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August 16, 1996     The Message
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August 16, 1996

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i i i : u ............................................................ 12 II -- On The Record--- YOU LEARN The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Risking safety is no way to 'learn' I recommend/Getting your heart trampled on/To anyone/I recommend/Walking around naked/In your living room/Swallow it down/(What ajagged little pill)/It feels so good/(Swimming in your stom- ach)/Wait until the dust settles I You grieve, you learn/You By CHARLIE MARTIN choke, you learn/You laugh, you CNS COLUMNIST learn/You choose, you learn/You pray, you learn/You ask, you learn/You live, you learn (REFRAIN) You live, you learn/You love, you learn/You cry, you learn/You lose, you learn/You bleed, you learn/You scream, you learn I recommend biting off/More than you can chew/To anyone/I certainly do/I recommend/Sticking your foot in your mouth/At any one time/Feel free/Throw it down/(The caution blocks you fr'om the wind)/Hold it up (to the rays)/You wait and see/When the smoke clears (REPEAT REFRAIN) Wear it out/(The way a 3-year-old would do)/Melt it down/(You're gonna have to even- tually anyway)/The fire trucks are coming at us/Around the bend (REPEAT REFRAIN) Written by Alanis Morrissette/Glen Ballard Sung by Alanis Morrissette Copyright (c) 1996 by MCA Music Publishing/ Vanhurt Music (BMI)/ Aerostation Corporation (ASCAP) To say that Alanis Morrissette's music is "hot" would be an understatement. When I've asked teens what they think of her music, all have re- sponded favorably. Morrissette won four Grammies last spring, in- cluding "Best Rock Album" and "Best Rock Song." Yet to me, her sound is more akin to screaming than music. Clearly, I'm in the minority! "You Learn" is her latest hit off the chart-top- ping "Jagged Little Pill" CD. As Morrissette says, one can learn from any life experience. She says that emotions like crying, screaming, grieving and laughing are among those experiences. I agree that an attitude of openness to life encourages you to grow from whatever happens. Such an approach builds trust in God's gift of life and how your existence may unfold. But Morrissette also encourages "biting off more than you can chew" and "sticking your foot in August 16, 1996 I --" your mouth," along with some other questionable ideas. It occurs to me that to learn from life, you don't have to do foolish things. You don't need to drive down the interstate backward to learn that doing so can lead to injury or worse. While I'm all for learning, I'm also for good judgment. Acting on impulse might be fun, but you can also hurt yourself or others. Indeed, pain can be a valuable teacher, but common sense also can help us learn and grow. Morrissette recommends swallowing down a "jagged little pill," remarking that "it feels so good swimming in your stomach." But what if this pill is some harmful drug? Then you are taking chances with your well-being. Sure, you might "learn" some- thing, like how little sense it makes to hurt yourself and your life unnecessarily. The song also doesn't address the question of respect. Abusing your body or your good relation- ships only shows a lack of respect for yourself and for those who love you. Without respect, your life becomes a path to suffering and pain. You can feel free to live life any way that you want. But you also are "free" to live with the conse- quences of your choices. Let common sense and sound judgment be your guides and teachers. (Your comments are always welcome. Please address: Charlie Martin, RR 3, Box 182; Rockport, IN 47635.) NEW YORK (CNS) -- The fol- lowing are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by the U.S. Catholic Conference (USCC) Office for Film and Broadcasting. Ratings are also given for the Mo- tion Picture Association of Amer- ica (MPAA). "Alaska" (Columbia) After their bush-pilot dad (Dirk Benedict) crashes in the Alaskan wilderness, two teens (Thora Birch and Vincent Kadeiser) set out on their own to find him, aided along the way by a plucky polar bear cub. Director Fraser C. Heston turns in a visually scenic but slow-paced rescue tale relying heavily on the cuteness factor of the frisky bear cub. Some strong menace and a crude expression. The USCC clas- sification is A-H-- adults and ado- lescents. The MPAA rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. "Basquiat" (Miramax) Hollow dramatization of the short career of Jean-Michel Basquiat (Jeffrey Wright), a black graffiti artist in New York City who achieves international fame as a painter until dying from a drug overdose in 1988 at the age of 27. Written and di- rected by Julian Schnabel, the episodic script develops little emotional involvement in the character and lacks any insight into his work as an intuitive, self- taught artist or the bohemian art