Saturday, March 29, 2003

Show time is at 2pm today. Here goes nothing!


Monday, March 24, 2003

And today begins what I believe will be the busiest week of my spring. The play opens Saturday, and it will be a mad dash to the finish line. I love the mad dash though. It's really my favorite part. I get the most done I think when I have a little bit more than I can really do.

I saw in the weekend paper something about the Expos getting the boot from Montreal. I even saw something about Portland, Oregon as a possible destination. That'd be cool. We need more baseball in the Northwest. And particularly Portland, I love that city. Maybe it's because I was born there. But I'm always really impressed with the city life there, and if there was a baseball team, I'd be there more often.


Saturday, March 22, 2003

Simone and the Truman Show

My wife and I watched the movie 'Simone' on Thursday evening, a Peter Weir film, starring Al Pacino and Winona Rider. It was a very interesting movie, and for kicks we decided to rent 'The Truman Show' last night, just for some more Peter Weir. At first glance, both of the movies are interesting just for the fact that they are mirror opposites. Truman is about a real person in a fake world. Simone is about a fake person in the real world. Both are extremely fun ideas for stories. Maybe someone can help me out here, but I can't watch either one of these movies without being convinced that Weir's underlying commentary has to do with the creation of God and man. In Truman, the Creator of the world is a man named Christof, I don't know if it gets more blatant than that. But the point of the story seems to be that the controlled world of Christ[of] is artificial, deceptive, and therefore ultimately malevolent. The story is about the Truman [True Man] who feels the need to escape, sees the inconsistences, and remembers a love beyond the sovereign, Hollywood world. The Christian world is a scam.

In Simone, the story is about the creation of God. Simone is the answer to a major dilemma for one man, and becomes the object of worship for millions around the world. She is a goddess and therefore incapable of doing wrong: self degredation and public humiliation only serve to heighten her beauty in the eyes of her followers. What begins as the lie of one man, is soon the lie of millions claiming they know Simone and that they are on close terms. And when her creator attempts to put her away, it becomes clear that she has taken on a sort of life of her own. Her death is impossible because the world demands a resurrection, and sure enough, her resurrection saves her creator. And as Pacino says at the end, "This is life." God is a scam.

There are elements in both movies that seem so incredibly right, and at points, I almost thought Weir was telling the story right. But I can't make the pieces fit together, so I'm left with the conclusion that he's obviously a brilliant story teller, and at the same time, telling the story wrong.

Correction: While Peter Weir directed Truman Show, the connection with Simone is via the writer, Andrew Niccol, who was also the director of Simone.


Thursday, March 20, 2003

Hi all. It's been a little while. I took a trip down to the Oregon coast with my wife and other friends Jon and Deacon and their wives. It was a wonderful time of relaxing and spending time with good friends. I am incredibly thankful for spring breaks and the legacy our friendships have in Oregon on spring break.

On Monday, my wife and I broke away for a bit to meet up with my folks in Eugene. My dad took us down to a bookstore/coffee house after lunch. As it turns out, the used book store and coffee house are the front of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Wipf and Stock publishes a lot of stuff that has fallen out of publication, of which Jordan's Through New Eyes and Judges are among the better known to me. The books published there are of an amazing variety. I'm very curious as to what these folks are all about. Check out the site and see for yourself.


Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Odysseus and Christ

I've been thinking a little about what I said before about Greek writers telling pre-Christian stories. Think for just a second about all the correlations between Odysseus and Christ: both are story teller/riddlers (crafty), both must be away from their people and tested for a time (albeit in different ways), both have a group of foolish companions who aren't nearly as bright, both must be despised and rejected (particularly, in terms of hospitality), both must descend into Hades before they can return as a king, both do return to their own and their own do not receive them or know who they are. Both Christ and Odysseus return to a bride, whose purity is being challenged by other suitors, both must test the remaining members of their houses for loyalty, both destroy their enemies in connection with a feast (in the Odyssey, the destruction is described as a feast), after the destruction, the word is proclaimed that there is a wedding feast taking place, both are 're-married' to their wives, both are recognized by family and friends by scars, both have old friends dying after they see their return (Jesus: Simeon), both finally return to their father where final skirmishes are put to peace.


Sunday, March 09, 2003

I just watched the movie 'Amistad' tonight. I'm sorry.


Pagan Christians

One of the most intriguing elements of studying ancient pagan (Greek) literature is how Christian it is, or maybe I should say, how pre-Christian it is. I find myself reading Homer and Aeschylus and wondering how they knew about Jesus. C.S. Lewis is one of the most well known Christian writers who saw this reality and explained it as God's preparing the world for the Advent.


Thursday, March 06, 2003

A Kahyil Woman

So here's something cool: As it turns out, the book of Ruth is the story of a Moabite woman named Ruth and her Hebrew mother in-law Naomi. To this point everyone's in the know. But read on. In the course of the story, Ruth approaches Boaz in the middle of the night and asks him to 'spread his wings' over her, that is, to play the part of the kinsman-redeemer and marry her. In the course of this conversation, Boaz praises Ruth and blesses her. He says that Ruth is known among all the city's inhabitants as being a virtuous woman. But the word there for 'virtuous' is the Hebrew word 'kahyil' which is usually used to describe a courageous man of arms, a warrior. Ruth is a valiant warrior-woman. But what's really neat is the fact that in the Hebrew Bible, Ruth comes just a couple of books after Proverbs. And the book of Proverbs ends with the beautiful passage describing the 'virtuous woman'. In fact, the word 'virtuous' is also the word 'kahyil', thus Proverbs ends describing the valiant warrior-woman. At the risk of being too speculative, the order of these books does not seem to be accidental. The book of Proverbs is a basic living guide for young men and ends with what to look for in a wife. Job follows Proverbs and it's a story about a man who has embraced the life laid out in Proverbs. Job is followed by the Song of Songs, the poetry of love between a man and his wife. And Job is followed by Ruth. And Ruth is the story of the 'kahyil' woman, the valiant woman, originally described in Proverbs 31.


Monday, March 03, 2003

Bradbury &tc.

I don't know how many of you have read much Ray Bradbury, but I recently read a story called 'The Veldt' to my class from 'The Illustrated Man' (a collection of short stories). It's an amazing little number exemplifying the proverb that how ever you train up a child, when he is old he will not depart from it (which is not quite the same as it is usually quoted, btw). In our weekly Logic studies at Atlas, we read a chapter from Proverbs, discuss its contents and write short stories attempting to 'bury' various metaphors in our stories. It's cool to see someone doing it so plainly, to say nothing of his intentions.

On a completely different note, I'm thoroughly torn as to whether I should do the Fantasy Baseball thing this year. Honestly I've never done it before, and for that reason it's a bit of a stretch as it is. But I'm so limited in my free time, I wouldn't be able to put much time in. All the same it might be worth a year at the bottom of the dog pile, just to encourage me to keep up with the games and players.

And for one more completely different thought, I thought I'd begin advertising for myself since this is my blog. I'm directing a play right now, 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. If any of you'all are within an hundred miles you should consider coming down/up/over to see a show at the end of this month. We're opening on March 29th, with a matinee at 2pm at the Kenworthy Theatre in downtown Moscow. And tell your friends. Come see Woelke Leithart, Natali Miller, and Mark Beauchamp on stage.


Saturday, March 01, 2003

Last night was the first BonHom Boxing Fight Night. There were 20 fights ranging from the little 50lb boys (like Langston Amos) to the bigger 270lb boys (like Dirk Dewinkle). Each match consisted of three one minute rounds. It was all great fun. Parker Amos was the most impressive of the younger fellows. He out fought a boy 4 years his senior. Mac Jones (my next door neighbor) took care of Caleb Ackley (one of my students), Isaac Grauke met his match in Matt Dion, and David Young was undone by the West-Texan Hicks. Nate Wilson vs. Dirk Dewinkle was the heavy-weight fight of the night, but it only lasted two rounds. Dirk won by TKO: Nate got pretty bloddied in the nose. It was also a great night with Chip Lind as MC. All the boxers got to pick their own entrance music and the place was done up right with a professional ring, spot lights, and concessions. Jerry Owen did the rounds selling popcorn and candy, John Carnahan sold bleacher pads, and there was plenty of flash photography. As Paul Tong said, It was probably the best ever use of the Logos Field house. Everything just looked right. The only thing missing was the betting, but there's always next time... Cheers to the BonHom Boxing Club!