Wednesday, December 27, 2006

What I've Discovered '06

It seems every time this year every peson comes up with their best of list. Usually the lists are pretty cool with very few suprises focussing only on what came out that year. But I like to focuss on the things I've discovered whether old or new because there are a lot of great things that have been out for a while that are worth remembering as well as newer stuff people should discover.

1. Evelyn Waugh - I have been a fan of British humour for years, but I often find reading humour to be a bit of a drag. Plus many of his books were written in the 30's and talk about the upper crust of England. Not something I can exactly relate to. Plus his books are usually found in the bargain bin with everything else they are trying to get rid of. So like many things I buy the books just sat on their shelf collecting dust when necessity forced me to give it a go. Though I only read one of his books I definately want to read more. I found myself laughing out loud! He is satire at its best. It has the intelligience and wit that so many people attempt at badly these days. Seriously, how man Bush is stupid jokes can you possibly have? None are special anymore. Yet, his work is special. They do show obsurdity. The nonsense of keeping up appearances and how being proper can go very wrong.

2. Falstaff - Proof that the right comic foil can make the most depressing subject lighter. A brilliant creation by Shakespeare he is the archetype of the loveable loser. The ne'er-do-well who you cannot help but love. He may be a drunkard, a womanizer, a coward, a braggard, lazy, a thief....., but at least he admits it. He knows who he is and makes no appologies. He makes 1 & 2 Henry IV more bearable plays and not such downers that you leave them being fed a little sugar with the medicine. Much like flavor Flav. Read a bit of his noble words:

A goodly portly man, i' faith, and a corpulent; of a

cheerful look, a pleasing eye and a most noble
carriage; and, as I think, his age some fifty, or,
by'r lady, inclining to three score; and now I
remember me, his name is Falstaff: if that man
should be lewdly given, he deceiveth me; for, Harry,
I see virtue in his looks. If then the tree may be
known by the fruit, as the fruit by the tree, then,
peremptorily I speak it, there is virtue in that
Falstaff: him keep with, the rest banish. And tell
me now, thou naughty varlet, tell me, where hast
thou been this month?

3. Serenity - For the longest time Jeff has been going on and on about how great the series Firefly was. How often in your day do you hear people talk about the brilliance of some stupid tv series or other? For me it is every day. Seriously. Do I really want to spend any more of my time invested in a stupid tv show? My time is already taken up with Law and Order, Simpsons, and Without A Trace re-runs. Do I need any more? He broke me down and I watched the movie based off the series. Darn Jeffrey!!! I loved it. It reminded me of a saturday afternoon matinee movie they used to show all the time when I was a kid. It was funny, the action kept my attention, the actors were right for the part, and the writer was willing to go against the mold and kill off major characters. Ok ok, fine, I'll buy the DVD of the series. Though it will never replace Doctor Who in my number one slought.

That is all I can really think of for now. What did you guys discover this past year? It can be old or new. Please feel free to share for me to post on the blog or to post on your own. I look forward to hearing what you have to share.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 1:21 PM | 11 comments

Monday, December 18, 2006

Buy Nothing Christmas

Anyone interested in giving and receiving nothing this Christmas?

Hat tip to Geeze Magazine for this one.

And merry christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:56 PM | 4 comments

Friday, December 15, 2006

Who Goes To Heaven?

I am wary to post a short video by Brian McLaren for no other reason I do not want to be a person to attack another Christian just beause they may be misguided. There are a few points where I think Mclaren is spot on, brilliant, and creative about how he sees the faith. On the other hand, there are other times I think he forgets that there are parts of Scripture that may tweek a few ears. In other words, he plays it too safe. This is a typical message which has a part of truth that is stretched a tad too far. It makes people comfortable, makes them feel warm, and well fed without any real challenge. Plus, and he's not the only guilty person, he comments about Jesus' primary message. I am beginning to wonder if Jesus ever had a primary message. When I get more time I want to look at this a little further.

Did Jesus have a primary message?

Who goes to heaven and who goes to hell? Are we too obsessed with this?

More on this later.

Also, I have a secondary blog I just started. I plan on using to post some music and videos I enjoy, sharing good links, and will be more personal in nature. If you feel like it, stop on by.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 10:03 PM | 1 comments

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

R.I.P. - Peter Boyle

Peter Boyle was a Catholic brother, but left to pursue acting. In my mind he and Doris Roberts made Everybody Loves Raymond. He had a gift for timing and the one liner that many people very lamely try to copy. Very few people can top him. Even when he had very few or no lines he lit up the screen. Watch a scene from Young Frankenstein and see him at some of his best.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 1:06 PM | 2 comments

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Over The Rhine - After The Show

I love suprises. If I think something could be good, but get something far beyond that I am happy. On Saturday night Ken, his wife, a friend of his from Ohio, and myself went to see Over The Rhine. They were nice enough to give me a free ticket after a friend of theirs backed out. So it was cool getting to socialize with Ken and Kathy outside of church and youth ministry. Both of our schedules are pretty hectic so we do not get much opportunity to hang out. And as an added bonus I got to bond with the J.Myles who has developed the habit of scratching me and laughing. Anyhooo....

I had no real expectations about the concert, but I was more than pleasantly suprised. First of all, they didn't have an opening act. Hmmm, a bold move? No one to get the group warmed up and ready to go? Alright. There concert lasted about two hours with no breaks. And the band members looked like they were enjoying themselves being there. It wasn't just another job to them, but a chance to play some incredible music. Finally, they played primarily new music. I can't remember the last time a band whose concert consisted of new music. And to have the audience eating it up like we were (I include myself in this big time). I love concerts like these because it is more communal and homey in feel. If there were couches there it'd have felt like the performance was going on in my living room. And yes, I dream of meeting a woman of God like the lead singer. The secret is out! So if any of you knoww a woman like her in the Jersey area drop me a line.

Nearing the end of the show someone gave them a Christmas gift consisting of chocolate, slang flash cards, and a Bible. People cheered when he held up the Bible. It made me wonder how many people besides ourselves were Christians in the audience. I mean, real Christians who love the Lord and not just in name only. Are any of us really? And how much does their faith factor into the writing of their music? As a Christian who writes poetry I can no more keep my faith from influencing my work than a feminist or communist can. Whether overtly or not your beliefs come out in your music. It's just a thought really.

And just for the heck of it. One of my favorite bands, Tegan and Sara

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 8:41 PM | 4 comments

Friday, December 08, 2006

Christ The Punk?

Ok, seems like a far stretch, I'll admit that. What does the uber-agressive punk rock movement which included: The Clash, The Sex Pistols, and Philly fave's The Dead Milkmen have to do with Christ and his message of love, hope, charity, and faith? More than I even realized. Never Mind The Bibles is a wild book. I made a few connections between Christ as raddical, but he takes it a step further to talk about the radical inclusiveness of the punk rock music. Many of whom were much more socially minded than even I realized. They tore at the false idealism of society to show that they aren't as clean as we'd like them to believe and need something else to make them pure. Much like Christ, who showed us we are sinners and can only be saved through the grace of God. In the introduction the author, Andrew Careaga, how Joe Strummer from The Clash tried to rip down a fence that seperated fans from each other. Sounds awfully violent and not very christ-like doesn't it? Then consider Christ clearing the temple of people who turned it into a den of thieves. Though I cannot say I agree with every little premise he makes I do think he makes a valid point to remind us of the very radical nature of Christ and His love for us. It is a shame that this book was never picked up by any publishers. It is a message we should hear more often. For years in Philadelphia we had an underground Christian Punk movement that eventually died out completely. Maybe it is time we change the face of what a Christian looks like.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 8:23 AM | 3 comments

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Concert Weekend

Thanks to Pre-Posthumous Musings I am going to the Over The Rhine Concert this Friday Night. I'm stoked, it isn't often I get to go to concerts anymore.

This is what I get to look forward too...

And on another note, I was amazed to find on vinyl the Stray Cats. More amazingly I found an album of greek rock music from this oldies group The Four Coins. Who knew?

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 11:18 AM | 3 comments