Your Subtext is Showing

Why do so many people on the firm side of the squishy/hard moral divide care about 50 Shades of Gray (I must have read another 10 posts)? It seems to me that tracking the mainstream productions of Hollywood or American popular culture reveals more about those objecting than it does about the degradation of our culture (which seems obvious to most people). If you are in the habit of watching the junk that sells or attracts ratings (like Breaking Bad), then maybe sometimes your conscience jumps up and bites. But what about your aesthetic sense? And if you have lots of friends who talk about this stuff, then how stimulating is your social life? Maybe you should acquire a better set of associates. Or maybe you are really, really concerned about the moral ethos of American society. But why single out an apparently vapid book and movie? Why not Girls?

Then again, if you are like (all about) me, you sit back and marvel at the cornucopia of cultural expressions, find your niche, and hope for friends with similar sensibilities.

114 thoughts on “Your Subtext is Showing

  1. “find your niche”—-that’s sectarian talk, world flight, retreating to the ghetto, becoming obscurantist who does not even know what’s happening

    if you don’t watch out, you will deny that grace is universal, and saying that God’s providence extends where God has no grace……

    what is the parallel to “every square inch”? every round ——-

    to every square foot? every round——

    i should have paid more attention then they were teaching “Christian conic sections”….


  2. mcMark, relax. Niche is simply the world of Netflix, Spotify, Amazon. You liked this? Then maybe you’ll like that.

    We don’t have 1000+ cable channels for nothing (unless they are a diabolical plot to foil neo-Calvinists by adding to the number of square inches).


  3. I think a lot of the 50 Shades reactors don’t understand how the game is played.

    The movie industry is a lot like your little brother. He pokes at you until you react, and then he tells Mom that you hit him. All to get attention, of course.

    50 Shades is yet another poke. The goal is market share, and to achieve that market share, Universal produced a film that “pushes the envelope” — not necessarily of Evangelicals, but of the general American public, especially the audience that has the most influence over the MPAA rating system. In this case, the envelope is BDSM in an R film.

    So the game unfolds like this:

    Poke: First, produce the movie.
    Tattle: Then, wait for the predictable outrage by Evangelicals and public-at-large. “Mooommm! They’re trying to restrict my artistic freedom!” These days, you can get a subset of hip Evangelicals to tattle for you.
    Attention: Then profit.

    And apparently, the formula works pretty well. 50 Shades, which according to reviews has the literary merit of an Archie comic strip, is poised to break weekend records.

    I say, we should react to 50 Shades with vicious mockery. Like this: 50 Shames of Earl Gray

    (Warning: not benign. The book excerpt has some innuendos)


  4. 1) Does anyone else think the old saw, “we must preach with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other” is mostly bunk? I think all this cultural commentary is in part a product of this mindset: we must preach the “issues” of the day. But who tells us what the issues should be — the media? What excites them one week bores them the next. I prefer to preach with the Bible in one hand, and my church directory in the next. Insofar as whatever is happening in the news affects them personally, well then, it is good to remain informed. But if I have church members going to that movie, I have bigger problems than I realized. Also, smaller. Sin is everywhere, last time I checked.

    2) I have also noticed that once a blogger or preacher is considered a “public figure” (one I know calls himself a “public intellectual”), they somehow all feel *obliged* to comment on almost everything that makes the latest rounds in the news. Why is this? Should they not help discipline their congregations to be less media-driven? At what point is attention to whatever the media is pushing as important “friendship with the world?” (James 4). At what point, do we actually remember — fundamentalism notwithstanding — that “come ye out and be separate,” is still in the Bible? And for me, “come ye out,” does not mean not engaging with the world (cf. I Cor 5, 10), but not engaging in worldly mindsets and attitudes. One of which is that we must constantly be relevant and heard. Meh. Jesus taught in parables after all.


  5. “50 Shades” got made because it will make a lot of money, at least if it can overcome the bad reviews. The books made the publisher a ton of money, so the studio hopes they’ll make a lot of money, too.

    There have been films made with sexual themes that were artistic and intelligent, but those don’t make a great deal of money because the masses neither value great art, nor are they particularly intelligent.

    If you want to make a lot of money in the West (or the East) you aim for the middlebrow (and perhaps prurient) tastes of the massive middle. This is moneymaking 101.

