Okay, this may be the most fruitless blog ever. The other day I was driving in the car. I don't know what inspired this, but I started thinking about secular media's take on adultery and stuff. I think some people get caught up in believing nothing good comes from the media concerning this issue. Here are some examples of why they are wrong.

The Sopranos: Obviously Tony is a jerk when it comes to this subject. However, in the community of people he lives in, adultery is an accepted part of life. Everyone has a gooma. The wives don't ask questions. Yet, the problems this creates for Tony and Carmella are a focus of latter season four. In addition, Carmella deals with her attraction to Furio. Furio even moves back to Italy to avoid giving in to his attraction to Carmella. Now it is clear that his motivation is the consequences that would follow messing around with Tony's wife. However, his conversation with his uncle back in Italy suggests that this was not his only motivation.

In the Mood For Love (if you haven't seen this, you should. And you should not read this prior to seeing the film, because I necessarily must discuss some crucial points of the plot): Again, two people have every right to become involved with one another (if such a statement can be made). Their spouses are cheating on them with the other's spouse and they are left behind (so to speak). In the face of this, they develop an incredible relationship that ultimately results in the desire for romance. In response, he moves to another part of Korea, rather than go back on his vow to his wife.

I realize this isn't really breaking any ground, but I think that we can see virtue in secular culture. I'm not saying it's all great or anything, but these are only a couple examples of something that is somewhat encouraging to me in the face of Christian naysayers. Word.


Antony Bonus

So I'm staying up later than I need to in order to kind of sit around and do nothing (I know, good use of time with a Romans mid-term in three days). I'm sitting here and I flip on Dave Letterman, just in time to catch...ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS. What a sweet stroke of good fortune. I didn't realize they are doing a US run (which they may have before, I don't really know). Regardless, this makes me largely happy and full of enjoyment. It was a great performance by the way. Now I flipped to Jimmy Kimmel (I'm not sure why), and they just said that Thrice is the musical guest tonight. What a pleasant eve for music. Great great fun.

Since we're on the topic of music (as I almost always am lately, I guess it's just one of those months), I saw something I thought was kind of funny. When I was seeing how cheap I could get Joanna Newsom's single of Sprout and the Bean (not that cheap by the way), they had a little ad for a magazine that I think was called Under the Radar, and Death Cab for Cutie was on the cover. This struck me as odd, since Death Cab seems to be largely above the radar compared to many other bands. They're on iTunes essentials (the first video essentials ever) among many other things. Plans was advertised in the Best Buy, Target, and Circuit City ads (I'm pretty sure Transatlantacism was also). In addition, although it's Ben's side project, Postal Service songs are featured on ads for a doctor show on ABC and a Kaiser Permanente commercial.So I guess my question is, whose radar are we talking about here? It seems that in the realm of those who don't simply listen to music, but make it a major part of their life, Death Cab is not under the radar. Even if not all of these people are not familiar with their music as they may be into other styles of music, they have certainly heard of Death Cab. Who knows? If I was publishing this magazine, I think I would put Of Montreal on the cover. Has anyone listened to them lately? Sweet.


In an ongoing effort to totally dominate the Denver music scene, I just got my ticket to see the Decemberists in a week. Hoorah. This is largely exciting for me, as I very much enjoy the Decemberists. However, my favorite song of theirs at the moment is "The Apology Song" from their 5 Songs ep. I am gravely concerned that since the song comes from an ep, it may suffer neglect at the show. I'm sure the show will still be tanfastic, and I still love all their other music.

The problem is simply that I almost always go into a show hoping for one song to be played. Since moving to Denver, I have not been let down in this quest (Well, except for when I saw Emery at the Warped Tour, but they were only given 20 minutes to play (plus they were about to release a new album, so what do you expect? (and this shouldn't count because Warped was an entire day of sweet music where my 'one-song quest' was upheld by many other bands so by process of majority, this case is void))).

