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'An unstable way to live'

"'An unstable way to live'" Continued...

Issue: "Return of the Lion," May 17, 2008

She muses about the way Catholics use symbolism, and how that sets them apart from some evangelical screenwriters. "We're talking about mysteries," she says. "Mere human language is going to fall short. For me it works. As a movie writer, I can use symbols," which deepen a movie even if most people don't catch their significance. "The more layering you put into it, the more there is to go back to. . . . Every time you encounter it there's something new."

She's comfortable with "letting people have to dwell with something, getting them to wrestle with the truth"-but evangelicals often feel the need to explain the meaning. "The need to have to be 'on the nose' takes the power out of the moment. If you make people have to figure it out, it's saving for them. [Evangelicals] want to make sure people get the point."

When evangelicals rely on stock figures-a mentor, say-to explain the significance of something, Nicolosi says it insults the audience. "You took away from the audience their job. You took the game out."

Nicolosi describes how one person after seeing a film of hers said, "I have to talk to you about this. This is rocking my world." She explains: "That's why we write."

Looking into our minds

Can customs agents search the contents of your laptop without having probable cause?

According to a decision last month by a three-member panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the answer is yes. The panel said that searching files in a laptop is no different than searching through a suitcase.

In 2005, 43-year-old Michael Arnold was returning to the United States after a three-week visit to the Philippines. Border control agents at LAX (Los Angeles) pulled him aside for secondary screening. They asked him to turn on his laptop and then looked through his desktop files, where they found child pornography.

A federal grand jury charged Arnold with crimes related to the child porn, but an L.A. District Court judge suppressed the evidence, saying the agents didn't have reasonable suspicion to search the laptop.

Arnold's lawyer said she didn't have a problem with agents opening a computer to make sure it wasn't a bomb. But she said opening files is different than opening a suitcase: "It really is like looking into someone's mind, rather than looking into a box or a folder or a purse."

Dilbert and you

Dilbert comic strip creator Scott Adams is inviting readers to make up their own punch lines to his cartoons. Here's how Adams explained the new feature on his blog: "Write your own punch lines for Dilbert strips-just type them right into the panel-and email them to friends! . . . Starting today, mocking the idiots in your workplace is a competitive sport! This is going to be fun. I'll participate in the Punch Lines and Group Mashes too. Look for my contributions under username Scott Adams" (dilbert.com).

Susan Olasky
Susan Olasky

Susan pens book reviews and other articles for WORLD as a senior writer and has authored eight historical novels for children. Susan and her husband Marvin live in Asheville, N.C. Follow Susan on Twitter @susanolasky.

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