Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hello? Hello?

....is anyone out there?

My sincere apologies to anyone who tried to access this blog yesterday-- you know who you are and you know what I'm talking about-- but more on that later. In the meantime, thanks to amazing work by the amazing Miss Lisa, DIH is back in business. And happy to be back!

Still Missing

DIH is back

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Headline Contest!

DIH announces her first Headline Contest.
See if you can come up with an appropriate headline for the following news item from today's New York Times.
The prize will be an extra dessert.

"French Judge Bars Group's Pork Soup Plan

"PARIS (AP)- A top French judge ruled that an extreme-right group cannot serve pork soup to the needy, saying the charitable handouts aim to discriminate against Muslims and Jews who don't eat pork because of their faith.

"Judge Christain Vigouroux of the Council of States aid Friday that such giveaways by the far-right group Solidarity of the French threaten public order.

"France is home to more than 5 million Muslims and some 600,000 Jews. Both Islam and Judaism prohibit eating pork, and Vigoroux said the group had show 'a clearly discriminatory goal' with its charity.

"Solidarity of the French was just one of several far-right groups that began distributing pork soup across France over the last four years.

"Critics contend the giveaway of pork soup is a far-right ploy to draw support for their efforts to defend against perceived threats to European culture.

"Far-right groups defend the soup as nothing more than an age-old staple of the rural heartland from which all the French, at least in the national imagination, are said to spring.

"'Pork-fat soup is traditionally the soup of the poor because it provides complete nourishment,' said Bruno Le Griel, a lawyer of the group.

"Le Griel argued that no needy Jew or Muslim was forced to consume the pork soup, but the judge said the group's Web site indicated it was a policy to refuse dessert to anyone who did not eat some soup first."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

You Heard It Here!

"WASHINGTON- Keith Ellison (D-MN) made history today, becoming the first Muslim member of Congress and punctuating the occasion by taking a ceremonial oath with a Quran once owned by thomas Jefferson.

Ellison had already planned to be sworn in using a Quran rather than a Bible. He learned last month about Jefferson's Quran, and arranged to borrow it [ from the Library of Congress]." [h/t Breitbart]

[He would have brought his own copy, but he left it at his ex-girlfriend's house. And that restraining order the judge granted her a few weeks ago kind of put the kibosh on that.]

In other news, Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the House today. In her opening speech she thanked her family, "for giving me the courage to go from the kitchen to the Congress!"

[She added later, "And with a net worth of 25 mil, let me tell you that was one heck of a nice kitchen!"]

Monday, January 01, 2007

"The Nativity Story"

"The Nativity Story" had an $8 million opening a month ago and has so far grossed around $37 million, according to today's LA Times. New Line Cinema spent about $65 million making and marketing the film. They figure they'll make their money back on video.

DIH and the family went to see "TNS" today. Spouse enjoyed it. Daughter seemed to like it just fine. DIH was bored out of her skull. And not just because she knew the ending, either.

I've been trying to put my finger on why I found TNS so deadly dull. A big part of it, certainly, was the depiction of the Virgin Mary. The young actress portaying her- Keisha Castle- Hughes, of "Whale Rider"- seemed to have only two or three facial expressions: gentle happiness, gentle fear, and gentle confusion- and two tones of voice, one a gentle (of course) monotone and the other a brief cry of fear. She seemed bored, to tell you the truth. Well, at least DIH had company.

Does director Catherine Hardwicke really believe that the Mother of the Redeemer could be such a wet blanket? The girl in my kid's Christmas pageant had more personality. And she didn't even get to say any lines.

Mary's parents, Anna and Joachim were a couple of tedious worry-warts. Mary seemed to find them pretty tiresome, too, given the few words she said to them, which of course were delivered in a gentle monotone. "I have broken no law, Father" was about as intense as it got.

And I have to say that was the weirdest Angel Gabriel I've ever seen. He looked more like the angel Moroni and sounded like my hairdresser, without the verve.

The producers say it's unfair to compare "TNS" to "The Passion of the Christ." But why? The challenge of a movie like this is to show us a different way of seeing the familiar, to give us something new to think about in a story we've known all our lives. TPOTC managed to do that. TNS did not.

I could go on, but I hate to pick on these guys. It was a brave attempt to get a real Christmas movie out there these days. But preaching to the choir has never interested DIH, and that's what this movie was. And a pretty dull-witted choir, at that.