Do Trite Curse Words Really Help "Art"?
My latest take on OFB, tackling the subject of f-bombs and the like in current pop culture:
I’m tired of it. I’m tired of every currently running TV show someone tells me to watch being littered with content that might make even the proverbial sailor blush. With so many forms of entertainment now freed from the reach of the FCC’s decency rules, it is now countercultural if dialogue or song lacks a peppering of the coarsest words. Is this really the best we can do?
If Skipping the COVID Vaccine Were a Pharmaceutical Commercial...
What if not getting a COVID vaccine were promoted like a medication? Imagine “NoVax,” if you will. That’s the starting point for an OFB piece I wrote in response to a skeptical friend who asked for a non-reactionary reason why someone should get the vaccine.
The disease that we will likely recall for the rest of our lives as simply “the Pandemic” has been answered by vaccines that, by any pre-COVID standard, would be viewed as incredibly effective. Reduce spread, reduce severity and do so with stunningly few severe side effects? How can “NoVax” be appealing in that light?
The Promise of the Internet was Decentralized Content. Let's Return to It.
Over on Open for Business I argue that it is time for us to return to taking the blogosphere seriously and start to see it as the first place we post, instead of being “social media first” like so many of us are. In doing so, we address some of the biggest concerns both the Right and Left express about social media and we return to the heart of the Internet’s decentralized promise:
It is time we took back control. A healthier Internet need not be free of social media, but it must have far more decentralized interaction from us, so social providers have to actually compete for our attention. The blogosphere offers the path to that better Internet.
My current and former blogosphere compatriots… let’s do this.
So Many Misunderstood Jesus Then and We Still Do Today
Palm Sunday was yesterday, marking the beginning of Holy Week. A week when Christians remember Jesus’s path toward crucifixion and His subsequent overcoming of death. While both Palm Sunday and Easter are filled with joy, the joy of Palm Sunday is striking in how the crowd was joyful – at least in part – for the wrong reasons.
Well, it is definitely spring here in Missouri. It just hailed for a very long time just now — and these hailstones are still relatively large after sitting in a downpour for about 10 minutes prior to when I went out to retrieve them. 😳 (The white stuff on the ground is more hail.)
What is grief, but love persevering? Disney+’s WandaVision is one of the best series I can recall gracing the small screen in decades and that question posed by the Vision (Paul Bettany) captures so much about what allows the show to be profound beyond the strictures of either of its roots: classic sitcoms and Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I learned this afternoon of the death of one of the best pastors I’ve had a joy to know, Pastor Herbert Stemler. This is a photo of him and me from the night of my ordination in 2012.
A Fork Not Taken and the Calling to Plant
A year ago last night, I stared out at Table Rock Lake far more in turmoil than I can ever remember. Table Rock has always been a place I unwound from the stresses of life, but that night it felt like life’s prickliest bits were staring back at me from the lake. Dominating the briar were two dramatically different paths for ministry in front of me and all the ramifications for life surrounding them. For the first time I can remember, the place I have always said I would love to live at felt alien.
Those of you who are involved with FaithTree likely know that George Haynes, who had been very involved with FaithTree for much of its story as part of the worship team (percussion), a behind the scenes helper and simply a smiling presence, had been battling brain cancer since last fall. While the brain cancer had paralyzed George on his one side and forced him into a skilled care facility, he had continued to be active via online means and was largely physically OK. Sadly, despite his facility going into lockdown towards the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, George somehow contracted it and had spent the past few weeks in the hospital; the last few days his situation had grown worse and — it still feels hard to believe I am writing this — George went into the presence of his Savior this morning.
Jessica Lustig writing in the New York Times:
The few people walking past us on the sidewalk don’t know that we are visitors from the future. A vision, a premonition, a walking visitation. This will be them: Either T, in the mask, or — if they’re lucky — me, tending to him.
Chilling. Praying for her husband’s recovery and for the recovery of so many others.