Thursday, January 29, 2009

Re-Thinking the Conference Plans

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that I was planning to go to Lipscomb's Summer Celebration this summer. Now it's a little more up in the air.

I'm beginning to think about going to the Tulsa Soul-Winning Workshop at the end of March. I guess I'll let my friends know whenever I make up my mind.

Anyone going to either?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Stark, Hopeless Reality of the Crucifixion

From N.T. Wright's "Surprised by Hope" (pg. 40)

The crucifixion of Jesus was the end of all their hopes. Nobody dreamed of saying, "Oh, that's all right-- he'll be back again in a few days." Nor did anybody say, "Well, at least he's now in Heaven with God." They were not looking for that sort of kingdom. After all, Jesus himself had taught them to pray that God's kingdom would come "on earth as in heaven." What they said -- and again this has the ring of first-century truth -- was, "We had hoped that he was the one who would redeem Israel" (Luke 24:21), with the implication, "but they crucified him, so he can't have been." The cross, we note, already had a symbolic meaning throughout the Roman world, long before it had a new one for the Christians. It meant: we Romans run this place, and if you get in our way we'll obliterate you -- and do it pretty nastily too. Crucifixion meant that the kingdom hadn't come, not that it had. Crucifixion of a would-be Messiah meant that he wasn't the Messiah, not that he was. When Jesus was crucified, every single disciple knew what it meant: we backed the wrong horse. The game is over. Whatever their expectations, and however Jesus had been trying to redefine those expectations, as far as they were concerned hope had crumbled into ashes. They knew they were lucky to escape with their own lives.

(and then from pg. 50)

We find the development of the very early belief that Jesus is Lord and that therefore Caesar is not. [...] Already in Paul the resurrection, both of Jesus and then in the future of his people, is the foundation of the Christian stance of allegiance to a different king, a different Lord. Death is the last weapon of the tyrant.
Resurrection is not the re-description of death; it is its overthrow and, with that, the overthrow of those whose power depends on it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Who Are You Talking To?

Here's a little tip for those of you who aren't regular public speakers. And for those of you who are, a reminder. To speak in appropriate ways, you have to be mindful of your audience & your occasion.

For example, I'm disappointed with how Rick Warren used the Invocation last Tuesday:

I love Rick Warren. I've got one major/minor quibble with him, but all-in-all I think he is a good minister & an outstanding ministry model. But I was disappointed with how he used the occasion of leading a prayer to preach a mini-sermon. It was inappropriate, because that's not what he was there to do. He was there to lead a prayer. Nevertheless, there were more than just a couple of moments where he appeared to be speaking less to God & more to the millions of on-lookers.

My sister & father both picked up on this, and expressed their distaste for how he used that platform in that moment. I'm especially disappointed when I consider how controversial his appointment was, and how to many people this will be their only exposure to Pastor Rick. How sad that many of them came away with a bitter taste because they felt like he preached to them in an uninvited way.

I was reminded of that moment from last week when I saw this video posted on John Piper's blog:

Now, I understand speaking to someone not in the audience as a rhetorical tool. But having it recorded, cropping the clip to that precise moment, then posting it on YouTube and your blog for the world to see? John Piper wasn't preaching to his congregation; he was taking advantage of his platform to try to send a message to the President. All he'll actually accomplish, in fact, is inflaming & emboldening his supporters.

And BTW, I like John Piper. Just as I like Rick Warren. But, in my view, that was inappropriate.

Anyway, the point is to be mindful of your audience & your occasion. Who are you speaking to? Why are you invited to speak there? What can you realistically seek to accomplish with that moment? In my mind, one of the largest sins of public speaking is speakers not spending time with those questions.

I hear so many preachers speaking to themselves instead of to their audience. And then they tell you that, too: "I'm not really speaking to anyone here as much as I'm speaking to myself." Well -- and I'm gonna be blunt here -- you weren't invited to preach for self-flagellation. That moment is bigger than YOU! Your mission is to bring a Word from God to your audience. Now, I understand that your personal temptations & pitfalls are likely temptations & pitfalls for others in your church family. But if you're using the occasion of preaching as your own personal catharsis, you have more work to do in the sermon preparation process to get beyond that obstacle before you preach to others about it.

I also get annoyed when I hear an ideological preacher before his identically ideological church build up a straw man of the opposite ideology in his midst & burn it down. What does that accomplish? Who are you preaching to? Does your audience receive any challenge out of seeing you bash the conservatives? Does it help them grow? Does it advance anything?

