The song you are enjoying - if your speakers are turned on - is from Casablanca...
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Wilson appeared in over twenty motion pictures, but won immortality for his role as Sam in the 1942 film Casablanca. For his role, he was paid $350 a week for seven weeks.
Sam is a singer and pianist employed by nightclub owner Rick (Humphrey Bogart). The Herman Hupfeld song "As Time Goes By" appears as a continuing musical and emotional motif throughout the film. Rick and Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) regard it as "their song" and associate it with the days of their love affair in Paris. Because of their breakup and Ilsa's marriage to another, Rick has forbidden the song to be played in his club. When Ilsa appears in his nightclub she requests it and Sam acquiesces. Dooley Wilson gives a genial and warm rendition of the song. The performance is remembered for itself, as well as for its cinematic associations. The song makes Rick aware of Ilsa's presence and her continuing feelings for him. According to Aljean Harmetz, Variety singled him out for the effectiveness of the song, and the Hollywood Reporter said he created "something joyous."
Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley.
If you spend any time near a mall or a high school these days, you've probably seen them: provocative T-shirts. Young girls walk by wearing tight T-shirts reading "Your boyfriend is a good kisser," or "Yes, but not with U!", or, "I am too hot to handle."
Good grief! Whatever happened to those T-shirts with the smiley face—the ones that said, "Have a Nice Day"?
Washington Post writer Ian Shapira says T-shirts today are "blatantly sexual . . . and often loaded with double meanings." The shirts are "emblematic of the kind of sleazy-chic culture some teenagers now inhabit." It's a culture, he says, "in which status can be defined by images of sexual promiscuity."
Teens in Washington-area high schools told Shapira that they wore the T-shirts, in part, to rebel against school dress codes that they felt were too restrictive. Others wear them to give themselves "a little edge."
Parents don't like the shirts, but they say they'd rather pick other battles with their daughters. One mother acknowledged that her daughter's racy T-shirt might give people the wrong impression about her daughter, but says: "I know that she is not sexually active. Who cares what [other people] think?"
The article caught the eye of several bloggers on BreakPoint's new blog site, The Point. The writers—some of whom have daughters of their own—tore into the piece.
Regarding that mother who didn't care what people thought about her daughter's raunchy T-shirt, blogger Catherina Hurlburt wrote: "Oh, Mom, you should care very much what people think . . . actions are birthed in thoughts and imagination. . . . The message invites a conversation. The conversation leads to flirting and suggestions. . . . [which] lead to, ahem, after-school activities—and I don't mean football practice or band," she wrote.
She's right—but unfortunately, "There are few alternatives to the dirty T-shirt trend," said blogger Christina Holder. For instance, abstinence groups design apparel "as political billboards," but they have little appeal "to adolescent fashionistas."
While fashion may not seem important to you and me as adults, it is to kids. While Christian daughters may agree that vulgar T-shirts are out, they still want edgy, fashionable clothing.
As Holder put it, "Ever since the fall, when Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves into clothing, fashion has been part of our world—whether we like it or not. Reaching the culture with the Truth means we have to find channels through the culture. Fashion is a channel in a teenager's life"—which means fashion is a field some Christians ought to enter.
What might be an "edgy" T-shirt for Christian girls? How about "Pet Your Dog, Not Your Date"? Or, "He's Leading You On," a T-shirt citing Hebrews 12:2, about how Jesus guides us. Both of those are available through Christian-run companies. Better still, mothers and daughters could get out the glitter and design their own T-shirts.
Shirts with hip, edgy messages about Christ just might attract the right kind of attention from the kids at school—one that allows teens to share, in a sleazy-chic world, the cleansing and life-changing power of a holy Christ.
And while you're at it—have a nice day!
