Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Way of Walking

During this year's Blogging From A to Z April Challenge, I'm highlighting things more people should know about. For the most part, I'll be ignoring the most popular and widely known items (and sometimes my personal favorites) in order to promote the unfamiliar and underappreciated.

Just five juicy tidbits...


FILM
JCVD
Yeah, you read that right. I'm recommending a John-Claude Van Damme film. In which he plays himself. Amidst tax problems and a custody battle, Van Damme gets caught in the middle of a bank robbery, and the robbers try to use his presence to their advantage. It's more drama than action (with touches of comedy), he gets to speak in his native tongue, and for once, he's not playing a one-dimensional character. The only Van Damme film ever worth watching.
TELEVISION
Jeeves and Wooster
Long before Hugh Laurie adopted an American accent and a limp, he used to hang out with Stephen Fry a bit and have a laugh. One such instance was this little show, based on the short stories of P.G. Wodehouse. Wealthy layabout Bertie Wooster (Laurie) would always find himself in a spot of bother, and his trusty valet Jeeves (Fry) had to bail him out. Absolutely fabulous.1
GAME
Jaipur
If you're the first to sell a type of good, you make more money. Thus, you want to sell early. Yet, if you sell a larger amount of that good, your profit's even greater. Thus, you want to wait to sell until you've acquired more. It's a tough balance, especially when your opponent is vying for the exact same goods (and hoarding all the camels). A fun little card game for two players.
MUSIC
Jars of Clay
This Christian rock band is best known for their one mainstream hit, "Flood",2 but despite little secular success, they're no one-hit wonder. Eight studio albums later, and they're still going strong, singing sweet melodies with great hooks and lyrics that consciously "shy away from... traditional religious literature." As a Jew-ish atheist, I applaud them, both for this sentiment, and for their wonderful music.3
LITERATURE
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Collins
An 8th-century king escapes regicide, meets the goat-god Pan, falls in love with an Indian girl, and then masters immortality. A waitress in modern day New Orleans obsesses over recreating a fragrance from a 300-year-old bottle of perfume. Some other stuff happens, and then it all comes together at the end (as books are wont to do). And excellent book.


1 And also far, far better than Absolutely Fabulous.
2 You get it? Flood? Main stream? Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all month. Try the veal... and the loaves and fishes.
3 For those of you keeping track at home, I do realize this is the second Christian group I've listed so far, yet I've given no props to the home team (i.e. Judaism). Where oh where have all the Jewish bands gone? (Answer: They're all at home doting on their mothers, like the good boys they are.)

18 comments:

  1. Awesome selection. I too, love Jars of Clay, great band!! 3. Weird Al, Matisyahu. :)
    Love all the pics of your son...so cute!

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    1. Agreed on Matisyahu, but I don't think Weird Al qualifies. He may be Jewish, but he doesn't infuse his music with his Jewishness (unless Jewishness = accordion).

      And in regard to the photos, thanks! After I've made my way through the next 16 letters, I'll have to update with his latest pics.

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  2. You are absolutely correct about JCVD. I really enjoyed it.

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    1. Thanks, Joe. I like being absolutely correct about things. Now, to become absolutely corrupt about other things. For, with great power comes great responsibility to abuse said power.

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  3. cyborg and bloodsport are must watches everytime you are flipping through the channels and see that they are on.

    Jars of Clay are very good.

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    1. Sure, I'll give you that. Luckily, I stopped flipping through channels back when we cut down to basic cable, so I'll be spared those Damme movies. (I just never thought much of his stuff before this movie... although, in his defense, at least he wasn't Seagal.)

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  4. Hi, I'm stopping in for the A to Z Challenge.
    After a genealogy trip to Belgium, I purchased a trilogy of Van Damme movies and found the action scenes disappointing, maybe because of all the Chan/Li movies I'd been watching. I'm not a harsh critic, even enjoyed the early Seagal action movies. Thanks for the tip about JCVD, I'll check it out.
    http://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com Theme: A World of Crime

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    1. I always liked the Chan/Li/Fat action films more as well. Perhaps I just prefer speed to strength... or Asians to Belgians (though Belgians make far better waffles).

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  5. I loved Jeeves and Wooster, and was shocked when I saw my first episode of House - it seemed so bizarre. :-)

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    1. Most of the time, I find the opposite is true -- I hear an interview with an actor and think, "Bloody hell, he's British! (or Irish or Australian or a Muppet)" This is one of those rare instances where I'd heard his real accent first.

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  6. We have a couple of Jars of Clay's albums.

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  7. Okay, on your word I'm going to watch the JCVD movie. I love watching House so seeing Laurie in a different character will be cool. And I have the Jars Of Clay CD and really listened to Flood a lot. I like the whole set. Great J post, Nate!

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    1. Thanks, Chuck. I hope you like it. Of course, if you don't, it's not like it's the end of the world...

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  8. Your lists are so eclectic and entertaining! It threw me for a loop to see Jars of Clay; having emerged myself from the "Chrindie" scene of the '90s (don't think too hard on that) Jars of Clay are a standout and deserve recognition above most of what the Christian industry put out.

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    1. Clearly, "Chrindie " is a combination of endochrinology and die, to describe Dungeons & Dragons geeks with gland problems who spell endocrinology incorrectly. (Now imagine what I might have come up with if I had thought too hard on that.)

      But you're right about Jars of Clay. One of a select few worthy of secular acclaim.

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  9. Maybe that was the JCVD movie that didn't absolutely set my teeth on edge. I remember seeing one that including him that was hilarious and very tongue in cheek.

    Enjoy Jars of Clay, though I only have two albums. i would say I'm never gonna be a gamer, so have no use for Jaipur, but every time I proclaim I'm never gonna do anything, that thing because my next addiction.

    Love your lists, and the way you are all over the board.

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    1. That's my brain: all over the map.

      By the way, it might not have JCVD you saw. There were some tongue-in-cheek parts early on, dealing with his celebrity, but the drama stood out more. I suspect -- *gasp!* -- you may have actually tolerated one of his other, more campy films.

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