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Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2008 at 11:00 am

a christian consumer advisory
by: slowfo

This is a public service announcement: There has been a trickling outbreak over the last year or two of people engaging in the watching of disgraceful movie content. These actions must be stopped. I am warning you. Do not do what I have done. This is my story.

I don’t know where I heard it but someone encouraged me to spend my precious Netflix queue-spot on a movie titled, “Facing the Giants.” I believe, “It’s a great movie with a great message” is what I heard. Let me do you a favor and tell you that you should only watch this film if you are devoid of any and all possible entertainment options including exhausting the option of navel play.

Bad acting. Poor dialogue. And to call the story “predictable” is an understatement. It became a game for me to predict each scene a few moments ahead of when we viewed it….and what do you know?…..I was right every single time. It wasn’t hard though. My seven year old was guessing right along with me.

Two good things have come from this movie. One, it does communicate that Jesus died to save mankind…..and two, if you really, REALLY turn to Him, you will receive (drum roll please)…a new car!!….a raise at work!….marital fulfillment including the children you were told would never be born to you!!…..and years and years of occupational success!!

Christianity Today couldn’t even stoop so low as to give this film a thumbs up. Josh Hurst writes, “when a film is as unintentionally corny as this one, it’s anyone’s guess as to how many viewers can stomach all the schmaltz for the positive message at the end.”

This movie did bring back some funny memories for me though. Anyone remember the “Thief in the Night” cheesy Christian “exploitation” film of the 70’s? If not, YouTube it. Watch some of the scenes with the sound down and it will be tough to tell whether the movie is about to turn into Cheech and Chong or gay porn.

Back to the film at hand. Here’s a social experiment for you….go to your local fundamentalist church this Sunday, nudge the churchgoers next to you and tell them what a horrible piece of film making “Facing the Giants” was…..and watch their faces! Ah, what fun. You might even hear one respond to you by saying, “Ya know Jesus said, ‘The world will hate you because they have hated me.'” To them, you might just say, “How ’bout the world just hates bad movies. And this is one of ’em.”

Lastly, this film does have some redeeming value. Try this for your next party night….grab bottles of whiskey, sit down and watch this film and drink every time tears come to the eyes of any actor on film. You’ll be enjoying your evening straight away.

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In Uncategorized on July 26, 2008 at 1:44 pm

reader response: the soul of baseball: a road trip through buck o’neil’s america by joe posnanski

for some reason, i’ve really struggled to finish books lately. right now i have bookmarked copies of killing the buddha: a heretic’s bible, not for sale, graphic novels: stories to change your life, harry potter and the deathly hallows and keep your donors lying in various places all over the house. however, when i cracked open my discounted copy* of the soul of baseball earlier this week i simply could not put it down.

if you’re a fan of ken burns’ documentaries, hail from kansas city or know anything about the negro leagues you know the name buck o’neil already. if you don’t, here’s the briefest of synopses: buck was a solid negro leagues player, the long-time manager of the kansas city monarchs (who were, depending on who you’re talking to, the yankees or the red sox of the negro leagues) and the most engaging ambassador that either the negro leagues or professional baseball has ever seen.

throughout the book, as buck speaks to and greets folks from every walk of life it quickly becomes clear that buck is not simply an old ballplayer, but a priest who shares the sacraments of celebration and forgiveness with everyone he meets. if you want to understand the priesthood of all believers that saints from peter to r. paul stevens have been extolling for ages, you best read this book.

thank you for blessing us with your presence buck and congratulations on your recent (long overdue) enshrinement in the hall of fame.

* which i came upon at the christmas tree shop, of all places, and purchased for a mere $2.99.

