A Tim Horton's Economy, redux

In honour of Tim Horton's forthcoming price changes, I thought I'd point everyone back to something I said in July of 2005: http://andymack.blogspot.com/2005/07/tim-hortons-economy.html

A quote from that time:

As much as we Canadians appreciate crude oil, world currencies and Martha, there is one item that I believe serves as the bedrock of our society; one item that, with every shift in its cost, threatens to crumble the very foundation that this great country is built on. That's right: Tim Hortons coffee.

And now... $1.40 per large double-double.
Tim Hortons is hurting Canada. And so is According to Jim.


C.S. Lewis on Ambition

I have, of late, been reading God in the Dock by C.S. Lewis. It was given to me at Christmas by my future brother-in-law Sam, who used to have this blog called Adagio County. (Insert failed attempt at guilting him into reblogging.)

I've been absolutely fascinated by the depth with which Lewis thought (and the depth that his audience listened with). Not to be insular, but were people smarter back then? I don't think it's a matter of smarter (actually funny enough, Lewis talks about that ... "If [lower state of mental development] means that people ten thousand years ago didn't know a good many things that we know now, of course, I agree. But if it means that there has been any advance in intelligence in that time, I believe there is no evidence for any such thing") I think it's a matter of being so catered to that our appetite for deep things has been ruined.

So, Lewis is asked in the course of an interview in front of an audience whether it is wrong for a Christian to be ambitious and strive for personal success. Here is part of his response:

Ambition! We must be careful what we mean by it. If it means the desire to get ahead of other people--which is what I think it does mean--then it is bad. If it means simply wanting to do a thing well, then it is good. It isn't wrong for an actor to want to act his part as well as it can possibly be acted, but the wish to have his name in bigger type than the other actors is a bad one.

And I'll let that stand.


best headline ever... bar none!

From foxnews.com (in an Associated Press story, no less):

D'ya see that? Canadian Voters End 13-Year Liberal Presidency... Right... here's the thing, there's isn't a president, and I looked at the technical definition of the word... I'm not going to lie to you, unless something happened in the mormon church last night, this headline is way off. Made me smile though!


election geek

Hey there, it's your friendly Canadian Election geek. That's right... there's an election underway in Canada. Surprise, surprise... didn't we just do this a year or two ago? Here's a primer from foxnews. I'm pretty excited about this, mostly cause I'm a news geek. It's going to be a late night, but hopefully it'll be a good one!


blogging and relationships

In the background: sens and leafs... yep, looks like another disappointing night for the leafs. argh.

On Blogging

Every once
in a while, my little brother will make a point of saying, in my hearing, "Gonna check a blog I really like... nope, hasn't updated... you know who that is? That's right, you jerk." Here's the thing, he's right. I'm not at all as consistent as I ought to be. But, I'm not a good enough writer to have a couple of ideas kicking around that I haven't written about yet. And I'm not funny enough to be able to write about nothing and have you all (if there is a you all) think it's great. Do I look like Kramer? I don't think so. So, I'm sorry. I'd say that I'll try to be more regular, but I'm just not sure that I'll be effective at it, and as I learned from the Transporter (or maybe from the Bible), you shouldn't make promises you can't keep.

On Relationships

I thought that this article on Christianitytoday.com was really a funny, honest look at the state of singleness and dating in Christianity. Here's a quote for you:

I have myriad questions that confuse the issue when I meet a prospective date. How do I know if the cute girl in the grocery store is a Christian? Should I date someone in my Bible study or my church given the possible messiness if we break up? How do we reconcile differing beliefs within a shared faith? On top of all this mounting confusion, we add the fact that we aren't just looking for a good time but are hoping to find "the one." Before we know it, we're not just talking about someone to get coffee with but considering if this person we've spoken to twice could be a good spouse and parent. It's as if I should be handing out twelve-page applications and requiring dental exams.

It is a confusing issue, I think, as Christians. It's an incredible relief when you get past the stage he describes above. But, for my single friends, I want you to know that I'm with you, and we non-singles do remember how rough it was.

and I'm done.


to a commenter

Wow, I would love to know who actually posted the following comment:

If you had done your research, you would note that The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe was put out as a movie YEARS ago, in a more modest and special-effect free version! Why make such a big deal over making a movie of a book. Some of us can take enough from paper, but others need a visual to stimulate the mind. Why not consider that people who see the movie may now want to read the book, and how knows..maybe devour the entire series. stop limiting the ways that God can work!

Dear Anonymous,

I have, in fact, seen the original BBC release of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. They weren't modest and special-effect free. They were cheesy and lame. The acting was pretty well awful, and that's just it. Did I think it was alright when I was ten? Sure, but I was ten. As this most recent release was the first one made as a movie, not a TV special, I will continue to consider it the official film release, just as I don't consider the 1978 version of the Lord of the Rings as the official film release. Hope that's okay.

Further to that, you say: Why make such a big deal over making a movie of a book. Some of us can take enough from paper, but others need a visual to stimulate the mind.

Did you read the article? It wasn't about whether or not making a movie was bad as an aid to people. The article was about the nature of art and whether written art can really be crossed over to audio/visual art. It was about whether the form art is done in matters. Why make such a big deal over making a movie of a book? Well, I guess it's because it's finally a chance for some dialogue on art in the little Christian sphere in which we operate. Christians are bad at art, and we're bad at understanding it. These aren't important discussions because a movie was made of a book. These are important discussions because Christians need really great art and because maybe our tendency to commercialize things isn't helping that.

Furthermore, I work as a book editor. I think I'm slightly inclined to be defensive about books. When Faramir is messed up in The Two Towers, I get a little bugged because that's not a good or even a mediocre use of artistic license. It's lousy art.

Finally, regarding stop limiting the ways that God can work! To quote Hank Hill, that is asinine. Sunrises in Italy. Inviting a discussion on the artistic merit of making Narnia, a work of children's literature (literature: imaginative or creative writing, especially of recognized artistic value) into a movie is not limiting the ways that God can work. It's an artistic discussion. It's a good thing. It's good for us to think about what we're feeding ourselves on. It's not like I said "God will damn this awful film, its creators, and all those who enjoyed it." I think it's a great adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Minus that stupid waterfall scene, anyway. I just also think that we should be able to discuss the artistic merit of it without being attacked as though we're limiting the ways that God can work.

I guess what really gets me about this is the tone used... especially given that I really enjoyed the movie that apparently I'm being ridiculously, consistently negative about. I apologize if that's really how my post came off.


brilliant article; where have I been?

First and foremost, read this article at Christianity Today.com. I believe that this is the first purely artistic look at whether or not Narnia should've been commercialized. I'm almost embarrassed that I never thought of it from this perspective. I like to talk about art for art's sake, but this article proves that I never really thought it through as far as movies and art go. I'm not sold on the idea that Narnia shouldn't have been moviefied, but I will make sure that my kids (if I'm ever so lucky) are well-versed in the books before they ever see the movies.

In other news: I guess I might as well say it for all to read: Rebecca and I have made it our intention to make our residence in West Virginia when we're married. We're excited... it's only 132 days--I remember back when it was 280! I got to spend a week with Rebecca and her family over Christmas... it was truly a blast, and a great reminder of how blessed I am to be marrying such a great girl.

So, happy new year to all. May 2006 be a year that we all draw closer to God and learn better what it means to follow Him whole-heartedly.