Mad Men: Manhattan Gothic (America magazine)

 

madmen-300America magazine’s October issue has an excellent review of Mad Men through the lens of Flannery O’Connor: Mad Men and the Shock of Recognition by Terrance W. Klein;

 

The article begins:

Flannery O’Connor explained the grotesquery of her characters and plot twists by saying that the subject of her fiction was “the action of grace in territory held largely by the devil.” She felt her characters and plots needed to be distorted to the point of the surreal to produce in the reader a “shock” of recognition. O’Connor’s stories each contain “an action that is totally unexpected, yet totally believable,” often an act of violence, like the murder of the cantankerous and haughty grandmother in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” or the self-blinding of Hazel Motes in Wise Blood. Violence, she said, is “the extreme situation that best reveals what we are essentially.” We are meant to see in her stories our need for grace.

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Worst of the Worst of the Decade says Rotten Tomatoes

 

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Worst of the Worst says Rotten Tomatoes 

Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever took top dishonors on Rotten Tomatoes list.

See if you agree witht Rotten Tomatoe’s take on the worst 100 films. Of these I have seen about 12; and not all were as bad as all that , e.g. All about Steve (2009). OK, it was pretty bad but it had its moments. It could have been, and for the talent, time, and money, should have been, a much better movie.

The reason I don’t make up worst film lists is because sometimes someone will be touched or moved or even encouraged by some aspect of a poorly made film.  It is hard to find people who appreciate Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) , for example. But I know that this film touched one life so profoundly that it saved the person – who was a child. Sister Act  (1992) is another film that was reviled early on but has become a classic for its good heart and fun.

I really like what Rotten Tomatoes’ Editor-in-chief Atchity has to say about the role of critics – how they can give a boost to small movies. To me, small movies are among the best, for example the 2005 Adam’s Apples (Adams Aebler). I don’t think my review boosted it very much but what a great little film.

“National Book Awards: Fiction” vote for the best

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You can vote on one of the six notable American fiction writers:

Flannery O’Connor

John Cheever

Ralph Ellison

Eudora Welty

William Faulkner

National Book Foundation Fiction Award Poll

(When I voted this morning, Flannery O’Connor has a substantial lead.)

Discernment weekend: Come & See

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Come and See!  Discernment Retreat with the Daughters of St. Paul

 FRIDAY, OCT. 30 – SUNDAY, NOV. 1, 2009

 at the Daughters of St. Paul Convent

3908 Sepulveda Blvd.

Culver City, CA 90230

 The Daughters of St. Paul welcome single young women ages 18-30  for a weekend retreat at our convent to explore the life and charism of the Daughters of St. Paul.


The weekend will consist of prayer with the sisters, conferences and other activities to help you understand the life and mission of the Daughters of St. Paul. 

While on retreat, vocation direction is available for those who wish to speak further about discernment and the call to religious life.

 SPACE IS LIMITED!

 For more information or to make a reservation, contact 


Sr. Tracey Matthia Dugas, fsp

matthia11@aol.com

310.390.4699

 Contact us if you are interested in an informal weekend Vocation Retreat experience for exposure to our life and prayer. www.daughtersofstpaul.com

Media Literacy Advanced Catechetical Specialization recognized at catechetical commissioning Sept. 13, Archdiocese of Los Angeles

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Although only nine of the 56 catechists, youth and pastoral ministers who have received the Advanced Certificate in Media Literacy since we began the program in 2006 were able to attend the commissioning, it was a wonderful experience. Each received a certificate from Cardinal Mahony and here is our group just after.

Actually, the entire ceremony was beyond beautiful. 2000 people were present at the bi-lingual (Spanish-English) evening prayer service, and 900 catechists received basic certificates as catechists – a never ending line. Then many others were commissioned as/in Master Catechists, National Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies, Curso Avanzado de Pastoral Juvenil, Media Literacy (Advanced Specialization), Animadores y animadoras des estudios biblicos, and Certificado Curso Avanzado de Biblia.

Where on earth do you ever see 900 catechists commissioned all at once? And in such a place, such music.

For one reason or another this was the first time I had attended a catechists commissioning anywhere. It blew me away, or shall I say, the mighty wind of the Spirit blew through creation last Sunday throughout the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the whole world.

900 people who have gone the extra step to become certified catechists on the basic level, and hundreds more who have specialized in some area of faith formation, especially the Bible, catechesis, evangelization, and now media literacy. If you could have seen the people: the entire population of the world was represented. If you ever doubted it, know that Los Angeles is the new New York.

A week later and I am still moved by this experience, this witness, humble and true, by so many believers who will go forth to spread Christ and his Word in love, hope, generosity, a spirit of sacrifice of time and resources.

So much goodness and love of God and neighbor, all in one place, is almost overwhelming.

Here are some photos of the day; enjoy!

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Sr. Karen Joseph Hamm and Elaine Liming

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Carmen, Sr Hosea, Terri

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Celeste (and friend) and Susie

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IMG_0174DSCN0071The communion of saints, indeed.

(The laity ROCK!)

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Media Literacy in Singapore

I will have the honor of visiting our Sisters and Pauline Cooperators in Singapore before participating in the SIGNIS world congress in Chiang Mai, Thailand (www.signis.net) in October. Here is the publicity for Singapore – if you happen to be in the area! (Note: photo of me taken pre-Jenny Craig days 🙂

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Our Media World: Teaching Kids K-8 about Faith and Media heads to the printer!

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Here is the cover, front and back! OUR MEDIA WORLD by Sr. Gretchen Hailer, RSHM and I, will be published by Pauline Books & Media www.pauline.org in January, 2010 (God-willing and nothing unforeseen arises). More information to follow!

Along with our 2007 book MEDIA MINDFULNESS: EDUCATING TEENS ABOUT FAITH & MEDIA (St. Mary’s Press, www.smp.org), with the publication of OUR MEDIA WORLD, teachers, catechists, parents, youth ministers, those engaged in pastoral ministry for parents, clergy, will have a consistent strategy K- 12 for engaging critically and mindfully through the lens of faith in popular culture and the media world. 

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