I have enjoyed Mr. Wilson’s amateur punditry. His posted quote by Lewis was hilarious when I first saw it.

Irony is Barney Frank using the shibboleth example in a congressional hearing.

Speaking of the Congressman Frank, he got excoriated by O’Reilly. Say what you will, I think the time is past for most politicians to be called on the carpet like this. I think O’reilly gets suspended or something.

O’reilly was a key figure in my latest anticipated movie, An American Carol. Overall, it felt like it disappointed, and did not measure up to the hilarity of Tropic Thunder. I think part of the reason was the heavy message that they were trying to convey in every other sentence. I think that if they had cut loose from trying to get so many refutations in there a little more, it would have been funnier. Watching it in a packed theater may have also contributed to my cringing instead of laughing at some points. The highlight was the ACLU and the slaves, the lowlight was the nephew. It also reminded me of the Golden Age of the Simpsons. . .

If the Simpsons did jump the shark (reference please?), which I assume to be some sort of reference to them going to the political dark side, then they have also gone to the comedic dark side with their new season premiere, featuring marge working in a Naturel bakery. I guess it started with Bart’s wild ride in the movie, but I definitely do not recommend that as an introductory episode for your friends and family.

I think “A Comparative Study of the Comedic Styles of the Simpsons” or “Season Six, The Golden Age of the Simpsons” have definite potential for theses at our collective alma mater.

Which brings me back to Mr. Wilson, who is obviously connected to everything.

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I think that the Simpsons may have finally jumped the shark.

For as much as I am dissappointed in American politics at large, I had a thought today that was kind of encouraging. If John McCain had to nominate Palin for his VP in order to get the evangelical vote, then maybe evanglicals still have a decent stranglehold on politics, albeit in an unusual way. I just wish we’d exercise it more often than every four years.

I was reflecting today that 225 years, give or take, ago, we would have stormed DC and guillotined those in the government responsible for the “mortgage meltdown”, and likely quite a few innocent bystanders as well. Or we could have slaughtered millions of those we feel responsible in a punitive pogrom.

We may think that apathetic acceptance to future financial doom is a sign of our emasculation and loss of conviction. But I submit that as long as we Christians go about the business of our King, then we will continue to make great progress in furthering His reign over the earth.

Yes, this is an economic post. The Fed has bailed out a handful of near bankrupt financial institutions that had bad loans. In essence our tax dollars have just gone to pay for somebody else’s stupid mistake. Anything money needed beyond what our tax dollars have paid for has been printed up by the Fed to cover the cost of these institutions. What does that mean? Well, our dollar will progressively get even weaker. What else does this mean? Well, it means that for now, America has gotten the ‘hit’ of what it needs. We needed our “drug” fix and we got it. The real problem comes when we run out of “drugs”. We don’t have an endless supply of money and we can’t just keep our economy propped up on an artificial currency. So whenever that time comes, we totally deserve whats coming. Our sense of entitlement to a good economy now will come to haunt us when the government can’t afford to support us any longer.

For only a Trillion dollars we can avert our financial disaster, what a deal. The joke now is that all Americans have fulfilled the American dream, and are now part homeowners. But this made me think about who this tax money will be coming from. Fred Thompson summed it up best, 5% of Amercians pay half of the income taxes. The principal of unintended consequences strikes again, the richest 5% percent now have a commanding stake in the buyout that will save the lower classes from another great depression and allow us to continue to live our debt soaked little lives. Isn’t this a great country?

Douglas Wilson linked to a blog post recently recapping his experience about seven years ago when he interacted with John Piper regarding the issue of the use and propriety of satire for Christians. Mark Driscoll is going to be speaking at a Desiring God conference coming up and he is particularly known these days for his cheerleading for sarcasm and satire. I know satire is a hard sell for a lot of evangelicals, but as I thought about it, the more I felt that satire is perfectly acceptable for Christians (mature ones preferably) to use.

I’ve read almost all of Flannery O’Connor’s work and for the ininitiated, she almost exclusively tells the stories of folks experiences violent transformations and/or conversions through very violent means. This, coupled with the experiences with real folks in real life, led me to an observation (albeit a pretty obvious one if you think about it) on humanity. When things are going well, no one really feels the need to change. When they are going poorly, they will change whatever it takes to improve things. O’Connor gives us some drastic examples of this in her literature, but I think most anyone can observe this both in their own lives and in the lives of those around them.

And so what does Flannery have to do with satire? Well, I think the basic objective behind satire is to shake up a seemingly positive situation. It also tends to cast things that seem to be dandy in a slightly different light, causing a viewer to see things altogether differently. (Think of Samuel telling the story to David) What satire then can do, in effect, is to move someone who is satisfied with the status quo, thinking things are just fine, and make them realize the gravity of a situation. It could make them realize that things truly are going poorly.

So, all that said, I think that Piper is really taking the difficult position. He thinks you can sell a message of hope to someone who probably doesn’t think they need hope (or change, etc.). He may still advocate stong rebuke of folks, but can you realistically see a particularly stubborn person being moved by such rhetoric?

One final thing. That is the issue of propriety and frequency. Just like any use of strong language, it is stronger the less it is used and weaker the more it is used. When you read Flannery O’Connor cover to cover, her stories don’t seem quite as shocking by the end. You’ve grown accustomed to them. I think the same goes for sarcasm and satire. It should be used in a very calculating manner and for very specific purposes. If it’s not, then you’ll probably wind up sounding like the redneck that simply didn’t get an education and drops f-bombs every other word.

I saw the trailer for this movie a while ago, but it only recently occurred to me to share it here. I hope it’s not Children of Men Redux but it looks good nonetheless.

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