Friday, January 14, 2011

Are You Not Entertained?

I've been doing a bit of thinking lately (only a bit). It has been a point of contention for me personally - do the ways in which we entertain ourselves have an effect on us or is entertainment simply for spectating without interaction? I'm trying to put this into adequate words without oversimplifying it, so hear me out here before you try to dissect what I just said, because frankly I'm not sure I know yet myself. As a Christian, does my choice of entertainment speak to who I am in Christ, or does it really matter? Does watching a movie that is clearly not in agreement with what Jesus promoted cause any problems for me? Does it even work that way? I believe that a lot of things in life in and of themselves are not inherently good or bad, but does such a belief apply to this discussion? I say discussion as though there are others involved here, but clearly this is only MY musing to this point.

Does the music I listen to that depicts about love as sex, or filled with anger influence me at all?

Do the movies and TV shows that I view that normalize sexual relationships and vulgar vocabulary at all change the way I think or believe?

Do the video games that I play where I shoot to kill representations of people inflate the amount of hate and anger that sometimes rears its head within me? Believe me, I have played plenty of first-person-shooter games, and I truly enjoy them. Does my enjoying them make them acceptable for me?

I'm not sure that these things are beneficial, nor am I convinced that Christian-themed music or movies with poor theology and fear-instilling messages are any more beneficial to me, either. I like movies that make me think, that take twists and turns, and that keep me guessing until the very end. Sometimes I wonder, though, if they are "filling my mind with junk," as my dad used to put it. I plan to ponder this more and more, as I haven't really arrived anywhere with my thoughts yet. I do know this much, though: if I am watching a movie with, say, my RAs and I get uncomfortable about what it is depicting, that is probably not a good thing. Am I setting a poor example should this occur?

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." -Phil. 4:8

Monday, March 02, 2009

Contracts, Deals, Trades, Etc.

What made us get to the point where it is necessary to pay certain individuals millions, even hundreds of millions of dollars to play a game?  I have been wondering about that a lot lately.  The more I think about it, the more it makes me sick to my stomach.  Especially after watching Slumdog Millionaire over the weekend.  Seeing the kind of scenery that was depicted in that movie (kids playing on mountains of trash, bath facilities with no running water, etc.) makes me wonder why humanity thinks it is okay to reward someone for being gifted with the ability to run fast or display certain levels of coordination not common to most people.  

Here are a few examples of ridiculous contracts:
Alex Rodriguez - 10 years, $275,000,000
Albert Hainsworth - 7 years, $100,000,000
Derek Jeter - 10 years, $189,000,000
Mark Teixiera - 8 years, $180,000,000
CC Sabathia - 7 years, $161,000,000
Kobe Bryant - 7 years, $136,400,000
Kimi Raikkonen (Auto Racing) - 3 years, $153,000,000

And the list goes on and on...

Millions of dollars being paid to individuals, while there are people and countries that could benefit greatly from even a small portion of it.  Simply amazing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Top 10 Albums

In no particular order...

1.  U2 - The Joshua Tree
2.  John Mayer - Continuum
3.  Jon Foreman - Seasons EPs
4.  Switchfoot - Oh! Gravity.
5.  Deathcab for Cutie - Transatlanticism
6.  Robbie Seay Band - Give Yourself Away
7.  Coldplay - Viva la Vida
8.  The Ataris - So Long, Astoria
9.  The Beatles - Abbey Road
10.  Ben Folds - Rocking the Suburbs

Honorable Mention: 

coldplay.x&y - dctalk.jesusfreak - donhenley.endofheinnocence - copeland.youaremysunshine - deathcabforcutie.narrowstairs - ericclapton.unplugged - jarsofclay.whoweareinstead - nickelcreek.whyshouldthefiredie - relientk.fivescoreandsevenyearsago

Top 10 Movies

So I decided to make a list of movies that I really enjoy.  Feel free to chime in whether you agree or disagree.  I'd like to hear it.  Note that these are in no particular order.

