7/31/2010 04:25:00 pm

Previously Unseen Specialness

Posted by Tom French |

I was just going through my old blog posts and making them more template friendly, and I found this post which I never posted. I wrote it during the time when we'd just lost our senior minister at my old church where I was the Youth Minister. So if you want to see a post that till now has been hidden, go click on the link. To save you the time though, it's just me musing on church law and the significance of paid staff so I can't imagine many of you would be that interested.

7/28/2010 11:08:00 pm

Inspire Me

Posted by Tom French |

I love elections. Too bad this one's boring.

At least it was boring but all these Labor leaks are spicing things up. I'm not feeling all that compassionate. If you stab your people in the back, you can't expect them to behave while you live of their demise. Labor came out looking strong when they dumped Rudd. Now it's all looking like a bit of a shambles. The Libs are looking good, because Labor is just falling apart.

I kinda hope Labor don't win, just to punish them for their selfish dumping of their leader that brought them to power. Their fear of losing the election, is now manifesting itself all over the place as they just seem to be playing everyone's fear and prejudices. They're going right on immigration, refugees, gay marriage. They're ignoring mental health needs. No one is talking about the war. And they're trying to impress everyone with their balanced budget. None of this sounds like strong moral leadership, it seems to be playing to conservative agenda.

It seems particularly absurd that they have an openly gay Senator who has to speak out about her opposition to gay marriage. That doesn't make the party look united, it just makes them look like their stomping on the individual beliefs and convictions of their people.

I guess all this means that I'm not really finding this boring at all. I'm just finding it uninspiring. At least uninspiring is less likely to let me down.

7/27/2010 10:37:00 pm

Minorgraine

Posted by Tom French |

I was sitting at work today, diligently looking at photos on istock of backpacks (it was pretty inspiring) when I realised I couldn't see things that I was looking at. I could see everything around what I was looking at, but in the centre of my vision I had a white spot like I'd been looking at a light, except I hadn't.

My immediate thought was "I'm going blind." Then I thought "If that's true I can probably take a day off work tomorrow." My third thought was "If I go blind, I'll be able to do an inspirational preaching tour." My fourth thought was "I hope, if I go blind, I don't start dressing like a blind person, unless it's Stevie Wonder."

Generally, if ever I find a problem with my health and the diagnosis is not immediately apparent to me, I jump first to worst case scenario and then to the inspirational preaching tour. "Maybe I've got cancer... Inspirational preaching tour", "Maybe I've got a rare degenerative disease... Inspirational preaching tour.", "Maybe I'm going bald... Inspirational preaching tour." Actually I'm planning the tour for my balding testimony now. I just need the hairline to recede a little more.

Anyway, the blind spot moved from being in the middle of my vision, to the left-side of my vision so I lost all my peripheral vision on the left. I realised than that I wasn't going blind I was just getting a migraine. I was a little disappointed that the preaching tour was off the cards, but I did still harbour a small hope that I could still take the day off work tomorrow and watch DVDs or something. I did at the very least start planning how I was going to get home with no peripheral vision. I thought driving would be a touch unsafe.

But, as it happens, the vision cleared up and the migraine never appeared. I got a tiny little headache and I felt sleepy during the news tonight, that's it. I've only ever gotten one migraine in my life, and I'm pretty sure I can't call what I had today a migraine. It was a poor excuse for a migraine. It was a failgraine. If I could capture it on a digital camera, I'd send it in to Fail Blog for everyone to laugh at.

But I'm not complaining. Even though I won't get to stay home and watch DVDs tomorrow, I am happy I'm not lying in a dark room with a throbbing head, feeling like I'm birthing a garden gnome out of my skull. And for all those of you who do get migraines, I wish this migraine on you from now on. You'll probably enjoy it compared to your usual torment. This one just kinda tickles.

Respect.

7/25/2010 11:06:00 pm

Winner

Posted by Tom French |

I didn't watch the debate or MasterChef. I went to church.

If you're wondering, Jesus won.

7/25/2010 11:01:00 pm

Inception

Posted by Tom French |

Inception.jpg

I went to see Inception yesterday. I think it's probably one of the best executed films I've seen in years. Conceptually it's original. The idea of doing a heist movie and setting most of the action inside people's dreams is pretty huge. Dream sequences in film are usually rather lackluster. Either they're too absurd, or too inconsequential to the plot. Yet this film manages to pull off huge parts of the film in dreams, without them either becoming etherial and meaningless, or undream like. While you could be tempted not to worry about danger in a dream because "it's all a dream", Nolan manages to to make the audience genuinely care about the outcome of events without resorting to cheap Fredy Kruger tricks.

Christopher Nolan's direction is amazing. He keeps such a tight reign on what could be an extremely confusing story, that it comes off seamlessly. While it would be easy for a viewer to get lost in the film, it's made in such a way that you always know where you are unless you shouldn't know where you are. Some films which are so highly reliant on mind bending concepts mean that the viewer spends a lot of time saying "What's going on here? Where are they know?", yet this film is so cleanly done, the viewer can see three different scenes, in three different places, using the same characters in the space of 10 seconds and know exactly where they are and what's going on the whole time. The final half hour is some of the most tense, well edited, film making I have ever seen. Particularly worth watching is the zero gravity fight scene, which is so beautifully put together, amazingly choreographed, and fun to watch, it's probably the best fight scene in the past few years.

I know I'm not actually saying much about the plot, or themes, or characters, but I don't really want to. You really should see this film. It's not worth explaining, because it's too hard to explain well. Just go see it, because I said so.

7/24/2010 12:26:00 am

Noggin

Posted by Tom French |

I saw myself in the mirror today and realised what I'd look like if I were bald. I'm pretty sure my head is exactly the same shape as my Dad's - just less full of fatherly goodness.

7/21/2010 08:44:00 pm

Yes! Optus!

Posted by Tom French |

7/21/2010 08:33:00 pm

Inspiration Abort!

Posted by Tom French |

So I didn't quite get that run done that I was planning on doing. Well at least not at the time I was planning to do it.

I woke up this morning, ten to six, and it was raining, and I couldn't find my earphones, and my iPod was in the car, and the car was in the garage. So I went back to bed.

But when I got home from work, I did that run. And you'll all be very inspired. I ran 7km in 42min. Which means were that the actually City to Surf I'd have a lazy 18 minutes to run the remaining 7km. Or to put it another way a little under 2 minutes per km off my pace tonight to beat 60mins. Easy.

If I beat this goal, they're gonna make a movie about me. The only way I can be more inspiring is if I was in a wheel chair. Or perhaps if my Dad was in a wheel chair and I was a quadrupal amputee, and I carried my Dad the whole 14km to fufill his dream of running the City to Surf before he died of some shrapnel that was slowly working it's way into his heart, after saving a baby during September 11.

The sad thing about this run was, my Nike+ sensor died because I hadn't used it in a year and three months. So I can't record the run on the internet. It won't make it into the snazzy graph, and it'll hurt my currently amazing stats. And the play list wasn't so impressive. Though I did run to MC Hammer for about a km which was inspirational. "You can't touch this."

Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'm not actually going to do 14km in 60mins. It's just always been a dream of mine. But I really do want to do it in less that 70mins. That was my time last time I ran the City to Surf, only 11 years ago. You only get better with age don't you?

7/21/2010 05:31:00 pm

The Lion & the Mouse

Posted by Tom French |

lion 2.jpg

by Saho Fuji from The Lion and the Mouse

I haven't read the book but I really like the picture.

7/20/2010 11:26:00 pm

Inspiration

Posted by Tom French |

Tomorrow morning I'm getting up at 6am to begin training for the City to Surf. I have two and a half weeks to get fit enough to run 14kms in under 60 minutes. That's the goal. If I actually try and achieve that goal these next two and a half weeks are going to be like a freakin' Rocky montage. Prepare to be inspired people.

7/19/2010 11:34:00 pm

Shout Out

Posted by Tom French |

My blog is getting a few visits from my work colleagues. This means I'll have to stop writing rude things about them here. Darn. The dream had to end some time.

I've noticed that some blog readers who don't see a lot of me in real life don't know where I work. This is because I have deliberately not told anyone. It could be because I work for the Government. But that would be too obvious. Because everyone knows that if you do something secret you work for the government.

No, I work for a Christian ministry organisation, which is a front for a government organisation, which is in itself a front for the R&D division of a dummy corporation set up by a charity run by wolves. Real wolves, that live the forest, hunt in packs, and organise to get tax-exempt status for their charitable works, those kind of wolves.

Of course I pretend I don't mention what organisation I work for just in case I say something that the people in the marketing division don't like ("Hello Marketing Division!"). Like for instance if I said that at work we regularly door knock the area and abuse people pretending to be from another religion, hoping people will join our religion because the other religion we were pretending to be was so horrible to them. We don't do that, but that might be the kind of thing that the marketing department would not like me saying on the internet if it was, in fact, true and I actually worked for an organisation which not just a front, for a front, for a dummy corporation of a K9ish charity. Really I'm just terrified of being hunted down and killed by a pack of wolves.

Anyway, I just wanted to say "Hello" to all my work mates and friends in the animal kingdom.

7/18/2010 12:54:00 am

Comedy and Preaching

Posted by Tom French |

I feel like Lesley's comment was such a good and challenging comment, that it needs a post of it's own. Down below she wrote:

I wonder why comedy in preaching seems so important for many preachers? Let me be clear - this is a general statement to anyone who preaches, not Tom in particular. The sermons I remember best are those where I'm challenged to change. Not quite on the scale of fire and brimstone, but challenged nonetheless. Yes, a well-placed laugh can be effective, but jokes can also make for lazy, self-conscious preaching. I hunger for intelligent, thought provoking sermons. Raise the bar, I say. How do you want to be remembered? As a funny preacher? Or something more than that? Here's a challenge: Can you can deliver a sermon without cracking a joke? ... Let the flaming begin.

I must say this is something that I've thought about a lot. Obviously if you've heard me preach, or read my blog, you'll know that comedy is an important part of my preaching. I think there are quite a few reasons for having jokes in a sermon but I certainly don't think they're vital. You can preach an excellent sermon without one joke, Piper and Stott are both key examples of this. And you can preach a useless sermon which is plenty funny. I won't give you an example of that.

Pilavachi*, in a seminar, once said that there are three types of people giving extended monologues in secular society these days, politicians, lecturers and stand-up comics. Of those, stand-up comics seem to be the once who people are most likely to listen to.

While obviously that's a generalisation I think there is a lot of truth to the statement. The best stand-up comics are making a serious comment on society in a way that is more likely to be heard. Politicians should be the ones doing it, but we're all so jaded with their self-serving, narrowly focused rhetoric we've stopped listening long ago. It takes someone with truly great oratory skills, like Obama, to make people sit up and actually want to listen.

Comics, on the other hand, can demolish pretences and prejudice just by highlighting the absurdity of people's stupid behaviour and ideas. Good comics will make you laugh and make you pay attention to the world at the same time. Driscoll once said that the best lesson he ever got on preaching was going to see Chris Rock do stand up.

Now as far as preaching goes, I feel like comedy serves many different purposes.

Positively, and in it's most basic form, comedy relaxes and focuses a congregation. A few jokes early on can help people feel pleased to be listening to the sermon. A joke or two during some of the more theological bits of a sermon will keep people focused when they might be tempted to drift off.

Another useful tool of comedy in preaching is that you can use it to highlight sin without people getting defensive. In my experience, highlighting your own sin with a self-deprecating story frees people up to laugh at you, identify with you, and realise that they too are sinful the the same way. Often we laugh because it rings true.

