The truth will make you odd.
Flannery O’Connor

«— I’m Not Sure How Much More I Can Take
—» It Works with Grace

Religion in Art

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I just watched Return to Me last night. The thing that struck me about it is that it treats religion as an important part of normal life. The people in this film are not strange, hypocrites, power-hungry, or repressed erotomaniacs. They are normal characters, for whom religion is a natural, normal part of their character. Bonnie Hunt, writer and director, obviously has a firm grasp on Roman Catholicism. One of seven children, one cannot but think that she is perhaps cradle Catholic herself. The religious theme in Return to Me is always natural and never overbearing, simply an extension of the characters and the story interacting.

This stands in stark contrast to evangelistic failures such as The Omega Code. The creators of this genre of film view art as propaganda: a vehicle for convincing unbelievers of the truth of Christianity. Poorly conceived characters bumble against one another in a badly-veiled metamorphosis of a Bible-story. To my knowledge, such efforts receive acclaim only from like-minded believers who lack the educated taste to realize how ugly the film truly is.

When religion creeps into the characters’ lines (and it seems to creep into a lot of them), they suddenly become mouth-spigots for God, even when they’re the villain. The role of religion in such films is always subjected to the end of proselytizing the audience. Ironically, the audience is always made up of those who need no such proselytizing and their friends, who have been forced to undergo viewing the film as some sort of hideous torture from the Spanish Inquisition. Often, they are unsuspecting. (After all, no one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition.)

Excellent reading on the topic of Christianity in the arts:

  • Mystery and Manners O’Connor, Flannery. A series of prose essays on the creative disciplines and their interaction with an incarnational Christianity.
  • Sham Pearls for Real Swine Schaeffer, Frank. Mr. Schaeffer has a real axe to grind against mediocre work in the arts by Christians. His earlier work includes a book entitled, Addicted to Mediocrity, the cover of which featured a house-painter with an Ichthus fish sewn into his back pocket roller-painting over the Sistine Chapel. He is quite angry, but with good reason.
  • The Christian, the Arts, and Truth. Gabelein, Frank. This book is unfortunately out of print. I was fortunate enough to get a copy on the very last run that was printed. It is quite old and has been reprinted many times, so perhaps it may see printing again.
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Filed under: — Basil @ 4:12 pm

«— Umm. Yeah. Or NOT!
—» Religion in Art

I’m Not Sure How Much More I Can Take

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Me to customer: “Place the mouse pointer over the item in the menu that says, ‘Pause printing,’ and press the left mouse button.” Evidently, “Click on ‘Pause printing’” was too complicated. When I have to explain how to use the mouse, I think it’s time for you to ditch the computer.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:42 pm

«— This Is Not the Droid You’re Looking For
—» I’m Not Sure How Much More I Can Take

Umm. Yeah. Or NOT!

NOT!">Link to this post  

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Well, it appears I spoke too soon. The transmission has now almost completely failed. It slips out of gear and fails to engage. The silly thing got me to work, but it wouldn’t even get me a few miles down the road to meet Tim for lunch. Now, I’m mad.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 2:29 pm

«— Finally, After Ages of Ages
—» Umm. Yeah. Or NOT!

This Is Not the Droid You’re Looking For

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Tim can’t imagine why anyone would want Mozilla to look like Internet Explorer. Well, let me give you a taste of the Cluestick: Some employers believe in forcing specific clients down their users’ throats. Yes, yes, I know. Amazing, isn’t it? Anyway, in such a situation, making a verboten Good Client look like the required Bad Client is a Good ThingTM.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 12:41 pm

«— You Can Delete, but You Can’t Hide.
—» This Is Not the Droid You’re Looking For

Finally, After Ages of Ages

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I have my car back. Two weeks is an eternity to bum rides off of your friends. Special kb thanks go out to: Chris and Heather Davis, Lisa and Tim Powell, Bert and Laura Walther, Chris and Tabitha Naughton, and Alana and Wes Sheldahl.

If I forgot someone in that list, please smack me. Hard. Then, rack up some saint-points by forgiving me. :-)

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Filed under: — Basil @ 11:06 am

«— Please Call Back Later
—» Finally, After Ages of Ages

You Can Delete, but You Can’t Hide.

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Hyatt: “[Long-winded AOL rant deleted.]” Heh. Too late!

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Filed under: — Basil @ 10:06 am

«— Rule #1
—» You Can Delete, but You Can’t Hide.

Please Call Back Later

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The Novell support group for $printerSolutionsCompany will not be taking calls today. We have uninstalled Novell from our secondary network. It is unclear when or if this situation will be resolved. In the meantime, a workaround is to use a real operating system.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 1:20 pm

«— Native is Better
—» Please Call Back Later

Rule #1

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When you call telephone technical support for some product, if they say, “Please hold,” or “Hold on a sec,” do not say, “This guy doesn’t know what the f—— he’s talking about.” You might not actually be on hold.

