Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It'll Rain A Sunny Day, I Know, Shining Down Like Water

The man is saying that he does not believe in God, that he believes in the usual omelette of evolution theory and The Big Bang, and he says, therefore, that he believes in other galaxies, forms of sentience, an infinite evolution of universes. "Infinite universes?" I say. Exactly. "Don't be foolish," I say. "If the universe is infinite, does it hold infinite possibilities? Are there possible versions of you and I out there?" Certainly a possibility. "Infinite variations?" Yes. "Well, if there is infinite variation, and infinite versions of you and I, and infinite versions of this unprovably best of all possible worlds, then, by the same reasoning, there is a world and an earth created by God. So your belief against God is no more than the argument for the possibility of His existence. You live in a contradictory world, then, a world that both is and is not formed by the God of the Christian faith and of the Jews."

Later, alone, I think that words mean nothing without belief, but that belief cannot fit into simple words. Everything is a contradiction and justification. Everything is belief.

Pig Island + Mo Hayder Not a thriller, not really, this is as close as a book can get to being a horror novel without being filed between Steven King and Lovecraft in that shabby little section half-way to the back of most bookstores. Joe Oakes is one of those reporters who deflates the paranormal for a living. He's good at it, so we—his audience—know he is going to come in for some hard knocks pretty soon, and he does, and so, unfortunately, do we. This book is as full of holes as a rusted-out colander. Thirty-one people are killed on Pig Island but only thirty—dum dum dum—can be identified. Great detail, and comes at a harrowing point in the novel, and nothing is ever heard again about who is really the thirty-first victim. Maybe I missed it, I miss a lot of things. The book holds together fairly well until the final crashing scenes, and everything splinters apart. I found no less than six glaring errors, in addition to the one named previously, which any of the policemen in the novel should have been all over before calling the case closed. But even Joe Oakes himself does not seem to spot them, nor the author, making for a heavily contrived ending. The details in this book are great, the set-up is terrific, Pig Island itself is properly ominous. Bestiality, gory deaths, The Island Of Doctor Moreau, a Satanic cult and extreme self-delusion—I'm disappointed this book was not better. The novel might make a good screen-play, but only if a director as sufficiently talented at distracting as Gore Verbinski—I'm thinking The Ring here—was in charge.

"Have You Ever Seen The Rain?" + Bishop Allen By now we have all seen the rain. Been that way for all my time. This is a good version, nothing special, but it would be hard to do a bad version of this classic. Live, yes, a bit muddy, yes, but the crowd is singing along and sometimes you have to make allowances for that. This cover will never be the iconic revision of John Fogarty's massive single that was Cash's cover of NIN or the charming nod that was Ted Leo's cover of "Since U Been Gone". This cover will never fill seats for fans of Bishop Allen or fans of CCR either. But this cover is good, and full of fun, and makes a good moment last a little bit longer, and who would ask more of a song than that? Also, Bishop Allen, right? Cherish them while they're here.

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