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Andrew

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Everything posted by Andrew

  1. Andrew

    Television

    I think it depends on the program: - Simpsons: Yeah, you may be right, although I think there's plenty of terrific stuff in the first 2 seasons. - The West Wing: Lost its charm after the first year or two. - Malcolm in the Middle: Hilariously funny at first. As the kids progressed from pre-adolescence into the hormone-addled teen years, the humor moved from anarchic slapstick into occasional debauchery, losing much of its edge in the process. To me, it's not surprising that there's no one-size-fits-all template here, as much depends on the brilliance of the original idea, the continuing evidence of the writers, etc.
  2. Andrew

    Classical Music

    Thanks, Alvy, I'll be looking for those
  3. Andrew

    Northfork

    Yep, that works. Thank you. Sounds worthwhile - I may have to get myself to an arthouse cinema and see it.
  4. Andrew

    Television

    "Sheen should be less seen" -- great line! Would "Sheen but not heard" be a slight improvement? I enjoyed the early West Wing episodes, too. The "Little Drummer Boy" episode was very moving, in particular. I partially agree with the Simpsons assessment, in that these last few seasons have much less of the show's original cleverness. I got so fed up with its relative mediocrity that I stopped watching earlier this season. I disagree with your disparagement of seasons 1 and 2, however. I find much to appreciate there -- the very first Christmas special, Bart the exchange student, the Simpsons try family therapy, etc.
  5. Andrew

    Classical Music

    A cellist and a pianist -- very cool. Shostakovich: I love his piano concerti, too. Even though Dmitri wasn't fond of his 2nd, I love its romantic throwback quality. Have you heard his Chamber Symphony (a transcription of his 8th string quartet)? -- a gripping mixture of panic and despair. John Adams: To be honest, I'm not that enamored with most of his other work, but I love "Nixon in China." If it's any encouragement for you to give it a listen, I find most of the actual opera to be much more interesting than "The Chairman Dances." Janacek: I don't know that I've heard any of his works before. How would you describe them? What would some good starting points be?
  6. Andrew

    World Music

    Yep, I think "Passion" is a terrific CD, too. Another favorite of mine is the band Great Big Sea. Not exactly exotic world music, but definitely music of a different culture and time: they arrange traditional Newfoundland folk songs as well as their own regionally-based tunes, and play traditional instruments with a pop sensibility. Giddy, utterly hedonistic stuff...
  7. Andrew

    Television

    TV as art? Depends on the program: The Simpsons: BEST...SATIRE...EVER! Homicide: Life on the Street: brilliant on every count (at least the early seasons) Then, you're right, most everything else is mere filler between Toyota and zit cream commercials
  8. Andrew

    Northfork

    Am I the only one for whom this link isn't working?
  9. Andrew

    Classical Music

    After emerging from the desert of CCM in the early '90's, I luxuriated in the pleasures of classical music for the next several years. (I even took double bass lessons for a while, but alas, I was stymied by an utter lack of talent and exhausted by the caregiving of my firstborn, so thus ended my musical career). Anyone else out there who would like to share their favorites? Here are a few that come to mind for me: 1) Brahms' German Requiem - deeply spiritual, composed after the death of his mother. I find the 2nd section especially powerful. 2) Faure's Requiem - a lush, ethereal counterpoint to #1 3) Adams' Nixon in China - an opera done in melodious minimalistic style, with a witty libretto to boot. 4) Shostakovich's 5th and 7th symphonies - expressive works by a depressive Soviet composer who was always listening for Stalin's ominous footsteps, as he encoded subversive messages into his major works. A master of orchestration, less so of melody.
  10. Andrew

