Here is a wee tribute to Flannery O'Connor, short story author and novelist, and the weird ways our lives have intersected.
News of the Hatchers: We are all hanging in there. Baby Katie had some nasty burns on her little hands from touching the front of the oven. It took a few weeks, and several trips to the special burn unit in Augusta, Ga, but she has healed up well. My OCD has calmed down a bit (hope mentioning that doesn't jinx it!) and we are all in the middle of Advent, preparing for Christmas. I'm not exactly sure how we are preparing, but we are preparing. Meanwhile, I have a new podcast to recommend: The Flicks That Church Forgot. It is helmed by a Baptist Minister in England and features reviews of horror films of various stripes, including a special Bigfoot episode that features three -- count em -- three Bigfoot movies. Lots of fun and it ain't often you get to hear a review of The Howling from a Christian perspective. You can tune in via iTunes or head over to the podcast website at theflicksthatchurchforgot.podomatic.com.
Well, after a dazzlingly lengthy hiatus, we're back. This time I offer a few quotes from Baron Friedrich von Hugel, a writer whom I sense to be right in his views even when I don't altogether understand them. About the family: Katie is doing well, is a very happy baby, is a joy to hang out with. Susan is getting an MRI tomorrow, so please pray about that. Nick has broken his foot, but is getting better. Sarah and Holly are busy with school. My wrestling match with OCD (and now depression) continues -- so prayers are much appreciated. Some day I will be at a nice restful healthy place in life and will look back on these difficult times and barely remember them. Here are a couple more quotes from von Hugel:
“Religion has never made me happy; its no use shutting your eyes to the fact that the deeper you go, the more alone you will find yourself… Religion has never made me comfy. I have been in the deserts ten years. All deepened life is deepened suffering, deepened dreariness, deepened joy. Suffering and joy. The final note of religion is joy.”
“Christianity is a heroism. People seem sometimes to think it is a dear darling, not-to-be-grumpy, not-to-be-impatient, not-to-be-violent life; a sort of wishy-washy sentimental affair. Stuff and nonsense!”
Lately I've been stretched rather thin, so this episode on liminalism isn't quite the thrill-a-minute porpoise show regular listeners have come to expect. It is on liminalism -- or liminality, if that's the better term. That's what they use on wikipedia and that's what you've got here -- the wikipedia entry on liminality with commentary from yours truly. It's very interesting stuff, so that's why this episode can manage to be "lame yet not lame" -- which is a sort of liminal thing in itself. Please keep my family and me in your prayers. Thanks much!
Here's a short and sweet update on what's going on at the Hatcher maison. Like how about our new baby, Katie? And an opportunity for listeners to reach down deep to see if they have any suggestions for show topics. Like how about liminalism? "The threshold people," as Criswell would put it. People, places, and things which sit at the border between two worlds. Like Christ, who is both God and man. Or like men, who are both spirit and flesh. Or like the Wolfman, as we see him here in one of his stranger incarnations. Anyhow, if that sounds interesting, place your vote here at the blog page by posting a comment. Or if you have an idea of your own, post a comment. Thanks!
Our tribute to Mystery Science Theater 3000 goes out with a bang as Lint delves into the mysteries of satire, pop culture, and that time Tom Servo sang to his pet turtle, Tibby, for a full five minutes. Meanwhile, Susan is having a baby -- tomorrow! Yikes! That makes baby number four! Yikes! The current three already drive us crazy! Yikes! We shall have to change and become more stern and paternal and "draw the line" and no longer "put up with that crap" in our tiny (very tiny) maison - just to create some kind of groundwork for peace and quiet and mutual respect and less screaming! Yikes! Susan has suffered from post-partum complications in the past, but the meds are ready to go! Yikes! We are just a couple of crazy Catholics who actually paid serious attention to Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI's big time letter about contraception linked here! Yikes! Which makes us crazy even among Catholics! Yikes! But if we had dissented because of Susan's post-partum problems we wouldn't have Sarah and Holly now! Yikes and double yikes! Please pray for us in our odd combination of seriousness and silliness! And blessings to all the members of Best Brains, Inc.
Welcome to part two of our tribute to Mystery Science Theater 3000 in happy acknowledgement of the show's 20th anniversary (sorry for this week's delay). The great debate continues between those who feel the show is cynical and those who feel the show is perhaps only slightly cynical and those who believe the show is just plain fun and those who... well, you get the idea. As a very distant girlfriend once said to me, "You LIKE to think, don't you?" Boy, she had me pegged, didn't she? So join me, your loyal servant and ever lovin' pop-culture maven, as I LIKE to think about MST3K.
For many years, one of the great pleasures in life (in my life, at least) was watching Mystery Science Theater 3000. I remember one Thanksgiving, in particular, when they had a marathon of around thirty episodes. I was in fanboy heaven, scarfing down turkey and watching turkeys at the same time. Although some took offense at the jibes and riffs and such, I couldn't help but enjoy Joel and the Bots, then Mike and the Bots, in their peculiarly painful dilemma: stuck on a satellite in space, forced to watch bad movies. It seemed a smaller version of our own dilemma, since Earth itself is a satellite in space, as it were, and we also are forced to imbibe so much inane, mind-numbing, soul-destroying stuff simply while driving to the grocery store: billboards, radio ads, road rash, the whole sense of swimming endlessly through a consumer culture which has drastically changed the human horizon. Sometimes, the best option is to poke fun at it all and thereby make it less omnipotent and omnipresent. With that in mind, here is part one of our two part tribute to Mystery Science Theater 3000. Thanks Joel, Mike and everybody else at Best Brains, Inc. (Of course, past episodes of the show are available in various dvd boxed sets and episodes unavailable in that form can be found online through various bootleggers making use of the "one collector to another" legal loophole. As they say, keep circulating the tapes!)
Do you feel driven to "make something of yourself"? To BE somebody? To leave your mark on the world? Why? And why does that involve absolutely NEEDING to write our generation's version of the Narnia books? Hmmm? Well, that's Lint's ambition anyhow. He knows it's crazy, but it sticks with him nevertheless. In this episode, Lint Hatcher shares these and other ambitions. Then he reads a letter from a friend (a fellow member of Inklings Anonymous) that explains why those ambitions don't make sense. (The image is a mural in Belfast.)
Ever felt like God stopped returning your calls? This very personal episode (and aren't they all?) begins on location in a parking lot at Georgia College & State University where wifey Susan teaches a class while I wait in the car. There is much ado about spiritual growth, the "three ways", intimacy with God and/or the lack thereof, negative spiritual experiences which may cause some to bail on the Faith, Christian apologetics, Mother Teresa, C. S. Lewis, and more. Then, Susan returns, climbs behind the steering wheel and we are off homeward again to Macon, Georgia by way of Gordon, Georgia -- a small town with a big, big hunger for elaborate Christmas light decorations. The new weekly pace for excuse me, ghidorah continues!