"Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over." -Ernest Hemingway

100 Riffs (A Brief History of Rock N’ Roll)

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Pretty sweet.

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Movie-Going Experience

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movie night

I went to see Midnight in Paris a few weeks ago.  If you are a fan of literature, art and music, you’ll probably enjoy it on some levels. It’s a good movie but I wasn’t sure about it at first. On one hand, you have a Woody Allen movie which is always quirky. On the other hand, you have Owen Wilson, which usually means a pretty dumb movie. Some way, some how, it worked. I wouldn’t call it amazing, but it was definitely entertaining and interesting enough to get at the writer in me.

More importantly, to this post anyway, was that it got me thinking about the movie going experience. I headed to the theater alone (I enjoy going to the movies alone sometimes). I got my popcorn and coke and found a seat. While watching the movie I started thinking about how long people have been watching movies in the theater or in theater format, be it indoor or outdoor. I realized that my movie watching experience that June day in 2011 probably wasn’t all that different than say someone watching a movie in the early 1900s. Now, I understand that movies and the technology behind them have certainly changed. We have audio now and color and 3D and digital sound and whatever else movie producers can imagine these days. But the experience itself has to be closer to what it’s always been than most things are. You go into a theater, find a seat, often will have popcorn and sit quietly for a couple of hours. It’s understood that you don’t talk during movies, turn off the volume of your cell phone, don’t walk around too much and generally allow people to enjoy their movie with as few distractions as possible. The lights are usually out and for those peaceful (hopefully) two hours, you are involved in the story of that movie and nothing else, except maybe your popcorn.

Apparently the popcorn tradition has been around World War 1, according to some random person on Yahoo who said the learned it in history class. They said it was because it was cheap and affordable at the time and that made sense, so I’m sticking with it.

But think about it. Imagine your grandparents, great-grandparents, or just parents depending on your age. Imagine them say in 1930 or 1950 or whenever. They probably did similar things as you do. They paid for their ticket (definitely much cheaper), got their popcorn and drink, and sat down for a couple of hours taking in some movie hopefully either made them laugh or cry or just be on the edge of their seat. If we all think about it, on an ideal outing, that’s what our movie experience is like. We separate ourselves from the outside world for that small window. I think it’s kind of cool that something like watching a movie can actually just connect us with the past. That despite all the changes in the world and technology and type of movies, that we’re still doing the same things as we were 100 years ago.

I can’t think of anything else that really fits that bill. Anything you can think of?


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Glee and the Downfall of Sue

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Glee Season 2

Looking for Sue’s Eulogy? Had a lot of search results looking for it so I typed it up. It’s at the bottom of the post.

I’m curious as to what you all think on this. I’m wondering if last night’s episode of Glee, titled “Funeral” may have been a changing point for Glee. Now, before I continue on, if you haven’t seen last night’s episode of Glee (May 17, 2011), you may want to skip this post until after you watch it.

You’ve been properly warned.

Seriously, don’t get mad at me if you keep reading.

Okay, we should be good now. I debated putting in one of those long, vertical SPOILER SPACE things like they do on message boards and stuff, but you guys are grownups, probably.

So last night Sue’s sister died on the show. I know she wasn’t a main character or anything, but it still affected the show because of the impact that she, and especially her death, created on Sue. I was actually upset by her dying because she brings so much more depth to Sue and is perhaps the only character on the show that is truly “good”. However, it was a very well done, touching episode. The Glee kids helped Sue plan a funeral, and it was Willy Wonka awesome. It was interesting that Sue was worried no one would show up for her sister’s funeral, and they did. But in the moment of the funeral, Sue only had the Glee cast there. Will had to finish reading her eulogy. Will, whom she hates. Turns out her sister wasn’t the one without friends, but it was Sue (that wasn’t discussed or brought up on the show, I just thought about it after the fact). In the end of the episode Sue apologizes to Will for how she’s treated him and the Glee kids and “oh, I also re-routed your plane going to Nationals to Libya instead.” But she was sorry about it. No worries, Will’s ex-wife Terri stepped in with plane tickets for all of them, told Will she was moving to Miami for a promotion and saved the day. That is where we are now.