Also in the context of self-deprecation, is when you use humorous stories about yourself to "un-sanctify" the preacher. Preachers can seem like spiritual giants when they preach. Sometimes this is because they use the sermon to highlight their spiritual strength or to give the impression of spiritual maturity. Or because, through no fault of their own, the preacher preaches well about spiritual matters and gives the impression they are accomplished in everything they're encouraging their congregation to do.

A self-deprecating story can go a long way in putting the preacher on the level of the listener, and hopefully, by contrast, show Christ to be the hero of the sermon.

Thirdly, humour will help hard truths go down easier. As Mary Poppins said "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." Biblical preaching necessarily touches on some of the most painful parts of human existence. To tell people that they are sinners, deserving of God's judgement, is not an easy thing to do, and to be told you are an object of God's wrath, is not a nice thing to hear. A little humour, without diminishing the gravity of the truth can make things a little easier to hear, and give people a bit more good-will so they are more likely to listen.

Mostly I just use humour because it helps make listening to sermons a more enjoyable experience. While I sincerely believe that the greatest enjoyment in preaching is not in laughing but in seeing the beauty of Jesus, and the most valuable moments of preaching are not when people smile, but when their heart is broken by God convicting them, I do not think the process loses value or meaning if people are amused along the way.

However this is not to say that humour isn't used for unhelpful reasons either.

Negatively I use jokes to help with my insecurity about a message. I might feel like a sermon or talk isn't very good, so I'll add jokes to cover up the perceived lack of content or weight. Obviously this is a bad use of humour. It elevates my insecurity over my trust in God's word to be powerful, relevant and life-giving beyond the skills of the preacher. Plus it shows my laziness. It is an inadequate response to a deficient message. The answer is not to make more jokes, but to work harder to find God's voice for his people in the message he has given me to preach.

Also I use humour because it makes me feel good about myself. However high myself esteem is, it can always get higher. To have 100 people laughing at one of your jokes feel pretty good. And so the temptation is to make more jokes, so that more people laugh, more people think you're funny and you feel better about yourself. Comedy feeds my pride.

That's not to say that a sermon devoid of jokes cannot feed a preacher's pride too. The preacher will always be wrestling with pride and insecurity when they preach. They will always go to the pulpit with mixed motives. I think the task of any preacher is not to remove anything in a sermon which might make the preacher look good, or feel good about themselves, but to constantly seek the Holy Spirit to change their heart so that they recognise their own sin, and that it is only God's graciousness that they are gifted with any skills to preach at all. I think it's also a matter of praying that God might give you new desires, not to glorify yourself but to glorify him through your words.


Obviously, comedy is only a tool in preaching. It has its strengths and its weaknesses. The strengths are seen in funny preaching that is enjoyable, dynamic, insightful and God glorifying. The dangers of making jokes are that people will be more interested in having a laugh than in hearing God's word, and the preacher will be more interested in looking good, then showing how good God looks. When it comes down to it, I feel like the preacher should use the tools available to them as best they can. If you're good at being funny, then use it, for God's glory, to help preach his word. If you're not funny, don't be, because it makes everyone awkward and doesn't serve God, you or your congregation at all.

I try and use comedy only to help me preach. I try hard not to trivialise God, God's word or God's work. I try hard to help the congregation pay attention as much as possible so that they might be listening to God's truth. I know I've got it wrong in the past, and I will again. But I am sure that for me, at this time, the ability to make jokes is a gift God has given me to use, and I need to put it to service for him.

As far as Lesley's challenge to preach without making any jokes, I did it once. You can read about it and listen to it here. I might do it again. I probably will at some stage. If I do I'll let you know how it goes.

Well, that's my opinion on comedy in preaching. I know there's a good bunch of you out there who are both preachers and regular preaching listeners, what are your thoughts?

*Speaking of Pilavachi, this is one of his funniest sermons, it also serves as a great example of preaching that is both funny and important. It takes a little while to get started, but it's a good one none the less.

