Friday, September 28, 2007

What Would Buster Do?

So, I've been watching "Arrested Development" lately.

This is not a show I want my little sister to watch for at least the next five years.

But it's funny and it makes obscure references, so by enjoying it, I feel like I'm a part of something complex and nerdy with catchphrases.

The show, created about the time of Enron and all those corporate scandals, is about a family experiencing the consequences of criminal activity in the family company.

The youngest son in the family is Buster, a "special," slow innocent with a clear Oedipal complex. Just to give you an idea of the humor in the show, Buster has a relationship with his mother Lucille's social rival, Lucille 2 (played by none other than Liza Minelli, who I adore), gets his hand bitten off by a seal with a yellow bow tie, who had been conditioned to like blood by Buster's older brother, GOB, and joins the army.

Buster is played by Tony Hale. I came across this quote about Tony Hale:

Tony Hale is a devout Christian and is a complete retard when it comes to swearing. The script called for him to swear for about 30 seconds and he just couldn't do it. --Jason Bateman, the star of the series

Buster the character does occasionally go on spastic cussing rants which look like this:

Narrator: [Michael and Buster are putting on biking gear] Michael decides to fill the void left by his son with his brother.
Michael: You know, I'm in pretty good shape. You could be eating my dust out there!
Narrator: And Buster was giving as good as he received.
Buster: Yeah, and you could be
Buster: that's gonna
Buster: !
Michael: [stunned] Well, let's hope it doesn't come to that.

But you never see his mouth during the bleeps.

I think it's interesting... what actors do about things they're morally opposed to doing offstage or offscreen. When you play a part, it's not you. So it's ok to cuss, even if you don't normally? I know people who think so.

My view has generally been--search your heart, seek God and see what He would have you do.

Because it might be different than what you'd expect.

My family drove to see me today and we briefly listened to a Steve Taylor tape that included "I Want to be a Clone."

I'm pretty sick of clones, of doing what's expected because it's what other people do.

You should learn the song, I'd put it among Steve Taylor's top 5. Ever.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Is it really the crazy things that keep us sane?

Lately I've been thinking about all the crazy things people do so we don't fall apart.

I think a lot of people are a little bit obsessive about one thing, or two, or several but will never admit it.

My friends do.

One of my friends has to find patterns in everything. If something is close to an ordered pattern, but isn't quite there, she will go nuts trying to find a pattern. For instance, we just had a reading of Sarah Ruhl's REALLY GOOD PLAY, "Eurydice," and the actors just happened to show up wearing coordinating tops. Green, blue, burgundy, green, burgundy, white, green, blue, sitting in that order. That's not a repeating pattern, and she fixated on the irregularity for two minutes.

She also counts. She hates uneven numbers, except for five.

I can understand this. I used to count the syllables in phrases when I got bored. I'd just read or listen to someone talk and count the syllables on my fingers, and I was pleased if it added up to a multiple of five. If it didn't, I would try to phrase it differently so it did.

A guy I know cannot stand spinning. If you spin to the right in front of him, he will look extremely uncomfortable unless you "unspin" yourself by spinning to the left. I'm sure he hated last semester's major dance musical.

So, what do you obsess about?

And then there are the crazy things that make us crazier. Like eating disorders. You can not eat as a method of keeping yourself sane, but all that does is initiate organ failure.

And then there are the sane things that make us saner. Like knowledge or religion. Or crazier. Like knowledge or religion.

I was talking about absolutes today with one of my best friends. It's hard to not believe in absolutes, because you cannot say "There are definitely no absolutes" because that is an absolute and you can build other absolutes off of that. That made her head hurt.

It didn't make mine hurt. I don't believe that there are no absolutes. I think there have to be absolutes. And until I can find them all, and be sane, I'll probably be counting on my fingers, looking for multiples of five.

(Just in case you were wondering, that last sentence was a multiple of five, and this sentence is, too.)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Da Vinci Code... ooooh, I'm so shaken up...

So, I am taking a class that addresses The Da Vinci Code's claims about the first 300-400 years of Christianity.

Up until three months ago, I was content being one of the five people in the United States who has not read the book. That number is now three, because I read the book, and so did my roommate, because we enrolled in this class.

(It isn't worth reading, in my opinion. The writing is not good; the "mystery" is really predictable; the "secret" knowledge has been around for years.)

I have these observations about the claims of the book:

1) I think we can disregard the Priory of Sion as anything special. They labeled their folder of secret documents "DOSSIERS SECRETS," which means "SECRET DOCUMENTS." This is a dumb idea.

2) Not only did the SECRET DOCUMENTS claim that Leonardo Da Vinci was a grandmaster (and it's a stretch to claim that his paintings hold conspiracy theories and subliminal symbols instead of masterful artistic composition) but they also claim that Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Claude Debussy were also grandmasters. I have never gotten "Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married" from reading Les Miserables or listening to bitonal chords. Never.

3) The "M" that John the beloved/Mary Magdalene and Jesus make in "The Last Supper" cannot stand for "marriage." Leonardo da Vinci spoke Italian. Marriage in Italian is "unione." Not "munione."

4) Don't call Leonardo da Vinci "da Vinci." That is not his last name. It's like calling George, of Orlando "of Orlando" instead of "George."

5) For the purposes of this class, I cannot prove that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were or weren't married. But at the same time, I don't think that The Da Vinci Code wouldn't be looked at with the validity people ascribe to it if women were really comfortable with their place in the church throughout history. As a woman, I can only hope that we figure out what God intends for us as submissive ministers.