Archive for the ‘Videos’ category

Whedon Wimps Out

January 19, 2010

Matthew Archbold over at the excellent Creative Minority Report blog posts this item about his dismay with famous writer and director Joss Whedon, creator of the hit TV shows “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “Firefly,” and “Dollhouse.” Matthew really loves Whedon’s work but really took exception to remarks Whedon made when he accepted an Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism from the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard. Here’s a clip:

I find myself in the same boat with Matthew. I’ve never been a big fan of vampires, so I was never a regular Buffy watcher. When I did watch the show, I noticed the frequent snarky swipes at religion, but it was hard not to like “Buffy” because it was so well written. I loved “Firefly,” in part, precisely because of the continuing dialogue between the skeptical, embittered Mal Reynolds and the minister, “Shepherd” Book. I want to like Whedon too, but in this instance, he clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I find it ironic that he says he had to have his value as a person confirmed by a “shout out” from Obama. If Whedon would check the first few chapters of Genesis, he’d find the fundamental statement that all human beings, male and female, are created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore have inestimable value. If he were to check the New Testament, he would find the revolutionary idea that the Son of God gave his own life and rose from the dead in order to redeem human beings from the power of sin and death. This strongly suggests that the God Whedon doesn’t believe in thinks that human beings must have some value.

I find it ironic that he insists that “education” is the answer to the world’s ills, but he either forgets or doesn’t know that the founder of all the great European universities was the Catholic Church. Harvard, the school at which he is speaking, was founded as a a religious institution. Whedon accepts his award from atheists and addresses his audience of atheists in a church on the university campus. No irony there.

Finally, his assertion that “faith in God means believing in something with absolutely no evidence,” while faith in humanism means “believing in something with a huge amount of evidence to the contrary,” has the argument exactly backward. G. K. Chesterton once said that original sin was the only part of Christianity that could readily be proven. Human history is replete with evil, barbarism, and cruelty, and yes, much of it has been done by those who claimed to believe in God. But where is the evidence that human beings can be truly good without God? The two most evil and barbaric regimes of the twentieth century, Nazism and Communism, were either officially or de facto atheistic, with the power of the Church legally subservient to that of the state. The central premise of Christianity, as Flannery O’ Connor put it, was that God looked upon the world in all its horror and decided that it was worth dying for. In other words, God looked upon human beings in all their cruelty, ignorance, and malice but knew human beings and their world could be changed, transformed, and redeemed–but only by Christ’s own sacrifice of himself on the cross.

Sorry, Joss. Even though you’re at Harvard, for that weak attack on Christianity and paltry defense of humanism, I’d have to give you a failing grade.


A New Christmas Carol

December 23, 2009

Just when you thought all the great Christmas songs and carols had been written, along comes this new item from composer Gerald McClain:

This Christmas Joy
by Gerald McClain

In swaddling clothes to us arrive,
This Jesus Christ, our hopes revive!
In Marys arms, her little boy:
This tiny babe, death to destroy.

Was not in clouds, come down to reign
But from a girl in labor pain; (Revelation 12: 2)
Not in a throne was he to lay
But in a manger full of hay.

Welcome to Him from us today,
This Christmas joy, in us to stay.

From foreign lands their homage paid:
To Bethlehem, the star did say.
Fall prostrate where did shepherds come;
Laid out their gifts a costly sum.

Then in a dream: from Herods gaze,
Another path to home was made.
A furious king proclaimed forthright
That innocents shall loose their life.

Though in a world with evil known,
This Christmas joy, Love has outshone.

Give glory to the Fathers Son:
Begotten of the Holy One.
Though evry part is from the same,
The Word to us in flesh he came.

A preview of the coming years,
A final act to wipe all tears:
From nursling small to mature man,
Fulfillment of the Godheads plan.

All praise and laud and glorious powr,
This Christmas joy, tis Jesses flowr.

Gerald McClain
© 2005 Musique de McClain

I think this piece has a lovely “neo-medieval” or “neo-Renaissance” feel that appeals to my antiquarian sensibilities. I like older, more out of the way hymns and carols that haven’t yet been turned into Muzak, and that you don’t hear every time you go to that most godless of places, the mall.

Mr. McClain has also written a French language composition “Une voix dans Rama” (A Voice in Ramah) commemorating the Slaughter of the Innocents described in Matthew 2: 18 (Douay-Rheims version):

A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Hat tip to Patrick Archbold of Creative Minority Report for posting some Christmas clips from YouTube, which in turn prompted Mr. McClain to post links to his compositions.

I’m Dreaming of a White Trash Christmas

December 8, 2009

It’s Christmas party season, and I’ve been singing this song pretty much compulsively for the last several days now, so I guess it’s OK to share it with you guys. It’s Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas From the Family.” The song and the video are priceless. Enjoy.

A tip of my Texas ten-gallon to Dale Price of Dyspeptic Mutterings for alerting me to this great song. BTW, I swear that Christmas at my house isn’t (much) like this. Really.

Insert Japanese Monster Movie Joke Here

December 3, 2009

Our colleague KT Cat reports that giant jellyfish are threatening Japan’s fishing industry. No lie. Here’s the story as reported by the Australian affiliate of Fox News:

The official story is that Global Warming, um excuse me, Global Climate Change and pollution are partially to blame, but has anybody investigated the link between these events and all the nuclear tests in the 1950s? After all, those tests led to a rash of appearances by men in rubber monster suits, and the destruction of uncounted numbers of plywood cities and toy tanks and airplanes, as this documentary footage reveals:

Can they save the day? Gosh, I hope so!

We Come in Peace . . . Y’all!

November 24, 2009

I first saw this on Mike Flynn’s blog and then on Mark Shea’s, and I thought it was too good not to share:

Close Encounters of the Redneck Kind from Marc Bullard on Vimeo.

For Veterans’ Day

November 11, 2009

Love and Marriage, Pirate Style

September 19, 2009

Ahoy there, Mateys! That fair wench The Ironic Catholic hath reminded me that today be Talk Like a Pirate Day once again, it be. Shiver me timbers, I almost missed it! Here be the link to the last time I blogged about TLAPD. But what’s more, it seems The Ironic Catholic (Dr. IC for short, don’t ye know), has as a story to tell about Lizzie the Pirate Wench, Jack her intended, and their parish priest, no less! Lend an ear, ye scurvy dogs, and ye’ll learn somethin’ about that there Theology of the Body, so ye will, and have a laugh besides.

In the meantime, here be a video of a song that some scurvy dog hath composed in honor of the occasion: