Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Jesus Camp

For a summer back in '94 I worked at a Christian camp. Though it was nothing like Jesus Camp we probably did some similar things as what will probably be shown on this film (I have yet to see it, but I want to). Having spent the better part of a decade working in both youth and young adult ministries I do often ask myself an I doing too much to try to push my faith onto these guys or too little? Sadly, it's just as easy manipulate adults as it is children. I do not want to give any sort of judgment for this film one way or another without having seen it. If it comes around my area I'll make sure to do so.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:00 PM | 2 comments

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Worth A Listen: Regina Spektor

Nothing suprised me more to see Regina Spektor have a video on VH1. Soviet Kitcsh is the definition of an indie album. It's stripped down and bare, not necessarily the greatest of quality in the world, but since the music speaks for itself it doesn't matter. The music is odd in many respects, but in a playful way. Not odd for the sake of being odd. Her new album Begin to Hope is more poppy and accessable. Normally that'd make me lose interest in a band. Regina manages to still keep her indie feel to her unlike say Liz Phair who just sold out. There are many power piano bands out there right (Five for Fighting, The Fray, and Daniel Powter), she stands out because for her the piano is in the back ground for many of the songs. She's one of my favorites. I gauge a band by whether I'd be willing to pay to see them or not and if so for how much. Will I be happy just owning one album, or would I want to own others?

Cube Rev's Rating:
Would I want to go see them live? Absolutely
Would I be willing to pay? Definately, would be well worth the money. I'd pay $25
Would I be happy owning one album? Nah, I'd need more to see what she does next.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 9:20 AM | 4 comments

Friday, September 22, 2006

Nerd Test

I am nerdier than 3% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

How on earth did I score better than Lutherpunk?

posted by Out Of Jersey | 2:21 PM | 2 comments

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Wallis Vs. Reed

Jim Wallis and Ralph Reed are two of the top voices for their movements today. When I saw they were doing a discussion on the values a church should hold I was pleased. This is a good thing. Though I still think politics in the church is the equivalent of burning a candle at both ends this is at least a start. Three links below are all that they've done so far.

What Do Values Voters Value Most?

Rejecting The Liberal "Straw Man"

Not Liberal Nor Conservative

On a more personal note, I just got done talking to one of my closest friends on the phone. He's a father of three children (with a fourth on the way) who has serious health issues. As serious an issue stem cell research, poverty, gay marriage, imigration, and whatever buzz words are flying around are I'm more concerned with how the light of Christ can reach my friend. Are these other issues important? Yep, but it can also draw my attention away of someones most immediate need.

Thirdly, I am considering changing my blog name. I am no longer in the cubicle and wonder if it's prudent for me to keep the "Cube Rev" name. What do you think?

posted by Out Of Jersey | 2:46 PM | 4 comments

Monday, September 11, 2006

Getting Schooled on Shakespeare

Last week I started my Shakespeare I class at Rutgers University. Everyone at one point or another had to read at least some of his plays in school. What is amazing is how little is known about his life. Many writers leave behind personal papers like diaries or letters that tell you a little more about the person than what can be gleemed from their works. Sometimes, their peers will have mentioned something about them either favorably or not. Still, more silence. A lot of speculation is out there about who Shakespeare was and what inspired him. The pagentry of royal life and spectacle of religious passion plays are the main factors. What is known is he was famous in his own time which blasts the notion of the starving artist not getting recognized until long after he is dead. Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime after all. Plus he was a very smart business man often taking stock in his own theater companies.

The first play I am reading is Titus Andronicus. A friend of mine warned me that this would be his most gruesome play. It is sometimes wondered if he even wrote it since it's so different from any of his other plays including the tragedies. In the near future I'll give you a more detailed account of the play.

UPDATE: Congrats to Millinerd, He just had an article published. You can read it here.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:19 AM | 4 comments

Monday, September 04, 2006

Cube Rev's Recommendations: Modern Poetry

Wes made a request for novels and modern poetry collections that are worth reading. I have to admit, I am usually wary about making recommendations to people. Especially when it comes to poetry. Much like anything artistic whether it is music, art, literature, or film if you recommend the wrong thing it may turn people off to it entirely leaving them with a negative view. In this case, Modern Poetry. There are a lot of modern poets that I enjoy, but recomending a imagist poet from Eastern Europe isn't necessarily going to be turning any heads. So here are a few of my favorites. I have tried to stick to either selected or collected works since they tend to give a wide range of the poets work from the beginning of their career to whenever the book was published. Many of them have published brilliant books subsequent to these collections, but they are a good place to start.

Derek Walcott - Collected Poems 1948-1984
Where better to begin than one of the few modern epic poets. In a world where brevity is the norm he ventures forth into poetic masterpieces that would please Dante. Though born in the Caribean he often strays away from his local shores both physically and poetically describing the landscapes he has visited throughout his long career.

Stanley Kunitz - The Collected Poems
The grand old man of letters. When at the age of 99 he was made the poet laureate of the United States he was asked what he'd do during his tenure. He answered, "What I always do, write poetry." A friend of mine described a reading he gave around the same time. A frail old man is guided out to the podium in front of the crowd, barely able to hold himself up. When he started to read he puffed himself up and looked much larger and more powerful than his age would have you believe. There is no wonder why he was one of the most respected poets of his generation.

Lucille Clifton - Blessing The Boats
Probably one of my favorite poets. She transends race and gender, you feel her poetry, you taste the words and are nourished by them. Why hasn't she won the pulitzer?

Margaret Atwood - Selected Poems 1965 to 1975 / Selected Poems II 1976 - 1986
She is rare among writers, able to move in and out of genres quite easily writing just as brilliantly in poetry as she does in fiction. Though she is better known for her fiction her poetry should not be ignored.

Galway Kinnell - A New Selected Poems
He is finally coming out with a new book of poems. He isn't prolific because his poems are carefully crafted. Each one he labors over even after publication. He isn't typical, he isn't comfortable just producing work just for the sake of producing. He makes sure he gets it right.

Donald Hall - White Apples And The Taste of Stone
He is the first modern poet I discovered. I loved his work so much that I wrote him a letter and he wrote back to me on several occassions. From what I understand that isn't uncommon for him. A brilliant poet, probably my favorite just under Stanley Kunitz. If you want to start somewhere, start with Donald Hall.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 1:03 PM | 8 comments