Warning: include_once(/home/mikemotorcade/www/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-support/wordpress-support.php): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /home/mikemotorcade/www/wp-settings.php on line 212

Warning: include_once(): Failed opening '/home/mikemotorcade/www/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-support/wordpress-support.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/lib/php:/usr/local/php5/lib/pear') in /home/mikemotorcade/www/wp-settings.php on line 212
It’s 3 o’clock in the morning!

It’s 3 o’clock in the morning!

Life is too short for bad coffee.

Entries Comments


Buttons and Screws

23 February, 2008 (10:59pm) | Blog | No comments

Have you ever noticed how much our life revolves around little things? Take a look at your morning routine..

8:20 – wake up and put on glasses*
8:21 – take out retainer*
8:22 – put toothpaste* on my toothbrush* and brush my teeth*
8:24 – take my wallet* keys* phone* guitar picks* out of the pockets* my jeans from yesterday and put them in my current jeans.
8:25 – forget where my shoes* are.
8:27 – find my shoes*
8:28 – start car** (with car keys*)
8:29 – go to work

We never really pay attention to things like that until they are lost, or stop working. The screws* is my glasses* that keep the lenses* in have started coming lose rather regularly, and every once in a while they will pop out. Lord save me if it happens in a carpeted room**. I then have to spend an hour of my (now blind) life hunting for a screw* that I would have trouble seeing with my glasses* on.

One of these days I will get new glasses**.

*a little thing
**not a little thing

No comments | Add a Comment!

What is a Christian?

30 October, 2007 (12:25pm) | Blog | 2 comments

Excerpt taken from What Is A Christian? by Wayne Mack. Please read the whole article.

What is a Christian? Here are some common misconceptions:

Salvation is by good works.
“Well, I certainly am a Christian; I’m doing the best I can. I try to live by the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule and the Sermon on the Mount.”

Salvation is the free gift of God.

“For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”
Ephesians 2:8-9

The word “grace” means unmerited favor.

Salvation is by heredity.
“Most assuredly, I’m a Christian. If I’m not, I don’t know who is. My mother and father are very religious. I have an uncle who is a minister.”

Physical heritage, blood lineage, family connections or any other such factors, do not have anything to do with whether or not a person is a Christian.

“But as many as received him [Jesus Christ], to them God gave the authority to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”
John 1:12-13

Salvation is by religious activity.
“Indeed I am. I have always gone to church and Sunday School. I have been baptized and confirmed. I joined the church when I was fourteen.”

a Christian is not simply one who is active in religious matters.

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out demons? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me”
Matthew 7:22-23

Salvation is by profession of faith.
“I know I’m a Christian because when the evangelist gave the invitation I went to the front and made a decision for Christ. My counselor showed me that if I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour, I would never be lost again. I didn’t want to be lost–hell is a terrible place–so I accepted Jesus, and I know now that no matter what happens, God will never reject me. I know it because I went to the altar and professed faith in Jesus Christ.”

“Now when he [Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not trust himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man”
John 2:23-25

These people made a profession of faith but our Lord would not trust himself unto them because he knew that their profession of faith was not real.

You just can’t know whether or not you are saved.
“I don’t don’t know if I am, and I don’t see how anyone can really know for sure in this life. I guess I’ll just have to wait until I die to find out.”

“For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day”
2 Timothy 1:12

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God”
1 John 5:13

Every human being is a Christian and will most certainly go to heaven.
“Sure, I’m a Christian. Isn’t everybody? Isn’t God the Father of all men? We may be going by different roads, but all of these roads lead to the same place. It doesn’t really matter what you believe, just so you are sincere–everyone who is sincere in his own religion is a Christian.”

“He that believeth on him [Jesus Christ] is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”
John 3:18

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him”
John 3:36

When tested by the standard of God’s Word these six common answers to the question, “What is a Christian?” are proved to be inadequate and false. All of them are contrary to the Word of God. According to the Bible if your answer to the question “What is a Christian?” is any one of the six opinions that we have just considered, you are wrong. According to the Bible if the basis for your hope of heaven is founded upon any one of these opinions, your hope is based upon a wrong foundation and you are not a Christian. Why? Because a Christian is not simply a person who performs good works; or a person who has been born of Godly parents; or a person who is active in religious matters; or a person who has made a profession of faith; or a person who has been baptized; or a person who has responded to an invitation.

So how can we know what a Christian really is?

