Thanks bunches to Tara R., from If Mom Says OK, for scribbling a couple of mighty fine reviews for Take Another Look Thursday. For the uninitiated among you, Thursdays are a day to kick back, relax, and peruse reviews of anything at all, from sitcoms, to favorite reads, to restaurants, to music, to everything in between and beyond. If you have something to review for TALT, please send it to email@example.com. And thanks, Tara, for making our seventh installment (BTW, that's "seven" in Chinese in the headline) sing!
I’m not a big fan of network television. I particularly hate what passes for sitcoms nowadays. I have never liked inane comedy, nor do I enjoy humiliation humor, two genres that are staples in today’s television watching options. Throw in a little gratuitous sex and violence, and I prefer to stay on the History Channel or Discovery, or just for giggles ~ the Food Network.
So color me tickled pink when TVLand began airing reruns of Hogan’s Heroes, one of my all time favorite shows from my childhood. Just imagine what producers would do with this premise today ~ a motley group of military prisoners, representing various foreign countries, conspire to sabotage and embarrass their bumbling captors.
By today’s standards, this show would not be popular unless the body count rose over 100 each episode. Airing from 1965-1971, this comedy, and it was hilarious, came during a time when the United States was still hip deep in the Cold War with Russia. Having the chance to watch Americans, English and French soldiers ‘stick it to’ their German jailers every week was one of the best morale boosters around.
Here is a bit of television trivia for you. Two of the cast members, John Banner (Sgt. Hans Schultz) and Robert Clary (Cpt. Louis LeBeau) were both Jewish. Clary was also a Holocaust survivor.
Check out the listings http://www.tvland.com and visit again with Col. Robert Hogan, Sgt. “I know nothing!” Schultz, Col. Wilhelm Klink and the inmates of Stalag 13.
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal
Several years ago I was selected to serve on a federal jury. It was two weeks of witnesses, piles of evidence and hours of testimony. For an hour each afternoon however, we could break away from the incredibly boring courtroom minutiae for lunch or a little diversionary reading. (No newspapers!)
I passed the time in the noblest of pursuits ~ historical non-fiction. Seriously, though, I did stumble across a book ~ written by an author who has since become a favorite ~ that tackled a sensitive subject with all the delicacy of a rogue elephant.
Christopher Moore, of “Fluke: I know why the Winged Whale Sings,” and “A Dirty Job” fame, also penned “Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal.”
Through his own methods of madness, Moore answers the questions surrounding what happened in Jesus’ life between his meager birth and the age of 33. In “Lamb” he takes us on an unconventional journey with Jesus and Biff through China, India, Tibet, and Afghanistan. Told through the eyes of Biff, the story fills in the blanks in Jesus’ childhood, teen and young adult years.
“Lamb” is one of the few books that have made me laugh out loud, several times, for long stretches of time.
As Moore says in his “Author’s Blessing:”
“If you have come to these pages for laughter, may you find it.
If you are here to be offended, may your ire rise and your blood boil.
If you seek an adventure, may this story sing you away to blissful escape.
If you need to test or confirm your beliefs, may you reach comfortable conclusions.
All books reveal perfection, by what they are or what they are not.
May you find that which you seek, in these pages or outside them.
May you find perfection, and know it by name.”