Here’s where I want input and am wondering if this is a turning moment for the show. My fiancee and I have been talking about how Season 2 has seen much less Sue than Season 1, or so it seems anyway. And when we do see Sue, it’s been a toned down Sue. Not the snarky, mean, bully of Season 1. I loved that Sue, but I also am old enough to realize the satire in it.  Don’t get me wrong. Sue has done some terribly mean things in Season 2, but it seems like she’s been less of the central character that Season 1 sort of became about.

I also noticed, while re-watching Season 1 with my teen group, that they don’t get the satire behind Sue’s hatefulness. They can’t stand her and I’m like, “What? She’s awesome.” And they look at me like I’m Sue. Then I try to explain to them satire and irony and things like that and they look at me like I’m speaking Hindu or tell me I’m using “big words.”

I told Alex that I think maybe that less of Sue needed to happen. I mean, in the past coupe of years, bullying has become a hot topic. It’s even been addressed on Glee, so we know they are aware of the seriousness of it. Our theory is somewhere along the lines of keeping Sue true to her character, but not making the show about her (I’m sure it was never intended to be anyway, but Jane Lynch is amazing). It’s kind of like maybe they thought, “let’s not glorify Sue and her bullying.” Even though throughout both seasons her master plan is usually always thwarted by the end of the episode, but it got to be fun to watch her torture these poor kids.

So my question lies here. Do you think that Sue’s promise to stop bullying Glee will hold up in Season 3 (or even the season finale of Season 2 for that matter)? Would Glee work with an only a mildly antagonistic Sue? Do you agree that the “toned-down” Sue is possibly a response the the Anti-Bullying movement, or are we crazy in thinking she’s toned down at all? Actually, I think we’ve just seen less of her antagonism, not so much that it’s toned-down. Maybe if anything, it’s been more overtly crazy to drive home the point. I mean, shooting Britney out of a cannon, really? Just less Sue. I personally think Sue’s sister dying could propel her into a bit more goodness (while keeping her snarkiness and probably other people to bug) and give us more Sue at the same time. It may be interesting to see Sue with a season of not being a bully.

Looking for Sue’s Eulogy? Here it is. (Seemed to have a lot of search results today looking for it)

I miss my sister. Every night at 10 or so she used to call me on the phone and when i asked her why, she’d tell me that her body told her. She wanted to hear my voice.

I miss my sister. The smell of her shampoo. The way she could always convince me to read her another book. When you love someone, like I loved her, they’re a part of you. It’s like you’re attached by this invisible tether and not matter how far away you are, you can always feel them.

And now every time I reach for that tether, I know there is no one on the other end and I feel like I’m falling into nothingness. Then I remember Jean. I remember a life led with no enemies, no resentments, no regrets, and I’m inspired to get up out of bed and go on.

I miss my sister so much. It feels like a piece of me has been ripped off. Just one more time I wanna hold her. Ten more seconds, is that too much to ask? For ten more seconds to hold her? But I can’t. And I won’t. And the only thing keeping me from being swallowed whole by sadness is that Jean would kill me if I did. So for now, I’m just gonna miss her. I love you Jeannie. Rest in peace.

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Twin Baby Boys Have Conversation

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Just fascinating…

YouTube – twin baby boys have a conversation – part 2.


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Being Perfect

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I’ve been watching this video constantly over the past couple of weeks. It’s not been by choice as much as by chance. As I’ve been browsing my Facebook feed, I’ve noticed this video posted by several different teenagers that I know. The song, which is embedded below, is “Perfect” by Pink. This is the radio version. The explicit version is called “F@ckin’ Pefect” and uses that word in the song a few times. Whichever your poison, both versions have the same message: Don’t ever feel like you’re less than perfect. It’s a song about making bad decisions, screwing up, being mistreated, misunderstood and just not measuring up to other people’s or even your own expectations. The song is good, it’s catchy, and minus the language, and even despite it, it sends a good message to teenagers (or any of the rest of us) in a world that mostly tells us we’re not good enough.