7/16/2010 10:52:00 pm

Burn or Bury

Posted by Tom French |

flag grave.jpg

I just read this blog post from Justin Taylor about finding a Christian ethic of cremation and burial. The post talks about the need for Christians to consider the ethics for cremation, because it's something that more people are interested in. From what I can tell from the article it seems like it's generally a given in the States that Christians get buried. I assume this is because Christians have a hope for bodily resurrection, so burning a body is not really demonstrating that hope.

It was interesting to read, mainly because it's an issue I haven't really thought about before. The only time I've thought about the ethics of cremation vs burial is environmentally. I saw a video once about it (which I can't find now) saying that cremation is way more environmentally friendly than burial. So I've always just thought, "Hey, cremation sounds fine." But this article suggests that burial is the most Christian way to deal with a body.

I actually don't feel like it's a big deal. But what I do find interesting is that it's an issue where the assumption is made that most people will be buried. In Australia the majority of bodies seem to be cremated, and no one really talks about the biblical ethics of cremation. It's just not on our radar. It's one of the cultural things which has never really occurred to me, except perhaps when I've noticed in American movies that almost everyone is buried, but I figured it was just because grave-side funerals, in the rain with black umbrellas, are a whole lot more visually striking than a coffin going behind a curtain by some mechanical magic.

Anyway, I was just intrigued by just one more way we are culturally different from the US, which no one really talks about.

Then again, I'm basing all this on one blog post and a handful of scenes in movies, so I could be way off. Any American readers (if there are any) care to comment?

One thing I can say about the ethics of cremation vs burial, if there is a zombie outbreak, Australia will be totally safer to live in, because I'm pretty sure cremated bodies don't get infected by the zombie virus.

Photo by: Drewwh

7/15/2010 11:30:00 pm

Predators

Posted by Tom French |

predators.jpg

Ryan and I went to see Predators the other night. It was pretty cool. It has spec ops guys and girls (well one girl), some criminals and a Japanese gangster, all stuck on an alien planet, being hunted for sport. How is that not going to be a fun movie? Especially when the Predator has a habit or ripping peoples' spines out.

You should probably go see it.

I do miss Arnie though.

7/14/2010 10:41:00 pm

Wow Oh Wow

Posted by Tom French |

Usher.jpg

So whenever I hear Usher's OMG on the radio, my mind gets stuck in an infinite loop. It happens when he sings the line "Honey's got some boobies like wow, oh wow."

The problem is I hear "Wow, oh wow" and I think "If you take the WOW, out of 'Wow, oh wow' you have an acronym for 'Wow, Oh Wow.' And then if you take the first Wow, out of that, you get an acronym for 'Wow, Oh Wow'. And then if you take the first or last WOW out of that..." And then, well, I just get stuck thinking about how in every "Wow, oh wow" there's another "Wow, oh wow" hiding at the beginning and the end of every line. It's like the fractal equivalent of RnB lyrics, it just goes on forever.

Still at least I spend all my time thinking about the infinite rabbit hole of acronyms, rather than about the boobies. But now that I think about it, he does say "boobies" which is pretty funny.

7/13/2010 11:12:00 pm

OMG It's a Complete Double Rainbow!!!!!

Posted by Tom French |

This could be one of the greatest YouTube videos ever!

7/11/2010 11:56:00 pm

Proached

Posted by Tom French |

Week two of preaching is done. Preaching in a new church is interesting. It's nice to have more than one go, and to see people more than once. I felt like the congregation was with me more this time. But it may have just been that I made funnier jokes, and I judge how much people are with me by how much they laugh. I'm totally shallow like that.

I made a joke about teenage girls loving hair straighteners and Taylor Lautner. Someone pointed out to me after the service that it was a rather sexist joke. I thought it was a rather broad, unfair generalisation of teenage girls rather than a blanket dig at their entire gender. It's interesting. While I did feel that maybe I should have been nicer to teenage girls and not painted them in such a shallow light, it didn't cross my mind that women in general might be upset. Funny that. I'll think that one through a little more.

