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Archive for the ‘prophet’ Category


from the pages of duh!journal: a very sad new year’s edition

duh!journal scours the earth for dumb behavior….some low brow…some high minded…all duh!

the results of this duh! incident is very sad. but i’ve been preaching against indoor fireworks for years.  i watched many a fireworks display at the mci center during the wizard’s pregame show and thought to myself…even if there is no fire, there’ll be smoke that is inhaled by the people in here! but more and more venues including churches embraced their fascination for the spectacle, making this kind of activity common place!  in this article, our familiarity with indoor fireworks results in a duh! reaction doused with tragedy.

BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) — A fire and resulting stampede left nearly 60 dead early Thursday at one of Bangkok’s most upscale nightclubs, where about 1,000 revelers were ringing in the new year, Thai police said.

The fire broke out at the nightclub Santika about 12:35 a.m., Thai police said. Police revised the death toll down to 58 Thursday afternoon, and said 20 bodies had yet to be identified. Another 100 were believed injured.

Steven Hall, a British national injured in the blaze, told CNN that flames began to spread along the ceiling above the stage where a band and DJ were performing. But some people appeared to believe it was part of the performance.

“At the same time there were people rushing to get out, there were other people who seemed to be lacking a sense of urgency and didn’t seem to realize what was going on,” Hall said.

The blaze started near a stage where fireworks were being used as part of a performance on the club’s closing night, police Maj. Gen. Chokchai Deeprasertwit said.

“It may have been caused from sparks, but we don’t know if it was sparks from guests or from the night club’s countdown display on the nightclub stage,” he said.

Most of the fatalities were Thais, but foreigners have been identified from Australia, the Netherlands, Nepal and Japan, police said. Most of those who died in the building died from smoke inhalation or were trampled in a rush to get out of the club. iReport.com: Eyewitness captures scene of deadly aftermath

Hall said his wife escaped ahead of him, but he got caught in a crowd. “The lights went out, and at that moment, my back started burning and I was breathing in hot air,” he said. Video Watch Steven Hall describe his experience »

British citizen Andrew Jones said he was celebrating in the area when he walked up on the fire.

He said he saw victims being rushed out of the fire on stretchers and spoke to witnesses, including a fellow Briton who saw fireworks being lit onstage.

“He immediately ran out of the building, but immediately when he’d done that the lights went out and he couldn’t see,” Jones said.

The club is located in one of Bangkok’s busiest commercial districts. Its Web site features images of bands and DJs performing on both indoor and outdoor stages, and says that it “innovatively blends the comfort of nature with the excitement of the Bangkok nightlife.”

The site advertises the club’s new year’s party, which was named “Goodbye Santika.”


indoor fireworks turned off people’s danger instincts….they had no reaction to fire! they thought this was part of the show. terrible!

and now more and more, churches are using pyrotechnics! its the blond leading the blind! please! someone stop the duh!ness!

Posted under duh! journal, prophet

lego hair

i recently changed my hair style and i was worried that my hair looked like this guy’s!:

from the chicagoist:


Inspired by a commenter on Fark who called our soon-to-be-former Gov. Blagojevich a “living Lego man,” (as well as our previous South Park-itizing of the Gov.) we decided to do a side-by-side comparison and by god, the resemblance is uncanny:


In fact, Lego has announced a new play set, available just in time for Christmas:


Legoman image by dunechaser

By Prescott Carlson


even more to worry about! i knew that he was crazy and delusional!

and from knx1070.com

Blagojevich’s Hair: Sign of Mental Illness?

( courtesy of suntimes.com/wonkette.com ) – Gov. Blagojevich’s glossy locks — perfectly sculpted in rain or snow — may be an indication of a sickness beneath his scalp, said one local psychologist.

“It’s all part of managing his image, managing his image of being without a blemish, without a flaw,” said Scott Ambers, who has practiced clinical psychology in the city for more than two decades.

Several psychologists interviewed one day after the governor’s arrest agreed that he might be suffering from an affliction known as narcissistic personality disorder.

