09 April 2010


The Alphabet Assignment: R

Our first list of the season! Believe it or not, I was having trouble finding enough Rs, and it wasn't until the Easter Vigil liturgy that I came up with the last entry for this list. Guess which one . . . =P

(You might recall that Easter Vigil made my E list.)

1) Resurrection

To have this as #1 spoils my alphabetical order, but asserts my theological order. Happy Easter!

2) Redwall by Brian Jacques

Talking mice. A whole monastery full of talking mice. Is there really anything more to say? (Well, okay, there's this to say: it's the first book in a whole series featuring talking mice, birds, badgers, squirrels, hedgehogs and woodland friends galore!)

3) Retro stuff

I like everything better after it has aged a bit--and nostalgia seems to be my default emotion. Even the 90s are becoming cool now . . . which reminds me: did you hear that Wes Craven is making Scream 4??? Yeah!!!

4) R.J. Jacinto

When I was still shuffling along in an awful Business School, I had a teacher who was critical of Jacinto's entrepreneurial choices. Apparently, he had inherited a great family business, but dumped it so that he could play his guitars. Well, my current guitar is one of his models; one of my friends takes her guitar lessons from a teacher at his school; and I like tuning in to his radio station every Sunday, when he plays nothing but "Oldies." I'd say he made the right choices.

5) Robbie Williams

Probably the best Pop star in the world, even if he only sings about himself--because he has mastered the art of singing about himself. But if the clues he is leaving in his wake are even half as meaningful as I think they are, then his soul is very troubled. Pray for him . . .

6) Robin Hood

My first hero! I would have dressed up as Robin Hood for one Halloween, but my mother refused on the grounds that it was a boy's costume. (She said the same thing when I wanted to go as Peter Pan . . . and the Karate Kid. Mothers!) Also note that his "stealing from the rich and giving to the poor" is not some proto-communism, but a radical medieval ideal.

7) RoboCop

Still my favourite cyborg! And still both the only Christ-figure cyborg and the only Catholic cyborg there is. There is more than one way to drive metal into a man's body so that he is attached to his cross forever. Only Peter Weller can play Murphy properly, though, so only the first two movies are watchable.

8) Rocky Balboa

I discovered the Rocky movies during a very low point in my life, and they actually helped turn me around. When Stallone made Rocky Balboa a couple of years after that, I was freaking ecstatic. I had been too young for the first four--and no adult in my life had had enough imagination to take me to the fifth--but #6 got to be my big screen Rocky movie. Deo gratias!

9) Romance Novels

Although I'm not even half the Romance reader I used to be, I don't think I will ever stop loving the Romance form, or admiring the writers who manage to be so creative under such strict conditions. It takes a special set of writing skills to follow the same formula as everybody else and still come up with something different.

10) Rome

The eternal city! And one which has been filled with so many foreigners since the time all roads started to lead to it, that it is tempting to say that everyone is Roman. Yet only a select handful have ever been native Romans. One of the great tragedies of my life is not having been born in Rome. Yet though I have not had a say in my birth, I may yet make a statement about my death--and as usual, G.K. Chesterton wrote the words for me: "Lift not my head from bloody ground,/ Bear not my body home,/ For all the earth is Roman earth/ And I shall die in Rome."


EegahInc said...

Peter Pan was a boy's costume? Don't tell that to Mary Martin, Sandy Duncan, or Cathy Rigby, it might hurt their feelings.

Enbrethiliel said...


Well, Peter Pan himself was a boy, so it's a fair assumption! ;-)

I had always wondered why women are usually cast to play Peter in the musical. Someone once told me it is because women's legs look better in tights . . .

EegahInc said...

i could be completely wrong, but I think I remember reading somewhere that the tradition started because minors couldn't work onstage after a certain time back when the play was first produced, so they went with tomboyish actresses instead. The tradition carried on even after the laws were changed.

Enbrethiliel said...


That actually makes more sense. =) Though I'm very surprised at the implication that there weren't enough boyishly slender grown men working in theatre to consider for the part!

On the other hand, tradition is tradition . . . But I'll confess to turning off a recording of Mary Martin as Peter Pan because hearing her voice for his character grated so much!

EegahInc said...

Again, I'm not 100% sure. I think I ran across that awhile back when I was trying to figure out the mystery of Mr. B Natural. And yeah, from the modern perspective, it is kind of hard to imagine a shortage of, um, less-than-manly actors willing to play the roll.

r said...

Kurtwood Smith in Robocop is one of my favorite movie villains ever.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Talking of Robin Hood:

I was reading the other day about his burial place in England.

Apparently when he was lying on his death bed, his closest friends were debating where he would be buried.

Friar Tuck thought it would be nice to bury him in his favourite spot in Sherwood forest, just by the river. Whereas Little John preferred to bury him in Nottingham, in defiance of the Sheriff.

Robin Hood heard them and tried to put an end to this discord. He looked out of the window of the castle he had finally regained as a lost inheritance and said: “Look out there. Give me my bow and arrow which I will shoot for the last time. Wherever the arrow lands; there I shall be buried.”

They gave him his bow and arrow and he raised his trembling hands skyward. He pulled back the arrow as far as his weakened arms would allow and then let go.

And that’s how Robin Hood came to be buried on top of the wardrobe.

By the way: did you like my book?

The Mike said...

Rocky is pretty much the all-american hero. Good call.

Enbrethiliel said...


R: I still cry out "Clarence Boddicker!" whenever I see him in another role!

Victor: Hahahaha! I didn't see that punchline coming. I was expecting that they were never able to find the arrow again and that the punchline would be the "compromise" they came up with. (Which would be a good "alternative ending," now that I think about it--but one writing challenge I don't think I could meet.)

And I'm embarrassed to say that I made it halfway through your book when I had to put it down to review two novels for a magazine I write for! The reviews have since been written, but I've still been distracted. I'll try to finish it this weekend. =)

Mike: Yes, I think Rocky is uniquely American. =) It's thickly implicit throughout the first movie, but Stallone found ways to foreground Rocky's American-ness in the sequels.

Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment!