Sunday, March 06, 2005

“We’re on a mission from God.”

The Movie: The Blues Brothers, 1980 (Dan Ackroyd & John Landis, screenwriters; John Landis, dir.)
Who says it: Dan Ackroyd as Elwood, a blues musician
The context: Elwood and his brother, Joliet Jake (John Belushi), break every law and offend almost everyone in their pursuit of tax money to save their childhood orphanage. Elwood repeats this line throughout the movie.
How to use it: To justify almost anything.

I might make this week "I can't believe I haven't used that line yet," week. I was sure I'd used this one last summer, during all the car misery, but no...

When I was in college -- and this movie was still relatively recent -- they used to show The Blues Brothers every year during Spring Fling weekend, projecting it on a giant improvised screen hung from the White-Gravenor building. I wonder whether they still do that. It alarms me that this movie is 25 years old this year.

And when I think about it, this line is alarming, if you take it too seriously. Maybe that's why I haven't used it -- everyone needs to promise that when they drop this into a conversation, they'll be joking, unless they're working for the Red Cross. And maybe even then.

Because, while I do believe that God made man to serve Him on earth and be happy with Him in heaven (does anyone still use the St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism?), I'm afraid of people who think they know what God wants.

Naming no names, as I click through the Sunday morning talk shows.

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