Even though I was preaching on John the Baptist's beheading tonight and Herod's marriage to his niece features prominantly in the story, I was pretty light on the incest jokes. It was hard, but incest jokes while preaching are like digging for comedy gold in a mine field, there's a chance you could strike it rich, but you'll more likely kill yourself and injure many around you.

I'd rather people came out remembering Jesus, rather than remembering the preacher who made jokes about terrible things that happened to them in the past.

To tell you the truth, I didn't even want to make decaptitation jokes in case John the Baptist is sitting in heaven, watching and he's a little touchy on the subject.

If only you could preach and not have to worry about the people who were listening to you.

No one writes about this stuff in preaching books. I don't know why.


That said, I did enjoy preaching, and it felt like it went alright. I'm missing my church though. I haven't been there in weeks. I want to go back. One week left, then I'm back.

7/09/2010 11:19:00 pm

Publishing Deal

Posted by Tom French |

I just found a website that will turn my blog into a book. This is a narcissistic dream come true. I've always had secret hopes that people would come across my blog and say "Wow, that's amazing, that should be a book." And then some dedicated editor would go through all 3700 posts and pick the best ones, then make it into a freakin' epic. It'd be awesome. Well, now for a low, low price of $169.65 for the first volume (Dec 2002-Mar 2004) I can have my blog book, with no editing necessary. It's only 460 pages long. Woo!

To tell you the truth, I can't really be bothered making a book of my blog. But feel free to head over to the site and make your own book of my blog. Or in fact, you could just print it all out at home and get it bound at Kinkos. I promise, I'd sign it for you if you did. I mean, it'd be a dream come true.

7/09/2010 10:50:00 pm

Invasion

Posted by Tom French |

Levi, the soldier who comes to live with us sometimes, just buzzed our buzzer. He buzzed for about 10 seconds so I assumed it was one of my housemates being lazy. I picked up the phone, said "Would you like to be any clearer?", didn't find out who it was and buzzed him in. I then opened the door to our appartment, walked away and sat on the couch. And in walked Levi, no housemates to be seen. Had he been a serial killer, I'd be dead by now. Or perhaps drugged and tied to the table and a about to have medical experiments done to me.

Happily he's not a serial killer, he's a soldier. And when he turned up, I just let him in. I'm French, what else would you expect from me when a soldier turns up on my doorstep?

7/05/2010 06:27:00 pm

Shovel

Posted by Tom French |

Yesterday, on my way to my car to go to church to preach I had an encounter with a man who I have very little relationship with, wielding a shovel, who was very angry. He swore at me, and got in my face. I was pretty sure he was going to hit me, but happily he didn't. While I'm rather unsure as to how I upset him, I do know he really was upset with me. He seemed mostly upset about all the noise I was making disturbing him. Seeing as I had just spent the previous 25 minutes practising my sermon, in doors, in a whisper, I was pretty sure my noise wasn't the direct cause of his anger.

I learnt a few things in the encounter:

  • Fight or flight needs a third option like "stand there and look confused as to why you're being attacked", because I took the third option.
  • It would be totally disappointing to be murdered because I picked the wrong moment to walk to my car, rather than say, get murdered for my faith, or because I was standing up to a corrupt mafia gang.
  • People really do use shovels when angry. This was something I had been pondering just the night before, as I was thinking about putting a joke in my sermon about someone hitting me over the head with a shovel. I thought perhaps it was a little obscure and I should find a more common household implement to be hit over the head with. But I left it in because saucepan sounded a little too Looney Toons. And then, to my small delight, I was vindicated in my decision to leave the shovel in, because as I headed off to preach the sermon with the shovel joke in it, a man came at me with a shovel. I also felt happier to make the joke. in light of my encounter I felt I had more permission to joke about such violence. Like fat people have permission to make jokes about being fat. Although really, for it to be a direct correlation in analogy it'd be potentially fat people making fat jokes, which I think probably isn't PC.
To be totally fair to the guy, while he did approach me very angry, with shovel in hand, he never raised it up to hit me. It was always by his side. In fact, it took me a while to figure out that the shovel was actually a potential weapon. I was wondering for a lot of the encounter why in the middle of doing some gardening he suddenly became enraged at me.
In the end, after a while of me trying to decipher his rage, his wife pulled him off, a couple of times, and I got in the car and left while he stared at me.