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
Psalm 119:105

“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. [...] The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”
Psalm 19:7-8

“[...] the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching [to teach us what is true], rebuking [to make us realize what is wrong in our lives], correcting [to straighten out our errors] and training in righteousness [to teach us and train us in what is right].”
2 Timothy 3:15-16

These Scriptures tell us that God has given us the Bible to make us wise in spiritual matters. Therefore, it only makes sense that we should turn to the Bible to find an answer to the question “What is a Christian?” If we want to travel to a certain city, we get a map and discover the best way to go. We don’t turn to some person who has never been there for directions because he doesn’t know any more about it than we do. Nor do we turn to a philosophy or science book for directions. No, we turn to a map of the area in which that city is located because that map was made to give us directions. So it is with the Bible. It was produced by the inspiration and superintendence of Almighty God that we might be made wise concerning the way of salvation.

Here is what the Bible says a Christian is:

A Christian is a person who has been radically changed by the power of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:9-10; Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 6:15; 2 Peter 1:2-4; James 1:17;
1 John 2:29; 1 John 3:7; 1 Peter 1:15-16; James 1:18; 1 John 5:1; John 1:12-13; Titus 3:5; John 5:24-25; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13; Luke 15:24,32

A Christian is a person who has become and is becoming increasingly aware of his own unworthiness in the sight of God.
1 John 3:4; Romans 7:24; Romans 7:21-23; Psalm 51; Jeremiah 17:9; Luke 18:13; Romans 8:7-8; John 3:7; Romans 3:9-19; Romans 3:23; Romans 8:7-8; Psalm 10:4; Psalm 53:1-3; Psalm 58:3; Psalm 143:2; 2 Chronicles 6:36; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Genesis 6:5; Proverbs 22:15; Jeremiah 13:23; Mark 7:21-23; John 3:19; John 8:44,34; Ephesians 2:2-3; 2 Timothy 3:4; 1 John 1:10

A Christian is a person who believes that Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh and the only Saviour and substitute of sinners.
Romans 5:15; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Corinthians 15:21; John 8:40; Romans 3:21-26; Hebrews 4:15; John 14:30; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; John 8:29; John 17:1-4; Luke 1:35; Matthew 3:17; Matthew 27:4; Matthew 23:41; Luke 1:35; Mark l:24; 1 Peter 1:19; Hebrews 7:26; 9:14; John 1:1,14; John 10:30; John 14:9b;Hebrews 1:8; Romans 9:5; John 20:28; 1 John 3:16; Titus 2:13; 1 John 5:20; Isaiah 6:1-4; John 12:41; Joel 2:32; Romans 10:13; Matthew 10:32,37; Matthew 18:20; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 2:5-12; Luke 4:16-21; Luke 24:27,44; John 1:1,3,29; John 2:25; John 3:13,36; John 5:17,46; John 6:35; John 8:12, John 56-58; John 10:27-30; John 11:25-26; John 14:9-11; John 21:17; Acts 10:43; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 1:3; Philippians 2:5-6; Colossians 1:14,16,17; Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:14-16; Hebrews 1:3,10; Hebrews 4:12-13; Revelation 1:8; Isaiah 9:6; 1 Timothy 1:15; Luke 19:10; Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:10-11; John 14:6; John 3:18; John 3:36; Acts 4:12; Matthew 5:17; Romans 5:19; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 5:8-9; Romans 10:4; John 8:29; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Isaiah 53:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:19,21; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18; Romans 3:24-26; Romans 5:6-11; Ephesians 1:6-7; Galatians 3:13; Galatians 3:10; Romans 3:9,19; James 2:10;

A Christian is a person who has repented of his sins and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 3:18,36; John 10:25-26; Luke 13:3; Luke 5:32; Mark 1:14-15; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 3:19,26; Acts 10:36-43; Acts 11:18; Acts 17:30; Acts 20:17-21; Acts 26:19-20; Revelation 3:17-20; Isaiah 6:5; Luke 18:13; Luke 23:40-41; 2 Corinthians 7:9-11; Joel 2:12; Jeremiah 31:18; Psalm 119:104; Ezekiel 20:43; Isaiah 55:7; Proverbs 28:13; Ezekiel 36:25-32; Zechariah 12:10; Luke 15:18; Psalm 51:1-12; Luke 22:59-62; Luke 13:3; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:36; John 3:18; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 10:9,10,13; Luke 14:27;

What then, in summary, is a Christian?

