Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

As a celebration of our 100th post, the Expert Textperts decided that this year we are setting our resolutions here, where we may or may not actually stand accountable for them. January 1st is upon us, so we also decided it would be best to share our resolutions with anyone desperately looking for resolution ideas.

Brooke and Casey's joint resolutions:
  • Eat more awesome foods (maybe try Schwarma?).
  • Watch more movies (our Oscar prep this year has been dismal).
  • We should probably do better at FHE too.
  • Maintain our frankly laudable date-night record.
  • Finally, finally finish reading Sarah Vowel's Unfamiliar Fishes together (it's our designated "road trip" book, only we keep forgetting to bring and/or read it when we road trip, meaning our progress has been painfully slow).

Monday, December 24, 2012

An Expert Texperts Christmas

For those of us coming from a mainstream western Christian tradition, today is Christmas Eve. I've been wanting to do a Christmas post for a while now, but I couldn't settle on a single idea, so instead I'm going to offer a fruitcake-like amalgamation of all the ideas spinning in my mind.

• The best Christmas album of all time is by John Denver and the Muppets, and I defy you to say otherwise.
• "Last Christmas (I Gave You My Heart)" is not a Christmas song. Sure, it uses the word "Christmas" and allude to giving gifts, but there's a difference between setting and content. However, with lyrics so asinine and otherwise completely forgettable, I can't blame it for clinging to the one thing that keeps it on the radio.
• That being said, if a film is set in Christmas--even if it only begins or ends during the Christmas season--it is a Christmas movie.
• (From observing the in-laws): Just because your wife put Die Hard on the pile of Christmas DVDs does not necessarily mean she actually considers it a Christmas movie, much less that she's willing to watch it on Christmas eve.
• "Jingle Bell Rock" has, sadly, not lived up to it's name in recent years. Or...decades.
• Christmas lights, when properly applied, can be very classy looking. Christmas lights, when improperly applied, can have all the class of a Potterville strip club.
• Watch small children sing Christmas carols. Deliver cookies to your neighbors. Visit someone you haven't seen in months (or years). These are just a few of the many alternatives to talking about politics at the dinner table.

Well, time to get back to the relatives. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tooting the Horn

So if memory serves I might have already posted a version of my review of the film 17 Miracles . . . But whether I did or didn't, that one doesn't matter anymore. Now I have been published officially in BYU Studies. I am actually quite glad that I can fill out a citation on my CV (academic resume), that can look something like this.

Davis, Allan. "17 Miracles (film review)." BYU Studies 54, no. 4 (2012), 185-89.

So yes, I am tooting my own horn. This is my way of celebrating after finishing a week in which I wrote 70 pages of my own work while also grading 50 finals and 50 projects in the midst of holiday/end of the year parties. It was eventful, but I'm exhausted. If you would like to read my published review of the film 17 Miracles, click here. It should take you to the PDF of the document. If that link doesn't work, try this one and download the free PDF when you get there. Again, huzzah, and happy holidays.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Conflict of the Century of the Week

Anybody who follows the Mormon blogging world or just Mormon internet culture has probably seen a great disturbance of late, one of near-cataclysmic proportions. I confess, my views on the topic are good deal more in-depth than I care to get into, and I would never pretend that all the participants are somehow equally at fault or that there aren't real issues at stake. There are good, bad, and worse guys (and, obviously, girls) here. Regular readers (shut up, we have a few) can probably guess where I stand, but others have said about all there is to say at this point. Still, it's just crazy to me that on post after post and on various Facebook threads I'm seeing so much of this:

...over this:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Love One Another

This is happening.

Today the LDS Church rolled out a brand new website: Let me tell you why this is awesome. Firstly, the very first thing you see at the top of the page (under the logo) is: Love One Another. This is the only context in which this and many other topics should be discussed.

I've been pushing for a little while now (much more online than in "real life," and for that I am sorry) that the basic idea here is love. The conversation doesn't need to be about whether you leave a family member behind, or whether they leave you behind. The question for Christians should be: Do I, like Christ told me to, love this person? There are several videos on the Mormons and Gays website, one of which is called Greg. He said, "homosexuality, that may be such a huge part of how we perceive that person, in reality is just a minor part... I had better not allow a little piece of what they are to become an alienation factor."

The Mormon Newsroom article about the launch of the website quotes Elder Cook, who said,"Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach."

Scott Pilgrim for social justice!

In the end, that's all we need to do. Disregard the political, as several groups have done, and remember that we're here to emulate Christ. We need to reach out and love everyone, not only the LGBTQ community, but everyone. Love the people you hated in high school. Love your siblings that you can't seem to agree with. Love your families, friends, extended families, strangers. We could all take a lesson from the Amish people who forgave and loved the family who needed the most help.

To anyone who thinks this is a negative thing or a push to get tithes from LGBT, I say, I'm sorry you feel that way. The support community is buzzing with excitement, and I'm feeling it too.

That's all.