    “Girls” would be somewhere between “50 Shades” and “Unbearable” in terms of intelligence, which is usually the case with HBO, at least before the late-night segments at which time they go all in for the prurient and stupid.


  6. Some of the ladies (including the Missus) yesterday saw the evangellyfish response to 50 shades:

    She doesn’t recommend, but still, the time with church women seems to have been well spent. FWIW..


  7. My pastor made a good comment to me, with regard to watching TV shows with explicit content.

    If as Christians we are drawn to watch these things, what it is that we feel is lacking that is being made more complete by engaging in the watching of sex scenes on the television? Or said another way, if you are talking with a Christian who watches shows with sex in it, ask that person – what is it that you find attractive in these things?

    It’s a good question, I think, for him to raise with me. He also made the point for those of us who are parents – what role models are we playing for our children when they see us watching things that we would prefer our children not watch?


  8. Sadly there are many professing Christian women who have read and will see this trash. I am thankful for the articles that have been written. I know many men who can’t see what the fuss is all about, but trust me that there needs to be a warning. Since no one article will reach nearly the number of people who need to read it, then the multitude of articles may well be necessary.


  9. Lame evangelicals are not helping.

    Neither is Mark Driscoll dragging his obviously uncomfortable wife with him onto “the view”.

    Modesty, decorum, maturity, judgment are needed.


  10. How would you like to be James Dornan’s (the actor in 50 shades) daughter?

    June 2013, the couple confirmed they were expecting their first child,[22] and Warner gave birth to a girl, Dulcie, in late November 2013.[23][24][25]

    In 2015, he was named one of GQ’s 50 best dressed British men. [26] [27]


  11. The balance is between taking on the role of the scold (we all like to feel like we are more righteous than someone) and jumping headlong into being a consumer of all this along with the masses, as if we weren’t Christians with different commitments and obligations.

    Some will consume this stuff, but may just need someone to come alongside them with some gentle admonition or instruction.

    Others will obstinately insist on their right to enjoy it and church officers may need to respond more firmly, given ample patience, appeals and warnings.

    All must take heed in dealing with others on these matters, lest they themselves fall. Take an attitude of caring for our brothers and sisters more than an attitude of scorn or desiring to shame others.


  12. RGM, count me among the yawners, but what of the ironic effect all the anti-buzz has? Don’t all the breathless warnings to not handle actually have at least the opposite effect? Those of us who have kids know that the less attention you give a thing you wish to be avoided the more the thing gets avoided.

    Chris, wasn’t it the Protestant libs who wanted to be culturally relevant? Seems like a lesson is in there somewhere.


  13. Given that millions upon millions of women read the books before a single “don’t read this” was written, no I don’t think it’s a valid concern.


  14. RGM,

    What do you attribute the appeal to?

    I just don’t get the whole bondage angle. When that came up on “Mad Men”, my impression was that the whole show had never been lamer.

    “The Des Moines Register” front page yesterday was about an elderly dominatrix, which yielded the same response in me that ever-more-frequent stories about Drag Queens do – “Man, that’s weird”, followed by boredom.

    I’m reminded of the “love stories” in “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” – the lamest parts of both books.

    What is it about women, even Christian women, that makes this stuff appealing? Same question for more benign romance novels, something that I know for a fact that some women get literally addicted to (I’ve seen the massive donations sorting books at the library).


  15. Andrew: “Or said another way, if you are talking with a Christian who watches shows with sex in it, ask that person – what is it that you find attractive in these things?”

    Really? For most Christians I know, it’s right out of Romans 7:15-25. That’s why we need Romans 8, too. I’m not saying it’s a bad question to ask as part of our efforts to mortify sin, but the way you quoted him, it sounds like he is saying that these desires are rare among true believers. Maybe I misunderstood.

    Zrim: wasn’t it the Protestant libs who wanted to be culturally relevant? Seems like a lesson is in there somewhere.”

    One of the enduring truths I learned from David Wells in seminary is that (at least in the past 300 years), all Christian liberalism has arisen from apologetic/evangelistic motivations. Hence the danger to the whole neo-evangelical movement from the 1940s on, since that is its raison-d’etre.


