Monday, July 25, 2005

I think I'm gonna be sick...

Monday, July 25, 2005 1
It's been a while since I felt physically ill after reading an article in the newspaper but this account in the Sunday edition of the Wichita Eagle did the trick. Fred Phelps is at it again and (if this is possible) his actions have become even more vile and reprehensible than you could possibly imagine. He is now picketing the funerals of American service men and women who are being killed in Iraq. He says that God is punishing America for a bombing that took place at his "church" several years ago. In addition to his old standard "God Hates Fags", he is now picketing with signs that say things like "Thank God for IEDs" and "They gave America over to fags, they're coming home in body bags". In case you're not aware, IED is military lingo for Improvised Explosive Device. The official warnings that were sent down through the ranks of the U.S. military indicates that they believe Phelps is attempting to incite some kind of violence against himself or his people, in response to which he would file a lawsuit in an attempt to win a monetary settlement that would serve to fund his groups future activities. To borrow a turn of phrase from Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald..."You unspeakable bastard". I have never seen a creature so filled with hatred for the world around him. How miserable it must be to have a soul so tormented with such obvious self-loathing. He reminds me of The Gollum only without any of the sympathetic qualities - he's just a creature who perhaps was once a man. Never was a soul so in need of the redeeming love of Christ...the tragedy of his life is that he has been so blinded by his hatred and by his perverted and twisted interpretation of the Bible that he may never see that need. Pray for the soul of Fred Phelps and all who wallow in his demonic doctrine of hate.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Love vs. Romance

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 0
During my nearly 2 hour commute every day I listen to a lot of music. (It's either that or talk to myself and I'm not planning on starting that for at least a few years.) Anyway, I've been listening to How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb by U2. One of the things that strikes me as both profound and a little surprising, given the state of todays music, is the distinction that Bono makes between love and romance. Although Bono is no stranger to recurring lyrical themes, I think it's interesting that he goes to the same well, so to speak, at least twice on this record.

In "Miracle Drug" (my favorite song on the album) he says:

"...I’ve had enough of romantic love
I’d give it up, yeah, I’d give it up
For a miracle, miracle drug"

In "A Man and a Woman" he says:

"You can run from love
And if it’s really love it will find you
Catch you by the heel
But you can’t be numb for love
The only pain is to feel nothing at all
How can I hurt when I’m holding you?

No I could never take a chance
On losing love to find romance
In the mysterious distance
Between a man and a woman"

Like any good song, these will mean different things to different people, but for me they speak to the temporary nature of romance in general. Unless we fight to keep it alive in our relationships it will naturally fade over time. That isn't to say the romance isn't an important part of love, but it's not all there is. It can't be. I think that what Bono is saying is that romance on it's own without anything behind it or beneath it is really quite empty and unsatisfying. That's not a perspective you hear much in today's popular music. I think it speaks volumes about the maturity and depth that U2 exhibits in their songs.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Harry Potter

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 0
Well, the new Harry Potter book is finally here. I say finally because I, like millions of people around the world, actually enjoy these books very much and I've been waiting for this one pretty much since I finished the last one 2 years ago. There is obviously a lot of controversy about these books, mostly being generated by (I suppose) well meaning fundamentalist Christians who seem to have the notion that the books and subsequent movies are luring young and old alike into a fascination with witchcraft and the occult. At the very least, they are uncomfortable with the subject matter and prefer to err on the side of caution. An approach that I think that is perfectly reasonable, by the way. (The latter, not the former). I just don't happen to share their views on the subject. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who spout off on books/films/music/culture without having any firsthand knowledge of what they are criticizing. I don't think that I could sum up my perspective on this any better than the author of this piece from ChristianCounterCulture.com.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Freda

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 0
Tragic news from the world of radio this week...Freda Wright-Sorce, wife of broadcaster Mike Sorce (aka Don Geronimo of the Don and Mike Show) was killed in a head on collison Sunday evening in Washington DC. For anyone who has listened to this show like I have through the years, Freda's name has become symbolic of everything that was good about the show. She seemed to me (and thus far all accounts of her seem to bear this out) to be a genuinely decent and kind hearted person. It probably seems silly, but radio is such an intimate medium that I actually felt like I had lost a friend when I heard that she died. Don and Mike bring so much of their personal lives to their show that you can't help but feel like you know them personally. Freda and Don fought constantly on the air, but at the end of their conversations you could tell that they really and truly loved each other. They were the epitome of honesty with their listeners and with themselves, even though that wasn't always pretty. My heart goes out to Don, Bart, Mike, Buzz and Robby during this tragic time.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Across the pond...

Friday, July 08, 2005 0
  • First, I want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with our friends across the pond in the UK. I agree with GWB when he says that America has had no truer ally than Great Britain and it broke my heart to see what happened over there.

  • Second, big ups to the G8 crew for stepping up to the plate and at least giving lip service to doing the right thing for the people of Africa. We'll see what happens. In the meantime, in case you had any doubts about how bad things really are over there, check out this link from MSNBC and pay close attention to the pictures that accompany each section. It's an interactive map of Africa that provides you a quick snapshot of the issues facing the countries most in need of assistance right now.

  • Finally, check out this video clip. It's a flash animation piece set to a great song by my favorite singer, Ben Folds. It's really well done plus it's got hamsters which somehow makes it that much cooler. Shalom

Friday, July 01, 2005

Eminent Domain

Friday, July 01, 2005 1
Did anyone else find it slightly unsettling last week when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that "...that local governments have the authority to seize private land and turn the property over to private developers for economic development." Ok, I'm not a lawyer, but I do watch a lot of them on TV, and I have a basic understanding of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution. Let me see if I can break down my analysis of this ruling into some easy to understand, non-legal type language: WHAAAAAAAAA????? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???? You mean to tell me that if my house happens to be in the way of the next GAP or Banana Republic or Heaven forbid, Starbucks, that my local government can just bulldoze my house with no regard for my rights as a property owner? Basically...yes. If the proposed building project will generate a larger tax base for the municipality (and it almost certainly will), the government can now condemn your home to make way for private development. Think about that this 4th of July.
 
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