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30 Days, 6/29

Old 06-29-05, 04:53 PM
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30 Days, 6/29

Tonight is the one episode of the series that I am looking forward to.

Spoiler:
David Stacy is a "good Christian husband and father" living in West Virginia who agrees to live with a Muslim family in Dearborn, Mich., for an eye-opening 30 days. As Stacy befriends his host family, he struggles deeply with his bias against their religion -- one that's (for better or worse) associated with the events of 9/11.
Old 06-29-05, 11:27 PM
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I actually really like this series, though I could have done without the too-clever animations. One of the strengths of it is that they subject an 'average Joe' as opposed to Spurlock himself(other than the first episode) so you get a feel that is more authentic than the typical camera grandstanding that usually occurs. It's still a little preachy, but it did raise some legitimate issues in an interesting and engaging way.
Old 06-30-05, 02:11 AM
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This episode was really well done. I was engaged, learned a little, and could see both sides of the issue. I'm really enjoying this series right now.
Old 06-30-05, 08:38 AM
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Unfortunately, my power was out for 3 1/2 hours last night so I'll have to catch one of the encore presentations.
Old 06-30-05, 10:25 AM
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Too bad they did not choose someone that would at least THINK that maybe the Imam was telling the truth about Muslims, Jews and Christians all having the same God, but the ass refused to even think about it.
I think they should have taken him out somewhere and try to get him some more of the racism experienced by American Muslims outside of their community.
Old 06-30-05, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Cusm
I think they should have taken him out somewhere and try to get him some more of the racism experienced by American Muslims outside of their community.
Did you miss the segment where he had to go and try and get people to sign the petition against racial profiling?

Overall, a great episode. They're going to have a hard time topping this one.
Old 06-30-05, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Did you miss the segment where he had to go and try and get people to sign the petition against racial profiling?

I saw that, but I would have been interesting to see peoples reactions to middle eastern mulsims.
Old 06-30-05, 10:44 AM
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"Did he just flip me off?"

"No dude, that was a peace sign."

Old 06-30-05, 11:18 AM
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Excellent episode, I thought they made a good choice not just getting someone completely closed-minded, but someone who would at least try to learn something about the topics. I'm glad this show doesn't seem to be going for the trainwreck factor.

Next week's episode
Spoiler:
looks... pretty much the same as this week's though. Take a conservative and place him in an environment that he doesn't like in an attempt to get him to learn more about it. If they wanted to do the "fish out of water" thing again, they could have at least reversed it (i.e. place a more liberal guy on a southern farm, or something).
Old 06-30-05, 12:11 PM
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For a practicing Christian, that dude was totally clueless about his faith - both it's history and what the diety of Christ entails.
Old 06-30-05, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by slop101
For a practicing Christian, that dude was totally clueless about his faith - both it's history and what the diety of Christ entails.
Which pretty much puts him on par with most American Christians, no?
Old 07-01-05, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Which pretty much puts him on par with most American Christians, no?
Exactly what I was going to say.
Old 07-01-05, 07:07 AM
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Much more interesting than last week, mainly for the fact I learned things this week.
Old 07-01-05, 08:45 AM
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This Christian guy could not have been a bigger, self-centered, arrogant ass -- going on and on about how he misses his beer. And that scene where he whines to his wife that the clothes she sent were "fine," but that he had thought he was getting a care package of some type? Puh-leeze.

I really don't think he followed the rules as he was supposed to. Standing during the mosque prayer ceremonies just seemed so incredibly disrespectful and even the one time, he finally goes through the "physical motions," he's clutching some dimestore crucifix as if to ward off any suspicion that he might be betraying his faith.
Old 07-01-05, 09:26 AM
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Wait a minute? You mean Muslims aren't all terrorists?!? I enjoyed this episode more than the others, but there's still an oversimplified Captain Obvious element to it that's a bit annoying.

das
Old 07-01-05, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by grunter
This Christian guy could not have been a bigger, self-centered, arrogant ass -- going on and on about how he misses his beer. And that scene where he whines to his wife that the clothes she sent were "fine," but that he had thought he was getting a care package of some type? Puh-leeze.

