Five Gripes

By Dr. Charlie W. Starr   Ever have one of those days when you feel like you just need to pass judgment? In the world of arts and media, this is a dangerous thing to do for two reasons: 1. It doesn’t really do much good in terms of affecting culture.  2. Most of the […]

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A “How Art Works” Encore

By Dr. Charlie W. Starr   In 2011 I wrote a yearlong series on the purpose and function of the arts, something I’d done a little bit from time to time beforehand and want to keep doing from time to time still. Art appeals to the imagination and the imagination mimics the senses. When done […]

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The illustrating man

By Dr. Charlie W. Starr   One of the most underrated writers in the history of American literature died in 2012. Ray Bradbury was born in 1920. He published his first story in the late 40s and continued to publish novels and stories and write for film and television in every decade thereafter. That might […]

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Heaven . . . on earth?

By Dr. Charlie W. Starr   Last November I saw two movies that offered answers to the problems of pain and death and the possibility of life beyond death—answers many people today actually pursue (though these movies were fantasy films). But the answers do not satisfy.   The Horror of Reincarnation I went to see […]

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Christmas in the Shire

By Dr. Charlie W. Starr   December 2012 means Christmas and hobbits, and they are more closely connected than you might think. Mid-December marks the premiere of the first of three films based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s popular children’s book, The Hobbit, which will be released over the next year and a half. Tolkien […]