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November 15, 1996     The Message
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November 15, 1996

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana ---.On The Record--- When, tempted to act impulsively I BY CHARLIE MARTIN i CNS COLUMNIST II IF IT MAKES YOU HAPPY I've been a long way from here/Put on a poncho/Played for mosquitoes/And drank till I was thirsty again/We went searching through/Some thrift- store jungles/Found Geronimo's rifle/Marilyn's shampoo and/Benny Goodman's corset and pen/Well OK/I made this up/I promised you I'd never give up REFRAIN If it makes you happy/It can't be that bad/If it makes you happyfrhen why the hell are you so sad? You get down, real low down/You listen to Coltrane/Derail your own train/Well who has- nt been there before/I come round/Around the hard way/Bring you comics in bed/Scrape the mold off the bread/And serve you french toast again/Well OK/I still get stoned/I'm not the type of girl/You'd take home (REPEAT REFRAIN) We've been far, far away from here/Put on a poncho/Played for mosquitoes/And every. where in between/Well OK/We get along/So what if right now/Everything's wrong (REPEAT REFRAIN) Written by Sheryl Crow/Jeff Trott Sung by Sheryl Crow Copyright (c) 1996 by Warner- Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)/Trottsky Music Sheryl Crow's 'quesday Night Music Club" made her a pop household name (at least to the teens in the house). Now, off her new CD is the cur- rent chart cassingle "If It Makes You Happy." The song appears to describe a couple who are going together and are about to split. They've done many things together; they "get along." Yet, the woman in the song exclaims, "So what if right now everything's wrong?" This woman tells her partner, "If it makes you happy," then their relationship "can't be that bad." However, she then asks, "If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?" Sounds like they need a break from the rela- tionship. Maybe then some clearer thinking can end the confusion and help them redirect their lives. The song leads us to ask how we know if we're happy. Sometimes, we make a decision that we think will make us happy. Later, we regret the choice. Consider this situation. A teen and his parents mutually negotiate a curfew. However, this teen decides that hanging out with his friends would be more fun, even though doing so breaks the curfew. Will this decision make him happy? Many times, the only way to discern what will lead to happiness is to look at In the above situation, feelings will not bring happiness. needed to think about the impact word. We need to be careful about invites us to do. Rarely does actin to long-term happiness. When impulsively, think about these questions: 1. Will anyone (including action (as, in the above situation, the teen'S ents)? 2. Does what I'm about to do compromise moral values? 3. IfI don't do this, what will be lost? : 4. Twenty-four hours from now, will I be of my decision? Admittedly, such questions will you remember them. Teens need to know OK to take a break and walk away from Having to decide something on the moment is often the path to a mistake. If peers pressure you against break, know that their behavior is unfair. sure implies that these people are not your They do not have your best interest at Yes, there is a time to take gave each of us a brain. Make sure to deciding what makes you lastingly hapPY. (Your comments are always welcome. address: Charlie Martin., RR 3, Box 182, Ind. 47635.) ies: Current ca THE CATHOLIC COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN 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. Rating are also given for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). "Bad Moon" (Warner Bros.) Inept monster movie in which a man (Michael Pare) visiting his sister (Mariel Hemingway) and young nephew manages to keep them in the dark about spending his nights as a demon werewolf, but he can't fool the family's pet dog. Director Eric Red fails to build any interest in the characters as they plod through an inane story with some gruesome chills and cheesy special-effects gore, Mindless sex, violence and rough lan- guage. The USCC classification is O -- morally offensive. The MPAA rating is R -- restricted. "Dear God" (Paramount) Feeble comedy in which a con artist working as a postal employ- ee (Greg Kinnear) and his wacky co-workers get in hot water after he opens letters addressed to God and they begin helping the needy letter writers. Despite a talented comedic supporting cast, director Garry Marshall's sentimental tale is clumsily contrived, gener- and mild sexual innuendo. The USCC classification is A-If -- adults and adolescents. The MPAA rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. "Larger Than Life" (MGM-UA) Underperforming comedy in which a hapless chap (Bill Mur- ray) inherits his father's