Goodbye 2005, Hello 2006

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Written on 5:38 PM by Jack B.

So that was the year that was - went quickly didn’t it? I remember when I was a little kid I couldn’t wait for the year to be older so it would mean I would be a little more older and adult. Now of course that I actually am older and an adult I wish I could hold the changing of the year back so I could hold onto my youth. But you can’t always get what you want, I guess.

So 2005 is over. It’s been a pretty good year (for me), all things considering. The biggest news in my personal life is that one of my little sisters got both married and pregnant this year. So I have new relatives in the form of my sis’ in-laws and find myself actually anticipating the arrival of my first nephew or niece in the new year. On the other hand, the arrival of a new generation just makes me feel all the more mortal and old. *sigh*

For me personally it has been a year of both change and standing in place. This is the my first year has a recovering Depressive. Each day I’ve had to take at least 2 different anti-depressants (that’s over 700 pills this year alone) and I sometimes wonder what would happen if I just stopped taking them. Would I relapse or something? I’ve been going to therapy on a constant basis and have learned many things about the basis of the phobias and fears that face me now - this in turn has made me a little (just a little) braver and more confident that I had been in 2004. I even started this blog back at the end of March as a form of therapy and excuse to write - now I’ve become addicted to it even when I don’t blog as much as I’d like. I’ve also come across a lot of like-minded bloggers from around the world and all walks of life who I read constantly. That too has been a form of therapy. I guess I’m not alone out there. This became very obvious when the Terri Shiavo situation happened and I thought I was the only one horrified by what was going on - but thanks to St. Blog’s and all its “parishioners” I saw that was not the case. It’s funny - a year ago this time when I first decided to seek help for the Depression (that I now realize has been holding me back for years and years), I thought my life was worthless and wasted and there was no point in going on. I never wanted to kill myself - but I understand fully how some may come to that. The “down” feeling just overwhelms a person. That’s how I felt - then. Now, at the end of 2005 I have some optimism for the first time in a long time. I’m still not quite sure what’s ahead for me or what I’m going to do with my life but I’ve decided to take it one day at a time. That’s why for the first time in over a decade I have NO New Year’s resolutions ~ I can’t allow myself to think that far ahead. Yet I can see the progress, the subtle changes I’ve made in myself over the year which allows me to think I can make even more if I try.

I have met many new people, both in person and over the internet (Hello All :)) who I have come to like and appreciate very much. I have completed my first year of Graduate School - only 2 more years to go before I’ll actually have to decide what I want to do when I grow up. I’ve gotten a steady job (however temporary it may come to be) and money in my pocket. My cousins moved to North Carolina (for the job market) and my sister got married - so my family both grew apart and expanded but so far we’re all still here and kicking (knock on wood) so I think that alone has made 2005 a good year.

In the larger world, Iraq had 3 elections and a lot more deaths. I hope peace comes to that wonderful country in the new year and our troops start to come home. Mother Nature had a hissy fit and showed everybody she’s still boss of us by practically destroying entire parts of both Southeast Asia and the Southeast U.S.A., even to the point of destroying one of the greatest cities in the world - New Orleans. Let’s just say that’s one Mother we don’t need to upset in the coming year. One of the giants of the 20th Century - Pope John Paul II - died and millions came out to see him, astonishing secular Europe who had thought they had killed that nasty Christianity thing forever. Then to their further astonishment, one of the greatest theologians in the history of the Church - Joseph Ratzinger - was elected Bishop of Rome and disproved all the critics who had ever called him the “Grand Inquisitor” wrong by just being himself and not the caricature they made him out to be. The Transit Workers and the MTA almost became the Grinches who stole New York’s Christmas, France burned and the State of Florida co-operated in the murder of Terri Shiavo. Hardly happy things, but one thing I’ve come to understand is hope. Hope that things will get better. Hope that people will get kinder. Hope that despite our homicidal tendencies we homo sapiens will stop killing each other and become tillers of the Earth, instead of destroyers of it.

Welcome 2006, stick around and stay awhile, may you keep things interesting and bring luck and happiness to us all.

Happy New Year Everyone! May the incoming year not only be as good as you might wish but even better...

Tom Cruise is the Biggest Movie Star of All Time? Stop the Insanity!

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Written on 10:59 AM by Jack B.

