holy wars

This weekend is the True/False Film Festival in Columbia. I’ve always wanted to go, but still haven’t managed it. Still, I often look at the line-up so that I can try and see the films at another time.

This year a really interesting one is called Holy Wars following an Irish convert, Khalid Kelly, to extremist Islam and Christan fundamentalist Aaron Taylor.

I went looking for Aaron Taylor to see where exactly he stood in the spectrum of conservatives, and I found this blog. At least, he seems to be admitting he was misdirected, if not out-right lied to about the war he originally supported in Iraq.


I’d still like to see that documentary by Stephen Marshall. There’s also a book written by Taylor about the experience called Alone with a Jihadist: A Biblical Response to Holy War. I’m considering getting this book or getting the library to buy it. It sounds like a very well-thought, comprehensive argument for Christ-like peace.

kudos to Toyota…

Everyone knows that Toyota is having troubles with a couple of giant re-calls on their products, right now. But last night I saw a new commercial from that company that caught my attention.

It was very impressive because I don’t often hear corporations basically say “we’re sorry”, “we made a mistake”, “we’re working to fix it”,”we’ll try to do better”.

After all, we’ve seen a lot of this recently, from contaminated pet food and childrens’ toys, to peanut butter and tomatoes… even war.

I can respect a mistake apologized for and fixed a lot more than a mistake glossed over, passed on and ignored.

I’ve gotten so sick of of this bluster-through policy that I almost automatically think the worst of those who utilize… and we’ve seen way too much of it in the last decade.

It’s good to see a change, and as for me, I remember things like this when it comes time to spend my money as well as my vote!

Avatar academy award?

Okay, how the heck did Avatar get on the Best Picture nominee list?

This was a fun movie, with awesome special effects that, I’m sure, advanced that technology similar to the way LOTR did. But Best Picture means, it should be all around better than other movies, not just the cool special effects.

But I could identify at least Dune, Pocohantas, and Dances with Wolves easily within the simple storyline. In fact, when I saw it a month ago, I’m sure my list of plots from other movies was longer, I just can’t remember them now. Still these three were the loudest of the bunch.

Besides Avatar could easily been split into two movies which would have allowed more depth to the flimsy characters. You could practically see through them, they were so thin. Despite the fact that I, of course, wanted the Na’vi to win I didn’t feel many tugs on my heart strings because I barely got to know any of the characters. None of them seemed to have any history or intensity.

“Oh, don’t hurt Home Tree. We couldn’t possibly live anywhere else.” “No! Home Tree is destroyed.” “Wait, let’s go to the other tree (I can’t remember that one’s name.) We’ll be safe there if we dance in front of it. The bad guys will never find us!”

I don’t know, it just seemed like the Na’vi should have been smarter than they really were.

But still, really AWESOME special effects. And Cameron should probably get an Oscar for that. (Makes me wonder if it might be possible for a Dragonriders of Pern movie!!!!)

Just not for screen play or Best Picture… come on. Where are the standards?