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As Time Has Gone By Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley. "You either have a wedding or you burn down something." That was the recipe for garnering ratings during sweeps week back when the TV show Happy Days was in syndication. But no longer -- things have changed. Today, shows like The O.C. and One Tree Hill take advantage of kisses to gain publicity -- but not just any kisses. The sweeps attraction today is the now nearly pedestrian lesbian kiss. It might be predictable, but as Virginia Heffernan writes in the New York Times, it can "transform a lackluster show into a news headline." It's easy to think that this is the media's courtship of the gay community. But the fact is, same-sex kisses are not political statements, so much as they are exploitation. As Heffernan noted, these "controversial" storylines are "reversible": "[S]weeps lesbians typically vanish or go straight when the week's over." Nevertheless, same-sex kisses remain attention-getters for those trying to promote acceptance of homosexuality. And recently, in a decidedly non-blue county in northern Virginia, a student-written and -directed play raised eyebrows. The play, "Offsides," was performed at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Virginia -- down the road from Prison Fellowship's offices. It's about a football player "coming to terms" with his homosexuality. It may not have received as much notice except for a scene that ended in what appeared to be a kiss between two boys as the lights went down. "People are who they are," said the student who played the main character. "Accept them. That's it." That argument always seems to be the conversation-stopper, but it doesn't have to be. In his book Ask Me Anything, Dr. J. Budziszewski provides a rejoinder. While gays equate "love" with "acceptance," Budziszewski offers another view: "Love is a commitment of the will to the true good of the other person. . . . [A] perfect Lover [that is, God] would want the perfect good of the beloved. . . . He would loathe and detest whatever destroyed the beloved's good -- no matter how much the beloved desired it." And what destroys us -- all of us -- is sin. If we refuse to let go of it, writes Budziszewski, we say to the perfect Lover, "I bind myself to my destruction! Accept me -- and my destruction with me!" There is nothing "loving" in condoning or promoting homosexual acts. As Virginia Delegate Richard Black said in response to the play, "This is a considerable health hazard right now. If we encourage just one child to experiment and contract the HIV virus, then we have done an enormous disservice to our children." Indeed, not only do we put them at physical risk, but at spiritual risk by turning them against who they are as God created them. The lyrics to the old song "As Time Goes By" from Casablanca go like this: "And no matter what the progress or what may yet be proved, the simple facts of life are such they cannot be removed. . . . A kiss is just a kiss . . . The fundamental things apply as time goes by." Well, today it seems that a kiss is no longer "just a kiss," but "the fundamental things" do still apply despite our changing culture. Regardless of misplaced kisses in Hollywood or at high school, as the song says, "Woman needs man, and man must have his mate -- that no one can deny." ******************************************* Love, from Casablanca to Brokeback “Love is a force of nature” (Tagline from Brokeback Mountain) I confess, I’m a movie lover. One of my favorite films is Casablanca (1942)—a story about love lost, love found, and love surrendered. But above all, Casablanca is about the courage of choosing between what one desires and what is right. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) is an American expatriate who meets up with his former lover, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergmann), only to find out that she’s married to a Resistance leader named Victor Laszlo. Before long, their old feelings re-ignite and Rick and Ilsa decide to leave Casablanca together to escape a Nazi dragnet. But just before they board their flight to romantic bliss, Rick executes a change in plan. On the tarmac, Rick reasons with Ilsa about the ruin their plan would cause Victor, the Resistance, and themselves as well. With Ilsa’s eyes welling with tears, Rick hands his “letter of transit” to Victor and sends them off together to freedom. By setting aside personal happiness for what is good and noble, Rick Blaine rises as Casablanca’s unlikely hero. In his triumph of virtue over passion, Blaine shows us the sacrificial aspect of true love—an aspect that would fade to black in modern cinema. THE HIGHEST GOOD In 1995, the film The Bridges of Madison County hit the silver screen to critical acclaim, quickly becoming a box office hit. The story