Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Catherine's story

This was on the main page of the Washington Post website this morning.  It caught my attention because it was about a woman who had escaped the infamous rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) from Uganda.  I remember when I first heard about the atrocities of abducting children... 

I used to work in the back room of Smathers Library, shooting old newspapers from East Africa and Latin America and putting them on microfilm.  Exciting, I know.  Anyway during freshman year, Matt was the one who showed me old newspaper clippings and headlines of the Ugandan war, which of course I never knew about. Looking back on this, I think this was one of the incidents that eventually led me to pursue courses in African studies, particularly with an East Africa emphasis.  I honestly didn't believe Matt at first when he said that 50,000 kids had been kidnapped and that this had been going on for a decade, but there were the facts... laid out on crinkled, yellowed newspapers that hardly anybody would ever look at again.

Of course, many young American students became familiar with the plight of the child soldiers and sex slaves of Uganda thanks to the Invisible Children movement, which exponentially ballooned while I was a student at UF.  I remember attending the Global Commute, hosting IC parties and even a benefit concert or two... Wow, seems like such a long time ago.

Since moving back to Orlando, I've sort of felt not as connected to all this, especially with no fellow idealistic students to spur me on.  Diffusion of responsibility and all that.  Ugh.

But this story caught my eye because it's about the what I think is the harder part... Post-trauma.  What do with the freedom?  With empowerment?  These are the questions that it's easy to forget to anticipate when one is caught up in the idealistic wave of fighting social ills.  

This story is about Catherine Ojok, a woman pretty much the same age as me who spent years as a sex slave to one of the army generals. This is a link to a short video of her life post-liberation.

The video reminded me of a couple of things this morning, resurfacing some emotions and ideals seem to have slipped off my radar as of late:

I hate injustice.

And I want to see people free.  In every way.

Anyway, I hope you'll take the time to watch the video.  It's only about 6 minutes long. 

Cheers.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

On Signs and Miracles

So my friend Josh gave me permission to repost this as a blog entry. He posted this as a myspace bulletin earlier today. He received the following question from one of his students: (my words are all in purple, so as to avoid confusion)

The Question:

I finished Mark and now am in Luke, now my question is, why does Jesus do miracles, but afterwards say not to tell anyone what He has done? Also, why when He casts out demons, why does He tell them to be quiet and not say who He is? But why would He say to be quiet and not say what He has done or who He is, wouldn't He want people to know?

I remember that we briefly touched on this in our "Disappointment With God" sphere earlier this year. I thought Josh brought up some excellent points in response, which I've posted below.

The Response:

Hey friend,

Glad to see that you're really digging into the Gospels! Also, these are some great questions. I'm going to be reading up on some real answers for them, but until I get that done, here's my first perspective on it (and remember, this is just my own uneducated opinion;) There were a number of other alleged miracle workers around the same time as Christ. They gained a following and they start mini-revolts that were soon suppressed. Jesus, on the other hand, didn't come to start a physical revolution - that wasn't his goal. He was here to lay a foundation for a revolution to happen. Let's face it, Jesus could have come down here and wowed people with all of his powers, but He didn't. He kept His powers in reserve. This makes me believe a couple things about his miracles (I actually prefer the word 'signs' to 'miracles'):

1) Jesus' miracles were a declaration of who He is, but they weren't intended to gain a following. Every time Jesus started gaining a following, He purposefully scared them away with His teachings. For instance, it says that at one point that 5000 people were following Him (probably shortly after the 'feeding of the 5000') and that he then told them that they would have to 'eat of His flesh' and 'drink of His blood.' That freaked most of them out and they bolted. In fact, Jesus then turns to His disciples and says, "are you all that is left?" This ties into my opinion about the foundation Jesus was trying to create. It's easy to impress people when you can stop the sun - but Jesus wants people who are dedicated to His TEACHINGS not His SIGNS.


2) I like calling the miracles 'signs' because I think that's really what they were. Jesus could have come down and healed every single person in the world - but He didn't. Why? My guess is that He simply did signs as a sign, or verification, of who He is. It's kind of like Jesus' ID or fingerprint. He would do a sign and then teach. The signs got people to listen to what He was saying. In addition, I think that He did some of His signs just to illustrate a point. Scholars debate on this, but it seems that many of Jesus' signs reflected miracles that were done by great leaders in the Old Testament.

It's almost as if Jesus is saying: I have the same power (and more) as these men who you consider so amazing! Those are two of the big reasons why I think He actually did these signs. In concern to asking people not to talk about it, word spread anyway, didn't it? He asks the blind man not to talk and the guy goes and tells everyone He knows. I think that Jesus wanted silence because (in His words) His time had not yet come. It wasn't the right time to reveal who He was. I think that time was the resurrection. I think that His raising from the dead was Jesus' declaration to the world that He was more than just a 'miracle worker,' He was the Son of God. Previous to that declaration, He didn't want anything interfering with the Foundation that He was building. So, to sum up:
  • Jesus used His three years of ministry as a time to build a foundation for the Kingdom that was coming.
  • Signs were used to illustrate points and get peoples attention, not to build a revolution.
  • The one sign He broadcasted (and told everybody else to talk about) was His resurrection. This was His declaration of revolution.
Anyway, might not answer your question - but hope that it gets you to think ;) And maybe I gave you way more than you expected...who knows!

I think Josh did a great job of responding, but I just wanted to see if anybody else had anything to add.

I ultimately can't circumvent the fact that Jesus Himself said that a "wicked and perverse generation" asks for signs, and that no sign will be given except the "sign of Jonah," which is a prophetic reference to His death and resurrection.

Eugene Peterson's "Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places" has an excellent section on the topic of signs. The whole book is stinkin' amazing, actually.

Anyway just wanted to see if you guys had any additional thoughts. Please share:)




Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Joker and the Deceiver

So I did my American civic duty this weekend and watched The Dark Knight this past weekend. In IMAX. Then I went and saw it again last night.

Jonathan posted on his Twitter blog to go watch TDK and then read the works of Rene Girard. Intrigued by a possible connection between TDK and some French anthropological philosopher, I hunted down some online excerpts from his work “I saw Satan fall like lightning" at Jonathan's recommendation...

This excerpt from Chapter 3 in particular struck me:

“If we listen to Satan, who may sound like a very progressive and likeable educator, we may feel initially that we are "liberated," but this impression does not last because Satan deprives us of everything that protects us from rivalistic imitation. Rather than warning us of the trap that awaits us, Satan makes us fall into it. He applauds the idea that prohibitions are of no use and that transgressing them contains no danger.”

This brought to mind the hospital scene between Harvey Dent and the Joker, where the Joker—the self-proclaimed “Agent of Chaos”--seduces Harvey into this “liberation,” this anarchy and chaos as a way to expose the plans and pretenses of humanity.

Seduction then destruction.

Also this part:

“The Crucifixion is one of those events in which Satan restores and consolidates his power over human beings. The shift from "all against all" to "all against one" permits the prince of this world to forestall the total destruction of his kingdom as he calms the anger of the crowd, restoring the calm that is indispensable to the survival of every human community. Satan can therefore always put enough order back into the world to prevent the total destruction of what he possesses without depriving himself for too long of his favorite pastime, which is to sow disorder, violence, and misfortune among his subjects.

The death of Jesus thwarts the satanic calculation.”

This is based on the idea that virtually in every culture, this distorted need for a “scapegoat” inexplicably arises. Whether it’s a primitive human-sacrifice-driven culture from ancient times, or the current political smear campaigning, somehow it’s ingrained in our natures to arbitrarily shift blame in circumstances especially when we ourselves are culpable. In a recent conversation, my friend Josh (who is also a youth minister) cited this tendency as no different from church disputes in which people typically shift and assign blame. Like the Joker in TDK, Satan is a master of manipulation and discord and achieves a particular triumph when humanity chooses to unleash cathartic violence on an innocent, be it the witch hunts of Salem, the lynch-mobs of the Jim Crow era or the pogroms of Nazi Germany.

I love how Girard points out that in the ultimate scapegoat moment in history—namely the crucifixion of Jesus—is where Satan banked that he had made his ultimate triumph in the violent, insatiable madness of the mob. And yet how Jesus’ death “thwarts satanic calculation.”

I found Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker to be completely riveting. Anytime he stepped into a scene, I found myself paradoxically mesmerized and disgusted, from the smeared make-up to the reptilian licking of his lips. But the most compelling--and darkest part--of his character had nothing to do with physicality; it had everything to do with the seductive quality of his philosophy as a bringer of chaos and destruction.  Or simply a man who, as Alfred ominously observes, only wants "to watch the world burn."

Anyway, the film--apart from containing one of the most flippin' amazing (literally) stunt truck sequences I've ever seen--had a lot more to offer than special effects and action.  It was a penetrating look into madness and evil, how quickly society can be seduced by it, and the moral and ethical complexity of freedom.  

Monday, July 21, 2008

reflection

sleepless, alone
a thought stirs

disembodied
a faceless dread
a nameless fear
blurred and indistinct
finding traction in silence
in solitude

earlier today
i fiddled and twisted the plastic straw
it cracked and split
torn asunder by boredom, by idleness
by a distracted mind

why so destructive?

i peered hard into the darkness
willing and straining
to see as you do
to feel as you do
but all i caught was a glimpse
of the grotesque
leering back at me
with a casual sneer

and i realize
in numbness
as i peer through

that in the mirror
the looking-glass
and the clouded puddle
steeped in southern rain

the reflection is mine.

and beholding
the Beautiful, the Terrible
a ruinous Truth
i give and i strive
to bleed and pour out
to sharpen my will
to fill out my senses

to bring heart and mind
into one accord

and where fear may reign
bring Love subversive
to dissolve
and bear away the dross

where waves and particles and molecules
collide
interacting, shaping
and changing the composition
and the very fabric
of you
of me
and colors, once indistinct and imperfect
sharpen and blend and swirl

until everything is new
and whole
and full

and all reflects You.






Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Desert Song by Jill McCloghry and Brooke Fraser

I can't even begin to comprehend how much pain was wrapped up in the moment of singing this song.

I just finished "The Problem of Pain" by C.S. Lewis (totally brill, by the way... don't know why I was surprised) which I'll probably formulate some thoughts on a later entry, but hearing this story and song after reading that book brought this whole intellectual idea back down to the personal and emotional for me.

"let us press on to acknowledge Him..."

Enough words. Just watch.

Monday, July 14, 2008

acknowledge

"Come, let us return to the Lord. 
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.

After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.

Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like spring rains that water the earth."

-Hosea 6:1-3


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Google thoughts and raging against the machine

We've all done it.


There's a scene in the movie Wanted where James McAvoy's character Googles his name in the search engine. Suffocating in the meaningless drudgery of the 9 to 5 cubicle existence, he searches for some value to attach to his name. Wesley Gibson, he types. The search returns "no results." Dejected, Wesley seems to surrender to the idea that these search results only confirm the irrelevance of his sad, pathetic life.


I admit I've Googled myself before. Call it narcissism, call it sheer curiosity. Somehow over the past couple of years, Google has become the litmus test of human significance, even if we only laugh at its triviality when we realize how few website hits our names actually conjure up.


I suppose I've always naively assumed that Google is an impersonal entity, mathematically doling the best possible search results on the Internet. Like for most of you, I'm sure, it's my "go to" guy. Whenever I want to know the title of some passing lyric that I can't quite get out of my head but can't quite name, I go to Google. Or I am searching for a restaurant or best price on a book I want. I go to Google.


I read an article last night in The Atlantic by Nicholas Carr called "Is Google Making Us Stoopid?" Becca is actually the one who pulled the magazine off of the shelf. I rolled my eyes at the article's title, assuming it would be the ravings of some regressive, anti-technological crackpot who wanted to once again shake his obsolete, idealistic fist at the defects of our increasingly Internet-dependent society. But as we stood in Books-A-Million and really immersed ourselves in the article, something within me began to unravel.


Carr wrote about how throughout history, human-created modes of technology--particularly communication technology--have in turn shaped how we take in information, internalize it and release it back again. The clock, the printing press, now the Internet have imprinted themselves upon the way we process information. Before clocks, humans used to be guided by the rising and the setting of the sun, the harvests, the waxing and waning of the moon. With the introduction of clocks and timepieces, we have allowed an artificial measurement of time to completely redefine our approach to life. As Carr quotes author Joseph Weizenbaum who wrote Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgment to Calculation: "the conception of the world that emerged from the widespread use of timekeeping instruments 'remains an impoverished version of the older one, for it rests on a rejection of those direct experiences that formed the basis for, and indeed constituted, the old reality.' In deciding when to eat, to work, to sleep, to rise, we stopped listening to our senses and started obeying the clock."


In the same way, the Internet has shaped the way we read information. In the endless smorgasboard of blogs, 30 second news bytes, webpages and more, deep, thoughtful reading is becoming a rarer pastime. Carr quotes a pathologist from UM Medical School that said "his thinking, he said, has taken on a 'staccato' quality, reflecting the way he quickly scans short passages of text from many sources online. 'I can't read War and Peace anymore,' he admitted. 'I've lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it.'"


As Carr points out, people don't sit in the library stacks or comb through piles of periodicals so much anymore. We research online, scanning dozens and dozens of webpages. We love bullet points, abstracts, summaries, just to get the gist of what is being said without actually reading the whole book or article. We chalk it up to convenience, speed and the fact that we have much better things to do with the time we're saving.


It struck me last night that the Internet somehow has made it acceptable for people to dwell on the trivial. Would I want to even know the title of some random song if the ability to so readily search for it wasn't so readily available? Probably not. The fact that I am even blogging about this article shows how much the Internet has shaped the way I process ideas and information. Literally, my first instinct after reading this article was, "I need to blog about this."


Carr points to Google as the prime example of how we humans have been shaped by the Internet. While we used to view people through the lens of clocks (people being like "clockwork") or the printing press ("he read me like a book"), the Internet has become the new lens through which we view humanity. We speak casually of ourselves "processing information." We view ourselves as primarily data-processing machines. And the Internet is the prime mover and hub of this information.


What's more, people behind entities like Google know that and embrace it. Google's mission statement is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." It seeks to develop "the perfect search engine," which it defines as something that "understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want."


Google views information as a commodity, a "utilitarian resource that can be mined and processed with industrial efficiency." The faster and more efficient, the better. Google's two founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have openly indicated eagerness and intention to explore the realm of artificial intelligence. Brin was quoted in Newsweek as saying "Certainly, if you had all the world's information directly attached to your brain or an artificial brain that was smarter than your brain, you'd be better off."


And this is part of Google's vision of "universally accessible information."


For some unknown reason, Google's identity as a profit-driven corporation never really clicked in my mind before. Even the naming of Google as the top company in the nation to work for, for some some inexplicable reason, I have never truly thought of Google as being a profit-driven corporation that thrives off of the commoditization of information. And reducing people to mere machines that in turn process this information is a conflict of interest for the dignity of human life.


Truly reducing people to mere data-processing machines that must intake information faster and faster with the aid of the Internet sounds completely dehumanizing to me. This may be a bit of a strong statement, and of course I am fully aware that I have benefited (or at least been entertained) from the many uses of the Internet. I'm a myspacing, facebooking, twittering, emailing fiend. But to know that something as seemingly innocuous as Google is founded on the principle that humans are at the basest level, mere data-processing machines that can eventually be supplemented--or even replaced with impersonal artificial intelligence--disturbs me.


It makes me want to critically rethink my entire approach to the Internet, texting, facebooking, emailing. Everything. I am not necessarily going to give up on technology--I'm not that disciplined or crazy or radical. I certainly acknowledge the benefits. But it makes me want to question and critically rethink the value of relating to people on the Internet. And shape my life accordingly. And I know I've thought through this many times before, on the value of texting or facebooking as a replacement or at least a supplement to actual human interaction... that debate has been there since this whole Internet craze began. It's nothing new.


But I feel like I just swallowed the red pill in the Matrix.


"In the end, all we want is to be known."


Thoughts, anyone?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

movies

I like movies that get under my skin.  That make me think.  The ones that make me actually forget I'm watching some cinematic creation and I swallow the story--world, characters and all--like one gigantic pill.

Gone, Baby, Gone was brilliant because it achieved something quite astounding for someone (Ben Affleck) on their directorial debut:  it successfully wove and spun this gritty crime thriller into something quite more complex and strangely compelling, landing the audience on a morally ambiguous playing field of ethical dilemma.  And just from a suspenseful plot standpoint, the thing twisted and turned more than a taffy-making machine.  And Ben (yep, we're on a first-name basis here) fantastically captured the non-gentrified streets and neighborhood of Boston.  It felt like a beautiful but realistic homage to his hometown.  