  16. This came to mind too:

    Why Sex and Candor Don’t Mix
    By D. G. HART | Published: AUGUST 12, 2014
    H. L. Mencken weighs in:

    In the relations between the sexes all beauty is founded upon romance, all romance is founded upon mystery, and all mystery is founded upon ignorance, or, failing that, upon the deliberate denial of the known truth. To be in love is merely to be in a state of perceptual anaesthesia—to mistake an ordinary young man for a Greek god or an ordinary young woman for a goddess. But how can this condition of mind survive the deadly matter-of-factness which sex hygiene and the new science of eugenics impose? How can a woman continue to believe in the honor, courage and loving tenderness of a man after she has learned, perhaps by affidavit, that his haemoglobin count is 117%, that he is free from sugar and albumen, that his blood pressure is 112/79 and that his Wassermann reaction is negative? . . . Moreover, all this new-fangled “frankness” tends to dam up, at least for civilized adults, one of the principal well-springs of art, to wit, impropriety. What is neither hidden nor forbidden is seldom very charming. If women, continuing their present tendency to its logical goal, end by going stark naked, there will be no more poets and painters, but only dermatologists and photographers. . . . (“A Loss to Romance,” Prejudices: First Series, 118-119)


  17. Chris,

    I mean a convo between two committed Christians, one weaker brother, one stronger, with regard to watching the procreative act. I think the weaker can ask the stronger that question. The manner of reaction on behalf of the stronger may tell more about the stronger than his words let on.

    But in any case, point taken.


  18. Because doing social commentary is the evanjellycal way of saying, “We can use Hollywood propaganda as a spring board for our neutered Gospel propaganda” with all the subtlety of a Michael Bay film.

    Good night man, how do you find such garbage to nonsense ratio in your videos? Is it a gift?


  19. I’d say it’s a combination of things contributing to the success. This article explains the main reason really well.

    FTA:No, the appeal of Fifty Shades and Twilight alike is the fantasy that somewhere out there, there’s an extraordinary man (or, erm, vampire) who will adore you just the way you are, no matter how plain, how unaccomplished, how downright unremarkable.


  20. RGM,

    In your analysis there is a really valuable message for us men – we need to love, affirm, and appreciate our wives and daughters regularly and verbally. If they feel that love from us they’ll perhaps be less likely to seek it out from somewhere inappropriate, whether that’s a work of fiction or a real man with wrong motives.


  21. For the young(er) people here, watch the “Newhart” show from the 80s sometime if you want to laugh like crazy.

    Peter Scolari is one of the actors. He does deserve work.


  22. RGM, so the reasoning is that when a racy book which received a large general audience turns into a racy film, churning out anti-buzz among the faithful won’t entice? I think you underestimate the power of religious anti-buzz.


  23. “I want you to want me. I need you to need me. I’d love you to love me. I’m begging you to beg me.”
    – Fifty Shades of Cheap Trick


    “It’s a remarkable phenomenon. Nearly one in five adult fiction books purchased for women in June were from the 50 Shades Trilogy,” said Jo Henry, Director of Bowker Market Research, a service of ProQuest affiliate Bowker. “Certainly, the ability to read these books discreetly on an e-reader is a factor, but women are not shy about discussing them. A recommendation from a friend or relative is the primary factor in both discovering and ultimately purchasing the Fifty Shades books.”

    Compared to the typical adult fiction consumer, buyers of the Fifty Shades books are more likely to be women, live in the Northeast, and have a significantly higher household income. They read fewer paperbacks and more digital books versus last year and are especially likely to use a hand-held device such as a Kindle. Their purchase of a 50 Shades book was more likely to planned — just 11 percent were whims – and oh yeah, nine out of ten times the purchase was for “pleasure/relaxation,” but it’s worth noting that an intriguing one percent were purchased for “work/career” reasons.


