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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Movie violence

My recent viewing of Kick-Ass got me thinking about movie violence. I've been trying to solidify my thoughts about it, and here is what I've come up with so far:

I have no problem when filmmakers depict acts of violence. Nor do I have a problem with filmmakers depicting acts of extreme violence. I don't even have a problem with filmmakers depicting acts of sadistic violence. What I do have a problem with, and this goes for Kick-Ass in a most exceptional way, is when filmmakers depict sadistic violence and then positively reaffirm it for the audience. 

There is plenty of sadistic violence in Schindler's List, but it is a beautiful, brilliant, good film about the horrors of what man does to man. There is some sick sadism in A History of Violence, but that film is ultimately anti-violence. There are plenty of sadistic villains in the James Bond films, but such a thing is designed to put the audience against the bad guys and for the good guys. Even when Bond himself turns ice-cold in his use of violence, it never makes the audience feel good about it. If anything, it makes me slightly afraid of the hero.

What Kick-Ass does is show a little girl brutally slaying a room full of criminals, with which I would not necessarily have taken issue, but for the ones she kills who aren't even putting up a fight, and the expression of glee on her face as she does so, and the way the audience members around me seemed to be enjoying it. Put all these things together, and it makes me sick.

(Criticisms such as these are also why I think Crank is one of the filthiest movies ever made and is one of, if not the worst movie I've ever watched.)

I'm still not sure how I feel about Kick-Ass as a whole. There is a lot about it that I really appreciate, but I can not and will not get on board with thinking there is anything good about treating sadism so lightly.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Google Search Top 10: "How do I...."

10. how do i breathe lyrics

9. how do i delete my myspace

8. how do i live without you song lyrics

7. how do i download youtube videos

6. how do i delete my facebook account

5. how do i love thee

4. how do i look

3. how do i know if i'm pregnant

2. how do i get a passport

1. how do i find my ip address

I find numbers 1 and 7 amusing.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Why do you seek the living among the dead?

I can't tell you how many times in my youth I said the "sinner's prayer." I always felt like maybe I'd forgotten to say something important, that I'd missed a key phrase or idea. I always felt I was still a hopeless sinner. In October of 1998, I went to a Three Crosses concert in Pine Bush, New York. It was that night I had an epiphany: By grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourself--it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).

I'd like to share with you, in honor of the resurrection we celebrate today, my favorite Three Crosses song (which, perhaps not coincidentally, was co-written by my favorite band of the past 15 years). I also encourage you, whether you have that faith or not, even if just to get a better perspective on what Christians celebrate today, or why we celebrate it, to read the biblical passages of Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20. It is so important, that all four of the gospel accounts include it. The crucifixion would have been meaningless without it. It is, in truth, the moment on which our faith and our freedom from sin and death hinge.

(Disclaimer: I've tried about 30 times, and the formatting keeps getting messed up for some reason.)

"The Stone Was Rolled Away"

Written by Three Crosses & Jars of Clay
Recorded by Three Crosses for the album Jefferson Street (1996)
You wrote them off as fables,
Just stories that you'd use to pass the time
But still there's something calling you,
Begging you to read between the lines

Seeing the signs, the signs of His grace
Now you're awakened by the Spirit's embrace

The stone was rolled away....

Watching now in judgment,

You've heard the truth but rarely seen the light
But somehow when you look again, you're seeing something deeper,
A change that brings new life

Seeing the signs, trusting your faith
Now you're awakened by the Spirit's embrace

The stone was rolled away 
(You know you'll never find the living among the dead)....

Why can't you see?

(I tried to catch a glimpse of You, but all I saw was an empty tomb)

I am so free

(How was I to understand that You were God and You were man?)

What more can I do or say?

The stone was rolled away....

"Why do you seek the living among the dead?" (Luke 24:5)