Friday, July 15, 2011


Want to see my impression of Harry Potter? Want to see it again?

The joke is that I look like Harry Potter. Given that I've got the full regalia for Halloween, this is not something I'm unhappy about. There are worse worldwide sensations to resemble.

I fell in love with the Harry Potter series in graduate school. This was 11 years ago, back when this was purely a novel phenomenon. (That was a pun. I'll give you a moment. You got it? Good.) At the time, there were no movies and only four books, and people were going nuts over them. Literally. As in, some people went a little crazy about how the Harry Potter books were teaching witchcraft. Naturally, this made me want to read them.

I remember quite clearly grabbing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I was waiting around for an incredibly dull academic conference. (Being a grad student they assumed it would be good for me to attend - they were wrong, but that's a story not worth telling.) While waiting, I saw the Harry Potter paperback displayed prominently in the campus bookstore. Since I was a student, I got an extra discount, so I picked up the book for a few bucks. I was curious about what was making people go nuts over this book, and I had some time to kill. I read the first chapter and it changed my life forever.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mocking Christians

I'm the type of guy who likes to mock Christians. I'm not the only one, either. Just check out the website Stuff Christians Like and you'll see a huge webpage devoted to the mockery of Christianity. It's author, Jon Acuff, is a hero of mine, and someone I hope to meet soon. He's a more successful version of who I hope to one day be, and he got there by mocking Christians.

I feel I should point out that both he and I are Christians.

That's right, I enjoy mocking my people. And why shouldn't I? Someone has to keep us honest. One of my favorite comedians Lewis Black once posited that when religion loses its sense of humor, bad things happen. Things like 9-11 happen. I'd like to add one caveat. It's possible that religious extremists do have a sense of humor, as they are quite good at mocking others. However, show me a believer good at making fun of himself and his faith, and I'll show you someone far less likely to kill others in the name of his faith.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sleeping in Light

Jeff Conaway died a while back.

It got me thinking about the role I remember him most for. Many remember him from Grease, but for me, he'll always be Zack Allen on Babylon 5. And that brings me to one of the finest final episodes ever made: Babylon 5's Sleeping in Light.

While other epic science fiction shows have tried, and failed, to deliver the goods in their final episodes, Babylon 5 figured it out back in 1998. This was thanks in part to J. Michael Straczynski, the writer behind it all. JMS (as he often goes by) didn't simply make it up as he went along, he already had the endgame in mind, which is one of the reasons why the Babylon 5 series finale still holds up.

The basic rundown of the finale is this: (SPOILER ALERT)