This is a blog about the arts and what I like. It will include discussions of literature, music, film and art.

Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bungle in the Jungle

Since I'm off work this week, I'm seeing more Hollywood movies. Usually my husband and I mostly see indie or documentary films. I saw The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe this week. This movie was very enjoyable, and I just finished reading The Magician's Nephew last night. I've chosen to dive into CS Lewis in a big way, since I've read very little of his work. I like his stuff, but I still like Tolkien more. I've been a Hobbit fan for more than 35 years.

Yesterday I saw King Kong, which ran twice as long as it should have. The acting was awesome. Jack Black, Adrian Brody and Naomi Watts are all favorites of mine, and their acting kept me from leaving the theatre. The movie lost me when Skull Island was full of dinosaurs (brontasauruses, velociraptors and tyranasaurus rexes), and the main characters just ran after the overgrown gorilla. Hello, people, animals, which have been extinct for a long time, are running around prolific as mice, and you guys are chasing the one big ape to take back to civilization.

Although I like the point of the movie that people often destroy the things they love, the story is just plain silly. Also, I didn't understand why the bats suddenly started attacking Kong. I enjoyed the overgrown bugs and worms. I did excuse the extremely long story occasionally and give in to the suspense.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Silent Night

This is probably one of my favorite Christmas songs, but it has nothing to do with my blog entry today, except to say Merry Christmas!!

I finished reading The Last Temptation of Christ last week. I found it laborious this time around, although I understand Christ's sacrifice better and better each time I read it.

I've bought the Chronicles of Narnia for Christmas, and have started reading it. It's too early for me to make a judgment, but it seems more Harry Potter than Lord of the Rings, but like I said, it's too early to critique.

We saw Munich, the new Steven Spielberg movie, yesterday. I enjoyed it and came away from it with a greater understanding as to why we probably haven't caught Bin Laden. The movie is much too bloody for me, but I enjoyed it despite the gore, which I'm sure is necessary to show what a high stakes world tracking terrorists is.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I'll Follow You into the Dark

I don't listen to a lot of new music, but I try to listen to some. I'll sample the Itunes of my fellow coworkers, almost all of whom are much younger than I. So like last year, I listened to Modest Mouse, whom I like. I mean these guys wrote a song called Bukowski. They gotta be smart.

I've heard a lot about Death Cab for Cutie. I sampled some of their music and bought the new CD, Plans. It is awesome. My husband thinks I like because it sounds like a lot of John Lennon's music. I like it primarily because the music is good and the lyrics are poetic and intelligent. I love the song "I'll Follow You into the Dark" the most. It's my favorite song on the CD. I told my husband that he could play it at my funeral if I die before he does.

Lies! Lies! Lies!

Yesterday I saw Marc Levin's documentary Protocols of Zion at the Belcourt Theatre. I had never heard of the Protocols of Zion before I saw a trailer for this movie, although I had heard the rumor that no Jews died in the World Trade Center terrorist attack. I never believed that rumor, but the filmmaker interviewed people in this documentary who did believe it.

The movie emphasized to me the increasing amount of skepticism we need to have about what we hear and read on television, the internet and newspapers. I need to be more tolerant of religions like Islam about which I know very little.

The movie made me angry that we don't investigate hearsay more especially in these religious volatile times.

This movie showed a brief scene from Mel Gibson's Passion which made me physically ill. I don't understand at all why Passion was so well received. I understand the meaning now behind Christ's suffering and death, but I still choose to remember him by his teachings about love.

My song today is a hit from the 60s by the Knickerbockers. Linda Ronstadt covered it in the 70s.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I Shall Be Free

I'm reading a book that really disturbs me. I couldn't fall to sleep last night because I kept thinking of it. It's Philip Roth's The Plot Against America.

Oddly enough, I bought it in an airport recently because I didn't feel comfortable reading The Last Temptation of Christ, which I was currently reading, on an airplane. I had originally read Last Temptation years ago when the movie was released amid lots of controversy. I feared that some Religious Right nut would freak out if I were reading Last Temptation on an airplane.

That's why The Plot Against America scares me so much. I no longer feel free to act and read what I want in America.

I've read just over one third of Roth's book, and I find it reflective of what is going on in the United States now. I truly don't think that Roth is writing about World War II. He is writing about George Bush's America and the kidnapping of our country by fundamentalist Christians.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

My Back Pages

Last Sunday evening at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville, the new Bob Dylan documentary made by Martin Scorsese was previewed. It will air on PBS next week.

It's in two parts, and we just stayed to watch the first part, as we had attended the Titans/Ravens game that afternoon and were somewhat sunburned and tired. The first part explores Dylan's early influences, his growing up in Hibbling, Minn., and the beginnings of his career. I was mesmerized by the production. The older I get the more I am blown away by the wisdom and truth in his early lyrics. I view Dylan as a prophet during my generation.

While we were driving home from the show, my husband and I discussed who else is in his class. While Bruce Springsteen (The Ballad of Tom Joad) and Kurt Cobain (Smells like Teen Spirit) wrote some piercing and startling lyrics, they are dwarfed by Dylan. Pete Seeger (Turn Turn Turn) and Woody Guthrie (This Land Is Your Land) are there, but I don't know enough about them to know if they were as prolific as Bob Dylan.

I highly recommend watching this television show next week.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Pinball Wizard

I just finished reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. To me, the book is about coping with the skills you have and about problem solving.

I liked the book. I often wondered while reading the book whether or not, I'm autistic. I have lots of characteristics that make me think that because I have lots of public and private phobias that control me. I don't lie down and scream in public places, but often I would like to do that. But I guess that everyone has these phobias. At least, I believe my husband does, too.

The book was recommended for all the entering freshmen at the University of Tennessee/Knoxville this year, and I understand why. For a lot of these students, they will be required for the first time in their lives to live on their own and will have to cope with the skills they have. Scholastically, I did very well in college, but I had limited social skills that made me a terrible roommate and often, a terrible date or girlfriend. Likewise, when I graduated college, I had no skills to look for work, but like Christopher in the book, I succeeded with the skills I did have.

I was really puzzled to come up with a song for this entry in my blog. The Who's Pinball Wizard is about a deaf, dumb and blind kid who is a pinball wizard, a person who has learned to succeed with the limited skills he has. Just like the rest of us.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


America, as in the song and as in the country where all men are created equal, is my land of birth. I am angry with my country because of what happened in New Orleans this week. No one deserved to spend more than one night in that horrible environment after Hurricane Katrina hit.

I never thought that I would be as angry and sad as I was after September 11, 2001, but that day pales in comparison for me because we have failed as a nation to live up to our ideals. As Pogo once stated, "we have met the enemy and it is us."

How could any of our political leaders let old people, sick people and children sit for hours in the heat in a town which stinks on a normal day? I can't imagine what the stench was like there this week. Although I liked New Orleans for its unique character, it smelled of piss, stale beer and garbage.

How could the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency say that he didn't know that the convention center was full of people who were left homeless by the hurricane? I guess all that the Department of Homeland Security has accomplished in four years is taking tweezers away from middle aged women who board airplanes.

Finally President Bush and his crew have been embarrassed into action. After almost a week, most of the city has been evacuated. Let's all get together and clean the mess up, but most important, let's treat our fellow countrymen with respect and love. Let's remember that all of us are equal no matter what our economic status or skin color. In an emergency such as 9/11 or 8/28, it definitely shouldn't matter.