Baseball’s Breakout Star For 2007

Observant readers of Zoomtard must notice that I change the header every month. I am not a very creative person so I usually farm out the responsibilities to friends, acquaintances or people I meet on the bus who look like artists. In March, the banner photo is a segment taken out of this classic image:

Barcelona, love., originally uploaded by Zoomtard but taken by Deborah Byrne.

The photo was taken and kindly shared with me by Deborah Byrne, who grew up in the same town as me, goes to the same university as I did but is an awful lot better than me at useful things like playing musical instruments, singing in tune, speaking foreign languages, talking to new people and putting your clothes on “properly”.

If that was ever in doubt, consider this photo as evidence. This paparazzi shot was taken at a petrol station as Deborah bought some groceries. How classy can a gal get? She wears a gown to buy some milk. Its that vitamin-added milk too!

All this goes to say, thanks to Debo for providing the photo.

Zoomtard at the movies
I saw Caché at last. This is one of those brainy European movies you really need to see if you ever want to be considered hip. The only thing I want more than hipness is a new kidney. Although it is amazingly well-reviewed, I was really left underwhelmed by it. It is a feel-guilty movie and a feel-confused movie and I have a sneaking suspicion that they are much easier to make than feel-good movies. I simply don’t think there was enough in the plot to let you figure it out and what that means is that it is not intriguing, it is not enigmatic, it is not memorable.

How come French movies never deal with the supernatural? This is a thought that came to me while watching the film. Some of the best American thrillers and dramas have plots that hinged around phenomena that suggests that there might be something else going on behind the scenes of our universe. But French movies are all very materialistic. Matter is all there is. Am I wrong in this? Am I even making a point worthy of noting here? Answer me! Or don’t.

We saw The Good Shepherd over the weekend. It is a labyrinthine plot about men who thought they could control the world from their desks. Then we came outside and saw the lunar eclipse and I had what I call an Isaiah moment. There is an arrogance at the heart of man when he thinks he can ever control the world he lives in. I completely understood that movie. Plot intricacies that passed my fellow cinema-goers by were transparent to me. I am great at figuring out those mystery movies and I am thrilled whenever they slip past me undetected.

But then yesterday I saw Venus. And man did that movie confuse me! Give me a plot about governments and spies or dead people or corruption and I am all over it. Show me a movie about two people relating to each other and I just get confused. Confused and angry! It is beautifully written and finely acted but I don’t know if I liked it. It is a fine film but I am not sure if I enjoyed it. I don’t know whether I am just broken or whether the director really was testing us and our prejudices but I don’t like having my brokenness exposed or my prejudices tested. It is best for me to not reveal too much of the plot but it revolves around an old actor falling in lust with a young woman. The best scenes by far are when this old codger hangs out with his friends. They are wonderful charming scenes. It is so rare to see men being friends on screen in any real way at all, never mind seeing old men being friends that it was a treat. Then there are other scenes. Go see them movie and you’ll know what I mean.

Tsk tsk. Old men should know better.

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My old friend Dave had a run with a psuedo-Christian cult this week. They came to his door and tried to convince him that the Trinity was made up and that he should stop having blood transfusions. We got talking about the Trinity. It is not explicitly stated in the Bible but it is foundational to Christian belief and practice. It has been for all the centuries people have called Jesus God.

It reminded me of something C.S. Lewis wrote. It was one of those tiny little paragraphs that fill his books that are so potent that if it was all you ever wrote you could die happy. He writes it in such a way that you imagine it is something he thought of while washing his hands before dinner or while mowing the lawn.

Everyone is happy to say they believe God is love. This is interestingly, a claim unique to Christianity. Judaism wouldn’t formulate God in that way (although they have the tools at hand to build that formulation) and Islam definitely couldn’t offer it. But the Bible leaves us in no doubt: God is love. And that is something that we all say “Amen!” to.

But without slipping into writing the next Helen Hunt screenplay, love is a verb, it is an action, not a feeling. To say that God is love is certainly not to suggest something gushy and soft and sentimental. John is claiming that God’s action is always loving. Whatever God is doing, he is doing love. So if love is not a feeling but an action, it requires an object of affection. We must love someone, or something other than ourselves. That is what love it is all about, pouring out on to another. Listen to the radio and the pop songs will hammer that home for you.

But we claim and Dave’s visitors claim, that God is ever-existent and never-changing. He was around before everything and will be around after everything. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So who did God love before there was anything to love? Well Lewis points out, God loved himself, because he is three persons in one. It is a mystery in the sense that we can see the shape of the sense it makes but not know the inner-workings of it. But sensible it is.

Maybe I should just turn Zoomtard into a daily quotation from C.S. Lewis. He wrote his shopping lists better than I can write my sermons. But start thinking about what it means for a perfectly good, perfectly powerful, perfectly beautiful entity to be all about love. Think about the complex interactions that start building when all these perfections fall into sync together. Think about what it means that the God of Christianity is defined as a relationship and how that would influence the way that God would interact with its creation. It would be willing to do anything to restore broken relationship. It would be willing to tear itself asunder for that relationship. What would the followers of this God value? What would their life be built around? What communities they might build! How does this God see you if one of only two categorical statements made about him in the whole Bible state that He is Love? There is hope in this. There is truth in it. I reckon that this is where we can find what we’re looking for…

Enough preaching. I have a train to catch!

Your Correspondent, Is not interested in medical insurance if just anybody can get it

2 Responses to “Baseball’s Breakout Star For 2007”

  1. That’s the most fascinating post since a horse’s head landed on my doormat.

    Concerning the spirituality of French films, it’s interesting that the garlic-loving slice of the Canadian population were responsible for Jesus of Montreal (imagine a bilingual CU drama group let loose with celluloid) and The Barbarian Invasions (which is what they went on to make after reading some Pete Rollins).

    A Northern Irish theo-anarchistic digital syndicate posted A Short Film About Karl Barth on YouTube a short while ago. ( But none of them are French.

  2. MG says:

    I watched a Jean-Luc Goddard film (Nouvelle Vague) once in which one of the characters ended up in a heaven-type place… I’m sure I’d have had more to say if I could have understood what was going on.