  24. Andrew, but why not object to The Fall where Dorman played a sexually deviant serial killer? Maybe because you don’t know an art house theater from a cinemaplex. (not you, them)


  25. I’m with RGM here. It seems very sane to properly identify extreme examples of cultural glorification of sex sin as the problems they are. Sure it may titillate many to see the movie, but it will also keep plenty of people away, and if truth in labeling is good for food ingredients, it is good for soul ingredients. Sin isn’t just “bad” froman uptight Christian perspective — it screws up lives.While the well-versed hereby not need stickers on items, most people appreciate them. Porn marketed as mainstream entertainment should be called out, even if mainstream entertainment’s integrity level has gone to Hell. And 50 year olds like watching sex scenes — maybe not quite as much as 22 year olds, but enough. No one is that sophisticated. J-Lo works out because her fan base likes how she looks, and J-Lo’s fan base is hardly the 20 set, no matter how much she might wish it so. (In her defense, there was no skin in “Parker,” even if her music videos are another story… I’m told!)


  26. And I’m betting the differences between evangelical and Roman Catholic views on sexual “flourishing” could not be more different:

    The bishops are following the lead of the Religious Alliance Against Pornography. The alliance co-chairmen are Catholic and evangelical: George H. Niederauer, retired archbishop of San Francisco, and Jerry R. Kirk, founder of the pureHOPE Christian purity ministry. Protestants, Catholics and Jews have signed an alliance letter warning that, “The contrast between the message of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and God’s design for self-giving and self-sacrificing love, marriage, and sexual intimacy could not be greater.”


  27. if the earth belongs to the Lord, and if Neo-Calvinists are the stewards of both dimensions of every square centimenter, how many ounces out of each gallon get distributed to those who divide cult from culture?


  28. C H—I have also noticed that once a preacher is considered a “public figure” (one I know calls himself a “public intellectual”)

    mcmark: Inquiring minds want to know—are you talking about “Christian statesmen” like Carl Henry and Os Guinness and D A Carson?

    (or a Carl Henry wanna-be like Greg Thornberry)? Can anybody ever replace Packer and Charles Colson and Timothy George and the others who continue to ECT us?


  29. C H—One of the enduring truths I learned from David Wells in seminary is that (at least in the past 300 years), all Christian liberalism has arisen from apologetic motivations.

    mark–Wells should know about “apologetic motivations”! Who else has written that many books about the demise of theology without doing any theology in the books? What is Wells doing if not apologetics and sociology, even as he claims not to “translate the gospel into modern” like the liberals do?

    Even those who like to play the Reformed vs “evangelical” card also keep their “evangelical” credentials up to date by agreeing that Arminians are also “evangelicals”.. And thus the “liberalism is not Christianity” apologetic continues to stand in for and replace the definition and the proclamation of the gospel in which it is revealed that the sins of the elect were imputed to Christ.

    As Machen and Warfield explained, at least some of those Roman Catholics are not liberals. At least some of those Bible thumping Arminians are not liberals.

    I give DGH points for not wanting to be “evangelical” (or even “apologetic”) in the way Ed Clowney wanted Westminster Seminary to be “evangelical”.

    But then the points get taken away if we spend the rest of our lives trying to tell “evangelicals” about why being “evangelicals” is a bad thing. I say this not so much for Hart’s sake, but for mine—no irony intended. Why can’t I just “move on” instead of still reading books by David Wells?


  30. What’s the difference between some of Ruben’s, Klimt, and numerous other works of art, or sculpture, for that matter, and nudity/sex-scenes in films? I agree with D.G. (re: 22 years of age threshold – I know what he means by that). One could not travel to Europe if the position is held so ‘axiomatically’ (thanks to William F. Buckley for teaching me that term). My heart goes out to those who struggle in this area (all of us – you know what I mean, and there are varying degrees among the saints); we can evade (by God’s grace) much more of the time than we probably know or realize through Christ’s working in us, but we cannot totally avoid. I wish that some ministers of the Gospel would acknowledge this fact, and not contribute so much more to the heavy burden of living in this world.


  31. and DGH: “tracking mainstream ,popular culture “

    don’t you think the Lord might be waiting to hear a great outcry from the tormented souls of His people? Gen 18:20-21; 2 Pet 2:7-8


  32. On this topic the rational “grappling” of a Keller may be more helpful than the earnest, emotional, overwrought passion of a Piper. You just have to be able to stomach some occasional weasel words and faux-intellectual posing from Tim, though.

    Was watching a panel discussion with Keller, Dever, and a third guy I didn’t know (an African American pastor who used to be with Campus Crusade for Christ).

