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Spiritual Surf: “Angels and Demons”, Apple’s Jesus app, JFK’s happiness

Tom Hanks’ “Angels and Demons” vs. the Pope

MICHAEL MATTIS — Is movie star Tom Hanks the post-modern Galileo? He has lived with the Holy Roman Church’s ire since he starred in Dan Brown’s Catholic conspiracy-theory-inspired The Da Vinci Code.

Now things are a wee bit different, as Hanks’ character, super-stud Harvard prof, Robert Langdon, actually attempts to save the Vatican from the mythical Illuminati. We remember that this was a pretty good audio-book on a road trip. Maybe you’ll like the movie.

Apple dis’s Jesus app

Apple claims that its much-vaunted iPhone always has “an app for that.” Want to know where you are? They’ve got an app for that. Want a pizza? They’ve got an app for that. Want to look like Jesus Christ?

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Spiritual Surf: Star Trek’s Vulcan spirit, yoga culture in Enlighten Up!, ghost hunter Hans Holzer dies at 89

Star Trek’s Vulcan spirit

On Friday pointy-eared fans will be lining up to see the new J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias) Star Trek. Central to the new plot is Mr. Spock, played by both the original, Leonard Nimoy, and by the young Zachary Quinto. Spock — with his Vulcan blend of logic and mysticism so obviously derived from a mix of Eastern practices that seem to include Zen, the Tao, a dash of Shaolin Kung Fu for martial flavor (can you say “Vulcan neck pinch?”) and the Kabbalah (Nimoy, who is Jewish, is said to have derived the “Vulcan peace sign” from an ancient kohanim gesture — has always been Star Trek’s most engaging character. Just for fun, here are some resources on Vulcan practices created by Trekker fans:

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Spiritual Surf: Jeffrey Dahmer’s cardigan, Obama passes on Karma, Plath’s son Nicholas Hughes, recession anxiety, papal shoes and soldiers, and John Malkovish

Why you won’t wear Jeffrey Dahmer’s sweater

People, it turns out, are naturally hard-wired to be superstitious, regardless of their faith, or lack thereof. Bruce Hood, author of Supersense, tells Time magazine that superstition is born from an inherent need we have to find order in the world. That’s why you won’t walk under a ladder, break a mirror, or wear Jeffrey Dahmer’s sweater even after repeated dry-cleanings. (Well, maybe if it’s J. Crew.)

Obama passes up Karma

There’s only so many times you can make the karma/dogma gag, so we’ll just play this one straight: It seems President Obama passed up a stray named Karma to be first pooch in favor of the more chi chi Portuguese water dog, Bo. Video here.

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A tale of two Hollywood stars: David and The Pentagram

The Reader’s Oscar night has one man asking, will the Pentagram ever get the same respect as The Star of David

OPINION PIECE: DANNY KENNY — The five Oscar nominations and Kate Winslet’s Best Actress win for “The Reader” give a twist to the old cliche, “if a picture paints a thousand words.” “The Reader” uses a thousand words to paint a picture — and such moving pictures can affect the hearts and minds of millions of people all over the (Golden) Globe.

In the past, a very different kind of “Oscar” (Wilde) once declared,”Illusion is the first of all pleasures” — and as we all know, Hollywood is the Master of illusion.

So let’s take a critical look at the Oscars’ favorite Hollywood clichés. Who and what does Hollywood teach us to love and hate by using its own distorted images? Here are the first two nominees for hero and villain. (Insert your own smarmy generic Oscar Host:)

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Election withdrawal: Bill Maher’s “Religulous” a funny break?

When Republicans look at Bill Maher, they see Lucifer. Democrats see a comic genius. We saw Religulous to escape election withdrawal

BY TERJE FOKSTUEN — As funny as he is, Bill Maher is a cerebral type who lives in his head — at the expense of his heart. He’s missing enough in the soul-department that I almost felt sorry for him as I watched Religulous, his big-screen collaboration with former Seinfeld-writer Larry Charles (now a guerrilla-cinema director, who made his name with Borat).

I say the above with “kid love”, which is Bill’s refrain after punchlines during his stand-up routine on his Friday night HBO series, Real Time With Bill Maher. Yes, I am a fan.

But Bill’s first feature film left me cold. Religulous (rhymes with “ridiculous”)

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The Parent Trap: Setting the stage for codependence

Part 2 of 7 in a Soul’s Code series about codependence

BY DAVID RICKEY and PAUL KAIHLA — In the Disney movie, The Parent Trap, a pre-tabloid child star named Lindsay Lohan manipulates a reconciliation between her on-screen, estranged parents (played by Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson). Yes, it’s a romantic comedy. But this charming film is also a case study of how codependence can take root.

When we ask each other in the Starbucks line-up why Lindsay in real-life has so many addictions, affairs and abuses, it’s the same as asking: where does codependence come from?

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The Deepak Chopra – Mike Myers – Dana Carvey “Love Guru” connection

The Deepak Chopra – Mike Myers – Dana Carvey “Love Guru” connection

Canadian funny-men are also spiritual seekers: Jim Carrey looks to Eckhart Tolle, and Mike Myers takes his cues from Deepak Chopra. But Myers’ comedic homage to Chopra, The Love Guru, is no laughing matter

BY PAUL KAIHLA — Dana Carvey and Mike Myers were comedic partners. They made millions, and achieved international fame with the Wayne’s World movies in the 1990s.

Then they went their own ways, and Myers found a new partner — this time, spiritual.

Do you think Carvey just might have been taking an indirect shot at Myers with this impersonation of Deepak Chopra? It’s from Carvey’s new, hilarious HBO comedy special, Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies:

Carvey: Deepak Chopra, I love that guy because he’s so confident about what the fuck we’re all doing on this planet . . .

Impersonation of Chopra: “If you want to have success, let go of success. If you want to have happiness, let go of happiness. If you want to be rich — Give *me* all your money.”

(See minute 6:45 of the the video below; Above photo, Mike Myers and Deepak Chopra)

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300: A lesson in leadership

300: A lesson in leadership

The subliminal message of a Hollywood CGI popcorn movie about the Battle of Thermopylae: George Bush II and Dick Cheney do not walk the talk, in terms of personal sacrifice

300 | Originally uploaded by Ghostdiver.

BY BRIAN CAULFIELD — How hungry are Americans for inspired leadership? To the point that Time Warner has made a movie about a 2500-year old Greek king who fought to the death with his soldiers. It’s the No. 1 movie in America as of this weekend. Unreal.

Imagine George W. Bush or Dick Cheney donning combat gear and personally leading our troops to war. Against impossible odds. And not for oil.

These are two men who have rarely sacrificed a thing in their lives — except for the lives of others. The truly heroic warrior is a figure who has the courage to fight but the cunning to win while avoiding battle.

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A mastermind of mind control re-brands himself as a prison artiste (He has a movie version: “Savage Messiah”)

A mastermind of mind control re-brands himself as a prison artiste. The real-life movie version of his techniques: Savage Messiah

BY PAUL KAIHLA — While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer apparently negotiates with U.S. Justice Department officials to stay out of jail, news broke in Canada related to a far more tragic set of crimes. A polygamist cult-leader named Rock Theriault, serving a life sentence for murder and mayhem, is poised to profit from his prison art and poetry on a Cornelia, GA-based site called

A mini eBay for “murderabilia,” the site sells autographs and letters by American serial killers ranging from Charles Manson to Ed Gein, an inspiration for the kidnapper in Silence of the Lambs. (Now Theriault is represented on this elite bazaar.) Grok this: owner, Tod Bohannon, 30, is a kindergarten teacher.

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The Top 12 transcendental movies, ever

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