The other night, while listening to a Christian radio station in my car, a DJ was talking about Google’s Ngram viewer. Google’s Ngram viewer has digitized data from over 15 million works of literature. The DJ made an intriguing insight. He took the position that words communicate culture. His logic was that changes in culture can be seen by both the emergence and frequency of words used over various time periods. If we believe the adage that we tend to speak about those things which occupy our thoughts, wouldn’t that apply to what we write as well? Most likely, right? Continue reading
“Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity” (Acts 8:22-23).
The Hulk is a fictional character that was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby for Marvel Comics in 1962. The Hulk comes into being when genius scientist, Bruce Banner, finds himself the victim of a gamma radiation accident. Similar to the body timeshare nature that exists between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the massive and powerful Hulk is generally depicted as taking form whenever Bruce Banner is overcome by stress or anger. Continue reading
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.” ~ Pope John Paul II
“As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” ~ Luke 9:57-58
I returned from a trip to Virginia earlier this May in a poor state of mind. During the long drive back to Georgia, my thoughts wandered; pondering circumstances that I have no control over. For most of the week following, I struggled with anxiety… Continue reading
“Love will thaw. Of course!” ~Queen Elsa
“Wanna build a snowman?” ~Princess Anna
Frozen is a wonderfully constructed animated movie that I believe speaks at surprisingly great depth about the relationship between fear and love. As is true in real life, all of the characters in Frozen—except for, maybe, Olaf the snowman—have unique challenges in dealing with fear and loving others in a healthy manner. After having watched the movie a few times, I believe that the movie’s screenwriters developed the characters to possess personalities that would accurately reflect their behaviors in the story–grounding this fantasy tale with a realistic human element. Within this writing, I share my thoughts about how fear affects the ability and manner in which the movie’s major characters exhibit love towards one another—as well as its likely effects on their self-perceptions. With each character’s fears being different in scope and focus, these fears influence their ability and manner in which they love others to varying degrees. Character examinations will begin with Hans of the Southern Isles–who very well may not be capable of anything other than self-love. Concluding these examinations shall be Queen Elsa of Arendelle, who in my opinion is the most complex–and in many respects, the most realistic–character within Frozen. If you are curious as to how I can justify a woman whose magical powers can control winter’s elements as the most realistic character in the movie…you will just need to read onward. Continue reading
“He’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.” ~Jim Gordon in The Dark Knight
The Batman from the Dark Knight Trilogy
Over the past week, I watched the Dark Knight Trilogy—just one of numerous times I have done so. I find it an exceptionally well done movie trilogy. And if I was to select a favorite comic book super hero, it would most likely be the “Dark Knight,” Batman. Those who follow the comic book universe are aware that many comic book series periodically “reboot,” as the ever-growing stories become convoluted, eventually losing plot continuity. Characters’ stories will often be revised to more reflect the times; though, the core elements of comic book characters are often treated sacred–unchangeable. However, these slight changes in a character’s development allow for story reinventions—introducing new themes within the stories. In such a way, Christopher Nolan’s presentation of Batman—and the story told within the trilogy—leaves his version as my favorite incarnation of the Dark Knight.
(Please note: if you have not watched the trilogy, you will encounter spoilers by proceeding) Continue reading
Originally posted on Facebook–December, 2012
Monty: Why did you say that I was a loser?
Simon Wilder: Winners forget they’re in a race, they just love to run. You try too hard.
~From With Honors (1994)
This evening, I took a break from studying and watched what is one of my favorite—if not my favorite—movie, With Honors, starring Joe Pesci (Simon Wilder) and Brendan Fraser (Monty Kessler). The character of Monty Kessler is a driven, highly motivated Harvard student, whole-heartedly focused on graduating “with honors” (Summa Cum Laude) from the renowned institution. The last hurdle for Monty in achieving his goal is to complete his senior thesis. Without getting too inundated with details, Simon Wilder, a bum who lives on the campus, comes upon the only rough draft of Monty’s not-yet-completed —only 88 pages…well, now 82 page—senior thesis. Intent on reacquiring his senior thesis, Monty—who wants to get into government to help people—treats Simon as “less than human,” having him evicted from the boiler room of the Harvard library…during the cold of Winter. Simon ultimately leverages the thesis draft to survive the winter with Monty’s help. Continue reading