Thursday, December 18, 2008

Penn Says: A Gift of a Bible

This is interesting. An impact was made on this entertainer, Penn (who is an atheist), by someone simply being kind and bold. The way he words his response is very thoughtful and intriguing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mute Math - Reset

Brad W. had posted a music video awhile back (the awesomeness known as "Sabotage").

I post this live clip of MuteMath, not only to let people know about them who might not have seen them before, but in anticipation of a new album from them. Should be out soon. This whole band are amazing musicians. The drummer is phenomenal. The interplay between the bass guitar and the drums is fantastic. Fans of rhythm will appreciate this.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Comfort of...Jeans

I saw this commercial the other day. Got me to thinking more about it than I probably should. It had Brett Favre, quarterback extraordinaire, talking about his Wrangler jeans. He spoke about how his dog gives him comfort, and how his jeans do, too. I suppose the guy is unmarried, so his dog is his best friend, I guess? Anyway, it made me think about modern advertising.

So many families are splintered apart. Many individuals experience isolation and a lack of community. While I highly doubt that anyone takes the comfort of blue jeans past a fleeting thought, it's funny the way a company will hire a celebrity to pimp their product with steep claims of satisfaction. Who knows if Mr. Favre is a lonely person in his personal life (heck, he's got his dog), but we all know now that his jeans give him comfort. Even if it is subliminal, someone out there in the world who sees this commercial and is feeling incomplete in some way or another might take to the streets in search of the Wrangler jeans. I know it's silly and ridiculous, but I think this is the power of advertising.

Wrangler paid loads of money to purchase the power of Favre's fame. Favre says these clothes give him comfort. They're trying to sell a product to make money; he's making money from his reputation and talent on the football field. Wrangler has a vested interest in the public's response to Brett Favre and they're betting that you want comfort. To compound the situation with irony, who knows if Favre even wore Wranglers before this commercial contract? I'm sure he has an endless supply now, but does he really find comfort in his jeans?

Some might be laughing or pounding their head on the wall. "Why are you bemoaning this stupid jeans commercial," you might ask. It's because when I listen to what's pounded into us, day in and day out, I find it astounding. Would anyone from the previous century have thought their pants give them comfort?? The pants might've been awful back then, for all I know. Past a strictly functional appreciation of the clothing, would anyone think twice about it? I doubt it. But here we are, all evolved on the brink of 2009, listening to someone who we recognize but don't personally know, talk about how his jeans and dog are a source of comfort for him. How far we've come.

I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for a relationship with God. And I'm thinking I might enjoy some century-old pair of pants that's really scratchy and terrible. At least I wouldn't bank my hopes for joy on them.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Saving the World

I work for a company that's "green." If you're not familiar, that means we're ecologically aware. We try to encourage recycling whenever possible to reduce our carbon footprint. Again, to some a familiar term.... to others, total gibberish.

This being said, I began to really think about this today at work. I'm all for doing our part to reduce waste and keep things clean. However, when you go deeper into this subject, people typically split into two factions. One group typically believes that recycling isn't super-important. They're either supportive of it, but not passionate (that's where I live) or they're totally opposed to it and think it's a waste of time. The other group is strongly supportive, to the point to being dogmatic and even religious about it.

There's two ideologies at work, I believe, that form the basis for these two group's attitudes towards recycling. One mode of thought involves the belief that we're not fully responsible for the ultimate destiny of the earth. The other set of beliefs holds that it is our full and sovereign duty to uphold the earth...or else. While I'm all for doing what we can to save paper, reduce waste, re-use materials, I'm not going to obsess over it and spend all my time and energy to make sure I do that. I'll do it when I can and work to change my habits, but I don't feel dread that, if I don't save everything, the earth will perish. I believe the earth is on a timetable that God is in control of and ultimately, that God will redeem this earth. Do I trash it in the meantime? No. But, I don't feel the weight of the impossible task of trying to sustain the earth.

The second set of beliefs - the ones supporting the belief that we are fully responsible for the sustainability of the earth - doesn't hold to the worldview of a God who's in control, at least as far as I can figure or conclude. If so, why would there be such a push to "save the world," as if we had the ability to even do that? I don't agree with a humanist POV, which imagines it possible that we are not only responsible for saving the planet, but that we are even capable of that feat. Even if every human alive were to be on the same team, in one accord of effort, I don't think we could sustain life or all the resources indefinitely. I don't believe it was meant to be around, in its current state, forever.

What are your thoughts on this issue?