Tag: Afterlife

Movie Review: Ghostbusters Afterlife


Ghostbusters (1984) is not a kid’s movie. Or to the extent that it is it’s by happenstance. Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis weren’t thinking of toy lines and Saturday morning cartoons when they wrote a script about schlubby middle-aged men running a startup in pre-Giuliani New York. We loved it as kids because of Slimer, proton packs, Ecto-1, Zuul, and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. We were oblivious to the jokes about mortgages and oral sex. It would take years before we appreciated Bill Murray’s charming indifference. Using “we” in this context might be presumptuous. As Ghostbusters: Afterlife shows, some people never moved beyond “proton packs are cool.”

After being evicted, single mother Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon) and her two kids, Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) move to Summerville, OK, to live in the farmhouse left by Callie’s recently deceased father, Egon. Trevor lies about his age to get a job at the diner where his crush works. Phoebe doubts she can make any friends. On her first day at summer school, she hits it off with a kid who calls himself “Podcast” (Logan Kim). Guess his hobby. Podcast isn’t the only one that takes a liking to Phoebe. Their teacher, Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd), is impressed by her scientific knowledge and shares with her the strange seismic activity he’s recorded in Summerville.

Callie makes it clear she was not close to her father. He abandoned her to live on this farm where according to the locals he didn’t grow anything. Is it true the beloved character Egon Spengler from the beloved film Ghostbusters ended up a deadbeat who left his daughter when she was a kid? Say it ain’t so. Maybe his plucky and inquisitive grandchildren will discover his hidden ghostbusting gear and with it the town secrets causing all that seismic activity. It might even turn out a series of supernatural contrivances forced him into that situation, and he actually loved Callie all along.

On Hellfire and Cosmic Freedom (or, Does Everyone Go to Heaven?)


shutterstock_176697395Rob Long is in trouble. Those are his words, not mine.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, listen to the latest GLOP podcast, in which Rob fesses up to being a universalist. Universalism, for those who don’t know, is the belief that everyone goes to Heaven. In Rob’s view, the next life is going to be one big happy reunion, and we’re all invited. (Of course he is free to clarify if that’s not quite what he thinks.)

So, this is the point where I confirm all your worst suspicions about academics and their pointy-headed silliness. When I was in graduate school, I took a seminar on the problem of evil (“how could an all-powerful and all-loving God have created a world with evil in it?”). That might sound pretty specific as the topic for a whole class, but it got better (or worse). As it turned out, almost the whole seminar was dedicated to fleshing out contemporary arguments in favor of universalism.