Monthly Archives: July 2013

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on the “Absurdity of Life without God!!” Part 5 (Do atheists avoid serving God so they can do what they want?)

The Bible and Science (Part 05)

Why Can’t Morals Be Grounded In Society?

Published on Aug 31, 2012

Dr William Lane Craig was invited by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Christian Union, London to give a lecture titled “Can we be good without God?” In this video Dr Craig answers a question about the objectivity of morality. Should we consider morals to be objective? If so, why can’t morals be “abiding” and objectively grounded in society?

The lecture formed part of the Reasonable Faith Tour in October 2011. The Tour was sponsored by Damaris Trust, UCCF and Premier Christian Radio.

The entire lecture “Can We Be Good Without God” can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/jzlEnrJfDBc

For more resources visit Dr Craig’s website: http://www.reasonablefaith.org

We welcome your comments in the Reasonable Faith forums:
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums/

Be sure to visit both of our Youtube channels for more videos:
youtube.com/reasonablefaithorg and youtube.com/drcraigvideos

More videos from the tour can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/user/Reasonabl…

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Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism

(Samuel Beckett example: Life is  meaningless, live in tension with reality)

(Modern man sees no hope for the future and has deluded himself by appealing to nonreason to stay sane. Look at the example of the lady tied to the railroad tracks in this above video as a example.)

Francis and Edith Schaeffer pictured below:

HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? was both a book and a film series.

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Life without God in the picture is absurdity!!!. That was the view of King Solomon when he wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes 3000 years ago and it is the view of many of the modern philosophers today. Modern man has tried to come up with a lasting meaning for life without God in the picture (life under the sun), but it is not possible. Without the infinite-personal God of the Bible to reveal moral absolutes then man is left to embrace moral relativism. In a time plus chance universe man is reduced to a machine and can not find a place for values such as love. Both of Francis Schaeffer’s film series have tackled these subjects and he shows how this is reflected in the arts.

Here are some posts I have done on the series “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age”  episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” .

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthenasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

I have discussed many subjects with my liberal friends over at the Ark Times Blog in the past and I have taken them on now on the subject of the absurdity of life without God in the picture. Most of my responses included quotes from William Lane Craig’s book THE ABSURDITY OF LIFE WITHOUT GOD.  Here is the result of one of those encounters from June of 2013:

Hackett’s secular atheist worldview could only lead to one conclusion and sure enough he stated, “Yeah! SR you’re going to the same place I am…straight into the dirt.”

I SALUTE YOU HACKETT FOR FOLLOWING A GOOD LINE OF LOGIC!!!! THIS QUOTE FROM BERTRAND RUSSELL COMES TO THE SAME CONCLUSION THAT YOU DO, “All the noonday brightness of human genius, [is] destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins.” (Bertrand Russell, “A Free Man’s Worship,” Two Modern Essays on Religion (Hanover, NH: Westholm Publications, 1959) 25)

DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THERE IS NO GOD OR DO YOU WANT TO AVOID BELIEVING IN GOD BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT TO OBEY HIM? A THIEF DOESN’T WANT TO FIND A POLICEMAN EITHER!!!!!

The atheist ALDOUS HUXLEY found the logical conclusion that life is meaningless exhilarating:

“We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom; we objected to the political and economic system because it was unjust. The supporters of these systems claimed that in some way they embodied the meaning (a Christian meaning, they insisted) of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people at the same time justifying ourselves… we could deny that the world had any meaning.” (Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means (New York and London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1937) 316)

Related posts:

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 1 0   Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode X – Final Choices 27 min FINAL CHOICES I. Authoritarianism the Only Humanistic Social Option One man or an elite giving authoritative arbitrary absolutes. A. Society is sole absolute in absence of other absolutes. B. But society has to be […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 9 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IX – The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence 27 min T h e Age of Personal Peace and Afflunce I. By the Early 1960s People Were Bombarded From Every Side by Modern Man’s Humanistic Thought II. Modern Form of Humanistic Thought Leads […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 8 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VIII – The Age of Fragmentation 27 min I saw this film series in 1979 and it had a major impact on me. T h e Age of FRAGMENTATION I. Art As a Vehicle Of Modern Thought A. Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 7 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason I am thrilled to get this film series with you. I saw it first in 1979 and it had such a big impact on me. Today’s episode is where we see modern humanist man act […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 6 “The Scientific Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 6 How Should We Then Live 6#1 Uploaded by NoMirrorHDDHrorriMoN on Oct 3, 2011 How Should We Then Live? Episode 6 of 12 ________ I am sharing with you a film series that I saw in 1979. In this film Francis Schaeffer asserted that was a shift in […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 5 How Should We Then Live? Episode 5: The Revolutionary Age I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Francis Schaeffer noted, “Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection. But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 4 “The Reformation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IV – The Reformation 27 min I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer makes three key points concerning the Reformation: “1. Erasmian Christian humanism rejected by Farel. 2. Bible gives needed answers not only as to […]

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance”

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance” Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 3) THE RENAISSANCE I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer really shows why we have so […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 2 “The Middle Ages” (Schaeffer Sundays)

  Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 2) THE MIDDLE AGES I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 1 “The Roman Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 1) THE ROMAN AGE   Today I am starting a series that really had a big impact on my life back in the 1970′s when I first saw it. There are ten parts and today is the first. Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why […]

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 5) TRUTH AND HISTORY

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 5) TRUTH AND HISTORY Published on Oct 7, 2012 by AdamMetropolis This crucial series is narrated by the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer and former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop. Today, choices are being made that undermine human rights at their most basic level. Practices once […]

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 4) THE BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY

The opening song at the beginning of this episode is very insightful. Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 4) THE BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY Published on Oct 7, 2012 by AdamMetropolis This crucial series is narrated by the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer and former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop. Today, choices […]

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 3) DEATH BY SOMEONE’S CHOICE

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 3) DEATH BY SOMEONE’S CHOICE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis This crucial series is narrated by the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer and former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop. Today, choices are being made that undermine human rights at their most basic level. Practices […]

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” (Episode 2) SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” (Episode 2) SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis This crucial series is narrated by the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer and former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop. Today, choices are being made that undermine human rights at their most basic level. Practices […]

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE

It is not possible to know where the pro-life evangelicals are coming from unless you look at the work of the person who inspired them the most. That person was Francis Schaeffer.  I do care about economic issues but the pro-life issue is the most important to me. Several years ago Adrian Rogers (past president of […]

Ecclesiastes, Purpose, Meaning, and the Necessity of God by Suiwen Liang (Quotes Will Durant, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Stephen Jay Gould,Richard Dawkins, Jean-Paul Sartre,Bertrand Russell, Leo Tolstoy, Loren Eiseley,Aldous Huxley, G.K. Chesterton, Ravi Zacharias, and C.S. Lewis.)

Ecclesiastes 2-3 Published on Sep 19, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 16, 2012 | Derek Neider _____________________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular […]

Robert Leroe on Ecclesiastes (Mentions Thomas Aquinas, Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, King Solomon, King Rehoboam, Eugene Peterson, Chuck Swindoll, and John Newton.)

Ecclesiastes 1 Published on Sep 4, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how […]

Super Bowl, Black Eyed Peas, and the Meaning of Life and Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]

Brian LePort on Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 6-8 | Solomon Turns Over a New Leaf Published on Oct 2, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 30, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series […]

J.W. Wartick on Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 4-6 | Solomon’s Dissatisfaction Published on Sep 24, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 23, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider ___________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope […]

Overview of the Book of Ecclesiastes

Overview of the Book of Ecclesiastes Overview of the Book of EcclesiastesAuthor: Solomon or an unknown sage in the royal courtPurpose: To demonstrate that life viewed merely from a realistic human perspective must result in pessimism, and to offer hope through humble obedience and faithfulness to God until the final judgment.Date: 930-586 B.C. Ecclesiastes 2-3 Published on Sep 19, […]

Doy Moyer on the Book of Ecclesiastes and Apologetics

Ecclesiastes 1 Published on Sep 4, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how […]

Solomon was the author of Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

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Review of Woody Allen’s latest movie “Blue Jasmine” Part 2

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopelessmeaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of his own secular view. I salute him for doing that. That is why I have returned to his work over and over and presented my own Christian worldview as an alternative.

My interest in Woody Allen is so great that I have a “Woody Wednesday” on my blog www.thedailyhatch.org every week. Also I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in his film “Midnight in Paris.” (Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway,T.S.Elliot,  Cole Porter,Paul Gauguin,  Luis Bunuel, and Pablo Picasso were just a few of the characters.)

Today we are looking at a review of Woody Allen’s latest movie Blue Jasmine.

Oscar Winner Cate Blanchett Stuns in Latest Woody Allen Film Video ABC News

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Blue Jasmine: movie review(PG-13)

Blue Jasmine

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Thu Jul 18

Woody Allen loves his little liars, his self-regarding theater people and swaddled urbanites who, even when pushed up against reality, put on a good show. “Don’t speak!” insists glamorous Dianne Wiest in Bullets Over Broadway, railing against John Cusack’s love talk but also against any upstaging of her special glow. And in Allen’s immortal The Purple Rose of Cairo, the dreamlife of the movies withstands fourth-wall breakage and even a crushed heart; that last shot of Mia Farrow is of someone content to be lost in oblivion.

But has Allen, the most painfully self-aware of American directors, ever allowed his fantasizers to fall on the rocks as ruinously as Cate Blanchett does in Blue Jasmine? I don’t think so. (He may not have been capable of doing it until now, with more films behind him than on the horizon.) Blanchett’s Jasmine enters the movie arrestingly: a fidgety, elbowy presence on a cross-country flight, chatting the ear off a seatmate about sex and the better things in life. The voice is a conspiratorial purr, desperately in need of a confidant; you wait for the trapped stranger’s eye roll, but, almost alarmingly, it becomes clear that this isn’t a comedy.

Jasmine, we learn in a toggling flashback structure that also feels fresh to Allen’s style, is fleeing the scorched earth of a broken marriage to a Bernie Madoff–like fraud, Hal (Alec Baldwin), a swindler of fortunes. Even as she steps disdainfully through the earthy San Francisco apartment of her half-welcoming sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), another of Hal’s victims, there’s an unwillingness to shed former airs. A vodka bottle on the shelf will help; Allen turns the shot of Jasmine at the liquor station self-medicating into a repeated gag as she settles in for some much-needed “rebuilding.”

Can this gala planner and bruncher, a professional recipient of jewelry, commit to computer classes? How it hurts to watch Jasmine try. A job in the office of a dentist (Michael Stuhlbarg, tops in a tricky part) also goes poorly. Allen’s sharp script, perhaps the most economically minded of his career, situates an array of naysayers around Jasmine: not just Ginger’s ex-husband (a surprisingly deep Andrew Dice Clay), who lost a windfall in the pyramid scheme, but the sister’s new boyfriend, Chili (Bobby Cannavale), a doting mechanic who’s instantly put off by the interloper’s brittle Manhattitude.

It’s real Streetcar Named Desire territory as the fights pile up, and if you think that doesn’t sound entertaining, know that it is, in a hypnotically catastrophic way. Blanchett’s eyes begin to burn with panic (she’s never been this agonizing, channeling the ragged edge of Gena Rowlands) as she lashes out at all the “losers,” and Allen’s material pushes everyone to make terrible choices. The essence of Blue Jasmine feels timely, even years into America’s limp rebound from recession: How do we start over, when guilt can’t be fully processed and sacrifice is demeaned? Boldly, this isn’t a drama that eases into forgiveness or comeuppance; instead, everyone is taken down a peg. Why so cynical, Woodman? We remember Crimes and Misdemeanors(which this film most resembles in tone); now here’s a savage prosecution of the 1 percent. It’s not the movie anyone could have expected—which is stunning in itself. But maybe the time for sweet self-delusions is through.

