Cherry On Top

A Cross with a heart, photo taken near Sherbrooke, Quebec by author
A Cross with a heart, photo taken near Sherbrooke, Quebec by author

Cherry On Top

The phrase “cherry on top” makes me think of an ice cream sundae or something sweet like that. As for me personally, I have never cared for the preserved red cherry on top, but I do enjoy fresh cherries immensely. Besides the obvious Christian theme, maybe that is what this picture is about. Enjoy and here is the official definition for the phrase according to the Oxford dictionary.

“A desirable feature perceived as the finishing touch to something that is already very good.”       Fits this picture very well, don’t you think.

Cherry On Top

Advertisements

Two Brits Visit Toronto And Get In An Argument

Outdoor Advertising in Toronto
Outdoor Advertising in Toronto

This weekend was the last in a planned series of public discourse, called the Munk Debates. An initiative of the Aurea Foundation, the Munk Debates occur twice a year and are featured on CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting company. Having the past Prime Minister of Great Britain, participate in this event, probably heightened  exposure for the occasion. For as it turned out, the debate was widely covered by the press, both in the US and Great Britain. (I think live viewing was restricted to Canada)

According to a poll of attendees, Hitchens won the exchange with his premise that religion is a destructive force in the world. Tony Blair, who has converted to Catholicism since leaving public office, took an opposing view that religion can be a powerful force for good.

The public appearance of Hitchens was noteworthy as he is currently undergoing chemotherapy at present for cancer of the esophagus. Presently the noted man of letters has a bit of a ghostly appearance due to his frequent medical treatments. Reportedly, Mr. Hitchens had cut back on his chemo, so as to be mentally awake for the debate. My only wish, is that it’s a shame the two could have taken opposite sides on the most recent Iraq War that still lingers on, even to this day.

Toronto Skyline at Dusk
Toronto Skyline at Dusk
Downtown Toronto
Downtown Toronto

Coen Brothers Have A New Movie

scene from A Serious Man
scene from A Serious Man

Here is a still picture from the newest release by Joe and Ethan Coen, entitled A Serious Man. It is an image of the main character standing on the roof of his own home, which is located in a very mundane and grassy suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The setting works very well for this mastery-told story that follows the trials and tribulations of a Jewish Physics Professor, Larry Gopnik (played by Michael Stuhlbarg).

This image is everywhere, as a promotion for the film. Only after seeing the movie did I realize that this particular still, both satirizes and also confirms the archetype of “The Fiddler On the Roof”. I think it is safe to say that this scene, where Larry Gopnik has to climb up on the roof to adjust the family TV antennae, so that his teenage son can watch F-Troop, is designed as a late sixties version of the classic Jewish tale. In fact throughout this thoroughly engaging film, there is the constant presence of Jewish religious thought, often portrayed by a series of rabbis both young and green and old and learned. But don’t let the presence of a large number of religious leaders deter anyone from viewing this comic gem of a movie. For in this witty piece of cinematic storytelling, the religious message is relayed through a series of humorous, entertaining and sometimes tragic events. The movie makes the forever valid assertion that good storytelling involves tragedy and misfortune as often as it does triumph and success.

Coen Brothers
Coen Brothers on the set of O Brother

This movie is really two fables. The first one occurs in the past, somewhere in Poland, where the three characters where clothing and inhabit a setting straight out of Fiddler on the Roof. This excellent piece is very short and at first appears to have no relationship to the main tale. The bulk of the movie follows Professor Gropnik through an extraordinary series of mid-life crises that seemed to have come his way by divine providence,  just to rattle his soul and test his faith.

All in all, A Serious Man is a very good perhaps even a great movie, which was written from scratch by the two talented brothers. This cinematic episode is another fine effort from these two, as the pair continues to leave their artistic stamp on the Hollywood movies of the late 20th and early 21st century.

Hope all is well, as we quickly approach the Holiday season and New Year. Best wishes Everett Autumn.