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I said early on that I don't declare absolute favourites, but I might have to recant: I do believe The West Wing is probably the greatest television show ever made. A program centred entirely around the daily ins and outs of White House politics would, in the hands of most screenwriters and producers, likely result in a sure-fire cure for insomnia, but somehow Aaron Sorkin (and everybody else involved) manages to not just make it work, but make it great.

The characters are rich and multi-dimensional, the plot lines are compelling, the relationships and challenges are real, and the dialogue -- the dialogue is the very best bit: snappy, smart, and sparkling with wit. Someone called it the most literate show on television, and I agree. I feel sure that if I just made time to watch one episode of The West Wing each morning, I'd be charming, scintillating, and intelligent throughout my days. It's classic stuff.

Oh, and thanks to this show, I know more about American politics than I do about Australian. Yep.
A few clips because, well, how could I not? )
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It would probably be far cooler of me to recommend a wildly intelligent, little-known indie film, but I can't help it: Master and Commander is right up there at the top of my favourites list, having been watched and re-watched more times than I care to add up.

It's everything I like in a film -- beautiful cinematography, rich historical detail, a glorious soundtrack, epic adventure, and a buddy relationship tested by genuine challenges.

If that isn't enough to impress you, perhaps I should mention that it stars Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany, two of my favourite male actors. Watch this movie. Just watch it.
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I hate picking favourites because they shift and change so quickly. What is rich and powerful and relevant for one moment may not be so for another. I hold that thought in mind every time someone asks for my favourite this or that. If something is a favourite for me, it's a favourite for now.

However, a song that continues to resonate with me and has done for some time is Brooke Fraser's C.S. Lewis song. Brooke Fraser has an incredibly rich voice and is a beautiful, literate songwriter so all her work is pretty much amazing. But I especially love this one because it puts a melody to a feeling so often undefined but present: the sense that something is missing, that there ought to be more, that there is a curtain pulled over some mystery and if we were just able to sweep away the curtain then we'd really see.

C.S. Lewis (a hero of faith and philosophy) put it this way: If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

It is from this thought that the song comes...


If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy / I can only conclude that I was not made for here / If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary / then of course I'll feel nude when to where I'm destined I'm compared.

Speak to me in the light of the dawn / Mercy comes with the morning / I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me.

Am I lost or just less found? On the straight or on the roundabout of the wrong way? / Is this a soul that stirs in me, is it breaking free, wanting to come alive? / 'Cause my comfort would prefer for me to be numb /And avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become.

For we, we are not long here / Our time is but a breath, so we better breathe it / And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know you / Hope is coming for me / Hope, He's coming.


Apr. 4th, 2010 02:16 pm
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The first real post at a new journal looms just as large and intimidating as the first blank page in a fresh notebook. There is the temptation to say everything and yet make it good, to word it all in some devastatingly brilliant and yet incredibly offhand kind of way. But... no.

To ease myself in, I'm going to start with one epic meme, the mother of all memes. And since this meme doesn't appear to have a name, I'm calling it Thirty Things in Thirty Days. Super impressive, right?

The plan goes:

+ day 1 -- a favourite song
+ day 2 -- a favourite movie
+ day 3 -- a favourite television program
+ day 4 -- a favourite book
+ day 5 -- a favourite quote
+ day 6 -- whatever tickles your fancy
+ day 7 -- a photo that makes you happy
+ day 8 -- a photo that makes you sad
+ day 9 -- a photo you took
+ day 10 -- a photo of you taken over ten years ago
+ day 11 -- a photo of you taken recently
+ day 12 -- whatever tickles your fancy
+ day 13 -- a fiction book recommendation
+ day 14 -- a non-fiction book recommendation
+ day 15 -- a fanfic
+ day 16 -- a song that makes you cry
+ day 17 -- an art piece
+ day 18 -- whatever tickles your fancy
+ day 19 -- a talent of yours
+ day 20 -- a hobby of yours
+ day 21 -- a recipe
+ day 22 -- a website
+ day 23 -- a youtube video
+ day 24 -- whatever tickles your fancy
+ day 25 -- your day, in depth
+ day 26 -- your week, in depth
+ day 27 -- this month, in depth
+ day 28 -- this year, in depth
+ day 29 -- hopes, dreams, and plans for the next 365 days
+ day 30 -- whatever tickles your fancy

A thought just occurred to me: wouldn't it be fun to do something like this every January, as the new year ticks over? It'd be a wonderful record of tastes and interests and hopes as they change, ebb, and flow.

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