    World Music

    Anyone else out there who enjoys music of other cultures, with favorites to share? Yesterday, for my work commute, I blew the dust off my Kronos Quartet recording, "Pieces of Africa." What a treat! This CD contains works by African composers, mixing traditional African instruments and vocals, with Western stringed instruments often used in unusual, creative ways. It's very accessible (and mostly melodic) modern classical music, conveying poignancy, exuberancy, or meditativeness (is that a word?) at different turns.
  11. Oh, I'm sure this is a film that will make Movieguide's "Best of 2003" list
  12. I like the "Vengeance and Forgiveness" theme, Russell. As we've talked about recently on these boards, this seems to be a current cultural zeitgeist, so why not ride it? Other films along those lines could include "Changing Lanes" or even "The Apostle" -- although this film is a rich spiritual feast, it also depicts the pain of unforgiveness in the pastor's marital relationship (justified at least in part by his frightening tendency towards overbearing control that is illustrated in his and his wife's brief scenes together). One could even throw in the intense documentary "Domestic Violence" for good measure.
  13. Oops, before we move on from Sausage-gate, here's an article that I found quite humorous: espn.go.com/page2/s/caple/030714.html?partnersite=espn
  14. Andrew

    Cornerstone questions

    Thanks, Peter -- I'll check it out.
  15. Well, here's a whole different story to distract you from your team's sorry condition: www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/6480768 Do you think this approach would work with the IRS? I sure could...I mean God sure could use the extra money.
  16. Ah, bien sur! The Little Prince! What a lovely, melancholic little book! I read it in my senior French class, and I'm still haunted by 'you are responsible for what you tame.'
  17. Andrew

