April 2010 News

  • Paul Verhoeven interviewed in Playboy

    Paul Verhoeven interviewed in Playboy

    April 30, 2010

    On the surface, Verhoeven is an unlikely person to advance the pursuit of Jesusology (my term). The director of such thrillers as Basic Instinct, he has no formal training in the high academic arts. He is the only voting member of the 77-seat Jesus Seminar—a group of New Testament scholars who try to find consensus on authentic material in the gospels and letters—who does not have a scholarly background. But his insights are masterful. Playboy on Paul Verhoeven and Jesus of Nazareth

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  • Glyphjockey on Barry Gifford’s Sailor & Lula novels

    Glyphjockey on Barry Gifford’s Sailor & Lula novels

    April 30, 2010

    Life is short and my reading list long (currently on my third Mary Roach in a row – currently thinking up pot puns for that review, which will be shortly) and so I don’t actively seek out amazing anymore. The wheel of karma brings it to me. My sister bought me Sailor’s Holiday (the 3rd book in the series) as a Christmas request from me. It opens up with child sacrifice, migrates to pimps harvested for their organs and encounters with conjectured afterlife. Amplified from the original Wild at Heart, (the first book) and yet with the Gifford flavor all along; life’s mundane moments inherently contain enough reflectivity for him to provide insights.

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  • Barry Gifford interview in the Chicagoist

    Barry Gifford interview in the Chicagoist

    April 27, 2010

    CHICAGOIST: First of all, what was it like to see all of your novels in the same place, in the same book together?

    GIFFORD: Well, somebody called it a milestone when they saw it. And I said, “It’s either that, or a headstone.” It’s the way I always wanted it, because really it’s all one long novel… That’s really the form I always envisioned it being in, so finally it’s done. I’m really happy. — from the Chicagoist interview with Barry Gifford

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  • Call to action: Save Town Hall Seattle!

    Call to action: Save Town Hall Seattle!

    April 23, 2010

    Town Hall Seattle is one of 25 northwestern organizations honored to be chosen by Partners in Preservation to compete for a $125,000 grant. To receive the funds, Town Hall must earn the greatest number of votes in a runoff poll conducted by Partners in Preservation.

    Town Hall needs to restore our historic building’s cracked, white terra cotta tile. We’d also fix our beautiful, massive, but crumbling, stained glass window.

    Town Hall’s stages have hosted everyone from Al Gore and Madeleine Albright to the King County Spelling Bee, Arundhati Roy and The Magnetic Fields. [And, of course, Ralph Nader.] With your help, they’ll be doing so for decades to come. —from the Town Hall Seattle website

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  • “I don’t think it’s right for anyone to tell my little child that it’s okay for brother to wear 10,000 dresses”

    “I don’t think it’s right for anyone to tell my little child that it’s okay for brother to wear 10,000 dresses”

    April 22, 2010

    We were honored to learn that Marcus Ewert and Rex Ray’s illustrated children’s book, 10,000 Dresses, was recently recommended by the organization Alameda C.A.R.E. — or “Community Alliance Resource for Education,” a group which provides support and legal advocacy for LGBT children in the Alameda school district — for inclusion in the anti-bullying curriculum required for all K-5 students in Alameda schools. And we are further honored, in a queasier sort of way, to learn that the Pacific Justice Institute — which, in Ed Meese’s estimation, “fills a critical need on the West Coast for those whose civil liberties are threatened” — has decided that Ewert and Ray’s work is harmful those same K-5 students that C.A.R.E. wants to protect, and apparently many people in the Alameda community have decided to agree.

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  • Racing While Black reviewed at The Complex

    Racing While Black reviewed at The Complex

    April 16, 2010

    Even if you’re not an avid racing fan, we’re sure you’ve caught the grand oval spectacle know as NASCAR at least once in your life. After all, behind the NFL, it’s the second most-viewed sports league in the country. However, there’s one major difference between NASCAR and the rest of America’s pastimes: a startling lack of racial diversity. Leonard T. Miller’s book explains why. —The Complex

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  • Noam Chomsky warns about serious possibility of fascism in America

    Noam Chomsky warns about serious possibility of fascism in America

    April 16, 2010

    “Ridiculing the tea party shenanigans is a serious error,” Chomsky said. … “The colossal toll of the institutional crimes of state capitalism” is what is fueling “the indignation and rage of those cast aside. People want some answers. … They are hearing answers from only one place: Fox, talk radio, and Sarah Palin.”

    Chomsky invoked Germany during the Weimar Republic, and drew a parallel between it and the United States. “The Weimar Republic was the peak of Western civilization and was regarded as a model of democracy,” he said. And he stressed how quickly things deteriorated there. “In 1928 the Nazis had less than 2 percent of the vote,” he said. “Two years later, millions supported them. The public got tired of the incessant wrangling, and the service to the powerful, and the failure of those in power to deal with their grievances.” — The Progressive

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  • Paul Verhoeven in the Wall Street Journal’s “Speakeasy”

    Paul Verhoeven in the Wall Street Journal’s “Speakeasy”

    April 14, 2010

    The moderator of the discussion [at the IFC in New York City on April 8], Slate contributor Eric Hynes, noted that the filmmaker’s dour explanation of Jesus’s world “sounds just like a Paul Verhoeven movie.”

    The response was immediate. “Yeah,” Verhoeven said, “but I didn’t invent it this time.”
    From the Wall Street Journal’s “Speakeasy” blog

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  • Leora Tanenbaum on Phoebe Prince and Hope Witsell

    Leora Tanenbaum on Phoebe Prince and Hope Witsell

    April 13, 2010

    I am curious to know: why has [Phoebe] Prince’s death elicited a far stronger reaction than [Hope] Witsell’s? Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has even stepped in, berating school officials for not protecting Prince. Meanwhile, to date no one has so strongly pointed a finger at school administrators at Witsell’s school, nor have there been criminal charges brought in her case. This doesn’t make sense. Both girls were victimized similarly. Both deaths are tragic. Both girls deserve the same outcry of anger and horror. Why does Prince’s suicide resonate so much more than Witsell’s?

    Because Prince, 15, more neatly fits the stereotype of a sympathetic “good” victim while Witsell does not. — Leora Tanenbaum

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  • Paul Verhoeven interviewed in New York Magazine

    Paul Verhoeven interviewed in New York Magazine

    April 13, 2010

    “Jesus was a human being, bound by history and the natural world; an extraordinary man, to be sure, but still a man,” says the now-71-year-old Verhoeven as he sits in the coffee shop of a midtown hotel, his lank silver-gold hair swinging about as he staccato-fires his argument. “Jesus may have had an immense sense of importance or destiny, but he never claimed to be the Son of God.” Verhoeven’s here to plug his book at the Hudson Union Society. Then why care about Jesus if he’s not the Son of God? Verhoeven says, “Because of his ethics. His thought. It isn’t because of the healings, because now humans possess the healing technology to do 100 times, 1,000 times what Jesus did. What we are left with is what he said, the parables, the moral thinking, because when you begin to study Jesus’ life, as the miracles fall away as physical impossibilities, you learn that the quotes, the speeches, and the reasoning behind them, for the most part, are genuine.”

    As to how he came to write such a book (the notes, bibliography, and various indexes take up 87 of the 288 pages), Verhoeven, who grew up in The Hague during the Nazi occupation, smiles slyly and says, “You mean when I’m supposed to be spending all my time making another version of Total Recall? There are other things to think about, you know.” — Marc Jacobson interviewing Paul Verhoeven

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