Or even in writing. Liberal-bashing in the Spiritual Sword is so shopworn. Same goes with conservative-bashing over at Cope's blog. Really -- WHAT is the point? Do those writings further anything?

Anyway, you'll do better in speaking & writing if you are mindful of your audience and your occasion. As the man who first taught me to preach called it, your milieu.

Seinfeld Stories: The Story of Festivus

This one's a classic. Jerry Stiller is so animated...

Monday, January 26, 2009

REVIEW: Traitor

Just Watched:

My Rating:
5 Stars

Every once in a while, there's a really good movie that receives almost no hype but deserves all the hype being given to a film like "Revolutionary Road" (seriously! "Thank you for getting naked again, Kate Winslet! Please take all of these awards..."). "Traitor" is that film.

This is one of those flicks that makes you think while also providing a high amount of entertainment. Mmmmmm, my favorite! The film explores the depths of loyalty, faith & religion, and the geo-political realities of terrorism all while taking you on a thrill ride. If I were to compare it to other films -- hopefully without giving too much away -- I would say that it is "The Departed" meets "Spy Game" & "The Siege" (all of which are also excellent movies, BTW)

There are several twists & turns along the way. Enough to keep you guessing until the very end. And it was one of the most brilliant & fulfilling movie endings that I'd seen in quite a while.

FBI Faith Guy
Awesome FBI Guy
I thought that the casting was well done. It heightened the sense of believability of the film. Everybody already knows how awesome Don Cheadle & Neal McDonough are. I was especially drawn to the character played by Guy Pearce (wearing the FBI vest in the picture). HE was awesome. And every little character at every location -- from Washington D.C. to Marseilles, France -- fulfilled important details that just raised the level of believability of the film, allowing you to suspend disbelief & become absorbed in the story.

Another element of the movie that impressed me was their treatment of religion & faith. The makers of this film did not take the hackneyed road of making clowns out of believers. Rather, they showed both sides of the faith & religion coin. On one side, you have sincere devotees of faith who let it shape & guide their life. On the other side, you have manipulative power-mongers who would use people of faith to accomplish their own selfish ends. The film portrayed these realities in stereo as they were emphasized in a major way throughout the story.

Great film all the way around. I couldn't really find any flaws. Five stars.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I Heart Peggy Noonan

Every time I grow a big head & begin to fancy myself as something of a good writer, I read Peggy Noonan's Saturday column in the Wall Street Journal and realize that there is talent far beyond me. If I'm "charmed" by Obama's tech savviness, as I said Saturday, then I'm dazzled by Noonan.

I suspect that there is even a nugget or two here that my conservative friends might appreciate.

What I Saw at the Inauguration; And What 4-foot-tall Americans Learned

Friday, January 23, 2009

It Feels Like the First Time

A National Geographic Documentary was fortunate to capture President Obama's first ride aboard Air Force One, just before his Inauguration. Good stuff...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The State of Churches of Christ in America

Here are some interesting links for my COC brethren that were E-mailed to me today. They are each from the Christian Chronicle:

• The 2009 edition of Churches of Christ in the United States has been released, and we are shrinking. I don't know how much of that conclusion has to do with the following story...

• The Richland Hills Church of Christ of Fort Worth and other churches were excluded from the latest edition of the Churches of Christ in the United States due to conflict over instrumental worship services on Sundays.

• Bobby Ross, Jr. wrote asking the question, What will it take to grow the church? He shared some incisive reflections. Quoting John Scott of the Saturn Road Church of Christ, "We simply have to build more bridges and fewer walls."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'll See You in Anotha Life, Brotha!

My favorite character, Desmond, and all the rest return on the season premiere of "LOST" tonight! Man, why'd they have to do this on a Wednesday -- knuckleheads!!

These were my two favorite scenes from last season...

Focker's Prayer

Caught a little bit of the National Prayer Service this morning. There's just something odd about public prayer. And listening to one of the prayers, I was reminded of this:

When he pulls out the word "smorgasbord," that's where I start losing it...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Dream of Pastor Rick

There's not really a dignified way to explain dreams, is there? Well, at least I try here. And if not, I hope you find the experience amusing.

(If you *really* want to laugh, hit the tag at the bottom of this entry & go read about the dream I had with Nick Saban a year ago. That's some funny stuff.)