    Cornerstone questions

    Thanks for the comments, guys. Dale: - Funny, Matthew 21 looks a little different in my Bible -- what could those NIV scholars have been thinking? - No, unfortunately I don't have Taylor's Liver recording. I pretty much lost interest in the CCM scene after 1990 -- perhaps the only unfortunate consequence of that is missing out on Liver and Chagall Guevara. Sadly, I've never heard either. Peter: - Just an semi-informed hunch, but I suspect evangelical apologists for evolution are still too far from the mainstream to be accepted at such a major gathering. The librarian in me must ask: are there any notable books putting forth this viewpoint yet?
  18. I'm a wee bit embarrassed to state that I'd never heard of Cornerstone until this year. In hearing you guys speak of your experiences there, plus reading CT's recent article about the festival, it sounds terrific. Two questions: 1) Is the musical emphasis heavily upon alt-rock, or is there a decent representation of other musical styles? 2) How was the Steve Taylor concert? (I loved his stuff back in the 80's) Thanks!
  19. My only quibble: the design of the music section is a bit confusing -- you know, which album is reviewed in 'Adventures in Listening' and which is contained in the 'Archives.' I think it would be helpful to consolidate this aspect of it -- but this is a minor complaint about a very informative and well-designed site. Thanks!
  20. Peter: Your points are well-taken. It is certainly not an absolute clear-cut case of good anti-globalists vs. evil corporations. Work contracted out to Third World factories, done in an ethical fashion would certainly benefit impoverished individuals and local economies. However, there is compelling evidence well beyond Klein's book that this is often not the case. Klein also relates instances where once the spotlight has been shone on an immoral sweatshop, the company makes a big moralistic show of shutting it down, then they quickly move on and do the same thing elsewhere. Also, competition between factories apparently tends to favor the lowest bidder with the most excruciating conditions, rather than the competition favoring workers' conditions. I hope you'll read her book; she obviously expresses things much more clearly than I can. Not that I count myself as a committed anti-globalist. On the one hand, I'm troubled by the anarchic tendencies of some of Klein's comrades. On the other, I'm greatly bothered by how many if not most evangelicals and conservative Christians seem to rah-rah the free market with no attention whatsoever towards its elitist, exploiting tendencies. In part because of my observations of how the huge pharmaceutical corporations have perverted education, research, and health care in my own profession, I'm very sympathetic to a case made by someone like Klein. I do find the bare bones of her thesis compelling, even if I strongly disagree with some of her fellow travellers.
  21. Thanks for your feedback, Christian - as my church's librarian, I'm planning to purchase a copy, read it for myself, then make it broadly available. Peter: I knew I could count on a thoughtful response from you - even if I disagree with much of what you're saying :wink: - "I have a hard time picturing Jesus taking any particular side in a discussion of economic abstractions." That's my point exactly! For Jesus, the pain, suffering, and redemption of the individual ranked far above any abstract application of law, economics, etc., as in the case of the woman condemned for adultery or in His response to Sabbath law. - And like it or not, we do have to talk about these abstractions if we are to do any economic good Well, we may need to talk about the economic abstractions, but we need to strive for Christ's sense of priorities. I'm sure the priest and Levite were on their way to do good things, but they were hardly the heroes of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. For that matter, I'm sure the dishonest scale-tipping merchants mentioned by the OT prophets could find some decent rationalizations ("We must keep Bethlehem economically competitive with its pagan neighbors!), but the Bible doesn't have good things to say about them. I cannot imagine that the OT prophets, who had much to say about the abuse of power (economic and otherwise) are smiling down from heaven at Nike and Disney executives who pay themselves multi-million end of year bonuses (or their fellow westerners who sit quietly by), while their peons in Asia and Latin America are abused in the ways that Kristof admits to, let alone the harsher abuses that Klein documents. - "There was NOTHING in the New York Times article that said the ends justify the means" Kristof may not have used those Machiavellian words, but that's a key theme, if not the central theme, of the article: sure, awful abuses of economic power and despoiling of the environment are taking place, but look at the economic advances their countries are benefitting from. Indeed, it's implicit in the very title of the article, "Two Cheers for Sweatshops."
  22. Well, those articles struck me as rather callous and cynical. I guess that cynicism rubbed off on me, because I'm left wondering how much Disney and Nike stock is in Mr. Kristof's portfolio. The implicit worldview of "Two Cheers for Sweatshops" struck me as no better than the heartless, mechanistic perspective of history to be found in 20th Century Communism. To me, this is completely at odds with the example of Jesus. Despite His absolute awareness of His centrality to history, he was full of compassion for the individual, whether engrossing himself in conversation with the outcast woman at the well, touching the leper, or speaking tenderly with the thief on the cross. In addition, it is a completely pragmatic, ends-justifying-the-means mindset: sure, 13 year olds are raped, beaten, and deprived of an opportunity for meaningful education! Yes, women are forced by their bosses to have abortions, so they can keep working 7 days a week. And yeah, many workers are exposed to toxic chemicals and warehoused in cramped concentration camp-like dwellings. But look at the ultimate prosperity they're bringing to their Third World nation! And below-subsistence wages are better than no wages, right? Having been to Vietnam, I've seen the lifestyle that $1/day wages afford a person, and it's not pretty. I've also seen an excellent alternative both to begging on the streets and to employment that is no better than indentured servitude: micro-loan programs. My denomination provided the financial backing for a women's group in Danang to start one of these programs. Women were given a low-interest $100-200 loan to start a business of their choice (raising livestock, opening a small shop, whatever), as well as a mini-education in wise business practice. On my last trip there, I was able to visit with a couple of successful 'graduates' from this program (the success rate is 90+%, I believe). It was inspiring to see the degree of prosperity in their lives, even after only 1-2 years. I could go on, but I'll stop for now.
  23. I'd be inclined to agree: www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/6473428 Boy, in this context, the upcoming pierogie/sausage races could get as ugly as the chariot race in Ben Hur. Yikes!
  24. We have a 6 year old, 4 year old, and 2 1/2 year old -- our youngest's favorites are Go, Dog, Go and Goodnight, Moon. All three of them love Richard Scarry's books, especially Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.
  25. With 20 pages to go, I can safely say that No Logo is not a book that condemns Americans for buying products made in sweatshops. Indeed, Klein contends that these practices are so pervasive that it's not possible to avoid purchasing immorally-produced items. Rather, she condemns the immorality of the corporations for using sweatshop and slave labor, and depicts the ways that ordinary folk are shining the spotlight upon these practices and effecting positive change. Thanks for the links, Peter; I'll be checking them out later.
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