Saturday, June 24, 2006

My Finger on the Pulse

Talk about weird coincidences.

Over the years I've got a lot of reading done during commercials of sporting events I've watched. (Bear with me; I'll get to the coincidence when I get to it). Today I found a new way to maximize my time. I downloaded lots of Superman Returns stuff (mostly interviews from across the Web) and realized that I could get a lot of reading done while waiting for stuff to buffer/load/or otherwise become watchable. I picked up a copy of Chuck Klosterman's "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" that just arrived in the mail. ON page 17 I encountered this remarkable passage:

" suddenly occurred to me that there would always be road construction--not always on this particular road, but somewhere. There will never be a point in my lifetime when all highways are fixed...It's completely impossible to envision a day where I could drive from New York to California without hitting roadwork somewhere along the way. It will always exist, and there's nothing I can do about it. And for the first time, that really made me sad." If Chuck ever does a book signing near me I should go just to share with him the point I raised in the post directly below-- just to make him feel better.

A less striking but still odd coincidence occurred earlier in the week, shortly after my post about "how to consume media." I am reading "Total Truth" by the Christian author Nancy Pearcy. On page 57 I ran across this passage:

"Artists are often the barometers of society, and by analyzing the worldviews embedded in their works we can learn a great deal about how to address the modern mind more effectively...a Christian radio personality recently wagged a stern finger at Elvis Presley for the immoral content of his songs, without ever asking whether his songs were good as music (which they certainly were), or raising other worldview questions, such as why popular culture has such an impact. When the only form of cultural commentary Christians offer is moral condemnation, no wonder we come across to nonbelievers as angry and scolding."

I think it bears pointing out that there can also be the same type of secular condemnation, such as the newspaper columnist's blanket condemnation of "The Omen" that I referenced below. Speaking of ways in which the secular world has adopted condemnation, I was also struck by this passage from the same paragraph in Pearcey's book:

"At a Christian college, I once took an English course from a professor whose idea of critiquing classic works of literature was to tabulate how many times the characters used bad language or engaged in illicit sexual relations. He seemed blind to the books' literary quality--whether or not they were good as literature."

I got a chuckle out of this observation, since the trend in secular English departments over the last 20 years in higher education is to take classic literature and tabulate how many times the white male characters oppress women and minorities, while seemingly blind to the books' literary quality.

I'm also currently reading "The Making of the English Working Class" by E.P. Thompson. I'm guessing somewhere in the 800 pages has to be a defense of the Fahrenheit system.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm reading The Devil Wears Prada.

2:40 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

i have a feeling you will not be finding a defense for the fahrenheit system in a book about the english. if my noggin serves me right, i remember that they lean on the celcius scale as does nearly everyone else besides us. ya gotta love being the odd ball country that refuses to lear globaly accepted systems.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...


okay, you said a lot about "coincidence" i have a "band" that's called...

Coincidence Can Kill


9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do you know i'm robin?
i'm your STALKER.
i know where you live heidi.
i know where you sleep.
i know what roughing it REALLY means.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Enjoy_Every_Sandwich said...

Those books you're reading sound slightly...shall we say tedious? My sister's boyfriend reads books like that. He has a whole 300 and some page book about the history of E=mc2. I am not even kidding. And he reads about the history of IBM and stuff. And he tells me a biography of Johnny Cash would be boring. I'm try to help him out by giving him good books. I think I've turned him on to Michael Crichton.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Score one for the blogosphere! You're so cutting edge you have stuff that you can find in old books!

(On a non-sarcastic note, Chuck Klosterman IV drops Sept. 5th.)

7:12 PM  

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