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Archive for January, 2011

A sports reporter in sunny San Diego references Tiger’s ‘little marital problem’ and reveals the dark abyss of celebrety worship in our culture. Tiger’s return to Torrey Pines for the Farmer’s Open is creating a buzz and the Tiger spottings have begun in earnest. What is missing from the publicity is an honest examination of a fallen hero. Sadly, any lessons learned from the Tiger scandal are ignored, as the Cult of Celebrety props up one of its crumbling idols on a pedestal of shiny, but, oh-so-slippery silver. Sorry, but Tiger does not have a ‘little marital problem’. Tiger has an enormous CHARACTER problem. All those minutes, hours and days spent shaping him into a golf god…time well spent?

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All You Need is Love?

The Beatles said ‘All you need is love’….and then they broke up. 

                                                   Larry Norman, singer/songwriter

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How much for that giant window?SOUVENIRS! The great cathedrals of Europe can be places of deep contemplation. Questions concerning eternity and one’s place in the universe are inevitable within these shadowy, incense-infused houses of God. Paris’s stunning Sainte Chappelle is famous for its stained glass windows. A marvel of ancient ingenuity, its saphire, ruby, emerald and topaz panes hang upon a skeleton of stone ribs, allowing prisms of colored light to dance across the walls and floors of the sanctuary. Scenes from the biblical narrative illustrate the gospel of Christ for illiterates, literates and gawking tourists.

 Naturally, the gift shop provides keepsakes for purchase. And how better to remember one’s visit to this ancient memorial to Christ? Why, buy yourself some Tarot cards! Among the rosaries, pocket Bibles and crosses for sale, you will find complete sets of Tarot cards.

What the Culture Vulture finds most fascinating about this scenario is the conversation that  must have precipitated the placing of the Tarot cards among the souvenirs. The gift counter inside Sainte Chapelle is inappropriate, but it’s not very big. There are only a few items for sale. Someone had to decide exactly which items would be offered for sale in a relatively small space: Zut alors! Shall we sell ze religious icons? Ze plaques imprinted with Bible verses? Leetle toy saints?  Howzabout ze Tarot cards? Voila! 

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Quirky City by the Bay

San Francisco recently passed an ordinance prohibiting McDonald’s from including toys in their Happy Meals. Healthy living is obviously a high priority for this community. Meanwhile, homeless people defecate on the sidewalks, residents smoke pot openly in public and meth users plant themselves in the path of tourists on Fisherman’s Wharf – drug paraphernalia in one hand, the other extended in supplication. Go ahead. Put a dollar in that man’s hand. Golly, I sure hope he doesn’t use it to buy a hamburger.

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True Grit

Fantastic film by those talented Coen bros. Quality entertainment with weighty, old-school characters. True grit, which the main characters possess, is something we all could use a little more of in this soft and comfy culture of ours. Folks who are rough around the edges, but tough as old shoe leather. Pivotal scene of Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) carrying Mattie (Hailey Steinfeld) across the wilderness to get to a doctor reveals that even corrupt, broken down alchoholics  can be redeemed. Matt Damon provides comic relief as a Dudley Do-Right Texas Ranger. The characters speak in a dialect lifted from the King James Bible, making a case for bringing the Bible back into the schools. Even murderers in desperate need of a dentist and a bath are elevated when their speech is pure poetry.

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Happy New Year! Someone carry the Dick Clark robot off the stage. The kids are terrified.

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What I Want

“I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.”  Lily Tomlin

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