Blue Jasmine opens Fri 26.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

Author: Joshua Rothkopf

Related posts:

I love the movie “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen and I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in the film. Take a look below:

“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent years, July 18, 2011 – 6:00 am

(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am

 (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am

(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am

(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am

(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am

(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am

(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am

(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am

(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am

“Woody Wednesday” A 2010 review of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Wednesday” In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

Woody Allen video interview in France talk about making movies in Paris vs NY and other subjects like God, etc

Woody Allen video interview in France Related posts: “Woody Wednesdays” Woody Allen on God and Death June 6, 2012 – 6:00 am Good website on Woody Allen How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter? If Jesus Christ came back today and […]

“Woody Wednesday” Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

Woody Allen interviews Billy Graham (Woody Wednesday)

A surprisingly civil discussion between evangelical Billy Graham and agnostic comedian Woody Allen. Skip to 2:00 in the video to hear Graham discuss premarital sex, to 4:30 to hear him respond to Allen’s question about the worst sin and to 7:55 for the comparison between accepting Christ and taking LSD. ___________________ The Christian Post > […]

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 If you like Woody Allen films as much as I do then join me every Wednesday for another look the man and his movies. Below are some of the posts from the past: “Woody Wednesday” How Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors makes the point that hell is necessary […]

“Woody Wednesday” Great Documentary on Woody Allen

I really enjoyed this documentary on Woody Allen from PBS. Woody Allen: A Documentary, Part 1 Published on Mar 26, 2012 by NewVideoDigital Beginning with Allen’s childhood and his first professional gigs as a teen – furnishing jokes for comics and publicists – WOODY ALLEN: A DOCUMENTARY chronicles the trajectory and longevity of Allen’s career: […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 6)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca ______________ One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 5)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _________________- One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed it earlier but […]

In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 If you like Woody Allen films as much as I do then join me every Wednesday for another look the man and his movies. Below are some of the posts from the past: “Woody Wednesday” How Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors makes the point that hell is necessary […]

Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 4)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _____________ One of my favorite films is this gem by Woody Allen “Crimes and Misdemeanors”: Film Review By […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 3)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca ______________ One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 2)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _________________- One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed it earlier but […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 1)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _____________ Today I am starting a discusssion of the movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” by Woody Allen. This 1989 […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Individualism has always lived here in America but are we losing it? (Cartoon included)

 

Individualism has always lived here in America but are we losing it?

Will Growing Dependency and Erosion of Social Capital Turn America into Europe?

March 1, 2013 by Dan Mitchell

One of my favorite political cartoons is this Michael Ramirez gem showing President Obama following the European lemmings over the cliff of statism.

But this isn’t a laughing matter. As shown in this remarkable graph on global living standards, Americans enjoy significantly more consumption than their European counterparts.

And here’s another set of charts showing a big gap between the United States and Europe.

So the obvious question is whether we should copy the statist policies of our cousins across the Atlantic.

This video explores some of the possible consequences.

The video should make us contemplate the importance of cultural attitudes.

Values such as the work ethic, the spirit of self reliance, and personal responsibility are all form of social capital that help an economy prosper.

But if social capital begins to erode, restoring it is a bit like trying to put toothpaste back in a tube.

So while I obviously think tax and spending policy is important, pro-growth fiscal policy may not mean much in a society where dependency and mooching are considered acceptable lifestyles.

Which is why the third and fourth lessons in this video on the European fiscal crisis are very important.

It is the sad truth.

“Woody Wednesday” Pictures and comments on “Woody Allen: A Documentary”

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopelessmeaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of his own secular view. I salute him for doing that. That is why I have returned to his work over and over and presented my own Christian worldview as an alternative.

My interest in Woody Allen is so great that I have a “Woody Wednesday” on my blog www.thedailyhatch.org every week. Also I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in his film “Midnight in Paris.” (Salvador DaliErnest Hemingway,T.S.Elliot,  Cole Porter,Paul Gauguin,  Luis Bunuel, and Pablo Picasso were just a few of the characters.)

Sleeper (1973) – Trailer

Woody Allen: A Documentary

A sprawling, comprehensive documentary that focuses on everything from Woody Allen’s childhood to Midnight in Paris.

2012-06-06

Woody Allen

Trevor Gilks

2011

Watching PBS’ documentary on Woody Allen is like spending an afternoon with an old friend — one who’s funnier and more interesting than any of your actual friends. It’s enormously entertaining, but despite a running time of over three hours and the full participation of Woody Allen and almost all of his notable, still-living associates, it feels less like an in-depth examination of Allen’s life than a light-hearted overview of it. In its admirable but foolhardy attempt to cover every facet of Allen’s life and career, it’s forced to gloss over a lot of topics and speed through decades in minutes. The fact remains, though, that Woody Allen: A Documentary is enthralling, hilarious, and guaranteed to evoke powerful nostalgia from all Woody Allen fans.This movie’s closest parallel is probably Wild Man Blues, another documentary for which Allen opened himself up. Wild Man Blues captured Allen naturally, which made it loose and intimate, but Woody Allen: A Documentary consists entirely of staged interviews and archive footage, which gives it a more official feel.And while Wild Man Blues was micro — looking at Allen over the course of a month — Woody Allen: A Documentary is macro — starting with Allen’s birth, and going all the way up to the success of Midnight in Paris. So vast is its focus that there were obviously a lot of decisions that needed to be made about what to keep and what to cut. I have some quibbles with what they’ve chosen to include and exclude, and just about everyone else will too. In trying to do so much, they’ve prevented themselves from being able to wholly satisfy anyone, other than the curious non-fan looking for a quick overview of what Woody Allen is all about.Woody Allen: A Documentary was written, produced and directed for PBS’ American Masters series by Robert B. Weide. Weide, a career chronicler of funny people, has directed documentaries on the Marx brothers, Mort Sahl, W.C. Fields and Lenny Bruce. He’s also executive-produced the entire run of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and directed half of its episodes.Weide’s most relevant work with regard to Woody Allen: A Documentary is Marx Brothers in a Nutshell, a 1982 documentary he made for PBS. His first project out of film school, it was produced by Allen’s long-time agent/producer Charles H. Joffe, and, likely as a result of this, managed to land Woody Allen as a talking-head contributor. This led to Weide allegedly spending years trying to convince Allen to participate in another documentary, this time with himself as the subject.

Allen was quite reclusive in the ‘80s and ‘90s but started to open up and make more public appearances in the ‘00s, so it makes sense that he’d finally agree to this project in 2010. Filmed over 18 months, Woody Allen: A Documentary boasts “unprecedented access” to Allen, although he’s no more revealing, candid or emotional than he’s been in any of his press junkets of the last decade. He says a lot of the same things we’ve been hearing him say forever, although he’s charming and hilarious as always.

He also offers many seemingly mundane tidbits that are likely to thrill Woody Allen obsessives — like a tour of his childhood neighborhood, and a look at the typewriter on which he’s typed up every single one of his movies.

Woody Allen in Woody Allen: A Documentary
“It used to have a metal thing that went over top, but that fell off 30 years ago.”

Woody Allen: A Documentary is broken down into two parts, which aired on separate nights. While the break is theoretically chronological (Part 1 covers his childhood until 1980, and the second part covers 1981 to 2012), the two parts also differ so greatly in tone that they feel like two different movies.

Part 1

The first part of Woody Allen: A Documentary is by far the superior, more interesting half. In all likelihood, virtually all of the new information about Woody Allen that you will learn from watching this documentary will be obtained before Part 1 concludes, as Weide feverishly digs through Allen’s past, turning up fascinating nuggets of information about his childhood and early career.

The film begins, predictably, with Allen’s early family life and schooling. Allen gives the documentarians a guided tour of his old neighborhood, including his childhood home and the theatre around the corner where he went to the movies every weekend.

Woody Allen in Woody Allen: A Documentary
“It doesn’t look like much, but it wasn’t.”

Many of Allen’s childhood anecdotes are familiar from his movies. Weide realizes this too, and humorously intercuts Allen telling stories with the versions of those stories Allen has committed to film. When Allen talks about his childhood realization that life is finite, so what’s the point, the movie cuts to the scene from Annie Hall of young Alvy Singer telling his therapist that, as long as the universe is expanding, there’s no real point in doing any homework. Allen talking about how his father never actually told him what he did for a living is intercut with a scene from Radio Days in which Seth Green’s father refuses to reveal his career.

Allen’s parents had passed away by the time this movie was made, so they don’t appear, except briefly in archive footage. Simply by virtue of having been lucky enough to film a single tense conversation between Allen and his parents, 1997’s Wild Man Blues has a lot more insight to offer on this topic. Woody Allen: A Documentary’s most revealing parental moment comes in an archival interview of Nettie, Allen’s mother, saying that she was too strict with him, and as a result he’s too harsh and unfeeling, which she also said, nearly verbatim, in Wild Man Blues.

Woody Allen parents in Woody Allen: A Documentary
Marty and Nettie Konigsberg.

Allen’s sister/producer Letty Aronson does appear, however, just as she did in Wild Man Blues. She remembers him being a very kind brother, which Allen’s mother corroborates.

Letty Aronson in Woody Allen: A Documentary

The movie then moves on to its most fascinating section, its chronicle of Allen’s rise from teenage joke-writer to stand-up comedian to major celebrity, all before he appeared in a single movie. Woody Allen’s movies are recorded documents that have been discussed and picked apart endlessly, but the days of Allen’s career prior to 1965 are much more mysterious.

In addition to being this documentary’s most fascinating section, this is also its most entertaining. Woody Allen circa early 1960s is a serious contender for funniest human being of all time. In every television appearance and every interview, he’s almost inhumanly sharp and quick-witted, and his stand-up comedy performances will force you to abuse the pause button to prevent from missing the jokes and interviews under the sound of your own laughter. Woody Allen: A Documentary could have devoted all three of its hours to Allen’s pre-film career and never have had a single dull or uninformative moment.

Johnny Carson and Woody Allen

As a young teenager, Allen started sending jokes to the local newspaper. He didn’t want his real name (Allen Stuart Konigsberg) appearing in print because he was afraid his classmates would make fun of him, so he came up with the pseudonym ‘Woody Allen’ (he says “it was just the first thing I thought of”). As for the iconic glasses, he saw comedian Mike Merrick sporting a pair of black plastic glasses, thought they looked pretty sharp, so he got a pair for himself and then never really gave it a second thought.

Comedian Mike Merrick
Mike Merrick (not actually sure about the spelling of this guy’s name).
Young Woody Allen in Woody Allen: A Documentary
“So I got these black glasses, put them on, wore them, and never gave them a second thought the rest of my life.”

As his name became a mainstay in all of New York’s city columns, he started to garner a lot of attention from agents and producers. Soon, he was writing jokes for comedians like Arthur Godfrey, Peter Lind Hayes and Herb Shriner, and sketches for shows like The Chevy Show and The Sid Caesar Show, alongside another up-and-coming comic writer named Mel Brooks.

Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Jeff Tolkin, Sid Caesar

By 16, Allen was making more money that his parents. By 18, he was married, and by 21 he was divorced. These broad details you may remember from 2003’s Anything Else, a movie inspired loosely by Allen’s early life. Despite being based (loosely) on fact, that movie never felt particularly credible, mostly because Allen failed to acknowledge how exceptionally gifted he is, and expected us to accept Jason Biggs’ character a normal guy.

Young Woody Allen and his first wife
“When you’re young, you know, you go out, you go to the movies, you go bowling, and then there’s nowhere to go but to get married. What else do you do?”

Allen casually reveals that he wrote up to 50 jokes per day, and a quick scroll through some of his typewritten sheets reveals that almost all of them were quite funny, and many of them are timeless quotes that still populate Facebook profiles and e-mail signatures to this day. There’s a fascinating interview segment from the CBC in which Allen displays his very nonchalant attitude about his genius. He compares writing jokes to drawing horses — some people can just do it easily, others can’t. And he’d rather be able to draw horses.

Young Woody Allen on the CBC
“When you’re a joke maker, it’s hard not to make jokes. It’s like my normal conversation. It just comes out that way.”

Allen soon signs up with talent agents Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe, who he describes as “the Cadillac of talent agents.” They managed, according to Rollins, “comedians and personalities, but never writers.” But they agreed to take on Allen anyway, in part because they had bigger plans for him.

Jack Rollins and Charles Joffe in Woody Allen: A Documentary
Joffe (left), Rollins and Allen.

One of this movie’s most insistent lessons is just how monumentally important Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe were to Woody Allen’s career. I’ve mentioned these two before on this site: they’ve produced every single movie Allen has written or directed, appeared in various small cameos, and Jack Rollins even inspired the character of Broadway Danny Rose.

What I didn’t realize, though, is that they represented Allen back when he was just a writer, and it was their idea for him to start performing stand-up comedy. Rollins claims they were so convinced he’d be a hit, they’d literally push him on stage. All of his television appearances were orchestrated by Joffe and Rollins. They also helped produce his stage plays Don’t Drink the Water and Play It Again, Sam.

Then, when Allen decided he might like to write for the movies, Rollins and Joffe got him What’s New Pussycat. When that experience left a bad taste in his mouth, they made sure his directorial debut, 1969’s Take the Money and Run, would be untouched by studio meddlers. They then continued to keep the studios off his back for the next 40 years and counting. Joffe passed away in 2008 (and only appears in this movie in archive footage), but Rollins is still alive and working at age 97. For all the Woody Allen films we’ve enjoyed, we owe those two just as much thanks as we owe Allen himself.

Jack Rollins, Charles Joffe and Jack Nicholson in Woody Allen: A Documentary
Joffe and Rollins accepting the Academy Award for Best Picture for Annie Hall from presenter Jack Nicholson.

After Joffe and Rollins pushed him to perform as a comedian, Allen became a national sensation. He appeared on game shows, variety shows, guest-hosted The Tonight Show, and did countless talk-show interviews. Allen says that Rollins’ and Joffe’s plan was to get him onto television as often as humanly possible, which often led to bizarre gigs like singing to dogs, boxing kangaroos, and doing a big song-and-dance musical number on the Perry Como show in front of giant light-up letters spelling W-O-O-D-Y.

