoxious People in Music. Part one (11-15) is here.

Don't Do It - Tyler Cowan at Marginal Revolution reads the research on extended warranties and says they're a bad deal. Except for maybe PC's (but not Macs, right?). Full story here.

"They're like Green Day for retards" - And now, Jared Weiss brings the noise with Part II (6-10) of his Fifteen Most Obnoxious People in Music.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Gilmore Girls Update

So, after last week, I'd resolved to give up on Gilmore Girls.

Katie asked why. "Because Lorelai is an awful person and I don't want to be around her anymore." (I believe in speaking clearly with my kids).

Then about forty minutes into the show, while toiling away at my desk a couple of rooms away, I heard Rory chewing Lorelai out for being self-indulgent and a big chicken. I walked in during the commercial, and asked, "Did I just hear Rory telling Lorelai the kinds of things I was shouting at the TV all last year?" "Yes", Katie replied, and then she asked, "Now will you stay?" So I did.

In the final few minutes I find out more about Lane's honeymoon than I wanted to know and also find out that she's pregnant. Lane as a mother and her mother as a grandmother and Zach as a Dad and the guys in the band as uncles could be a really great development, but since the series works more or less in real time, the baby won't come until at least the end of this season, so I'll have to temper my hopes.

Meanwhile, the episode ends with Luke and Lorelai having a chance meeting at the grocery store. Lorelai accuses Luke of having avoided the store, and Luke responds kindly and even graciously. Lorelai clearly wants out of there because, you know, having to talk to the man she nearly married and with whom she has a long history is a difficult thing and rule one of Living in Lorelai Land is never, never, never having to really face difficult things, at least head on, and at the very least, by herself. Lorelai always runs from trouble the first time and only comes back to it when trouble persists and even then only when she has assembled some sort of emotional posse shield her from the worst bits. The writers of the show may find this charming, but I find Lorelai's behavior and patterns morally suspect. It made sense for Lorelai to use the people of Stars Hollow when she first arrived as a teen with a baby, but at some point she needed to stop and grow up. Instead, like all true narcissists, she sees the people in her life as merely extensions of herself.

And so Luke awkwardly tries to suggest that it's OK that they broke up, somewhat to get through the moment but also, I think, trying to graciously make sense of the way that Lorelai showed him the door. All this gives Lorelai the pouts, and she responds by gesturing with her ice cream and telling Luke, "Well, my hand is cold" and then turning to leave.

I think we were supposed to feel for Lorelai at this moment, because it was pretty hard and our darling girl - and that's what she still is, a girl, not a woman - just. feels. so. deeply. But not me. I sat through all of last season because I thought the writers were playing a deeper game and were finally showing the dysfunctional side of Gilmore-ism. I thought we were seeing that for moment last night when they followed up the grocery store scene with a long shot of Lorelai, alone, staring into space. I was thinking, "That's right, Lorelai. Keep using people the way you do and you're going to end up just like this - alone, staring into space". But then Rory came home, forgot or ignored what she had said earlier, and cuddled and consoled her Mom, and all was well once again in Lorelai land.

But not with me.

With Project Runway's season coming to an end soon, we're going to have to find another gather-all-four-of-us family show, and I'm not sure what that will be.

Update: For those of you using RSS readers, sorry for the triplicate posts - Blogger was publishing when it was telling me that it wasn't .

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Linkage XXX

“It’s nice that he's focusinging on God’s love, but I think it’s going to be difficult to convert the hipsters” - Jay Bakker, the son of disgraced televanglists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, with a heart full of hope and his arms covered with tattoos, is starting a church in a bar in the hipster infected Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. (Via The New Yorker)

Cat v. Mac - Just what it says: a video of a kitten pouncing a Power Book.

Wait 'til Jay and Silent Bob Show Up - big troubles in the Sadr City section of Baghdad when leaflets and posters featuring the Buddy Christ from Kevin Smith's film Dogma show up around town. (Via BoingBoing).

How to Make Your Own Fabric Softener Sheets - It's not that hard, here's how. (Via Joe Carter)

"Put it by the Doritos" Via BoingBoing, NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) is going to start placing ads, called "shelf talkers" on grocery store shelves. Surely they'll do this in the snack food aisle. This link shows an ad near the eye drops. Whoaa.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm Glad Stephen Baldwin Knows Jesus and Doesn't Snort Cocaine Any More But I Wish He'd Shut Up (for now)

Via the wonderful site, The Hater, which is a bonanza of pop culture snark, comes an interview in Radar with Stephen Baldwin, the baby of the Baldwin acting clan.

The interview is tied to the release of his new book, The Unusual Suspect: My Calling to the New Hardcore Movement of Faith. The interviewer isn't very nice to Baldwin, that is if you think it's not nice to treat a person who is not particularly bright as if they are not particularly bright.

It seems that Baldwin came to faith in Christ a few years ago after many years of "enjoying" the kinds excesses that success in Hollywood affords a person. And I'm glad he did. That said, I wish he weren't "writing" books, at least not yet.

It appears that Baldwin is just one more in a sadly long line of celebrities who come to Christ (a good thing) and then are exploited by the people around them and pushed out front in roles for which they often are suited and certainly aren't ready, which I think is a really bad thing.

I'm not really angry with Baldwin. In the interview, he comes across as genuine in his faith, but also genuinely shallow. And I don't blame his ghostwriter, Mark Tabb, who at least from his bio seems like a good guy who is making a living as a writer.

I am angry at the people around him, the Christian "leaders" who somehow either directly encouraged Baldwin to start his "ministry" or who didn't have the courage or the integrity to tell him "no way" or at least "not yet" if Baldwin suggested this himself.

While Baldwin is certainly able to speak with authority about his own experiences, he clearly isn't ready to propose a new approach to Christian faith and comment on various social issues, as he appears to do in the book. Maybe some day, Baldwin will have the maturity and insight to address these things, but sadly celebrity seems to short circuit the maturation process. Silly, shallow things said by celebrities are still silly and shallow, and it distresses me to no end when Christians are either unwilling or unable to see this.

So in calling out Baldwin, I'm really calling out his pastor or whomever else is mentoring him in his faith. Encouraging someone to speak or comment on issues that they have neither the maturity nor the smarts to address is a pastoral crime, and it needs to stop.

Oh, and another word to whomever is mentoring him. If the guy your working with can't speak clearly or insightfully about basic biblical matters but has very clear opinions on George Bush and Bill Clinton, (as Baldwin does in the interview) you need to really rethink your approach. Seriously. Please.