Author Archive

” … the streamlined men who think in slogans and talk in bullets” George Orwell, Coming Up for Air

We Americans have an unfortunate penchant for abbreviations. Who else would shorten a two-letter word like “at” to the symbol @?  I can type “at” quicker than @; so, at least for me, it is not an efficient symbol. While such foibles can be seen as endearing peccadillos, our simplistic political sloganeering and labeling is misleading and has contributed significantly to the divisions in America and the increasingly violent political action, such as has been seen at Berkeley and murderously at Charlottesville. Read the rest of this entry »

My wife and I spent an extended weekend in Branson, Missouri to celebrate her birthday this year.  Although we enjoyed a couple of shows, ate some good food, and purchased a few nice items, I came away reflecting on the difference between nostalgia and memoria. Read the rest of this entry »

In my last post I reviewed the classic 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke (http://www.billisley.com/2017/06/cool-hand-luke-reviewing-a-classic/) and highlighted its religious symbolism in which Luke is portrayed as a suffering messiah struggling against oppressive forces.  A little while later, I was preparing a lesson on anger and read an excerpt from Martin Luther King’s Strength to Love.  The contrast between King’s resistance to oppression and Luke’s is extremely important and especially relevant in contemporary America’s disastrous cultural and political divisions. Read the rest of this entry »

Great movies, like great books, are worth returning to time and again because they deal with transcendent themes.  Last night I watched the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke.  When I saw it as a teenager, I loved it.  I could quote my favorite lines.  My friends and I talked about our favorite scenes.  It was cool.  Yes, the ending was not happy (Do I need to warn about spoiler alerts for such an old movie?), but Paul Newman, who played Luke superbly, and the movie were cool.  Fifty years later, I’m not so sure. Read the rest of this entry »

Last night my wife and I watched the 1995 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, Sense and Sensibility.  Emma Thompson’s screenplay won her an Oscar.  Sense and Sensibility is the third Jane Austen novel that I have read (My wife has read them all.), and, while good, literarily, and especially stylistically, it comes in a distant second to Pride and Prejudice.

To prefer Pride and Prejudice to Sense and Sensibility is no surprise, but I would like to make the bold and daring assertion that the movie version of the latter is better than the novel. Read the rest of this entry »

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