So, in my dream, I was spending some one-on-one time with Rick Warren out at his church's facilities in California -- picking his brain, asking him questions. The last thing I remember asking was this, pretty much verbatim:

"I'd never heard this until recently, but I understand that you made a 40-year commitment to lead the Saddleback Church. (He's nodding in agreement. And I can sense that he senses where the question is going, so I say...) I know that a lot of folks would like to know what you plan to do after that. What I would like to know is this: will you ever step higher?"

For my HU friends who took Monte's "Missionary Anthropology" class & saw the video of him about to leave Kenya, you probably snickered. But I was serious in my dream.

Pastor Rick hemmed & hawed. But then he said, "Well, if I could ever serve my country as President, that would be pretty high, too."

Is America ready to become a Purpose Driven Nation? Probably not. But we can dream...

Friday, January 16, 2009

John Piper on the Economic Downturn

I know that there are a couple of preachers that frequent this space. I would imagine that you've been taking advantage of orienting your church families to God's truth about money in this economic climate. In case you haven't, and you feel like you could use a primer on speaking to your congregation with a transcendent word in these times, check out this video from John Piper:

I like John Piper. I found his preaching podcast last year in iTunes, and I enjoy listening to him. He speaks with both deep reflection & deep passion, and I find that engaging. Also, John Piper has a blog, although not all of the entries are authored by himself. That is where I stumbled across this video.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How Good was Hank Aaron?

I now get the MLB Network on Cable. You better believe my productivity is about to go down. Seriously, if they ever come out with an SEC Network, I may never have a reason to watch ESPN again except for live sports programming.

Anyway, I got caught up in this documentary about (as Joe Morgan simply calls him) "The Hammer." To answer the title in the subject line, he was better than we recognize. On his radio show, Dan Patrick often calls him the must under-rated player in baseball history. Nobody really celebrates Henry Aaron except when it's a conversation about Civil Rights. Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and even others come up in conversations about the greatest of all time before Aaron does.

Just go look at his stats. Number one all-time in RBI's. Number three all-time in hits. Even if you take away all of his homeruns, he STILL had 3,000 hits. And I won't bring up the whole debate about steroids, but there's no question that he earned every one of the 755 he hit.

He was good. Maybe the best ever.

Best Seinfeld Stories: Kramer's Golf Story

I'm convinced that one of the most captivating mediums is the simplicity of one person telling another person a story. In a day & age where drama and PowerPoint and all sorts of other mediums are being introduced in worship services, there's still nothing that quite captures me as much as a good preacher telling a good story.

It occurs to me that Jerry Seinfeld recognized this. In putting together what is widely considered the greatest sitcom of all time, he spiced story-telling into his hilarious sitcom.

I'm going to make a series out of this: Best Seinfeld Stories. Here's the first one...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Best of Sports Writing This Week

Good writing offers perspective: a chance to see a subject from another vantage point. That's why, hopefully, I use this blog to not merely echo majority sentiment. The last thing we need in the world is our news broadcast to us at a slightly higher volume. But I hope I'm providing an alternative perspective -- a chance to see subjects from another vantage point.

These three pieces did that for me this week. And if you find some time on Sunday afternoon, they would be worthy choices for reading that I think you might find enlightening and enjoyable...

Meyer, Stoops Go for the Jugular by's Pat Forde

In a college football world littered with would-be National Champions, why was it that Oklahoma & Florida were the only two left standing? Well, part of the explanation lies with the system of major conference conglomeration (known as the Bowl Championship Series, or BCS) which ensures that the lion's share of bowl revenue will be reserved for the college football elite.

The other part of the explanation, however, involves the sportsmanship (or lack thereof) of coaches Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops. And it left me wondering whether one of the last vestiges of gentlemanly behavior -- whether your particular school calls it sportsmanship, class, or whatever -- is simply a relic of an older time in college sports: an unnecessary & cumbersome luxury in today's climate and under our current circumstances.

I think I've already figured out what it says about the BCS: yet another reason to pile on & beat the dead horse. But it also left me wondering, "What does that say about college football?" And, more broadly, "about our culture?"

Here's an excerpt:

There are so many things to debate here in the run-up to the FedEx BCS National Championship Game.

But one thing about this game is indisputable: Running up the score pays off. Sooners and Gators alike can agree on that after watching their teams pile on the style points late in games to influence poll voters.

In today's college football, sportsmanship is hazardous to your BCS health. Greed is good.

The Courage of Detroit by Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom is one of the nation's best writers, period. And he just happens to write about sports for a living.

This one was a warm exercise in homerism. It'll leave you feeling like you know Detroit.

