Wednesday, December 19

We just had carpets cleaned, which is all well and good except for the fact that I'm presently crammed against my desk with a stack of kitchen chairs at my back, the baby can't crawl anywhere, and Katie is having to deal with - one- more - day until we can get those decorations up. Maybe not. Maybe the carpet will be dry by nine or so, and she can have at it.

Oh, yes. The only other problem with getting the carpet cleaned was the carpet cleaner backed his van into a pillar holding up part of the roof that hangs over our front door. Why can't anything be uncomplicated?

Is this the world's funniest joke? We report, you decide.
I've thought for a long time that cable (and now satellite) makes PBS unneccesary. News? Got it, of any ideological stripe you require (CNN, Fox, MSNBC) or none (CSpan). Children's programming? Got it, even with minimal commercials (Nick Jr.) and without the painful PC contortions. I hadn't watched Sesame Street in years, but knew immediately what I'd happened upon the other day when I saw a scene with a child in a wheelchair playing wedding with stuffed bears, one white and one brown, explaining to Elmo that it didn't matter what color married people were. Educational and science programming? History Channel, Discovery, etc...etc...

Now I have to stand up and say, along with this columnist, I don't need PBS for another reason: I already get the Home Shopping Network. I thought PBS couldn't go lower than Yanni. I was apparently mistaken.

Go me. Just got done writing two columns, finishing off those particular responsibilities off until after the new year. I'll have you know that this was only possible through repeated - and I mean repeated playings of Christmas Time's A' Comin' on my computer's CD player for the benefit of the musical connoisseur in the playpen behind me. Every time I hear a whimper even start, I hit it, and the whimper is immediately replaced by happy bouncing. Thank you, Emmylou.
Looking to move beyond Ebert? There are lots of good film review sites out there not tied to the entertainment establishment. Just this morning I discovered Decent Films, a site featuring the reviews of Steven D. Greydanus, who writes for a number of Catholic publications. Then there's the relatively new website of James Bowman, film critic for the American Spectator. Also invaluable is Christianity Today's Film Forum, appearing weekly, which casts a net far and wide to collect pertinent reviews of current films.
Ron Rosenbaum has a good piece that starts from the point of Johnny Walker Taliban in the New York Observer, and then moves into an exploration of the bogus quest for "authenticity":

But while he might have switched allegiance from the gods of hip-hop to the God of Islam, there is something common to both of his quests: making a graven image, a false idol, out of authenticity. Just as he’d pledge allegiance to the hardest of hard-core hip-hop to fashion a simulacrum of authenticity, so he had to seek out the most extreme, most puritanical sects of Islam, confusing authenticity with purity. A confusion evident in the mistaken assumption that authenticity must always be found not just in Otherness, but Oppositeness.

Why Elitist Schools are a Waste of Money, part 376. See Michael Kelly's column on a piece in Newsweek by a Yale student who's pained and hesitant about judging the September 11 attacks for what they were.

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