On Wednesday, while the rest of the world, including me, was wondering how Apple’s tablet might revolutionize reading, arguably the greatest living writer, passed away.
J.D. Salinger, known around the world for his eminent coming of age novel, Catcher in the Rye died in his New Hampshire home at the age of 91. Catcher is a great novel, no doubt. And I’m sure for many people it was life changing. Salinger changed my life too, but with a different book, Franny and Zooey.
To say that reading these two stories back in 2002 altered the direction my life took in the years since is an understatement. I want to be clear as humanly possible here. When the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the foundation of every belief I had developed in my 20 years on the earth was at the moment of its greatest jeopardy in my life, when doubt held me so tightly that I could barely breathe, Seymour’s Fat Lady, a specter of a character that lingers at Zooey’s conclusion saved my faith.
Well, yesterday brought two big speeches. There was that one late in the evening, something about politics, or the economy…I’m not sure really, it was late. And then there was the big one, right in the middle of the day, the one that introduced something truly new and innovative. I’m talking, of course, about the introduction of the long awaited iPad.
Okay, I’m going to be adult and avoid making jokes about the name as everyone else seems to be doing. But the fact is, in many ways this announcement really did overshadow the President’s State of the Union address. As I observed (and tweeted about) yesterday, the number one searched-for phrase on Google yesterday was about the rumored Apple tablet. On top of that, there were no less than three additional entries regarding the announcement of the device. Coming in at a humble number six, was something about the State of the Union speech.
DREAM-JOURNALING SHOULD come with a warning.
For Freelance Whales founder Judah Dadone, charting his slumbering conscious led to awkward Craigslist encounters — including a 50-year-old man posing as a 23-year-old girl — busking in New York City train stations, the creation of feathery pop music and a record deal. Not the typical route to success, but who’s complaining?
The bad and the boring could have been the working title for claustrophobia-inducing show at the backstage of the Black Cat last Thursday night.
“Federal authorities have arrested four men on felony charges for attempting to infiltrate Sen. Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office, including one filmmaker who targeted the community group ACORN last year in undercover videos.
Among those arrested was 25-year-old James O’Keefe, the conservative filmmaker, along with Joseph Basel, Robert Flanagan and Stan Dai, all 24. They were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses and attempting to gain access to the Democrat’s office by posing as telephone repairmen, according to a copy of an FBI affidavit unsealed Tuesday.”
I’m not going to make a definitive statement on what this means for O’Keefe’s work in the last year, but a few thoughts do stick in my head (besides the extreme irony of the situation).
1) O’Keefe is a dishonest crook. If this turns out to be a pattern of behavior for the young camera-toter’s life, then the conclusions drawn by his released tapes should be questioned and all the crowing over the demise of Acorn should be put on-hold for a few short seconds.
2) O’Keefe is stupid. This may be the case of a kid who had a brilliant idea to do a little undercover journalism last year, struck the jackpot and decided to keep spinning the wheel. It’s not hard to imagine the thought process, especially dealing with the Louisiana Purchase that Landrieu helped engineer in the recent dealings with health care. If O’Keefe is honest, then his zealous nature got the best of him and he committed an incredibly stupid act that could screw him for the rest of his life. Just remember, gonzo journalism and criminal action aren’t always that far apart.
3) Conservatives Must Denounce O’Keefe. Sorry buddy, but this is not a hill that any rational-thinking writer should die on. Wiretapping is a federal offence carrying up to a “$200,000 fine and 10 years in prison.” This is not an issue that our judgement should be nuanced over. This type of behavior is unacceptable, criminal and cannot be justified by, “well, she was probably doing something wrong.” What are we, five-year-olds getting into fights in the sandbox?
This is a tremendous opportunity for conservatives to show that the morals and beliefs that we claim to believe, actually have applicability in our lives. This is the time for us to be reasonable and jettison O’Keefe.
Hope the 15 minutes were fun.
In the Opinion section of Sunday’s New York Times, literary critic James Wood (who I mentioned a few months back was at the n+1 panel on Evangelicals and Intellectuals and subsequently mentioned in my opinion piece on that subject) contributed an essay entitled “Between God and a Hard Place.”
The essay explores two ways that God has been attributed to the earthquake in Haiti and offers a bit of historical perspective to the genre of preaching he refers to as the “earthquake sermon.” In the span of two paragraphs we travel with Wood through London and Lisbon, hear the voices of Leibniz, Voltaire and even John Wesley before landing on our very own “earthquake-sermonizer,” Pat Robertson.
In mentioning Leibniz, Wood obviously directs the reader to the concept of “theodicy.” For those not familiar with the term it is essentially the continued belief in the goodness of God in the face of evil. Robertson’s response, Wood explains, is “classic theodicy.”
Photo via Brooklyn Vegan
I’ve always wanted to see what the inside of Radio City Music Hall looks like, but I’ve never wanted to see the Rockettes. Fortunately, on Tuesday night the Swell Season and Josh Ritter played a sold out show in that famed hall for which my wife and I were fortunate enough to have tickets.
Needless to say, I was very excited. And, really, the wanting-to-see-Radio-City-thing paled in comparison to the caliber of the show we were treated to. You may know The Swell Season as Glen Hansard (also of The Frames) and Marketa Irglova.
Not ringing a bell? Uhoh.
Ok, fine, you may also know them as that amazing duo that starred in the movie “Once” and won an Academy Award for best song for “Falling Slowly” from that film.
The arm-length tattoos weren’t the only Chris Carraba comparisons evoked by Gaslight Anthem front-man Brian Fallon at the Black Cat last Saturday night. The love or hate one had for the solo show could come down to a simple question, “Did you secretly love MTV Unplugged?” and “Do sing-alongs send shivers down your spine?”
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