Misérable means Miserable – Bob Bixby shares some helpful thoughts on the recent film version of Les Misérables. He discusses its musicality, vulgarities, and spirituality.
“And the problem with trying to depict that kind of misery with all of its crass is that there is no way in the world anyone can do it without offending somebody’s sensibilities. In the previous paragraph I’ve offended somebody, I know. It’s the risk the artist takes. And though he may occasionally push the envelop too far for most people, he has succeeded if he wins the sympathy battle by getting people to feel the right things at the right times. In Lovely Ladies, no one but a pig in the audience is feeling any desire to ogle the degraded women for personal gratification.
The art that is most harmful to Christians is not the art that has scenes with bad language or uncomfortable depictions of evil acts. It is, instead, the art that has us almost involuntarily sympathizing with the wicked. We all know, for instance, that we shouldn’t sympathize with the vigilante murder of a bully, but if the artist has captured our affections with his storytelling and we are sympathizing, literally feeling with, the protagonist even if we know that his actions are morally reprehensible then we have succumbed to worldliness. But Tom Hooper didn’t give anyone an opportunity to sympathize with the sex-crazed sailors and foul-mouth thieves. He showed it and we were all led by his artistry to recoil in hasty disassociation from the wanton lust, greed, injustice, and bawdy humor. In a packed theater there were no laughs at the crass jokes. Nobody wanted to identify with them. There was comic relief when the master of the alehouse pretended to love Cosette and laughter erupted then, but during all the crass singing prior to that it was relatively subdued. Humanity embarrassed by humanity. Count that as a win for the producer.”
“I was Javert.
Few people fought for right like I have. Few people relentlessly pursued justice. Few people were made unhappy by the crushing burden of the law. The law will kill you. And it almost killed me. Like Javert, not only could I not accept mercy on other people but I could not accept myself as a broken person because, well, it wasn’t right.
But I found mercy when I found myself hunted by the law. When the law made me realize there was no escape, I found mercy.”
The Most Common Cooking Mistakes – Cooking Light shares 50 of the most common cooking mistakes (and how you can correct them). I knew a few, and I learned a few. I found this interesting, and the pictures make it fun, too. Just a sampling of one:
“17. Meat gets no chance to rest after cooking.
Result: Delicious juices vacate the meat and run all over the cutting board, leaving steak or roast dry.
Plan your meals so that meat you roast, grill, sear, or sauté has time to rest at room temperature after it’s pulled from the heat. That cooling-off time helps the juices, which migrate to the center of the meat, to be distributed more evenly throughout.
The resting rule applies equally to an inexpensive skirt steak or a premium dry-aged, grass-fed steak, as well as poultry. With small cuts like a steak or boneless, skinless chicken breast, five minutes is adequate. A whole bird or standing rib roast requires 20 to 30 minutes. Tent the meat loosely with foil to keep it warm.”