“This grandiose sense of self . . . doesn’t carry the implication that [Blagojevich] is a raving lunatic, crazy and out of touch with reality, but it does suggest he has a really overinflated view of his own importance,” Ambers said.

Those who bandied the term “delusions of grandeur” when talking about Blagojevich have missed the mark, Ambers said.

“I have a patient who is firmly convinced the FBI, the CIA and [the Department of] Homeland Security are following her . . . as she drives on the expressway,” Ambers said. “It’s all delusional.”

Perhaps Blagojevich suffers from the opposite problem?

“I think he felt a certain kind of immunity,” Ambers said. “It’s part of the grandiosity — ‘They are not going to be able to punish me because I’m above the law, I’m smarter, I will outfox them.’ ”


but luckily….my hair “parts” the other way…and i don’t really have a part! phew! i don’t want lego hair or the issues associated with it!

Posted under politics, prophet

gaza attacks and retaliation

as i enjoyed a slow, lazy long weekend during christmas, others in palestine/israel were enduring a different kind of long weekend. having spent a summer in israel and palestine, the news stories from the region are never just (disposable)news.

both sides will blame and accuse…in this case, the israelis are bombing gaza in response to rockets…the palestinians are promising more violence…..the details matters little to me…i subscribe to the theology of “their lives were bigger than any big idea”. so i mourn. i pray. i pause. on the christian sabbath after one of the main christian holy-days, i pray that people will turn from their violence…learn to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with their God.

our true violent selves have risen above the surface….

unfortunately, more to come….

Posted under a different world, politics, prophet


there by the grace of god go i update

earlier this year, governor of new york, elliot spitzer was brought down by a call girl service. here’s the summary.
recently, one of the girls he was linked to, ashley dupre, came out with a publicity blitz to promote her other wares and was universally slammed. but the analysis bothered me and i’ve been meditating on why. here are a few examples:

i can’t tell if these guys(or our society)are sympathetic toward sex workers or if they sneer at them. as i listen to these news experts analyze, is ashley dupre a victim or a dumb dumb? eliott spitzer clearly is portrayed to be a villian in the discussion but ashley is…a little lost lamb? tragic figure? someone to be saved? co-conspirator? just as guilty? or evil manipulator?

how are prostitutes viewed?

the issue maybe deeper: we are schizo about the way we treat and talk about women. we will decry about the impossible beauty standards we place on women and later in the conversation apply those standards to old, fat or even average women. we agree that rape is horrid but allow most rape perps to serve only 3 years. we show(lip service)disapproval of the sex industry(including sex slavery)but wink at lap dances and bachelor parties as acceptable and even integral parts of our societal practices.  we cannot decide whether to love or hate women…so we talk and act juggling those ideas in tension. that tension can be summarized between tupac’s lyrics and his life….knowing that he rapped lofty standards and yet had misogynistic episodes.

You know it makes me unhappy (what’s that)
When brothas make babies, and leave a young mother to be unhappy
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies, that make the babies
And since a man can’t make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
So will the real men get up
I know you’re fed up ladies, but keep your head up


i’m going to side with the words of tupac(here)and not how he lived.

i do cry for ashley dupre and all sex workers, naive or calculated.

Posted under politics, prophet

countdown to new favorites: (red)wire and the boys

as we hurtle toward the new year, new albums, new episodes and new tours of our favorites are coming….

the new u2 album is delayed but a new single is out this week and will be released as an exclusive on (red)wire, the new music service affiliated with product red that donates part of the profits to fight the aids epidemic in africa. its only $5 a month for 2 songs per week with half the proceeds going towards meds for those afflicted in africa. don’t like u2? how about jay z, coldplay, the killers, the police, elton john or john legend? they are all (red)wire artists. check them out here.

from billboard magazine:

U2, Coldplay, Killers help launch digital magazine

U2, Coldplay, Killers Help Launch (RED)WIRE
by Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Some of the biggest names in music are contributing exclusive songs to RED(WIRE), a new digital music magazine launching on World AIDS Day (Dec. 1).

U2, Coldplay, the Killers, the Dixie Chicks, John Legend, R.E.M. and Bob Dylan are on board for the initiative, which is an outgrowth of the Bono-reared activist organization (RED). All proceeds from subscriptions will benefit HIV-infected people in Africa; MSN.com will host a kick-off party on Dec. 1.

For $5, users will receive a new issue of RED(WIRE) every Wednesday, featuring an exclusive song from a major artist, a song from an artist (RED) aims to showcase, a multimedia piece that could encompass video or photography and a look at how proceeds are directly benefiting Africans in need. The materials will be downloaded to a custom player and automatically loaded into iTunes.

Users can send two free issues to friends, and will be rewarded if they join RED(WIRE). “Artists are already saying, ‘I want to give you a track for those people who brought friends in,’” (RED)WIRE founder Don MacKinnon tells Billboard.com. “That’s the biggest idea: using social networking to actually change the world in a unique way.”

U2’s track was recorded just last Wednesday, while the Killers, Elton John and the Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant teamed up for the Christmas song “Joseph, Better You Than Me,” which MacKinnon describes as “like a power ballad.” This is the third year in a row the Killers have penned a holiday song and donated proceeds to (RED).

Meanwhile, John Legend’s take on Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” finds him eschewing piano for a
stripped-down arrangement with guitar, bass and backing vocalists, according to MacKinnon.

Also coming is the first new Dixie Chicks song since the group’s Grammy sweep in 2007, “Lucky One,” and Elvis Costello and the Police jamming on “Watching the Detectives” and “Walking From the Moon,”
taped during Costello’s new Sundance Channel show “Spectacle.” Additional (RED)WIRE offerings will
be announced in the coming weeks.

MacKinnon is particularly enthused about the creative directions open to (RED)WIRE, especially with such high-profile artist participation.

“I had a meeting with Jay-Z, and he wants to talk about artists to be featured in that spotlight slot,”
he says. “Big artists may curate an issue. The whole goal was to create a creative platform. When somebody says, ‘I do all this photography and I want to put it in as an extra,’ That’s when I go, this is going to be really cool.”

from usatoday.com:

Subscriptions to (RED) Wire digital music will fight AIDS

The new digital music service co-founded by Bono, which promises fans exclusive music by major artists in exchange for $5 a month to fight AIDS, will launch on the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day.

MSN will host Monday’s kickoff event for (RED) Wire, an extension of the (RED) organization founded by the U2 frontman and Bobby Shriver to combat AIDS in Africa. New songs and videos from U2, Coldplay, Death Cab for Cutie, Dixie Chicks, Jay-Z, John Legend and Sheryl Crow will be available at red.msn.com.

For Legend, signing on “was a no-brainer. (RED) has proven an effective vehicle. And the lineup of artists is exciting company.” The singer recorded a new version of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song, “which just felt right for this project and for the time that we’re in.”

The premieres also include a live track from the upcoming Sundance series Spectacle, pairing Elvis Costello with The Police, and a new Christmas song recorded by The Killers and Elton John. Bob Dylan and R.E.M. are on deck for future editions.

“The goal was something that wasn’t just a one-off CD, but an ongoing service that would generate an ongoing flow of money,” says Hear Music founder Don MacKinnon, who conceived the project.

as for the new u2 full album, here’s the latest from mojo:

U2 Album Still Not Finished

But Edge confident as deadline looms, learns MOJO’s Danny Eccleston.

With the release of U2’s 12th studio album delayed until February, and the band still mixing furiously in a London studio MOJO are unable to name for fear of an instant fan-siege, guitarist the Edge has called the MOJO office with a progress report.

In line with U2’s late preference for enigmatic titles, the album seems certain to be called No Line on the Horizon — although Edge insists that anything can still change (U2 have even been known to record backing vocals in the mastering suite).

He goes on to reveal that they’ve shelved the songs recorded with Rick Rubin in 2006 and that much of the material dates from sessions with stalwarts Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, who co-write.

Confirmed track titles include “Moment of Surrender” and “Unknown Caller.”

There follows the director’s cut of the interview reported in the issue of MOJO magazine that’s on the shelves right now…

MOJO: Well, my first question has to be, have you finished yet?
Edge: [Coolly] Not quite. That’s why we’re here.

So, why finish up in London?
Well, it’s good to get out of familiar surroundings when you’re looking for a different perspective. Get out of the comfort zone.

If you’d stayed in Dublin, would you have just carried on producing material rather than bringing everything to a conclusion?
Maybe. Also, a good mix room is always important. Our studio in Dublin is more like a glorified rehearsal room really. It doesn’t have proper acoustic treatments for mixing and whatever. So we always mix in a studio that’s properly set up for that process.

Is the album still going to be called No Line on the Horizon, or is that a red herring?
It’s not totally firmed up but it’s still the working title.

So, what the hell does it mean?
It’s an image. It’s an image, Bono tells me [laughs]. It’s like when you’re moving forward, but you’re not exactly sure what you’re heading towards — that moment where the sea and the sky blend into one. It’s an image of infinity, I suppose — a kind of Zen image.

Is it a metaphor for how U2 make their records? No deadline on the horizon?
[Laughs] Guilty your honour! We were talking about this. Our work process is all about allowing inspiration to arrive at any time during the process. So there’s no finality, there’s no formality, until it’s in the shops. U2 albums never get finished; they just get released.

So do you think that helps the record? You can use material you started months ago, but as long as you’re re-examining it right at the last it can still sound contemporary?
Yes, I think that’s true. Song titles, lyrics, melody lines can change right up until the last minute. I think our records are always…it’s the last few weeks when things really come into focus. It might take us a long time to establish the basis of the record musically, but then a lot of stuff will change.

Famously, Chris Blackwood came down when we were doing Achtung Baby and with a week to go he said, “There’s just no chance you’re gonna finish this album; I’ll come back in a month’s time and check on your progress.” So he left town, and sure enough we finished at the end of that week! It’s like this ground rush. You seem to be going nowhere and then suddenly you hit the last period and then everything starts to move and everything clicks into place. It’s just the way we do it because I suppose inspiration is the ultimate thing for us. It’s not craft. So when things start to really get close, it’s a really inspiring time and everyone just gets onto a whole other level of creativity and we go into overdrive and all these ideas start coming through.

Has anything survived from the first bout of sessions [from September 2006], the Rick Rubin material?
We actually laid all that stuff to one side. Really out of deference to Rick and that set of songs we just said, Ok, that’s that, and we drew a line. So none of the Rick material went into this project. Everything has been written subsequently.

Is that because you weren’t that keen on it in retrospect?
I think there are some fantastic ideas there and they will, I’m sure, be finished off and see the light of day. We just felt like we wanted to put off the decision about what kind of record we wanted to make. And then we went in with Brian [Eno] and Danny [Daniel Lanois], literally just as an experiment to see what would happen. And suddenly there was this excess of stuff, ideas…and we just thought, OK, this is clearly where we are at our most potent at this moment, working with Brain and Danny, so let’s follow that idea down the road and we’ll get back to the material we started with Rick at some point.

What were the Rubin tracks like? Were they unusual for U2? He’s quite hands-off isn’t he, as a production “entity”?
Rick’s just an amazing intelligence and a guy with a huge love of music and an instinct for it. He gave us great advice as much as anything. His whole thing is, Don’t go near the studio until you know exactly what you want to do…which of course is the opposite of how we usually work.

But we were following Rick’s approach with Rick and we were working on songs and working on ideas and they’re still there. So I’m still excited by the possibility of trying that approach. It reminds me of what happened on our first album [Boy, 1980]. We went in, we had all the tunes — although even then we didn’t have all the lyrics — we had all the arrangements down to the point where we could just go in and record the album. We could have done it in a day, and of course the backing tracks had a great completeness, because we knew exactly what the tunes were.

The way we do things now, there are drawbacks. I feel for Larry [Mullen, drums] sometimes. He’ll be playing drums to Song A and then somewhere along the line the whole song gets thrown out, but we keep the drums, and then something else happens over those drums. Then sometimes we’ll replace those drums at the very end because he plays differently depending on what the vocal is. So even if it’s the same tempo, the same backbeat, the same chords, if the vocal’s different, the drums don’t feel quite right. So, there is something to Rick’s approach and it just means you make all your decisions early…for better or for worse. Ultimately, I feel, for us, it is those last couple of weeks when you get those amazing new ideas.

How would you describe the overall personality of the new album?
It’s a record of two halves. One half is songs that came virtually fully-formed out of sessions we did with Brian and Danny — stuff we’ve only played once or maybe twice and that’s it: just the raw moment of creation. Then the other half is material we’ve kicked around a while and went through the usual cycle of versions and incarnations. It sounds like a U2 album but it doesn’t sound like anything we’ve done before and it doesn’t really sound like anything that’s happening at the moment.

Can you talk about a couple of specific tracks?
There’s a song called “Moment of Surrender,” which is seven and a half minutes long. Brian got the ball rolling with a suggestion for some chords and then we made a few adjustments and got to this set of changes that we really liked and then just kicked it off and we immediately realised there was something powerful going on. And when that happens, it’s like you don’t have to say anything in the room; people know it’s going off. Then Adam came up with this incredible bass part and Bono had a couple of melody ideas on the spot, so it was really quick. There’s something really thrilling about a piece that comes together like that, because you really don’t have time to think. There’s something great about that. It’s the purest moment, often, when you don’t have an opportunity to step back and consider anything; you’re just in it.

So it’s a trance-y thing?
It’s hard to describe really. It’s very 21st Century. It’s a beautiful song, amazing rhythms, great lyrics and [laughs] fantastic guitar playing!

And then there’s another one from Fez [Morocco, where U2 recorded in May/June ’07]. Similar kind of situation, in a session where we’re just trying out ideas and this piece of music just came through and we all knew at the time that it was good. It seems to be everyone’s favourite or second favourite tune on the album. It’s called “Unknown Caller.”

Can you hear the influence of Fez?
To some degree. A couple of the tunes were recorded there. We had some local percussionists come down one day — but I’m not sure that the tune they did has made the record. With “Unknown Caller” the sound of Fez is there because we were recording in this riad [town house]. The way they are constructed, they have this big atrium and that’s where we were set up. So the roof was open and the swallows were flying into the atrium and nesting, so at the beginning of the tune you can hear these swallows. So it really has this very tangible atmosphere of the space that we recorded it in. So Fez is there in that sense. But we’re not into musical tourism. It’s the same with Achtung Baby, there was something in there but it wasn’t overtly German, you know, and this isn’t overtly Moroccan…It’s just a flavour.

Lanois has been quoted a couple of times recently in the Canadian press and the word he seems to be favouring with regard to this record is “innovative.” After all these years with the same team can U2 still be breaking boundaries?
Well, that’s what we get off on — hearing something that we’ve never heard before. It’s so great to work with Brian; he’s always doing things that are completely fresh, and we as a band don’t really come alive unless we feel like we’re exploring some uncharted territory. So, it’s not easy to get something that you’re really excited about, but once you do, you know, and that’s everything for us. We wouldn’t want to be working with anyone else on that front. Both Brian and Danny are hugely inspiring to work with, breaking us out of our comfort zone in our writing or playing.

Your relationship has endured longer than almost any other band/producer match-up, but it’s more than that this time. Did I read that Brian and Danny were writing with you?
We decided at the beginning of the project that we would make that offer to Brian and Danny to see what it might lead us to and I think it was really great. I think they were both flattered and I think it gave them a great boost of affirmation and confidence. So those sessions had this great atmosphere; everyone was in a great mood and we got some great shit out of it. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t have to go off and write as U2. Bono and I did a lot of work on material on our own as well, but it was those sessions that set the tone for the album and they wouldn’t have panned out as they did if we hadn’t asked Brian and Danny to co-write with us.