A Christian is a person who has been radically changed by the power of God. A Christian is a person who has been deeply convicted by the Holy Spirit of his own unworthiness before God and of his desperate need of God’s mercy. A Christian is a person who believes that Jesus Christ is the God-man who came into the world to be the only Saviour and Substitute of sinners. A Christian is a person who has genuinely repented of his sins and savingly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. He has actually looked unto Jesus Christ for salvation and called upon Jesus Christ for salvation.

Having seen the clear teaching of Scripture on the essence of Christianity, I want to press home a very personal question at this point—can you honestly say that you are a Christian? Remember the essence of Christianity is not any of the things that we mentioned at the beginning of this article. We have seen from the Bible which is the only book to which we can turn for an answer to the question, “What is a Christian?” that these are false answers. If you have been clinging to these illusions about Christianity, turn from them to believe what the Bible has to say in answer to the question, “What is a Christian?” Turn from your own opinions and the opinions of others to the infallible Word of God “which is able to make you wise unto salvation which is by faith in Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 3:15). Ask God to impress upon you your own unworthiness and to reveal to you his Son Jesus Christ, who came into the world to save all sinners who would come to him. Call upon his name to save you now, for his promise is that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Ask him to forgive your sins, thank him for dying in the place of lost sinners, confess Jesus Christ before men as the Lord and Sovereign of your life and be assured that if you have sincerely done this or will do this, you may stand up before God and men and confess, “by the all availing and powerful blood of Jesus Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit who has now worked in my life, I am a Christian.”

Read the whole article here.

2 comments | Add a Comment!

The Sad Story Of Dave The Being And His Happy Little Airplane Friend

23 October, 2007 (10:59am) | Blog | No comments

High up in the stratosphere, there lurks the being Dave. He has been sitting up there observing our radio and television broadcasts for a long time, and has learned many things from us. Unfortunately, his language of choice is Armenian, though he knows most of the other languages. Drifting lazily on an updraft one day, Dave saw an airplane.
“(Whatever the Armenian is for ‘Oh, look! An airplane!’)”, he said.
“Well, hello there, Dave!” the airplane answered in English (all the airplanes had gotten to know Dave very well through the course of his stay in the earth’s stratosphere, but none of them spoke Armenian), “How are you?”
“I couldn’t be better. Where are you headed on a fine day like this?”
“I’m headed for Chili!”
“Oh, dear, that is quite a long ways away! Are you going to take any breaks in between?”
“No, in fact, and I am quite tired right here. By the time I get there I shall be thoroughly exhausted!”
“That’s too bad”, said Dave sorrowfully. Suddenly, he had a flash of insight, “Oh, Airplane! I am just sitting down for tea. Why don’t you join me and recover your strength?”
“Why, that is a splendid idea, Dave!” the airplane said. He halted in midair and straight away fell out of the sky to his death. For every one knows that airplanes can only stay in the air as long as they are moving.

Moral: Never trust a being named Dave that speaks Armenian and floats around in the sky.

The end.

No comments | Add a Comment!

Death

25 August, 2007 (9:26pm) | Blog | No comments

Note: I do not pretend to know anything about death. No one close to me has ever died, thank God. This blog is just some thoughts I have about grief, and hope. Along with an aside about faith. If anything I say is irrelevant or false concerning this subject, please correct me.

death
(dĕth) n.
1. The act of dying; termination of life.
2. The state of being dead.
3. The cause of dying.
4. A manner of dying.

The dictionary doesn’t know a thing about death.

We as humans have an innate fear of the unknown. We don’t know what is going to happen when we die; whether it will be painful, or pleasant; conscious or ignorant; light or dark. Is there something waiting for us on the other side? Or will it be a void?

As Christians, we have a hope that the world does not have. An assurance of the unknown. We know that Christ has promised us an eternal life with him. And we have even more than just hope: we are actually able to look forward to departing from this world!

“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling.”
-2 Corinthians 5:1-2

Of course, we can’t go around killing ourselves just because we want to get to heaven. Our time on earth is short lived and we must strive to make the best of what God has given us.

“So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
2 Corinthians 5:9-10

“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
Philippians 1:27

Sufjan Stevens, in his album Come on and feel the Illinoise!, sings a song of a loved one who died from cancer of the bone. The song treats the event as, probably, the saddest thing that ever happened to him, but the music is almost joyous. Reminiscing about the detailed memories of the light on her shoulder blade, or running outside with her shirt tucked in, and her shoes untied, the singer gives these seamingly meaningless memories a sense of absolute meaning.