involves Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep) as an unfulfilled farmwife who has a torrid affair with photographer Robert Kincaid (Clint Eastwood) during a four-day weekend while her family is out of town. As the time approaches for her family’s return, Francesca—like Ilsa of Casablanca—plans to run off with Robert for a life of love and adventure. But with suitcases packed, Francesca backs out, telling Robert, “I can't make an entire life disappear to start a new one. All I can do is try to hold on to both.” While Francesca may seem to be a modern-day Rick Blaine, there’s a distinct difference. Whereas Rick gave up Ilsa with all thoughts of self-interest, Francesca gives up Robert because it is the only way she can have her family and Robert too. Huh? With feet planted firmly on both sides of the fence, Francesca falls back into the role of dutiful wife and mother, and sustains her love for Robert by commiserating with another adulterous wife. Then, at life’s end, Francesca joins Robert in eternity by having her cremated ashes scattered from the bridge where Robert’s remains were dispersed years prior. Explaining this odd request to her children, Francesca writes, “If it hadn't been for [Robert], I don't think I would have lasted on the farm . . . I gave my life to my family. [Now] I wish to give Robert what is left of me.” Francesca concludes her letter with this posthumous advice: “Do what you have to, to be happy in this life.” Unlike Casablanca, where love is the sacrifice of personal happiness for the highest good, in Bridges personal happiness is the highest good. The road was thus cleared for an even more radical view of love. “A FORCE OF NATURE” Having already taken top honors in the Critics’ Choice Awards and Golden Globe Awards, and with eight Oscar nominations, Brokeback Mountain is a shoo-in for Best Picture for 2005. To its credit, the film includes breathtaking cinematography, a moving score, and first-rate cast performances. In spite of those merits, it is strange that Brokeback has become the clear favorite in a year chock-full of great movies like Walk the Line, Good Night and Good Luck, and Cinderella Man. At a time when the debate over same-sex “marriage” is center stage, much of Brokeback’s attention is, no doubt, due to its controversial theme: the romantic love between two men. In the minds of its enthusiasts, Brokeback joins the company of other groundbreaking flicks, like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), that dared to challenge social attitudes. “A ONE-SHOT THING” But despite the expected sympathetic treatment of homosexuality, Brokeback contains a few surprises.
The first surprise is its departure from the party line regarding homosexual orientation. Instead of being a hard-wired matter of genes, the “love” on Brokeback Mountain develops after two down-and-out cowboys, Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar, give in to an unguarded moment of passion on a cold night in 1963. With no hint of prior disposition, both men awake the next morning confused, not knowing what to call what happened. Ennis, who is engaged to be married, insists it was a “one-shot thing.” And although Jack appears more comfortable with their dalliance, both insist they’re not “queer.” Nevertheless, the indelible memory of that night overcomes them throughout their sheep-herding summer, inflaming a desire that neither sought, expected, or imagined. But the most damaging blow to the spin of gay advocacy comes near the film’s end: After twenty years of anguish living the double life, Ennis (recalling that Jack initiated their first intimate encounter) rails at Jack, “It's because of you that I'm like this. . . . I can't stand being like this no more, Jack!” So much for the cant of “nature over nurture.” THE TRUTH OF CONSEQUENCES The other surprise is the film’s candid portrayal of the devastating effects their relationship has on the lives of others. Eventually divorcing their spouses, both men become emotionally detached from their children and have difficulty forging meaningful relationships with others. Particularly touching are scenes depicting the heartbreak of Ennis’s wife and the isolation of his daughter. Unfortunately, by the movie’s end, this is all peripheral to Jack and Ennis’s personal tragedy. The brokenness of others (for which the two shed nary a tear) is eclipsed by the pathos of Ennis in his loss of Jack. What a tragic thing, indeed, to let “true love” slip away because of social conditioning and misguided notions about family responsibility. IDENTITY FORMATION Of course, the film makes the usual references to the social intolerance of the day. But that is unconvincing as the destructive force in the story. Rather, the tragedy begins with one reckless choice, followed by a life controlled by sexual impulse and conflicted emotions. I am reminded of a secular