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The Compliment Thread


kenmorefield
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There's been renewed talk recently about how snarky this board can be, and I agree. We even have a whole thread devoted to discussing how uncivil we usually are to one another. So I was surprised in looking through the "About this Website" forum that there did not appear to be a thread devoted to compliments and encouragement.

Yes, there are many threads where individual people ask for prayers or encouragment, and there are many posts within threads where people say and do encouraging things, but I didn't find a thread devoted to it. (I guess the "Does this Website Matter? thread came closest.) If there is, here's one time I would really like to be "ahem"ed. If there isn't, well, let's start one. Just as in families where good things can be taken for granted and only complaints articulated, so too in any community can the positives get lost with focus on the negative.

There is always a threat, I suppose, in a thread like this, that it can degenerate into obsequiousness or pandering, but I think we're farther from having to corporately worry about going too far in that extreme than the other.

Don't have to fill this thread with four pages in two days. But as you see things you appreciate or like, let it be known. And--for the record--I feel like I bear the brunt of a lot of snarky comments (as does anyone who posts a bit), but I also get a LOT of compliments from people here, publically and privately, so I really am not fishing here so much as reminding myself to share the wealth. ::rm_daisy::

One thing I like about Doug is that whenever I speak ill of a movie he likes, he always compliments me for "giving it a shot" instead of trashing me for my pathetically poor taste!

Peace.

Ken

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Ken, I can think of several compliments to pay you, but the first thing that always pops into my head when I see your name is, "I can't believe that guy doesn't like Magnolia!"

Rather than singling out everyone who posts here, I'd like to compliment the A&F group collectively. This is the only discussion forum I visit. Because of the wealth of topics here, I feel no need to find other online communities. Yeah, I visit some blogs, read plenty of news sites, and get film details from a variety of sites, but this is the only online forum of which I'm a part. If the posts weren't so engaging, I might have more time to explore elsewhere, but I'm happy that isn't the case.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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This compliment must be anonymous for obvious reasons. I'd like to point out that there are a few veterans of other boards here who were often at each others' throats. That we are scolded here, from time to time, for being snarkey is really a great leap forward for some of us. There is little violence here anymore at all. Thanks to one and all. Great job.

Also, there are a few theological liberals here. Most evangelicals, even those who are politically leftie, usually assume that only theologically conservative or moderate folks are really of faith. Darrel Manson is a notable counter argument to this sort of prejudice. He does not always post in theological discussions, probably for the obvious reasons of the same old hurdles having to be cleared time and again before the discussion becomes of interest to him. Still, Darrel is a very patient and good natured man. He takes this in stride and presents clear, challenging, and usually unselfserving arguments in whatever discussions he joins. Thanks, man. ::cheers::

Edited by Rich Kennedy

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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Help me out here, Buck. Is this evidence of SLP (see ID under avatar)? Or is this just the sort of schmaltz morefield is dreading and cause him to delete more posts? There's a compliment in there somewhere. Really.

Edited by Rich Kennedy

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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I think this is a great idea. In general, it seems to me that Christians dont compliment one another enough... and conversely, dont always know how to receive personal compliments.

Alan, you do a tremendous job pastoring this site. It's not hard for message board communities to self-destruct overnight (i've seen it happen) and I attribute the continued viability of this forum in large part to your friendly-yet-firm leadership and active involvement. You're intelligent and proactive. Your knowledge of art and film, politics and theology is impressive... but its your consistency, your ability to diffuse the occasional conflict and redirect dead end dialogues, as well as your thoughfulness, that to me helps make A&F a place of real fellowship and learning. It also makes you much more than a moderator, which is one reason why I used another word at the top of this paragraph.

Edited by coltrane

"The things we enjoy are channels through which the divine glory strikes us, and those who love and delight in any good thing may yet learn to love God." --Gilbert Meilaender

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A handful came to mind fairly quickly:

- Alan works hard on our behalf, and humanly speaking, deserves the lion's share of thanks and credit for making this a community. Writing as a technologically unsophisticated guy, I can't imagine the energy he expends to make this site run as well as it does.

