Tag Archives: charity bishop

Asking Deep, Irreverent Questions: Good Omens

Once, a friend paid me a compliment. He said, “You are the most devout ‘irreverent’ person I have ever met.” Okay, maybe it wasn’t a compliment. It was a perplexed, worried statement. I thanked him anyway. As a girl who loves to approach life with humor, even the “serious bits,” as author Terry Pratchett would call them, it’s no surprise I would love the series Good Omens.

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Master Shipbuilder: The Legacy of Thomas Andrews

The gale rocks the scaffolding beneath you. The sweat on your hands causes you to lose your grip on the iron rail. You came up to straighten the boards. Your heart pounds. One foot forward at a time. You can do this. TITANIC needs you. Her iron hull rises beside you. The next brutal gust rocks the narrow platform so much, you cannot take another step. Stranded eighty feet above the ground, you panic.

“Hold on,” someone shouts beneath you. “I’m coming up.”

You focus on breathing. The boards have shifted. You’re too terrified to try climbing down. You sit and wait until a cheerful face appears over the edge. “Hello, Archie,” your pal Thomas Andrews says with his usual grin. “Got yourself in a bind?”

You manage a nervous chuckle. Andrews helps you climb down before he secures the boards himself. Continue reading

Men of Honor: General Washington and Major André

Nobody likes a traitor..

Other than Judas, history has no more famous traitor than Benedict Arnold, whose name has become synonymous with betrayal. A military officer in the American Revolution and a friend of George Washington, Arnold fell to persuasion from Major John André, a British spymaster, into surrendering West Point to the British for £20,000. This would have enabled the British to cut off New England from the rest of the colonies.

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A Siren Call: Love in The Pirates of the Caribbean

Have you ever wondered why a heroine makes the romantic choice she does, because you would have chosen someone else? That difference of opinion has often happened to me over the years, but never more than in the first Pirates of the Caribbean. Seated in the theater, my hands in a popcorn bucket and eyeballs glued to the screen, I knew if I had been lucky enough to be in Elizabeth’s shoes, I would have picked not the dashing and romantic Will Turner, but the witty and reliable James Norrington! Continue reading

The Wonder of Little Boys: Stranger Things

I have a particular fondness for little boys. Their humor, their antics, the orneriness. I love it when my dad talks about his boyhood antics. Never in a million years would this girl have thought about dropping a cherry bomb down a chimney or hopping on a train! I enjoy reading about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn because Mark Twain knew what it was like to be a little boy. He wrote what he knew. He was, most probably, an ornery little kid. And the best fictional boys come from those who were ones. Continue reading

Sherlock Holmes: A Canon of Friendship

Sherlock Holmes made an enormous impact on crime literature. His unusual methods (deductive reasoning, observation, and intuitive conclusions) were so different from the Penny Dreadfuls of the day, he became one of the most famous characters in history (only Bram Stoker’s Dracula has had as much fame). But what makes Holmes live on when history has forgotten many other fictional detectives? Continue reading

Nothing’s Sacred: The Wonderful World of Terry Pratchett

The world had never seen, nor will see again, an author such as Terry Pratchett. At thirteen years old, readers caught its first glimpse of his satiric humor when he wrote a story about the Devil asking for help in marketing hell, becoming distraught with all the “noisy people” now crowding his “amusement park,” and begging the marketing agent to fix it. Continue reading

Kind Courage: The New Cinderella

“Have courage, and be kind,” our heroine’s mother tells Ella before she passes away.

The theme resonates through the story, as Ella is joyous amid her troubles—when banished to the attic by her wicked stepmother, she rearranges the scraps of furniture and shakes out a dusty blanket, before she tells the mice how much she enjoys solitude. Continue reading

The Greatest Showman: Re-Imagining An American Myth

P.T. Barnum was an all-American scrapper, a self-built from the bottom up businessman of the highest caliber, a man who saw money-making opportunities everywhere he looked, and, was ahead of his time and in others, was very much a product of his times. Most famous for creating the recently retired Barnum & Bailey Circus, last year filmmakers took his life as loose inspiration for the crowd-pleasing, slow-burn box office smash, The Greatest Showman. Continue reading