“In the morning, through the window shade
When the light pressed up against your shoulder blade
I could see what you were reading”
Casimir Pulaski Day, Sufjan Stevens

It is the ultimate love song between a man and woman, because she is dead. He has no reason to try to make the song romantic, because he isn’t singing to anyone. He is singing from his heart. Happiness, sadness, hope, and longing are some of the emotions he goes through. At the moment in the song where the news breaks that she has died, a chorus of horns break in, giving the song joy, and triumph.

Shouldn’t we grieve in the same way? Shouldn’t we be joyful when our beloved leave this world? On the other hand..

“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.”
Ezekiel 18:32

Should we be joyous? God doesn’t take pleasure in death, why should we? Death came upon man after the fall, and death shall be no more after Christ returns.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21:4

Why do we have to die in the first place? Death was a part of the curse man brought upon himself by rebelling against God. But Christians, being washed by Christ’s blood and being new creations, are no longer under that curse. Every single time Jesus was in the presence of a dead person, he raised them from the dead. He didn’t accept death…

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
John 14:12

..why should we?

“Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!”
Philippians 4:1

No comments | Add a Comment!

Santa Claus is coming to town!

13 August, 2007 (4:05am) | Blog | No comments

“Oh! You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I’m telling you why:”

When you where a little kid, did you ever stay up late at night lying in bed completely terrified? Many kids have. It’s something about the unknown that bothers us.

“Santa Claus is coming to town!”

We have to know what is around us, and we have to know that, if we fall asleep, nothing bad will happen.

“He’s making a list,
He’s checking it twice,
He’s gonna find out
who’s naughty or nice.”

When I was little, It seemed to be worse during the times that I had done something wrong and was trying to hide it. Like if I had broken something and hidden it, I always wanted to have it in my sight. That way I could know if anyone was going near my little disaster hiding behind the couch or under a rug or someplace.

“Santa Claus is coming to town!”

So laying in bed at night, not only did I feel that I wouldn’t be able to survive the night, I also had no idea who was snooping around the evidence and what they were going to find out. Somehow that just magnified the terror of the night.

“He sees you when you’re sleeping,
He knows when you’re awake.
He knows when you’ve been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake!”

If I was hiding something in my room that I would get in trouble for I was faced with the dilemma of having a nightlight. It was dark, and I couldn’t keep an eye on my room to make sure nobody sneaked in and found my wrongdoings, but I didn’t want to have a nightlight because I was a “big boy” and “big boys” aren’t afraid of the dark, but it wasn’t that I was afraid of the dark, I was just worried about all my little schemes I had going on, so I could get away with a nightlight, right? If I had one, I could keep an eye on things, but then, so could other people, and who knows how good of a job I did hiding it..

“So…You better watch out,
You better not cry
You better not pout,
I’m telling you why.”

Maybe, if I knew for sure that no one was paying attention to me and my room, and that I would instantly wake up if someone came into my room, then I could let my self fall asleep..

“Santa Claus is coming to town.”

Who wrote that song anyway?

No comments | Add a Comment!

Andy McKee

28 July, 2007 (12:01pm) | Blog | No comments

In the mid-1800′s, Spanish guitarist and guitar maker Antonio Torres Jurado developed the first modern guitar. Before him, there were many variations of stringed instruments resembling the modern guitar, like the sitar and the lute, but most of them didn’t have all of the qualities of the modern guitar that make it so easy to learn, and so diverse.

A lute

The guitar quickly became very popular due to the many different things that could be done with it. Most other instruments were restricted to one style of music or other due to the nature of how they were made. However, because of the control the musician has over it, the guitar can be used to play almost any style you can imagine.

An acoustic guitar

When it first came about, the classical guitar was mostly used for mellow pieces by the musical masters of that time. By the nineteenth century (due partially to how easy the guitar was to play compared to, say, the violin) most non-”masters” of music were able to play well enough to write their own songs. Slowly, more and more people were able to release their music to the general public than were able in the 1500′s; and less and Less of the music floating around was as well written as in the classical era.

An Eddie Van Halen electric guitar

Enter the Electric Guitar. The electric guitar was first patented by George Beauchamp of Texas, but was made available to the general public first by Danelectro. The electric guitar and its signature distorted sound were made popular by bands like the Beatles and Buddy Holly. Guitarists like Eddie Van Halen were able to completely master the art, while other less talented musicians resorted to such “cheating” methods as power-chords, which did not require as much coordination to play. Many modern punk bands have completely destroyed the art of the guitar and even music in general by playing the same music as other bands in a last ditch effort to get famous. Music is no longer an art to be appreciated and respected, but has turned into merely a tool to become a celebrity.

A dumb punk band

But thanks to musicians like Andy McKee, the beauty and respect of music is being preserved. McKee was born in 1979, in Topeka, Kansas, and at the age of 13, was given an Aria nylon string guitar by his father. He didn’t settle for just learning how to play the popular songs of the day to impress his friends, but was continually seeking to master his instrument through inventing new ways to get sound out of the guitar.

Andy McKee

Andy McKee uses a mix of strumming, hammer-ons, harmonics, and even the wood of the guitar itself to get a full sound with many undertones. His style of presenting the music, which completely ignores the popular style of projecting oneself onto the listener, has won the hearts and ears of many snobbish music lovers who listen to music for the music itself.

One of the few innovative musicians of our times, McKee has succeeded in proving that there is more to the guitar than just learning what others have already discovered. You can always find more innovative and creative ways to play music. We should never settle for the easy way out. Always strive to learn more and to better yourself.

“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:13-14

No comments | Add a Comment!

Hallelujah

16 July, 2007 (3:41pm) | Blog | 13 comments

n 1984, Canadian songwriter Leonard Cohen released an album called Various Positions. On that album was the first recorded version of a song that is considered by some to be the most beautiful song ever written, called Hallelujah.

The song contains many religions references to people like David and Bathsheba, and Samson and Delilah, and talks a lot about the shallow love between humans. Then the chorus comes in with the refrain “Hallelujah”. Is there really any way to compare the selfish love of one human for another to the righteous, holy, and pure love of God?

But, the beautiful lyrics of the song would be nothing without music that compliments them. Cohen succeeds masterfully. He captures the entire tone of the song with a hauntingly pure progression of masterfully written chords. The verses telling of the futile struggles of man are played in a slightly dark tone that leads into the pure major chord chorus, that contains feelings of triumph and beauty.

Even the mathmatics of the song are coupled perfectly with the lyrics:

“Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah”

He’s describing the chord progression of the song itself.

Here are the chords he is playing for one line:
“It goes like this (C major), the fourth (F major), the fifth (G major), the minor fall (A minor) and the major lift (F major)“.

C is the key the song is played in. This is the key of C:

1- C
2- D
3- E
4- F
5- G
6- A
7- B
8- C

This is the progression of that line:

(C major)(F major)(G major)(A minor)(F major)

(1) C major is the beginning of the progression, it explains how the song goes.
(2) F major is the fourth.
(3) G major is the fifth.
(4) A minor is the relative minor of C, you are making the C note drop (or “fall”) to A.
(5) The last F major is the creme da la creme of his genious:
-A minor, is made up of the notes A, C, and E.
-F major is made up of the notes, F, A, and C.
-To change chords from A minor to F major, you move the E up one note, (or “lift” it, if you will)

Therefore,

“It goes like this” (C major, the base chord of the song)
“the fourth” (F major is the fourth)
“the fifth” (G major is the fifth)
“the minor fall” (A minor – the C major is “falling” into A minor)
“and the major lift” (A minor is “lifting” into F major)

As for the rest of the line “The baffled king composing Hallelujah”, and the concept of a “secret chord”:

The kinnor, or lyre, was the instrument that David played the most, and was associated with joyful music only. Furthermore, because of the pentatonical tuning of the strings, David wouldn’t have been able to play the minor chords on it even if he’d wanted to. And even then, he wouldn’t because the tonal system that makes it possible didn’t exist for another 18 centuries at least. So, the whole concept of that chord progression was a “secret” to everyone.

It is a beautiful marriage of music and poetry, describing David himself composing “hallelujah”. A peice of music that he can’t even understand. For who can really understand Gods love? And who can truely say “hallelujah” to the Almighty without the Spirit enabled them to do so?

It truly is baffling.

“Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.”
– Psalm 145:3

“Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?”
– Job 11:7

Note: The quintessential version of the song is Jeff Buckley’s cover from his 1994 album Grace. Listen to it.

13 comments | Add a Comment!

In America the Beautiful, Hollywood is the Whorehouse

5 June, 2007 (2:10pm) | Blog | No comments

“Woe is us that Edward George Ruddy died.” –Howard Beale

As humans, we have an innate desire to feel good. It’s part of who we are, it’s even what keeps us going sometimes, the desire to be content or happy. Movies have the ability to satisfy that need to a certain extent. That has been the downfall of the art of film.

