Even More Rumble Roses in the News

The Brits may not get Rumble Roses for PS2 until next year, but they do get models doing cosplay, at least according to The Sun Newspaper Online – UK’s biggest selling newspaper. This may not be safe for work, considering one picture of a model wearing a costume that’s little more than body paint.

That photo of the model dressed as Miss Spencer, the kneepad-wearing shoolteacher, though – that one I want as wallpaper.

Hey, I Know – Let’s Talk About Movies For A Change

The Houston Chronicle picked up a Knight-Ridder wires story: HoustonChronicle.com – Fed-up film fans getting interested in geography. The story itself doesn’t have much to do with film fans, past a desire for the alliteration of four f-words in a row. Rather snarky in delivery, it’s about a growing discontent among filmmakers who are told to make Toronto stand in for various American cities.

You know, I’m a sap. I’ll generally buy in to whatever pack of lies a moviemaker asks me to swallow, just like if I go see a theatrical presentation of 12 Angry Men, I know I’m not looking into an actual jury room. Movies that are awash in genuine location and atmosphere tend to rely on that locale as an uncredited actor. It’s nice if you can do that, but is it always necessary? In the back of my head I know that a lot of CSI:NY I am seeing is not shot in New York, but it doesn’t stop my enjoyment of the series.

This bears all the markings of a slow media news day.

UCC Commercial Flap Revisited

Nathan Shumate, who seems at times to be responsible for half the writing on the Internets (well, the good parts, anyway), sent this link about the Universal Church of Christ commercial semi-controversy that is burning up the Blogosphere, if not your local news outlet: The Baron of Deseret: Church Advertising. It is, indeed, as Nathan promises, a thoughtful Mormon take on the matter, and manages to put forth a rational, fundamentalist religious statement without the screeching hatred present when most Protestant fundamentalists address homosexuality. A lot of people who consider themselves spokesmen for Christ should read and consider this.

The matter has also been getting a lot of secular play at Joshua Marshall’s Talking Points Memo, where the point of contention is not so much inclusivity as a maddeningly vague network policy: what is and is not “advocacy”?

Field Trip Time

My wife is one of two women running a private school for children with dyslexia. Currently the school is located three or four blocks from a BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, or temple, which has been under construction for some time… the grounds are, in fact, still under construction. The temple itself was blessed a few months ago and services have been ongoing for some time.

This photo in no way does the temple justice. Posted by Hello

The kids have been studying India, so my wife decided a field trip to the nearby temple was in order. I tagged along to take pictures for their website. That wasn’t hard, given my longtime interest in Eastern religion.

With unerring accuracy, we arrived during the tour guide’s lunch hour, but the security guard, obviously having heard the spiel many times, did a very good job of guiding us around to the various parts of the temple, and explaining the iconography.

It is requested that photos not be taken inside the temple. Respecting their wishes, I powered down the camera – but I could have easily filled up my SD card inside. Words are a poor substitute for the beauty within, where every square inch of marble seems to be full to overflowing with intricately detailed carvings of gods and demigods. Look up, and be overwhelmed by the magnificent sculptured domes, where representations of the lotus blossom, a cosmic spider web, or sixteen separate gods look down benignly upon you.

Everything in the temple is of current vintage – the marble still pristene and white – but the tradition of centuries seems to wrap itself around you as you enter. There is a marvelous feeling of peace there, though the kids were mainly confused by the concept of polytheism – but it was, overall I think, a positive experience for them.

Though not according to one mother, who upon hearing of the field trip, demanded to know if my wife was going to tell the Hindus working at the temple that “they’re wrong”. Another heavy sigh-provoking moment for me. My wife also reports that there was some bad feeling toward the temple in her church discussion group… after all, this graven-image packed place was obviously an abomination. This is the sort of thing that makes my head throb violently. I may be one of the few heathens actively looking forward to Judgement Day (in whatever form your religion says it will come), simply because it will put a stop to all this useless bickering and proselytizing. I’ll be the one laughing over there, especially if it turns out that Mumbo Jumbo, the Lord of the Jungle was pulling the strings the whole time.

Well, this entry got very dark very quickly. Perhaps I need to go back to the mandir, to partake again of the peace of ages, or to take that long put-off trip to the local Buddhist temple, in the rather forlorn hope that simply walking in will provoke a mighty incense-laden wind, blowing away all this bad emotion and karma hanging about me. I’d stand a little straighter, I imagine, and breathe more easily.

Be nice if it worked that way.