    Keller referred to a guy named Lovelace and used the term “Lovelacian”. Whatever.

    Plus, Keller doesn’t do love poetry.


  33. a. is Hope Springs pornographic? Will Hebrews tell me? I had to endure it last night. Neither Meryl Streep nor Tommie Lee Jones took off their clothes (thank the Almighty Parent of the universe). But the movie was only about sex — in marriage, no less.


  34. Do we really need to warn our people not to watch a movie advertised everywhere as an ode to S&M sex? Do we really need to treat our people as idiots who cannot figure out for themselves that a movie with multiple sex scenes of S&M may not be too wholesome? The juvenalization of American Christianity continues. We treat adults like children by teaching them their worship music must be just like their entertainment music, and that if sermons are effectual they must come from a dynamic personality who can be funny and tell great stories “applicable to their daily lives.” Is this the same mindset that forces companies to put this on my shampoo bottle, “WARNING: FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY.” Who the heck is drinking shampoo? Maybe for my next pastor’s newsletter I will warn my people not read that Penthouse magazine halfway covered up in their 7-11’s, for “it’s not about high-rise luxury apartments like you may think.” (rant over)


  35. I just want to know why the piety turned toward a concern for men and their pornography ‘issue’. It wasn’t men buying the books. If you’re gonna be concerned, wives, moms, sisters, where was your concern(all over facebook and everyone else I turned) a couple years back when you were gobbling this crap up? I was doing good ’till everyone told me I couldn’t do something. I’m all grown, I do what I want.


  36. Todd, with apologies to RGM, that’s how these things always come off–treating adults like adolescents. I tend to think the reasoning offered is often just pious cover for weighing in on the latest fads (a kind of negative or telescopic form of participation). The upshot, as you say, is telling grown men and women who presumably have at least a modicum of good sense and piety after all these years being spiritually tutored to not all of a sudden take a left turn at Albuquerque. Huh?


  37. Sean,

    I’ll I ask is, if you do go to “50 Shades”, take the fat man with you. He’d like to see it.

    In fact, if you could make it a double bill with “Magic Mike” as the first feature, that would be even better.


  38. D.G.,

    Meryl Streep?

    Unless it’s “The Deer Hunter” you need to just say “no” to that noise.

    We had “Annie Hall” on a free channel last night so don’t tell me that’s the best you could do.


  39. If churches speak against Grey, aren’t men telling women what to do?

    Surprised the Baylys haven’t done a little spinning on Northeastern professional women fantasizing about bondage.

    Fifty Shades. In a decade, people marrying robots. Stuff that doesn’t interest me, stuff that makes me want to move in with the Amish.


  40. EC, Lay off Streep. She has an amazing range even if she makes clunkers. In the case of Hope Springs, what a woman wants to see on Valentine’s day, she’s (and her husband) going to see.


  41. Southern Presbyteries might get tempted to start trying men for letting their wives & daughters see it. The women will not be tried, though, as that would be not be chivalrous. Valerie may have to fly back over the pond to report. Lodging will be offered.

    if we give license to watch Streep, Sean will surely assert his right to watch “Mama Mia.”


  42. Darryl,

    If she likes “The Trip” then she’s just totally redeemed herself.

    If she laughs at the 20 minutes of outtakes of “To Bed! For we rise at daybreak!” then she’s practically a dude.


  43. Cw, with you on that.

    Got 60 min into the drunk podcast. Same stuff, different day. They want a reformed person to interview on their show, they mention, “some guy on the ” old blog” “, referring to when sean says the drunks hold themselves out as religious figures, calling attention to their previous profession. They think they are like the Presidents of the U ited States (rock band), as a comparison to them being religious figures (ie the PotUS band is as much the presidents as they are real religious figure s).

    Oh, and they debate whether there is free will in heaven.

    Again, with C to the dubs.


  44. They are going to be on some Xtian podcast that swears more than they do.

    Jason is all about touting is former reformed heritage.

    Some voicemail caller says he followed Jason since his CtC post.

    They quote Shakespeare, brevity is the soul of wit.

    I’m ready to hand the torch off. Who listens to drunks next week?


