Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bart Campolo | Two Sons (Regardless)


Bart Campolo wrote an engaging post this morning. It's called Two Sons (Regardless)
Bart writes:
On some level, Jesus seems to suggest that what God really wants from us has less to do with what we say and more to do with what we…do.

I like that…I think.

On my best days, I think I like that too.

From the top of the little hill where I live, it appears the people who claim they know something about God have found a comfort zone where saying the right things substitutes for doing…anything, really. Orthopraxy — doing the right thing — means nothing, give or take. Orthodoxy — believing the right stuff from some sort of biblical framework — is frequently all that matters — as long as we get to skip the Minor Prophets, the letter from James, all but chapter one of First John and much of what we call the four Gospels — other than that and maybe a couple of other things, we take the Bible to be authoritative in sum and substance.

How else to explain a drug addled talk radio celebrity who gets to keep his position of honor with people who believe drug addicts are criminals — unless they say the right things.

How else to explain sex junkies of various proclivities who are quickly restored to honor by people who believe sex junkies are perverts — unless they say the right things.

How else to explain the free pass extgended to a presidential candidate who called a New York Times reporter an asshole by people who believe that kind of language is a sin — unless it’s used by someone who says the right things (in which case it’s a sign of…what? Being wild at heart?).

And how else to explain myriad unkept promises to the poor and powerless by church and state, willingly excused by people who believe yes should mean yes, no should mean no (and anything else is sin) — unless…well, you know.

All that to say this: I think people like me, who say we may know something about God, ought to act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with God because the gospel Jesus preached — don’t listen to your hometown evangelist, go read it for yourself — was the gospel of the kingdom of heaven where justice, mercy and humility are the rules. And because Jesus, if he can be trusted, represented that God intends to have everything his way — on earth as it is in heaven. And because the only people Jesus was hard on were self-important fools (like me) — to whom he said, “Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” And because there is no shalom for anyone unless there is shalom for everyone.

My friend Bart puts a might fine point on things at the end of his post. It's worth reading.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

broken by design | Seth Godin

Seth Godin counted seven kind of broken — ranging from irritating to downright dangerous.

In no particular order, an experience, artifact or thing may be broken because:
It's not my job to fix it
It was designed by selfish jerks
The world changed
I didn't know
I'm not a fish
There are significant contradictions
Some things are broken on purpose




What's broken where you work? If it wasn't broken on purpose, whose job is it to fix it?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Garrison Keillor | Don Imus is Vulgar. So What?


It's Spring and there's an awful war going on and we are confronted on every hand by truth and beauty and all the worst and all the best of what people mean when we speak of being human. And, its title notwithstanding, Garrison Keillor's May 16, 2007 column is so good it makes my heart hurt.

Monday, May 14, 2007

call the IT guy

my good friends at InsideWork dug up this nugget:

In this context, InsideWork President Dan Wooldridge recalls Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki's warning:
If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less

[You may recall that General Shinseki was moved along by the Bush administration because a month before the invasion of Iraq he had the temerity to tell the US Congress it would take several hundred thousand troops to secure Iraq. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld called Shinseki's judgement "wildly off the mark" and went on to administer a most profound irrrelavance.]

Sunday, May 13, 2007

why can't we all just get along?

This is Dunkin + Rico frolicking in Bob + Suzie's back yard. Real wrath-of-God type stuff.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

good for CNN


I'm not crazy about the early onset of 2008 presidential campaigning and I'm picky about what I watch on CNN as elsewhere, but I'm pleased the Cable News Network will make its debate coverage available without retriction following the events.
Due to the historical nature of presidential debates and the significance of these forums to the American public, CNN believes strongly that the debates should be accessible to the public. The candidates need to be held accountable for what they say throughout the election process.

The presidential debates are an integral part of our system of government, in which the American people have the opportunity to make informed choices about who will serve them. Therefore, CNN debate coverage will be made available without restrictions at the conclusion of each live debate.

We believe this is good for the country and good for the electoral process. This decision will apply to all of CNN's presidential debates, beginning with the upcoming New Hampshire debates in June.

Among other things that means we'll be able to view the debates online days, weeks, months, years after they happen live and determine for ourselves what each candidate said and what we believe he or she meant. Now that's a no-spin zone.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Her Majesty


Her majesty's a pretty nice girl
but she doesn't have a lot to say.
— Lennon/McCartney, 1969

Monday, May 07, 2007

designed to work


Entering Free Agent Nation this month, my good friend Toben bought a MacBook to replace the one his former company provided:
I am now officially a Mac fan for life. I turned on the new Mac, it asked if I wanted to migrate data from my old Mac. I did. I plugged in the firewire, hit transfer and 30 minutes later my new Mac looks just like my old Mac. And everything works perfectly. Very impressive.

The genius of the transaction is in the last sentence of Toben's email: I feel like such a techie!

Turn on new computer.
Click Yes button.
Connect to old computer with one cable.
Run errand.
Come back in 30 minutes.
Feel like a techie.

Brilliant.

Friday, May 04, 2007

notes from New Orleans


Just back from shooting in New Orleans.

The Lower 9th Ward is a blast zone. Whole blocks of homes are just gone. Others, still standing here and there, appear to have been picked up, their contents shaken, then put back down more or less — but often less — where they were before. It was amazing, and not in the good way. It was almost unbelievable . . . but there it was. We have pictures. It is what it is.

Nearby, Saint Bernards Parish is middle and working class housing — sturdy brick construction — flushed by a relentless current that appears to have run ten, maybe 12 feet deep. Ceilings soaked and gave way. The fortunate families had their homes gutted by kindly bands of outsiders. They are stripped to the studs inside, dessicated as if by radical surgery; they are patients who may or may not survive.

Stories, stories . . . some more horrid than I want to repeat just yet. Others heartwarming, courageous, grateful, gently funny.

Well duh: Imagine something on the order of 240,000 refrigerators all powering down on the same day and remaining unattended for a month. Take a deep breath; let your olfactory memory do the imagining . . .

We are invited to a community crawfish boil undertaken with a noisy and playful generosity. The Liutenent Governor gamely submits to the dunking tank. A band plays loud. The food is abundant and cheap and messy and eye-rollingly wonderful. Even so, there is — I suppose will be — an undercurrent of loss and defiant hope.

A woman asks if we are a neighborhood family — she does not recognize us. We tell her we are working on a documentary film. She thanks us for coming — not to the crawfish boil but to New Orleans. She thanks us for caring.

"Did you evacuate?" I ask.

"Yes," she says, and, "We were lucky," then unfolds an abbreiviated tale of reoccupying her home that is funny in the way that old film The Money Pit would have been, had it been funny. this woman's story walks the razor edge between comedy and flat out tragedy. The only thing that keeps her from sliding off on the tragic side is the truth of her opening line: Compared to others, she says . . . hundreds of thousands of others . . . "we were lucky."

A common thread of conversation everywhere in the city: Recovery will take ten years, minimum.

— RANTS + REFLECTIONS ON THE COMMON GOOD —

[mostly]