Showing posts from April, 2009

money for nothing

i am not a populist. most of the time. i try to leave the populism to folk like lou dobbs, sean hannity, and glenn beck (although sometimes populism gets blended in with craziness with these guys). still, in a recent sermon from the ten commandments against stealing, i mentioned merrill lynch's payment of executive bonuses just days before its takeover by bank of america. as a very relevant example of greed. angry nods from the congregation.

i do not pretend to understand the complexity of "toxic mortgages," tarp bailouts, or recovery packages. but it seems to me that we forget our outrage very quickly, which dooms us to fail again and again. last week i watched an american experience film telling the story of the wall street crash of 1929. it was produced in 1990, a couple of years after the stock market crash of 1987. it was obviously re-aired now because 2008 recalls 1987, which recalls 1929. do we see a pattern here? everyone says the stock market and the e…

under the tree of life

yesterday i went to see knowing, not knowing (ha ha) what to expect. i had not seen a trailer for it. i only knew that nicolas cage was the star (always a risk there), and that alex proyas directed, the same guy behind the brilliant dark city in 1998. i also knew it was sci-fi.

the film opens in 1959, as a new primary school is dedicated. the occasion is marked with a time capsule, and the children of the school draw pictures to place in it, to be opened 50 years later. one little girl, disturbed by whispering voices, does not draw a picture-- she writes a series of random numbers. or so we think. 50 years later nic cage is an astrophysics professor at mit, whose son attends the same school. at the ceremony the kids choir sings this little light of mine, which i thought was an interesting choice for kids to sing in public school in 2009! the capsule is opened, and cage's kid is given the note with the numbers.

turns out the numbers are a code: dates of terrible tragedies, …