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2008 at 4:42 pm

with eyes bright and boots on

i’m going to be moving to an office with a view* on monday, so i guess it is finally safe to report that i’ve been promoted. on monday i will be starting a new role as rectangle’s strategic partnerships director. in this new position i will soliciting public and private foundations, managing all promotional copy and overseeing the ‘tangle’s volunteers and interns.

ever since my promotion was unofficially announced, my colleagues have alternated between congratulating me and sternly warning me “not to become an a*shole” on account of my new position.

for my part, i know that i am already an occasional a*shole and i am not focused on increasing the frequency or diameter of the latter anytime soon. however, i’d be lying if i told you that these consistent admonitions have not, to a degree, got to me. for that reason, i have constantly been reminding my colleagues that i have always been focused on our participants and would not take the position if it did not help the participants achieve more independent, prosperous and meaningful lives. i’ve been so insistent on the purity of my intentions that on a couple of occasions i have told colleagues that i am considering hanging one of the pictures of my successful students on the wall. underneath the picture, i told them, i plan to have someone with far better handwriting than mine write, “it’s all about the participants.”

the last time i launched into the latter apologia, i actually got a lump in my throat and my voice cracked. in the moment, i thought that my visceral reaction was simply evidence of my sincerity. however, on further reflection, i fear that i’ve confused sincerity with a mistaken belief in my own bullsh*t.

regardless, full of sh*t or not, i’m pulling up stakes on monday. here’s to hoping that in my new role, more often than not, i find innovative and effective ways to help all people and all things grow up into him who is the head.

* of the parking lot, but still.

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2008 at 10:53 am

five simple reasons the cardinals should sign barry bonds

1. the man can rake.

2. his defensive liabilities can be offset by late inning defensive substitutions.

3. he’ll make the major league minimum and would be easy to release.

4. history has proven that larussa can wrangle the roiders.

5. affirmative action. the cards only have 1 africanamerican player and i don’t think rico washington will be around for long.

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2008 at 1:05 pm

an op-ed worth reading

i love living in the boston area. residing in the cultural and educational center of the country and living in a neighborhood full of friends that is a mere five blocks from the ocean is hard to beat.

however, after living here for eight years i am starting to believe that massachusetts is not only first in education, but also first in government corruption. whether it’s the beverly softball field that took fifteen months to build, the three quarter mile salem connector road which has been in the building process for years, beverly’s irresponsible and manslaughtering police, boston’s disabled and coked up firefighters or the 22 billion dollar boondoggle that is the big dig, corruption seems to ooze from every civic orifice.

for that reason, i really appreciated jeff jacoby’s current op-ed, entitied are we angry enough to fight back in the boston globe. it’s about time somebody started tellin‘.

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2008 at 4:36 pm

skunk hunters

anita’s afraid of spiders and i’m afraid skunks. so on saturday afternoon, while cleansing the backyard, what did we see?

after we had already emptied the doomed shed of its tiki torches, buckets of methanol and other, mostly useless, contents, i swept offal off of a sauder bookshelf, hoisted it by end, swung towards the door and nearly sh*t my pants when a skunk was revealed.

since i was afraid of being sprayed, we opened the doors to the shed, called animal control to see if they could rectify the problem,* and assumed that the skunk would make his exit during the evening hours.

on sunday morning i, hesitantly, checked the shed again to see if our skanky friend had left and was relieved when it appeared that he had. so, on sunday afternoon, when i once again grabbed the sauder shelf by end, i was comforted by the fact that he was nowhere in sight. unfortunately, as soon as i hoisted the shelf what did i see but i dirty sneak of a skunk, looking back at me.

so i dropped the shelf and backed slowly out of the shed. as soon as i was clear, the skunk scampered across the floor and appeared to wedge himself in the southeast corner of the shed that is closest to the house.

by that time, i was scared and pissed. so, while maintaining a safe distance, i found all of the large stones that littered our backyard and i started a full-frontal assault on the shed. first my stones took off the doors, then my stones pulverised the corner of the shed in which the skunk was (presumably) shaking. i assumed that at some point, i would smell the skank’s sweet death! but alas, victory was illusive.

at just that moment, anita, dressed in church clothes and sporting open toes, stopped by the backyard. drawing upon her immense reservoirs of courage, she went and moved the sauder sh*t again, but the skunk was not there. she then looked in the corner where i assumed the skunk had stolen away. but he was not there either.

at that moment, assuming that the skunk had snuck under the partially rotted shed floor, i decided to take offensive action.

wielding a thirty pound, five foot long auger, we started to destroy the shelf swing-by-swing.

so we swung…

and swung…

and tugged…

until we tore that damn shed down!


after we had dismantled the shed and pried up the boards what should we see!?

no skunks! but instead a legion of wood, long-leg and fiddleback spiders. at that moment anita fled and i was too tired to completely dismantle the shed.

but two nights later, after a cowardly, night-time assault by our aforementioned foe, return we did! we fully disposed of the shed, flooded the skunks borroughs with environmentally friendly glycerin, ran roughshod over every spider and vermin we laid eyes upon and so became the baddest a*s skunk hunters 4 judson ever did see!

the end.

