Thursday, June 28, 2007

Info On Chuck Norris

Besides being a world champion martial artist, action hero, man of God, and work out guru there may be a lot of things you never knew about Chuck Norris.


posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:31 PM | 2 comments

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Over Rated / Under Rated: Religious Images

One of the sadder aspects of the protestant church is how they forgot to include artistic expression as a form or worship. That is one area where the Catholics, Lutherans, and Episcopalians have us beaten in spades. As much as I complain about my old days in the church one thing they did right was to have some of the most incredible depictions of The Stations of The Cross I have ever seen. Even as a child who had no care to be at church they really caught my attention. They probably had more of an impact on my early religious development than I realize.

Over Rated: Lame Attempts To Be Controversial With Religious Imagery
These days everyone wants to be controversial. Let's face it, it will draw attention to be at the center of some storm. People want to see what damage will be done. The problem is that it leaves no lasting impression and the only emotional responce it'll get is anger.

Though I can appreciate Chris Ofili's attempt to make a more ethnic looking Mary all I can say is this painting is ugly. Is this how we are to see the mother of God? Not as a woman to be venerated, but as a grotesque? No, this doesn't inspire, at least not me. I can live with the idea of Mary being black. The fastest growing Christian body is within Africa. It is growing so quickly that The Methodist Church will be made up of more Africans than Americans. It makes sense that they will try to make images more in align with their culture. I hope that this is not the best that they can do.

Ah, The Piss Christ, has there ever been an idea in modern art been so poorly thought out? Let's take one of the most important religious images to the church and dunk it in a jar of piss. And what response will we get? Outrage! It will never be known as anything important. Just a photograph that pissed people off (pun intended). It isn't even good anger. Not at injustice, or pain, or suffering, but after some knuckle head who thought this would be a good idea. He deserves to be forgotten. In fact, I don't even want to mention his name for he is unworthy of any mention. Am I sounding a tad angry or close minded? Well, I am in this case. Too many people will base their ideas of who Christ is by images like the one above.

Under Rated: Modern Attempts To Understand and Venerate Christ's Image
I am not saying we cannot be creative with Christ's image. In fact, to try and look at Christ in new and wonderful ways can uplift the body and make others see Christ in a way that they may not have considered before. Christ should be seen with awe and wonder. He should be loved and admired. Fortunately, there are artists who are attempting to do so.
I have no idea who Luc Freymanc is. I never heard of the guy. I found him completely by accident when I did a google search of Images of Christ. He was one of the first ones to pop up. Though not the best I've ever seen I did stop to look at his attempts to make Christ more real and tangeable to the world. Instead of realism he focussed on breaking Him down to the point where he can fit into our own imaginations and take the image to further reaches.

Can any of you guess who did this picture of the ascended Christ? I'll give a hint: He's one of the grandfathers of surrealist art. Who would have thought Dali would have made such beautiful images of Christ. He's known for grotesques, the strange and bizarre. Not a loving and transendant image. A budy of mine first made me aware of Dali's more religious work. You can sense his love and admiration of religion which is counter to the images of horror he is best known for. I love this picture so much I have it set up as my computer background.

Over Rated: Christ has blond hair and blue eyes
I didn't even bother looking for anything with the blond haired Christ. Seriously, the dude lived in a desert what are the odds he had my complexion? They are so cheesy. Jesus looking so beautiful stairs longingly up to heaven as sun beams gently caress his face. Blech!

Under Rated: Classic Icons and Stained Glass
How unfortunate that churches do not include stained glass anymore into the building of their churches or put up any icons either modern or classic. Instead we hang up posters with slick captions telling us to hang in their for God is in control. They do not make us think or look up in wonder at the very image of the Son like the ones I saw as a boy. I think that is why so many churches today look so bland and lifeless. The lack the personality and respect that was given to early churches. Anything worth it's salt takes time, effort, imagination, and ability to develop. It gives a sense of anticipation and wanting. When it finally does come to fruition we can look at these wonderful creations to see a very minor glimpse of the one true God.

Previous Over Rated / Under Rated: Burroughs Vs. Mitchell.


posted by Out Of Jersey | 12:24 PM | 8 comments

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Question: Does The Bad Guy Ever Win?

One advantage to working in a warehouse is it gives me and my co-worker the opportunity to wax poetic on a variety of subjects from Southpark, to pro-wrestling, and even the occassional question about race. Today we were on the subject of movies, mainly our problem with too many sequels and we can usually figure out the story line and how it should end. Let's face it, unless you go the foreign or independent route you aren't going to find many original movies. How many times can you watch the movie where an underdog team goes on to beat the bullies from the other side of town with the help of their reluctant and flawed coach who somehow manages to make them a winning team? Or how a guy gets a woman, but does something to lose the woman, but realises he's done something stupid to lose the woman and is somehow able to get them back again? Or my personal favorite, there is a monster lurking somewhere that is killing people off so everyone dies except one person who manages to kill the big bad beasty? Then my co-worker brought up an interesting point how he'd like to see one movie where the bad guy wins and the good guy loses. At first we coudln't come up with any movies where that occurs. The few movies I thought came close still cheesed out in the long run. Can you think of any movies where the bad guy wins and the good guy looses? I have come up with one. This is my challenge to you my faithful cube heads. What can you come up with?

Also, on a heavier note I will also be contributing to the conversation about war and peace over at a new blog started by Unbelievable called War Kills...Or At Least Tries To. Go and check it out. Join in on the conversation.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:14 PM | 7 comments

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Beliefnet has a look at the top ten devotionals. I am not a fan of devotionals, I usually focus on scripture and on occassion looking at the different commentaries or finding a classic from the CCEL. It is still a neet read so enjoy.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 12:00 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Movie Review: The Valet

Every so often I'll go on the spur of the moment to see a movie without knowing anything about it. This is kind of risky because without the aid of reviews (which can be total crap at times) they can at least give you an idea of what the movie is about. This time I chose The Valet for no other reason, but because it happened to be playing when I got there and I didn't feel like waiting an hour for the next movie of my choice to start playing. I knew nothing about this film, not it's premise, not whether it was a comedy or drama, nothing. I didn't even know it was a French until I looked at a synapse of the movie. I felt optimistic since I had seen other french films before and gotten lucky. Ok, so here I am watching a movie having shelled out five bucks for something I had no preconceptions about. Consider all the crappy movies coming out that I can't bring myself to pay even matinee price for I woudl have been more than willing to pay full price to see The Valet. Though it wasn't a laugh out loud comedy I did find myself smiling through most of the film enjoying the good fortunes of the characters who deserved good things in their lives, and the change of heart from the ones who needed to come around. The story is about a married rich business man who is having an affair with a famous super model. A photographer happens to take a picture of the two as they are leaving a hotel along with the valet who just happened to be walking by them. In order to protect his marriage the business man convinces the model and the valet to live together in order to fool the news papers and his wife. In spite of all the infidelity the movie offers as a message that fidelity and true love are much better than a cheap fling. I was pleased with this movie. As I walked out the few people who were in the theater all had the same satisfied grin on their face. We didn't bust out laughing, it wasn't slap stick or raucous, but the corny idea of a feel good comedy.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:42 AM | 5 comments