Dec 11, 2007
"We set for ourselves one of the strictest, sternest codes in existence,” wrote South Carolina native Ben Robertson in his 1942 memoir Red Hills and Cotton, “but our country is southern . . . and frequently we fail.” Confusion as well as defeat is in the air of this most southern of states as South Carolina prepares to host two key presidential primaries—the GOP primary on January 19 and the Democratic contest on January 26. The winner of the state’s Republican presidential primary has won the party nomination every year since 1980.
In June, Bradley Schmeling was officially removed from the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for being in a same-sex relationship. ELCA policy excludes from ordained ministry gays who are in a relationship. However, the parish that Schmeling has served for over six years, St.
Schumann and Schubert: Piano Quintets. The Atlantis Ensemble. Musica Omnia, $13.99.
The performance sounds like infectious fun breaking out among friends playing the most delightful pieces of 19th-century chamber music. The ensemble plays an original 1835 Graf piano and suitably matched string instruments. As a bonus, Max van Egmond sings the song “Die Forelle” (The Trout), which became a set of variations within Schubert’s quintet.
Nicholas Lash, professor at Cambridge University, has been one of the most influential theologians in the English-speaking world for the past generation. His work has helped spur the renewal of confidence among orthodox theologians working in mainline academic settings in the United Kingdom and the U.S. He has engaged philosophers as diverse as Marx and Wittgenstein and drawn on theologians across the spectrum, from Aquinas to liberationists.
When my wife and I see news reports about the deaths of young people, as we did after the grisly slaughter at Virginia Tech last April, we inevitably think back to June 1999, when we lost our son, Daniel. He was a healthy, jovial and playful boy, and his sudden, unexpected death was devastating. Because of our own bereavement, our reactions to the deaths of children inevitably include a deep sympathy for the surviving parents.
This 1982 drama directed by Alan Parker is one of the great films of its decade—complex, adult, irresolvable, with a screenplay by Bo Goldman that poeticizes its characters’ anguish. Many of the lines stay in your head. Albert Finney and Diane Keaton play George and Faith Dunlap, who have reached the end of their marriage but don’t have any idea of how to let it go without rancor. In the middle of it all are the Dunlaps’ four daughters.
Paul McCartney’s silly, slight “Wonderful Christmastime” gets a much-needed, taut makeover. There is a dreamy opening instrumental, “The Gift of St. Cecilia. ” “O Little Town of Bethlehem” takes on a dark (but not menacing) edge with its arpeggiated bass synthesizer and far-off-thunder drum machine, an apt flipside to the regal drone-and-jangle of the original “Peace Is Here,” which builds into a satisfying rock anthem.
It takes a long while to assimilate Brian De Palma’s Iraq war film. It’s not so much that Redacted is raw and assaultive. It’s that the style isn’t like anything you’ve ever seen. It might be called a docudrama except that instead of emulating the reportage of a photojournalist, De Palma cuts between a variety of unfiltered narrative modes to tell about the rape of an Iraqi girl and the murder of her and her family by U.S. soldiers. (Though fictionalized, the film is based on an actual incident that took place in March 2006.)
"Politics pulverizes,” observed the elegant, white-haired editor as she looked at me across her mahogany desk. She knew about such things, having grown up a bishop’s daughter, single-handedly raised several children, lost friends to war, managed a farm and worked for the last decades of her life in journalism and publishing.
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