Woody Allen singing to a dog in Woody Allen: A Documentary
Woody Allen musical number on the Perry Como show in Woody Allen: A Documentary
Variety said I was ‘probably the worst singer ever,’ and I think they were right.”

Peter Biskind’s 1998 book about 1970s New Hollywood Easy Riders and Raging Bulls opens with a scene-setting story about What’s New Pussycat, and about how it went from a Warren Beatty comeback vehicle to Woody Allen’s debut as actor and screenwriter. In that book’s version, which is recounted by Beatty himself, he essentially stormed out just prior to production as he was outraged that Allen’s re-writes (which the studio preferred) had enlarged Allen’s part while reducing Beatty’s. That’s the version I was relying on when I wrote my review of What’s New Pussycat, but Woody Allen: A Documentary presents a very different version it.

This movie claims it was Shirley MacLaine (Beatty’s sister, incidentally), who’d worked with Allen on The Chevy Show, who brought movie mogul Charles K. Feldman to see Woody Allen perform at The Blue Angel nightclub. Feldman, Rollins and Joffe then worked out a movie deal for Allen. According to Woody Allen: A Documentary, What’s New Pussycat was really intended to be Allen’s movie all along, and Warren Beatty is never even mentioned. The book and the documentary also differ on how much Allen was paid for his work.

What both accounts agree on is the end result: a movie that was hugely popular but despised by Woody Allen. Allen says “if I had had my way, that movie would have been much better, but made much less money,” and I have no reason to doubt him on either count. There’s no mention of What’s Up, Tiger Lily? or Casino Royale which is too bad, as I was wondering what extenuating circumstances would have forced Allen into working on them. After the studio meddling of What’s New Pussycat, he must surely have been aware that additional meddling was all but guaranteed in those two even more hackneyed projects.

Woody Allen, Peter O’Toole and Peter Sellers in Woody Allen: A Documentary
The cast of What’s New Pussycat

Bananas, Sleeper and Love and Death are sped through pretty quickly. Allen’s plan to make Sleeper as a two-part three-hour movie is discussed, and Allen’s mysterious ‘70s writing partner Marshall Brickman reveals they had considered making it as a silent comedy, entirely without dialogue.

Marshall Brickman in Woody Allen: A Documentary
…and also the co-writer of Annie Hall, Manhattan and Manhattan Murder Mystery.

When it comes to Annie Hall, the movie devotes a surprising amount of time to discussing Allen’s hiring of cinematographer Gordon Willis, yet don’t really make any mention of his contributions. Willis, cinematographer for The Godfather and All the President’s Men, had both a personality and a photographic style that earned him the nickname “Prince of Darkness” and many talking heads express much bemusement that a comedy director would seek him out, but none give examples of what exactly Willis’ darkness brought to the movie. Although Allen does point out that it was Willis’ idea to build a literal split set for the psychiatrist scene.

Annie Hall split set in Woody Allen: A Documentary

Diane Keaton, effervescent as ever, tells a hilarious story about the real Grammy Hall, who’s a lot like the Grammy Hall of Annie Hall (Grammy Hall described Allen as “a typical Jew”). Keaton also claims that she tried to “trick” Allen into falling in love with her. She adds “I don’t think it quite worked, but I was around a lot.” I half expected her to end the interview by muttering “la dee da, la dee da” and backing out of the room.

Diane Keaton in Woody Allen: A Documentary
“There is a real Grammy Hall. She would call him ‘an odd Jew,’ but she was a total racist. [laughs] Yeah, he captured the essence of my family. Not pretty.”

The oft-regurgitated story of how Annie Hall was originally a murder mystery is not mentioned, and in fact, is somewhat contradicted. Allen claims he had conceived of Annie Hall as an episodic journey through the mind of his character, and even filmed it that way, but in the editing room, he found a love story running through it that was more interesting. Tony Roberts and Marshall Brickman back this up.

When it comes to Interiors and Manhattan, it sticks mostly to the well-know trivia and established narrative. The most surprising insights come courtesy of Martin Scorsese, who delves into just how difficult, rare and unlikely radical departures like Interiors really are, and talks about how foreign Allen’s vision of New York in Manhattan is from his own.

Martin Scorsese in Woody Allen: A Documentary
“It’s not another world, it’s another universe.”

On Manhattan, Allen once again speaks of his dissatisfaction with the movie, but I was disappointed that Weide couldn’t finally get Allen to divulge what, exactly, he hates about it so much. Brickman suggests Allen had envisioned it as far grander in scope and disliked that it emerged so modest.

Mariel Hemingway drops in and offers a take on Manhattan that drastically differs from my own. She views the movie not as a sad story of lonely people flailing in the darkness, but a sweet story about nice people in love. To hear her tell it, Manhattan could just as easily have starred Carey Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

Mariel Hemingway in Woody Allen: A Documentary
“It’s so sweet and romantic, and that’s the real Woody Allen. He’s a sweetheart. He’s a mush.”

Hemingway also says that Allen directed her with incredible care and dedication, spending time with her outside of filming to help her understand her character and the city. This contrasts dramatically with the stories we hear in Part 2, in which Woody Allen is described as an aggressively hands-off director.

Weide also goes into how phenomenally popular Allen’s films were in this period, which is always fun to hear about. Manhattan was the Avengers of its day (or at least the Bridesmaids of its day), which is so difficult for anyone under 45 to imagine. Elder New Yorkers like Larry David and Martin Scorsese try to describe the feeling in New York at the time, and talk about the seismic shifts that would echo throughout the city whenever Allen released a movie in the late ‘70s.

Manhattan opening in Woody Allen: A Documentary

Part 1 concludes with a fascinating look at one of Allen’s most controversial movies, Stardust Memories. The vitriol this movie received was legendary, which the documentary backs up by providing devastating quotes from critics like Rex Reed and Pauline Kael.

Pauline Kael review of Stardust Memories quote in Woody Allen: A Documentary

Fans and critics (and Allen had plenty of both) took it as a personal affront, which is understandable — it’s a movie about a famous comedy director who wants to start making more serious movies (which is exactly what Allen was at the time) whose critics and fans are grotesque, idiotic sycophants. I respect that there are subtle differences between Sandy Bates and Woody Allen, and that the movie is in no way literal, but when Allen says (as he does in this documentary), “I can’t understand why people thought that movie was about me,” he has his head buried very deep in some very thick sand.

In Wild Man Blues, Barbara Kopple could only be heard asking questions twice, and one of them was near the end, when she asked Allen’s mother Nettie if Allen based his films on his own life. Woody Allen: A Documentary is interested in that question too, and provides a definite answer: yes, he does, but don’t tell Woody Allen that.


Part 2

After the riveting first half, Part 2 was bound to disappoint. It does, but in a way that probably has more to do with me than the movie. It picks up in 1982, meaning it has some of Allen’s most interesting and challenging movies to look at, but it’s less interested in discussing individual movies than in discussing Woody Allen in general — his outlooks, his techniques, his personal life. That’s all well and good, but the movie is more anecdotal than probing and investigative, so very little of it was new to me, nor is it likely to be new to you, if you’re a follower of Allen’s career.

Virtually all the factual tidbits about Allen’s movies from 1982-2010 revealed in this movie have already appeared on this blog. That’s not bragging (well, maybe it’s bragging a little bit), but rather a testament to how shallow this movie scratches the surfaces of some of the greatest American movies of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Part 2 is the shorter half, running just an hour and 20 minutes, and only around 45 of those minutes are dedicated to explicitly discussing the films.

It begins with A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, which it mis-represents as a hugely popular slapstick comedy. Sex Comedy, with apologies to David K. Barnes, was a humorless, banal movie that Allen himself described as little more than a make-work project (he wrote it in two months and filmed in two weeks during the post-production process for Zelig). It also grossed even less than Stardust Memories, yet Woody Allen: A Documentary would have you believe it was the second coming of Annie Hall.

From there, it blazes through the rest of Allen’s career at lighting speed, as if Weide suddenly checked his watch and noticed how little time was left. With each film, it follows virtually the same formula: a clip is shown, a film critic (usually F.X. Sweeney or Leonard Maltin) gives a brief overview of the plot and a sentence on how it was received, a sentence or two from Allen on what he was going for and whether he liked the end result (usually not), and then an actor and/or a producer from that film offers up some trivia.

That said, it is fun revisiting these movies, even if the visits are brief and uninformative. I will admit that I even choked up a little at the clips from The Purple Rose of Cairo and Hannah and her Sisters, out of context as they were. It definitely filled me with an urge to re-watch some of Allen’s classics. There’s also some fun to be had in catching up with actors we haven’t seen in a while, and putting a face to some of the names that keep appearing in the credits of one Woody Allen movie after another.

Dianne Wiest in Woody Allen: A Documentary
Juliet Taylor in Woody Allen: A Documentary
The woman responsible for all of Allen’s casting since 1977.

Amidst the familiar trivia, there are some true gems. For me, the Holy Grail of pop culture memorabilia is probably the abandoned footage of Michael Keaton in Jeff Daniels’ role in The Purple Rose of Cairo (with apologies to that missing reel from Orson Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons), and while this movie doesn’t have that, it does have the next best thing: pictures of it. It also has some clips of September’s fired cast, and a look at the woman that inspired Mia Farrow’s outlandish character in Broadway Danny Rose.

Michael Keaton in The Purple Rose of Cairo
Sam Shepard, Christopher Walken and Sam Waterston in September
The three Peters of September.
Mia Farrows inspiration for Broadway Danny Rose in Woody Allen: A Documentary

Radio Days, Another Woman, Alice, Manhattan Murder Mystery and Celebrity are never discussed, nor are any of Allen’s ‘00s movies other than Match Point and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. If forced to pick some movies to ignore, these are perfectly reasonable options, although there’s literally no Woody Allen movie I’d be uninterested in learning more about.

The most shocking omission is Husbands and Wives, which is discussed only in the context of the Farrow/Soon-Yi scandal. Neither the content nor technique of the film, nor Allen’s feelings on it, are ever addressed. That movie was doomed to be overshadowed by that scandal when it was released, and I guess it still is 20 years later.

My single biggest complaint about this documentary is that it spends too much time on You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and Midnight in Paris, a decision that is sure to date it — Weide wisely realizes that Allen’s early ‘00s movies are the ones people care about the least, but fails to realize Stranger will likely be joining them at the bottom 10 years from now. I stand by my claim that You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is possibly the least distinctive, least original movie Allen has ever made, yet in Part 2 it’s given more screentime than any other movie.

Woody Allen: A Documentary was filmed concurrently with You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, so I suppose it’s understandable that it would feature it so heavily. Weide obviously desired to show Allen at work, and the only way he could do that was to show him at work on Stranger. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes looks at its filming and editing that are mildly interesting, but would be more at home on a You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger making-of featurette. Given this documentary’s resources and ambition, I would have preferred these scenes get excised in favor of more talk about Husbands and Wives, Crimes and Misdemeanors, or, really, any other movie.

Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts and Woody Allen in Woody Allen: A Documentary

As for The Scandal (you know the one), Woody Allen: A Documentary deals with it, of course, and I think it spends the exact right amount of time on it. It would be possible to dwell on it for hours, and I’m sure it was tempting to do so, but pretty much everything that could ever be said about it has already been said. This documentary provides a only a brief recap of the events.

Scene from Woody Allen: A Documentary

Part 2’s funniest moment comes in a super-cut of people talking about well Allen is able to compartmentalize his life, and go on making movies while in the midst of tabloid hell and ugly custody fights. Weide strings together 10 people in a row saying “he’s very good at compartmentalizing his life” and ends it with Allen saying “I’m very good at compartmentalizing my life.”

Almost all of Allen’s notable contributors are present, but the one glaring exception is Mia Farrow. This is not a surprise, and I’m sure no one expected to see her. At times, though, her absence is very conspicuous.

Allen’s wife, Soon-Yi Previn, is also absent. As was the case with Allen’s parents, Wild Man Blues eclipses this movie’s insights into Allen’s personal life simply by virtue of having been able to document them together.

The rest of Part 2 is devoted to the quirks of Allen’s filmmaking. It goes over his secret script delivery system, his approach to directing (which is, basically, not directing at all), his disdain for rehearsals, his reputation for firing actors, his prioritization of Knicks games over filming, etc. There’s also an extended discussion of his prolific nature, and about how and why he’s able to make as many films as he does. Again, if you’re a big enough fan to be reading this blog, you’ve probably heard this stuff before.