  45. This is perhaps Andrew’s greatest contribution to Old Life.

    He is perhaps the most temperamentally suited to engage the Toms, Jasons, Christians, and Kenneths of the (ir)religious world.

    Lord knows I am not.

    It’s a gift to be able to suffer fools gladly. That is a gift that I do not possess.


  46. Andrew’s genius is to engage these guys not with a hammer, but with a feather.

    A hammer only enrages them, eggs them on, makes them worse, makes them lash out — and that can get ugly.

    A feather neuters and confounds them. Brilliant.


  47. Eric – sidebar question, but did you ever check out “The Pledge” with Jack Nicholson (that I recommended quite a while ago)? If so, what did you think about it?


  48. Andrew, my point to Christian, was not that they were ostensibly religious figures but that they utilized the shock value of ‘scandalizing’ their former vocations (drunk ex-pastors) to both draw an audience and pontificate on issues that they have particular familiarity with-xian subculture, church, etc. I didn’t think it was a particularly controversial or profound insight, but an obvious one. I don’t actually care what their underlying intentions are, I was merely speaking to the purposefulness of their marketing. If they want to argue that they aren’t particularly purposeful(about anything), ok. Do I buy that hook, line and sinker? No. Do I believe that they just enjoy riffing? Sure. Does that riffing have a subtext? You betcha. Is it more than Potus? I’ll let you decide.


  49. George,

    I haven’t, but thanks for reminding me. I’ll move it up in the queue.

    I just listed a Life Magazine publication chronicling Nicholson’s career so your note is timely.

    I enjoyed him most in “Carnal Knowledge”, “Five Easy Pieces”, and, especially, “Chinatown”. Him and Warren Beatty were the main men in Hollywood in the early to mid 70s.


  50. Disengaging from debate has re-energized me to move back to my wheelhouse of a few years ago in which I work and watch like 10 films a week, plus take in assorted theological and other assorted podcasts.

    It’s a better place…


  51. EC – I think you’ll enjoy it. This flick has Nicholson cast in a older role, as an alky retiring police detective who more or less gets himself sucked into something unintended. It’s quite unlike any characters in his previous films and he was exactly at the right phase of his life to play it well.


  52. Netflix is starting to PMO. If it ain’t some recent, big time, block buster nonsense they don’t offer it anymore. I don’t get it. The whole reason for their business model was to be a centralized film repository that provided access to a larger array of genres such as the corner mom&pop video rental store could not afford. Looks like that’s not the case anymore. What’s next?


  53. George,

    I totally agree.

    It’s all about streaming and original content these days. I don’t give a flip about a new women behind bars series, I want to see films from before I was born.

    A new Netflix will probably eventually emerge that will do what Netflix set out to do. It will probably be more than $8 a month or whatever Netflix charges for DVD’s, though.


  54. Other than live sports, most of which is not meaningful, there’s rarely any reason to watch anything newer than a decade old. When you do you inevitably waste a lot of time that you’re not getting back.

    You need to let critical judgments form and only after that has happened can you watch something with some confidence that you are using your time wisely. Who knows, 10 years from now people may wonder why anyone bothered with “Mad Men” or “Breaking Bad”.

    Good stuff will be as good in a decade as it was last night, and there’s still a lot of good stuff from a decade ago that I haven’t seen, let alone read.

    This is why TV is for the most part a wasteland and a time waster, although not having a TV has no bearing on one’s sanctification, only one’s critical acumen.


  55. My only this is..they want to be liberal?

    Bury their combox with our liberals.

    Let them embrace the suck of verbosity. Yo.


  56. Same thing’s true with music. The standards and classics, many of which were from off-Broadway shows and musicals, performed by jazz singers and instrumentalists are timeless and sound just as good today as they did originally. The past 2-4 decades of gradually descending talent & taste for punk rock, rap, hip-hop, and similar ilk is even worse than some of the “bubble gum” pop music of the 70’s. It’s hard to image that anyone will be listening to any of it in another 10-15 years.

    Maybe it’s just because I’m getting old….


  57. DGH, thanks. Looks intriguing, but 1) how much can I depend on what they select as something that suits my tastes – kinda reminds me of joining one of those “wine clubs,” and 2) will it stream to an ancient Roku box? Not that the latter matters much at this point – I’m currently locked in mortal combat with AT&T over a provisioning issue for U-Verse and don’t have the bandwidth for streaming anyway.


