"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Anniversaries that is)

A Good Anniversary:
“July 20th 2009 is the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. July 20th is also Space Exploration Day. After 40 years of space exploration it is time to begin space settlement.” That announcement comes from the National Space Society blog.

NSS is asking bloggers to post about space settlement on July 20th. For me, it’s an excuse to reminisce on my lifelong fascination with space exploration and (dare I presume) offer an informed opinion. More on this to come.

The Bad Anniversary:
Have you ever rented a movie expecting it to be shallow and idiotic, only to wind up really liking it? I mean REALLY liking it. About a year ago, this happened to me. (Yes, I’m reaching with the anniversary theme on this one.) The movie was Reno 911!: Miami. Oscar-worthy? No. Great farce? Yes. It had me laughing the whole time.

Well, it has happened again. Last week I finally caved and borrowed Zack and Miri Make a Porno from the library. Zack and Miri is a comedy by writer/director Kevin Smith. The title is the plot. I expected a few good chuckles, maybe even a couple belly laughs. What I did not expect was to be charmed, entertained, and completely taken in by the love story. Ask around. When it comes to romantic comedy, I’m nigh unto impossible to please. So if you are in the market for a heart-warming love story and some shameless laughs, I recommend Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
**BE AWARE. This R-rated movie is full of strong sexual content. I am sure it would have been rated NC-17 prior to the MPAA’s measurable lowering of its standards in the 1990s.**

The Ugly Anniversary:
Switching gears to something sobering, this year brought the 10th Anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School. With the anniversary comes a new book offering in-depth examination: Columbine, by Dave Cullen. For me, the tragedy at Columbine was shocking. Yet, I remember moving on with my life relatively unaffected, perhaps a bit more pessimistic and cynical. So I was surprised when I felt an irrepressible need to read Mr. Cullen’s Columbine. It’s my kind of non-fiction: comprehensive, well-vetted, and largely free of sensationalism. I binge-read the book over two late nights. Because of its disturbing content, it’s not an easy book to read. But it is an even harder book to put down. For me it’s been both haunting and helpful, offering reckoning and hope. Quote me: Columbine is Pulitzer material.

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