At the end, there’s a too-lengthy overview of Midnight In Paris’ surprise success. It seems tacked on, probably because it was. It was also filmed amidst Midnight in Paris’ theatrical run, as opposed to after it, so it doesn’t even have the definitive numbers. Producer Stephen Tenenbaum talks about its success in vague terms and it shows an out-of-date screen-cap of BoxOfficeMojo.com while Allen shrugs his shoulders and basically says he doesn’t really know (or care) why some of his movies are popular and others are not.

Box Office Mojo screenshot in Woody Allen: A Documentary
Out of date

Robert B. Weide is clearly a Woody Allen fan, and this movie was made for other fans. The tone is loving, verging on worshipful. None of the many criticisms leveled against Allen over the decades are addressed (outside of a brief acknowledgement from Leonard Maltin and Mariel Hemingway that he’s made ‘some clunkers’). Weide doesn’t invite anyone with any remotely harsh things to say about Allen, and doesn’t ask any tough questions. If he had levelled those tough questions, it’s unlikely he would’ve gotten any answers from Allen, but it might have been nice of him to try.


Please, though, don’t let my criticisms of its second half convince you that Woody Allen: A Documentary is anything but joyously entertaining. It won’t open your eyes or drop your jaw the way Wild Man Blues did, but it’s as brisk and fun as the best movies Woody Allen himself has made.

Fun Facts

  • The DVD has some pretty entertaining special features: an extended tour of Allen’s childhood neighborhood and some more small talk with Weide about dating, politics and things like that; a conversation with Woody about The New Yorker magazine; a hilarious story from Mariel Hemingway, who talks about how, in exchange for Allen having shown her Manhattan, she offered to return the favor by showing him Idaho, where she grew up (and he accepted); an interview of director Robert B. Weide where he talks about how and why he made the movie; a final, 45-second interview with Allen’s mother shortly before her death; and best of all, a hilarious mini-interview called 12 Questions for Woody Allen (which is also on YouTube).
  • There was another documentary about Woody Allen’s life than Allen participated in — Woody Allen: A Life in Film from 2001. I didn’t review it, because I honestly did not know about it until now. It ran only 90 minutes and was written/directed by film critic Richard Schickel, who also appears in Woody Allen: A Documentary.
  • Woody Allen: A Documentary claims that What’s New Pussycat was the most successful comedy ever at the time, although according to Wikipedia, it wasn’t even the most successful comedy of 1965.
  • A condensed, two-hour version of this documentary was released into movie theatres in Europe.
  • This is the second documentary Robert B. Weide has directed for PBS’ American Master series, the first one being about comedian Mort Sahl (of whom Allen is a fan).
  • Strangely, this documentary was produced by Brett Ratner, director of the Rush Hour movies and the guy who got fired from directing the Oscars after proclaiming “rehearsals are for fags” at a press conference. He’d never produced any documentaries or worked with PBS before, so I’m not sure how he managed to get involved in this.

Related posts:

I love the movie “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen and I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in the film. Take a look below:

All my posts on Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 40)July 19, 2011 – 8:51 am

“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent yearsJuly 18, 2011 – 6:00 am

Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” explores “golden age fallacy” (Part 39) July 17, 2011 – 5:59 am
(Part 38,Alcoholism and great writers and artists) July 16, 2011 – 5:47 am

Woody Allen’s search for God in the movie “Midnight in Paris”(Part 37) July 15, 2011 – 5:44 am

(Part 36, Alice B. Toklas, Woody Allen on the meaning of life) July 14, 2011 – 5:16 am

  (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)July 13, 2011 – 5:42 am

(Part 34, Simone de Beauvoir) July 12, 2011 – 6:03 am
(Part 33,Cezanne) July 11, 2011 – 6:15 am

(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am

(Part 31, Jean Cocteau) July 9, 2011 – 6:15 am
(Part 30, Albert Camus) July 8, 2011 – 5:48 am

 (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am

(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am

(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am

(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am

(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am

(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am

(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am

(Part 20, King Louis XVI of France) June 28, 2011 – 5:44 am

(Part 19,Marie Antoinette) June 27, 2011 – 12:16 am

(Part 18, Claude Monet) June 26, 2011 – 5:41 am

(Part 17, J. M. W. Turner) June 25, 2011 – 5:44 am

(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am

(Part 12, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel) June 20, 2011 – 5:58 am

(Part 11, Rodin)  June 19, 2011 – 9:50 am

(Part 10 Salvador Dali) June 18, 2011 – 2:57 pm

(Part 9, Georges Braque) June 18, 2011 – 2:55 pm

(Part 8, Henri Toulouse Lautrec) June 18, 2011 – 2:45 pm

(Part 7 Paul Gauguin) June 18, 2011 – 11:20 am

(Part 6 Gertrude Stein) June 16, 2011 – 11:01 am

(Part 5 Juan Belmonte) June 16, 2011 – 10:59 am

(Part 4 Ernest Heminingway) June 16, 2011 – 9:08 am

(Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald) June 16, 2011 – 3:46 am

(Part 2 Cole Porter) June 15, 2011 – 7:40 am

(Part 1 William Faulkner) June 13, 2011 – 3:19 pm

I love Woody Allen’s latest movie “Midnight in Paris”June 12, 2011 – 11:52 pm

“Woody Wednesday” A 2010 review of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Wednesday” In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

Woody Allen video interview in France talk about making movies in Paris vs NY and other subjects like God, etc

Woody Allen video interview in France Related posts: “Woody Wednesdays” Woody Allen on God and Death June 6, 2012 – 6:00 am Good website on Woody Allen How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter? If Jesus Christ came back today and […]

“Woody Wednesday” Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

Woody Allen interviews Billy Graham (Woody Wednesday)

A surprisingly civil discussion between evangelical Billy Graham and agnostic comedian Woody Allen. Skip to 2:00 in the video to hear Graham discuss premarital sex, to 4:30 to hear him respond to Allen’s question about the worst sin and to 7:55 for the comparison between accepting Christ and taking LSD. ___________________ The Christian Post > […]

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 If you like Woody Allen films as much as I do then join me every Wednesday for another look the man and his movies. Below are some of the posts from the past: “Woody Wednesday” How Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors makes the point that hell is necessary […]

“Woody Wednesday” Great Documentary on Woody Allen

I really enjoyed this documentary on Woody Allen from PBS. Woody Allen: A Documentary, Part 1 Published on Mar 26, 2012 by NewVideoDigital Beginning with Allen’s childhood and his first professional gigs as a teen – furnishing jokes for comics and publicists – WOODY ALLEN: A DOCUMENTARY chronicles the trajectory and longevity of Allen’s career: […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 6)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca ______________ One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 5)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _________________- One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed it earlier but […]

In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 If you like Woody Allen films as much as I do then join me every Wednesday for another look the man and his movies. Below are some of the posts from the past: “Woody Wednesday” How Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors makes the point that hell is necessary […]

Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 4)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _____________ One of my favorite films is this gem by Woody Allen “Crimes and Misdemeanors”: Film Review By […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 3)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca ______________ One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 2)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _________________- One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed it earlier but […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 1)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _____________ Today I am starting a discusssion of the movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” by Woody Allen. This 1989 […]

Open letter to President Obama (Part 374)

(This letter was emailed to White House on 12-20-12.)

President Obama c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

The answer to the complicated tax system is the flat tax. Why can’t we simply it? (Below is an article from Dan Mitchell’s blog http://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/ .)

Everything that’s Wrong with the Tax System, in a Single Picture

December 19, 2012 by Dan Mitchell

I used to think this image was a damning indictment of the internal revenue code. Or here’s another chart showing how the tax system has become more convoluted over time.

But this new image may be the most effective of all of them. We don’t know what’s in the other 72,000 pages of tax code, but we’re all familiar with the basic 1040 tax form. Look at what the politicians have done to it over the past several decades.

1040 Instruction graph

The only answer, needless to say, is to throw the entire mess in the trash can and replace it with a simple and fair flat tax.

Here’s my brief explanation of how the flat tax would work and why it’s a good idea.

The Flat Tax: How it Works and Why it is Good for America

Uploaded on Mar 29, 2010

This Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation video shows how the flat tax would benefit families and businesses, and also explains how this simple and fair system would boost economic growth and eliminate the special-interest corruption of the internal revenue code. http://www.freedomandprosperity.org

_________________

Tax reform would give us more growth, but it also would reduce one of the major source of corruption in Washington.

It’s also based on the notion that discrimination is wrong and that class-warfare policy should be rejected.

So what’s not to like?

P.S. I always get a lot of email and comments from people who wonder whether we should adopt a national sales tax instead. That’s fine with me, for reasons I explain here, but you better make sure to first amend the Constitution so that scheming politicians don’t pull a bait-and-switch and saddle us with both an income tax and a sales tax.

_____________

_____________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

Debating with Ark Times Bloggers on “The Meaning of Life” Part 2 “Can a person find a satisfying purpose to his/her life by pursuing money?”

Debating with Ark Times Bloggers on “The Meaning of Life” Part 2 “Can a person find a satisfying purpose to his/her life by pursuing money?”

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years

Published on Oct 9, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

_______________________

Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way

Published on Oct 30, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

____________________

I have enjoyed going back and forth with the Arkansas Times Bloggers on many subjects over the years. Now I have discussed the subject of “The Meaning of Life” with them recently and I wanted to share some of this with you.

I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular humanist man can not hope to find a lasting meaning to his life in a closed system without bringing God back into the picture. This is the same exact case with Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

On May 28, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I posted the following:

Chris Martin of Coldplay revealed in his interview with Howard Stern that he was raised an evangelical Christian but he has left the church. I believe that many words that he puts in his songs today are generated from the deep seated Christian beliefs from his childhood that find their way out in his songs. The fact Coldplay’s songs deal so much with death and the search for meaning and purpose of life (similar to Solomon’s search in Ecclesiastes), and that our actions are being watched, and Chris describes different ways God tries to reveal himself to us, and many songs deal with trying to find a way to an afterlife and heaven, and he stills uses Christian terms like being “blessed” and “grateful.”

People are looking for a purpose for their lives even if they have millions in the bank and have the world at their finger tips. 

https://thedailyhatch.org/2013/05/28/the-mo…

My usual opponent who I do respect goes by the username “NeverVoteRepublican” and he or her responded on May 28, 2013:

Saline–I don’t know what the heck Chris Martin’s religious beliefs have to do with anything but you sure know how to copy and paste. Do you even know who Chris Martin is or his anything about his music? Just because a person has money and “the world at their fingertips”, it doesn’t mean that they are any less confused or have any less to deal with than the rest of us.

 

On May 29, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I responded with the following:

NeverVoteRepublican noted, “Just because a person has money and “the world at their fingertips”, it doesn’t mean that they are any less confused or have any less to deal with than the rest of us.”

Citizen1 has some helpful observations on this and this is what he posted:

Saline, yes, people with what you consider “having it made” can be and are probably still searching for purpose and fulfillment. As a matter of fact, the lack of fulfillment is causing them to keep searching.

Way back in the 80’s when I was a securities broker and I figured if I just had a little more I would be a little happier, and if I had a lot more I would be a lot happier, I saw something.

The ones with a lot more were miserable. I saw more heavy hitters puke in a wastebasket than anyone. Even the lowly paid errand runner we had for picking up dry cleaning, lunch, pepto bismol, tums etc seemed ecstatic compared to the heavy hitters.

I had fellow brokers stricken with ulcers and heart attacks. I had more fellow brokers in divorces and fatal car crashes than any group then or since. There was a suicide and some of the car crashes were suspected of suicide.

My 83 year old dad comments often on his buddies that went off to be very “successful” with big houses and vacation homes and toys of all kinds that are now just simply joyous in a tiny patio condo.
_________________

I respect Citizen1 and think the comments are very helpful, but now I am turning my attention to someone who was very wealthy and had the “world at his finger tips” more than anybody I have ever heard of.

Three thousand years ago, King Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

Let me show you some inescapable conclusions if you choose to live without God in the picture. Solomon came to these same conclusions when he looked at life “under the sun.”

Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)

Chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future. (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)

Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1)

Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20).

These are Solomon’s words from chapter 2:

8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem[a] as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

16 For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered;
the days have already come when both have been forgotten.
Like the fool, the wise too must die!
Toil Is Meaningless

17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? 23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.

_____________________
The ironic thing is that Citizen1 also has claimed that I am unhappy because I don’t have enough money even though I am the one pointing out that those who have millions in the bank are still longing for a lasting meaning for their lives. Why would I look in the area of riches to find a lasting meaning for my life if the Bible tells me that is a dead end?

Here is what Citizen1 asserted:

I always had a read that Saline was unhappy with his station and uncomfprtable in his skin and his bitter posts were indications of that. Now with that simple little phrase “even if they have millions in the bank…” Saline has verified that he does have empty yearning and Saline is buying the RightWing grasping belief that “I would just be happy if only I had…”

Saline, I hope you find it.
_________________

I responded:

I have found it by putting my faith alone in Jesus Christ who died and was buried and raised 3 days later. I am looking above the Sun to find a lasting meaning to my life. I still say like Kerry Livgren of Kansas that without God that ““all we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

https://thedailyhatch.org/2013/05/20/the-hu…

 

Related posts:

Ecclesiastes chapter 1 and the humanist outlook on life

Ecclesiastes 1 Published on Sep 4, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how […]

Ecclesiastes “Life under the sun”

Ecclesiastes 6-8 | Solomon Turns Over a New Leaf Published on Oct 2, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 30, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series […]

Does Ecclesiastes teach there is an afterlife?