news article from a few years back. Shortly after the Columbine shootings, a group of behavioral psychologists published research findings about lifestyle formation. The goal of the study was to better understand behavior development in teens so that tragedies like Columbine could be prevented. Their conclusion? Teens who repeatedly give into violent impulses, like bullying or cruelty, tend to develop behavioral lifestyles that find their extreme in Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. They went on to explain that what we think about, we eventually act upon; what we act upon (especially if pleasurable), we will repeat; what we repeat, will form habits; those habits will shape our lifestyle, and our lifestyle will determine our character and how we view ourselves and how others view us. Brokeback Mountain reveals the same trajectory for Jack and Ennis: two simple men whose childlike existence is turned inside-out after giving into one impulse. Once over their initial shock, they fall ever deeper into a lifestyle that leaves them bewildered, conflicted, and lonely. A NORMALIZING VEHICLE However, my main concern over Brokeback Mountain is that it normalizes homosexual behavior. It does so in several ways: First, the use of an artistically crafted film marketed for public consumption brings gay sex to the forefront of social consciousness; next, the selection of the American cowboy—an icon of masculinity—serves to show that even manly men have homosexual (i.e., normal!) urges; then there’s the idyllic Wyoming setting, where Jack and Ennis spark their passion, juxtaposed against a stressed-out suburbia where spousal sex is interrupted by colicky kids. For those hitherto constrained from homosexual experimentation because of conscience or confusion, Brokeback’s tagline rings: “Love is a force of nature.” Wrapped up in that pithy jingle, is advice and warning: Love is beautiful in whatever form it comes. You can’t resist it anymore than you can resist gravity. Just give love a chance, and thank goodness we’ve come so far since 1963! Over and against that enlightened notion stands Paul’s enduring reminder: Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders . . . will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (Emphasis added) A LONG WAY FROM CASABLANCA The celluloid road from Casablanca to Brokeback Mountain reveals just how far we have “progressed” in our understanding of love. In just a few decades love has changed from sacrificing desire for the greater good, to indulging in desire for personal happiness, to obeying desire—or else! It is the ultimate irony that, in the age of moral autonomy, the sirens of sexual liberation have led us not to freedom, but to slavery. As Woody Allen shrugged when questioned about leaving his wife, Mia Farrow, for her much younger adopted daughter, “The heart wants what the heart wants.” Regis Nicoll is a freelance writer and a Centurion of the Wilberforce Forum. Having worked in the nuclear power industry for over thirty years, Regis serves as an elder, teacher, and men’s ministry leader in the Collegedale Church in Tennessee. Regis publishes a free weekly commentary to stimulate thought on current issues from a Christian perspective. To be placed on this free e-mail distribution list, e-mail him at: email@example.com.
Turkey Facts Ben Franklin, in a letter to his daughter, proposed the turkey as the official United States bird.
In 2005, the average American ate 16.7 pounds of turkey.
In 2005, Turkey was the # 4 protein choice for American consumers behind chicken, beef and pork
The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.
A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.
The wild turkey is native to Northern Mexico and the Eastern United States.
The male turkey is called a tom. The female turkey is called a hen.
The turkey was domesticated in Mexico and brought to Europe in the 16th century.
Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour.
Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour.
Tom turkeys have beards. This is black, hairlike feathers on their breast. Hens sometimes have beards, too.
Turkeys’ heads change colors when they become excited..
Six hundred seventy-five million pounds of turkey are eaten each Thanksgiving in the United States.
Turkeys can see movement almost a hundred yards away.
Turkeys lived almost ten million years ago.
Turkey feathers were used by Native Americans to stabilize arrows.
Baby turkeys are called poults and are tan and brown.
Most of the turkeys raised for commercial production are White Hollands.
Turkey eggs are tan with brown specks and are larger than chicken eggs.
It takes 75-80 pounds of feed to raise a 30 pound tom turkey.
United States turkey growers raised 256, 270,000 turkeys in 2005
The turkeys produced in 2005 together weighed 7.2 billion pounds and were valued at $3.2 billion.
