Idol Chatter

So Mel Gibson is making a Holocaust movie. As the New York Times reports, Gibson’s production company is in the early stages of producing an ABC miniseries based on the memoirs of a Dutch Jew who was hidden and saved by her Christian neighbors. Though it’s not clear how much he’ll be involved personally, I’m…

At yesterday’s Billboard Music Awards, rapper Kanye West was presented with one of the industry’s highest honors, the “Artist Achievement Award.” In his acceptance speech, the “Jesus Walks” superstar said, “When I first came out I was a hot head–I thought I was the greatest. I still think I’m the greatest.” If Jesus was at…

This Jew’s second-favorite Christmas tradition is happening tonight: the Charlie Brown special. (My #1 favorite is Chinese food and a rented movie on Christmas eve.) It’s not an exaggeration to say that as a kid, the most meaningful lesson I got on the meaning of this holiday was, year after year, from Charlie Brown’s dejection…

One of the best movies of the year was not exactly a box office knock-out when it played in theaters this past summer, but the Depression-era rags-to-riches story “Cinderella Man” is now out on DVD, just in time to begin campaigning for Oscar nominations in January. “Cinderella Man” is the true story of boxer James…

After going on hiatus the last few weeks, “The West Wing” returned last night with an episode that focused once again on presidential candidate Santos’s struggle to incorporate his religious beliefs with the demands of politics–or more specifically, the demands of his political advisors. After courting controversy with the Democratic Party in the past months…

I found an amazingly thoughtful moment of holiday inspiration this week from a completely unexpected source–author and scholar Umberto Eco . His recent op-ed piece in the London paper The Telegraph, entitled “God isn’t big enough for some people,” is a poignant and yet blistering commentary on society’s desire to find something even bigger than…

Elle Macpherson—supermodel, actress, and now lingerie designer and CEO of Elle Macpherson Intimates—is out and about posing for the holidays in her next-to-nothing offerings. (One billboard on the Long Island Expressway—an eight-story high vision of Elle bearing bra and panties—was recently taken down for reasons still a bit unclear. Indecency perhaps?) When she appears in…

Peter Steinfels, in this week’s New York Times “Beliefs” column, writes of the latest Hollywood-induced skirmish in the culture wars: “Narnia, it seems, is in danger of becoming a red state.” That’s because evangelicals nationwide are seeing the film as an amazing opportunity for evangelism, not to mention the best film in a while for…

With the airwaves, web and print media full of the questions about whether our season, trees and greetings are about “Christmas” or “the holidays,” I figure it’s a good time for a little quiz on it. Who has said some of the following? Try it honestly before checking out the answers below. 1. “Intoxicated with…

“Saturday Night Live” at its finest is satire, not just comedy. At its satirical and relevant best, it offered some neutered and politically unoffensive versions of “holiday” carols on this week’s show. In so doing, one of the most traditionally irreligious shows on television succeeded in displaying the limited value of a neutered holiday. Among…

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