Keeping abreast of what’s going on in secular culture is key to engaging with unbelievers. Not only does it give you something in common, it can also give insight into what the felt needs are and how the gospel speaks into that. This is why I’ve previously blogged about Twilight, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. In this same spirit, here are some briefer thoughts on what I’ve heard being talked about recently.
Hamish and Andy got themselves into trouble this week when Hamish, quoting his girlfriend’s obsession with Twilight accidentally gave away the major plot line of the fourth book. There were angry emails from girls still reading as well as emails from men saying things like, “Thank you Hamish, my girlfriend is always comparing me to this perfect albino who doesn’t exist.” The trailer for New Moon came out on YouTube as well (hello Jacob Black!) and has been eagerly watched and re-watched, commented on on Facebook, etc.
Dr Phil is coming to Melbourne for a show at Rod Laver arena. It’s advertised on TV and there are big billboards up. To get a ticket in C Reserve it’s about $150. Self-help is still big business!
The Chaser has been publicly condemned for its recent skit about children’s charities. Labelled as heartless, the show has been pulled from the ABC for two weeks and the guys have apologised. But the public outcry points to a very real value in our society. I suspect it’s got something to do with the idolatry of childhood as well as the fear of death and dying. I’m not saying it wasn’t ‘bad taste’ but I do wonder whether it could equally have been labelled ‘too close to home’.
I had lunch with my uncle, a lawyer from Sydney. He’s been reading Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (where Dan Brown allegedly stole his idea for The Da Vinci Code). He was asking where he could get a copy of The Gospel of Judas since the Catholic church supressed it (his words, not mine). This area continues to be an area of huge apologetic importance.
Incidentally, his interest didn’t seem to be connected to Angels and Demons which has just been released. I haven’t seen it yet or read the book but I’m told that the book is a prequel to ‘The Da Vinci Code’ while the movie is a sequel. Have you seen it? What did you think?
Friends of ours who are huge Harry Potter fans asked us if we wanted to come with them to see HP6 and offered to pre-book our tickets when they do theirs. Which got me thinking about the book. It’s been a while since I read it, but it’s my recollection *SPOILER ALERT* that Snape turns out to be a good guy who’s been masquerading as a bad guy as considerable personal cost. Is that right? I know there are inconsistencies here but I was wondering whether his daily humiliation and dying to self in the service of a bigger cause might have parallels for the Christian life? If you’re a bigger Harry Potter fan than me, perhaps you could comment?
We saw Night at the Museum 2. Almost as good as the first one. I loved the monkeys but Arthur said I was the only adult in the cinema who laughed at their slapping scene! The moral of this feel good family film was “Do what you love with people you love”.
Indian racial attacks have dominated news headlines around Melbourne (and apparently India) and have caused quite a stir. Apparently the issue has also moved to Sydney. This hasn’t come well on the back of Sol Trujillo’s accusation of Australia being racist, although Good News Week and Rove had a ball playing up to that one. Triple J’s Hack has done a few pieces on it as well, from a more serious angle, but seemed to have difficulty pinpointing by whom the attacks are being carried out.
The Obama family continues to be big news. Michelle Obama was on the cover of Time Magazine last month, sales for Portugese water dogs are skyrocketing and Malia and Sascha’s visit to France has had both American and European press in a stir. Oh yeah, and Obama made a speech about a two state solution in the Middle East.
There seems to be less talk about the Global Financial Crisis. Is that right or is it just me? I’m just not hearing the same level of hysteria. What do you think’s going on? Am I just not listening to the right sources? Has the media got bored with it? Where is human nature and selfishness in this?
Andrew Symonds had finally been rejected by the sporting world for his conduct. It seemed that even his cricket prowess couldn’t save him as Ricky Ponting and other team mates expressed their disappointment, saying that he’d has his chances. And yet, the greatest tragedy the media saw was that of the Australian cricket team’s victory might be endangered. Though Ponting hinted that Symonds may make the Ashes team, it seems his transgression was too great and he missed out. How will the Australian team work out redemption for this sinner?
The Netherlands beat England in the cricket. And it was celebrated for days in Facebook status updates. It’s a great underdog story.
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN HEARING?
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.