United States turkey growers will produce an estimated 266,500,000 turkeys in 2006.
Forty-five million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving.
Twenty-two million turkeys are eaten each Christmas.
Nineteen million turkeys are eaten each Easter.
Male turkeys gobble. Hens do not. They make a clicking noise.
Gobbling turkeys can be heard a mile away on a quiet day.
Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, Missouri and California are the leading producers of turkey in 2005. These states produced 166 million of the 256 million turkeys raised in 2005.
Illinois produced 2.9 million turkeys in 2005 and ranked 15th in turkey production in the United States.
A 16 week old turkey is called a fryer. A five to seven month old turkey is called a young roaster and a yearling is a year old. Any turkey 15 months or older is called mature.
The ballroom dance the "turkey trot" was named for the short, jerky steps that turkeys take.
Turkeys don’t really have ears like ours, but they have very good hearing.
Turkeys can see in color.
A large group of turkeys is called a flock.
Turkeys do not see well at night.
2.74 billion pounds of turkey were processed in the United States in 1994.
A domesticated male turkey can reach a weight of 30 pounds within 18 weeks after hatching.
Turkeys are related to pheasants.
Commercially raised turkeys cannot fly.
Turkeys have heart attacks. The United States Air Force was doing test runs and breaking the sound barrier. Nearby turkeys dropped dead with heart attacks.
Wild turkeys spend the night in trees. They especially like oak trees.
Wild turkeys were almost wiped out in the early 1900's. Today there are wild turkeys in every state except Alaska.
Turkeys are believed to have been brought to Britain in 1526 by Yorkshireman William Strickland. He acquired six turkeys from American Indian traders and sold them for tuppence in Bristol.
Henry VIII was the first English King to enjoy turkey and Edward VII made turkey eating fashionable at Christmas.
In England, 200 years ago, turkeys were walked to market in herds. They wore booties to protect their feet. Turkeys were also walked to market in the United States.
For 87% of people in the UK, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a traditional roast turkey.
Turkey breeding has caused turkey breasts to grow so large that the turkeys fall over.
June is National Turkey Lover’s Month.
Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey and two dressed turkeys to the President. The President does not eat the live turkey. He "pardons" it and allows it to live out its days on a historical farm.
The five most popular ways to serve leftover turkey is as a sandwich, in stew, chili or soup, casseroles and as a burger.
Eating turkey does not cause you to feel sleepy after your Thanksgiving dinner. Carbohydrates in your Thanksgiving dinner are the likely cause of your sleepiness.
50 percent of U.S. consumers eat turkey at least once per week.
According to the 2002 census, there were 8,436 turkey farms in the United States.
Turkey is low in fat and high in protein.
White meat has fewer calories and less fat than dark meat.
For their first meal on the moon, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin ate roast turkey in foil packets.
Turkeys will have 3,500 feathers at maturity.
Turkeys have been bred to have white feathers. White feathers have no spots under the skin when plucked.
Most turkey feathers are composted.
Turkey skins are tanned and used to make cowboy boots and belts.
The costume that "Big Bird" wears on Sesame Street is rumored to be made of turkey feathers.
Israelis eat the most turkeys.....28 pounds per person.
The caruncle is a red-pink fleshy growth on the head and upper neck of the turkey.
Turkeys have a long, red, fleshy area called a snood that grows from the forehead over the bill.
The fleshy growth under a turkey’s throat is called a wattle.
Turkey eggs hatch in 28 days.
The Native Americans hunted wild turkey for its sweet, juicy meat as early as 1000 A.D. Turkey feathers were used to stabilize arrows and adorn ceremonial dress, and the spurs on the legs of wild tom turkeys were used as projectiles on arrowheads.
Number of places in the United States named after the holiday’s traditional main course. Turkey, Texas, was the most populous in 2005, with 492 residents; followed by Turkey Creek, La. (357); and Turkey, N.C. (269). There also are nine townships around the country named “Turkey,” three in Kansas