Women and Christ


Nothing is more startling, and indeed horrifying, than the contrast between the perfect simplicity of Jesus in His relations with women,...His complete silence as to any special duties, frailties, mysteries, dangers, or dirt connected with their sex, and the self-consciousness and interminable chatter of His followers on the subject.

- Dorothy L. Sayers

"Scripture without theology is Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark."

No Language, however strong, violent, or emphatic will expunge from the mind of the average anti-Christian the picture he has formed of Christian Soteriology, viz: that Jehovah (the old man with the beard) made the world and made it so badly that it all went wrong and he wanted to burn it up in a rage; whereat the Son (who was younger and nicer, and not implicated in his Father's irresponsible experiment) said: "Oh, don't do that! If you must torment somebody, take it out of me." So Jehovah vented his sadistic spite on a victim who had nothing to do with it all, and thereafter begrudgingly allowed people to go to heaven if they provided themselves with a ticket of admission signed by the Son...This grotesque mythology is not in the least exaggerated: it is what they think we mean.

- Dorothy L. Sayers

four words: ballet in slow motion


Boris to Vicki: "Why do you want to dance?"
Vicki: "Why do you want to live?"

I've got one of many answers: because of movies like The Red Shoes (1948). This film took my breath away. There is only one word that seems to sum it up: glorious. Directed by Michael Powell and starring Moira Shearer in her first film, The Red Shoes is funny, colorful, impeccable, innovative, vibrant, passionate, witty, important, timeless, and everything I might hope for in a film. Definitely one of the best I have ever seen. Ok, you might think I'm exaggerating, but after it ended and went to the DVD menu I wanted hit play again immediately!

It poses a very interesting question that Rosanna Arquette used as the foundation of her film Searching for Debra Winger (2002): Why do women (more often than men) have to choose between their work/art and being married or raising a family? I think The Red Shoes is a great movie for parents to show to their daughters and sons to start a conversation about the domestic gender roles that persist in our culture. And to tell them that unlike Vicki Page, they do not have to make the tragic choice that she does between love/marriage/family and their life's work/passion/purpose.

It is strange but I guess not surprising that my two favorite ballet sequences ever set on the film were only released within four years of each other: Gershwin/Kelly/Caron/Minnelli and Easdale/Shearer/Helpmann/Powell. Now that I've just watched one, I have to watch the other!

Guess who wants a pair of red ballet shoes?



by Louise Gluck

Read it here.

Shirley MacLaine


Sure, she's claimed to be God, but who hasn't :) ? I haven't seen Shirley in many movies, but I really love her role in the under-appreciated In Her Shoes. Maybe it's because she had someone else writing lines for her, but it's also possible she just mellowed out in old(er) age. But really I just wanted an excuse to post the above picture of her with her daughter. Makes you want to be a parent, doesn't it? Or settling for cutting your hair short.

watching for dolphins

by David Constantine

Read it here.

Dance, Stephen, DANCE!

blame it on my wild heart


I have watched/listened to this video of Stevie Nicks backstage singing before a concert maybe upwards of 16-18 times and counting. Not only does iTunes not have this version, it doesn't have any version at all! Life is SO hard. :)

I wish I had the guts to have flowy/bohemian/gypsy style like Stevie.



the lion in winter


"In a world where carpenters get resurrected, everything is possible."

"I even made poor Louis take me on Crusade. How's that for blasphemy. I dressed my maids as Amazons and rode bare-breasted halfway to Damascus. Louis had a seizure and I damn near died of windburn... but the troops were dazzled."

"Eleanor: And when you die, which is regrettable but necessary, what will happen to frail Alais and her pruny prince? You can't think Richard's going to wait for your grotesque to grow.

Henry II: You wouldn't let him
do a thing like that.

Eleanor: Let him? I'd push him through the nursery door.
Henry II:You're not that cruel.

Eleanor: Don't fret. We'll wait until you're dead to do it.

Henry II: Eleanor, what do you want?

Eleanor: Just what you want, a king for a son. You can make more, I can't. You think I want to disappear? One son is all I've got, and you can blot him out and call me cruel? For these ten years you've lived with everything I've lost, and loved another woman through it all, and I am cruel? I could peel you like a pear and God himself would call it justice!"

like I needed another reason to watch the 2008 Beijing Olympics


OK, so little Yang Yang may be living my life dream, but who cares right? It's only the coolest thing ever. No big deal. I'm sure my life will be fulfilling in some other way that's just as cool. I'm over it.

From Daily Mail (emphasis mine):

"There is no mistaking the excitement on the four-year-old boy's face as he swims alongside a beluga whale many times his size.

And the whale seems to be enjoying the company, too.

