Archive for the ‘lex agendi’ Category

Passive Subversive

Ooops. I really thought I might make a run for NaBloPoMo. But it hit me this morning that I’d plumb forgot to. Maybe I’ll make a run for Honorable Mention.

Had an unexpected opportunity to offer the invocation at a meeting of local officials last week. My ambivalence about the powers that be aside, I figured, why deny our leaders my prayers? In considering what to say, the hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” came to mind. When I looked up the text, I knew I’d picked well. But, to be honest, I did leave out a few more threatening stanzas:

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.


Read Full Post »

From Taize founder Brother Roger, in Songs and Prayers from Taize:

In a technological society, there is a clear separation between prayer and work. When inner life and human solidarity appear to be in competition with one anothe, as if people had to choose between them, that opposition tears apart the very depths of the soul.

Prayer is a serene force at work within human beings, stirring them up, transforming them, never allowing them to close their eyes in the face of evil, of wars, of all that threatens the weak of this world. From it we draw energy to wage other struggles – to enable our loved ones to survive, to transform the human condition, to make the earth a place fit to live.

Taize tonight at Stauffer: facebook event

Read Full Post »

We watched Network (1976) over the weekend; first time I’ve seen it. If you haven’t seen it in a while, or have it somewhere at the bottom of your queue, I recommend moving it up. Things have changed so much in the last thirty years that they’re pretty much exactly the same.

The clip below is one of three major rants by former Union Broadcasting Systems (UBS) news anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch), whose deluded sense of prophetic calling results in a ratings boom for eager conscience-less programmer Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway). I haven’t seen a lot of Lumet‘s films, but I found this more along the lines of PT Anderson than Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, which seemed more like a story one of the characters in this film would have told than the story Network spins.

(Note: This man is going to use words you’re not allowed to say on the major networks. But they can on TNT.)

Read Full Post »

Now, I can hardly believe a word being said on or about a convention stage in the last two weeks, but I thought this was an interesting response: a call for Christians to stand against Palin’s rhetoric, if not her content.

The Matthew 25 Network includes both shunned Obamacon Roman Catholic Doug Kmiec and ubiquitous new kind of evangelical Brian McLaren. Thes’re interesting folks.

Or, if you like to be more passively politically cynical than legitimately outraged, there’s always the Daily Show (HT Pastor Kes).

Read Full Post »

[I’m going to talk about this as if you are among the six bazillion people who have already paid to see it, i.e., “spoilers ahead”]

The Dark Knight is a great movie, and there is plenty of print to tell you so, so I’ll skip over that point. Christopher Nolan has crafted something which, as the wife said, I know is good, whether I know if I like it or not.

The film has me mulling over Batman as a story about the “powers and principalities;” Batman as a figure seeking out justice in a way that the rulers and their swords simply can’t accomplish. He has set out parameters for himself to keep his mission clear, and, as someone who operates outside the laws of the land, to keep the boundary between himself and those he pursues. Nolan has named this boundary “thou shalt not kill,” and placed Bruce Wayne/Batman’s refusal to be executioner at the center of the character in both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

The myth of Batman is as powerful as any fists or gadgets at his disposal; a man with no accountability but his own will, which appears steeled in his purpose. And a man who uses fear as much as force to disarm his opponents. This fantasy, and the extent to which we revel in it, is a catharsis for our own powerlessness against the injustice of this age. Despite the order achieved through the power of the state, the state is not to be trusted to bring about That for Which We Hope. No strategy, structure, party, or candidate can fulfill the promises that only God’s reign can, and, says the Bride, will.

Read Full Post »

Within a few experiences of each other, I saw Mike Judge’s Idiocracy and Pixar’s Wall-E. I don’t know if this will happen to a lot of people, but it makes for an interesting vision of the future. Wall-E assumes we will be commodified and technopolied into boneless blobs of passive, isolated-in-a-crowd, roaming media eaters. Idiocracy assumes that the capacity for critical thought and intentional community will be bred out of us, leaving us in the ruins of our commodified and technopolied media eating blobness.

To infirmity, and beyond!

Read Full Post »


Julian of Norwich asked three things of God: a sympathetic vision of Christ’s suffering; an encounter with debilitating physical illness to facilitate pure worship and nearness to God; and “three wounds” described here:

These two desires of the Passion and the sickness I desired with a condition, saying thus: Lord, Thou knowest what I would,—if it be Thy will that I have it—; and if it be not Thy will, good Lord, be not displeased: for I will nought but as Thou wilt.

For the Third [petition], by the grace of God and teaching of Holy Church I conceived a mighty desire to receive three wounds in my life: that is to say, the wound of very contrition, the wound of kind compassion, and the wound of steadfast longing toward God. And all this last petition I asked without any condition.

These two desires aforesaid passed from my mind, but the third dwelled with me continually.

Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter II


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »