Archive for February, 2008

watch your back: 24, Season One

Let’s face it, you’ve heard the phrase ‘a new kind of television’ enough times to make you go numb in the buttocks. Every two-bit wanna’be Seinfeld pilot gets styled that way, too often to cover up a lack of talent with the siren song of novelty.

But you’d be mistaken to be dubious about 24. This show in its first season was about as new as television can get. (more…)


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It is well to temper one’s definition of tedium with humility. In the absence of this discipline, we all too hastily dismiss as boring and irrelevant aspects of reality that from other angles may appear enthralling and pertinent.

Or, at the least, worthy. (more…)

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‘Funny thing about Rhodesian Ridgeback books. It’s hard to tell the reader something he doesn’t already know.

That’s because this beguiling breed elicits such passion and understanding from its owners that most of us end up so attached to our dogs that we know their behaviors and temperament inside and out. As a result, we read about the breed while nodding our heads and commenting ‘Yup ….’, ‘Uh-huh …’ and the like. (more…)

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Some literary works are so sweeping in their vision, so penetrating in their understanding of the human condition and its psychology, so inexhaustible with respect to their spiritual insight that a reviewer feels quite small as he turns the last page and takes up his pen to comment.

Such is Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Three Karamazov siblings, products of the unrestrained loins of the hapless Fyodor Karamazov, spend most of the pages alloted to them walking their ever diverging paths and become more and more unlike each other. Then, in a hundred or so pages, Dostoevsky all but forces us to see how alike they are. How alike we are, whether under the Russian sun or some other. (more…)

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A proper perspective will frequently elicit the inherent simplicity from a mass of details rather than impose an external simple-ness. Such is Jesus’ view of the Hebrew legal complex, a hermeneutic for which Jesus himself would scarcely have claimed novelty. (more…)

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To enter the world of the Hebrew slaves, finding their way in more sense than just one in the shadow of Mt. Sinai, is to intrude upon an odd world. Even its protagonists—Aaron for example—defy classification. One one hand, he is the spokesman of YHWH’s own prophet. On the other, he responds to the threat of the mob by thinking up some very nice gold bulls to represent YHWH himself before a mob that he might have hoped he could turn into a worshipping congregation. (more…)

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It may well be that Lifehouse fired their three working bullets on the first tracks of this eponymous and excellent album.

Then again, maybe not. The rest of these tunes are pretty good work. It’s just a little tough keeping up with the right-left-another-right emotional impact of ‘Come Back Down’, ‘You and Me’, and ‘Blind’. Lifehouse could pull a Simon & Garfunkel and disappear after this album and we’d still warm to these first three exquisite and pathos-filled songs twenty years hence. We’d remember who we were when we first heard them.

That’s good music-making. (more…)

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