The thrust of the movie was almost documentary-like, because it's jarring and unsettling in its conclusion.  It's most definitely NOT an mass opiate of entertainment. It's a wake-up call and a sobering look into reality.

This sharply contrasts with Hancock a fun summer popcorn flick (although I was not eating popcorn when I was watching it) that I watched last night.  To me, Hancock is the new Cloverfield.  It definitely lives up to the hype in entertainment value (plus Will Smith is just plain fun to watch) and was perfect for a Friday night, but the thing is not going to change the course of history or sink deeply in the collective psyche, just line the pockets of fancy Hollywood execs.  Ah well.  It was still a good time.  And certain parts of the music score sounded surprisingly kind of cool and indie-flickish, which I was not expecting.

On that note, if you're looking for some good summer music, my fellow blogger Jonathan has posted a spectacular playlist entitled "Summer of Rock '08" that you should check out here. You can download the entire playlist and he gives specific instructions on the blog on how to do so.

The Lipps brothers generally rock at introducing me to new music.  Because of them, I have Coldplay (yep, I KNOW), Teitur, and Pedro the Lion in my life, to name a few.  

In a parallel universe, I am sure that would translate into a life debt of some sort.

;)

love the day,
M




Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Poetry (the cathedral kind) and Airplanes

I got back from NYC late Monday night, after a long, harrowing experience in the Newark and Atlanta airports with Delta airlines. I've always had pretty positive experiences with Delta, but this one is definitely going to rank high on my list of traveling fiascos. I was delayed in Newark, which would have made me miss my connection in Atlanta, so I was put on standby for ANOTHER plane that already been delayed 3 hours. Thankfully I was cleared for boarding and eventually made my connection in Atlanta (but not after taxiing on the runway for half an hour:P).

But as we were sitting on the ATL runway, preparing to takeoff for Orlando, the power completely blew. That is NOT something you want to have happen to you one minute before takeoff. Our individual computer screens rebooted and flashed this weird Matrix-y computer garble that I didn't understand. Anyway, the pilot didn't seem all that fazed. However, power going out on an airplane seems like a pretty big deal to me. But I guess it wasn't to him. (Although I'm sure if that happened mid-flight, he'd have something very different to say... Such as "Mayday." And a string of expletives.)

But anyway...I guess with the economy being what it is and airlines cutting back and getting rid of planes, I am going to have to accept that frequent delays are just going to have to become more of standard fare. Unfortunately.

I had a great time with Jenny and Paige. One day, I'll clean up my chaotic flickr account and post albums there, but for now, I am going to have to go with facebook. (Sorry for you photography elitists...)

I posted pics here: Fourth of July Shenanigans
and here: Frolicking in NYC

I did venture out on my own my last morning in town, mostly because I knew Jenny and Paige would probably sleep in and not be up for hoofing it around midtown. Also, I wanted to wander a bit and do some shopping at H&M--which I know they were not budgeting for--so I got up early on Monday, grabbed a bagel and wandered to the shopping district via Central Park, rather than stroll down 5th Ave. Such a different atmosphere from the previous day. The park was nearly deserted, save for some lone joggers, dogwalkers and nannies with children in tow. It was nice to get a non-touristy sense of the place.

Most of the stores hadn't opened by 9:30a.m. so I figured I'd duck inside St. Patrick's Cathedral on 5th Ave in the meantime.

I don't know what it is about cathedrals, but I always feel compelled to stop inside them, whether I'm in Vienna, D.C. or London. I've especially become more intrigued by cathedrals since reading Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth last year, a historical fiction work that traces the building of a single cathedral in medieval Europe over several generations.



There were a few people that came to meditate, and I saw a few silhouettes hunched over in prayer. But mostly there were just visitors and tourists. I sat in one pew and glanced around me at the stained glass windows, the arches, the marble carvings.


I pulled out the liturgical book and turned to today's date. It was a simple responsorial psalm, but somehow reading it in the fun and chaos and color and vibrancy of the weekend, I suddenly felt small and vulnerable. In a good way.

