Crib Wars

Jesus died for your taste in children’s books.Title: “The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story”

Authors: Mike Berenstain and Jan Berenstain

Rank: 9

Blurb: “The Bear cubs and Papa are candy-crazy this Easter! But Mama, with help from Papa, tells the cubs about Jesus’ resurrection and shows them that salvation is much sweeter than candy. Includes a colorful sticker set.”

Review: “The raging offense of the Berenstains is the post-feminist Papa Bear, the Alan Alda of Grizzlies, a wimp so passive and fumbling he makes Dagwood Bumstead look like Batman.” —Charles Krauthammer, 1989

Customers Also Bought: “Dinosaurs Eggs with Mini Toy Dinosaur Figures Inside”

Footnote: We’re more than a little curious about the backstory, since Papa Berenstain was Jewish and Mama Berenstain was Episcopalian.

The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon Kickback Link]

A Force of Nature

By now you all know that Mickey Rooney is dead. I direct your attention to this fine obit in the N. Y. Times.

In the early 70s I saw him in a production of the English farce See How they Run at the Westport Country Playhouse. He was in his 50s, playing a young English flyer. If the casting wasn’t ideal, Mr Rooney fixed that problem by ignoring the play. He clearly didn’t know the lines or blocking; the rest of the cast, huddled on the opposite side of the stage, just as clearly hated him; but I remember it as being one of the funniest evenings I’ve ever spent in a theatre. By the end he was soaked in sweat, the buttons had popped on his shirt, his pants had split and the audience had laughed itself silly. I saw him again in Sugar Babies, three times, and if the show was past its first flush of youth and there were some episodes of planned corpseing, he was blissfully, outrageously low.

A giant talent seen in his youth when the world was young in this clip from Words and Music. He’s playing — ahem — Larry Hart. Tom Drake is Richard Rogers. Janet Leigh as Dorothy Rogers seems to be entirely shot from behind. They look like children playing at being grown-ups. And if we haven’t seen National Velvet I recommend it.

What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?

Title: “The Last Days of Jesus: His Life and Times”

Author: Bill O’Reilly

Rank: 10

Blurb: “Two thousand years ago, Jesus walked across Galilee; everywhere he traveled he gained followers. His contemporaries are familiar historical figures: Julius Caesar, Caesar Augustus, Herod the Great, Pontius Pilate. It was an era of oppression, when every man, woman, and child answered to the brutal rule of Rome. In this world, Jesus lived, and in this volatile political and historical context, Jesus died — and changed the world forever.”

Review: “My grandson loves to read and has just been baptized. He is a teenager and big into history of all kinds. He learns a lot from the books by O’Reilly.”

Customers Also Bought: “RectiCare Anorectal Cream”

Footnote: Actually, Paul changed the world forever. Or Constantine. We don’t tend to credit sand for pearls.

The Last Days of Jesus [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon Kickback Link]

Don’t Forget the Mango-Flavored Condom

Somehow we don’t think we would find this nearly as entertaining if (A) it was in English, or (B) we understood Italian.

[via Know Your Meme]

Oh No He Didn’t

Been There, Done That.Title: “The Answer: Proof of God in Heaven”

Authors: Marius Forte and Sam Sorbo

Rank: 50

Stunningly Simple Blurb…

The secret to life is simple, but since human beings have had organized thoughts the same questions have surfaced again and again: Why do we exist? What is the purpose of life? Is there a God? If so, is He good? But if He is a good God, how could He permit so much suffering in this world? Why do bad things happen to good people? Where are we coming from and where are we going? And why are we going at all? Is there life after death? Can we be 100% sure? Was this world just created by chance or does it follow a plan?

Read more »

Where Will You Be In 2050?

February. Outside my study window.

Goldfinch in winter plumage outside my study window.

You know how it is when you think something and then you come across the same idea in print and you think: Finally! Someone gets it right?

This happened to me recently. The Global Warming thing. See? You’re rolling your eyes. I know. But why do we do this? We have it on reliable authority that our grandchildren are in deep shit – why collectively do we not seem to care?

Read more »

Even Errol Morris Has to Earn a Living

In related news, apparently there are worse things than sharing a name with a Wingnut Senator.

[via Kottke]