Friday, November 12, 2004

Emptying the Jar

I’ve been “Saved!”

I feel a bit better about the “cultural divide” in the country after watching “Saved!” a couple of nights ago. It’s essentially “Heathers” set at a Christian school, with Mandy Moore as the great bitchy villainess. I’m sure some devoutly religious people could watch this and think their beliefs are being made fun of (and they probably are), but I think the movie astutely casts light on how religion can be used to push selfish agendas, fear, and intolerance. It also skewers the attempt to make religion more “hip” for the kids. (Martin Donovan’s “Pastor Skip” is hilarious when he tries to get his students “down with the G.O.D!”) It’s a smart movie.

“Saved!” might not really make you feel better about the wedge between the “religious right” and “secular left” that exists because the differences seem so tangible right now. But this will help you laugh about those divisions. And sometimes, I think that’s all you can do.

Jolt Gum?

Anyone still have nostalgia for Jolt cola? As if we weren't annoying and hyperactive enough back in junior high, we had a drink with "all the sugar, twice the caffeine." I remember when I told my dad about it after finishing my paper route and he asked, "Why would you want to drink that?" Such a buzzkill.

But because enough people fondly remember this speed in a can, Jolt is being brought back in gum, according to the New York Times. Sounds like a good idea to me, especially when you need a quick boost in the middle of the day and you can't bear to drink more coffee or Diet Coke. But getting caffeine in unconventional methods doesn't seem to be too popular. Is that Water Joe stuff still around?

"Saving Private Ryan" banned?

Didn't take too long to see what the next four years would be like. Several TV stations around the country cancelled ABC's showing of "Saving Private Ryan" last night - on Veteran's Day - because they were worried that the excessive violence might result in heavy fines from the FCC.

Seriously? First of all, Janet Jackson's boob is nowhere to be seen in the movie, so these measures seem a little drastic. But this is such a gutless decision. Would the FCC really risk the public relations disaster of fining a station (or an even bigger target, ABC) for showing "Saving Private Ryan" on Veteran's Day? And if the FCC president, Michael Powell, signed off on such a move, do you think his father Colin might have something to say about that?

Unbelievable. I'll have to watch some porn tonight just to cleanse my palette.