Category Archives: religion

My Christmas Must Sees!

Glen Maganzini (left), Chris DeCarlo (right)

Okay, so I do this annually and if this looks similar to the post I made last year that is because it is! well, for the most part- not much has changed. Here we go:

Films (in no particular order):
1) It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
2) A Christmas Story (1983)
3) Home Alone (1990)
4) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
5) A Christmas Carol (in any of it’s versions, specifically 1951. I usually attend the play, as I will be Saturday night; one of the few plays I enjoy seeing)
6) The Santa Clause (1994)
7) Edward Scissorhands (1990) (okay, so only towards the end of the film this is applicable, but for me it gets me in the mood)
8) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) (I suppose this is more apropos for Halloween)
9) Bad Santa (2003)
10) Die Hard (1988)

1) The Simpsons– “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire” (1989), “Bart Gets an F” (1990), “Marge Be Not Proud” (1995), “Mircale on Evergreen Terrace” (1997), “Grift of the Magi” (1999),”Skinner’s Sense of Snow” (2000)
2) South Park– “The Spirit of Christmas” Original (1992), “The Spirit of Christmas” (1995), “Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo” (1997), “Merry Christmas Charlie Manson” (1998), “Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics” (1999), “A Very Crappy Christmas” (2000), “Red Sleigh Down” (2002), “It’s Christmas in Canada” (2003), “Woodland Critter Christmas” (2004)
3) Family Guy– “A Very Special Family Guy Freakin’ Christmas” (2001)
4) At least one Johnny Cash Special
5) Dr.Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1964)
6) Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)
7) Frosty The Snowman (1969)
8) It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas (2009)
9) A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
10) SNL– various skits

A Christmas Carol By:Charles Dickens (1843)
A Story A Day Till Christmas Various Authors (1985)
The Catcher in the Rye By: J.D. Salinger (1951)

I usually end up viewing (or reading for that matter) only half of these! But, either way, I have a lot of work to do and I recommend others to watch/read them too. I would recommend music, but that will take too long. I’ll save it for another day. To kick things off, here’s Kyle’s Christmas ballad, “I’m a Jew on Christmas” from the South Park classic “Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo” (1997).

My Thoughts On the Mosque

Either way, whether you are for or against the building of the Mosque at Ground Zero, this is without a doubt a touchy topic and it is understandable for both parties to feel hurt and/or offended. Though, with that being said, this is America after all, the supposed land of freedom and therefore through a legal perspective the mosque’s location should not be in question. Ok, so they can build it, that’s not the issue, it’s the moral factor. Well, I admit this sounded funny to me the very first time I heard it, but I never thought it was some sort of horrible act that was worthy of such (smoke screen) media coverage and debate. So, now that I am over a hundred words into my little spiel, I bet you are saying to yourself “get to the fucking point, which side are you on?!” Ha, well let me say up front I don’t know what it is like to walk in the shoes of the 9/11 Victims’ families, but at the same time, what is wrong is wrong. To me, as with most, discrimination is wrong. This, though as I said earlier is an emotionally charged issue, is clearly discrimination, even if understandable discrimination. Discrimination is discrimination. Let’s look at it this way, if it had been a Christian nation or rather Christian terrorists that had committed the atrocious crime in the name of God would we be debating the right or morality of Christians to be able to build a church a couple of blocks away from Ground Zero. No, of course not, because Christianity is the dominant religion here, so we are not offended by it. Well, to me there is no difference and that is a massive indication that this is a clear sign of Islamaphobia. It’s not like they are buildng Jihad Cafe. This a community center for those of the Muslim faith, not a center for terrorists. Also, this is the equvialent of freedom of speech and so it’s the same deal: freedom of speech protects the speech you precisely disdain. I sincerely send my heart out to all who feel sad or threatened by this issue, on either side. But, like Rage Against the Machine screams, “When ignorance reigns life is lost.” Keep your eyes and ears open.

Classic Film Review: The Devil and Daniel Johnston

Full Title: The Devil and Daniel Johnston
Director: Jeff Feuerzeig
Year: 2005
Before I go any further, I must warn you if you are planning on watching this documentary, then you will be possessed by the Devil… Did you hear me?! I said the DEVIL. SAYTUNNN!!! Now, if you think I should be locked up in the looney bin before I harm others and myself, then you are probably right, but this is not about me (The Devil and Chris DeCarlo will hit theaters in years to come) this is about the one and only Daniel Johnston. In this gentle, affectionate, film we see how Dan is an enthusiastic, earnest, artist, in spite or because of his various mental and/or social problems. Initially, he is simply a slacker, eshewing work and school for his art, much to the chagrin of his family; his parents in particular are objects of his animostity. Alas, as he grows older his mental capacity deteriates (hence his obsession with the Devil) and he is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder causing him to be in and out of mental institutions and a serious threat to himself and those around him. I’ll stop here before I give away anything else, unless of course you know Dan’s bio… What I really like about this documentary is the fact that it stays personal via old home movies, tape recorded interviews, animation (coming straight outta Dan’s drawings, literally!), and of course interviews with his family, friends, and collaborators. The doc never strays off into a Michael Moore performance art sorta thang or a hidden agenda drenched picture. The agenda is clear: Daniel Johnston, love him or hate him, was and still is an incredible, gifted man with more passion in his art than most other artists one cares to name. Overall, this is a rollercoaster of emotions ranging from sad, humorous, fascinating, disturbing, entertaining, and ultimately touching- fans and non-fans unlike should see one of the finest documentaries of the last ten years.

P.S. excuse the “rollercoaster of emotions” cliche, but since Dan worked at an amusement park, I think it fits.

Grade: A-

Subversive Book Club Review: Psych…

Author: Carl Jung (published as C.G. Young)
Full Title: Psychology and Religion
Year: 1938

Well, here’s a rather unique addition for our little Subversive Book Joint. The broad topics of Psychology and Religion have barey (if at all) entered the sphere of Book Club reviews and what other better way to kick off this occasion than with Psych’s Spock, Carl Jung! Jung, unlike his mentor, Sigmund Freud, focused less on the role of sex in our psyche and more on shadows, archetypes, and all that jazz. As you can probably guess my knowledge of Psychology is very limited to a couple of general psych courses, so much of this work was a bit too “heady” for me, but I appreciated delving into deep thought with Jung’s musings. Specifically, I dig his theory that it is our thoughts that are actually the most dangerous elements in life and not things like torandos and nuclear bombs. Sit on that for a while…. Overall, I like the way Jung isn’t dogmatic with his approaches, like most others are.

I’m not going to grade this because I do not feel like I am in any position to judge it as a “good” or “bad” book, but I enjoyed doing a little exploring.