I’ve personally been thinking about this issue a lot because I work with teenagers. Those teenagers, like most teenagers, are self-conscious and have different insecurities. Some have more than others, but they all have them. I have to constantly remind myself about that too. I’ve been fortunate to establish a close relationship with most of the teens over the past several years. My particular style of leading them is to treat them as adults and as much equal as appropriate. We make decision together. I don’t sugar coat things. I explain things to them as the rational beings that they are, or at least that they want to be. I have an amazing amount of respect for them. The thing is, I rarely tell them that. I sometimes forget that they are actually 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17.

Hearing this song, and seeing how much these teenagers relate to it, is a good reminder for me to continually focus on this. I think as adults, and particularly in ministry, we have to be careful about making others feel like they have more expectations to live up to. Yes, I want the teens to have spiritual and character growth, but my job is to encourage them and guide them down the right path when they stray, but not judge. I think we also do this as Christians a lot as well, we tell people what they “should” be doing (and it may well be things they should be doing) rather than helping them overcome the reasons they aren’t. We reinforce everything the world tells them, that they aren’t good enough. Yes, we may teach and throw out Jeremiah 1:5 that says, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations” (NLT), or Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (NLT). We tell people that they’re perfect because “God don’t make no junk.” But I wonder how much we actually show people this?

I’m guilty of it. I don’t consider myself overly critical, but I remind myself that teenagers are overly sensitive. We all probably are, so I’ve made it my goal to remind myself to not only tell people but actually show them how perfect they really are.

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Lethal injection drug production ends in the US

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I think this is fantastic on the part of other countries, though I’m sure another method will prevail. It is ridiculous that our country still allows the death penalty.

US states are facing a new obstacle to enforcing the death penalty after the sole American manufacturer of a drug used in lethal injections announced it was ending production.

via Lethal injection drug production ends in the US | World news | The Guardian.

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Here’s An Analogy For You

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Cobain Rocks!

Justin Bieber is to Kurt Cobain


Donny Osmond is to John Lennon

Yeah, I really don’t care if he said it or not, or what you think of Kurt Cobain. But, You, Mr. Bieber, are no Kurt Cobain.

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God Hates Santa?

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I opened Twitter this morning to see this hanging out on top of the page. When I read it I wasn’t paying attention to who wrote it. In fact, for a few minutes I thought it was written by my friend Roger who is good at pointing out God’s love to us, and who had a tweet under this one. I saw his picture and assumed he wrote it. Then a couple minutes later I looked again because I was going to reply to him. That’s when I saw that it wasn’t Roger who wrote it. It was none other than Kevin Smith. Yep, That Kevin Smith. I don’t know much about his faith, but I will say,  I really didn’t expect to hear spiritual truths about who God loves this morning from the guy Silent Bob–whether it was intended or not.

But I’m glad I did. I just wish more people understood God’s love and not God’s hate.

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3 Idiots

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3 Idiots was a great movie. I saw it last week and loved it. Granted I was there with the only “3 idiots” in line that weren’t Indian and were even asked if we thought we were in line for Avatar, but it was still a great time. It’s supposed to be the first movie legally released via YouTube, which should happen in about 3 months.

Don’t let the preview fool you. While it is very funny (too bad there aren’t subtitles in the preview–there are in the movie) and extremely silly at times (a few Indian songs in the middle), there are moments it is very sad and sobering.

I highly recommend you check it out either in the theater if it’s near you or when it comes out on YouTube.

Aal Izz Well.

YouTube – 3 Idiots – Official Trailer.

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Social Media Revolution

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This is an excellent video. You should check it out.

YouTube – Social Media Revolution.

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