Finally Not Sick In San Francisco

http://www.danielsmoreno.com/blog/finally-not-sick-in-san-francisco

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Two Journal Entries from January 1, 2001

Exactly 15 years ago today, an 8-year-old me wrote this.

First entry:

1/1/01

Im am still awake five minutes after midnight1 just to write this. It the years 2001 and I am reading2 the fourth book of Harry Potter which is called Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I am on chapter 25 (Veritaserum) I am 3 chapters away from finishing the book. Can you guess how much chapters there are. Don’t forget to ask Jesus into your heart because having Jesus in your heart is the greatest gift of all3.

See ya later

Second entry:

1/1/01

Sorry I got ya in one day4. I forgot to tell you about two other toys wegot. For all of us we got a Furby5 its like a toy that is a robot its really cute and you can feed it by pushing down on its toughng6. We also got a vegietales Larry Boy Mobile Larry Boy can fly out of it and the wheeles pop out and then wings pop out. I finished the Harry Potter book. Dont forget to pray to God every day7.

see ya

1This year, I slept 60 minutes before midnight since I volunteered to work the next day. Adult life.
2At 8-years-old, “reading” meant looking at the words in order and not taking in any information. I still “read” sometimes.
3Such wisdom. Not sure why I was writing this to my journal though.
4What? What does that mean? Got who? Got what? This doesn’t make any sense!
5Haters gonna hate, but our Furby was awesome.
6“Tongue” is a very hard word to spell.
7Thanks for the reminder, little guy. I will try to remember.

Why Most Christian Movies Suck

So the trailer to Exodus: Gods and Kings was just released, and the evangelical Christian community will probably freak out like it did for Noah.

What really annoys me about the Christian community is their views toward biblical hollywood films. People freaked out about Noah but all gathered around God’s Not Dead. I’ll admit that I haven’t seen either, but from what I have heard, Noah was okay, and God’s Not Dead was terrible both story wise and Christian wise. Apparently GND makes everybody who is not Christian seem really amoral and in the end apparently some of them either die or get sick or something bad happens to them?? That’s just foolishness, yet the evangelical community rallied behind it because it’s a “Christian” movie. The same goes with Heaven is for Real. I heard it was not good, and also somebody going to heaven and coming back is just unbiblical, but Christians ate it up and use that book to defend the Christian faith. Guys, we’re allowed to not like Christian media. It’s not scripture, and if it’s mediocre the Christian community should be the first to criticize it and criticize it the most.

The reason God’s Not Dead and Heaven is For Real are considered Christian movies while Exodus and Noah are not is because the former have an agenda and are made by Christian filmmakers. The story will suffer if the movie has an agenda, whether religious or secular. This is the reason I do not have a problem with the movie This Is the End. Yeah, it had bad theology, but the movie obviously is not meant to be taken seriously, and It did not set out to make fun of religion unlike it’s horrible counterpart Rapture-palooza. It just wanted to tell a story.

Anyway, I’ll only have a problem with this new Exodus movie if it tells a bad story. Obviously it’s not going to be 100% accurate to what the bible says because there isn’t always enough to make a two hour movie (ex. the bible says nothing about Moses and Rhamses’ relationship before Moses goes to Midian), but I believe that as long as they set out to tell a story for the sake of telling a good story and don’t drastically alter the characters or message, which they usually don’t, it’s okay. The bible tells compelling stories, compelling enough that nonbelievers are willing to spend millions of dollars to tell them, so I say let them. I will say, however, that there is one thing that already really bothers me about Exodus. These are the whitest Egyptians I have ever seen.

P.S. There hasn’t been a good biblical movie since The Prince of Egypt. That movie is awesome, but I will say this: the book is always better than the movie.

How to Successfully Watch Film and Television

Science has proven that watching Film or TV requires hardly any brain activity. However, watching it successfully is a completely different matter. This is because taking on such a feat does extend past the living room or wherever you choose to watch. Even though people usually watch movies or TV by themselves, everybody has a part to play in order to maximize one’s viewing experience. As a society, we have not yet learned the rules that will allow us to communally enjoy ye old tube.

