Monday, June 30, 2008

America's Calling, Harry Truman

There’s another chain e-mail floating around, the “message” type that puts things in the simplest manner possible so that issues can be misunderstood by everyone. This one isn’t too offensive. It simply asks you, “Don’t you miss Ronald Reagan?” by quoting some of his better lines—some humorous (“The most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’”) and some pretty stirring (“No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women).

I dont know that I can agree that we need another Reagan. Certainly we could use someone with his optimism, his humor and his simplicity. But more than that, we need someone who can be both optimistic and honest to the point of bluntness, someone who can simple without being simplistic.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Making Adultery Naïve

Dear CBS:

This is in regards to your “new hit series” Swingtown.

Certainly, after a mere sixty years of television broadcasting, I can understand that new concepts are harder to come by. Eventually, the “reality series” well, which never really succeeded in bringing anything “real” to the air, had to start running dry, which in turn meant that all the writers would actually have to begin writing dialogue again. And certainly, you’ve had to do your best to end-run the rules against full-frontal nudity and the Seven Words You Can’t Say On (Network) TV so your shows could compete against the more pornographic, foulmouthed offerings on premium cable channels.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The "New" Atheism: The Same Old Story

The cover of the November 2006 Wired issue boldly proclaimed “The New Atheism: No Heaven. No Hell. Just Science.” However, as the article’s author, Gary Wolf, readily admitted early on, atheism doesn’t have any new arguments to offer. Even the sarcastic abuse is stale.

The only thing really “new” about the New Atheism is a missionary zeal. No longer are atheists content simply to sit around university clubrooms feeling contemptuous of the ignorant, superstitious masses; they’re now on a mission from no-God to free the minds of others.