Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve Rant.

Rant # 1

New Year's resolution. I've never made one. Kinda smacked of a superstition of sorts. That is not to say, in moments of insipid bravado, at arbitrary points during some year, that I haven't made some sort of fallow promise to the air, for posterity sake or whatever....the best intentions of mice and men....that sort of thing. But this New Year's resolution ritual, well it always seemed like the membership to the gym, the copy of War and Peace on the mantle, or the learn French in 4 weeks course on cd rotting in the glove box: good intentions gone flat.

The Wall Street Journal just posted their 2011 celebrity artist "creative" resolutions story. What struck me instantly was the self-centeredness of the resolutions. Now I realize that it was the way the question was presented and the framing of the article...but c'mon? So many bright, talented, presumably rich people and not one act of good old fashioned altruism? So I muddled on. She Knows Entertainment, strike one. Ology (with the exception of Ashley Simpson giving a nod to her son) strike two. Theater Mania....strike three. Geez....

I think my favorite was Justin Bieber's resolution to win a grammy. Can a New Year's resolution be something like that? I mean can you resolve to win a Grammy? the Super Bowl? the lottery? Well count me in. Resolved. Resolved. And resolved! This year I resolve to be #1. I will win everything. Be better than everyone. All others will be less than but not equal to, the great, 2011, ME!

What gives people? (apparently nothing...) Where's the token "I want to strive for world peace"? Have we grown that callous? Or is it cynicism? With the exception of two of our celebrities adopting a pet-shelter dog, where are the open hearts and homes to the cast-off children of the world? I mean c'mon already, if you're gonna take the time to make one, make it good. Just lie to us. Just say you're gonna donate a tenth of your 20 million dollar salary to victims of poverty. Say it, even if you don't mean it. Inspire us to emulation. Do I have to beg?

Rant # 2

Have you ever been to one of those retail giant book stores? Christian or otherwise? There is a section called Christian fiction. Presumably the sterilized versions of romance "novels" and spy thrillers, all impregnated with Judeo-Christian ethic and evangelical underpinnings. Well I take exception to bad art in any form no matter the doctrine, and to be fair I've never read these books, they may be compelling and soul-stirring. I'm even willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. But as a Christian, one who believes it is what's in a person that makes them beautiful, I wonder why every cover of every book has a beautiful person on it. Not one ugly, or fatty, or pimply faced wallflower....hmmmm. Now I realize this just sounds like sour lemons from a confirmed "unattractive", and I may very well be, but what message does this send to people about the God of the universe? That He created the beautiful in His image and the uglies are spawns of Satan?

Rant #3

And while we're on the subject of celebrity and beauty....why how come pray tell do they cast some gorgeous girl in a role and then spend the first half of the movie trying to prove just how down to earth, Chuck Taylors and Levis, everyday girl next door she is so that we can relate to her? Why not just hire the girl next door and get to the meat of the film...if there is any.

Rant # 4

Yes. There's more. Jersey Shore. Never seen a single episode but somehow this quantifies for me everything that is wrong with everything, everywhere, all the time. I mean my heart breaks for these kids and yet....

Rant #5

Gratuitously rich much abject poverty.....Argh. I hope 2011 brings a sense of global responsibility, a sense of compassionate connection and kinship...please?

Every 5 seconds a child dies from starvation. Every 5 seconds Americans waste 2 1/2 tons of food. Every 4 seconds a child dies of a water related illness. Every 4 seconds Americans waste 730,000 gallons of water. And that's just Americans.... Argh.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

People Who Just Wouldn't Shut Up....

....have always been my heroes.

Harriet Tubman spoke out against a system that bought and sold people, her people, even her own family. And her fearlessness gave force to her words. She didn't desire her own freedom so much as to leave others behind. They put a bounty on her head to scare her into silence and submission. But no one ever got to collect.

Rosa Parks sat in the wrong section of the bus. The white section. She was told to get up. She didn't. She was tired from working all day, tired of being a second class citizen. Her actions were louder than words. She went to jail. For sitting on a public bus. In America. But America heard her loud and clear. They tried to marginalize her and they failed. Her civil disobedience led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott that made her an international symbol of resistance.

The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr had a dream. And he let the whole world know from whom it came and who would make it come true. And they shot him 'cause he wouldn't back down.
Because he kept showing up places and talking about equality and justice.

John the Baptist took on the world. When the world slept in houses. He slept in caves. When they were clothed in soft linens, he wore camel skin. When the most respected religious men of the day came out to the Jordan, he called them a brood of vipers. He also told a king to repent. They had to cut off his head to silence his tongue.

And then there's my Savior. Whom even death could not silence. Nor the hordes of hell.

Let's me and you be these kind of people. The kind that don't shut up. Let's “Speak up for those who cannot sp
eak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:7-8

Let's be voices for the voiceless.