I really don't think he followed the rules as he was supposed to. Standing during the mosque prayer ceremonies just seemed so incredibly disrespectful and even the one time, he finally goes through the "physical motions," he's clutching some dimestore crucifix as if to ward off any suspicion that he might be betraying his faith.
I can't believe he couldn't just cast aside his faith for 30 days. He clearly doesn't agree with the doctrine of the religion, but he should jsut shut up and do it anyway. What's the harm in following a false prophet for a month, right? After all, this is TV!
Old 07-01-05, 09:45 AM
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I don't think the guy was a jerk. I think he was cautiously open-minded.

As for the "Captain Obvious" aspect, I don't think it is obvious to a lot of people. One need go no further than this forum to see that.
Old 07-01-05, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Needle
I can't believe he couldn't just cast aside his faith for 30 days. He clearly doesn't agree with the doctrine of the religion, but he should jsut shut up and do it anyway. What's the harm in following a false prophet for a month, right? After all, this is TV!

Well you might have a point, if Christians and Muslims beleived in different Gods. Christian's beleive Jesus is the son of God, and treat him as an extension of God. Muslims beleive in the same damn God, but think Jesus was just a prophet.
Is Christianity, or this guy's faith, so weak, that he could not have followed the physical motions (all of which praise the Christian and Muslim God as the one god) of a different prayer to the same god and loose his beleif in Jesus? Could he not have prayed to Jesus during the prayer? It was not said he had to worship a god that was not his own, this ass just would not accept the fact that Christianity, Judaism and Islam all have the same god. The rules never said he had to forget his faith and forget Jesus.

The show did a bad job of letting people know what the prayer and physical actions of the prayer actually mean.
Old 07-01-05, 03:04 PM
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He didn't have a problem with any of that prayer except for the prophet Mohammed part...and I understand why he wouldn't feel comfortable praying about something that was didn't jive with his faith.
Old 07-01-05, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Shady12
He didn't have a problem with any of that prayer except for the prophet Mohammed part...and I understand why he wouldn't feel comfortable praying about something that was didn't jive with his faith.
It is true that a part of the traditional prayer is expressing belief that Mohammed was a messenger of God. However, Islamic prayer is something that you "say" in your head. It is not out usually out loud, and even when an Imam is leading the prayer out loud, its still what you are thinking that is important. If you believe in God, you believe he is all knowing. You're not going to hell for praying to Jesus with Muslims. Anyone without their head up their ass could realize this.

I am also astounded that he didn't realize how rude it was to stand while everyone else was praying. I am impressed that no one asked him to at least sit down in the back rather than stand like that if he wasn't going to participate.

The show's premise mandates that the test subject learn something at the end of the 30 days, but absent the narration I am not convinced they guy really learned much (other than that the Muslims he hung out with were nice guys). He never learned that despite the apparant cultural differences Islam is very similar to Judaism and Christianity, his comments on the radio show and his argument at dinner reveal that he still thinks Muslims condone terrorism, and he apparantly still thinks that sleeper cells within average Muslim communities in the U.S. are a serious concern.

The first Imam didn't help with his education all that much, because he was going for the typical Socrates-like approach to convincing somoene that your view is correct (I have seen many Imams do this). That approach was wrong for this case. However, the guy could still have learned a lot more from everyone else he was with for the full month. The show didn't really show that he had read even read the Quran (which is an easy read if you have a month to do it). If he had read the book, he might have had some more intelligent questions and might have been able to learn a lot more than it seems he did.

