I started reading this book, but set it aside a while back. Now I need to get back into it, because we’re starting to get to some meaty stuff in the Adult Forum group I’m in at church.
We’re discussing Evolution, Creationism Intelligent Design, and whether science and religion are as incompatible as some say. It’s a pretty free-ranging discussion group, as one member studied philosophy, another is a scholarly Jewish guy who runs the program, and the rest of us bring our own take to the party. For instance, I have a background or interest in evolution, paleontology, anthropology, and geology. But there’s also a lady in her 90’s who just likes interesting conversation and marvels at all the change she’s seen (and accepted) in her lifetime. And there’s a mixture of younger and older people batting topics around. It’s a lot of fun, but now I need to start doing a little more background reading. Vague memories of articles read during the week (and 30-year-old memories of college evolution and anthro classes) just won’t be enough in the weeks to come.
We started the series a few weeks back by watching “Inherit the Wind” together. I had to miss a couple of weeks due to my stupid winter sinus infection/cough, so I borrowed the DVD from the library last week and caught up with the ending Friday night. I already blogged about this earlier, but the ending didn’t hold many surprises.
I have to say that although I agree that this is a significant film, there are a lot of distractions that prevented me from really enjoying it and seeing beyond the rather creaky, stagy production values. I kept focusing on the odd details that seem ludicrous to the post-Millennial eye; did people really march around in Tennesee with beautifully printed protest signs, singing “That Old Time Religion?” Was the fundamentalist preacher character played by Claude Akins a Methodist or an old-line Episcopalian, as who else wore round dog collars all the time in the steaming hot South? And what was that junk they painted on his hair to change its color to grey? Also, David couldn’t stand to watch it because of all the singing, shouting, and praying that takes place in the opening reel, and he found the Matthew Brady/William Jennings Bryant character (played by Frederic March) excessively loud and annoying.
I’m glad I watched the movie, but the fundamentalist 20’s seen from the point of view of the post-McCarthy era 50’s made for a bigger suspension of disbelief than I was willing to deal with.
Last weekend my husband David and I went out to see Frost/Nixon, which we really enjoyed. First because it was done in a really naturalistic syle, and second because it took place in an era that we both lived through. The distractions of hair and clothing were there, but they were somehow a much more acceptable part of the experience because we both remembered when big sideburns and wide lapels on men looked cooool.
Also, it came in handy as background material for events of this week, during which our former governor evoked Nixon and the infamous tapes a few times on his rounds of the talk shows before he was ceremoniously booted from office. This might be a good DVD for the collection once it comes out.