Wednesday, January 23, 2013

{kids say...} literary misconceptions from the minds of Si and TJ

So, I thought it would be interesting to quiz my little brothers (7 and 8 years old) about their knowledge (or lack there of) of classic literature. I thought it’d be a laugh to gauge their misconceptions about some of the world’s most beloved stories…and believe me it was. Here is the result. Enjoy!

 Bleak House-somebody gets pox. Not chicken pox, the old kind of pox that we know a cure for now. There is an evil lady and the girl doesn’t know that she’s actually…….her MOM.

 Great Expectations- it’s about pip. There is this girl that he loves and she slaps him. She tries to teach him how to play cards. This other lady burns herself to death…and her house, but it was an old house.

 Lord of the Rings- the main character is Bilbo Saggypants and Gollum is his evil munchkin-he’s not evil you just don’t know what he is. And there are trolls and a lot of killing. They have to find the ring before it gets into Gollum’s or the dark lords hands….oh and also, there is a big spider that kills people.

 Pride and Prejudice- about a dumb man who dies on a boat.

 Hamlet- He’s a prince, there is this one girl who loves him but he accidentally kills her, and then the king kills the queen. And then everybody dies. The end.

 Christy- *singing* Neil MacNeil is Scottish.

 Jane Eyre- her friend dies. This one mean boy hits her with a book when she is little but when she grows up she becomes a missionary.

 Les Miserables- people die and cry, more people die and cry. There’s two mean people, they’re the masters of the house. People get married and someone dies. A woman cuts off her hair, and they can’t find the criminal they are looking for.

 Sherlock Holmes- he is a man who has to find mysteries. There’s a lot of murders…and snakes. He never carries a gun, he just punches people, but he has a friend who shoots bad guys for him.

A tale of Two Cities- it is about two cities. More than sixty hundred people die.

The Great Gatsby- It’s about a man named Gatsby who is very great. But I don’t know how he’s great with a name like ‘Gatsby.’

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

{Ten Reasons} A Creative Writing Assignment

As one of my assignment for this awesome creative writing class I am taking, we were supposed to post on our blog ten reason why we will keep writing, so here are mine. Enjoy!

1. Because I have a voice. God has given me a unique voice and a way to share my thoughts and opinions. God gave me my voice, so I will use it.

2. Because I like it. Simple enough, I will keep writing because I like to do it ;D

3. Because sometimes paper is the only thing that will listen. And some times it’s the only thing I want to listen.

4. Because it removes my mask. Somewhere from childhood to adulthood, all people build masks for themselves, ways to hide what’s in their heart, ways to be something they are not. Some masks are made in fear, some in love, most are made unwittingly. But writing is, for me, a way to take off that mask and let my true self breathe.

5. Because it lasts. Writing is a lasting way to be remembered, and to have an impact on future generations even after I’m gone.

6. It helps me understand the world.

7. It helps me understand myself.

8. Because it makes me better.  I like who I am when I write.

9. Because Writing changes things. Books and stories and poetry change things, they change people, and writing is a way for me to be the change I want to see.

10. Because it is free entertainment. Books are kinda expensive, but writing them is free ;D

If y’all want to read some of my fiction, you can find it at

Monday, October 29, 2012

{Gotham’s Reckoning} The Dark Knight Rises

 Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is unlike any others in the genre of “super hero.” The films are darker, grittier, and more foreboding than most films in that genre, but perhaps the thing that sets them most apart is the fact that they are intelligent. Fiercely intelligent, and deep. The conclusion to the trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises,” is by far the most promising in the series.
It’s a great “super hero” film, boasting of ninja fight scenes, some pretty awesome advanced technology, (cause who doesn’t love a good bat-mobile chase scene? … or three?) and a  squeeze-your-dates-hand-in-the-popcorn-bucket level scary villain. (Played by the unequaled Tom Hardy, but more about him later.)
But more than that, it’s a film with a message. When asked why he wanted to make a third film, creator Christopher Nolan said “for lack of a better term, [to] go there.
He went on to explain that in both of the installments that came before, the sanity of Gatham city was always threatened, but averted. In the third film, Nolan “goes there,” In all out pandemonium on the streets.
Imagine if the Wall Street Protests escalated to French Revolution level, and you have The Dark Knight Rises. The villain, Bane, is an intelligent revolutionary ( with an incredibly well written back story,) who seeks the downfall of Gotham for the betterment of mankind as a whole. (A member f the league of shadows, if you recall from the first movie.) But the way that he goes about that downfall is what is interesting to me. Bane seems only to wish to give power to the people, but he knows true democracy is only two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. And so un-harnessed democracy is his WMD of choice.

He tells the people of Gotham “We take Gotham from the corrupt, the rich, the oppressors of generations who kept you down with myths of opportunity, and we give it back to you, the people. Gotham is yours. None shall interfere, do as you please... The powerful will be ripped from their decadent nests and cast out into the cold world that we know and endure. Courts will be convened, spoils will be enjoyed. Blood will be shed. The police will survive as they learn to survive true justice.” Bane releases felons from prison and convenes “people’s courts.” He tells the people he seeks true justice and equality, when in reality he only seeks their demise, and chaos is the most viable means of bringing it about.