- Diane is unfailingly gracious

- Rich is an encourager, who has reached out to offer me kind words at meaningful points in these past few years

- SDG and Peter have stretched me intellectually through our conversations here, nudging me to think deeper about why I believe what I believe on important issues

- Ellen, Ann, and Michael have shared significant parts of their lives and struggles with us, in an exemplary manner

- Doug has introduced me to films old and new, broadening my viewing tastes significantly - and he's been consistently gracious to this cinematic newbie

- Jeffrey's website was one of the first to challenge me to think regularly about film as more than entertainment - those questions at the end of Jeffrey's reviews still help frame the way I think about films

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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Oh, and a couple more, and then I'll stop:

- Darren - much the same that I said to Doug, plus you introduced me to a new favorite author, Haruki Murakami; your website is insightful and splendidly diverse in its topics

- I appreciated the help provided by the contributors to the 'What Camera Should I Buy' thread. Your good advice helped me decide on my purchase, with which I'm now quite pleased. I'm grateful to all of you.

Edited by Andrew

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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SZPT is adorable.

::blush::

Help me out here, Buck. Is this evidence of SLP (see ID under avatar)? Or is this just the sort of schmaltz morefield is dreading and cause him to delete more posts? There's a compliment in there somewhere. Really.

It's mostly my abstract sense of humor. But I do love Samm! Us bald brothers need to stick together!

Yeah, Rich, I knew that was a compliment. Dan is one of the few on this board who I've found a real connection with. It helps that we've got so much in common, even our humour gels well.

At Mosaic of Arlington, my community of faith, we have a servant leader's meeting every month. One of the first things we do is have a roundabout session of "I noticed..." where we each spotlight someone who we feel needs to be commended in some way. The cynic in me says that this could mask over some real issues that need to be addressed, but I find that it also sets a great tone of love and concern, and at the very least a civility towards others in our community. Even if you disagree with someone, it's hard to be snarky when you care about them (or at least it should be hard).

Thanks for starting the thread here Ken. "I noticed" that you truly do care about authentic peace.

Rich, I have been awestruck by your ability to moderate the Politics thread with such tact and grace.

Jeffrey Overstreet has a great passion that he continually tempers with Biblical concern for others.

(Mister) Jeff (Jefe the Runtboy) has impressed me greatly with his writing skill and the level of maturity that he exhibits when he posts. I wish I was that mature at his age. Heck, I wish I was that mature at my own age.

I'd love to meet Andy Whitman someday. He was very patient with me in getting him this last round's mix CD. A patient and gentle nature permeates his posts, and he's a darn fine writer.

Andrew was very gracious to answer some questions I PM'ed him about a couple of years ago. I appreciated that highly.

TexasWill is into Macs and grilling. That's good enough for me. I'd love to meet him and Sara some day (and Solishu, and John, and Chrismo...). We've got enough (fairly) active posters to constitute our own A&F hub in the DFW area. Not to mention Jim Janknegt and Run just down I-35 in Austin.

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I'm always impressed with Sundered. He's young and so open-minded to new experiences. I wish I all my students were so voracious in their learning.

You've got a spot in my classes any day Sundered. Although, you're past high school age now, the sentiment remains.

Kennedy, I'd kick you out of class on the first day, ya rabble-rouser.

Edited by DanBuck
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Alan constantly gives, and I admire him very much for it.

Subtlety is underrated
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Golly, I don't know where to start.

Alan constantly gives, and I admire him very much for it.

A hearty AMEN! to that.

And I'm grateful to Doug for Chiaroscuro, which planted the seeds of this board.

And Peter, who was an engaging conversationist about faith and MUSIC before he and I started talking about film.

I could go on from there to give credit where credit is due to so many folks here, but that mention of music has me thinking...

I am grateful for Josh Hurst, who marched in here and said, "We're gonna do more talking about music here, folks." And he got busy doing just that, with contagious enthusiasm.

