Sunday, May 14, 2006

Julia Sweeney

Note: I have tried for a week to write this post. I almost just gave up because the thing was just not coming together. However, I really, REALLY loved this show, and I really wanted mention it. Therefore, sorry for the quality (and the rambling) but at least it's here.


Have you ever had that experience where you have an idea in your head and it makes perfect sense, but when you try to explain it to another person it just comes out as nonsensical babble? Perhaps not (depending on your level of elocution) but it happens to me fairly often. Now, I know what you're thinking, a teacher should be clear at all times. In the classroom I do a pretty good job on that, but when it comes to more esoteric topics, I often have trouble laying things out clearly. That is why I was so excited by the things Julia Sweeney had to say in her show "Letting Go of God."

When we first saw the ad for a show by Julia Sweeney (of Saturday Night Live fame) and Ira Glass (of NPR fame) we thought it sounded like an interesting combination, so we bought tickets without really knowing what we might get. What we did get was a very intelligent and also hilarious look at Julia's struggle with religion and spirituality. I have seriously tried several times to write a summary of her show, but it just isn't happening. Her timing and delivery were such an integral part of things that it just doesn't seem to work in text form (or maybe I'm just a lame writer) Suffice it to say that she illustrated her true and honest attempt to have deep faith, but she could never quite get past her own doubt. Blind faith turned out to be really hard to maintain when she took a good, hard look at the things she was being asked to believe. When this show comes out on DVD (in June?) I would highly recommend it to anyone who has ever been troubled by these kinds of doubts.

In the end, this show took my opinions about religion, summed them up, cleanly refuted any opposition through careful research, and then added perfect comic timing, and bitingly funny commentary. It was a beautiful experience. Now if only she would do the same for my views on politics, relationships, the environment, food, child rearing, school funding, health and fitness, textbook selection, the economy...

2 comments:

Tali said...

I'm so jealous - I really, really, wanted to go see this but had to be in Berkeley for the weekend. I'm glad to hear it was so good though, and that at least I can say one of my friends went! ;-) Now I just have to wait for the This American Life TV series to start...

Joy to the World said...

This American life TV. That would be great!