Wednesday, June 30, 2010


For those of you who are new to No Expiration, once a month I go on SIRIUS XM's The Catholic Channel's Busted Halo Show on SIRIUS channel 159 and XM channel 117.  Tune in at 7:20 pm ET (for a free online trial subscription, go to Thursday nights are "Faith and Culture Thursdays," and we usually discuss the music of a specific artist, and tomorrow night we'll be talking about one of my favorite artists of all time, Aimee Mann.

Ms. Mann might find it odd that her music is being discussed in that forum, but I feel that her songs have a really strong moral code. She comes off as a very strong and together person, but she seems to be surrounded by very flawed characters with a variety of problems.  Paul Thomas Anderson's film Magnolia, which I watched over the weekend preparing for the Busted Halo show, was inspired by a line in Aimee Mann's song "Deathly." In so many songs, she sings about these characters.  You don't get the impression that these people can take advantage of her, she doesn't seem like an "enabler." But she doesn't reject anyone either, and she doesn't judge them. Rather, she seems to give hard advice, the advice that only someone with compassion would bother to give.  That's why I guess I felt she fit in on the show. It's difficult to forgive.  It's easier to just hold a grudge.  But to try and understand other people's problems and why they are the way they are, that's something we should all be able to do, and something religion should help us to do.

There are a lot of parts of Magnolia that stick out to me.  But one big one is towards the end where John C. Reilly's character, pretending he is being interviewed for a "COPS" type show, says, "Sometimes people need a little help. Sometimes people need to be forgiven. And sometimes they need to go to jail." There's a lot of humanity and realism in that statement. Sometimes you can help people if you try.  And sometimes you can't help them. That is sort of at the core of Magnolia, and in a lot of ways, it is at the core of many of Aimee Mann's songs.

Agree?  Disagree?  Tune in tomorrow and call in with your opinions.

No comments: