Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
From Milos Stehnlik at Facets:
"Over-simplified characters and cartoonish plot-resolution lead to an eye-for-an-eye philosophy where conflict is resolved by the gratuitous use of excessive force. In the tried and true good-guy versus bad-guy morality tales of American Westerns, good and evil may have been overt, but they were governed by a code of honor: may the guy with the surest aim and the fastest trigger win. Today, this code has been put on steroids. Conflict resolution plays out with entire buildings, planes, boats, cities or planets destroyed in battles to the death between good and evil characters.
Sweetheart deals gave Hollywood special access to European markets after World War II. Exporting American films overseas was part of the Marshall Plan that reconstructed post-war Europe. American films were viewed as a way to oppose Communism by promoting the “American way of life.” U.S. films were dumped at cut-rate prices onto war-torn Europe, whose film industries were in ruins, under the guise of promoting the “free market.”
This scheme gave American films world-wide dominance. Today, entertainment is America’s largest export, with sales higher than any other industry, accounting for over 60 billion dollars annually. English-language films account for about 65% of the worldwide box office gross."
And just think: Its ONLY entertainment folks, right? Hooray for Hollywood? I think its time we the artists and the audience raise our voice in challenge to a system that is corrupt at its core. Too long has this medium of cinema been misused and abused. And yet we continue to pay for the spreading of this cultural imperialism with our ticket stubs, and our popcorn, and our soda. We have been blinded by the light of the silvery screen.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Madness. Insanity. Delusional. Maybe the kid's on drugs. He's got a bit of a temper. That's what it must have been like. What the folks were saying 'bout John. He done flew over the cuckoo's nest. He done lost his mind. John always did have a wild streak. Never paid much mind to the powers that be. "Down with the man", he said. He wasn't 'bout the institution. Wasn't 'bout the corporation. Heck, let's be honest, here - wasn't 'bout the bullshit. Didn't matter if he was gonna be hanging on the planet for 20 years or 90, he was looking toward the distance. That's what truly mattered. Not just the now. Way, way, way toward the streets with no name. Brother got lifted, as they say. He saw the dawn before the rest of us. That's the problem with vision, you know. Have to wait out what you already see. But, vision aside, he was on a mission as well, and that's all there was to it, "Repent! The kingdom of God is at hand!" Or, in the words of the new translation for the 21st century hearing impaired - "Get your asses in gear fools! There's something more beautiful come to town and its gonna blow your minds."
Something like that, anyway. Bold words from the man who was setting it straight for the other fella whose sneakers he wasn't fit to wear. Amazing. Grace. How. Sweet? Hmm...I don't know about that.
And so this is all a part of what I've been thinking lately. These Christian's were some serious cats. For real. But, why has modern Christianity become some sort of effeminate country club lunch buffet? I mean, seriously, look at our pulpits. Look at our people. Not to be judgmental, but come on. Can we talk here? Seems to be a striking contrast to John preparing the way, huh? Or what about all the other men and women who were looped out of their skulls for the one they saw as King of Kings. Become an honest student of history. Read the history books. Look at the lives of the Saints. The pages don't lie. This "Way" stuff was not intended for the faint of heart. You better roll up your sleeves, cuz you gonna get dirty, folks. Period.
Now, don't misunderstand, I'm not preaching about being perfect, here. Its not about that. God knows ain't none of us perfect. But, what I am talking about is a seriousness. A real hunger and desire. A grit. Like John Wayne style. True Grit. A true being after it-ness. A rough and tumble with God 'til you've beheld the glory of the one sort of thing. A beholding of that one thing for which you can live and die sort of thing. Damn, huh? Talking 'bout blood, sweat, and tears. Doesn't sound like we're in Sunday School anymore, does it? Doesn't sound sound like we're waxing over the Summa among our future's brightest at the university, either.
So what is it? What about it? What "Way" are we preparing? What's happening in todays world? What needs to be different? Where have we lost the plot? You prepared to eat some locust and honey? I don't know if I am. You prepared to get tossed into the wood chipper? Hell no. I'd rather stream it from my Netflix cue. And seems like we need a bagel and a Starbucks latte to go with that, as well. I mean, I love myself a good Chai latte. Don't get me wrong. I'm just saying. Its something I been thinking about. Seems like we've become soft.
I keep having this recurring dream where I am sitting at a bar when in walks 'ol John the B. Bartender says, "What'll you have?" John says, "Johhny Walker black. Neat." Then he turns, points to me, says, "And get this kid a Coke." Then the whole bar starts laughing.
I've been thinking about the "Way". Wondering, which way did it go?