The other lame-o time 2005 is that I no longer can afford to go see Iron & Wine (a show which takes place 2 days after the Decemberists). But I'm okay with this exchange. After all, it's like they always say, "When The New Pornographers, Thrice, Emery, Death Cab for Cutie, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, the Decemberists, Hawthorne Heights, and Iron & Wine all come to Denver in October and you're on a budget and your wife is in a master's program so you don't see her as much as you used to, you can probably only go to 3 of those shows." I remember people telling me that all the time growing up.

And I'm very grateful for these shows that I have been able to go to. I don't want to sound like Mr. Never-Content-With-How-Many-Shows-He-Can-Go-To. Nobody likes that guy (at least not on the West side of the U.S.) The 2 I've been to already have been superb in a way that I didn't really know of before I moved here, and I'm sure the Decemberists will be the same (plus I'm running out of room for stickers on the ol' briefcase).

So ultimately, things are running on full here in CO (as opposed to Running on Empty (speaking of which, has anybody listened to Jackson Browne's acoustic album yet? (I haven't been able to pick it up yet due to lack of funds, but I bet it's great (although These Days has to be his best song, and that's already acoustic (then again, he's totally great and whatever he turns acoustic I'm sure will be super-great)))).


Concert week 2005

I just realized, this may be the best and worst week of the year. First, why it is the best. There are four concerts in or around Denver this week. Tonight I am going to see the New Pornographers (don't worry Mom and Dad, they chose that name because they think that the music industry can be compared to pornography because it has perverted something beautiful, so they are trying to change that...subsequently, they are incredible musicians). Then, tomorrow night is Emery, the next night is Scary Kids Scaring Kids, and Saturday night is Death Cab for Cutie. I'm excited to the maximum.

Here's the lame-o part. I only have tickets to the show tonight and Death Cab on Friday. Normally this wouldn't be a problem because Emery will not sell out. However, Erika is currently sick, leading to this equation...
I'm already going to 2 concerts this week +
Erika is sick +
Last month we did a good job sticking to the budget and saved money, so Erika will not want me to spend a lot of money +
I have already seen Emery before =
There's no chance I'm going to get the thumbs up to go see Emery tomorrow night.

Oh what endless sorrow for a band as gifted and joyous as Emery to be in town and the Ry-man can't go.

Lame-o fact number two. Scary Kids Scaring Kids is on Thursday night. Take all the pieces of the previous equation, except take out me having seen them before, but add in that the show is in Colorado Springs (1 hour away) and you end up with the same conclusion.

I guess in the end, tonight and Saturday night will have to appease me. I'll have to apply the principle of being satisfied with what I have. Ultimately, that makes this whole experience good for my sanctification...Hooray!


Divine Showoff

For my theology class I have to read God's Greater Glory by Bruce Ware. I have not been looking forward to it and I've been putting off reading it for as long as possible. But now the time has come, so I've been reading it today, and among many things that annoy/bother/confuse/baffle/irritate me, ultimately, I have come out of reading so far gaining a little bit of insight. The thing that I always kind of said before, but became abundantly clear to me is a fundamental difference between Calvinism and Free Will Theism.

Ware says that the ONLY end of humanity is the glory of God. That sounds neat, but we are the consequences. God creates us, causes us to fall (thereby becoming the author of evil), causes us to suffer an incredible amount (continuing His evil streak), causes some of us to go into eternal suffering, sends His Son as a display of power and provision, so that the vast minority He has elected can praise Him ever greater because they see the majority of people going to Hell. All of this so that God can have attention.

Is this "only Glory" model what we see in the Bible? Absolutely not. Love is the overarching theme of the Bible. A major result of this is glory, buut it doesn't seem to be God's motivation for this whole deal we call existence. God created us as an act of love, not for attention. We fell on our own...not by God's hand so that later He could show off what He was willing to do for us, so that we would give Him more glory.

Ultimately, I don't want to be too harsh, because what if I'm wrong. But I think this stems from the false idea of total depravity. There is absolutely nothing good or decent about people. This is simply not true. There is something of value in people. It's called Imago Dei, and its still around. We are still the image-bearers, even though we screwed up. God does want a relationship with us. It is what He created us for. This does not rule out glory. This love leads to tons of Glory for God (I believe moreso than a Calvinist approach), but the glory is not His purpose for creating. That simply results in an egocentric Deity.