1) Right now I should be working. But Jen is coming. How can I be productive when I am waiting to see my love?

2) Here’s a list that I made while I waited for The Dark Knight to start (which I was watching for the third time).

    obscure and/or underrated movies that make me laugh

  1. Shakiest Gun in the West, starring Don Knotts
  2. Buck Privates, starring Bud Abbot and Lou Costello
  3. Sons of the Desert, starring Laurel and Hardy
  4. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, starring Carey Grant
  5. Blast From the Past, starring Brendan Fraser (trust me, it’s good!)
  6. Housesitter, starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn
  7. No Time for Sergents, starring Andy Griffith
  8. Pure Luck, starring Martin Short
  9. Planes, Trains and Automobiles, starring Steve Martin and John Candy
  10. Bringing Up Baby, starring Carey Grant and Katherine Hepburn

3) Interesting article in Collide about the death of the Christian Music Industry. Features a great pic of Sufjan in his hawk getup. That never gets old!

4) Jeffrey Overstreet links to this article interpreting Wall.E. His observations on Marx’s influence on the way we interpret art is very telling, especially in light of the article on the death of CCM. Do Christians make art merely to win idealogical points? See the latest offering from the makers of Facing the Giants for proof that they do do that, courtesy of my favorite film critic David Kern.

5) Another list:

books that have shaped the way I think, for better or worse, whether i agree or disagree with the writers on the whole or not, etc, etc. and why

  1. A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O’Connor–revealed God to me as a wild lover who will stop at nothing to have me as His child. Inspired me to once again try my hand at fiction. The single most important Christian writer of fiction in the last century, Flannery possessed a prophet’s spirit. She should be required reading at every Christian college, University and seminary. She changed my life (and continues to change my life) not through cheap, ideological diatribes with a thin veneer of fiction, but through well-crafted stories that manifest the intersection of heaven and earth.
  2. Mere Christianity, CS Lewis–showed me the clearest presentation of the core beliefs of Christianity that I had ever read, and convinced me that being a Christian and a thinker are not mutually exclusive
  3. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury–the first book I ever read multiple times. I finished reading it, flipped back and read it from the beginning again immediately. Instilled in me an enormous appreciation for the power of literature when I was only 12 years old.
  4. A Generous Orthodoxy, Brian McLaren–Out of all of the writers on this list, certainly the one I disagree with the most. Nevertheless, this book gave me a new paradigm for the way I look at the world and evaluate cultural mores.
  5. The Screwtape Letters, CS Lewis–the first Lewis book I ever read. His wit and wisdom inspired me as an artist and got me reading again after a lull during most of my high school years.
  6. Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut–It was while reading this book that I began to hate war and violence for the first time. Along with The Ringing Bell by Derek Webb, this book is what first caused me to consider pacifism.

6) As I look at the above list, I can’t help but notice that four out of the six books I listed are fiction. That’s 66%. Also, i strained for along time to think of other books that have come close to affecting me the way these have, but came up short. I am struck by how so few books have really shaped me, and that of those few books so many are fiction.