The BBC has a story that Tom Cruise has been voted the most "irritating" movie star in the world . Now you'll get no argument from me there. But he has also been voted "the biggest movie star of all time" by "an Empire magazine poll of 10,000 movie fans". Wanna know who came in second and third? Robert De Niro and Harrison Ford. How about four and five? Al Pacino and Marilyn Monroe. No Clark Gable. No Charlie Chaplin. No Judy Garland. No Mary Pickford. No Marlon Brando. No Katherine Hepburn or Spencer Tracy.

And if Marilyn is in the top 5 then obviously voters weren't limited to living stars. Where are people's sense of history? Where is common sense? Tom Cruise is the biggest star in the history of motion pictures. Tom Friggin Cruise?This is insanity. Who the heck voted in this poll? Just Scientologists?

Banners for a New Year

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Written on 10:51 AM by Jack B.

I've been playing with new Headers for my Blog to go with the New Year - just to be a little different. So far, the three contenders seem to be:




I've Been Tagged for Another Meme

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Written on 10:36 AM by Jack B.

Tagged by Lee at From the back pew

Rules: “The first player of this game starts with the topic “five weird habits of yourself,” and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals. Don’t forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says “You are tagged” (assuming they take comments) and tell them to read yours.”

Here are mine:
1. I always feel the need to check the oven to see if it's off before I go to sleep - even if I knew it hadn't been used at all that day

2. I usually find myself mumbling, beneath my breath, my daily prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary and my own Special Prayer) while riding a crowded bus.

3. When I'm alone I sometimes speak my thoughts out loud just to see what they would sound like

4. I always take a pencil/pen and a little piece of paper with me wherever I go - you never know if they might come in handy

5. Whenever I buy a jacket the first thing I look for is not the price or even its condition, but whether it has a lot of pockets to hold stuff in

Tag 5 people:
Another weird habit I guess is that even though I love being tagged for these things myself, I feel uncomfortable tagging others. So anyone wants to do this consider themselves tagged.

Tierazon: Celtic Rune

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Written on 8:36 PM by Jack B.

Apophysis: Doodling With A Pen

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Written on 10:02 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #128

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Written on 9:57 AM by Jack B.

With Christmas Day done
Time to start cleaning up mess
Gonna take awhile

"For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord"

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Written on 12:07 PM by Jack B.

The Nativity by Giotto

Merry Christmas to Everybody!

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Written on 12:32 PM by Jack B.

Whether you're Christian or not, whether you celebrate the holiday or not, I want to wish everybody a Happy Christmas Eve and Merry Christmas Day.

May your tummy be filled with food.
May you be in the company of those you love.
May the gifts you recieve be outweighed by the gifts of grace in your heart.
May you recognize that today is the birthday of a child, who was once as small as you and I, but was proof that God had not abandoned us, despite our sinful ways, and wanted to share in our all-too human condition.
May there be peace on Earth to men (and women) of goodwill and for just one day may there be peace and joy in all of our hearts as well.

Life is a WONDERFUL thing (even when it sometimes doesn't seem like it) - so enjoy it to the fullest this Christmas!

Keep Track of Santa as Travels the World

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Written on 12:20 PM by Jack B.

For the fifth year in a row, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) has been keeping track of Santa Claus' progress as he and his reindeer travel the world on Christmas. So for those who want to follow where exactly Santa is at any given time this Christmas Eve (and how close he is to YOUR home), you can check out:
NORAD Tracks Santa 2005

The funny thing is that :::NORAD::: is an actual US government/military agency and it recognizes (I guess) the existence of said Santa Claus (other aliases: Kris Kringle, Saint Nick, Father Christmas). Tell that to those who don't believe in Santa! It almost reminds me of the trial scene in Miracle on 34th Street where because the US Post Office delivered all the letters they got addressed to Santa to Edmund Gwenn's Kris Kringle character, the judge said "Uh, since the United States Government declares this man to be Santa Claus, this court will not dispute it. Case dismissed."

In the same vein, I say, since the US Government (in the form of NORAD) declares Santa Claus to exist, then he does. Take that non-believers! Coal in the stocking for you!

"Mary, Did You Know?": Pretty Song, Bad Theology

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Written on 12:19 PM by Jack B.

Tim Jones over at Jimmy Akin's blog posts about something that's bothered me as well. The song, "Mary, Did You Know?" is often heard during this holiday season but it only occurred to me this year that if you listen carefully to the words, theologically they are unbiblical.