After a couple of straight-ish rock records in All That You Can’t Leave Behind and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, was it time for U2 to stretch out again? Does knowing you’re in a position of strength mean you can do something wilder?
I think for us it’s really about keeping it fresh. Making All That You Can Leave Behind and How to Dismantle… inspired us at the time. This time we wanted to try something different and we didn’t really know what it was. We just knew that we wanted to fall in love with the process of making music and see where it led us. So, initially, we didn’t really think about where the music was going to go; we were just playing together and seeing what happened. And, by not concentrating at all on making an album I think an album started to emerge. So, it’s really us following our creative instincts. In some ways it’s very uncontrived. People tend to think of our music as being a manifesto of a kind but this is really organic; it’s just what is interesting to us right now in music and going for that.

What’s Bono banging on about this time?
I think there are some interesting third person characters in the songs. It’s giving Bono an opportunity to change his perspective in the lyric writing. I think the last two albums were really personal and first-person. But I think this one has a more panoramic scope lyrically, so it’s still personal and it’s still ultimately written from experience and Bono’s perspective, but he just has more freedom.

Did his piano lessons come in handy?
Yeah! He’s been working a lot on material on his own and that’s fed into various different projects that we’re working on. It’s cool. We’re all still in a phase where we can learn, develop and change. I don’t think we’ve actually stopped that process of being born, so to speak. And it’s very inspiring for me to see Bono coming up with very strong musical ideas. That’s what being in a band is all about.

You always manage to find — in every record — a piece of technology that you engage with immediately, and that throws up a song. “Where the Streets Have No Name” came out of your dabblings with the Infinite Guitar box, and this time you mentioned your Death By Audio pedal…
It’s this particular kind of 21st Century distortion. Guitar is such a versatile instrument, but it’s very easy to get in a cul-de-sac in terms of how it sounds. I love anything that just gives it a different personality and this particular set of distortion pedals I think, are a different colour. It’s like a different personality and that, for me, is a great jumping-off point. I used Death By Audio’s Supersonic Fuzz Gun on the song “No Line on the Horizon,” and a couple of others I think. It was Ben Curtis who turned me onto them. He’s one of the Curtis Brothers from Secret Machine — he’s got a new band now called School of Seven Bells, who are pretty interesting.

So how much work is left to do?
Way too much, as usual, but we will get there. We’re not f**king around this time. This is personal!

© MOJO, 2008.

Posted under aids, politics, prophet, u2

my top ten political predictions: fall 2008 update deux

in the early fall i made some political predictions. i’ve updated once before but let’s see how i’ve done since then.

10) sarah palin will avoid any more interviews correct! for the most part…though she did talk more to the media when she started going “rogue” in the last few days to set up her next political step. now she can’t shut up and wishes she did more interviews during the campaign. i’ve never seen the losing veep get so much attention.

9) colin powell will endorse obama correct!

8)osama bin laden will be captured and/or a major stateside terrorist activity will be averted in time for the election

fail! this was my cynical side thinking that the republicans would unleash something to keep themselves in power. i wonder if al qaeda held back until after the elections to get the hawks out of power. i was also thinking bush wants to get bin laden before he gets out of office. who knows if he will…….

7) whatever lead obama has on election day will shrink resulting in a very tight race.

part correct…part fail. the lead did shrink a bit…it was as high as a double digit lead at one point…but that’s polling. however, it was not a close race at all…when ohio and pennsylvania went to obama, it was over….unless mccain won california!

i was expecting this country to be very very racist and simply not vote for obama because! but maybe that new day has arrived. maybe mlk’s dream has broken through.

6) riots will happen whether obama wins or loses

fail! and i am happy that i was wrong about this. i thought people would not know what to do with themselves in victory. its like philly or detroit or chicago when they won championships……they went nuts and turned over cars and burned things. come to think of it….maybe after winning those titles, they got it out of their systems and didn’t have to act the fool.

5) obama will win the presidency.

correct! in hindsight, these predictions look obvious but nothing’s really certain. even obama would point to new hampshire…and he did during the last few days as a call not to become confident…..

so i was parts prophetic and parts pathetic. 4 more to go! updated when they happen…or don’t happen!

