March 07, 2006

It's All So Exciting!

I am painfully aware that I have not actually updated my blog in a ridiculously long time. The factor which makes this awareness painful is that the past month has been far from uneventful, and yet I have failed to right it down. At this juncture, of course, it would be out of the question to reproduce everything as I might have done had it just transpired . . . but I'll hit a few of the highlights of the few weeks.

The Famous "Intro to Fine Arts" Field Trip

I've watched my friends trot off to spend a day in Dallas with Dr. Watson for several semesters now, and I finally got my own chance to go a few Fridays ago. I had to be at the bus by 7:30, but it was certainly worth it. The day was extremely eventful, but the real highlights boil down to an extended chance to look at pretty things (or "interact with art" as Dr. Watson would say). We went to the Texas Hall of State, the Meyerson Symphony Hall (to hear a concert on their ridiculously large organ), and the Dallas Museum of Art.

The bus broke down around the time we were supposed to leave the DMA, so I got to wander around it with Ashley for quite a bit longer than would otherwise have been possible (a fact which pleased me enormously). I saw some great stuff from all sorts of periods and cultures: Impressionist, Modern, Asian, and so forth. I especially enjoyed the chance to appreciate some more modern work. By far my favorite piece, however, was a short film by Miguel Angel Rios called "A Morir" . . . it was shot from three angles, all of which played simultaneously on three different walls. Look it up and read about it . . . it was very moving and thought-provoking.

The Infamous Review of Brokeback Mountain

Randy and I wrote a review of Brokeback Mountain for the YellowJacket and called it what it was: a magnificent and moving film which does not promote what the rabid fundies would describe as a homosexual agenda. For our pains we (and the newspaper) received a few condemnatory e-mail messages, one of which was also sent to the university president and some other higher-ups. Our review also came up in Senate in the context of a number of guys on a particular floor having had a problem with it.

The ultimate outcome of it all was a statement issued by the administration to all floor chaplains re-affirming their standing statement on human sexuality (homosexuality = not kosher) and we are printing a few of the e-mails as "Letters to the Editor" in this week's issue. Also, our esteemed editors encouraged us to brainstorm creatively with them to try and discover a way to give foolish knee-jerkers even less of a reason to complain without having to rate or describe a movie's morality (at which point I would stop writing reviews anyway). We ultimately settled on including the reason for the MPAA rating of a movie along with the rating which we had already been including, and changing nothing else.

I had a whole lot to say on this issue, I can assure you, and I have been more than a little disgusted by some of the responses I have seen and heard about. However, on the other hand, people that I actually respect have both complimented and encouraged us and our review. A certain unnamed authority figure told me today (in reference to this) to "Keep challenging." He needn't worry. I will.

The 9th Annual C.S. Lewis and the Inklings Conference

Last weekend was a whole lot of fun for me. I headed up to John Brown University with Dr. Batts, Dr. Solganick, and several other students to present a paper at the CSLIS Conference. My paper was the one I wrote last semester for C.S. Lewis about what Lewis says about the power and inadequacy of human language in his book Till We Have Faces. My paper was one of the first ones on the program, so I got it out of the way fast and enjoyed the rest of conference with no pressure. Actually, though, I wasn't even nervous about delivering it at all. I talked to fast, I'm sure, as I always do, but I got several compliments on the paper afterwards and I was quite satisfied, all in all.

And I didn't just get to present the paper, I also got to see Asa and hang out with him a bit. That was a lot of fun . . . and I owed him a visit after he came to LeTourneau last semester. I also got a lot of good thinking done on the 7-hour drives going and coming. On the way up I planned an independent paper I want to write on the effect that shifts in American culture during the past 50+ years have had on movies about King Arthur and the Holy Grail. We'll see if anything comes of that. On the way back I got quite a bit of reading done in The Grail Legend by Emma Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz . . . I have a group presentation on the book in Grail Quest this Thursday night.

Anyway, there are a few of the highlights that I have neglected to record of late. Hopefully you'll be hearing from me some more on . . . something or other before too long has gone by again. Meanwhile, I'll stay busy and try not to have too much fun (probably won't manage that last, actually).

Posted by Jared at March 7, 2006 04:40 PM | TrackBack