Here are the lyrics of the song:

Mary, did you know?
That your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you?
Mary, did you know?
That your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little boy you've kissed the face of god?
Mary, did you know?
The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb
Mary, did you know?
That your baby boy is lord of all creation?
Did you know that your baby boy will one day rules the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven is perfect lamb?
This sleeping child you are holding is the great I AM?

Now if you read the words carefully you would have to assume that Mary was the stupidest person in the world instead of " blessed amongst women". I mean the Archangel Gabriel himself told her she would be impregnated by the Holy Spirit even though she was a Virgin. Her cousin Elizabeth greeted her as the "mother of my Lord", she ended up giving birth in Bethlehem, the city of David, from which the foretold Messiah was expected to come.

Then Magi from the East told her they had come to see the "King of the Jews" and presented her with gifts fit for a King. Then they had to flee Herod who was angry because a new "King of the Jews" was born. Then when they presented him in the temple where Simeon and told her:
"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel." And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed." Luke 2, 29-35

So, what do the writers of this song think she thought? Even without knowing who wrote it (their names are Buddy Greene, Mark Lowry), I'm 99.9% sure it was a Protestant (and not of the liturgical kind) to whom Mary is someone to be avoided - even if she does have more lines/references than almost every other woman in scripture. They don't who Mary is, because they've spent their life avoiding her (and all "Catholic" connotations that go along with her). Still it's pretty obvious in the Scripture that she knew and yet she went through it all anyway. That's part of what makes her "full of grace". She said "Yes" to God and gave birth to her son so that the world would live, knowing the pain it would bring her.

Yes, its a pretty song with a nice melody but I think I'll stick with "Silent Night".

Chewbacca "sings" Silent Night

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Written on 11:43 AM by Jack B.

Celebrate the season by listening to the dulcet tones of everyone's favorite Wookie

Thanks for Nothing, Roger Toussaint

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Written on 11:34 PM by Jack B.

Roger Toussaint is the union leader of the local TWU (Transit Workers Union) and has you might have heard he and the rest of his group have called off their strike that has crippled New York City even though talks about the contracts continue. So what was the point of it then? The Union has to pay $3 million dollars and each worker lost 9 days of pay. The City and MTA haven't really backed down from their demands to change the pension system. Several small businesses might end up going OUT OF BUSINESS - because of all the sales lost and all the employees couldn't come to work. Many said workers who couldn't come to work (such as myself) ended up losing days of pay they couldn't afford. And the TWU expected the average people to sympathize with them? Union workers who get to retire with full pensions at age 55 (most NYers don't even get pensions anymore) and who make an average of more than $50,0000 a year or so (most NYers don't make that much either)? God, what a fiasco this has been.

Speaking for myself, after missing work on Tuesday and Wednesday because of the strike I was determined to get to work on Thursday - if only if it was because it to be last day before Christmas vacation. So I walked to work. Miles and miles (I have no idea how many). It took almost an hour and a half there (and then I walked back home - another hour and a half). In other words, I spent three hours out of 24 on Thursday just WALKING! Since I don't excercise (bad me, I know) it was a new experience for me. I came home with blisters on my feet and aches in places I didn't know I had. While at work, I was so dehydrated and frazzled that my brain was on the fritz and I couldn't think straight. When I came home, I went straight to bed and didn't wake till the next day. And yes, as I was told by several people during the day, I was CRAZY to do it (and those polite folk who didn't say it aloud were obviously thinking it - heck, so was I!) and that coming to work for a couple of hours wasn't worth killing myself over. But I had to prove that I wasn't going to let any strike stop me from going on with my life, if others could walk so could I!...Yes, I am indeed that much of an idiot.

As it turns out, the strike was called off on Thursday itself but the buses and trains wouldn't start running till FRIDAY - by which time I was on vacation and didn't need to use them anymore. So, to Mr. Roger Toussaint, TWU Local 100, and everybody at the Metropolitan Transit Authority I say: Thanks for Nothing! And a Merry Christmas!

Tierazon: Electric Jesus

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Written on 7:48 AM by Jack B.

NY Yankees Sign Captain Caveman

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Written on 7:42 PM by Jack B.