Posted under politics, prophet

my top ten political predictions: fall 2008

I don’t know if this will be prophetic or pathetic but here goes with my best guesses…(mostly)in order of how they will happen:

10) sarah palin will avoid any more interviews

9) colin powell will endorse obama

8)osama bin laden will be captured and/or a major stateside terrorist activity will be averted in time for the election

7) whatever lead obama has on election day will shrink resulting in a very tight race.

6) riots will happen whether obama wins or loses

5) obama will win the presidency.

4)gov arnold schwarzenegger will get a cabinet position in the obama administration

3)assassination attempts will be a frequent occurrence. Until.

2) Manny will sign with the Yankees.

1) Bloomberg wins third term as mayor of nyc

Posted under politics, prophet


closing prayer to nyc week

i had a much longer u2hosiveography about 9/11 brewing to close the week…but it was just too hard to finish. so rather than put out a limp product, i’ll conclude this year by giving a preview for next year. or whenever my heart can put the pieces together. its still that hard to process the times, 7 years later.

u2 wrote the ultra prophetic song ‘please’ in 1997…about political and religious fanatics. they played in on tour to support pop in 97 to modest applause. the song was out of phase. but on 9/11, it came into its time and u2 brought an acoustic version for its post 9/11 elevation tour in the us.

a sample of the lyrics:

September, streets capsizing
Spilling over, down the drain
Shards of glass, splinters like rain
But you could only feel your own pain
October, talk getting nowhere
November, December
Remember, are we just starting again

Please, please, please
Get up off your knees
Please, please, please
So love is big, it’s bigger than us
But love is not what you’re thinking of
It’s what lovers deal, it’s what lovers steal
You know I found it hard to recieve
‘Cause you, my love, I could never believe

Posted under new york, prophet, u2

my favorite democratic national convention moment: donald miller

this was not broadcast on tv and only happened to see it in the background as i was listening to wolf, anderson, john king and james carville tearing into the opening night’s activities. it was a humble prayer by blue like jazz author, don miller, for the convention and for us. and for me.

Father God,

This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.

We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.

We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.

Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.

Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.

Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.

Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.

Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.

Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.

We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.

Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.

A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.

Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.

Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.

Lastly, father, unify us.

Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.

And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.

God we know that you are good.

Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.

I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.

Let Him be our example.



the sound cuts out on the video above so i’ll include this version but you have to jack up the volume to spinal tap 11 to hear some of it.

Posted under politics, prophet

a different world 2008: burma/myanmar edition

around this time every year, i used to preach a graduation sermon to my graduating high school students about what a different world they are about to enter. the inspiration for the series of messages came from the show ‘a different world’ which was a spinoff of ‘the cosby show’. the themes of my talks were the same on the cosby sequel: there is another world out there and its beyond what you can imagine.

something mind boggling has happened in burma/myanmar. a cyclone slammed into the country last week and the projections include 100,000 dead and millions displaced. articles are a-plenty about the situation. i’ve included a few links from diverse sources:





meanwhile in this country….its a different world…..we do not have to worry about water, shelter or burning our dead….instead many are preoccupied with what to do with our $600/$1200 rebates from the government. i was challenged by a passing comment that i heard: most folks are only thinking about how they are going to spend it on themselves….and not thinking about how they can bless others.

i think i know what we’re doing with our rebates.

if you are thinking of giving, two groups that our church has worked with on the issues of disaster and relief are world vision and samaritan’s purse. we sent a team down to new orleans to aid with the clean up and rebuilding. we also have been sponsoring children(all in the one village)in rwanda. so we like both of these groups and trust their work. both are receiving donations.

perhaps this is a visual parable to how different a world i live in….i was struck by the amount of packaging and waste needed to get me my replacement headphones. shure sure makes some fraking good headphones. and they have a great warranty….replacement or repair up to 2 years! my left earbud went out and i happily sent it back in for an exchange

to my shock, i got this packaging limo for my headphones. look at all that plastic, cardboard and bubblewrap needed to get me quality sound! i also got 5 copies of instructions in 5 different languages! rather than “waste” time with shipping different booklets to different countries, they give everybody every volume!

i live in a world where headphones get better treatment than…………

(for those unfamiliar with parables……you may have to do some work to connect it to (your own) real life)

Posted under a different world, prophet