Friday, March 30

An Email

This is an email that I sent out to my professor. She wanted to know what my top 5 books and movies were. She just said she wondered what kind of entertainment a crazy kid like me enjoys. I wrote some of the craziest papers for this professor, let me tell you...

Hello Professor Chua,

This is Chuck. I remembered while I was reading a book at Starbucks the other day that I never sent you a list of my top 5 books and movies. So here goes...and just for your information I do like theological material, but I mean, as far as the idea "I freakin' love this book" is concerned, unless your talking about the Bible I have decided that it is contrived. The Bible is hard enough to be excited about. You can't tell me that you are loving to death something like "The Life and Times of John Murray" like you would a great coffee drinking novel. Not that they can't be great, but it is different then Coffeehouse Lit. as I like to call it.
These are the books that have changed my life in one way or another in no really particular order, sort of but not really-
1. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (for its different take on life through the eyes of Charlie, yet still important themes, surprise ending, and the way it looms on with such a dark foreboding chill.)
2. Thank You For Smoking by Christopher Buckley (pure biting wit and satire on lobbyists and propoganda and a cleverness and fun that I have yet to discover in another book. Great One-liners too. Almost a modern day Pride and Prejudice, which would have been up here but EVERYONE likes that book)
3. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (I have never read a book where every conversation, dialogue, or description could be put on and remembered for the rest of time. I got involved with every character...hated some loved others...and I learned alot about her philosophy. What it means to be "selfless" in her understanding and how that is actually "selfish", and then vice-versa. Greatest non-Christian "Christian" writer of the 20th Century in my opinion. I could spend hours dwelling on multitudes of passages in her literature. Every character in that book is an idea. I love that. Everything means something. And also her use of Architecture to make her point. I like "Artsy" stuff. I love the time period she writes in too. Just Great.)
4. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield (Because it makes you appreciate OUR culture as you marvel and gape at the atrocious barbaric savage life of the Spartan world and still have kind of a desire to be that tough. It's such a guy book. This author spent alot of time finding as much out about the Spartans as he could. He also has a great mind. His descriptions of battle are the most realistic I have ever read. You fight that battle to the last man right alongside those Spartans. You really care for the handful of Spartan Elite that he introduces to you, and at the end you die with them. One of the most absorbing books I have ever read. Great ideas like allegiance, honor, death, courage, etc. are delved into. Wonderful drama/action/historical novel.
5. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (the saddest most depressing book I have ever read. Sinclair's goal of converting a horrified reading public to his "for the masses" politics by striking at the commercial animal slaughter industry worked and made me a socialist for like 2 days. Crazy crazy book...just out of control. You will go a couple weeks without eating hamburger knowing that unimaginable things happen to those cows. The whole time you are shouting at Jurgis, the main character, just yelling at him to help his family out and to stop drinking. And every day he had to go to work your like, oh man what is going to happen next? Man that book was great. Just plain nasty.)
***Bonus Book(s)
The Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London (I love dogs. I love Buck from The Call of the Wild. I love imagining that dogs can talk to me and understand me. It is my continual dream that I can communicate with my dogs. I watch the Dog Whisperer religiously on the National Geographic Channel. I love how happy the ending in The Call of the Wild Is. It's like a dream. White Fang is cool too. Being in the mind of a savage animal is great. I love London's themes of "survial" and "strength" and man vs. wild and blood as "life". Here is naturalism/evolution played out in a book from the perspective of the evolved. Just great images. Sweet Book.)

Top 5 Movies that changed my life...and I obviously don't endorse every jot or tittle in these movies.
1. To End All Wars (this was written by Reformed Christian screenplay writer/director Brian Godawa. Amazing on the themes of sacrifice and forgiveness. You will cry. I did. Scottish POWs in a Japanese prison camp during WWI forced to build the "Railroad of Death" on next to no food. The Christian themes are very apparent without being cheesy or corny. I hate "Christian" movies in general because they are at times fake and false as they relate to life. This movie is a perfect balance of the themes of Christianity and the real world. Great Soundtrack.)
2. Road to Perdition (Some of the best acting I have ever seen. Just amazing. Irish father and mobster worker Tom Hanks has to protect his little 12 yr old son from the very people he used to trust and the people who used to protect him. Scary and Deep. The cinematography in this movie is the best I have ever seen. Great Sountrack.)
3. Se7en (chilling chilling movie with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. Never has a movie made me think so hard. Amazing story and amazing characters. Best psycopath in a movie ever. I don't know if you have seen this or not, but I wont tell you who it is. Just a intricate web of things. The dark side of "Christianity" you could say, although I wasn't offended. Islam has its dark side as well, as does Mormonism, etc. A movie that makes you think and keeps you engaged the whole time. Huge climax at the end.)
4. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (British humor. This movie has such swagger and wit. I love the Cockney Slang British accents. So many characters, so much irony, so much humor. Definitely a top 5. Guy Richie directed this. If you ever watch this, and like his stop and go, grab you by the head then let go, sarcastic style check out (every guy and his brother's favorite movie) "Snatch". Snatch is gaining so much popularity right now.)
5. Brokeback Mountain (No I am not joking. No I am not gay : )Sin is Sin and we will watch it played out, unjudged, in HETEROSEXUAL SIN: "An Affair to Remember", "Cold Mountain", "Titanic"; MURDER: "The Godfather", "Goodfellas", ETC. ETC. This movie has gone for the most part unwatched by our Christian Movie Culture that chooses what sin they will endorse. Our culture is very important, and right now our culture is going towards homosexuality. This movie is not pro-gay in the sense you would think. It does depict homosexuality but in my opinion it casts it in a very negative light. I saw no attraction in their lifestyle, and it was not because they were "persecuted. It destroys their families, ruining them as husbands and fathers to their wives and children. It ruins their work. And needless to say there is no happy ending. I wont spoil it. Flawless acting, for obvious reasons. Two straight guys playing gay guys is beyond me, but they pull it off. The scenery of that movie is breath taking and the music is perfect for the movie. When people ask me here if I have seen the movie and I reply yes, they go ballistic. They think it is so disgusting, and as they should. But the next time someone mentions fornication, adultery, or murder the same disgust needs to be present. We can have no double standard. It isnt a sin to watch sin played out (minus some obvious ones), like lying, cheating, guys kissing, guy and girl emotionally cheating, or whatever. We should watch for understanding. We should not be uneducated in our culture. We need common ground on which to talk with nonbelievers. We need to be salt in their lives, not rocks in their shoes. "In the world, but not of it" still requires you to be in the world. At least know about that world even though you despise its ways or dont agree with it...)

Anyways, I have been going on for awhile and I cant imagine that you have read all this. Thanks for getting this far! Hope that lets you know a little more about me. I would love to hear your comments. They are probably a heck of alot more insightful then mine.


Nathan Charles Teahan (aka Chuck)


At 7:11 AM, Blogger John said...

hiya nate,

heterosexual sin unjudged in cold mountain? when?

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

dude, chill on the questions...just kidding. I thougt I remembered some like hardcore seen where people did it and they weren't married. They "pledged" themselves illegally and then had sex, which was wrong. But honestly, I might be wrong. I havent slept in like 4 days...a long story.

At 2:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Nathan, how's your dad doing?

Ashley N.

At 7:15 PM, Blogger Josh Brisby said...

Hey bro. Ayn Rand? Yikes. She was what many philosophers considered a philosopher in diapers. I hope you didn't find her philosophical objectivism neat--very easily refutable from a Christian perspective. :0)

How is your dad doing bro?

--Josh Brisby


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