Johnny Damon, Yankees reach agreement

I don't how I feel about this. I don't think I'll ever be able to accept Johnny Damon, who contributed so much in the Yankees big collapse two seasons ago and led the hated Red Sox to their first World Series win in 86 years as a Bronx Bomber. Its a little different than it was when Roger Clemens and Wade Boggs became Yankees after being Red Sox. Both of those players were on the outs with Boston (while Damon is still held in God-like status there) and all of the Boston teams they were on were losers who never matched the Yankees and never won anything. Hard to hate losers after all. But Damon is different, he was on the other side of the biggest choke (by the Yankees) in major league baseball history. I don't know if I can forget that.

Oh well...at least he says he'll abide with Yankee rules and keep his hair clean cut and the beard gone entirely. Less reminders of a season most Yankee fans like me would like to forget.

The Pope Knows If You've Been Naughty Or Nice

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Written on 7:38 PM by Jack B.

SO YOU BETTER BE GOOD BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE!

Christmas Meme

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Written on 7:32 PM by Jack B.

Via Carmel at Winterr's words
1. Hot Chocolate or apple cider? Hot Chocolate
2. Turkey or Ham? Turkey
3. Do you get a Fake or Real you cut it yourself christmas tree? Fake, used the same one for several years now
4. Decorations on the outside of your house? Inside but on the windows
5. Snowball fights or sleddin? Snowball fights
6. Do you enjoy Going downtown shopping? I never enjoy shopping, I always seem to end up spending money I don't have - especially at Christmas time
7. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night
8. How do you feel about Christmas movies? Depends how good they are. The good ones I like a lot - the 100th remake of A Christmas Carol? Not so much.
9. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music? It's never too early to listen to Christmas music
10. Stockings before or after presents? After
11. Carolers, do you or do you not watch and listen to them? I watch, I listen, I enjoy
12. Go to someone elses house or they come to you? Go out to Grandma's, open presents, eat with the family, then come back and then open more presents at home
13. Do you read the Christmas Story? If so when? You mean the Gospels? I guess Christmas Eve
14. What do you do after presents and dinner? Watch TV, clean up
15. What is your favorite holiday smell? Fresh cooked chesnuts
16. Ice skating or walking around the mall? Ice skating (though I'm horrible at it) 17. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas day? Christmas Day
18. Favorite Christmas memory? Too many to pick just one
19. Favorite Part about winter? Snow
20. Ever been kissed under mistletoe? Nope, never even seen mistletoe

I tag whoever wants to do this

Tierazon: Christmas Ornament

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Written on 8:14 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #127: In Reference to My Last Post & the Transit Strike

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Written on 8:11 AM by Jack B.

Temper's cooled a bit
Sorry for my harsh language
I'm still ticked off though

Longer strike goes on
Rest of us caught in middle
Will have to suffer

To The Transit Workers: "YOU MANIACS....DAMN YOU. GOD DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!"

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Written on 10:05 AM by Jack B.

Yes, this is a line from The Planet of the Apes but it sooooo applies today.
As the headline from Drudge reads: Strike in Effect. Stations Closed. Happy Holidays.
NYC is at a standstill as the transit workers went on strike right at one of the busiest periods in the whole year - Christmas time. Yes, classes are basically over for me but work is not! I need to make a little something called money to support myself. But that's gone to hell because I can't get to work! I take buses and trains everywhere - heck, I don't even drive! I'm thinking of getting my sister's old bike out of mothballs and using that to get where I'm going but I'm not sure where the helmet is. Others may disagree the law when it comes to safety but I'm not willing to get a cracked head! Am I babbling? Damn right! Am I pissed? Double damn right!

The people who work for the MTA already make more than many (if not most) of middle-class (and lower middle-class) New Yorkers but they want their money and they want it now! And they'll hold the city hostage to get it. So...even if they want to play Scrooge with the lives of their fellow citizens I say the city should give it to them, for God's sake, and just get the city moving again.

Apophysis: Christmas Unravel

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Written on 9:28 AM by Jack B.

Why the Anglican Church will never be "THE" Catholic Church

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Written on 4:58 PM by Jack B.

All the Gene Robinsons and John Shelby Spongs of the world will just never be as gosh darned COOL and INSPIRING as men like:

Joseph Ratzinger

(Hat tip to Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia for the pic of B16)

and Karol Wojtyla

(which is the very same pic I use for my own profile, I like it so much)

Hmmmm...maybe the Holy Spirit knows something Henry VIII didn't?

No offense to any Anglicans out there though.

...And Speaking of Narnia

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Written on 4:04 PM by Jack B.