Let me explain. The producers in Hollywood learned early on that if they made movies that forced people to think about tough issues and challenge our perceptions, a lot of people wouldn’t want to see that kind of movie. But, if they made movies that made us feel good, a lot of people would like it. A movie like Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) has everything the American public wants. It has some funny characters, witty dialog, cool special effects, and a happy ending. However, what is the purpose of that movie? Is it trying to make a point about something? Is it trying to challenge us? No. It is trying to make money.

Ever since the very first moving picture made the very first profit, people have been trying to squeeze every last copper out of the film industry. Although in the beginning it wasn’t so bad, because the film industry wasn’t so big. Now, everyone goes to see movies, and the big shots in Hollywood are giving us what we want: Surfacy feel-good movies that don’t mean a thing.

“For some reason, [we] avoid the controversial movies and prefer the simple art that tells us what we already know.” –Evan Burchfield

I have a problem with the way the American public and Hollywood work together. Hollywood makes a crappy movie, and the American public loves it because it makes them feel good and the special effects look cool. Then Hollywood makes sequels to that movie so that they can make more money. Movies like that are not going to be important movies in American history, and they do not do anything but support Americas “feel good now. don’t challenge me to change and definitely don’t make me use my brain” mentality. Of course no one wants to use their brains, that’s hard! That’s why we don’t like going to school! But if we don’t discipline ourselves and take the time to think about what we are doing, we won’t progress further as individuals or as a nation.

“All human beings are becoming humanoids. All over the world, not just in America. We’re just getting there faster since we’re the most advanced country.” –Howard Beale

Movies are an art, and the purpose of art is (partially) “to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people.” (Norman Mailer) Basically art should make us realize something, and change our ways. Or just become aware of something, regardless of what it is.

For instance, 28 Days Later (2002)

28 Days Later is a zombie film. Most zombie movies are just thrillers that are trying to scare you because that’s what you would expect from a zombie film. However this movie does so much more than that. It is a movie about humanity. As one character says:

“This is what I’ve seen in the four weeks since infection. People killing people. Which is much what I saw in the four weeks before infection, and the four weeks before that, and before that, and as far back as I care to remember. People killing people. Which to my mind, puts us in a state of normality right now. “ –Major Henry West

When you see this movie, especially the end sequence that sums it all up perfectly, it makes you realize something about humans. We are inherently sinful. We can’t blame our sins on our circumstances, our sin might become more apparent, but it was still there in the first place.

But we don’t like it when people point out the truth. We can’t handle the truth. So what do we do? We go to see movies that don’t challenge us. We see films that tell us what we want to hear, and Hollywood is there to give it to us. Hollywood doesn’t care about you! Hollywood just wants to rape you for your money!

“We’re not a respectable network. We’re a whorehouse network, and we have to take whatever we can get.” –Frank Hackett

Hollywood saw 28 Days Later and realized there was some stuff in that movie that people wouldn’t really want to swallow. So they decided to make a sequel, 28 Weeks Later (2002), that hid the hard things and played up the fun things. It gave us everything the first one did, but without any of the truth or purpose.

“I want you to go to the window, open it, stick your head out and yell: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’” –Howard Beale

No comments | Add a Comment!

The advent of coffee

8 May, 2007 (2:20pm) | Blog | No comments

Thanks to the recent market in laptops, (recent being the last ten or so years) and the ability to bring you entire computer wherever you go, coffeehouses have been becoming more, and more, of an internet gateway for people. Gone are the days where you would go to a coffeeshop and see people reading books. Now we see them reading books online (thanks to the free internet “provided for our customers”). Pretty soon free wireless internet will be available worldwide. Hopefully soon. Meanwhile, I am going to go get a cup of coffee.

No comments | Add a Comment!

iPhone vs gPhone

17 April, 2007 (8:42pm) | Blog | No comments

Rumors have been circulating for quite some time now that Google is going to be designing a mobile phone. Everyone seems to take it for granted that these speculations are true probably because of the similarities to the iPhone rumors that were going on for several years ago, which also turned out to be true.

If you take a look at the differences between the two rumors, you might notice a couple of things. Mainly, Apple has been making techno gadgets from the beginning. Google has yet to release one. If Google does release a phone, I’m betting they will only be designing the software for it.

The iPhone is definitely impressive, but there is only one model, and one option. If Google creates a phone, you will probably be able to use the software in all kinds of mobile phones, making it more accessible to the normal human being.

No comments | Add a Comment!

« Older entries

 Newer entries »