Some Christians in the modern world scoff at these architectural masterpieces, saying that the builders' priorities were misplaced and that "the church is people, not a building." Of course I agree with the semantics/theology of that statement. And yes, it's true, that for many, cathedrals are nothing more than a tourist attraction, a glimmering hub that begs a snapshot or two before moving onto the next art museum or skyscraping wonder.

But as I sat on that pew, I couldn't help but wonder if there was something to be learned from the structure and intentional design of a cathedral. Every inch of the building is designed to draw our focus upward and outward. Stories and parables etched on colored panes and intricately arranged to illuminate some truth, marble blocks carved and liberated to reveal the posture and personality of a saint, every blood-soaked minute of the Passion painted and purposefully positioned around the whole of the cathedral...all these things are part of the narrative of God interacting with humanity. And vice versa.

I wonder how differently our lives would play out if we approached our will, thoughts, emotions, decisions, relationships and lives with the same intentionality and focus. Particularly with relationships. I love how Tim Keller translates C.S. Lewis' The Four Loves into layman's terms and says true Christian friendship is like a room with windows. The purpose of friendship is not limited to merely fulfilling some need within ourselves (be it companionship, affirmation or enjoyment, which are all valid desires), but also--like a cathedral--to draw each other's attention upward and outward. To pursue the common horizon together.

I want to explore what it means to follow Jesus in every corner of my life. I fail dreadfully in that all the time. But in this season of life, I'm coming to this point where I wonder if there is some balance, some interaction in the field of discipleship between spontaneous adventure and purposeful direction.

I think there is.

And I want to find that.



Thursday, July 3, 2008

relentless Dexter blogging (please pass Go and collect $200 if you do not watch/care about this show;)... b/c this entry will bore you to tears.

So last night I finally finished Season 2 of Dexter. And I honestly can't quite pin down which season I liked more. I liked each season for different reasons. I felt like the writing of the actual dialogue and structure of the show was more inventive and unpredictable in the second season, but the plot twists and character fleshing out was more enjoyable for me in Season 1. But there was more time to enjoy the character arcs for Season 2. I don't know. Apples and oranges, methinks.

Anyway, Jeanne made an observation last night that I've been pondering, on why Dexter ends up killing the only people who really see him and accept him for who he is. Why is that? I have some theories... (which are not really theories because they're kind of obvious) For one, the most obvious being that the only people who have been capable of accepting Dexter as the killer at this juncture, have been people who are just as twisted by evil as he is. And because of that twistedness, they try to shape Dexter into what they want, which is not to feel alone in their evil. Icey wanted Dexter to embrace complete license to kill and thereby banish any remaining shred of humanity, which necessitated killing Debra. Deb, we find over and over and over again, is the one person that forces Dex to not go completely postal. She helps keep him human.

Lila took matters into her own hands, and relentlessly tried to suck Dexter into this sick, codependent relationship with her. This necessitated messing with Rita and the kids (in her mind, anyway). And Rita and the kids--like Deb--keep Dex emotionally connected.

Icey and Pyro each had an agenda with Dexter. He filled some need within themselves, mostly to not feel alone in their own depravity. They were each motivated by some form of selfishness. Not that would have mattered to Dexter, except that the selfishness catalyzed them each into doing something that hurt the only people that Dex cares about--Deb and Rita.

So maybe the reason why Dexter kills people who truly see him is because the only people capable of understanding him ARE these twisted people. Who then do something against "the code of Harry" that inevitably pisses Dexter off and compels him to kill them.

What would be interesting if another character comes along who can truly see and accept Dexter for who he is... and not turn away. And not try and rope him into some sick, codependent relationship like Lila did. Or try and turn him to the "even darker side of the dark side" by making him into a loose codeless serial killer like Icey did. What would he do then?

The only thing I could think of was bringing some external character whom I'm not even capable of conjuring up in my imagination. Or that person would actually turn out to be Deb. Eventually.

I think it's interesting that the writers brought us to this point of Dex nearly telling Deb, then copping out. Because in some way I think they're setting the audience up for automatically assuming that Deb couldn't handle the truth. But I think she could. In fact, I think maybe all the fragmented pieces of childhood memories and present situation might actually come together in her mind to the point where it might actually make sense to her. One day.

