Friday, October 06, 2006

CEN September

Just getting round to producing October's surfing column so here is September's.

September 2006

I’m a sucker for a review. Once I’ve seen a movie for instance, and begun to rate it, I want to know what the experts felt. As I almost never see movies when they come out I will have long forgotten the newspaper reviews. The Movie Review Query Engine (MRQE) is my favourite place to go. It lists all the places the film you search for has been reviewed. Consistently interesting is Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times. I wish him a speedy recovery from the surgery the site tells me he’s just had.

CEN’s movie reviewer Steve Parish referred me to three sites, Christianity Today for current reviews, JoyofMovies for archived reviews and articles and HollywoodJesus for pop culture from a spiritual point of view.

If you want some indication of the content of a film from a Christian perspective before you see it try Christian Answers which has a spotlight on entertainment. Preview does a similar job, in their own words ‘... a fun, informative tool for Christian parents and moviegoers. Our reviews contain the content of films so you can decide if they are suitable for your viewing.’

In broader matters of popular culture, The Ooze is another site for emerging church thinking to take place with archived articles and discussion forums. As is the Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory a, ‘...peer-reviewed journal devoted to both disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship of a cutting-edge nature that deals broadly with the phenomenon of religious and cultural theory.’ A simple guide to bringing biblical truth alive for young people can be found at Essential, an Evangelical Alliance site.

If you know where the Noddy guide to all this is hosted please let me know. Geez magazine has no toy-town tendencies but it is post-modernism with its tongue firmly in its check, pricking the bubbles of pomposity, letting down the tyres of fundamentalism and annoying the pants off the over-used theological metaphors of progress. Sorry, I think I caught what they’ve got.

Anyway enough of popular culture; let’s save the world, again.

Travelling without causing the planet too much harm concerns many of us these days. Offset the emissions of your journey at Climatecare where you can calculate the cost of the damage to the environment your journey is causing and invest the money in sustainable energy projects. Excuse the preach, but more of us should do this. Responsible Travel is a place where you can book, ‘Holidays that give the world a break.’ Read the full text of the Bishop of London’s recent rant against selfish holidays at the Times online archive.

The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECRU) is running a debate on all this at the end of the month. Details on their web-site. Meantime, will help-you find someone local who wants to share lifts to work with you.

Many people feel they have let their friends down if they don’t send a ‘proper’ greetings card. If an e-card isn’t anathema to you why not send one that raises awareness of issues – Water Aid have a nice selection. Send a Cow also offer this service with a special children’s section. Don’t get too sidetracked by Udder Madness – a game where you drive a truck and try to catch cows falling from the skies but where the falling bulls trash your vehicle. As they do.

Given that post-apocalypse there will be silence in heaven for only half an hour we may as well humour the Noisy Parish Awards, a site for people who want their churches to sound slightly less apocalyptic just now.

Distracting game of the month is What Word? Find words in a grid in a given time. Slide tiles around by making other words. Try not to make, accidentally, words which remove letters you need. Fun and more than a little time-consuming. American spelling too, to keep you on your toes.

August’s whimsy festers quietly at Mustard Seed Shavings. Links from there to all previous articles. Visit. Go on. You know you want to.

Steve Tilley

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