We just returned from our family vacation down South. There and back, amidst the chaos that is our family life, Amy and I had some good conversations about art, culture, and theology. We also talked a bit about film, and if our discussions are any indication, you’ll definitely enjoy her next installment of Snapshots. Until then, here are some assorted thoughts of my own on random topics:
1. Counting the Cost—I recently heard that the interest on the last stimulus package is costing us (you, me, and other American taxpayers) $100,000,000 per day (assuming a 5% interest rate). That’s right—one hundred million bucks every day. That wouldn’t hurt so bad if it appeared the stimulus package was doing some good. Supporters caution against pessimism at this stage, since less than 10% of the stimulus money has actually been spent. But then why are members of Obama’s economic advisory team talking about the possibility of yet another stimulus package totaling hundreds of billions of dollars? Five months into this mess, I am even more firmly convinced of Veronique de Rugy’s simple but insightful analysis.
2. Prehistoric?—When my son asked me the other day if a particular animal about which he was reading was “prehistoric,” it suddenly struck me what an anthropocentric word that is. Since God knows (and is the author of) all of human history, something cannot be pre-historic in any ultimate sense but only relative to human knowledge of historical events. So it is more accurate to say, as some folks do, that an event occurred before recorded history. Splitting hairs? Dwelling on the obvious? Perhaps, but it’s still a good reminder of the eternal expanse of providence.
3. Robert McNamara, R.I.P.— The passing of Robert McNamara last week reminded me how deep an impact on world history one man can have, even when that individual is not a head of state. McNamara served as defense secretary in the Kennedy and Johnson cabinets, and he was President of the World Bank for 13 years. In addition to being the mastermind behind U.S. involvement in Vietnam, he is essentially the father of public policy systems analysis. For a fascinating documentary on the former, check out The Fog of War.
4. Hail to the Kings of Leon—Lately I’ve been exploring the musical riches of Kings of Leon. This foursome from Nashville Tennessee is comprised of three brothers and a cousin, all bearing the surname Followill—which, for my money, would be an even better name for the band, but I digress. Their music is cleverly crafted, fully of melodies and energy, sometimes brooding, sometimes funny, but always good. For a quick taste, check out this video of their song “King of the Rodeo“—2.5 minutes of rock n’ roll bliss (and a rather tastefully erotic video narrative—if only more video directors could be so creative and restrained).