These are all pretty basic. Follow these, and everybody will be happy.

1. No talking

For TV, you can wait until a commercial. For a movie, you should have been paying attention, and it is actually much harder than you would think to hear both the television and a whisper in your ear about what just happened. If worst comes to worst you can pause.

2. DO NOT DESCRIBE A MOVIE BY IT’S ENDING. EVER.

This sounds silly, but it happens. Sometimes you bring up a movie you want to see and somebody else says something like, “oh, is that the one where it’s all a dream.” Eff, dude. Think before you speak of a movie. Try to describe it either by the actors or the general plot. “Is that the one with Leonardo DiCaprio? Is that the one with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock?” “Is that the one where the police and drug dealers are going at it?” Those are more acceptable. Just think.

3. It is VERY ok to assume things.

Actually, you SHOULD assume things. If you don’t, you’re going to go off asking a bunch of questions that nobody else knows either. The point of a movie or show is to bring up questions and make you wait for the answer. Many times you will be very correct in your assumption. If you’re not, you’ll find out, and the show will go on. No need to ask other people a question that they most likely don’t know because they are watching the exact same thing and have just as much knowledge as you.

4. Show your emotions, but with caution

Laugh. Cry. Scream. Do whatever, but keep it short and not ridiculously loud. Different settings give different allowances for volume and duration. For example, if you are watching a horror movie in a crowded theater filled with… people who like to yell at the movie, you can scream or laugh longer than you can if you are in somebody’s living room watching something on a TV with crappy speakers. Just use good judgment.

5. If you come in at the end of a movie or in the middle of a show, you are NOT allowed to ask questions.

This. If I’m on season 5 of a really serious drama or at the end of a movie, you’ve missed too much to be caught up enough to enjoy what’s happening. If you don’t want to ruin said media for yourself, leave the room. If you don’t care enough about the show or movie that you are willing to watch just the end of it, then you really shouldn’t care about what happened up to that point, and you are free to join.

6. Do not ask everybody else what’s going to happen next

Like I said in number 3, everybody else knows as much as you do. However, this situation applies to information that is not yet received. If the main character is about to go open a door because he hears a sound, don’t ask something like, “what’s in there?” Nobody knows. That’s what suspense is. Also, you are going to find out in literally 2 seconds.

CASE STUDIES (disclaimer: these are fictional versions of people I know. I quite enjoy watching with both)

Improper Ways to Watch:

This is Brian.

Brian thinking

Brian is a texbook cinephile. He has the looks, the height, the smarts, yet people will not go to the movies with him. Let’s find out why.

Brian describes movies like this: “Oh, is that the one where Bruce Willis has been dead the whole time?” (Maybe I broke my own rule, but honestly, if you haven’t seen that one by now, you deserve to have it ruined). People walk away from him shaking their heads.

Brian walks in on the end of Christopher Nolan movies and asks, “why are there so many of those guys in water tanks?” Brian expects you to pause the movie and explain it to him. When Brian walks in on season 5 of Mad Men, he expects me to explain to him who Dick Whitman is.

When Brian hears a rustling or sees a shadow in a movie, he always asks everybody, “What was that? Is it going to kill them?” When said thing pops out two seconds later, he screams for 10 seconds.

Brian isn’t fun to watch movies with. He now watches everything by himself on his laptop with headphones.

brian on bench

Sorry Brian, but you bring this on yourself.

Proper Ways to Watch:

This is Thomas.

Thomas

As you can see, Thomas has many of the same features as Brian. However, people love watching stuff with him.

Thomas never ruins anything. He described Catch Me If You Can as “the one with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.”

He walked in at the end of L.A. Confidential and immediately left the room so he would not ruin it for himself. I didn’t even notice him come in.

During Pineapple Express, his laughs were always to the point, yet they got the job done.

When Thomas thinks he figured out the plot of a movie, he keeps it to himself until the very end to see if his suspicions are confirmed.

We feel safe watching with Thomas. Everybody wants to sit next to him. Thanks Thomas!

Thomas thumbs up

Everybody, try to be like Thomas, not Brian.