The boy, named Yang Yang, will ride his playmate bareback to entertain the crowds between the sailing events at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Yang Yang, who has been swimming since he was one, was chosen to swim with the five-year-old whale by staff at Qingdao Polar Ocean World in China's eastern Shandong Province."

I'll follow you down 'til the sound of my voice will haunt you.

Diablo Cody, screenwriter for Juno, had a wonderful post on her blog about a Fleetwood Mac song called "Silver Springs" which is stuck on repeat in my iTunes. Here's the video, and below it what she says about it. I couldn't agree more. Chills!

"I love the Mac, and I especially love their later performances. Major Lindsay/Stevie angst. This one is killer, because "Silver Springs" is about immortalizing a love affair through art. Time casts a spell on people, but great songs and films last forever. Stevie has said that she hoped her songs about Lindsay would ensure that he'd never be able to forget about her. Even today, he probably turns on his car radio and bam-- it's 1976 and they're both dicking each other over in spectacular fashion.
Even if you hate Fleetwood Mac, you have to at least watch the end of this. The way she looks at him when she sings "Never get away..." CHA-HILLS runnin' up my spine, brother!"

a battle of apathetic grandeur!

Sooooo funny. Hits a little close to home. "This short film is, however, a shameless tribute to Monty Python's "The Upperclass Twit of the Year.""

Reese Witherspoon is trying to make me want tattoos!


Ringo in Rolling Stone

Ringo Starr has a new album out called Liverpool 8, but of course the Rolling Stone interviewer asked him about Beatles stuff, as any warm-blooded being would:

Do you remember a particular Beatles session that was exceptionally difficult?

The worst session ever was "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." It was the worst track we ever had to record. It went on for fucking weeks. I thought it was mad.

What about the flip side?

One of my all-time favorites is "Yer Blues." We were just in an eight-foot room, with no separation, just doing what we do best: playing.

A few years back, Rolling Stone declared Sgt. Pepper the greatest album of all time. Agree?

No. I'd say the White Album. Or, in many ways, Revolver.

...It's been said that you rarely screwed up a Beatles take in the studio. What about live?

At a show in '64, in Indianapolis, I had taken too much medication, and I couldn't any speed! Paul looked at me and went, "One, two, three, four!" and I went, "Ohhhh." I just couldn't manage it.

By medication, you mean a beer or two?

I mean anything I could get my hands on. Remember, I was the quiet one.

Whaaa? I thought George was the quiet one.

forget Unicef, Orlando Bloom can be the international ambassador TO MY HEART


Here he is in Nepal:

Hellen Van Meene

This is the photographer:

And these are her photos, mostly portraits:

the weepies, "painting by chagall"


Thunder rumbles in the distance, a quiet intensity
I am willful, your insistence is tugging at the best of me
You're the moon, I'm the water
You're Mars, calling up Neptune's daughter

Sometimes rain that's needed falls
We float like two lovers in a painting by Chagall
All around is sky and blue town
Holding these flowers for a wedding gown
We live so high above the ground, satellites surround us.

I am humbled in this city
There seems to be an endless sea of people like us
Wakeful dreamers, I pass them on the sunlit streets
In our rooms filled with laughter
We make hope from every small disaster

Everybody says "you can't, you can't, you can't, don't try."
Still everybody says that if they had the chance they'd fly like we do.

Crying Men

Feministing had a very cool post today about a series of photographs by Sam Taylor-Wood called "Crying Men." It features famous male actors 'act-crying' (or 'cry-acting'). This is from nzartmonthly:
As well as criticising the portraits for the actors' 'phoney' emotions, critics have slammed Taylor-Wood's use of celebrities. Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones was even prompted to enter the nonsense 'but is it art' debate: "How long can this art flaunt its fake tan and still be praised as the real thing?" More recently, The Listener's Aaron Kreisler suggested the pictures might be better displayed in a glossy magazine.
However, the use of celebrities extends the photos. Celebrities are people whose gestures, voices and expressions we have shared knowledge of. This knowledge empowers the viewer to animate the subjects in our minds. What will they do next? What are they thinking? Who are they crying for?
"In one sense, we know very well who the celebrities are crying for. In her presentation of the photos to the public, Rachel Kent, curator of Taylor-Wood's work at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, mentioned how the artist differentiated her photos from images of the actors caught on film on any old day on set. Suggesting that the very change of medium and the different context for display were sufficient to generate novelty, Taylor-Wood said, 'I wanted them to cry for me'. She asked the actors to cry for her as a photographer and as a fine artist. But most pressingly, she asked them to cry as attendees at her funeral. She has each actor enter her living room and lay a flower on her coffin. Taylor-Wood, who could so easily have died at the turn of the century, thanks them for their condolences, snaps photos of the self pity she weeps through their eyes and offers the images to us. Saddened by the actors, we, in turn, mourn for her." 

Above is the photographer herself.

Ruth Weisburg