NarniaWeb has a source claiming that Prince Caspian has been Greenlit for a possible December 2007 theatrical release.

Woo-hoo!

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA (2005): My Review

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Written on 3:58 PM by Jack B.


When I was a little child in school, our class had a reading competition with gold stars given to those students who read the most books. I wanted to do really well in this thing so I asked my mother to get me some books to read. The next day she came back with seven books from the library - C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series. I zoomed through the books so quickly that within a month I had finished all seven and was disappointed there was to be no more. I had no idea who this C.S. Lewis guy was (other than a children's book writer), and any Christian allegory or symbolism went way over my head. I had no idea it even existed until years later. That was my introduction to world of Narnia though - and I never forgot it.

So I, like many others, was interested in what Walden Media/Disney would do with a movie adaptation of the books. Would they water down the themes? Would they change the story? Would Narnia look like how many millions of readers had imagined it? After watching the film I can safely call the film version of "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" is a success. It achieves what it sets out to do - bring Lewis' vision to the screen intact. There can be some nitpicks; perhaps the child actors don't look all that comfortable and perhaps sometimes the CGI effects seem just a bit off. But those kind of complaints are most likely derived from comparing Narnia to the movie version of The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series of films. But those comparisons don't really fly. Yes, Narnia is filmed in New Zealand and uses special effects provided by WETA - just like Peter Jackson's LOTR movies. And yes, Narnia focuses on British children like Harry Potter and yes all three are grounded in fantast - but that’s pretty much it. The Lord of the Rings is an epic mythical world set in a very different Earth than our own. Harry Potter is about modern day wizards and warlocks who have their own culture and structure right next to the normal "Muggle" world. Both of those stories get darker, more complex and (in Harry Potter’s case) longer and more drawn out as they go along. The Chronicles of Narnia, by contrast, while dealing with universal themes of good vs. evil, the books are short (my paperback copy of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" is less than 190 pages) fairy tales meant distinctively for children’s eyes. It neither pretends to be set in a mythic world or in our own modern one but in a magical world separate from our own into which the pure of heart (like Lucy Pevensie) can sometimes stumble. In that sense, it a British Oz.. But judge it by the other two series and it may appear lacking. Lewis was content to leave a lot to his reader’s imagination and just tell a story without appendixes (like LOTR) or scenes of intermittent angst (like Harry Potter).

It is perhaps unfortunate then that Andrew Adamson, director of the two Shrek movies and making his live action debut, decided to make his film resemble that of LOTR as much as possible from the majestic landscapes to the epic battle sequence. Trying to duplicate a film that is so very different from the story you are trying to tell is not a recipe for success. Despite that Adamson does succeed though by letting the story speak for itself and even adding action where there is none. Lewis, like Tolkien, was a bit retieicent in describing battle scenes and the like so Adamson’s focus on the preparations for the big battle vs. the White Witch help flesh out the film, as does adding the added threat of the White Witches’s wolves (perhaps the scariest creatures in the movie) on the heels of the Badgers and Peter, Susan and Lucy at every moment. This creates added tension in a sequence in the book where there is none. Also Adamson pulls off the almost impossible by making the appearance of Father Christmas/Santa Claus halfway through the film seem not that ridiculous as one might have thought.

For me there were three performances in the film that stand out. One of course is Tilda Swinton as Jadis, The White Witch. Like all good villain must, Swinton dominates every scene she is in, presenting a White Witch that is both compelling and frightening. One that is evil enough that she presents a viable enemy to Aslan, the Lion-King of Narnia. Another actress who has rightly been getting raves for her performance is Georgie Henley as little Lucy Pevensie, the youngest of the children and the first to discover Narnia. Henley’s inexperience and age help her in that it makes Lucy seem like what she should be (and so few child characters in films actually are) and that’s unaffected, innocent and trusting. Her first step into to Narnia and her meeting with the faun, Mr. Tumnus, is one of the high points of the film and Henley pulls it off effortessly with just the right touch of awe and acceptance that only innocent children or those who are childs at heart can have. James McCavoy’s Mr. Tumnus was a revelation to me because the only thing I had seen him in previous to this was as the teenage Leto Atreides, future God-Emperor of Dune, in Sci-Fi Channel’s "Children of Dune" mini-series just a few years ago. Here, in an entirely different kind of role, he creates a faun who is both lovable and sympathetic - even when he is drugging Lucy with the intention of kidnapping her for the White Witch! The relationship between Tumnus and Lucy also is a rare chance in modern film to see real chemistry between a grown male Actor and a child actress without a hint of sexual suggestion or immuemdo. The other child actors playing Peter, Susan and Edmund also worked well in my opinion - some reviewers, including my own mother, thought they were wooden but for me it was a relief to see Teenagers who actually looked like they could be the child next door (although Peter did somewhat resemble Prince William) instead of too good looking to be believable and who acted like squabbling kids instead of the oddly adult Dakota Fannings of the World. The CGI Beavers were also an extra plus added much needed comic relief to many scenes which some children might find frightening.