Ecclesiastes 4-6 | Solomon’s Dissatisfaction Published on Sep 24, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 23, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider ___________________ Ecclesiastes 6-8 | Solomon Turns Over a New Leaf Published on Oct 2, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 30, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I […]

Finding Meaning in Life: A Pessimistic, Humanistic, and Atheistic Look Through the Book of Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 1 Published on Sep 4, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ Ecclesiastes 2-3 Published on Sep 19, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 16, 2012 | Derek Neider _____________________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of […]

Ecclesiastes: Nothing New Under the Sun

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]

Ecclesiastes Chapter 4: Order in a Fallen World

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]

The Humanist takes on Solomon and the Book of Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]

Avril Lavigne commits “the fool’s sin” in front of family crowd in Tampa (Avril and the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 1)

Tampa Bay Rays apologize for Avril Lavigne TMZ reported: According to local reports, Avril’s mic didn’t work at the start of her show … and she responded to the cavalcade of boos by yelling obscenities at crowd. Rays rep Rick Vaughn tells TMZ, “The Rays demand profanity-free performances from all of our concert performers and […]

The most popular posts in the last 30 days about the spiritual quest of Chris Martin of Coldplay that can be found on www.thedailyhatch.org

These are some of the most popular posts in the last 30 days about the spiritual quest of Chris Martin of Coldplay that can be found on http://www.thedailyhatch.org: Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 3 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert, Martin left Christianity because of […]

Review of Woody Allen’s latest movie “Blue Jasmine” Part 1

Review of Woody Allen’s latest movie “Blue Jasmine” Part 1

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopelessmeaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of his own secular view. I salute him for doing that. That is why I have returned to his work over and over and presented my own Christian worldview as an alternative.

My interest in Woody Allen is so great that I have a “Woody Wednesday” on my blog www.thedailyhatch.org every week. Also I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in his film “Midnight in Paris.” (Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway,T.S.Elliot,  Cole Porter,Paul Gauguin,  Luis Bunuel, and Pablo Picasso were just a few of the characters.)

Today we are looking at a review of Woody Allen’s latest movie Blue Jasmine.

Blue Jasmine — Movie Review

Published on Jul 25, 2013

Blue Jasmine directed by Woody Allen and starring Cate Blanchett , Alex Baldwin, and Louis C.K. is reviewed by Ben Mankiewicz (host of Turner Classic Movies), Grae Drake (Senior Editor of Rotten Tomatoes), Alonso Duralde (TheWrap.com and Linoleum Knife podcast) and Christy Lemire (Movie critic).

___________________

_______________________________–

Review: Why Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine,’ Starring Cate Blanchett, Is His Most Significant Movie In Years

Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine.”

As most audiences know, Woody Allen tends to operate in alternating modes of comedy and drama, rarely allowing the two extremes to intersect. Now in his late seventies, Allen is still most frequently known as a funnyman, so that whenever he shifts modes it throws people off: The dark noir “Match Point” was considered a change of pace for the director even though he had explored similar turf in “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and first went bleak way back in 1978 with “Interiors.” In “Blue Jasmine,” however, Allen has achieved a fusion of two sensibilities that resembles one mode of storytelling but plays like a different one altogether.

Carried by Cate Blanchett in a deservedly hyped powerhouse turn, “Blue Jasmine” features the actress as the spoiled housewife of a wealthy Madoff-like schemer (Alec Baldwin) who commits suicide in prison. Left with nothing, she crashes with her estranged sister in San Francisco (Sally Hawkins) while rambling about potential ways of putting her life back together. Revealed in a series of opening shots chatting aimlessly about her woes to a shocked passenger on her flight to San Francisco, Jasmine sounds like yet another fast-talking avatar for Allen’s voice. Within minutes, she has unleashed rants about her adopted sister and both of their ex-husbands, her lack of trust for doctors and managed to quote Horace Greeley. Walking away from Jasmine, her fellow passenger laments, “she couldn’t stop babbling about her life.”

So it goes with Allen’s infinitely self-conscious creations, but “Blue Jasmine” takes that mold to a more frantic extreme. On the surface, it has all the hallmarks of an Allen comedy: the classic jazz underscoring virtually every scene, the speedy dialogue, and insular references to posh Manhattan lifestyles. However, Allen frames these ingredients with an ironic twist. Jasmine is the sort of character who once inhabited the makings of a cheery Allen comedy about the lifestyles of the rich and famous before her world crashed down. In her past as a trophy wife, which Allen slowly explores in a series of flashbacks running parallel to the contemporary events, Jasmine exists in a bubble of sunny bliss that forms a startling contrast to her current damaged state.

More than anything else, “Blue Jasmine” is driven by Blanchett, the movie’s true auteur.

Watching these two experiences unfold simultaneously leads to one of the more intriguing storytelling devices Allen has used in quite some time. As a colleague pointed out to me, the approach echoes Allen’s lesser “Melinda and Melinda,” where a group of playwrights contemplate the prospects of telling the same story as both comedy and drama. While in that case the gimmick was a distraction, in “Blue Jasmine” the dramatic sensibility criticizes expectations of buoyant wit. Naturally, Allen turns to jazz for a key ingredient that percolates throughout the narrative. Jasmine routinely goes back to the song “Blue Moon,” as it reminds her of her ill-fated courtship. “I used to know the words,” she sighs. “Now they’re a jumble.” One could apply the same description to this tantalizing recalibrating of previous Allen movies into a less predictable whole.

Still, Allen’s increasingly anachronistic dialogue and largely unadventurous style remain a troublesome distraction. More than anything else, “Blue Jasmine” is driven by Blanchett, the movie’s true auteur. “You hire her and get out of the way,” Allen said in a widely circulated interview, although he’s actually done the opposite: Constantly framing her in extreme close-ups, he places her skill under the microscope, and Blanchett ably meets the challenge. Tasked with a throwaway line involving the ordering of a Stoli martini with a hint of lime, she conveys shocking depths of sadness with the slightest twitch in her eye. Later, conveying a panic attack during the scene that recounts the end of her marriage, she delivers some of the most intense physicality onscreen this year.

The rest of the cast is underutilized but just as strong. Hawkins capably buries her British accent with credible New York sass and a coy grin masking her own insecurities. Bobby Carnavale, playing her on-again-off-again boyfriend, lands a terrific freakout scene of his own. Peter Sarsgaard, Louis CK and Michael Stuhlbarg all crop up as potential suitors for both women, doing as much as they can with the limited material to wrestle with its ambiguous genre ingredients.

But “Blue Jasmine” belongs to Blanchett, who appears in almost every scene and frees it from the limitations of Allen’s style, pushing it to far sharper results than any of the more traditional movies, good and bad, that he’s churned out in the past dozen or so years. It’s the rare occasion where the filmmaker’s hands-off approach to directing performances pays off. Generally speaking, Allen attracts stars because his movies give actors a chance to experience living inside his self-made universe of neuroses. With few exceptions, his movies feel like different versions of the same old song. In “Blue Jasmine,” however, the instruments play themselves.

Criticwire grade: B+

HOW WILL IT PLAY? Sony Pictures Classics releases “Blue Jasmine” next Friday. With Allen’s movie generally performing well in limited release, especially when they receive good reviews, the movie’s prospects are fairly strong. Buzz for Blanchett’s performance should elevate its profile during awards season.

 

Related posts:

I love the movie “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen and I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in the film. Take a look below:

“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent years, July 18, 2011 – 6:00 am

(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am

 (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am

(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am

(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am

(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am

(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am

(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am

(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am

(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am

“Woody Wednesday” A 2010 review of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Wednesday” In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

Woody Allen video interview in France talk about making movies in Paris vs NY and other subjects like God, etc

Woody Allen video interview in France Related posts: “Woody Wednesdays” Woody Allen on God and Death June 6, 2012 – 6:00 am Good website on Woody Allen How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter? If Jesus Christ came back today and […]

“Woody Wednesday” Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

Woody Allen interviews Billy Graham (Woody Wednesday)

A surprisingly civil discussion between evangelical Billy Graham and agnostic comedian Woody Allen. Skip to 2:00 in the video to hear Graham discuss premarital sex, to 4:30 to hear him respond to Allen’s question about the worst sin and to 7:55 for the comparison between accepting Christ and taking LSD. ___________________ The Christian Post > […]

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 If you like Woody Allen films as much as I do then join me every Wednesday for another look the man and his movies. Below are some of the posts from the past: “Woody Wednesday” How Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors makes the point that hell is necessary […]

“Woody Wednesday” Great Documentary on Woody Allen

I really enjoyed this documentary on Woody Allen from PBS. Woody Allen: A Documentary, Part 1 Published on Mar 26, 2012 by NewVideoDigital Beginning with Allen’s childhood and his first professional gigs as a teen – furnishing jokes for comics and publicists – WOODY ALLEN: A DOCUMENTARY chronicles the trajectory and longevity of Allen’s career: […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 6)

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In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

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“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

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Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 4)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _____________ One of my favorite films is this gem by Woody Allen “Crimes and Misdemeanors”: Film Review By […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 3)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca ______________ One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 2)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _________________- One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed it earlier but […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 1)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _____________ Today I am starting a discusssion of the movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” by Woody Allen. This 1989 […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

We got to cut corporate welfare out of the budget too!!!

We got to cut corporate welfare out of the budget too!!!

JULY 23, 2013 5:40PM

Feds and the States Tag-Teaming on Corporate Welfare

In a recent op-ed for the Indianapolis Star I discussed the symbiotic relationship between federal and state government when it comes to doling out corporate welfare subsidies. The focus was primarily on Indiana, but the issue is a national concern. 

A good example is the $2 billion Shepherd’s Flat wind farm in Oregon that was largely financed with federal and state taxpayer support. Ted Sickinger, a reporter for theOregonian, has done an excellent job of digging into details behind the project (see here thenhere then here) and it appears that Shepherd’s Flat was one big taxpayer handout. In fact, the Obama administration signed off on the federal government’s share of the subsidies even though it knew the project didn’t need any support from taxpayers: 

In 2010, Shepherd’s Flat attracted national notoriety for its subsidies. In a briefing memo for the President leaked to the media, Obama’s top advisors worried that the U.S. Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program was subsidizing projects that didn’t need it. 

Shepherd’s Flat was their case in point. 

Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, energy czar Carol Browner, and Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain said Shepherd’s Flat was “double-dipping” on $1.2 billion in federal and state subsidies – 65 percent of its projected cost. The incentives included a $500 million federal grant, $200 million in federal and state tax benefits from accelerated depreciation, $220 million in premium power prices attributed to state renewable energy mandates, and a $1 billion loan guarantee with a value of $300 million to the developers. 

They concluded that Caithness has “little skin in the game” – about 10 percent of the project’s cost – but stood to earn a 30 percent return on its investment. It also speculated that Shepherd’s Flat would likely go ahead without the federal loan guarantee because “the economics are favorable for wind investment given tax credits and state renewable energy standards.” 

Caithness Energy is the wind farm’s owner and operator. General Electric supplied the wind turbines (a $1.4 billion contract with Caithness) and part of the financing – financing backed by the federal loan guarantee. Both companies made sure they had Washington’s attention: 

Nationally, powerful interests were pushing in the same direction. A new president’s desire to build environmental credibility became an economic keystone to restore the collapsed economy. The Obama administration fast tracked loan guarantees to pump stimulus money into job-generating projects. Meanwhile, deep-pocketed companies with powerful lobbying arms were busy greasing the skids. 

The political action committee, employees and affiliates of General Electric – Shepherds Flat’s turbine supplier and an equity investor – gave more than a half million dollars to Obama’s 2008 campaign. The PACs for both GE and Caithness also have sprinkled sprinkled money among Oregon’s congressional delegation during the last five years, including Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden and Peter DeFazio. 

According to e-mails released by the House Oversight Committee investigating federal subsidies after the bankruptcy of solar startup Solyndra, the Obama administration pushed hard on incentives for Shepherds Flat. Months before officials at the U.S. Department of Energy approved a loan guarantee for the project, General Electric was being told it was a done deal. 

In April 2010, Kevin Walsh, managing director of GE’s renewables business, emailed the director of the U.S. DOE’s loan program: “We have been advised by the White House and other sources that we are likely to get the “green light” this week to move forward with the Shepherds Flat wind project…Les Gelber (a partner at Caithness Energy) and I will be in DC tomorrow and would like to stop by any time between noon and 2pm to briefly discuss.” 

The deal took more time to fully bake. Four months later, DOE Loan Program Office Credit Advisor Jim McCrea emailed a contractor: “Pressure is on real heavy on SF due to interest from VP.” 

Later that day, McCrea sent staff an all points bulletin to promptly provide answers on Shepherds Flat: “To do otherwise would leave us firmly on the political path and give agencies an opportunity to blame us when they are pressures (sic) to make decisions. As you all know, the pressures to make decisions on this transaction are high so speed is of the essence.” 

But the shenanigans don’t stop at the federal level. 

Even though the wind farm is clearly a single entity, it somehow managed to qualify for three separate $10 million state tax credits after the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) agreed with Caithness’s claim that Shepherd’s Flat was three separate entities. According to Sickinger, the ODOE’s decision was bogus: 

Yet limited and often non-responsive information about the review provided to The Oregonian suggests it was neither rigorous nor consistent with state rules governing tax credits. In its review, ODOE ignored clear evidence in its own files and additional records identified by The Oregonian that should have disqualified $20 million of the $30 million in tax credits. It failed to ask for contracts or other documentation to answer fundamental questions that state rules pose about ownership, financing, construction, operation and maintenance.

Instead, ODOE made assumptions, relied again on statements made by developers before the project was built, and reversed its own analysts’ earlier conclusions. Its review apparently tapped only one new source: a report by ODOE’s own staff for an entirely different purpose and largely irrelevant regarding tax credit eligibility. In the end, ODOE failed to apply its rules on separate and distinct facilities to Shepherd’s Flat. 

The result: “free” money for Caithness: 

The company, like many other tax credit recipients, received approval to sell the credit in exchange for cash. The pass-through option will net Caithness $20 million, but leave the state’s general fund out the full $30 million. 

There are more stories like the crony Shepherd’s Flat deal out there waiting to be uncovered. More state and local reporters should follow Sickinger’s example and start digging into these shady government-private collaborations that politicians and the financially-benefitting interests want the public to believe are so critical for “creating jobs.”

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I have put up lots of cartoons from Dan Mitchell’s blog before and they have got lots of hits before. Many of them have dealt with the economy, eternal unemployment benefits, socialism,  Greece,  welfare state or on gun control.

If you asked me that question 30 years ago, I would have said Jeff MacNelly without hesitation.

MacNelly Shutdown CartoonsNot that I was exposed to many options in the pre-Internet dark ages, so my choice may have been driven by lack of knowledge. Nonetheless, MacNelly was a genius with the details, as you can see from these cartoons about IRS complexity and government shutdowns.

But what about today’s cartoonists?

Based on the number of cartoons I’ve shared, the easy answer would be either Michael Ramirez or Chuck Asay, but there are cartoons from other artists that are absolutely superb.

So I’m going to turn this question around.

Here are my favorite cartoons from various artists and you can answer the poll about which one you would rank highest.

In no particular order, the options are:

Michael Ramirez – This gem about Obamanomics is the most-viewed professional cartoon in the history of this blog, and his European lemming cartoon is great, as is his masterpiece on taxes in the Garden of Eden. But if I had to pick only one, it would be his Julia cartoon.

Chuck Asay – Since I’m a budget wonk, I should choose his cartoon about the garbage-in, garbage-out approach of the Congressional Budget Office. But for mass appeal, this tractor cartoon and this regime-uncertainty cartoon are much better. And my favorite is this nothing-left-to-steal masterpiece.

Henry Payne – For sentimental reasons, I might pick this Robin Hood cartoon. But for political cleverness, his Obamacare-Romneycare cartoon is a classic, and his Valentine’s Fairness Act cartoon is satire that could become reality. But given what I focus on every day at Cato, you’ll understand why this cartoon about Greek fiscal policy is at the top of my list.

Lisa Benson – This cartoon about California tax hikes would be near the top of the list, except taxpayers were tricked into voting for the referendum. I very much like this fiscal cliff cartoon, this Keynesian economics cartoon, and this one about jump-starting the economy with tax hikes. But the top prize goes to this cartoon because it perfectly captures Obama’s fiscal policy.

cartoon-obama-icebergEric Allie – More than anyone else, he shows with this cartoon and this cartoon how even well-intentioned government goes awry. And the teetering-on-the-edge-of-the-cliff cartoon accurately shows Obama’s mindset on fiscal policy. If forced to choose, though, I’ll go with this forward-to-the-iceberg cartoon.

Robert Ariail – I think I’ve only used three of his cartoons, but the image he produced about Greece, the euro, fiscal policy, and the rest of Europe is a classic. The other two I’ve used (here and here) are funny, but not in the same league. But if you need some added humor to compensate, this map showing how the Greeks perceive the rest of Europe is very amusing, as is this video and this video about the Greek mindset.

Gary Varvel – Here’s a good Halloween cartoon, but Varvel is the best at exposing the spending-cut hoax in DC, as you can see from this sequester cartoon and this deficit reduction cartoon. This cartoon about Bernie Madoff and Social Security, however, is at the top of my list.

Scott Stantis – Here’s a cartoon strip about involuntary contributions to support the green-energy boondoggle. And we also have a cartoon showing Obama’s less-than-stellar appreciation of the Bill of Rights. But without doubt this cartoon about Keynesian stimulus is the best Stantis cartoon I’ve ever seen.

Jerry Holbert – I was tempted to use this cartoon about the rich involuntarily financing a continued spending spree. And the Obama-as-magician cartoon will make you laugh, as will Holbert’s sequester cartoon. My favorite, though, is the one showing big government as a ravenous, spoiled, and destructive brat.

Glenn FodenGoing to Greece in a handbasket doesn’t seem like an obvious topic for a cartoon, but Foden pulls it off. And you’ll understand why I appreciate a cartoon that makes fun of sequester hysteria. But for what it’s worth, I think his best cartoon is the one mocking Obama’s private-sector-doing-fine assertion.

Chip Bok – He’s got a couple of amusing cartoons about Obama’s class-warfare agenda that can be seen here and here. I’m also partial to his cartoon about the Fed helping to bail out the euro. But the one that makes me laugh the hardest is his cartoon about the “war against women.”

Glenn McCoy – He has a great pair of cartoons on condoms and gay marriage, and I also like his cartoon on sequester hysteria. McCoy’s cartoon on gullible voters being bribed with their own money normally would be a contender. I don’t think there’s any question, though, that his cartoon on media bias is the best of the bunch.

A.F. Branco – Since I’m sick and tired of Obama and the special interests complaining about the supposedly savage sequester, I obviously like Branco’s cartoon portraying the sequester as a roadblock that may save us from fiscal destruction. But I’m even more partial to his cartoon riffing on Obama for his you-didn’t-build-that comment.

Unknown – Last but not least, here’s one of my favorite cartoons, though it’s really a parody of the Wizard of Id. And I don’t have any idea about who produced it. But how often do you find first-rate analysis of labor-supply incentives in a cartoon?

That was more work than I thought it would be, but I enjoyed getting a second look at many of these cartoons.

Now it’s time for your input. Which cartoon/author would you rank first?

Best Political Cartoonist
Lisa Benson (Santa spender cartoon)
Gary Varvel (Social-Security cartoon)
Michael Ramirez (Julia cartoon)
Jerry Holbert (brat cartoon)
Eric Allie (iceberg cartoon)
Scott Stantis (stimulus cartoon)
A.F. Branco (didn’t-build-that cartoon)
Glenn Foden (doing-fine cartoon)
Glenn McCoy (media-bias cartoon)
Robert Ariail (Greece-euro cartoon)
Henry Payne (copy-Greece cartoon)
Chip Bok (war-on-women cartoon)
Unknown (Wizard-of-Id cartoon)
Chuck Asay (dead-pig cartoon)

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P.S. Though I lack any artistic talent, I’ve played a role in creating some cartoons. Here’s my photo-shopped cartoon that uses Lucy and Charlie Brown to show why it is utterly naive to think that tax increases will lead to deficit reduction. I even have an award for gullible GOPers who don’t grasp this simple lesson.

Welfare State Wagon CartoonsWe also have the famous set of cartoons showing how the welfare state begins and how it ends. These images were drawn by a Cato intern, but I selfishly take credit for developing the concept and guiding her work. Especially since these cartoons are the most-viewed post in the history of this blog.

I didn’t include either of these in the voting, though, since I’m sure they would have received all the votes. Right? Surely you agree? Hello…anybody there? Can you hear me?

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John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 1)

I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry King’s Show. One of two most popular posts I have ever done are posts from John MacArthur. One is on what the Bible has to say about alcohol and then what the Bible says concerning the prophecy of the city of Tyre.

Biblical Inspiration Validated By Science, Part 1 (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur

We continue in our look at the Word of God tonight and the subject of the doctrine of inspiration. In 2 Timothy chapter 3 we read, “That all Scripture is inspired by God.” All Scripture is God-breathed. All Scripture proceeds from God. He is the author of Scripture. And therefore, when we study the Word of God, it reflects the divine mind. And since the mind of God is all knowing, everything in the Bible is true. It is a true representation not only of what God said but what God determined is true. Whatever the Bible says on whatever subject it speaks, it is true. Whether it is talking about past history, present reality or future prophecy, it is absolutely accurate and inerrant and without flaw. Whether the Bible is talking about temporal history or heavenly reality, it is true. Whether it is talking about events on the earth or events in heaven, it is true. Whether it is talking about the spiritual realm or the physical realm, it is true. Everything in the Scripture is true because all Scripture is God-breathed. It does not come to us from any human origin, but rather holy men are moved by the Spirit of God to write down that which God has said.

So when we study the Bible, we expect it what it affirms and what it declares and what it says is consistent with reality and with truth. It is God who wrote the Scripture and it is God who created reality, therefore you have the same author of what is and what is said about what is. And there is therefore a perfect consistency in both.
When you think about that with regard to the natural world in which we live, it sort of breaks down to a very simple way to understand it and it would go like this. “Whoever designed and created and sustains the universe also understands it. Whoever made the earth understands the earth. Whoever created the animal life, the plant life and the human life on this earth understands it perfectly as its designer and its creator and its sustainer. He knows the earth and He knows it well because He made it. Whoever made this earth understands that is spherical and not flat. He understands that it rotates on an axis, not that it is stationary with heaven rotating around it. Whoever it was that created this earth knows that it is suspended in space on nothing. Whoever created this earth knows that it sweeps through the universe, being dragged along in a solar system around the sun as the sun moves in an orbit from one end of infinite space to the other. Whoever created this universe knows that there are innumerable stars. Whoever created this world knows that the cycles of air and the cycles of water move in systems that are consistent. Whoever created this world understand the facts of chemistry and understands the facts of biology. And so whoever wrote a book in which any of this is discussed would get it right. So if we find a book that gets it right, we know who wrote it.

If God the Creator writes a book about His creation, we expect it to be a true reflection of the reality of that creation as much as is observable to us, consistent with scientific reality. And to take that argument a little further, whoever is intelligent enough to create the entire universe with all of its complexity is certainly intelligent enough to write a book in which He declares the reality consistently with actual fact. We would expect one who is intelligent enough to create the universe to be up to the task of writing an accurate book that is rational and logically consistent and true to fact.

And we might add another element to our argument. It would be of great assistance to the Creator in convincing us that He actually wrote this book since there are so many other books that have been written that claim to be divine, it would be very helpful to the Creator if He wrote this book wanting us to know that He actually wrote it if He said some things in that book which we can verify as true and yet which no one knew at the time He wrote. It would be, in fact, a monumental thing for God to write in His book things that we know now to be true which no one else at the time of writing knew or could know. That would give us evidence of transcendent divine authorship by the Creator. Whoever created reality knows reality. Whoever can create reality and knows reality can reveal Himself to us accurately about that reality.

So, whey then does Science and Healthand Key to the Scriptures, the authoritative divine book of the Christian Science movement, say “Man is not matter, he is not made up of brain, blood, bones and other material elements and man is incapable of sin, sickness and death?” Well so much for that religion. Whoever made man didn’t write that. Whoever created man and made him brain, blood, bones and material elements didn’t write that book. And whoever wrote that man is incapable of sin, sickness and death did not know the truth, for we are all subject to sin, sickness and death. Why does the Book of Mormonin 2 Nephi chapter 2 say, “Adam fell that men might be and they are that they might have joy?” Why does the Book of Mormonsay that if men had not fallen, they would not be what they are and therefore they would not have joy? Whoever wrote that the result of the Fall was human joy doesn’t know the facts…doesn’t know the facts. By the way, the Book of Mormonalso says in Alma chapter 7 verse 10 that Jesus was born in Jerusalem. Whoever wrote that book doesn’t know the facts.
Why does the Koran describe the earth, the Moslem Koran, describe the earth as flat with the sky suspended over it being held up by Allah so that it doesn’t fall on top of the flat earth? Whoever wrote that didn’t know reality. Why does the Hindu Upanishad say that the sun is the source of all energy in the universe? That’s not true. So far none of these books pass simple tests.

