Well, 2010 is Unorthodox So Far…

mawwiage.jpg Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Some movies yield many memorable lines.
Crash, Eddie: Were you killed?
Buck: Sadly, yes. — But I lived!
Sometimes I start to wonder if we even know what we’re saying anymore.

But let’s clarify.

I think Andrew meant unorthodox as in unusual or breaking with convention, rather than unorthodox as in a doctrine at variance with the officially recognized position. But I could be wrong. I do know that we’re losing our grip on the meaning of the word “marriage” — not for talk of extending it (or not) to gay and lesbian unions, but for talk of whether it represents a spiritual or a legal union and whether it’s a contract or a covenant and what technicalities facilitate their binding constitution or allowable dissolution.

Encountering Harry Potter

harry-potter570x250 I’m just barely returned from the world of Harry Potter. Having put off reading the books for so long now, I finally gave in and picked up a couple of the books in a used bookstore. After they sat on the shelf for a month or so, I finally started reading. Of course I’ve heard many things about the books, and am aware of the controversy that they caused in some ultra-conservative circles who forgot that C.S. Lewis also wrote children’s fantasy with magic in the books. I’d heard that they were well-written, and I now have to say that indeed, they are. Much better than a John Grisham novel, and not sloppily-written as a number of the bestselling authors are in the grownup world. As a writer, I confess I’m a little taken with the story of a single mother in a tiny apartment crafting a novel series in her spare time after work and landing a worldwide sensation. Also as a writer, I’ve been making a point of reading well-written fiction in the past few years, and despite being branded as children’s literature, the Harry Potter series landed squarely within this category for me.

The Autumnal Equinox Emergence. -ed.

nextwave117cover.jpg Yesterday afternoon, the Autumnal Equinox occurred, summer ended, and fall began in the northern hemisphere where I reside. I noticed this today when Google‘s logo changed to a fall theme for the day. The fall colours have begun to emerge… wait, can I still use that word? The emergent leaves are beginning to turn… uh… I’m enjoying the fall colours. And in an apparently unrelated turn of events, the new issue of Next-Wave is out, with a cover story titled Emerge-ed?, which may possibly sound familiar, as I wrote and published it here a few weeks ago. The post takes a kind of summary view of the discussion around the abandonment of the term “emerging” or “emergent” with perhaps even an insight or two of my own in there. The post received some linkage and clearly resonated with a number of people… which I think might be fully attributable to the way it rides the coattails of a cult classic for which I’ve unwittingly awakened some kind of craving.

Ten Movies to Make You Think

moviefilmcan.jpg Like a lot of other bloggers in this general emerging/missional conversation, I’ve mentioned some movies in the past, considering some metaphor or other that I’ve extracted. There are in fact a lot of movies out there with poignant themes, but I thought I would take a stab at listing ten that have themes relevant to the conversation in which we find ourselves. Some of these I’ve mentioned here before, and others I haven’t. I’m listing them in alphabetical order since this isn’t really a “top ten” list, so there isn’t another order that would make any more sense than that. For each one, I will attempt to give a bit of a precis and some reasoning why it fits into this list.

Film Club: There are Just Two Rules.


What do you do when your kid is a “smart, sensitive, restless, chain-smoking 16-year-old who [is] flunking out of everything at school”? In the case of author David Gilmour, his response to his son Jesse is told in his new book The Film Club: A Memoir (Canadian title, The Film Club: A True Story of a Father and a Son). Perplexed and exasperated, “Gilmour finally let Jesse drop out, with only two conditions: he couldn’t do drugs, and he had to agree to watch three movies a week with the old man” (CBC Review). Now this is a decidedly unusual approach, to say the least. No hitting the roof? No throwing him out? No grounding until he’s 37? No “Then get a job, you bum!”? I haven’t read the book, but I understand it works out in the end… both are presently at the University of Toronto, one as a student and the other as a visiting literary professor. It sounds like through this exceptionally bold move, Gilmour just stumbled into something. Something important.

The Mission, the Music, and the Unanswered Questions

themission_movie.jpg I was certain I had mentioned this a while back, as I recall hearing the story a year or so ago, but Justin Baeder mentioned it just recently and I couldn’t find where I might have mentioned it in my archives. Justin links to an NPR story about the discovery of baroque sheet music in Jesuit missions in the Bolivian jungle. Long-forgotten, some of the music dates to the 17th century, and is original to the people of the area. Apparently the original score of one of the pieces recovered is on the Soundtrack by Ennio Morricone with the London Symphony Orchestra. I’ve been listening to — and loving — that soundtrack on CD since 1986, and it’s probably time that I picked up the DVD and watched it again.