Thanks to Bob for passing this great little piece along.

And we are modest. In truth, we battle an inferiority complex. We gave the world the automobile. Now the world wants to scold us for it. We gave the world Motown music. Motown moved its offices to L.A. When I arrived 24 years ago, to be a sports columnist at the Detroit Free Press, I discovered several letters waiting for me at the office. Mind you, I had not written a word. My hiring had been announced, that's all. But there were already letters. Handwritten. And they all said, in effect, "Welcome to Detroit. We know you won't stay long, because nobody good stays for long, but we hope you like it while you're here."

Coffee quietly went about his business at UA by Cecil Hurt

Cecil Hurt is hands down the best sports writer that you've never heard of. He should be the Sports Editor of a newspaper with a much larger readership, like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Instead he's at home covering University of Alabama athletics for the Tuscaloosa News.

I enjoyed how he broke down the sensationalism of Tim Tebow & his faith, as compared with the humble nature of how Alabama running back Glen Coffee worked out his faith. As wonderful as Tim Tebow probably is, the vast amount of media affection for him is perhaps ultimately counter-productive for what he wants it to be: the sharing & spreading of his faith.

I respect Tim Tebow as I respect Glen Coffee. Both are warriors on the field and, as far as I can judge, sincere off the field.

I was never convinced Tebow’s decision to sign with Florida instead of Alabama was quite the inner struggle that it was purported to be on the ESPN special chronicling his recruitment. But he says it was tough and I will give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s been on my past two Heisman Trophy ballots and if, unlike Glen Coffee, he decides to return for another season in college, he’ll probably make my list for 2009 as well.

I refrain from calling him “Superman,” as television commentators do repeatedly, not because he isn’t a great player and a fine young man, but because ultimately, the over-the-top hyperbole doesn’t do Tebow any good, either.

The Florida quarterback seems to have turned just about every person with a microphone into a blathering fan. In the end, one fears, it will end up having the same result as Dick Vitale’s endless paeans to the Duke basketball program. You’ll start to resent the subject because the messenger — or, in Tebow’s case, the legions of messengers — finally push you to a point where you say “enough is enough.”

I ended up watching the BCS championship and wondering if Tebow had any teammates. That’s not Tebow’s fault, but it was the impression you were left with by the Fox broadcast. It’s great to say that Tebow was “willing his team to victory,” but there must have been at least 21 other Gators who were doing a little something.

That’s why, sometimes, it is easier to like someone who goes about things in a more quiet world, not free from media attention but not transformed by it. Someone like Glen Coffee. One always knew Glen Coffee was part of a larger team.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Power 12: The Final Edition

1.) Florida
2.) USC
3.) Texas
4.) Oklahoma
5.) Utah
6.) Alabama
7.) Georgia
8.) TCU
9.) Oregon
10.) Ole Miss
11.) Ohio State
12.) LSU

The real football is played in the SEC, folks

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I think it was ever since I learned about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test that I've begun to see people with a whole new set of eyes. I've come up with other categories in ways that I sort people out.

For example, I've got this theory that people are either "laughers" or "joke-tellers." I'm a laugher -- I enjoy laughing, and when I try to tell a joke I have to really work hard to hold back from laughing at my own joke. I'm just a laugher. Bob is a joke-teller -- no doubt about it. I think I was Bob's best friend for a spell at Harding, because it seemed like he would seek me out to test his new material. He knew he could always get a laugh out of me.

I figured out a new one a few weeks ago. My favorite kids in the world right now are Daniel's kids, Corban and Anna. Corban is like me: he is a "watcher." He & I like to watch movies together. But I've noticed that Anna doesn't like watching movies. Anna likes to dance & be the center of attention herself. Anna wants to be "the one being watched." It occurs to me that people gravitate toward one pole or the other.

Another way I think about that last one is in terms of sports: there are "players," and there are "fans." I had a buddy at UF named Joe who hated watching sports. Joe was a body-builder, and he always liked to say, "I guess I'd rather be playing a sport than watching someone else do it." I'm the opposite -- I'm definitely a fan. I like to root people on; I like to cheer.

Cheering is a natural high for me. Few things get my juices flowing like watching a really great sports event: like, Monday night's Fiesta Bowl, last month's SEC Championship Game, or the 2008 U.S. Open. I get a real thrill out of rooting on my favorite player(s) in those events. I'm known for getting kind of loud, too. Whenever I'm watching a baseball game in particular, I love watching a homerun happen live so much that at the crack of the bat I'll yell, "GET OUTTA HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE!!" In my living room I do this. I just love cheering.

