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Archive for the ‘Blue Like Jazz’ Category

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I get it, I think. Maybe I don’t get it. Am I talking about living the Life, or the movie Little Frau and I just watched? Yes.

Jazz doesn’t resolve. Or does it? Life doesn’t resolve, or does it? That is the point. That is the premise. Knowing that, and accepting it, creates confusion and discomfort, just like life.

I read the book many years ago that spawned the recent movie. “Essays on Christian Spirituality” was the subtitle, but these essays were nothing like I had ever experienced. The same could be said about the movie. It seemed random. It seemed pained. It seemed unresolved. Then, it all came together, and in a confessional booth, of all places. The last 10 minutes made it worthwhile, even if the first 90 minutes had also been OK.

Not everyone will get it. Maybe they will, truth be told, but not everyone will like it. Media reports already show that to be the case. “The Christian Movie Industry” is boycotting Blue Like Jazz. It makes them uncomfortable. It makes them angry. It offends them. It concerns them. I could say the same, maybe, but I could about life as well. I get it, I think.

I have been to Portland, Oregon, many times in fact. I’ve seen the people. I’ve overheard “lectures” in the hallowed halls of Powells Books, and have even run from such for cover, eldest daughters ears in tow. I’ve never set foot on the Reed campus, but I have seen enough to know the realm.

I have been to “church”, deep south/Bible Belt style, many times in fact. I’ve seen the people. I’ve overheard “lectures” in the hallowed halls and in some people’s books, and have even run from such for cover, saddened ears in tow. I’ve never set foot on the every church group campus, but I have seen enough to know the realm.

I have seen “Fireproof”. I have seen “Flywheel”, and “Courageous”, and other “Christian Industry” movies. Having grown up in the culture that often hides from the reality of sin and takes things for granted, I get the point, and I see the value. Cheesy though they may be, for those who understand the culture of “big church”, these movies can strike a chord and call one to live more intentionally.

The same can now be said of Blue Like Jazz. Is it offensive? It could be, but the same could be said of “Dirty Harry”, and “Midway”, and “Star Wars”, or “You’ve Got Mail”, and any number of other movies I watch and love. Does that negate the point, and eliminate the value?

A non Christian, or at least a non lifetime Bible Belter can watch “Courageous” and walk away shaking their head. A lifetime conservative Texan raised Christian (aka, “I don’t smoke, I don’t chew, and I don’t go with girls who do) might watch BLJ and walk away confused, but the last scene rides in to save the day. It resolves. It clicks. And, it all starts with an epiphany, a realization, a confession, and an apology.

Why does life happen like it does? Why do good people die? Why did 9-11 happen? Why am I here? The questions could go on and on. I sat thru a program earlier this week with the American Airlines pilot who was “bumped” from his flight assignment that would have seen him slain at the hands of Mohammed Atta and had him on the first plane to hit the World Trade Center. And yet, he lives. I shook his hand. I am reading his book. And, I am learning a little about the guilt of being a “some time saint” and the duties of living as a “Borrowed Time Believer”. More on those thoughts in a later post.

Jazz doesn’t resolve, or does it? How about life? I think maybe it does, if we can just open our ears, and open our eyes. It all starts with a confession.

I get it, I think…

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