Showing posts from March, 2018

Choosing Hope

Today I did something I haven't done in many years: I saw a movie for the third time in less than four months. The movie was Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  I saw it in a tiny second-run theater in Boise because there just weren't any first-run movies left in town that my son and I were both interested in seeing, and we needed to fill a few hours while my grandbaby napped after entertaining us for most of the afternoon. The first time I saw this movie, I wasn't completely sold on it. I'd not liked the first installment of this trilogy, which felt abbreviated, unnecessary, and a real downer to me, as the grand victory of Return of the Jedi  turned out to be hollow and temporary, with a resurgent empire not just overthrowing, but destroying the galactic republic. And this second movie certainly takes the depressing direction of its predecessor to a new level: by the end of this installment, the resistance has been reduced to a few dozen people, all of whom can fit on th

Predicting the Next One

The next school shooter will probably look like this kid. When I was four years old, my parents gave my younger brother and me our first Lego set. It was 1965, and Lego came only in red, yellow, and white bricks of varying lengths. We took that set and made ourselves a pair of pistols. Our bullets were smaller bricks we hurled at each other. There had never been any kind of toy gun in the house, nor would such toys be permitted for many years to come. Our father was a pacifist, a conscientious objector to the draft, and a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. While we did watch a lot of television, it all fell within the "family hours" of prime time: animal shows, Disney, family-oriented sitcoms. The only exceptions were Lost in Space  and Batman , campy fantasies which, nonetheless, gave us an appetite to shoot each other with lasers. The G.I. Joes we got for Christmas in 1969 were not soldiers, but explorers (mine was an astronaut; my brother's was an o
John Dieffenderfer I didn't know him well enough. And I wish I'd known him better. John Dieffenderfer passed away at about 1 a.m. this morning. To those who performed with him, Dieff was a genius, an improviser whose instincts could be counted on to hew to the best practices of improv: listening, accepting, honoring and embracing whatever a fellow player offered, tu