Of course the movie will not work if Aslan is not perfect and here he is. He not only looks like a real lion but a majestic one and also one who doesn’t look fake when he talks (always a worry when dealing with animated animals). If Liam Neeson’s voice isn’t exactly what one imagines when reading the book, that is soon forgotten. Aslan is how he should be...and anyone who doesn’t feel horror and sadness at the scene of Aslan’s sacrifice at the Round Table hasn’t a heart. As far as the Christian Themes that have so many Christian groups hopeful and so many secular reviewers and media types in a hissy fit at the mere thought of (positive) potrayals of Christianity in big-budget studio movies (seperation of Church and State is one thing, but when did Hollywood become the state?), well the Christian themes and the Aslan/Jesus similarity is there and its obvious. More obvious than perhaps in the book, so anyone going into the theater knowing about it will see it instantly. However it is not so overwhelming that people who have never heard of Narnia will neccessarily make a Christian connection to the story. Millions of young readers (like myself at one time) haven’t, what makes the Christo-phobes think a 2-hour movie will?

Yes there are flaws in the film. Edmund’s continued betrayal after seeing the White Witch for what she is doesn’t exactly work (in the book he catches on quicker), nor do we know why Aslan gives the children the titles they do if we do not have to the book to tell us how they ruled - calling Edmund, "Edmund the Just" or Susan, "Susan the Gentle" makes no sense based on how we’ve seen them at this point. But those are minor nitpicks. What do you expect in a two hour film? Thank goodness at least the ending of the book is kept intact and don’t leave your seat after the credits start rolling as there is an extra scene that sets up the next Narnia film.

In the end we have a major studio film that is made from a classic children’s book, can be enjoyed by the entire family, in which there are no romantic entanglements or blood (even in the battle scenes) and which only the bad guys die for good. It also celebrates both courage and sibling love - with a dash or two of Christian moralism for the observant. How rare is that? With all the talk of how bad Hollywood is these days, The Chronicles of Narnia is the kind of film concerned film-goers should be championing with both their dollars and their voices. Want to send a message? See the film.

Haiku #126

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Written on 6:44 AM by Jack B.

Damn, it's cold outside
Mittens and wool hats won't work
In this winter chill

Ultra Fractal: Banners

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Written on 8:48 PM by Jack B.

Ultra Fractal: Pastel Heart

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Written on 8:46 PM by Jack B.

Ultra Fractal: Fall Into Winter

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Written on 8:46 PM by Jack B.

Ultra Fractal: Sunshine

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Written on 1:16 PM by Jack B.

Ultra Fractal: All Eyes

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Written on 1:13 PM by Jack B.

Tierazon: Diamond Head

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Written on 12:53 PM by Jack B.

Haiku #125

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Written on 12:53 PM by Jack B.

Gone Christmas shopping
Been saving all year - then poof!
Where did money go?

So Far, So Good...

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Written on 12:44 PM by Jack B.

Well the thing everyone was worried about - the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) strike hasn't happened yet - or if it has I made it through the day with no problems. I say: The city should just give them the money. I don't know how it works in other places but here in NYC, a stoppage of the buses and trains could put the entire city to a screeching halt. Millions of New Yorkers (including myself) rely on the transit system to get us where we need to go. Without it, we'd be stuck. 9/11 and the collapse of the Twin Towers couldn't stop the Big Apple. Neither could the blackout we had a couple years ago - but stopping all the trains? Yep, that would do it. Sad, isn't it?

Also I need to get down to those reviews I said I'd write. I've had a hectic week between the final week of classes and work and Christmas shopping. I can't wait for Christmas vacations to take it easy for awhile.

Even Mice Need A Little B16

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Written on 12:39 PM by Jack B.

