Archive for the ‘worldly gain’ Category

Four more years?

A collection of some of my favorite moments in the 05-08 campaigns (UPDATED):

Over the Rhine, “If a Song Could Be President.”

I was stunned when Ron Paul invoked the “thousand year Christian tradition of Just War theory” in an early Republican nominees’ debate. I am not exactly a Just War proponent, but he’s the only candidate that I heard suggest that a Christian theological tradition might serve policy, rather than just pursuing an evangelical stamp that gets you some votes. I really enjoyed Ron Paul. Here’s a clip of him giving McCain another grimace wrinkle.


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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.

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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.)

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One more comment about worldly gain, and then a song. I promise.

A friend from High School is now at the National Review, and wrote this insightful piece about the standards for card playing in the current race. It’s interesting what we choose to get sensitive about, and Palin’s candidacy will give us plenty more time to consider civil discourse. “Restraint means only using three exclamation points.” Hope we don’t get tired of it!

(heh heh heh.)

And, now, as promised, a song.

Marching Band, “Make Up Artist” (my favorite song on the new album is “Gorgeous Behavior”)

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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).

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A few things that have become unnecessary essentials lately:

The Moth podcast
Sound Opinions podcast (you were right, Robby, it’s great)
BetterWorld Books: great selection, free shipping, and they are very conscientious, even towards local libraries.
The Iconogram and Blog Networks Facebook apps: windows into heaven, and into the make-up of the communities behind your favorite blogs.
1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die: I got to scan this before sending it off to a lucky winner. If you’re an optimist, there’s also 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
The Freecycle Network: Pass it around
Congresspedia: Real made up stuff about congress
phonezoo: Make your own dang ring tone

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I watched a bit of the documentary (concert video?) of Joe Strummer, God bless his soul, and the Mescaleros 2001-2002 tour, Let’s Rock Again! Strummer is enjoyable, although there is not really a ton of off-stage reflection. But, that seems to have been his way of doing things. After reflecting on the eagerness of the press to get at the opinions and inspirations of rock stars, Strummer commented that fixating on rock lyricists is about like wanting to get at the ideas of people who create crossword puzzles. While Joe was a bit too humble about how he could string words and music together. . . .

I dig a link I saw (ht who?) to photos of literary tattoos, and was struck by how many folks decided to permanently ink the lyrics of recent songs into their bodies (could be worse, though). Their conviction is impressive, and their sentiments are appreciated, but can a 21 year old celebrity stranger really speak for me for the rest of my life? There’s something about the power of celebrity endorsement to this.

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