per- forming elephant, then struggles to personally escort the unruly pachyderm across the cotintry to an impatient buyer. Directed by Howard Franklin, the comic pro- ceedings are pleasant enough, though they never venture far beyond its limited odd-couple premise. Fleeting profanity and brief menace. The USCC classi- fication is A-II -- adults and ado- lescents. The MPAA rating is PG parental guidance suggested. "Mercy" (Unipix) Dark drama of a wealthy, self- obsessed lawyer (John Ruben- stein) forced to own up to his grievous failings after his ll- year-old daughter (Rhea Silver- Smith) is kidnapped by a venge- ful teen-aged girl (Amber Kain) whom he had rejected after a casual sexual encounter. Writer- director Richard Shepard's unpleasant but revealing char- acter study probes the arrogance of a selfish man and the damage his actions inflict on all around him. Brief violence, sexual ref- erences and much rough lan- guage as well as profanity. The USCC classification is A-III adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. "Ransom" (Touchstone) Fearing his kidnapped son will be killed anyway, an enraged father (Mel Gibson} spurns the FBI's advice to pay the ransom money and offers it instead to anyone who can identify the abductors (led by Gary Sinise) as he races against time to locate his son. Director Ron Howard's taut action thriller twists and turns suspensefully, although its point- blank violence is disturbingly realistic. Several gory killings, deadly menace to a child, fre- quent profanity and much rough language. The USCC classifica- tion is A-IV-- adults, with reser- vations. The MPAA rating is R-- restricted. "Secrets & Lies" (October) Powerful British drama in which an adopted black woman learns she was the illegitimate daughter of a white woman who at first denies being her mother, then comes to like her as a per- son and eventually invites her to a family gathering where one painful truth leads to a number of others. Director Mike Leigh uses the credibly contrived situ- ation to examine the flawed humanity of each of the charac- ters as well as their family rela- tionships, social aspirations and racial attitudes. Sexual situa- tions and domestic tension sification i, MPAA rating is R "Set It Trash, crime four (Jada Pinkett, Vivica A. Fox Elise) turn les banks, partly an oppressive to get enough new Gary Gray gang's crimes injustices that armed robbery, another glamOl violence in the violence, a brief nudity a' language. The tion is O -- mora The MPAA restricted. Stories meet our need for signs from Anderson, Joan Wester: Where Wonders Preva//, Ballanfine Books, Random House, New York, 1996. Hardbound, 276 pages, $21 From the author of the best- Book Review By MARY ETTA KIEFER, O.S.B. Message Staff ii iii seller, Where Angels Walk, comes this new collection of stories about ordinary people with extraordinary experiences. The narratives, all short pieces, bring readers the joy of seeing lives transformed by small "interven- tions" in their work-a-day world. A 10-year-old boy sledding with his friend in the new snow ating few laughs and mostly lost his glasses. They searched bogusha'otions. F{deih'ul'o]ffeL'.'da'o:gailt" il.'dak,a'n'd',drihg ". the night another six inches of snow fell. Early the next morn- ing the boy went to look again, despairing of ever finding the glasses. Kneeling in the snow, he said a fervent prayer, and spied his glasses, unharmed, sitting atop a mound of snowy broom grass. In another story, a mother was sitting in church when an image flashed through her mind of her son and a friend as they were dri- ving down the highway. In her vision she saw a collision about to happen and prayed for God's pro- tection of her son. After church she received a call that the boy was indeed in an accident, but both he and his friend escaped injury. The crash occurred while she was in church. .The popuhrity of Anderson's work, including two other books on heavenly messages, Where Miracles Happen and An Angel to Watch Over Me, attests to the human desire for some evidence of God's constant guardianship of our lives, and just as in Bible days, people look for signs. To do her particular ministry, the author has sifted through the personal stories of hundreds of people. Her purpose is to bring hope in the form of anecdotal witness to God's activity in our world. Anderson sees the twists and turns of what we commonly call coincidence, and gathers them into a convincing collection of"hope messages," artfully pre- sented and arranged in effective sequence. Even the skeptic will enjoy the .stories ,and be lifted by,the tri umph of good comforting senger of God -', The phenomenal ic" which has in the past dence of the for reassurance and the longing God's love is todays. About the Joan Wester wife, mother who lives She brings he through her articles in pop tt and personal television. Where vail is a is available at . where and ji)