1.  Equilibrium
2.  The Prestige
3.  Saving Private Ryan
4.  The Dark Knight (Please note the Christian Bale man-crush)
5.  The Godfather Trilogy
6.  Shawshank Redemption
7.  The Bourne Trilogy
8.  Gone Baby Gone
9.  Ocean's Trilogy
10.  Stranger than Fiction

This was harder than I thought it would be.  I left off at least 10-15 that I really like but at the moment couldn't fit them onto the list.  There will be more lists to come.

ADDED 2-20-09:
I forgot Life is Beautiful.  I can't believe I left that one off.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Somebody's Baby

About 2 months ago, I was introduced to a man by the name of Jon. Jon Foreman, to be exact. You may or may not have heard of him before, but I'm guessing if you've heard of Switchfoot, you probably know who he is, just don't know his name. Well, Jon is the lead singer and songwriter for Switchfoot. He recently released a few solo albums, or EPs if you will. I guess I should clarify that I didn't actually meet him in person, but I feel like I know him after listening to these three albums. If you like Switchfoot at all, or even if you don't for that matter, you need to check these albums out: Winter, Spring, and Fall (Summer is not out until, you guessed it, summer). I don't know that I have a more favored collection by an single artist than these three albums. The way he writes about his world and his relationship with Jesus really takes me on an emotional roller coaster. One song, I'm very happy, the next very contemplative, and the next about to cry. Happens every time without fail.

There is one song in particular that has been in my head pretty much since I bought the CD. Its called "Somebody's Baby". Simply amazing:

She yells, "if you were homeless, sure as hell you'd be drunk
Or high trying to get there, or begging for junk
When the people don't want you, they just throw you money for beer"
Her name was November, she went by Autumn or Fall
It's been seven long years since the autumn
When all of her nightmares grew fingers
And all of her dreams grew a tear

She's somebody's baby, somebody's baby girl
She's somebody's baby, somebody's baby girl
And she's somebody's baby still

She screams, "well if you've never gone it alone
Then go ahead, you better throw the first stone
You've got one lonely stoner, waiting to bring to her knees"
She dreams about heaven, remembering hell
As a nightmare she visits and knows all too well
Every now and again when she's sober
She brushes her teeth

She's somebody's baby, somebody's baby girl
She's somebody's baby, somebody's baby girl
And she's somebody's baby still

Today was her birthday, strangely enough
When the cops found her body at the foot of the bluff
The anonymous caller this morning tipped off the police
The got her ID from her dental remains
The same fillings intact, the same nicotine stains
Her birth and her death are both over with no one to grieve

She's somebody's baby, somebody's baby girl
She's somebody's baby, somebody's baby girl
And she's somebody's baby still

Every time I hear that song, it just about makes me tear up. It makes me think about things in a whole new light. Anyway, enough depressing stuff, all that to say if you are reading this and have some extra time and a little extra money, you should get on iTunes and buy his stuff. You'll be glad you did, I haven't taken it out of my CD player in my car since I bought it, just ask my wife. I guess I don't get tired of music as quickly as she does?

Also, got to spend some time with our niece and nephew over the weekend. Had a blast, they're funny kids, that's for sure. Just about as soon as Breklinn was in the car, she had me cracking up. We pulled up to McDonald's for a quick bite, and before the person taking our order could ask, I heard a little voice behind me yell out, "it's for a girl!" to make sure she got the right toy. I kept quoting that line throughout the weekend after that. We got to spend the majority of the day on Saturday with Silas, our 1 1/2 year old nephew. He was about as content as any little boy could be, and was that way for the entire day. We felt like we were playing house walking abound the mall with a little one in a stroller, being sure not to mention that he wasn't ours to anyone who commented on how cute or well behaved he was. We simply laughed and said thanks most of the time. Way fun. We took him to dinner with at Macaroni Grill, and he would just sit there and watch us and try to mimic what we did; he'd reach over to try to dip his bites of bread into the oil like we were doing, or he reach over as if to ask if he could have some of the broccoli or asparagus that I was eating. Not that I'm quite ready for kids yet, but if I were, he would have pushed me over the edge right there. I wish there was a way to guarantee that they'd alway be so well behaved. But I'm sure that's not that case. Perhaps that might explain certain gray hairs that have recently presented themselves on certain heads?