04 February 2013

Culture Roundup

We gathered with some friends for the Super Bowl last night and, true to form, spent more time watching the commercials than the game.  One of these years I'm going to have to adopt an NFL team I truly love so I might actually care about the game itself if said team ever makes it to the top.

As it is, I'm considering proposing legislation to ban GoDaddy from ever producing a commercial again.  Yeesh.  And as some of my friends noted, there aren't a lot of farmers like the ones Paul Harvey described who could afford the $50,000 pickup Dodge was selling in their commercial, no matter how much it might tug at your heartstrings.  That one and the Clydesdale commercial win for "most likely to make me cry if I watch it by myself."  The Oreo Riot, Miracle Montana Stain and Babylandia were my biggest Laugh Out Loud moments.  And our friends brought a "Snackadium" for us all to enjoy, which we did.  Sloppy Joes, queso, Chex Mix - it was a good night for my tummy 'round these parts.

In a two-night run of late reading followed by late rising, I finished A Memory of Light last week.  Quite the journey, and it's going to earn its own blog post later today or tomorrow.  But the book itself was pretty good.  It's hard to believe an 800+ page novel can feel rushed, but there was a sense of too much tying up that needed to be done in too little time.  You wonder how much better it might have been had Jordan moved things along in books 7-11 - other than the storyline regarding the split within the White Tower, there's not much that's essential in those books, IMO.  And, unfortunately, characters disappeared without cause toward the end.  Given these flaws, however, The Wheel of Time is still a magnificent epic worthy of a reread or two in the future.  Good characters, good plot, a sense of humor at times, it's too bad Robert Jordan died before seeing the end of all his work.

We watched The Bourne Legacy the other night after the girls were in bed.  It was...okay.  I hate to admit it, but I fell asleep a couple of times and when I woke up it didn't look like anything had changed.  Some interesting side-by-side storytelling with the earlier Bourne movies (much like the Shadow series by Orson Scott Card), but on the whole a decent action flick without much to say in favor or against.

I was sorry to see The Last Resort didn't get picked up for a second season, but it was good they made the decision early enough to let them finish the show well.  It felt more like an extended mini-series at the end, which was okay; the storyline could maybe have been played out for one more season at best, and keeping things tight is usually a better idea (looking at you, Lost).  Andre Braugher, Robert Patrick and Scott Speedman did some good work, as did many of the supporting cast.

I am maybe looking forward to A Good Day To Die Hard a bit too much, but I don't care - I love Bruce Willis and have loved this series for years.  I even picked up a cheap DVD version of the original at Target the other day - if the Missus has the energy for it, we're going to watch it tonight after the girls go to bed.

I just downloaded Broken Hallelujahs:  Why Popular Music Matters To Those Seeking God by Christian Scharen.  Dr. Scharen is a professor at Luther Seminary and will be keynoting this week's Mid Winter Convocation - I'm looking at this book as both professional and personally edifying.  Should be a good read.  Our monthly book club is discussing Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton this Thursday night - I should finish it up on Wednesday and have my notes ready to go the next day.  Good stuff!

Would appreciate any fiction recommendations you've got to offer, particularly those along the lines of David Rhodes or Marilynne Robinson.  I'm feeling a need to get out of fantasy for a while but unsure where to go next.  As always, any other suggestions are appreciated.


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