I'm similarly grateful for Andy Whitman and Thom Jurek and opus and others who have helped build up that section of the site with such experience, enthusiasm, passion, and high critical standards. I come to A&F as much for the music discussions as for film discussion now. In many ways, I think that conversation is more vital and urgent than the movie discussions. There are books about faith and film everywhere we turn right now, and site like Christianity Today Movies makes it very hard to escape such engagement.

And yet, while the wall has come down between CCM and the open country of spiritual engagement in music, so that fans of Christian music cannot help but see that much much more is happening beyond CCM's borders, the territory of Christian music criticism is still largely an untamed wilderness. And I'm excited to be living in a time when I can watch writers like these blazing trails.

I hope these guys stay around here for a long, long time, and that they draw in the next wave.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Well I think most people here would want to say nice tings about Alan, Jeffrey, Peter, SDG, Rich and Doug cos they're contribution to A&F has been massive.

I'd like to add appreciation of Prins and Dan for their humour, and Stef for the way he swings between telling the world he's the best thing since sliced bread and telling us he isn't, all with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

And Ron who's not been around much lately but still manages to drop by occasionally, and make some incredibly eloquent points which are usually pretty wise as well.

And Stu for being the only person here who I can actually watch films with.

Matt

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I appreciate the work that MikeH and Doug have done with the Flickerings festival the last few years, which has opened my horizons to some amazing films.

I appreciate Ann for being the other Cardinals fan on board. Someday everyone will see the light. ;)

And I appreciate Kenmorefield for promoting the sport of frisbee golf (the real golf, not the kind with those little white balls)

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I always look forward to posts by SDG and Christian - I always know that what they write will be thought-provoking and fun.

I always look forward to posts by Jeff Overstreet - I love his zealous approach to the arts, his eagerness to sift through the junk and trumpet the jewels, and his appreciation for some of the odder things in life.

I always look forward to posts by Peter Chattaway - his thought-provoking, rabble-rousing style often prods me to reconsider my ways of thinking at a deep level. I also love his championing of Orthodoxy, which will never be a dead faith so long as he's around.

I always look forward to posts by Andrew and Darrel Manson - though we disagree, I appreciate the irenic spirit that they bring to the table, and the willingness to stick by their convictions, and to listen well, as well.

I deeply appreciate the work Alan Thomas does for this board, and I love his free-thinking embrace of both economic liberalism and pro-life causes. I love him as an ally, and respect him as a debating opponent.

I always smile when I read a post by The Baptist Death Ray, and not just because of his username. He brings a Dennis The Menace-style rough and tumble enthusiasm to everything he does, and I like how rambunctious and impulsive he can be.

I appreciate the piercing intellect and passionate heart of nardis, newcomer to the board but deeply welcome.

I am glad for the warmth and humor of Ann D, who makes any thread more pleasant just by her contributions. I am thankful for our mutual love for The Amazing Race, and the intelligent commentary she offers on issues close to her heart.

I have always admired the passion and writing skills of Andy Whitman, longtime friend and brother. I am glad that the world is getting to read your writing, at long last.

There are so many others. It feels unfair to mention only some, but them's the breaks. :)

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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Aw shucks, SZPT. FWIW I get a lot out of your posts, and I'm glad you're here on this board. Though since you complimented me first I now sound kind of fairweather. :D

I'd like to mention Mark here. Mark, you're an all-around good dude and I'm looking forward to meeting you in Boston at some point. :)

Also, to Alan, SDG, Peter, and Jeffrey O: you guys are way cool! It was your film reviews and online work that brought me here in the first place and I've always been in awe of your intelligent writings and intimidating debate skills. Keep rockin' on. I've learned a lot from you guys about how to look at film, and consequently, life in general.

And though he doesn't post here much, I get a huge kick out of Croaker. He's a sharp fellow!

There are a lot of others who deserve mentioning, but uh, it's almost dinner time. :)

-"I... drink... your... milkshake! I drink it up!"

Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood

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Rich has been taking some invited knocks on another thread, and as he has been clear that he doesn't want or intend that to be the place for compliments, so I turn to a place that is intended for that to share the following

I recently said in a PM (slightly edited):

Were I thirsty and in need of water or lost in Michigan somewhere, I would have more confidence that you would come to my aid--political differences be damned--quicker and more sincerely than many whose ideology, theology or voting patterns resemble my own.

One of the things I've been meditating on today is where that confidence or belief comes from? I think I've seen in interacting with Rich how practices or even ideas that I might not like can have their roots in virtues and not just errors, since we are all imperfect in how we exercise and understand each other's virtues as well as each others faults.

As I thought about that I realized that part of my confidence came from a sense that loyalty (personal and corporate) was an important and modeled virtue I've seen you practice, one that I benefit from, and how the very same virtue can be what exasperates us (how can he be loyal to the Bush administration?) and comforts us (but I trust he'd have my back!)

Peace.

Ken

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I'm awed by Alan's statistical skills and grateful for his work in pulling the "Top 100" list together. Math is pretty much a closed book to me.

I appreciate the way Denny Wayman seems to have been really listening (if I can use that term in regard to written communication) when he responds to other posters. I bet he's a good pastoral counselor.

Kenmorefield's reviews often give me a different perspective or bring out points that I might not have considered, but realize I should have. He brings that kind of insight to his teaching as well.

Diane, Nardis, Ann D., TexasSara, Kebbie, and the rest of the chiques--I'm glad you're here.

This is by no means a complete list.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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More love for Doug C...I really appreciate how you challenge me to spend more time thinking about, talking about, and sharing what I like (or am challenged by) and why, instead of just picking apart what I don't.

There's a lot of junk in the arts, but there are so many good films, books, pieces of music, works of art, that can enrich our lives and our friendships; I'm grateful to have someone who gently (or not so gently) reminds me to not become enslaved to being a "critic" in the worst sense of the word.

Peace.

Ken

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  • 2 weeks later...

To MLeary, M Dale Prins, and stef--there are few who make me laugh harder than you do, especially when you start snarking at each other (or other posters).

Subtlety is underrated
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Everytime I read one of Andy Whitman's posts, either here or on his blog, I find myself swinging back and forth between not ever wanting to write again, and hoping that someday I'll become even half as insightful and prolific.

Of course, the same could be said for Overstreet, SDG, Doug C, Peter, and many others.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
Opus, Twitter, Facebook

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I want to give a shout-out to tctruffin who devotes his days to teaching young people, and his passion for good writing and good movies and good art is an example for them.

Recently, Truffin heard a few fellow artists yammering on about how it's too alienating when artists devote a lot of attention to craft and technique... and what really matters, they said, is the passion for the work and the message you're getting across.

The fact that it was an educator making these remarks, and someone viewed as an inspiration and an authority on the subject of good writing, made this double scandalous.

Truffin was startled, dismayed, even grieved, and we had a long talk about it. I basically talked him back from the edge of a bridge, and reminded him that there are reasons to go on living. I assume he'll do the same for me the next time that I, against my better judgment, visit a certain Christian film review Web site.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Alan Thomas has accomplished a mighty work, again, with this year's Top 100. It's my favorite of the three lists, and I suspect he put a whole lot of work into it.

Thanks, Alan. It's a useful and inspiring list.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I'm currently reading Magnum: Fifty Years At The Front Line Of History, about the Magnum photo agency.

In some ways it kind of reminds me of this place - a lot of creative people with masses of conviction, a dash of passion thrown in, some egos bashing into one another occassionally, and an end product that makes you stop, look around and think.

So. To this bizarre mish mash of individuals rendered into a community: you've achieved something that I personally believe to be pretty darn impressive. Thanks.

Edited by gigi

"There is, it would seem, in the dimensional scale of the world a kind of delicate meeting place between imagination and knowledge, a point, arrived at by diminishing large things and enlarging small ones, that is intrinsically artistic" - Vladimir Nabokov

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