Archive for December, 2009

Tis The Season For…Scary Movies!

The holiday season is all about family and friends. It’s also a time for love, peace, joy and good will towards one another. It’s enough to make you sick. How much happiness can someone take before they lose it? OK, it’s not the happiness that makes you sick, it’s the fact that you’re suppose to be happy while trying to make the season perfect. Planning, decorating, cooking and shopping, just untangling and putting up the lights is enough for me to want to choke an elf.

The way I deal and have dealt with this time of the year is to watch scary movies. Any movie that makes you jump, hide your eyes or keeps me on the edge of my seat will do. Nothing helps with the stress of the holidays like immersing yourself in a world where people are hunted, chased and killed. Or a world where you know something bad is going to happen but you don’t know when or where.

I have been watching scary movies during the holidays for years now and have had my friends and family shake their heads at the thought. But I have noticed more and more scary movies on during this holiday season, so I must not be the only one out there who thinks like this.

If it weren’t for my balancing all the joy with a little horror my backyard would be a garden of carolers by Christmas. So to you I wish a Scary Christmas and a Screaming New Year.

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Under the Banner of Heaven (Jon Krakauer)

In 1984 a woman (Brenda) and her little girl (Erica) were murdered, because God wanted it done.

Jon Krakauer does an excellent job of exploring the mind of the killers and the reasons behind the murders. The killers were Mormon Fundamentalists who believed that God wanted certain people “removed” so His (God’s) plan could be carried out.

To truly understand the killers Jon Krakauer explains the violent history the Mormon church. Violence that was inflicted by the Mormons and towards the Mormons. He also explains the split, and reasons behind the split, of the LDS (Latter Day Saints) and the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints).

The writing is good, and without bias, but at times it reads a bit like a textbook. But the subject is interesting enough to keep you reading. The book was somewhat reminiscent of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.

In the end the reader is left with insight into the mind of a killer created by religion, and left knowing just how messed up people can be.

The Bayou Classic (For Those Who Don’t Know)

Once upon a time I was a sports fanatic. I could name the starters for most teams, their records, schedules and injury lists. Those days ended a long time ago, when the Browns left Cleveland.  I’ve tried to get my excitement for sports back, but I’m afraid it may be gone forever. The only game I truly look forward to watching every year is the Bayou Classic. Back in the day when I was still a fanatic I discovered black college football when BET (Black Entertainment Television) used to show games, that was probably around 20 years ago.

The 36th annual State Farm Bayou Classic was played November 28, 2009. As always the teams playing were the Grambling Tigers and the Southern Jaguars. The Tigers won 31-13, even though it was a blowout and the Tigers outplayed the Jaguars in all parts of the game it’s still one you should kick yourself if you missed. Over the years I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter who wins or how close the score it’s always worth the watch. The game is always full of great runs, passes and diving tumbling touchdowns. Scenarios you don’t normally see, like going for it on 4th and 10 in the first quarter with the score at 0-0. It’s just a fun and entertaining game, and for halftime they have the Battle of the Bands, where the Grambling and  the Southern bands go head to head in music, marching and dancing. It’s not just team vs. team its school vs. school. What could be better?

Even though I don’t care who wins the game, I always start off in the Tigers corner but I cheer at every great play (and there are many) and often pull for whoever is losing, and I’m just as happy if the Jaguars win. The reason I always start out pulling for the Tigers is because of Eddie Robinson. Robinson coached the Tigers for 56 years and won 408 games and more than 200 of his players went on to play in the AFL and NFL. The more I find out about Eddie Robinson the more respect I have for him, not just as a coach but as a man (google or wiki him for yourself).

So in November 2010 on the Saturday after Thanksgiving look for the State Farm Bayou Classic on NBC, you won’t be sorry (you may even thank me). I have to thank BET for showing those games that got me hooked so long ago (you should do it again) State Farm for sponsoring the game and NBC for showing the game.