Archive for Life
About the lack of presence here on the blog. Life has had some big upsets and changes, none really things one wants to discuss, but I may share for folks who are finding their life hitting the same areas. It could certainly be worse, but life is not without it’s downs at this time.
So, I watched a guy get in trouble for solicitation in a store tonight. What was he soliciting? His Christian Ministry. He was showing brochures that were prominently sticking out of his shirt pocket. He was told not to do so once…and then he did it a second time. He told the security officer and manager he forgot the brochures were in his pocket.
You know…the brochure he had out and open three minutes before. He was lying about talking about his Christian ministry.
And yet we are always surprised when politicians get caught red handed doing something actually bad and they lie about it.
I will be honest…if I were to write a book about the worst parts of Christian music? Carman would probably be the penultimate chapter. I am not a fan (though in my pre-teens I was). Among the host of problems? The weird presentation of Jesus as an ass kicking hero beating up the devil and demons is just a weird portrayal of his Charismatic Christianity.
I confess, I was a bit surprised to learn that he has not taken this attitude with the revelation of having terminal cancer.
“I will not leave this world quietly and I want the devil to know that he put cancer on absolutely the wrong Italian. I have a few good years and before it’s too late I want to see your faces, shake your hands and hug your necks,” the New Jersey native wrote. “But mostly I want to see one of you get healed of what threatens your future and I really want to see someone you love come to Christ. Now lets get back to business, we have to work while its day for soon the night comes.”
I made this the other day…
I am contemplating taking on inexpensive commissions. Like $20 tops (for full color images). Looking to make some extra cash.
Or maybe that is me being silly… you can see some work here.
Maybe it is just my age…but I am genuinely tierd of listening to people go on about how vacuous our culture is and how it ties to societal ills. Not because our culture has no facets that are vacuous. It certainly does. But usually when people are making that criticism, they really are decrying that people might take the time to discuss stuff they find unimportant.
It is also a criticism I see friends and aquaintences making based on stuff they see on VH1 and E! And that is kind of the problem. If your criticisms are based on shows dedicated to light and fluffy material, it is going to heavily skew how you are perceiving the culture at large.
While it can be amusing to shine a light on a dumb tweet, Facebook post or news story, that makes for a terrible jumping off point for cultural commentary. I mean, do people post dumb things on Facebook and Twitter?
But you know what?
People also post witty, thoughtful and good things on Twitter and Facebook. I see thoughts and ideas that challenge the status quo, that make me think about how and why I believe what I believe.
And unsurprisingly, those people complaining about the vacuous nature of society never see themselves as part of the problem. Instead, they are the ones “shining a light” on it. They are not expressing an epiphany borne of introspection. Rather it is merely a chance to lash out at “culture”. The commentary is often vague complaints about Kardashians and the so on. Maybe the fact that I read nuanced thoughts and discussions regarding problems within culture leave me simple wanting moer than complaints about how hollow culture is in general.
As frustrating as some of those vacuous regions of our culture can be…the critics can be equally frustrating.
You might have not noticed…but I was silent much of December. The year ended very poorly. I took an unexpected financial hit, had all sorts of projects, work was not going well…it all came together to make one of my lousiest Decembers ever.
So, here we are, 2013. Still a lot of projects on my plate. It will be a bit spotty over the next several months. But hopefully for the positive. Five days a week are not likely, but I hope to have a few posts a week. So, forget December…
Hope your New Year is off to a swell start!
So…yeah. Friday pretty much is…well…on our minds. One of the worst mass shootings in our national history…and some of the youngest victims. I could really only think of the families and my own nephews. Both are to young for school…but as my oldest nephew creeps towards his second birthday next month, school seems inevitable.
But what became immediately frustrating was seeing the gun control debate that erupted. Before I saw the calls to gun control I saw people complaining in anticipation. And when I saw calls for gun control? I saw vile and hateful responses from the pro-gun lobby. This was, of, course, alongside their calls that this was not the time. Let the families grieve. But when is the right time to discuss it? In the minds of the anti-control lobby? Never.
Time after time, people are shot and killed in our schools, workplaces, places of worship… And we cannot talk about changes to our gun laws. The NRA and gun lobby will not hear of it. All because of a straw man.
Nobody is talking about outlawing guns completely. Nobody is coming after hunting rifles or a lot of basic handguns people purchaese. Simply, people are looking to make certain types of guns less accessible. A lot of the guns in recent mass shootings were purchased legally. If the death of twenty children cannot make one at least be willing to discuss it? I shudder.
A sort of repost from almost a decade ago.
I watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles early this morning, per my Thanksgiving tradition. I still love this movie, one of John Hughes’ finest moments. The reason it really resonates for me is the two central characters. Candy plays Dell Griffiths so well…you really see this well meaning guy who just wants to be included in the lives of others. He is desperate for a real connection. In my life, there are times where I have felt exactly like Dell Griffiths. Wanting to be cared about and loved, but being overly chatty and pushy. Dell begins coming off as an obnoxious chatterbox oblivious to the reactions of those around him. truthfully, you can understand while Neil Page (Steve Martin) begins a mounting frustration with Griffiths. and yet, When Martin goes off on him early in the movie, you see the pain in Candy’s eyes, as if he is hearing every bad thing about himself that he is all too familiar with…and it’s being dumped on his lap. He desperately wants a friend, and yet he sees how he screws it up. And this guy he is trying to become friends with has expounded with painful precision every lousy failure he has.
Other times, I totally identify with Steve Martin’s Neil Page. Uptight, wanting to make things work without interference from the outside world. When he pridefully tears down Dell in the previously mentioned hotel scene, Martin shows great shame after Dell responds. Neil realizes what he’s said was cruel. He’s impatient when life doesn’t go as he planned. Neil does not want to involve anyone in his life not connected to his family. Dell is a pain in the ass speed bump in getting to those thing. I GET his explosion in the hotel. He has hit his limits, and simply does not pause to think about what he is saying and the impact it might have. In a way, I suspect Neil thinks he is doing a favor for Dell. He is telling him what a lousy person Griffiths is for Dell’s own benefit. It isn’t true of course.
The film is really about Neil seeing beyond himself and his life, Griffiths is painfully aware of his flaws, and without Dell, Neil might never have seen his own human failings. It’s a heroes’ journey where the monsters are cars, trains, planes and the elements instead of vengeful gods, kings, serpents and minotaurs.
I want to be Neil Page at the end of the movie…a guy able to connect the dots and exhibit compassion and an open hand…someone who can see the deep seated heartbreak in a stranger and bring them to their Thanksgiving Feast table. Instead, all to often I am the Neil Page of the beginning of the movie. I want to be thoughtful and generous…instead, I am selfish and consumed by worries much of the time. God have mercy on my soul.
If one of the biggest films of the year hits blu-ray, and your company is going to promote the heck out of it? And you want people’s dollars? It is a good idea to order a lot of copies of each version. Especially if you advertized a product that does not exist, make sure the replacement deal you offer actually has a chance to be purchased. Maybe order a bit more than you normally would. It is a good idea and the first rule of Boyscouts. Then I would not have to go to your competition and price match.
On the other hand, as a customer, I could whine a little less about it.
Not going to lie. The death of Michael Clark Duncan shocked me. As the death of young or young-ish people (seriously, the older I get, the younger 54 seems). I thought he was one of the best things about Daredevil. And yeah, he tended to be typecast as “Big Scary Black Dude” and “Big Scary Black Dude With a Gentle Heart”… but I simply found him likeable. So sorry to see him go.