Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mixed Feelings

I think that I liked it so much because I am more of a visual person. Once I start reading a story or play I automatically think of how it would look on screen. I mean isn't that the point? Writers try so hard to convey what the characters look like, or the scene, or the time of it all. They tell you what happens and try to "paint a picture" for the reader. Well with the play being acted out or the book being made into film isn't it just coming to life? Isn't that what the reader wants-well when it comes to certain characters- they want them to be real? I'm not saying movies are better than books, everyone knows the books are always better, but still they seem to add something to the book. And why not use the media and technology of today to explain literature? They are great tools to be used. I'm also not saying we should use them every time. I think it should be a treat when its used.
At BYU we have the perfect example. As I was sitting in RS I thought of how nice it was to have a power point presentation and how sometimes we use Mormon Messages to add to the topic. Then I thought of the last time I was in a regular ward and was taught with the traditional printed out quotes or the thirty year old pictures from the library that all hang from the chalkboard. It's an entirely different feel altogether. Although one style is new and the other old they both teach the message we are supposed to be learning. I can appreciate the old style and that's how I grew up, but its definitely refreshing to have a new style.

Of course the ultimate answer is between the extremes of Purves and Bloom I would want the happy medium of Croft! :) You have to know the old to appreciate the new. The new is based off the old. Put a little Beethoven with your Frank Sinatra, add it to the Beatles and together they'll be partying it with Michael Jackson and Owl City. Or in other words, The Bible+Shakespeare + Austin+Lewis=J.K. Rowling. You can't go wrong with the classics but don't snub the modern.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Disney's Flirting With "The Line"

Yesterday I was talking to my mom. I told her I bought Disney’s “Princess and the Frog”. She asked if I saw it in theaters and I said no, but you can rarely go wrong with Disney. Then my mom said ya…… and I asked what she meant by the tone in her voice when she said “ya…” my mom then asks if I liked “The Little Mermaid” I said well of course I grew up on that. I watched it everyday for months. Then I asked why. I answered her before she said could answer. I asked if it was because she rebels against her father, is immodest, that she lies to her dad, that she does dealings with a devil like creature? And my mom says well that could be. I then went on to remind her that she bought that movie for me, before I even knew what it was. I then went on to say that I turned out alright. I was never super rebellious-in fact my rebellions were hardly noticed- and I rarely got into trouble, and now I’m going to school, working, and living a good and righteous life. She said that was true. After this little discussion with my mom I thought how sad that we are discussing the moral dilemmas of a children’s story. And then I thought of the Bible. It tells us of bad things that people are doing and how they turn around and do good, or are destroyed, so does that mean we shouldn’t read the Bible? Of course not, but this was just another added thought to the never ending debate over what is or isn’t appropriate in books and movies, and what should we do about he ever changing line.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Recently I was thinking about Othello and all the lies, betrayal and death that came up in the story. I wondered if people can be so easily swayed. Othello doesn’t even try to ask Cassio about anything, and automatically believes what Iago tells him. Furthermore, his self esteem must be so low that he doesn’t even believe his wife that she isn’t betraying him. Why would he think like that? Do we automatically assume the worst in people and believe the worst in us so as to justify and then believe such lies that are spread? I think we like to think that we, as spirit daughters and sons, we look for the good in people first, and we give people the benefit of the doubt. But as earthly humans, we tend to second guess ourselves and believe the wrong. I wonder if Othello had as much regard for humans and God, as Desdemona did, that he would not have believe Iago so easily and that he would have investigated himself in the proper fashion. Is Shakespeare secretly trying to say that as humans who don’t believe in god or truly try to live by His teachings that we are easily subjected to such horrific and self damaging thoughts? I think Shakespeare can definitely be studied through religious eyes and although a lot of his tragedies have some good themes (religions, God, love, loyalty, etc…) but they are overshadowed by the more harsh ones (betrayal, lust, revenge, jealousy, etc…). Maybe the real tragedy of it, is not that people are wrongfully and unjustly killed, but that those who are too close minded miss the underlining meanings and morals of it all.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Reception

Last week I helped at a reception for someone in my ward. And as I was serving drinks I looked over and there was the wedding party taking pictures. And I as I watched the story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Conner seemed to come to mind. Not that there was a group of guys coming to kill anyone, not that there was a cat or noisy kids or anything like that, and not that they had southern accents (although it was an Irish theme and there were some fake Irish accents heard from time to time) but that the bride instantly reminded me of the grandma. There she was, sitting on a chair dead center of the picture with her husband and their families standing behind her. And the bride had this “don’t mess with me I rule the world and I will rule your life for as long I live” look plastered on her face in each picture. My mind instantly went to the grandma and how she will probably be the boss of her children, and her grandchildren and even though she doesn’t have the southern “charm” she definitely has the matriarch vibe. I must say I was surprised that I was able to connect her with someone I had read about and I must say I was even grateful so that I could compare her with someone, even if it wasn’t the best character to compare her too.

