Sunday, October 30, 2005

Yikes, a whole week

I've been busy, as you can probably guess. No new books to report having completed. I started A Tale of Two Cities. I have no clue how I read this in high school. Even now, with ten years of good reading under my belt, I stumble over the rhythm of Dickens' words and the almost excessive extravagance of his words and imagery. Maybe I just bleeped over the words I couldn't pronounce, like Linus reading The Brothers Karamazov. And also, I didn't pay such careful attention to the author's choice of words and how they sound or even what they were saying, when I was 15. Back then, I read like a child, only wanting to know what happens next. Now it is more alive to me. Or, most likely, maybe it is stupid to think you can read Classic English Literature in the commercial breaks for South Park.

I don't watch much South Park because I am too busy. But I caught a great episode, "Christian Rock Hard," a rerun from a couple of years back. The boys are starting a band, but Cartman sucks, so the other guys kick him out, and he bets them $20 that he can get a platinum album doing Christian music before the other guys get a platinum album. Then he takes pop songs and replaces the word "baby" with "Jesus", a testament to the blandness of most Christian music these days. But the love songs Cartman picks are about, ahem, adult situations. I laughed and laughed. Cartman gets his million records sold to the adoring CCM community, but the Christian music execs give him a "myrrh" album instead of a platinum album. Cartman loses the $20 bet that he sold all those records to win (and he spent all the money from his recording contract on an enormous celebration of his winning the bet). He can never go platinum (but he can go "double myrrh", what a great line). In anger, he curses Jesus in public and his audience evaporates.

There is a parable in the Gospels about reserving judgment of others until the Judgment Day exposes all people for what we are, at Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. Here is a good homily on it. I was thinking about this today because it came up in the sermon (we were visiting Aldersgate Methodist in Brigham City). I will have a profounder thought on this later, I hope. But one of the reasons I like that South Park episode is that Cartman has his Day of Judgment for his hypocritical salesmanship of slop to the naive Christians.

I am creating a backlog of promised postings: Hubris, Gay Marriage, and now the Final Judgment. And I also need to do one on our awesome pumpkins. But that's it for tonight.

Update [11/8]: Yikes. I was rereading this post and noticed a misuse of word that I just hate. I have been somehow infected by this word. It is "testament", as in "a testament to the blandness of most Christian music these days.", meaning "evidence of". Hmmm... I just looked it up on Google, which sent me here, and it turns out "evidence of" is now an accepted usage. But that says to me that the word has deteriorated from "statement of belief; credo" and "will". Another casualty of the mush-mouthed MTV generation, I guess.

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