Sunday, February 26, 2006

Pop Music Profundity

The Arctic Monkeys - hottest new brit band - explore the eastern apophatic theological tradition with their debut album 'Whatever People Say I Am, that's What I'm Not". Seeing that people are saying that they are fantastic perhaps they would like the chance to rename their album.
More pop profundity in evidence this week with Beyonce releasing a single ('Check Up On It') which seems to be an entire song dedicated to her ass.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

good day/bad day

I read an interview with Douglas Coupland recently where he said that every morning he goes out and buys lots of newspapers - if they all have the same headline we're in trouble, if they have different headlines he knows we'll be ok for another day.

good night and good luck

Went to see this last night and was surprised at how little I enjoyed it. I thought Mark Kermode- may he live forever - made a good point (in his review of The Constant Gardener) when he said that sometimes if a film carries a worthy or important message we can feel compelled to say that it is a good film. That's how I felt about Good Night and Good Luck : loved the message (how important the freedom to dissent is in a society) but the film-making choices didn't work for me at all - not a single exterior shot, hardly any wide shots, no soundtrack (apart from the few Jazz songs that were used to break up the monotonous pace) - and by the way, isn't it interesting to see how much we have come to rely on soundtracks in films to dictate the pace and the tell us how we are supposed to be feeling - all these things added up to a not particularly enjoyable filmgoing experience for me.
But then again, what do we go to the movies for? to be entertained (which I wasn't) or to be informed (which I guess I was).
I am surprised, though, that this film has made it into the nominations for the Oscar for best film. I can only think (as Chris pointed out in the pub afterwards) that perhaps that is because of the parallels with the possible current erosion of civil liberties under Bush and Blair in their war on terror and the thinking that whoever is not for us is against us - which is very McCarthy-ite.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I hate.....

....finishing a season of 24!!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

ash wednesday

video funny

If you are easily offended by 'toilet humour' this may not be the one for you (also avoid if you don't think Christians should poke fun at the church)...but this video (of 'the farting preacher') is hilarious. Thanks to Chris for the tip off. (Mac users will need Windows Media Player for Mac)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Guy Kawasaki on 'creating community'

Jason Clark recently turned me on to this fella - Guy Kawasaki - who used to work for Apple but now, I'm not exactly sure what he does....write books by the looks of things. His blog is fascinating. He's coming from a kind of corporate management angle - which I know is a huge turn off for those of us walking away from a CEO style of church leadership - but I think he's got some real wisdom that is definitely apply-able to church. His latest post is called 'The Art of Creating Community'. He makes 8 suggestions:
1. Create something worth building a community around
2. Identify and recruit your thunderlizards—immediately! (evangelists for your 'product')
3. Assign one person the task of building a community (questionable in our case but he's talking about someone who wakes up in the morning with the building of the community at the top of her/his priorities for the day)
4. Give people something concrete to chew on. (i.e. make the community 'open source' so that people can re-code it for themselves)
5. Create an open system (giving people tools to tweak what's going on)
6. Welcome criticism
7. Foster discourse
8. Publicize the existence of the community
If you can see past the corporate overtones and look for the undertones (great name for a band) then there's something worth taking from this I think. Read the full piece here.

football (non sports fans look away now)

for the first time in I don't know how long, Spurs are in with a shout of a decent league placing and possibly european football next season as a result. The teams seriously vying with us for 4th place are Arsenal and Bolton (I am discounting West Ham because I honestly don't believe they can keep their run going). I have been looking at the remaining games and trying to predict the points haul for Spurs, Arsenal and Bolton from their remaining games to see how things will end up. Here are my predictions:

v Blackburn (a) 1
v Fulham (a) 1
v Liverpool (h) 1
v Charlton (h) 3
v Portsmouth (a) 3
v Aston Villa (h) 3
v Man Utd (a) 0
v West Brom (h) 3
v Man City (a) 3
v Spurs (h) 1
v Sunderland (a) 3
v Wigan (h) 3
= 25 more points
= total of 66 points (4th place)


v Wigan (h) 3
v Blackburn (h) 3
v Chelsea (a) 0
v Birmingham (a) 3
v West Brom (h) 3
v Newcastle (a) 0
v Man City (h) 3
v Everton (a) 0
v Man Utd (h) 1
v Aresenal (a) 1
v Bolton (h) 1
v West Ham (a) 1
= 19 more points
= total of 64 points (5th place)

v Fulham (h) 3
v Newcastle (a) 1
v West Ham (h) 3
v Sunderland (h) 3
v Middlesborough (a) 1
v Man Utd (h) 1
v Liverpool (a) 0
v Chelsea (h) 0
v West Brom (a) 1
v Charlton (h) 3
v Spurs (a) 0
v Birmingham (h) 3
= 19 more points
= total of 58 points (6th place)

so it looks like Arsenal could pip us to 4th place and the final Champions League spot. If that happens I will be gutted and be looking back to the final minutes of the game at home to West Ham when we conceded an equaliser (thereby losing 2 points) in the final minute, as we also did against Sunderland last Sunday. Those goals and therefore those points, I predict, will be the difference between us playing in the Champions League and the Uefa Cup next season.
It's all an improvement on last year but it'll be a shame to miss out on the CL by a couple of points.
Any other football fans like to disagree with my prognosis?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I am really enjoying this book - it's a very helpful survey of what's going on and the common themes that emerge from what's going on. i've already found it useful in clarifying my thinking, particularly when there's stuff you know intuitively but you haven't quite put it into words yet. There have been plenty of those moments.
But one aspect of the book disappoints and frustrates me and that is that it seems to continually generalise and perhaps doesn't recognise the diversity of approaches that are going on. Continually we are told that "emerging churches do this" or "emerging churches do that" or "such and such is important to emerging churches". I know for a fact that there is more diversity that this in the emerging church community.
They are doing a great job at picking out important themes, and Andrew Jones is probably right that this is the best book yet on the 'emerging church' but they just need to be more careful about some of their language I feel. Does this resonate with anyone else who has read the book?