I am presently ensconced in the veep lounge in Amsterdam for a fairly lengthy layover before continuing on to Rome.
My Slingbox is functioning perfectly and I am watching a Univ. of MN v. Minnesota State Hockey game on a very smooth stream. The speed increase I wrote about a few days ago makes a difference. I will probably be able to watch the Sunday talking heads shows, also (Chris Wallace and Russert).
On the uneventful flight (who wants an eventful flight over the North Atlantic?) I watched a spectacular movie called in Chinese Huo Yuanjia or in English Fearless with Jet Li. I was delighted by this movie for many reasons. Not only were the martial arts sequences wonderful, but the film told a story of intercession and redemption. The main character, Huo Yuanjia, based on a real person, falls in several ways, even in being victorious in fighting. Important people in his life serve to bring him back from the edge of despair. While the film has some strong Confucian elements, as one would expect, you could interpret it in light of Catholic themes. For example, there is a lovely scene when Huo Yuanjia is in serious trouble with his father and is about to be whipped. His mother intercedes with his father and smoothly obtains mercy. In any event, I think I will add this to my grown collection of Chinese films.
I also spent some time reading G.K. Chesterton’s The Ball and the Cross, which so far is a wonderful parable about the relationship of faith and reason, as well as the place of both reason and religion in the public square. It is a decidedly appropriate book to read these days, I think. Though written about a century ago, you would think it was contemporary.