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Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

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Brian Regan Live!

Whether you purchase this CD or simply Google Brian Regan on your computer, you will find yourself listening to one of the funniest comedians to arrive on the scene in years. Brian Regan performs riffs on everything from boarding an airplane to a cholesterol report from his doctor. Recently I ate supper with some friends whose television screen was the size of one of my large bookshelves. The computer was tied into the television, and we were soon watching Brian Regan and laughing ourselves to the brink of tears.

 

The Emperor’s Club

Now five years old, this superb study in morality and vice has lost none of its immediacy, particularly in this year of politics. Kevin Kline plays a teacher of classics whose students carry his lessons of honor and virtue into their adult lives. There is an exception of course: the son of a senator to whom cheating comes naturally. This compelling film may leave many in its audience a trifle uncomfortable, partly because of the fine acting on the part of the villain and partly because the writers don’t offer the usual trivial happy ending to the movie. The Emperor’s Club offers young viewers a powerful look into corruption and its temptations.

 

The Meditations

Mark Twain once defined a classic as a book much praised but little read. One exception to his observation is The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, the musings of a Stoic Roman emperor that continue to attract an audience even today. If, as the British used to say, you find yourself going a bit wobbly, this book is for you. The Meditations is a tonic that thousands have used to encourage themselves to face unflinchingly the trials of a dark and troubled world. Aurelius reminds all of us of our obligations as human beings and how to meet those obligations. The Meditations can be picked up and read without regard to any particular order, and each page will inspire and offer realistic comfort to the weary and the downtrodden.

 

Fall

Thousands of people have traveled to Western North Carolina these last few weeks to enjoy the fall foliage and some crisp weather. It would behoove (a great old word) us all to lift our heads from our daily routines and take in the sights and scents of autumn as well. Not everyone is fortunate enough to dwell in the middle of a living miracle that some of us take for granted.

— By Jeff Minick

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