All in all, I think this episode could have been more interesting if they didn't choose someone who had such reservations about Islam. If they chose someone who was a devout Christian, but who really wanted to learn, we might have had some better debates and brought out more interesting questions (and thus the episode would be more informative for viewers). I agree with dasMonkey. The episode didn't tell most people anything new.

It was entertaining mind you, just thought it could be better.
Old 07-01-05, 08:03 PM
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It is amazing to read those criticizing this guy for not instantly going along with the motions of a faith he has clear and strong disagreements with, speaking prayers in a language he is not familiar with, and devoted to a book he is admittedly not familiar with other than lately hearing it quoted over the recently beheaded bodies of civilians and American soldiers. And then after he takes the time to learn what he can, and become comfortable enough to participate in some fashion, he is ridiculed for clutching his "dimestore crucifix." Just because the faith of some in this forum is such that it wouldn't bother them to jump right in and become muslim for a bit, how arrogant to demand that he do the same.

I believe someone already asked this in the forum above, but how do you suppose would his host have done if the roles were reversed? I'll bet we'd hear little of the same griping about clutching dime store Qurans, the disrespect of not removing muslim headgear during mass, and hesitating to go through the physical motions of accepting the sacraments. The guy in this episode was extremely open to learning and then participating where he felt comfortable he was not violating his principles by doing so.

As far as sleeper cells in the muslim community, perhaps their history is a figment of his furtive white Christian imagination.
Old 07-01-05, 09:58 PM
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"his comments on the radio show and his argument at dinner reveal that he still thinks Muslims condone terrorism"

I didn't get that from him, I thought he was saying that he doesn't understand why more Muslims don't come out and denounce it. That guy was very ignorant of Islam going in. For him to not know Muslims worship the same god as Christians/Jews meant he didn't even know it developed from Judaism/Christianity.

By the way this site stinks in that it's barely functional if you have a firewall on..Blocks out all images so the only way to make a post is to use the quick post thing. I had to turn it off to edit this(so there would be an edit button to click)..and hooray I was assaulted with popups.

Last edited by Shady12; 07-01-05 at 10:02 PM.
Old 07-02-05, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Needle
It is amazing to read those criticizing this guy for not instantly going along with the motions of a faith he has clear and strong disagreements with, speaking prayers in a language he is not familiar with, and devoted to a book he is admittedly not familiar with other than lately hearing it quoted over the recently beheaded bodies of civilians and American soldiers. And then after he takes the time to learn what he can, and become comfortable enough to participate in some fashion, he is ridiculed for clutching his "dimestore crucifix." Just because the faith of some in this forum is such that it wouldn't bother them to jump right in and become muslim for a bit, how arrogant to demand that he do the same.

I believe someone already asked this in the forum above, but how do you suppose would his host have done if the roles were reversed? I'll bet we'd hear little of the same griping about clutching dime store Qurans, the disrespect of not removing muslim headgear during mass, and hesitating to go through the physical motions of accepting the sacraments. The guy in this episode was extremely open to learning and then participating where he felt comfortable he was not violating his principles by doing so.

Well let's see, he is worshipping the same god as any Muslim. Now if the roles were reversed, the muslim would be worshipping a different (false to them) god. This is a LOT different. I do not begrudge not knowing what the actions and prayers in Arabic mean, at first, but he learned what they were and what they meant, and he STILL refused to beleive it was the same god.

There is only one part of the prayer (Muhammad) that I could understand a christian not following/beleiving - but this could be skipped or changed to suit him.

"Allah is Most Great" four times
"I bear witness that there is no god but Allah" two times
"I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah" two times
"Come to prayer" two times
"Come to the good;' two times
"Allah is Most Great" two times

Is this prayer so vile for a christian to endure? I see nothing blasphemous, I see more blasphemous actions undertaken everyday by good abiding christians.
Old 07-02-05, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Needle
It is amazing to read those criticizing this guy for not instantly going along with the motions of a faith he has clear and strong disagreements with, speaking prayers in a language he is not familiar with, and devoted to a book he is admittedly not familiar with other than lately hearing it quoted over the recently beheaded bodies of civilians and American soldiers. And then after he takes the time to learn what he can, and become comfortable enough to participate in some fashion, he is ridiculed for clutching his "dimestore crucifix." Just because the faith of some in this forum is such that it wouldn't bother them to jump right in and become muslim for a bit, how arrogant to demand that he do the same.