fringe in which he finds fame. Frequent scenes of drug abuse, implied sexual encounters, pro- fanity and rough language. The USCC classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The MPAA rating is R -- restricted. "Chain Reaction" (20th Cen- tury Fox) Slack action thriller in which a fugitive (Keanu Reeves) hunted by the FBI for blowing up a hy- drogen energy project uncovers a rogue government operation and blows it sky high. Directed by Andrew Davis, the weakly con- trived proceedings are filled with high-tech machinery and special- effects violence, but the formula plot and stock characters gener- ate little genuine suspense and even less interest. Assorted vio- lence, much menace and inter- mittent profanity. The USCC classification is A-III -- adults. The MPAA rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inap- Author urges 'hunger for meaning' Pathways to Re-creating Reli- gious Communities; by Patricia Wittberg, S.C.; 1996, Paulist Press, 997 Macarthur Blvd., Mahwah, NJ 07430; Paperback, 266 pages, $14.95 Review By MARY ETrA KIEFER, O.S.B. Message Staff This book title, at first glance, seems a bit too specific for the general audience. It is, however, quite applicable to the small faith groups emerging on a global scale. In any event, for prayer groups forming from the Cursillo experience to families learning how to live together in reasonable harmony, this book is a valuable resource. Sister Wittberg has exam- ined refounding periods in his- tory and has applied what she has learned in order to describe opportunities and pitfalls fac- ing new forms of religious life today. In this work Sister Wit- tberg's research has been unique, for it seems that no one has ever investigated the char- acteristics and conditions ex- isting at earlier times of such refounding efforts. Her studies have convinced her that "... all of the supports (that enabled religious life to flourish in pre- vious centuries) had been si- multaneously removed in the latter half of the twentieth and do not show signs of being reinstated." In spite of that be- lief, Sister Wittberg holds that the hunger for meaning, the search for God, exists today as in the past -- perhaps even to a greater degree. "If we can just tap into that hunger, there will be an explosive rebirth of religious communities," she prophesied. Pathways identifies the need and functional value of common vision and the frequent pitfalls in shaping the common life. It's a hopeful, practical book -- al- most a schema for the formation and re-formation of groups who seek to live some expression of the gospel life. This book is rec- ommended for use by all kinds of community, from family to the universal church, and ev- erything in-between. About the Author: Sister Patricia Wittberg re- ceived her doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago. She is an associate professor of sociology at Indiana University- Purdue University at Indi- anapelis. She is well-known as a lecturer, consultant and work- shop facilitator, and her writ- ings on religious life have been widely published. propriate for children under 13. "Escape from LA." (Para - mount) After being separated from the mainland by an earthquake, Los Angeles in 2013 serves as a prison island for undesirables into which a war hero-turned- criminal (Kurt Russell) is sent by the president (CliffRobertson) to retrieve a doomsday device from a power-mad anarchist (George Corraface). Director John Car- penter's derivative sequel to "Es- cape from New York" (1981) is chock full of gunfights, chases and sleek special effects that add up to mindless escapism. Recur- ring stylized violence, some rough language and an instance of profanity. The USCC classifi- cation is A-III -- adults. The MPAA rating is R -- restricted. "Phat Beach" (Orion) Puerile comedy in which a smooth-talking romeo (Brian Hooks) persuades his overweight buddy (Jermaine Hopkins) to head for a week-long beach party with bikini clad bimbos. Director Doug Ellin's lame jiggle show is little more than a mindless male fantasy about women as anony- Stratman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locust Street John and Judy Stratman 425-5293 i iii Oak Hill Pharmacy, Prescription Specialists Hwy. 62 and N. Weinboch Ave. LARRY SCHULTHEIS, Prop. 425-4422 mous playthings. Sexist humor, crude sexual references, nudity, a brief sexual encounter, fleeting drug use, some profanity and much rough language. The uscC classification is O -- morally of- fensive. The MPAA rating is R restricted. 'rin Cup" (Warner Bros.) An underachieving golf pro (Kevin Costner)enters the U.S. Open in order to win the love of a psychologist (Renee Russo), who is the girlfriend of his longtime rival (Don Johnson). Director Ron Shelton's low-key romantic corn" edy offers a genial cast of charaC" ters in a drawn-out story which fails to generate sufficient roman" tic or comedic momentum. 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