And then there is Taoism, that very vast oriental religion, why does the Taoist holy book say, “There are only thirteen members through which death can come.” We now know that there are far more than that in the human anatomy through which death can come. That is an inaccurate statement, and there are many others. Why does the sacred Buddhist book say that earthquakes are caused by the wind moving the water and the water moving the land? That’s not true either.

All these and many more supposedly holy books written by gods, all these and more are historically inaccurate, scientifically wrong, morally inferior and spiritually muddled. The Bible never is. It doesn’t matter what subject it speaks on, it gets it right. It is accurate because it is written by God. It is a reflection of His Word that men wrote down under the power of the Holy Spirit so that what was written was a true record of God’s Word.

The veracity of the Bible and accuracy of the Bible can be sustained and has been sustained wonderfully under THE most long-lasting and intense examination. And although it is not a text book on science, it is not a text book on technical things, whenever it intersects with science and whenever it intersects with scientific reality, it is completely true and accurate. True science has no argument with Scripture. I’ll say that again. True science has no argument with Scripture. The word science simply means knowledge. That’s why we say when we say God is omniscient, we put the word science with omni, all knowing. True knowledge, true science has no argument with Scripture because the Creator is the author of Scripture and He is the one who determined the way things are and He knows the way things are because He made them the way they are. Never has science, never has science disproven one jot or tittle in the Bible, and, believe me, they have tried those unbelieving scientists. They’re still working at it. The Word of God stands the test of all the poundings that it has taken from so-called science and pseudo-science.

The fact of the matter is that the Bible will not only stand up under the assaults of so-called science, and it will stand fast when compared with true science, but it is also true the Bible, the Word of God, is far ahead of science. It is far ahead of scientific discovery in revealing the reality of the observable matters in this material universe. That is to say the Bible says things that are true long before man ever discovers them to be so. There’s absolutely no contradiction between true science and the Bible, only between pseudo-science and the Bible.

So no matter where we go in the Bible, we’re going to find the Bible scientifically accurate. And, of course, the first thing people are going to say, “Well what about creation? Don’t we know that evolution has been proven?” Answer…of course not. Evolution is a theory, it is not fact. There is no present or never…and there never has been an observable, repeatable scientifically honest illustration of macro-evolution. There’s never been one to observe, it is pure theory and nothing else.
When you read the Genesis account in Genesis 1 through 3, it is absolutely consistent with all true science. There are no conflicts and we’re not surprised by that because God is the author. Biblical inerrancy extends to every word of Scripture and it starts with the first word “in” the beginning. Scripture, not science, is the ultimate test of all truth. In fact, the Bible warns us, 1 Timothy 6:20, against science falsely so called, or false knowledge that opposes the truth of Scripture. And though the biblical account, particularly thinking of the creation account in Genesis 1 through 3, strongly conflicts with nat…natural…naturalistic evolutionary theory, it never conflicts with true scientific fact. All geological, astronomical biological physiological true scientific data fits the Bible. Genesis 1 to 3 tells us exactly the truth about creation. Modern science, going back to Darwin, has developed a very unscientific theory called evolution. It is very unscientific, it is totally irrational because the basic premise of evolution is nobody times nothing equals everything…that’s intellectual idiocy…nobody times nothing equals everything? The Creator in an evolutionary system is chance, but chance is not a force and chance is not a power, it is only a probability. And so they have turned chance into a creator and the theory of evolution, natural selection and natural origination out of nothing, is based on a series of accidents, coincidences, random events and blind luck that has no cause whatsoever. All this comes out of nothing, producing the intricate eco-systems and complex organisms and macrocosm of the universe, out of absolutely nothing by sheer random coincidence. This is total absurdity by any normal scientific evaluation.

There’s a new veil out for the bizarre irrationality of evolution now that’s come along called ID, have you been reading about it…Intelligent Design? This is the new scientific approach to this theory of evolution that says, “Wait a minute, there’s just too much intelligence here, it’s just way too complex to come out of non-intelligence. There has to be some intelligence behind this. It’s just too complicated.” And so they came up with this ID, Intelligent Design. And there are many scientists who are admitting that there is intelligence behind this, there must therefore be some intelligence somewhere in the universe, but they stopped short of saying that that intelligence is the God of the Bible. In fact, they stopped far short of the God of the Bible.
The fact of the matter is, they’re all right with some other god. They’re all right with some cosmic force. Even Einstein said, “Of course there’s a cosmic force out there, but we could never know it.” Even he realized you can’t have all these effects without a cause, you can’t have all this complexity without intelligence. They’re happy to have any god and every god except the true and living one. Marvin Lubinow(??) has written an interesting book called Bones of Contention. And in that book he tells us why, I think, listen to this paragraph. “The real issue in the creation/evolution debate is not the existence of God. The real issue is the nature of God. To think of evolution as basically atheistic is to misunderstand the uniqueness of evolution. Evolution was not designed as a general attack against theism, or against the idea of God, it was designed as a specific attack against the God of the Bible and the God of the Bible is clearly revealed through the doctrine of creation. Obviously…he writes…if a person is an atheist, it would be normal for him to also be an evolutionist. But evolution is as comfortable with theism as it is with atheism. An evolutionist is perfectly free to choose any God he wishes as long as it is not the God of the Bible. The gods allowed by evolution are private, subjective and artificial. They bother no one. They make no absolute ethical demands. However, the God of the Bible is creator, sustainer, Savior and judge. All are responsible to Him. He has an agenda that conflicts with that of sinful humans. For man to be created in the image of God is very awesome. For God to be created in the image of man is very comfortable,” end quote. So they’re comfortable with intelligent design as long as we don’t say it’s the God of the Bible who is not only a creator, but who is a judge, a law giver and a Redeemer.

This is really what is behind the scientific resentment of Scripture. It’s not that the Bible is scientifically inaccurate. It’s not that the creation account is not a right and verifiable and sensible and reasonable and logical explanation of the way things are. It is that if you accept the Creator God of the Bible, then you have the Law-Giver of the Bible and the judge of the Bible. And in order to get rid of Him, you get rid of creation.

Now in the first place, science cannot know anything about creation anyway because it’s not repeatable and it wasn’t observable. Nobody was there. Not until the sixth day did God even create man and woman, and by then He had created everything else. There were no eyewitnesses to creation, with the exception of the angels who were there singing together, as the Scripture tells us, when God was creating, and God Himself. Therefore any view of creation, any view of the origin of the world as we know it is a matter of religion. It’s a matter of faith. It’s a matter of deciding what you want to believe. Science can observe the present. It can observe phenomena in a microscope or a test tube or some kind of telescope. But it can only speculate about prehistoric reality and about origin. There’s only one who knows how it all came to exist, and that’s the one who brought it into existence, and that’s God the Creator.

So what we have in the Bible in Genesis 1 through 3 is the Creator’s account of His creation. And why would He give us a faulty account? If He wanted to reveal Himself, He would tell us the truth about His creation so that when we studied the creation carefully we find that it matches perfectly with the creation account when we measure true science against that account and therefore it verifies to us that this in fact is a book written by the creator. And if we can trust Him for His record of creation, we can trust Him for everything else as well.

Turn to 2 Peter chapter 3 for a moment, because if we’re going to talk about science and the Bible, we’re going to find a good starting point here. And we discussed this a week ago in our Sunday-morning series on the Second Coming, so it will be a little bit familiar to those of you who are here. But in 2 Peter chapter 3 and verse 3, we are told that in the last days, in these days in which we live, the day since the Lord has come and particularly in the days since evolutionary theory was developed over a hundred years ago, “In the last days, mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lust and saying, ‘Where’s the promise of His coming?'” They mocked the idea of a cataclysmic event called the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. They mocked the idea that the Lord is going to come and bring destruction, massive destruction upon the earth and upon the ungodly. And their mockery is basically framed around a theory called uniformity, or uniformitarianism. That is, verse 4, they say, “For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” They say there’s never going to be a cataclysmic event in the future such as described in the Bible as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, no such cataclysmic event can happen because none ever has. That’s their theory. All things have always continued at the same pace. This is a scientific view that observes current processes, current scientific reality, scientific data. And it extrapolates observing present processes, extrapolates them indefinitely into the past and indefinitely into the future so that as things are changing at the current pace, they must have always changed in the past at that same pace and they will all change in the future at that very same pace.

And so, it’s always been that way. You extrapolate the processes back and you go back millions and you go back billions of years. You’ve extrapolated into the future and you go forward millions and billions of years. There are no great cataclysmic events in the future because there haven’t any…been any such things in the past. It’s always been the same through all history since the fathers way back died, everything continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.

Now if a scientist wants to hold that view, he can. He can determine the age of rocks, the age of the sun, and the age of the human race by projecting present rates of change into the limitless past and into the limitless future. He can develop theories about the evolution of life, assuming that everything continues at the same speed, extrapolating it all the way back billions and billions of years. He can do the same thing with galaxies in space. He can do the same thing with chemical elements in the universe if he wishes. But he cannot know that it is true. He cannot know that it is accurate. He cannot know that it is right because he can’t reproduce those years in the past, he can’t reproduce those realities and those forces. The original events and sequences are not observable so he doesn’t know if it’s always going at the same rate in the past, nor can he know that will always go at the same rate in the future. That he cannot reproduce. Therefore, the viewpoint is not subject to scientific affirmation and verification, it is purely a theory, it is an idea one holds by faith. That is the idea of uniformity. And that’s exactly what this text is saying. Their view in the world is that there’s not going to be a future cataclysm because that’s not how the universe works, it just keeps going along in the same way. The argument then of the heretics goes something like this, the universe is a closed naturalistic system of cause and effect. It moves along in this naturalistic system of cause and effect, closed to any divine intervention at the beginning, in the middle or at the end. There are no catastrophes. They call it uniformity, or uniformitarianism and it denies divine intervention in history.

This became very formalized in the nineteenth century under the influence of a British lawyer and geologist named Charles Lyle. Charles Lyle wrote a book called The Principles of Geology, this was a book that really influenced Darwin. In fact, when Darwin went to the Galapagos Islands, took a copy of Lyle’s book and was studying this idea of uniformitarianism.
The reality, however, is…the reality is, in modern times it is apparent that there is far too much evidence for catastrophism to really, honestly hold to a theory of uniformitarianism. There is just too much evidence for catastrophism, too much evidence such as finding mastodons on the north edge of Siberia buried in the ice pack with their stomachs full of tropical vegetation. How does that happen? Unless there is a catastrophe on the earth that freezes them instantly with their stomach contents in place as a result of some massive innundation and change in the earth so that what now is Arctic Circle ice is a dramatic change from what once was tropical vegetation. That argues for massive catastrophe. And, in fact, the catastrophe, the Bible explains, as the universal Flood which then issues in the changing of the continents of the earth, the repositioning of mountain ranges, the redevelopment of seas leading to massive ice floes moving across the world and changing its face. How do you explain if you go down the road here on Highway 14 and go toward Lancaster and wander in the mountains, you’re finding seashells all over everywhere? How do you get the ocean in a aqua dulce? That’s just a…I have a shell on my desk from Aqua Dulce, an ocean shell that carried an ocean creature. There’s just too much overwhelming evidence for catastrophism to hold on to this.

And so, honest uniformitarians are saying, “Well, there…there have been a few small catastrophes, like the Ice Age.” They love the Ice Age. It doesn’t explain everything by any means. It’s better to view the reality as God created everything the way it is, creation was the first massive catastrophe…that is to say He created a fully mature creation, both in the universe and on the earth, all that exists, He created it all in six twenty-four-hour days by a series of miraculous catastrophic divine evasions. And it’s not billions of years ago, it’s only thousands of years ago that the whole creation is probably somewhere around ten thousand years old.

True science will support that. There are reams of books available for that particular study. The evidence is on the side of biblical creation. That is why…let’s go back, verse 5…”When they maintained this…” I’m not real thrilled with the New American Standard translation of the next phrase, “When they maintained this…” it really says, “They are willfully ignorant…they are purposely ignorant,” thelontos(?), the verb thelo, to will in its participial form. They are willfully ignorant. That is they purposely reject what is true. You can’t have everything from nothing. You can’t have a complex universe that is fully intelligent and personality among humans from non-intelligent non-personality. You can’t have everything from nothing. But they are willfully ignorant of that. They are purposely ignorant of that. They choose to reject that. They refuse to believe that because if they believe that, then they’re stuck with the God of the Bible. So they refuse to believe what is obvious intellectually, what is observable scientifically because they love their sin and they do not want to have to give an account for their sin to a creator who is also a law-giver and a judge. So self-induced blindness leads them to reject the truth that they should understand.

