Via Yum Yum London
Shut up and watch this.
The Christian Bible can be wielded many ways by those purporting to be followers and preachers of its message. Many aim to rock their audiences out of a lifestyle of indifference by turning scripture into a weapon of control and confrontation through definitive interpretations and simplistic summaries of God’s plan for man, while others uphold it as a lost template for living a safe and pleasant life. Both approaches create an anti intellectual environment where people can feel safe within their constructed subculture and those who don’t agree can stay the hell out.
While reading a review on Amazon about a book by Eugene Peterson, I came across this summary…
“You need to love the Bible, for one thing. I don’t mean love the Bible sentimentally. You need to be one who is willing to embrace the Bible for exactly what it is as it defines itself. It is not a promise book or a guide to “effective” living. Nor is it a book on how to keep out of hell. It is rather an immensely frank compilation of writings that point out God’s presence in human history as a whole and God’s presence in each person’s life. It becomes God’s word to us by virtue of its insistence upon God’s “take” on reality at all points.”
Wish I wrote that.
“…I’ve committed to nothing…and that’s just suicide…by tiny, tiny increments.” – Nick Hornby, (High Fidelity)
High Fidelity, the movie based on the book by Nick Hornby, was a bit of a disappointment when I watched it in my early twenties. The main character, Robert, the owner of a record shop, didn’t seem to have any redeeming qualities. Despite his witty observations of life, he gave little to deserve any compassion or love shown to him. Watching movies about people dealing with the stumbles of their thirties while being in your optimistic twenties can be a remote experience. When I encountered my thirties I found myself revisiting this movie again, really out of a cosmic recognition that it was time to give it another go. Robert was still a selfish arsehole but I now understood he didn’t know how not to be one. The small incremental shifts he made; which really frustrated me when I first watched the movie, now were the same changes I hoped for. I empathised with the pathetic ways in which he held onto his convictions and came to terms with the knowledge that I, and perhaps we, are often selfish arseholes.
Growing older may not make everything clearer but at least it can broaden the movies we connect with, however, I now struggle to listen to listen to “wisdom” from musicians younger than me. With the absence of sages and gurus in our lives, it is fortunate that we have writers, movie makers and entertainers marking out our life stages.
“I’m very good at the past. It’s the present I can’t understand.” – Nick Hornby, (High Fidelity)
Note: This post could easily be written in relation with the movie Clerks II but I wouldn’t know which scenes I’d dare compare myself with.
Feeling a bit “meh” tonight so I thought I’d post some pics that are a little dark and melancholic. Don’t know why but it made me feel a little better.
Images found on dethjunkie.
A beautifully written reflection on things that may or may not matter.
From Mincing Mockingbird.
Both the Watchmen and The Dark Knight tried to depict superheroes in a gritty, realistic world. I think this image does it far better than any movie could ever hope for. People of Walmart - one of the most fascinating websites I have seen in awhile.
Spider-Man… Spider-Man… Does what ever a Hindu Deity can…
Otaku: a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, and video games.
In this article titled Love in 2-D, this man, “Nisan” has a “pillow girlfriend”. This is not a security blanket. He believes that he has a relationship with the girl that is printed on the cover. He talks to it, goes on dates with it, and… um… that is as far as I want to think about it. Though initially funny; as lauded on the program Good News Week, this pitiful character (the man not the anime girl) confesses…
“I’m pretty conflicted inside. People say there are some otaku who don’t want to get married, but that’s not true. Some have so little confidence that they’ve just given up, but deep inside their souls, they want it just as much as anybody else.”
This article made me sad. Our culture has been set up to cater to the needs of an individual so well that we become islands of self indulgence. Intimacy can be manufactured, bought and sold but it ends up looking like the bride of Frankenstein; a freakish imitation of life that reeks of death. I don’t want to laugh at this man because the issues he deals with are like ours; loneliness, anxiety and loss. His culture has provided him a means to escape this through the otaku societies that trade in such fetish products, and even though he knows people are laughing at him, he chooses this life because he does not know of one better. What you see is a man who has escaped reality, just as our commercials have promised.
What is in a name? I’ve never held much value in destiny, especially in the idea of namesakes. To call your child Rex is not going to pave his way to being a king (or a dog). In this article from The Age titled, Bad Boy Names, it details that boys being given unusual or feminine names were more likely to grow up as law offenders; perhaps from being teased or treated differently. A strange concept that has some merit when investigated. As Seinfeld observed, naming your child Jeeves would be condemning him to a life of butler-hood. In the book of Genesis, it was said that God brought his creations to Adam to see what he would name them… God was interested in what man would name his creation. What is the significance of such an act?
I have read that God did this to illustrate man’s mastery over creation. As a parent names their child, so man was given the task to name creation. A child’s name is given, often with the ideas and aspirations that their names carry. People comment on how a name is strong or beautiful. Perhaps the child is named after someone they admired or loved, in the hope that the child would grow up with their similar character. Adam was given the task to name the living creatures, and in this act, man was not only made distinct from the rest of creation, but an integral part in its destiny and future. Part of our struggle with existing in harmony with our world, as we pollute and destroy our environment, drive species to extinction, may stem from the idea that this stuff isn’t really ours; that it is someone else’s problem. It is a worthy reminder that the bible’s description of man’s first act, was to give creation its name, and with it, our hopes for it.
What do you say when you are given an opportunity to speak in front of the American President? You call him a gangly nerd. Obama smiles as John Hodgman quizes him on aspects of Star Trek and Dune. An entertaining speech that touches on expectations, labels and placing your hopes on one man for right or wrong reasons.
As far as modern day parables go, this tale told by Johnny Cash, in his dry western twang, may not be the most conventional. The occupants of San Quentin Prison sit, transfixed by a simple story of a man defined by feelings of vengeance against his father. The inmates smile gleefully as the song “A boy named Sue” comes to a climax as the son crosses paths with the man who gave him his name. As they listen I wonder how many of them were picturing their fathers at that moment. I wonder how many were picturing standing in a bloodied battle against the man that were suppose to have raised them well, wailing their hate and disappointment upon him. There is a strange pleasure in hurting the ones who hurt you, bringing a sense of justice or karmic balance. However, the tale does not end there. Parables have a habit of doing that. Listen to this song. It puts a smile on your face and something may even happen deeper inside.