The film’s message is incredibly conservative and capitalistic for a Hollywood block buster. The character cat-woman, a burglar of the highest degree (played surprisingly well, by Anne Hathaway,) tells Bruce Wayne, (the original billionaire, genius, playboy philanthropist.) "There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne, and when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us."
Socialism at it’s most poetic, right? But the realization of socialism is far from poetic. Later in the film, when “the people rule,” Gotham is far from the utopia of equality expected. When she stands in the filthy looted ruins of a once-wealthy home, cat-woman whispers to herself “this was some-one’s home.” One of the looters replies “ Yeah, well now it is everyone’s home.”  When wealth is redistributed, no one comes out on top but Bane.
The Dark Knight Rises, has become one of my favorite movies. It has everything. A Christ like hero, a great villain, an intelligent and well written script, heart racing action sequences, a talented cast of actors, a twistful plot (yes, I did just make up that word) and a great message. It’s just an epic movie. But I believe it is the little things that make a movie great, as well as the big things. And a lot of super hero movies sacrifice the small moments of greatness on the altar of popcorn flicks. But the Dark Knight Rises doesn’t. You wouldn’t expect to get emotional when a policeman dons his dress blues, or when a butler decides to tell the truth, or when a detective chalks a symbol on the side of a building, but you will. And, much as anything else, those things are what make this a great movie.

Friday, October 19, 2012

{Ever the best of friends} Great Expectations

As the greatest novelist of his time, Charles Dickens has some beauties to his name. I mean, it blows my mind every time I think that Great Expectations, Bleak House, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nichelby, A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol, AND David Copperfield were all written by him. One man! One mind! Even if you don't like Dickens (How do you even have a soul?!?) you have to admit that is pretty much incredible. He was a master of words and could use them to create the most distinct and memorable characters. Seriously, nobody has characters like Dickens. I don't nessecarily have a favorite novel by Dickens. That is to say, I have a lots of favorites, depending on which of his novels I am most recently aquainted with.

And right now it is Great Expectations. If you haven't read this story, (Why do you even exist?!?) start it.  Every person should read this story at some point in their lives, ideally as a teenager. The themes Dickens weaves through this masterpeice of a story are truely beautiful. Yes, it is dark, but it has tremendous beauty. It is the beauty of the human soul, with dark and insane patches, but redeemed by the equisitely beautiful mottled goodness God has placed there. It is a story that speaks of the soul, and speaks directly to the soul. It is unsettling, it is both happy and sad, it made me laugh, and it made me cry. I don't know if Dickens intended this story to change lives, but it does. I don't know if Dickens intended for God to dwell in this story, but He does.

It is story of Pip, the boy from the forge. Pip is an orphan raised by his truculent older sister, and her husband Joe. I consider Joe to be one of the most beautiful fictional characters in the whole realm of literature. He is a simple, kind hearted black-smith who helps to raise the orphan pip, and to protect him from the "rampages" of his fractious older sister. It is a coming of age story. It is the story of what Grace means, it's a story of the destructive powers of discontentment. It shows what the words "you are special, you deserve better than this." can do to the human soul. It shows the bond that true, unconditional friendhip ties around the human heart. It starts simple and slow, like the flow of the river marshes that begin the setting; but by the end it is as torrential and complex as the bustling streets of Victorian London it comes to depict.

With out spoiling the story, let me say, Great Expectations is an anthem to the Grace of God, showing even the smallest act of kindness by a frightened child can change the life of another.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

{love with urgency, but not with haste} Mumford &Sons

At this point in time, my very favorite band is the British "Mumford & Sons." I love them with a love that is more than love. I love them more than is even healthy.  I love the voals, the folk-type instruments, the earthy tunes, and most of all I love their lyrics.
While they make no claims to be a "Christian Band", (who can blame them while looking at the state of that genre today) Marcus Mumford the leadsinger and songwriter for the band is an outspoken Christian. I consider the worldview of their lyrics to be equisitely biblical. {with the exception of the songs Little Lion Man, and Broken Crown, which contain some rather foul choices of language.}
The Lyrics as I said are chalk full of biblical phrases such as "widows and orphans" and "let the dead bury their dead." But more importantly the lyrics present an eloquent biblical worldview with which Christians can definitely identify, and even be chastened by. I know the Holy Spirit has used them to quicken my heart on more than one occasion.
Some of my favorite lines are the lyrics that present the most biblical concepts, such as:

"There is a designer, an alignment. The cry of my heart to see,the beauty of love as it was made to be."

"You can tie me to a post and block my ears, but i can still see widows and orphans through my tears, i know my call despite my faults and despite my growing fears."

"Awake my soul. For you were made to meet your maker."

"Can you kneel before the king; And say 'I'm clean, I'm clean.'?"

"Darkness is a harsh term don't you think? And yet it dominates the things I see. It seems that all my bridges have been burnt. But you say that's exactly how this grace thing works."

"I won't rot. Not in this mind and not in this heart, I won't rot. And I took you by the hand. And we stood tall, and remembered our own land, what we live for. And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears. And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears."

"Don't hold a glass over the flame. Don't let your heart grow cold. I will call you by name I will share your load."

"The blind man sleeps in the doorway-his home. If only i had an enemy bigger than my apathy i could have won."

Now you see why I love them? eloquent, complex lyrics that read like poetry, tackling really weighty topics like eternal life, and the call of the Christian. (...not to mention their voices that sound like British angels ;))
How do you feel about this band? Their music? Their lyrics? Their message? What are some of your favorite lines? Did i miss any?

Why is this even a blog ?!?

Hi. my name is Abi and I am an unabashed movie buff. I mean, I seriously love my entertainment. I have long bemoaned the fact that there are no decent christian film/literature/music critic websites. And then this idea hatched in my little brain....Why not just start one for myself?
So here is the product of my deliberation: "Entertainment with Abi." In which I shall discuss movies, books, and music both old and new. I will praise and laud the deserving, and expose the less than worthy. Ideally, my posts will review wordlview, content, and quality. Movies, literature, and music are all art forms. They all have something to tell us, and a way to make us feel. I'd like for you to learn with me as we begin our journey into the vast and murky land of Hollywood...and far beyond.
best wishes!