  58. Wow, the original subject of this blog post sure has picked up steam! I’m hearing discussions like this:

    Evangelical Pastor: “Hollywood has released this piece of trash based on a filthy pig sty novel called ’50 Shades of Gray.’ You should NOT see it.”

    Lay Person: “Did you see it?”

    EP: “I had to see it so I could determine whether or not it was appropriate for YOU to see it.”

    LP: “Well, thanks for the warning, but did you enjoy it?”

    EP: “Trust me, it’s not worth seeing.”

    LP: “OK, but did you enjoy it.”

    EP: “The popcorn was over priced, too salty, with rancid butter.”

    LP: “But I’m trying to find out if YOU enjoyed the flick!”

    EP: “I wouldn’t recommend viewing anything at the local Regent Theatre. They don’t clean the place well and the floors are sticky from spilled soda.”

    LP: “I don’t seem to be getting through. Did you like the flick or not.”

    EP: “It’s difficult to comprehend why Hollywood produces this kind of drivel nowadays. Clearly a sign of our declining culture.”

    LP, groaning: “I give up!! I guess I’ll just have to go see it for myself.”

    EP: “Now we’re getting somewhere. I expect to see extra time in self-examination from you this week and want to see evidence of a transformed life style!”


  59. Is this what the NFL does to sport?

    “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the book and the movie, is a celebration of the sadism that dominates nearly every aspect of American culture and lies at the core of pornography and global capitalism. It glorifies our dehumanization of women. It champions a world devoid of compassion, empathy and love. It eroticizes hypermasculine power that carries out the abuse, degradation, humiliation and torture of women whose personalities have been removed, whose only desire is to debase themselves in the service of male lust. The film, like “American Sniper,” unquestioningly accepts a predatory world where the weak and the vulnerable are objects to exploit while the powerful are narcissistic and violent demigods. It blesses this capitalist hell as natural and good.


  60. George, if you are interested in a variety of movies, then you can always find something. I have yet to be disappointed even though I would not have selected any of Mubi’s titles on Netflix or Prime. I wouldn’t have known about the films.

    But you need to view this on a computer. If you buy a HDMI cable, you can hook up a laptop to your television and get the bigger screen.


  61. DGH – thanks again; got it. Unfortunately, all of the things you suggest are still at the mercy of AT&T and its provisioning of the proper bandwidth to do so (a.k.a., U-Verse). I’m still working on that, but it may still be a while.


  62. DGH – It’s quite the opposite. AT&T turned me loose after some 35 years in the telecom industry back in ’05. Problem is that I know more about how things get provisioned than the millennial hires in their call centers ever thought about. Therefore it’s “Mexican standoff” (strike me dead for THAT comment!) between me and their only-do-things-according-to-our-bible types. I have only existing DSL over my twisted-pair entrance wire with 384/1160 mbs, which could easily be “flash-cut” from that service to theirs, but they won’t have anything to do with it, requiring me to first disconnect my old DSL before ordering their service. Stuffy.

    Any similarities between this and certain evangelical practices you can think of?


  63. He was pulling those AOL discs out of the mailbox


    His link where he got his Theology of St. Bastard was kind of telling. I guess that what he listens to, intead of his papi.

    Lest I continue down the “hammer” path, I’m back to the “feather,” tickle these guys silly till their crying.

    Erik, you rock. Thanks for the kind words today. I’m out, homeslice.


  64. Though I must admit he does redeem himself once every blue moon..

    Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Darryl and the Sneerers are part of Christ’s church too.


  65. Fair enough.

    It’s our shared game show heritage then that makes me have a soft spot for the man.

    As for Kenneth, he questioned my manhood. He needs a rock to the head. But he’s young yet, so this is all I’ll give him
    Braveheart – As It Matters In Battle (Rock Throwing Scene Contest, Brave…:

    Christian and Jason can’t use alcohol as an excuse. You were right to go after them, yo.


  66. Zrim,

    Exactly, and from Better Call Saul last night:

    “Only two things I know about Albuquerque: Bugs Bunny should have taken a left turn there, and give me a hundred tries, I’ll never be able to spell it.”.


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