I wanted to take a second to rave about a few thing that I’ve read recently. I love reading, so you might see more recommendations here soon.
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri – it’s her first novel, but she won the Pulitzer for a compilation of short stories recently. The first few chapters talk about Bengali immigrant parents welcoming their new baby in the States, without all of their family around … and gave me a vivid picture of what it might have been like for my parents. I want to read Interpreter of Maladies next…
I’m currently working on Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire by Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat. Because I haven’t read it all yet, I’m gonna quote from a review:
“Colossians Remixed is a book which reads the biblical text in context and analyzes the world — consumerism and the role of mass media, globalization, postmodernism, the massive reality of the suffering of the poor, the savaging of the land, contemporary angst and social disquiet, idolatries and ideologies — to create a living, experimental interpretation of the ancient text. They insist (and make the case persuasively) that this book of the Bible can nurture a subversive resistance to the forces of the idols of our time. In other words, it is significantly informative about the Bible and seriously but creatively committed to bold proclamation of the good news that emerges from the text.”
So far, they’ve talked about how Colossians subversive against Pax Romana (where Caesar was god) and how it’s still counter-cultural now, in Pax Americana with consumerism and the almighty dollar being the gods. They gave an interpretation (targum) of verses 1-14 that was astonishing. Plus, they’re a married couple – both scholars, pretty cool. 🙂
And tonight, I watched Maya Lin: Strong Clear Vision (netflix is awesome). I didn’t realize she was only 20 and entered the Vietnam War Memorial competition as a project for her college class. They show her courage in facing the controversy and investigations of the design – Pat Buchanan tried to say that some of the judges were communists! And there were lots of letters protesting that a ‘gook’ was designing the memorial. But she has gone on to do so much more – the Civil Rights memorial in Montgomery Alabama, work in Penn Station, Yale, and much more. So cool.
One non-recommendation –
I happened to see Kelly Clarkson performing on Jay Leno as I turned off the DVD… She sang these lines…
But since you’ve been gone
I can breathe for the first time
I’m so moving on
… At that point I burst out laughing because she used ‘i’m so moving on’ as a rhyme … and was doing these dramatic stage gestures along with her singing… Maybe you had to be there.