Eviction Notices

18 08 2009

I just saw Topol’s Fiddler on the Roof tonight at South Coast Plaza, courtesy of Randall J.  Yes, that Topol, from the movie.

It really started getting interesting when I saw similarities between the evictions in this play and District 9.

Sleep now, and dream of this:

What’s Funny about Christians?

1 08 2009

TIME’s Joel Stein tries to answer it

I don’t have a huge harangue about this subject.  From the two or three clips in the article’s video to the other bits mentioned, it doesn’t sound like it was a terribly funny evening.  He complains about Christians’ reticence to do any jokes about risque stuff, and he notes the audience’s propensity for laughing at almost anything.  Micah would say that it’s because most people aren’t funny.  I would argue that it’s because our standard for humor isn’t what is actually incongruous with reality, but what is wholly unexpected.  The problem with making certain sex jokes, for a Christian, is that they make light of something we are taught to take very seriously.  One wouldn’t joke about cancer in a room full of doctors because they know all too well the implications for such things.

For Christians, then, humor should be different.  Not because we aren’t allowed to joke about as much stuff or because we have to take everything seriously — we should actually find more things funny.  I can’t help but laugh at people (when perhaps I should be more saddened?) who take things seriously that just don’t mean anything.  The guy who loves showing off his new clothes at a party like a freakin’ peacock, for instance.  Ok, well, that’s not really funny so much as it is lame.  But I get to laugh at him, which is cool too.

Actually, just read Chesterton.  Or Lewis.  Or Sayers.  Good authors can make me laugh, and they don’t have to resort to sex jokes (or as Stein uses as his most frequent target, poop jokes) to do it.  People are ridiculous, and the Christian should find this world funnier than anyone.

Zooey Deschanel vs. SWPL

27 07 2009

Let’s see which Stuff White People Like (see link on sidebar) criteria are found in Zooey Deschanel’s character from Yes Man.  I know I noticed more than a couple…

– – –

126: Vespa Scooters

111: Pea Coats

104: Girls with Bangs

77: Musical Comedy

70: Difficult Breakups

67: Standing Still at Concerts

55: Apologies

49: Vintage

41: Indie Music

27: Marathons (well, she has that jogging/photo class.  Close!)

19: Traveling (this might seem like a broad category, but read the entry and you’ll see how well it matches up.)

11: Asian Girls.  (Actually, it’s Jim Carrey’s character that hooks up an Asian girl with his friend, but you get the gist of it.)

9: Making you feel bad about not going outside

– – – – –

So there you have it.  And to top it all off, she’s marrying a guy from a cool indie band in real life!  Talk about perfect!

Today I Decided to Listen to a Cool Indie Band

27 05 2009

I like my share of obscure music.  I do.  So when I saw an interesting video by Of Montreal, I decided to get one of their albums and see if I could find myself on the cutting edge of little-known music and extreme bragging rights among my less-cultured friends.

I actually have a newer album called Skeletal Lamping, but this video is fairly representative of their stuff.  The electric beats and peppy rhythms speak for themselves, and the underwater vocals are fairly par for the course.  One part 60s alternative, two parts electric folk, and no parts grunge.  The chords are back and forth melodic, and the cyclic melodies will keep you walking to the beat.  Especially if you’re a computer.  The funk factor is there, but it doesn’t take you along for the ride so much as parade itself in front of you, constantly twisting and contorting itself to keep your attention.   And if you’re shy about sexually forthright lyrics, they’re probably not the band for you or your kids.  I could throw a couple of the more eyebrow-raising track titles out there, but that wouldn’t be completely fair.  Of Montreal is clearly setting the mood, and they’ve released plenty of material to sustain it for a while (they’re releasing albums at nearly a yearly rate for the past few years now).

To sum up, I’ll compare it to candy.  Like a Baby Ruth bar, there’s a lot of chewy nougat to digest.  If you’re looking for a quick bite, you’re looking in the wrong place.  They love to meander up and down scales until even the most devoted fan begins to wonder if their LP is skipping, but if you chew long enough, you’ll begin to understand exactly what gives it that odd taste.  The sweet caramel is there, so there’s sufficient hooks for the casual listener to at least enjoy some of their songs, but it likely won’t be drawing any fans that aren’t looking for a band like Of Montreal to play in the car during road trips with their cool friends in the first place.

At least, that’s what my review would look like if they weren’t an insane and weird band of freaks.  Seriously, go find some GOOD music to listen to.

That said, I’m still a Derek Webb fan.  Slings and Arrows, away!