A quiet Sunday afternoon.

7/05/2010 12:53:00 am

Eclipse

Posted by Tom French |

Eclipse.jpg

Well, as I mentioned, I went to see Eclipse today. I was going hoping for a massive pile of rubbish that I could smash with my eloquent and witty blog prose. But alas, the film was a whole lot better than I was expecting. It wasn't necessarily good, but it was a vast improvement on the last two films in the "saga", so I was almost enjoying myself.

Let me tell you what was good. The action was vastly improved. There was a training scene, where the vampires were training to fight other vampires which was fun to watch. Then there was a werewolves and vampires vs other vampires war, which wasn't bad, some good punches, throws and slow-mo. Plus there was a small army of vampires walking out of a lake like the undead, which was a cooler undead walk out of the water scene than when the army of the undead come out of the water in Lord of the Rings, or am I thinking of the undead pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean, I get those two bits confused because that undead army on LOTR was probably the dumbest bit of the trilogy and looked just like POTC except glowing green. Anyway, I actually thought the vampires walking out of the water was cool, which is really saying something.

Then there was the humour, which was at times intentionally funny. Like when Edward when confronted with a topless Jacob asks Bella "Doesn't he own a shirt?" It was self-deprecating humour which is certainly something needed for a saga which takes itself way too seriously.

Additionally Edward looked less like a cancer patient with big hair in this film. And it had some good shots. At very least it didn't look like a Celine Dion film clip.

What I didn't like about the film, was the fact that Bella, Edward and Jacob were in it. I still dislike them all. Especially Bella. She's a whiney, selfish, mopey girl. She just spends the whole time depressed about how much she's in love with Edward and how he doesn't want to turn her into a vampire. I'm pretty sure we established he doesn't want to turn Bella in the first film. Why we have to keep dwelling on it I don't know.

Plus she spends the whole time being totally selfish. She'll do highly provocative things in front of her boyfriend, like running away on a motor bike with another boy who is in love with her right in front of Edward. She spends long periods of time hanging out with Jacob just so he can tell her how much he loves her, while she insists she doesn't love him, until she kisses him. Argh! It's not even a film about dumb girlfriends. It's romance porn for teenage girls who want two strong men fighting over who gets to protect them better and show off their big abs and big hair, and Bella is setting a bad example for any teenage girl who might have even a hint of potential for femine self-respect in them.

Once again the film idolises relationships to the degree that Bella's total commitment to Edward to the point of turning her back on all her family and friends and is portrayed as romantic. Had the film been about a girl becoming a Muslim, cutting off her family, moving to Saudi Arabia and wearing a burqua for rest of her life, I'm not sure the film would seem nearly so romantic. Even if the Muslim husband was just as kind and loving as Edward.

As for the other characters, Jacob is annoying and broods as much as Bella mopes. And Edward spends his whole time looking sad and in chronic pain. It must be his cancer playing up again.

So can I recommend this film? No, not really. I still think the whole "Twilight" thing is decidedly unhealthy for the undiscerning (which may or may not include most of its teenage readership). And it has plenty of dumbness. But I am at least happy to concede that this film is vast improvement on the last two. It probably won't be the worst film I watch this year, though there's a good chance it'll make it into the bottom five.

7/04/2010 11:26:00 am

Impending Studpidity

Posted by Tom French |

I'm going to see Eclipse today. Considering last time, it promises to be another terrible cinematic outing. I'll let you know how it goes.

7/02/2010 04:39:00 pm

Graphic

Posted by Tom French |

I'm preaching for the next three weeks at Pennant Hills Baptist and I just noticed on the website they've got a graphic for the series. How exciting. I've never had a graphic before.

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