Sometimes I think that the four letters "INFJ" just don't seem to fully encapsulate all the ways to describe me.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


It doesn't matter if you're talking about a major sports event, or a precious item, or a loved one: losing is terrorizing.

My most vivid experience with losing from my adolescence happened in the spring of 1996. I was a big fan of "The Shark," Greg Norman. This was just before the emergence of Tiger Woods, and Norman was the best golfer in the world. I still have a black straw Shark hat that I got back then, and I would wear it just like he did out on the golf course.

If there was a tournament that was ever tailormade for Greg Norman's game, it was "The Masters." And it had alluded him for years. But 1996 appeared to be his year. And he did not disappoint for the first 54 holes, taking a 6 stroke lead into the final 18 holes. And then he collapsed. Greg's 6-shot lead evaporated after 9 holes, and he ended up losing to Nick Faldo by 5 shots by coming in with a 78. If he had just shot PAR golf, he would have still won! Many sports writers still consider it the biggest choke job of all time.

Shell-shocked, I dutifully tagged along with Dad to church. We sat in the back row that night -- sitting alone together -- just silently waiting for worship to begin. I turned to Dad and said, "It still bothers me. It doesn't seem real." In an instructive tone, Dad told me, "It's just like losing your wallet. The feeling just doesn't go away."

It can ruin the most well-laid plans. I have a friend, Shon, whose wife took the kids & was going to be gone for the night. Shon decided to have a movie night: he was going to watch the loudest, bloodiest guy flicks he could find. And he was going to eat pizza with olives: his family hated olives. So he ordered the pizza, stopped by Blockbuster to get the movies, and got home just before the delivery guy showed up. When he came to the door, Shon reached for his check book & realized it wasn't there. Luckily he scrounged up enough cash to pay for the pizza, and he paid the pizza guy. But it mattered little now: he was gripped with fear over his lost checkbook. Shon took his house & car apart searching for that checkbook. Finally, he began to retrace his steps and headed back to his office. He took his office apart. Feeling a deep sense of failure, he trudged back out to his car when he spotted the checkbook laying in the parking lot next to where he had parked that afternoon.

The evening was shot. The pizza was cold. There was no time to watch movies. But at least he had that checkbook back.

A host of emotions & thoughts have charged through me since I started looking for my pet wolf yesterday. I feel guilt: did I neglect her? Was it me who put the chain on wrong Monday night? I feel concern: is she okay? Is she hungry/thirsty? Is she lonely? Is she scared? Is she hurt? I feel responsibility. Scenario's play in my head anywhere from someone shooting my wolf out of fear to someone adopting her for themselves.

It is a terrorizing, restless state to be in. There is no peace. There is some comfort, but it's not easy to find. I just try to hold out hope that we're gonna find her any moment now.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Andy Kaufman

One of my very favorite comedians of all-time is Andy Kaufman. I wasn't really alive or paying attention while he was alive, but I love to find YouTube clips of his material.

Jim Carrey depicted him in a film that portrayed his life on the big screen, "Man on the Moon." And I see a lot of Andy Kaufman in Jim Carrey in general. Andy was an inspiration to many modern-day comedians.

Nothing was out of bounds for him; you never knew where he was going to go next. My very favorite skit ever of his involved him lip-synching & dancing to a portion of the Mighty Mouse song on the very first ever episode of SNL.

But here are a couple other favorites of mine. Here he is banging on a Bongo...

And he did Elvis impersonations before they were unfashionable. He was darn good at it, too...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Tony Campolo Experiences a Black Funeral

This sounds like it was a moving experience. Check it out...

Tony Campolo Experiences Powerful Moment at Funeral

Re-Thinking Birthdays

I've been wondering lately: how selfish are we on our birthday's? Seriously.

I kid my sister about it, but she almost literally makes her's a month-long holiday. "I can't do my laundry... for crying out loud, it's my birthday in 12 days!" Okay, she's not that bad. But I do call her "The Birthday Diva."

There is a lot of sort of culturally-induced pressure on us to make sure we have a great day on our birthday. We're supposed to get well-wishes, phone calls, cards, gifts, etc. If we don't, our birthday's ring sort of hollow. Our birthday's are all about us.

And then I think about who did all the work on our birth dates. The wonderful women who hauled us around in their wombs for 40 weeks. And then went through that unimaginable experience of bringing us out into the open world. And then put up with all of our shenanigans, and loved us despite them, for however many years we've known them. When I consider all of that, it makes me think that we're putting the wrong person up on a pedestal on our birthday's.

From now on, I'm resolved to treat my birthday as I would Mother's Day. I'll accept the well-wishes & kindness when it comes. But, from now on, I'm going to focus my mind & energies on spending each October 23rd celebrating my Mom's goodness in giving me the gift of life. She's not with me anymore, but I'm going to devote that day to her: whether that's remembering her, donating some service or money to a charity she loved, or whatever.

I kinda wish I had a couple do-over's so I could have practiced this in her presence. Put her up on a pedestal instead of letting culture dictate to me that that day is all about my personal happiness.

From now on my birthday will be "Thank Mom Day." Just thought I'd share that out loud...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Super Bowl Commercial Prequel

I just caught this in between playoff games today. Remember that horrible ad last year with Eli & Peyton Manning in some kind of Oreo Sports League? If you don't, it's not worth remembering.

Anyway, they've redeemed themselves with this little jewel...

Friday, January 02, 2009

Best Movie Characters of the Decade

I re-watched "The Dark Knight" a few times over the last couple of weeks. I'm probably going to watch a couple more before I send it back to Netflix. I'm just so dazzled with everything about this movie: the appeal to the senses & the appeal to the cognitive, the cinematography & the score, the writing & the acting, etc. etc. etc. It's just SO good. The more I see it & think about it, I think it may be one of the top 3 films I've ever seen. And Ledger's Joker -- well, he's just pitch perfect.

Which got me to thinking... What are the best movie characters that have been introduced to the public consciousness this decade? You know, the ones that you just can't get enough of. Here's my stab at ranking the best of them. I came up with thirteen from this decade so far...

13.) Juno MacGuff
Ellen Page
Juno (2007)

She's so darn spunky & unique. She's just likable.

12.) Mater
Larry the Cable Guy
Cars (2006)

He's so funny.

11.) Jim Braddock
Russell Crowe
Cinderella Man (2005)

You can't help but love & root for this guy.

10.) Bruce Wayne / Batman
Christian Bale
Batman Begins (2005)

By far the best Batman so far. Christian Bale has entered an elite group of superstar young actors that make compelling characters.

9.) Daniel Plainview
Daniel Day-Lewis
There Will Be Blood (2007)

Plays the slimy confidence man with great poise.

8.) Buddy the Elf
Will Ferrell
Elf (2003)

Cockeyed optimism meets cold, hard reality. And he plays it with supreme humor. I think it's Ferrell's best character: even better than Ron Burgundy & Ricky Bobby.

7.) Jason Bourne
Matt Damon
The Bourne Identity (2002)

The best of the super spies with the initials J.B. (e.g. James Bond, Jack Bauer). Watching those films, you just can't wait until he gets cornered and is forced to unleash his lethal skills.

6.) Tony Stark
Iron Man (2008)

His arrogance is intoxicating. You just want more! And we'll have plenty once they're done with his films...

5.) Maximus
Russell Crowe
Gladiator (2000)

Crowe is the only actor to make my list twice. With this character, he made the William Wallace of this decade.

4.) Alonzo
Denzel Washington
Training Day (2001)

The best twist of any film this decade is when you figure out that Alonzo is really a bad guy. His character was just so compelling.

3.) Ruby Thewes
Renee Zellweger
Cold Mountain (2003)

The best of the two female characters on the list. She steals the show. If you've seen the movie, you understand.

2.) Captain Jack Sparrow
Johnny Depp
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

I thought he was the best character created for a movie since Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday in "Tombstone." In fact, they're quite similar in nature. I somewhat wonder whether Depp (or the POTC writers, or both) copied elements of Doc Holliday when they were piecing this character together.

1.) The Joker
Heath Ledger
The Dark Knight (2008)

Simply the best.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Restaurant Name Fail

What better way to ring in the new year than with a laugh.

People should know a language before they try to market a business or product in said language...

The 'Fu King Restaurant'

Can you imagine if this restaurant caught on fire & someone had to call 911? What would that call sound like?

Operator: "9-1-1 -- State the nature of your emergency..."
Caller: "The Fu King Restaurant is on fire!"
Operator: "I'm sorry, come again..."
Caller: "The FU KING Restaurant is ON FIRE!!"
Operator: "Sir, you're going to have to calm down. Please calmly state the name of the restaurant..."
Operator: "Okay, I'm going to have to ask you to stop swearing, sir..."