Somebody posted this on Ebay. Puts new meaning into the word "Ratzinger", doesn't it?
Hat tip to Arthur of The Angry Twins

Tierazon: Prelate

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Written on 11:40 PM by Jack B.

Tierazon: Hail to the King

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Written on 11:28 PM by Jack B.

Ultra Fractal: Meet in the Middle

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Written on 9:40 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #124

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Written on 9:16 AM by Jack B.

Crowded buses suck
No space for movement at all
People scrunched up tight

Ultra Fractal: X-Ray Specs

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Written on 9:58 PM by Jack B.

Apophysis: The Scream

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Written on 12:01 PM by Jack B.

Haiku #123

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Written on 11:10 AM by Jack B.

Dutiful Student
Should really be more selfish
Wouldn't miss so much

Apophysis: Earth Triumphant!

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Written on 10:29 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #122

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Written on 10:11 AM by Jack B.

Down the stretch I go
Semester has two weeks left
Time to start cramming

Apophysis:...And Nothing, NOTHING, Escapes The Black Hole

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Written on 10:08 AM by Jack B.

Apophysis: Alien Pods Are Sucked Into The Black Hole...

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Written on 10:07 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #121

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Written on 8:51 AM by Jack B.

Careful how you walk
Slippery sidewalks of ice
Snowfall's end result

Mistletoe Meme

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Written on 10:20 PM by Jack B.

Via Jamie at Eye of Polyphemus

List the five celebrity girls (or guys, if that’s your thing) that you would like to meet under the mistletoe this season. Remember guys n’ gals--it’s just a friendly smooch. Keep it clean to avoid jealous husbands and restraining orders.

My answers (in alphabetical order):
1. Kristen Bell - AKA Veronica Mars, Girl Detective 2. Sara Evans - The best looking mother of 3 in country music 3. Sarah Michelle Gellar - I'm even willing to forgive her the lousy last seasons of Buffy

4. Kelly Rowan - The O.C. has gotten pretty bad since it first started, but she's still the best thing in it

5. Charlize Theron - the best thing to come out of South Africa since Nelson Mandela

Apophysis: Inside Their Pods The Aliens Now Realize They Are Doomed

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Written on 9:36 PM by Jack B.

Confession Meme

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Written on 12:08 AM by Jack B.

Tagged by Fr. Seraphim at Friary Notes
Sorry it took long for me to get around to this
I confess...

I confess I watch American Idol religiously.

I confess I like doing memes because most times I can't think of what to write.

I confess that being a born and bred New Yorker I love this city dearly but if I get the opportunity to do so, I'm getting the hell outta here (if just for awhile)

I confess I say the word "Hell" a hell of a lot.

I confess I always find myself buying books I never read just because they're on sale.

I confess I'd rather watch the Mass on EWTN than actually go to church.

I confess that when I say my ideal woman would be smart with a great sense of humor, I'm really thinking she must be blonde with a great pair of legs.

I confess I spend an inordinate amount of my small wages on comic books.

I confess I don't understand people who think Hillary Clinton is the Second Coming.

I confess I don't understand people who think George W. Bush is the Second Coming.

I confess I can't read "true crime" books with photographs in it because signs of brutality and blood make me squeamish.

I confess I find movie stars from the 1930s-1950s better looking than the ones of today.

I confess I wish I had the skill to paint portraits of people on canvas (or anything else for that matter).

I confess I like wearing sunglasses when I go out walking at night.

I confess I actually like going to my shrink.

I confess I may be the laziest procrastinator on the face of the Earth.

Now as to who gets tagged for this - if you've read it and haven't done and want to do it then consider yourself tagged by me!

A Time Waster

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Written on 11:23 PM by Jack B.

Toss Some Eggs!

Which Iraqi Political Party Best Fits Your Beliefs?

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Written on 11:10 PM by Jack B.

Take the quiz and see:
Iraqi Electionnaire Quiz

Personally my top three all tied with 56%, they were:

Islamic Virtue Party (Fadhila)


Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)


Iraqi National Accord (INA)

Apophysis: Success! Alien Pods Distress Signal Blocked!

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Written on 11:08 PM by Jack B.

Apophysis: Earth Resistance Sends Out Beta Waves to Block Alien Distress Signal

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Written on 11:06 PM by Jack B.

Haiku #120 - On What I've Been Doing The Past Few Days

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Written on 1:14 PM by Jack B.

Term paper finished
One less thing to think about
Done on day it's due