Later on one of the guys from my ward came over to help me watch over and serve the drinks and as he was stirring the punch he started to recite the line from Macbeth “Bubble, bubble toil and trouble…” I couldn’t help but laugh thinking that the Flannery O’ Conner story and Macbeth are tragedies and yet here we are at this joyous occasion. I really hope we didn’t jinx anything.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

To Read/Watch Or Not To...

So last Saturday I tried to go watch Slumdog Millionaire twice at the international cinema. Each time it was full. Yes I have already seen it, but I thought it would be nice to see on the big screen where I could actually read the subtitles. Anyways, before going I was talking with my roomies about watching it. One was semi pro and the other con. We talked about ratings and morals and such and the difference between watching movies edited or not. One roomie said she didn’t want to support the makers of an R rated film even if it was edited. But then I thought, well I’ve seen some PG 13 movies that are worse and I go support those ratings. So if you see one PG 13 movie that’s bad does that mean you shouldn’t support them from now on? And does this carry over to TV and books and magazines? If you read a bad book from one genre does that mean you shouldn’t support that genre anymore, or author? We’ve been told as members of the LDS church to watch things that are uplifting, but could it be that one movie or book is uplifting to one and to another its not? I think yes, and that’s why the brethren let us choose. There seems to be a very fine line between what’s allowed and what isn’t allowed. It’s up to ourselves to pick choose what’s right for us and if we feel we have a clear conscious about it. Personally I feel saddened when I hear people go out to see the latest rated R movie not caring because “it looks so good”. If one peaks my interest enough and I happen to get a copy of it I’ll watch it edited. I really don’t have an answer quite yet on this topic, but I intend to do some research and examining and figure out at least for myself, some sort of guideline to follow.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

You've Got Blogs

Ok so I wrote this a week or so ago and forgot to post it, so here it is better late than never.

I’ve been thinking about the moral views of the main “chickflicks” that I watch. One just happens to be You’ve Got Mail. I do admit it is not the best example morally. It has two sets of people living or “practically living” together. It mentions infidelity and homosexuality. One could even argue that the main characters are cheating on their current lovers by chatting online and noticing that more than friendly feelings are starting to develop. I guess by those standards you would think that it’s a horrible movie and no one should watch it. Well doesn’t there have to be some sort of moral dilemma so that the characters can grow and learn? The “belly of the whale” moment for Joe Fox (Tom Hanks’ character) comes while he is stuck in an elevator and Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) I’d say once her store closes. By the end of the movie they dump their previous lovers after realizing they no longer love them. The enemies become friends, and they fall madly in love with each other through one of the best ways that two people should fall in love, through friendship. They turn their lives around and decide whats truly important. I’m not sure where to rank it. It’s definitely cleaner than other “chickflicks” and might I say more quotable, but it still eludes to immoral behavior but with a proper and gratifying ending.

Tom Hanks “Don’t cry shop girl.”

Meg Ryan “I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly.” Then they kiss and a great song starts as the camera pans toward the sky. (sigh)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Literary FHE

So last night for FHE we decided to play Mafia. How original I know, but it was a fall back due to the fact that we just got a brand new FHE leader so things were kind of unorganized. So I was nominated to be the narrator. Which to be honest, I prefer. I hate being Mafia where I have to kill people, and I hate to be a cop because I feel as though there is pressure to actually pay attention to the game. And whenever I’m a citizen, well lets just say I tend to talk or send messages from the grave without realizing it. As the narrator I can make up stories, know whats going on and I can keep things moving along so it doesn’t go too long. Anyways, as I was trying to think of scenarios for people to have been killed by the mafia I started thinking of the poems, and books and stories I had been reading in class, and before you know it I was having people die like people died in the stories I had read or they were killed by a character from a poem (example eaten by a tiger). I had to tell people that it was because of my class I was thinking of all these odd scenarios. Needless to say they were interested in the class and what I was reading. Who knew even during an FHE game such as Mafia, one could bring up the literature one was reading.