Failure to adhere to this instruction may result in reduced or discontinued service.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 12:53 pm

«— “I Only Lied About Being a Thief”
—» Rule #1

Native is Better

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Kevin Gerich has created a native-looking Pinstripe Aqua theme for Mozilla. No longer does the Lizard have to look like a Windows freakshow reject when running on Mac OS X. I haven’t used it yet, but the screenshot looks beautiful. The description on the web page makes it sound like a little more than a theme (skin), though. He mentions hacking on the preferences dialog, and the installer fails on non-Mac platforms. This actually pushes into the realm of a distinct distribution, not a skin.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 12:33 pm

«— Or not….
—» Native is Better

“I Only Lied About Being a Thief”

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It’s not really all that unusual for Slashdot to run a story about downloading music. But, while surfing links from that original article, I found “The Internet Debacle — An Alternative View” by accomplished songwriter and performer Janis Ian. My favorite quote from that article: “Again, from personal experience: in 37 years as a recording artist, I’ve created 25+ albums for major labels, and I’ve never once received a royalty check that didn’t show I owed them money.” [emphasis in original] It’s amazing to me how often musicians that I really respect line up in droves to tell the RIAA where they can stow their baggage. The music industry as it is currently structured is a scam. Consumers are overcharged and performers are underpaid. Where does the excess go?

Three guesses, and the first two don’t count.

Last night, I watched Ocean’s Eleven with Lisa and Tim. Since this is the third time I’ve seen it, it goes without saying that I think it’s a groovy flick. Tim Dominey (no relation) had some interesting things to say about the film’s poster design.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 9:52 am

«— DNS Blues
—» “I Only Lied About Being a Thief”

Or not….

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Once again, I am an idiot.

My DNS maladies reported earlier have nothing to do with QX. Sorry for the slander. It seems that a recent addition to the zone file borked the whole thing, causing nameserver lookups to fail.

I received another rebuke from my priest today, telling me again to be silent. I’m a sinner and an idiot. It seems that no matter how hard I try to shut up and be submissive, he always has to put me back down again.

*** basil throws up his hands in frustration. ***

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Filed under: — Basil @ 9:16 am

«— Of telephones and FUD
—» Or not….

DNS Blues

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My websites have been experiencing some DNS problems of late. DNS is the universal internet service that allows human-readable hostnames, like maria.kevinbasil.com, to map to IP addresses, like 198.93.73.53. If you could hit the latter link, but not the former, you’re seeing the problem. Not everyone is seeing the problem.

In fact, it seems that the problem has to do with QX.net’s nameservers. Anyone using QX.net cannot get to my site at the present time. I’m hoping it’s just a caching problem. I would hate to believe that QX is blocking my site from their nameservers solely because I do not pay an extra $25 per month for almost the same service, with the name “Business” tacked on the side instead of “Residential.” That would be incredibly short-sighted of my dear ISP.

It seems that mailservers are having the same problem when sending mail to mail.kevinbasil.com, incidentally, so I may be missing mail. If it turns out that this whole mess is intentional, QX will never hear the end of it.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 12:22 am

«— Oh. Nevermind.
—» DNS Blues

Of telephones and FUD

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This morning, I had to drag Chris Naughton, who had no reason to go into Lexington, out of bed to drive me to work because someone who did have a reason to go to Lexington is afraid of the telephone. Silliness. You’ve had 125 years to get used to the telephone, dude. Get with the program! When it rings, you pick it up and say, “Hello?”

On a similar note, a Google search for information on telephone phobia, actually a subset of socal anxiety disorder, reveals that upwards of 90% of the pages that come up ask for people to use the telephone to call for help. Umm. Hello? McFly? Anybody home? They’re afraid of it, stupid! That’s the problem!

Robin Gross: “I’d be happy to give my opinion to anyone who’ll listen, but they’re not listening. We were told our position was not welcome at this table.”

Andrew Orlowski: “Memorable phrase du jour belongs to O’Connor, who admits that revenue booked in this period was ‘not of the highest quality.’”

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:26 pm

«— If a Tree Falls….
—» Of telephones and FUD

Oh. Nevermind.

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Earlier, I advocated Nevada’s secession from the Union. Well, last night I was over at Chris Davis’ house, watching our traditional Thursday night coterie of boob tube. It was then that I realized: Should Nevada secede from the Union, we would be deprived of CSI.

Umm, OK. Scratch that. Nevada stays. Besides that, a state national guard, no matter how well armed and trained, could never stand up to the U.S. military.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 9:29 am

«— Don’t Feed the Technicians
—» Oh. Nevermind.

If a Tree Falls….

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Gene Kan has died, and no one noticed. As happens quite often, I am chagrinned to note that I did not even know who he was before I heard the news of his death. Gene Kan was one of the primary developers behind Gnutella and the emerging file-sharing pheonomenon. Tim O’Reilly noted, “Gene was one of the first people to make hay with the idea that peer-to-peer file sharing wasn’t just about music, but about a powerful approach to problems in computer networking.” He also remarked that “it was Gnutella and Freenet, more than Napster, that got the attention of the technical elite and made us think more deeply about the way the Internet was evolving.”

So, here is a small, unworthy tribute to a pioneer. Memory eternal.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 10:30 am