I think the reason that Deb couldn't see through Rudy and hasn't been able to see through Dexter at ALL, is because--for all of her profanity and dirty mind and smart-aleck attitude--she is paradoxically pure at heart. She can't recognize true evil in others because she doesn't have any real twistedness within herself. Same reason why Angel can't see it, and why Doakes COULD.

Ah, Doakes:( Tragic end for a guy who truly did try to do the right thing. In the end. He's my unsung hero in this show.

Anyway, I have waaaaaaay more to say about the Code of Harry, but that would quadruple the size of the post and I don't have anymore time. So I'll save that for another day...:)

Cheers.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

You know you're obsessed with Dexter when...

So the following are real live examples from my life. I kid you not.

This is the beginning of an ongoing list, I'm sure. Feel free to add to my list.

You know you're obsessed with Dexter when...
  • You unintentionally start getting ready in the morning by humming the theme song of the show's opening credits.
  • You are in Walgreens shopping for some Vitamin C boost and see lozenges on the shelves and your first thought is "Ice Truck Killer."
  • You are shopping for shoes and you see this:
...and you immediately have to take a photo of it.

Yep.

I have not been motivated as much this season to blog about Dexter, however I do have some overall thoughts on Season 2 so far...

I feel like my opinion of every single character has drastically fluctuated for better and worse over the past 9 episodes. And I'm sure it'll change again for the remaining three...

  • I am disappointed at how Lila took advantage of Dexter's vulnerability. It seemed like he was on the road to mastering--or at least dealing with--his issues. He opened up to another human being potentially as messed up as him, someone who could potentially understand him as he really is. And he got burned for it (no pun intended. Psycho Pyro Lila). This made me upset mostly because when we initially saw Lila helping Dex out, I thought, "Wow this girl's good. Unconventional, but good." Little did I know that her ability to help Dex was really born out of this twisted neediness within herself. Ugh.
    • Dexter: (voice over) "Lila almost had me believing it was possible, to change, to become something else. As if that ever really happens. I've always known what I am. (pulls on gloves in preparation for a kill) If the glove fits..." This made me sad:( So now he's back to Dextering the dregs of society.
    • Incidentally, I wonder if they're intentionally exploring the superhero elements. First we have Icey, now we have Pyro. Maybe next season we'll have Krypton.
    • Dexter: (voice over)" I'd almost forgotten this feeling, driving toward a kill, all my senses sharpened. It's like I've been living underwater, holding my breath, and now I can finally breathe. So how come it's so suffocating in here?" It's because you're a human being with emotions, not a monster. Embrace your humanity, Dex, don't stifle it.
    • Anyway, I essentially felt betrayed by Lila. I want to go beat up that pale, English vampire right now. Deb will help me. Haha.
  • Harry's past becomes increasingly shady. We're initially led to believe that the trauma of Dex's early life is what made him. But in truth--Harry significantly shaped Dexter, in how to train his impulses. Did Harry truly help or harm Dexter? Only time will tell...
  • I was wondering the whole time if Deb's affinity for Lundy was going to become an attraction. Although there was something very sweetly awkward about them together from that first 1p.m. lunch by the harbor thing, I definitely had mixed feelings about it. On one hand, the age difference is a little weird. But on the other, Lundy is the one person who can provide Deb with security and innate goodness and character and stability, something she definitely needs, what with all of the other men in her life being serial killers and all. And he's the FBI rock star. Kind of poetic that the fiance and sister of two notorious serial killers has a relationship with the Fed that hunts them down.
  • Rita's mom annoyed the crap out of me. Good riddance. I am so thankful my mom is nothing like that.
  • I have never been crazy about Rita, but she's shown gumption this season.
  • I wonder if they will actually catch Dex. Lundy's good at his job. Real good.
  • If/when Deb finds out about her brother... Wow, I am not looking forward to that. My heart hurts for her already.
  • Doakes. Doakes, Doakes, Doakes. I was annoyed at him for the first few episodes and his stalker eyes staring down over his grimacing mouth. After Doakes believes Dex is a heroin addict, he cooled off a little and it was fine. For awhile. Now he's hunting through Dex's apartment and found his little blood on glass slide collection. Uh oh....
Anyway, I have no idea how this is all going to pan out and I am about 5 seconds away from just finishing the entire season....

Dinnertime!

Cheers,

M