Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lawn Chair Guy | Five Short Scenes About Me, My Friends + God

Lawn Chair Guy is a collection of short monologues on the challenges and opportunities inherent in communicating honestly and humbly about faith.

The Lawn Chair Guy can, of course be a woman, young, old, and/or more than one person. And he/she/they can sit anywhere, on anything you want. It wouldn’t be called Lawn Chair Guy at all, except that’s how I conceived it when it was first drafted as a scripted film (featuring the talented Brian Boyle) for a conference on...wait for it...the challenges and opportunities inherent in communicating honestly and humbly about faith.

The final scene, The Dog’s Dilemma, was inspired by my old friend Bill Reif and also appears in a book I wrote with the remarkable Brennan Manning, called Posers Fakers and Wannabes. Posers is a remix of Brennan’s book, Abba’s Child.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Ron Howard Remembers Andy Griffith | who do you remember?

Early in the second season of "The Andy Griffith Show," I ventured a suggestion for a line change to make it sound more "like the way a kid would say it." I was just 7 years old. But my idea was accepted and I remember standing frozen, thrilled at what this moment represented to me. Andy asked me, "What you grinnin' at, youngin'?" I said it was the first idea of mine they'd ever said yes to. Without a pause, Andy responded for all to hear: "It was the first idea that was any damn good. Now let's do the scene." -- Ron Howard in the Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2012 
Fifty years ago, Andy Griffith, who died this week at age 86, understood something about children… That children are inclined to play "up" to engage the adults who surround them; that children are shaped by opportunities to contribute meaningfully; that they appreciate people who appreciate them and treat them with respect by talking to them, not at them, and never down to them.

"That inclusiveness," Mr. Howard says, "that allowed a child to truly be a part of something as unique and memorable as "The Andy Griffith Show" is something I will forever be grateful for."

Thursday, July 05, 2012

a little taxing | the fuss about the health care mandate

Michael Tomasky writes:
The instant after the court decision a week ago, you’ll recall, congressional Republicans took the gist of the court’s finding—the mandate stands as a tax, not a penalty—and launched into a campaign calling the ACA the biggest tax hike in all of American or even human history and saying that Obama broke his promise not to tax middle-income Americans. Politifact rated the first claim pants-on-fire false. As a percentage of GDP, in fact, it’s only the 10th largest tax increase in America since 1950. The second claim isn’t exactly an all-out lie like the first one, but it’s a grotesque exaggeration, since this penalty-tax would not be paid by everyone, but only by those who refuse to buy insurance, an explicitly self-selecting maybe 2 percent of all people. — Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast, 07.05.12

Sunday, July 01, 2012

The End of Discrimination Against Sick People. Unless...

Labor Secretary Frances Perkins


Jonathan Alter offers an interesting frame for understanding the Supreme Court majority ruling on the Affordable Care Act. Alter concludes with this reminder of what's at stake for America.
Unless Mitt Romney wins, we will have ended discrimination against sick people in our time—an historic achievement that wouldn’t have been possible without an obscure constitutional argument over taxes.
— Jonathan Alter, The 1934 Dinner Party That May Have Helped Save Obamacare, The Daily Beast, July 1, 2012 

— RANTS + REFLECTIONS ON THE COMMON GOOD —

[mostly]