* as for animal control: if you call them to smoke your beloved pet, they’re jonny on the spot. but request help with unwanted vermin and they simply instruct you to make the skunks listen to terry gross all night long. thanks for the help, ye wonderful publik servants!

In Uncategorized on July 11, 2008 at 10:22 pm

the power of a praying pastor

something tells me that jeremiah, who is an old soybean bible friend and currently a pastor with the apex community in vegas, has established a far more sustainable bi-vocational occupation than i have.

if you know christians who are staunchly anti-gambling or have poor relatives who seek provisions from slot machines, be sure to share with them this example of how God providentially blesses prayer-full risks.

come on miah! little 8 pound, 6 ounce newborn infant jesus needs a new pair of shoes!

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2008 at 4:31 pm

musing…

i hesitate to admit this, but lately i’ve been pursuing hypermiling as a personal discipline. i am not by nature a very patient or passive person. thus, driving no faster than 62 and confining myself to the right-hand lane has been a real challenge for me.

although i’m only in the second week of this initiative, i have already realized that this expression of intentional slowing is leading me towards greater depths of personal reflection and prayer. i am constantly flagellating myself for failing to demarcate enough time for solitude, prayer, journaling and spiritual development. moreover, since i most often encounter the Other in the midst of such practices, i think that a fair amount of the self-condemnation is deserved. however, hypermiling is reminding me that in addition to reaching out in silence, i also need to pursue holiness and communion in the midst of the ordinary activities of my day.

so i guess hypermiling is an effective treatment for my incipient gnosticism. who would have guessed?

In Uncategorized on July 9, 2008 at 5:00 pm

overheard: the ten most hypocritical christian athletes

4. Andy Pettitte

HOW MUCH HE LOVES JESUS: In his sports metaphorically-titled book, Strike Zone: Targeting a Life of Intregrity and Purity, Andy Pettitte had this to say about how he wants to live his life for the Lord, “As a Christian I also have one goal. I want to fulfill God’s purpose for my life. I constantly ask myself “What does God want me to do?” and “Where does He want me to go?”

WHY JESUS HATES HIM: WHY JESUS HATES HIM: Apparently God wants him to do steroids. And he wants him to go to the congress and lie about it. After getting called out by Brian McNamee for taking H.G.H., Pettitte needed to read Romans 13:1-5, a passage in the Bible that says you shouldn’t lie to the civil government. Did he really need to find that line to be sure about lying? I guess Pettitte initially thought the explicit “Thou shalt not lie” commandment actually meant “Thou shalt not lie…unless you’re talking to someone who was elected to office. Then you can lie your ass off. Amen.”

you can read up on the other offenders over at holy taco.

ht: deadspin

In Uncategorized on July 6, 2008 at 4:19 pm

get some!

next week generation kill, a seven part hbo mini-series that is based on evan wright’s remarkable book* of the same name, is premiering on hbo.

the mini-series is produced by the team that created the wire and is probably the only show worth watching this summer.

check out the trailer here.

read an interview with ed burns, one of the co-creators of the wire and the mini-series here.

check out one bullet away: the making of a marine officer, a book that is related to generation kill, here.

over the past six months media critics and culture watchers have been talking about the public indifference to movies such as stop loss and in the valley of elah that attempt to chronicle and capture the experience of the iraqi catastrophe. i hope that the public tunes in and turns on to generation kill since it is one of the most insightful portraits of the war that i’ve come across thus far.

* tip o’ the hat to josh brown for turning me on to the book.

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