I believe someone already asked this in the forum above, but how do you suppose would his host have done if the roles were reversed? I'll bet we'd hear little of the same griping about clutching dime store Qurans, the disrespect of not removing muslim headgear during mass, and hesitating to go through the physical motions of accepting the sacraments. The guy in this episode was extremely open to learning and then participating where he felt comfortable he was not violating his principles by doing so.

As far as sleeper cells in the muslim community, perhaps their history is a figment of his furtive white Christian imagination.
We're not talking about just taking a random guy off street against his will and seeing how he behaves. Certainly, there are those whose behavior would be reprehensible (and his behavior, while crude, was certainly not reprehensible). We are talking about a person who opted to appear on a show thatís basic premise included rules of conduct. One of the basic rules he was required to follow was to abide by all rules and customs of the Muslims he interacts with. He didn't have to agree with everything he did, but he was supposed to actively participate in all aspects of a Muslim's life. The idea was to dive right in and experience the full culture--and in this case religious--shock that went along with it. When he called Morgan about his issues with praying, he was told, basically, go out and pray like you are supposed to.

Thus, in addition to criticizing the guy for lack of basic common sense (standing in the midst of prayer when he could have more respectfully sat in the back if he was not going to participate, wearing his shoes in the Imam's office and pointing his soles at the Imam, etc), we are holding the guy to the standards set by the rules of show and criticizing him when he fails based on such silly reasoning.

As the previous poster noted, a Muslim in his shoes would face a more genuine religious predicament. Instead of simply not repeating a prayer about Mohammed being God's messenger, there might be more serious religious conflicts by praying to an entirely different God (in Catholic prayers at least, there is little distinction made between father and son--i.e. "Holy Mary, mother of God"). Nevertheless, anyone undertaking to temporarily experience another culture in its entirety should do just that. No one requires that you believe it, and since God is all-knowing, no one with any basic sense should think that God is getting the wrong idea by your activity.

Based on the situation, I don't find his reluctance to participate in prayer understandable (as it would be in real life). I find it to be simple-minded.

I'm not going to debate your sarcastic comment about sleeper cells, because this is a TV forum and I hate it when the discussion crosses the line from being about the show to being a simple debate of fact.
Old 07-02-05, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by C00Ki3

I'm not going to debate your sarcastic comment about sleeper cells, because this is a TV forum and I hate it when the discussion crosses the line from being about the show to being a simple debate of fact.
Well, after all your premise was that only some sort of backwoods bumpkin could wonder if something that has happened twice in the last 12 years could happen again. If that tape was from August of 2001, would you still mock him for wondering about it? And of course if there were a muslim sleeper cell in the US today, it would never be in the largest Muslim community in the US, which is the possibility he specifically asked about.

For some reason you really go out of your way to paint this guy as a simple and close-minded bigot. But as you point out, despite what he thought he knew beforehand, he volunteered to try and immerse himself in and learn about this culture and religion for 30 days. So many of your criticisms about him fall apart immediately. He may not have carried it out in a manner fitting your approval, but he did it. And far be it from editing to have something to do with how reality TV plays out. Notice how his beard kept getting both longer and shorter throughout the show?

Lastly, it is my belief, and apparently his, that God does not ignore blasphemy as long as it is for the sake of good TV and the entertainment of the millions watching. I'll bet Muslims and Christians agree on that as well. So I cut him some slack in wanting to be more knowledgeable and spiritually comfortable in his actions before he participated in full. You choose not to, and it is your right.

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