What is so strange to me is Christians that come along and join the evolutionary bandwagon and deny creation. Very popular stuff…theistic evolution, progressive creationism as they’ve called it for years at Wheaton College. The idea that evolution is true, or the writings of Hugh Ross who has written much on this subject and with whom I interact, by the way, in my book The Battle for the Beginning.Why do Christians need to reject Genesis 1, 2 and 3? And I asked the question…okay, you say you’re a Christian and you believe the Bible, what chapter do you come in? When do you start believing? Do you believe in chapter 4? Do you think you can buy in to the Cain and Abel story? How about chapter 5? Can you take that genealogy? How about chapter 6? Can you buy in to the Flood? At what point do you start believing?

And if God didn’t tell us the truth in Genesis 1, 2 and 3, then why would we believe Him anywhere else? And if He didn’t get that part right, then what part did He get right? And what other parts did He get wrong? And we are left with great chaos.
Hugh Ross and others like him wanted to protect God from being wrong, come up with the idea that Genesis 1 through 3 is poetry, not history. It is poetry not history. It is…it is God talking in poetic language, taking poetic license. That, of course, is contrived since there is nothing in the Hebrew text to indicate that this is poetry. And Hebrew poetry is easily recognizable. One of our noble professors at the Master’s College, Dr. Stephen Boyd who is a doctor at…has a doctorate in Old Testament and who is a Hebrew scholar, recently did a very fascinating study which has established an unanswerable argument. And what he did was, he quantified Hebrew poetry so that it could be graphed and put into a computer. He quantified Hebrew historical narrative so then it could be graphed and put into a computer and statistically could then demonstrate whether this Genesis 1 to 3 narrative had the properties of poetry or history. The result of his study is published in a book called Thousands Not Billions, a wonderful book. There’s a whole chapter in there, this study is available…it rocks, believe me…(laughter)…it rocks. It is a…it is a formidable argument and the end result is that it is something like 99.9 percent of what is in Genesis 1 through 3 can only be historical narrative, it has zilch properties of Hebrew poetry when measured in an honest way. That is an illegitimate approach. What you have is historical narrative. And so, I go back to the fact that you can trust Genesis 1 to 3 because every word of God is true and because God knows what is and because the only one who is there at the creation is God, and God can be trusted to tell us what is true. It is so foolish to deny what is true. And there’s no reason to deny it because, as I said, true science compared with the Genesis account matches up perfectly.

And, in fact, we get help in 2 Peter 3. You study creation and then you study the great second cataclysm, the Flood. Verse 5, “When they maintained this, when they willfully are ignorant of this, they forget conveniently that by the Word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water.” They forget the great catastrophic, cataclysmic events that made up the original creation. First God created the earth, and then He created water over the surface of the earth and then He in cataclysmic fashion reshaped the earth and went on to create everything else and populate the earth, creates light first, then attaches that light to heavenly bodies as well. They forget the cataclysm of creation. And verse 6, they forget the cataclysm by which the world in ancient times was destroyed, being flooded with water. And they forget that the Bible promises the present heavens, verse 7, and earth are going to be reserved for a future fire on a day of judgment and destruction of godly men. Uniformity doesn’t work. That is not how it came into a being, that is not how it goes out of being. It comes in in the cataclysm of creation, is reshaped in the second cataclysm of the Flood, Genesis 6, 7 and 8, and it will be destroyed in the cataclysm of fire in the future. And there is nothing scientific that can disprove that. Peter says, “In fact…giving us further detail about the future destruction in verse 10…that the heaven will pass away with a roar, the elements will be destroyed with intense heat and the earth and its work will be burned up.” That is a very simple description of the destruction of the atomic structure of the universe. And verse 12 adds to it, “The heavens then destroyed by burning the elements melt with intense heat.” That is very reasonable as to its description of an atomic implosion of the created material universe.
The Bible then when examined scientifically holds up as to creation account, Flood account, and future destruction. But as one evolutionist says, “I reject the idea of a transcendent God, so what other alternative but evolution do I have?” Well you could come up with a god of your own making that you like better than the God of the Bible. And that’s what the ID men are doing, those scientists who want to come to the recognition of intelligent design but stop short of the God of the Bible. The problem goes back to Romans 1:28, “They did not like to retain God in their knowledge. They did not want to hold on to the God of Scripture.”

Now having said that, let me talk a little bit…I want to talk about a few things in terms of science. We’ll do it tonight and we’ll do it then next Sunday night. Let’s talk, first of all, about the basic principles of science since we’re dealing with foundational things. Science deals with a matrix when we’re talking about natural science. We’re talking about the way things are in a material universe, there is a matrix of things. You have to have matter, you have to have force, you have to have energy, you have to have space and you have to have time. That is…that is Herbert Spencer’s great achievement, he died in 1903, he said, “Everything in the universe can be deposited in one of these categories…time, force, action, space and matter.” Force and action comprising energy. There has to be time, there has to be energy which is force and action, there has to be space, and there has to be matter. And by the way, those five things which he defined in that order are all in Genesis 1, “In the beginning…that’s time…God…that’s force…created…that’s action…the heavens…that’s space…and the earth…that’s matter.” The matrix is in Genesis 1:1, that is a profound scientific statement. The universe in essence is a…is a matrix of space, time, matter, and energy. And all of it has to be existing at the same conflux. It all has to come together or none of it exists. One cannot exist without the other. The entire continuum must have existed simultaneously from the beginning. That is why you find it all in Genesis 1:1, it all had to be there. Science says it has to be there and Scripture says it is there.

Now once the matrix comes into instantaneous simultaneous existence, its processes then are designed to operate in an orderly fashion, going forward. All the different phenomena within the matrix of nature and life are sustained by the forces that exist in that matrix. Time goes on, space goes on, energy goes on, matter goes on. It is all instantaneously and simultaneously coming into existence, it is then not only brought into existence by some external force and source, but it is then kept in prefect balance and function by that same power. It is sustained by the same force that brought it into existence. But everything that God made was made in six days. And it says in Genesis 2:2, “God ended His work which He had made.” God stopped making anything. If you know science, you understand that that is scientifically accurate, nothing is being created, nothing is coming into existence, nothing has since creation, day six, and God’s cessation of His work. The complete cessation of creative activity has been, by the way, in advertently recognized by modern science and they call it the law, the first law of thermodynamics and the first law of thermodynamics is called the conservation of mass and energy…the conservation of mass and energy. This is THE most and universal and certain of all scientific principles. Science has shown and verified that there is nothing being created in the known universe today. Things are doing what they do but not coming into existence newly. There is nothing new in the universe. In fact, the Bible tells us this in the most unaffected, the most simple, the most direct ways without ever defending itself as if its made some statement contrary to fact.
For example, in the words that come to us in the ninth chapter of Nehemiah, “In praise to God, in blessing to God,” we read in Nehemiah 9:6, “Thou alone art the Lord, Thou hast made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their hosts, the earth and all that is in them, the seas and all that is in them. Thou dost give life to all of them.” You made it all, everything that exists in the heaven and the earth and the seas, everything that lives, you made it all. That is an affirmation of God’s completed and ended creation. Everything that is You made, and You made it all in those six days of creation.

I think it’s in Isaiah, there are a lot of Scriptures that we could look up but there is another one, I think it’s in Isaiah…yes, chapter 40 verse 26, “Lift up your eyes and see who has created these stars, the one who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name, not one of them is missing.” Nothing comes into existence and nothing goes out of existence. This is the law, the first law of thermodynamics, the law of the conservation of mass and energy. Nothing is being created, nothing is going out of existence. And this is exactly what the Bible says in the most unaffected way and without any scientific pretension. For example, Ecclesiastes 1:9, “That which has been is that which will be and that which has been done is that which will be done and there is nothing new under the sun.” In the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, verse 14, “I know that everything God does will remain forever.” There is nothing to add to it, there is nothing to take from it. It is God so…it is God who has so worked it, that which is has been already, that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by. This is the continuum of the creative reality, spontaneous generation, new creation doesn’t happen. What perpetuates the creation is the conservation of mass and energy. And every organism that is a living organism has the seed of life within itself to reproduce itself.

Now there’s a second law of thermodynamics and science has labeled this law, and the second law of thermodynamics is this…nothing new is being created, nothing is being destroyed, that is in the sense the first law. The second law is, however, all things are tending toward increasing disorder. This is the second law of thermodynamics. Energy is running down. It is losing its capacity to perform its work. There is increasing disorder. That means that slowly but observably the processes that God set in motion are winding down. We’re heading toward the death of this creation. Now they don’t have an explanation for that and it’s a very hard thing to come up with an evolutionary view that everything is getting more complex, more intelligent and better while at the same time they can show scientifically that energy is dissipating and everything is tending toward chaos and disorder. All energy is running down and heading toward being incapable of performing its function.
Now God didn’t make the world that way. God did not make the world that way. In fact, when God finished His creation, Genesis 1:31, He looked at it all and said, “It’s…what?…it’s very good.” How do we explain what’s happened? The Bible is the only place you can go for an explanation. Science has no explanation for the second law of thermodynamics. It has no explanation for the first law. Why is it that everything came into existence in a matrix at one time and continues in that same matrix? Why is it that if this is all a matter of chance, coincidence and randomness that that’s not happening again and again and again and again? Why is it that it has come into existence in such a matrix of complexity and sustained itself in that matrix of complexity? That, in fact, is what drove Einstein crazy, if you would call him crazy, because he couldn’t figure out the power was that held everything together. And how then do you explain this slow death? What is the reason for that? Only the Bible explains the matrix, the power of God is the invisible power that holds it all together and sustains it. And only the Bible explains why it’s all tending toward disorder and death and the explanation comes in Genesis 3, it is the Fall and God curses creation. God curses creation. You read Genesis 3, man is cursed, woman is cursed. Sin enters into the world, the land is cursed, the ground is cursed. You have to till and work by the sweat of your brow to get something out of the land and fight all the cursed elements, the thorns, the weeds. And man has to fight against the weakness of his own body and his weariness and illness and disease because death enters the world and women have pain in childbearing. The ground is cursed. The whole creation is cursed. Read Romans 8:20 to 22. In Romans 8:20 to 22 the whole creation groans under the weight of the curse.

Science has no explanation for the first law of thermodynamics which they are glad to label but cannot explain how the complex matrix can come into existence in a moment, which all of which is required for anything to exist out of nothing. They cannot explain that nor can they explain how it holds itself together because there’s no way to find the power that holds it together scientifically, nor can they explain the principle of disintegration and disorder in the second law of thermodynamics. The Bible explains both perfectly.

The Bible also explains that the second law of thermodynamics without calling it that is working its way down to an end, and the end must come and it will come, only it won’t die a slow death, it will die an immediate death, as I just read you, when the Lord Jesus destroys this cursed universe and establishes a new heaven and a new earth. And in the new heaven and the new earth, there will be a different matrix. There will be a different matrix. There will be no time, there will be no space, there will be the energy of eternal life. It will be a completely different matrix and there will be no second law of thermodynamics. There will be no death, no sickness, no sorrow, no dying, no decay, no unrighteousness, no trouble, to pain, no destruction, and so forth and so forth.

So, you see, when you talk about science at the very basic level, it is only the Bible that gives you any sensible understanding for the way things really are. And we would expect that the one who made things the way they are, knows the way they are, and tells us the truth about the way they are. I stand so firmly before you as somebody who is not a scientist, by any stretch of the imagination, to say to you that I have read as extensively as I can read in science, particularly in those many, many months when I was going through Genesis chapters 1, 2 and 3, trying to understand science, true science, comparison to Scripture, and I have yet to find and I am supported by Christian scientists all over the country and all over the world who study far more in depth and more diligently than I who back up the fact that there has never ben any…any scientific discovery that is in true fact the way it really is that contradicts the biblical record…never…never.

Now, I want to go from the basic principles of science to talk to you about hydrology. That’s sounds like fun, the science of water, astronomy, that is marvelous and thrilling, geology. I want to talk to you about meteorology, I want to be sort of a biblical weatherman and a little bit about physiology and what the Bible says about all those ologies. But that won’t be tonight. We’ll save that for next time. Okay? Let’s pray together.

We are in awe, O God, of Your Word. And we’re so grateful for its purity, its clarity, its integrity, its inerrancy, its inspiration. Truly it has stood the test of close intense hostile angry aggressive scrutiny and its weathered all the storms. We thank You for the great strength of scientists who uphold Your truth. How encouraged we are. So many of them even since the seventeenth century when the truth began to really come out about the way the world really is, how many were Christians, how many had their biblical confidence strengthened and upheld in the discoveries of science that have come to the modern world. We thank You for all of those who work in the field of science today and work so diligently and uphold the Word of God because it can stand every attack. This is Your Word, it’s true whatever it says. We rejoice in that. And our confidence in its spiritual testimony is strengthened when we know it’s testimony about that which we can see and know is absolutely true. Thank You for giving us a true Word. You are the true and living God. Christ is the truth and we trust perfectly and completely in You. We thank You in the name of the Savior. Amen.

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