Friday, January 20, 2012

Lady Gaga is really good. Let me say it this way: She knows what works. And it sure sounds to me like she has some talent. Obviously, for either the cynical reason of making money off us, or an unrequited youthful need for love and attention, she's following the Madonna Template. Step 1: Purposely offend faithful Christians and other cautious people, while simultaneously 2: doing moderately interesting, catchy music that's impossible to entirely hate. If you want to know why "they" are winning the culture war, put on a Madonna CD without telling yourself or your prospective listener who it is. I've played this trick at least 4 times, and it works every time. The reason young people get taken in by things is that they expect evil to be totally so, and good to be the reverse. When the putative cultural defenders entirely overreact, denying anything noble or human in the product or the person, it becomes a generational fight instead of a discussion about timeless human values and qualities. And the old folks are gonna lose that every time.
I agree with 99.4% of what I've heard William Donahue of the Catholic League ever say. I'm serious. I could probably write his press releases. That said, sometimes I like it when people make him mad. If I was on the other side of the culture war, I could barely fashion a more perfect foil. Excitable, prone to overstatement, and a smidge prickly. Never mind, I pretty much just described every social conservative leader in the last 30 years. There must be a better way to do this. The fact is, I may not endorse Lady Gaga's views on homosexuality or any other thing, but if I can't acknowledge the appeal, I've already lost. And they're counting on that. "Speechless" is a great song; I loved when 'Glee' slowed down "Poker Face." Heck, "Alejandro" is a good song; it's the video that deserves a pit in hell. (Same thing with Madonna's "Like A Prayer" 22 years ago.) Listen to "Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" and tell me you couldn't hear Amy Grant doing the song. They're just messing with us. I think we should start showing up at Lady Gaga's concerts as fans to start a dialogue. That would make her think.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I must admit, I was a bit perplexed about what to do. Tim Butler is a friend of the blog, (and my friend, of course) and so, after declining to join me "where the sun is warm, and so is the...comradeship" he finds himself on the eve of ordination in the PCA. Well, even before my homecoming, I'd say I'd need half a bottle of Bulgarian wine to think that was a good idea. (don't ask) But I don't want to be rude, so I give him and you a list:

The Top 5 Rejected Well-Wishes For Ordained Protestant Friends

5. Your ecclesial community is less deficient than others I know of.

4. Now, you can change...oh, wait, nevermind.

3. Thanks in advance for baptizing all those (present) future Catholics.

2. I took the liberty of adding some pages to your Old Testament.

1. Congratulations on the fake ordination!
Hilarious Quote of the Day: "no Patriots fan can forget the sight of Wilfork careening down the Foxborough sideline like a Winnebago with its brakes cut..."--in reference to star defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.
Perry drops out. Thank you. Two primaries too late. Were you working for Romney? I need a drink. A caffeinated, alcoholic drink. While I recite the Nicene Creed. Eat that, you lying liberal Arian, Massachussetts Moderate! [Wow, that was brutal.--ed.] Well, no more sparing feelings.
I just want to tell Lamar Smith, Republican congressman from Texas and sponsor of the laughably named Stop Online Piracy Act, (SOPA) that I've been saving up money, and I've no qualms about using it in support of your primary opponent, or, gasp, your Democratic opponent, if you don't kill this bill (assuming, like most reasonable Democrats in Texas, that said opponent doesn't support murder).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Trying to get healthy. I've had this cold/flu/cough thing for two days. On Monday, before it hit me full force, I went to the movies. I saw 'The Iron Lady' with some friends. My initial reaction found it excellent. As I think on it more, (inordinately focused on the present and her dementia) I can see where the critics are coming from. But it was engrossing. This is due in no small part to Meryl Streep, who carries the whole movie. There isn't much political articulation in the film; you wouldn't know what made Thatcher Conservative or her opponents Labor (and Liberal) if you didn't already come in with that knowledge. Overall though, really good. [But you love politics.--ed.] That I do. I suppose I should say that if you enjoy being ignorant of things and people that actually matter, you'll be bored by the film. But who cares, in that case?