Monday, May 19, 2008

Nothing About Purity Balls Is Okay

At my high school, the students got to vote on the theme for our my rather famous senior prom. The winning theme my senior year was "Splendor on the Nile." The runner-up was "Roman Holiday." Now I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure "Celebrate Not Having Sex, And Bring Your Dad!" got zero votes.

Still, that theme is put to lavish use at "purity balls," evangelical father-daughter dances that probably started in somebody's gym, and now have ballooned into the expensive, oddly ritualistic ceremonies described in today's Times. Some descriptive passages:

...After dessert, the 63 men stood and read aloud a covenant “before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity.” The gesture signaled that the fathers would guard their daughters from what evangelicals consider a profoundly corrosive “hook-up culture.”

Did you hear that? The "hook-up culture" can eat through pans.

“It’s also good for me,” said Terry Lee, 54, who attended the ball for a second year, this time with his youngest daughter, Rachel, 16. “It inspires me to be spiritual and moral in turn. If I’m holding them to such high standards, you can be sure I won’t be cheating on their mother.”

Yeah, Rachel. It's up to you to keep Daddy in check. If you start kissing boys, you're giving him permission to cheat on Mommy.

“The culture says you’re free to sleep with as many people as you want to,” said Khrystian Wilson, 20, one of the Wilsons’ seven children, including five girls. “What does that get you but complete chaos?”

Um... seven children?

Each father and his daughter walked under the arch and knelt before the cross. Synthesized hymns played. The fathers sometimes held their daughters and whispered a short prayer, and then the girls each placed a white rose, representing purity, at the foot of the cross.

I see: the rose represents the girls' virginity, and the dads represent the girls' dads, and the cross represents sacrifice, and the synthesized hymns represent everything that is wrong with the world.

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Lost" Theories: Is The Island Eden?

Watching Lost the other night, I came to the realization that everyone who had been looking for something in Australia found it on the island: Kate wanted to escape the law, Hurley wanted to be rid of his money, Locke wanted to learn his true strength in the wilderness, Michael wanted more time with Walt, Sun wanted Jin's baby, Sawyer wanted to kill the man who destroyed his mother, and so forth . . . So if that's the case, could the island actually be paradise?

That's the theory put forth by a USA Today reader in this article, which has the series creators commenting on some theories and being suspiciously mute on others. Here's my favorite, Darren from Tennessee's "Eden" theory:

The actual identity of the island is the Garden of Eden — the cradle of civilization. We believe the show is balancing faith and science. Thus, the island is a place of faith being cloaked and protected (and even prodded) by scientific means.

It has been revealed that the numbers are the Valenzetti Equation. This equation points to the end of the world. It points to destiny, and it has been referred to as "a curse." When Adam and Eve sinned, it brought a curse to mankind (which included difficulty in childbirth). It also doomed all mankind to death. It pointed to the end of the world.

Dharma was trying to reverse the curse of Adam and Eve through scientific means, while the Others and the Lost-ies have been trying to do so by means of faith. The Others are moving the Lost-ies to make right the sins of their past. The Monster is a man-made means of judgment; he is a man-made god. If someone can pass The Monster's test of judgment, they may be able to atone for Adam and Eve's sin, and in essence reverse the curse in the very place where it began — the Garden.

Monday, May 12, 2008

He Died So That We Might Rock Out

Introducing the cross MP3 player necklace. Let's make a playlist!

Tori Amos, "Crucify"
Black Sabbath, "Headless Cross"
Cheater, "Nailed"

Other suggestions?