Friday, August 24, 2007
In the usual attempt to distract myself from a mounting to-do list and sad things all around, I've been reading and downloading music like mad. Here's a sampling of things I'm in love with lately:
1. Sufjan Stevens (festively pictured above)
who has an amazing voice and songwriting ability, is Christian, and whose discography includes the requisite percentage of very sad songs. My favorites are To Be Alone With You, Abraham, A Size Too Small and The Dress Looks Nice on You. I think they're all on the same album (Seven Swans) but if you're downloading, you probably don't care.
To Be Alone With You is about Christ, and it's very beautiful and even holy. (Here are the lyrics.)
Although I can listen to a few LDS artists, there is a kind of mid-90s lite rock undercurrent there that turns me off. Hence my joy at finding Sufjan Stevens, The Innocence Mission, and others who are Christian and not offensive and help me feel the Spirit without suppressing a laugh.
2. Fame Junkies by Jake Halpern
If, like me, you are a bit befuddled by the American obsession with famous people, you will enjoy this book. The chapter about the Rod Stewart fan is just plain sad. The author goes a bit too far in his use of evolutionary psychology (did I just make that discipline up) to explain celebrity worship, but it's a good read anyhow.
3. The Office
I usually recuse myself from conversations about serial TV shows, but, alas, I can join in now. I have a show, and it's The Office. Mighty fine mind candy. It's on a bit too early to watch at the normal time, but I've been watching the last season on this website: http://www.tv-links.co.uk/
And it's subtitled in Chinese, for even more fun.
4. Bog Bodies
I know that a deep and abiding love for bogs is not normal. But they are seriously fascinating. In a National Geographic article this month about bog bodies you will find some spookily beautiful pictures of very well-preserved people, some of whom died around the time of Christ. Some may have been sacrificed, some executed for criminal behavior. I am fascinated by the cultures in which these people lived and the ecology of the bogs themselves. Nowhere else do we find such perfectly preserved faces, clothing, even hair; a true encapsulation of a person who lived long ago.