Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Extra Note

Probably the best comment I received yesterday was from my friend Jenn Jameson, in reference to the Indian video featured in the previous post:

"It makes me think of United Colors of Benneton!"

Monday, April 27, 2009

finals procrastination with the hep of the youtubes

I feel like this is turning into a video sharing spot lately, but since it's finals season I have a lot of time to dilly dally on the internets. These are videos that have kept me entertained while I study the intricacies of the relationship between state and local governments. Enjoy as much as I did!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No Breakfast in Heaven?

Okay, I've decided I don't want to go to Heaven anymore. This song changed everything for me. Also, I'm very confused about their breakfast choices. Beef stew? Lipton tea? Pork chops?

A few points of interest:
1. It seems like they start out okay in regards to traditional breakfast meal items, but by the, what, 19th verse?, they start searching.

2. Why have all of the instruments that you hear in the track set up in, what appears to be the stage setting for "Happy Days" when you're just going to use a track? I guess they just wanted to be more honest with their audience, rather than have people sitting & acting like they're playing. But wait...that "back up singer" is doing just that. She doesn't even try to sing into the microphone, and there are parts of the song where she just quits entirely. No singing. Just staring.

3. My favorite parts, which make me laugh out loud, are when he goes, "No more oat-meal" very staccato, and when he starts the cereal verse and sings, "No more Captain Crunch."

4. Also, is that a magic eye quilt back there?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hoppy Easter

My childhood Easters were usually spent complaining about the fact that I had to wear a dress (a big, poofy dress) and being bummed because I was robbed of the big egg in the hunt. I'm glad those days are over, because it's way more fun to reflect on the actual celebration of the resurrection of Christ. More and more, as I dig deeper into my personal relationship with Christ, I've been reminded of His humanity. I think this point gets bypassed a lot of times when considering Christ's role here on earth. Sure, He was God, but He was also a man which means that He experienced emotional elation and depression, physical pain, developed relationships and held memorable happenings. Two of the most compelling elements of the "Easter message" scriptures, in my opinion, are those parts that show Christ's humanity because they provide so much more context for us in regards to what Jesus experienced, and reveals more about Christ's exhaultedness.

The first gripping part for me is to look at Jesus, see that He knows that He can save himself but He refuses to do so because He wants to do God's will. Personally, I don't think that Jesus, after becoming a man and experiencing all of the human elements (physical pain, emotions), was completely ecstatic and settled in what He had to do, and I think that Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane is rather telling of this. I feel like it's pretty evident that Jesus' outcry to His father seemed kind of like, "Okay, I know that you have the power to cure this, which would mean I wouldn't necessarily have to do it. It would save me a lot of pain and hardship, so, maybe you should just take care of it? But, I do know that if that's not how you want it to be, then I can't change it. I'll do what you want me to do. And if that means that the series of events to follow unfold in a way that you don't allow for me to avoid this fate, then so be it." Then Jesus just had to sit tight and watch things unfold and pray that humanity would catch one of the cues being thrown their way. This, to me, would be so incredibly hard to do. To just sit back and let everyone around you make their own decision, while you sit there and know who you are and what you can do for them. But that's what He had to do. He just had to be quiet and let everyone make their own decision about His fate. Then, Jesus' cry while on the cross, which is paralleled with Psalm 22, reveals his sentiment of complete desertion. Everyone has turned on him, and in experiencing this, He doesn't even see God, His father. "Why have you forsaken me?" Why can't I see that you are going to save me from all of this? Where are you in my struggle? But even in all of this loneliness and hopelessness, Jesus never quits it. He sticks to it because He knows that God's plan will be fulfilled (and fulfilled through Jesus himself--so thank goodness He didn't quit it).

The other happening, in regards to Jesus' magnificence divinity being revealed through his humanity is while Jesus was hanging on the cross and the two thieves were yelling out at and to him. Okay, so, by this time Jesus had been physically abused to a point that had to have been untolerably painful and brutal, and had experienced so much hatred and mockery from everyone surrounding him. If I were him, I would've been like, "F you guys." He saw firsthand how awful humanity could be. I would have been so debased in my cause if I were in the same position. I mean, here He is, dying for these people, who have done nothing but turned their back on Him, and physically and verbally abused him, making a fool of him. The thoughts going through my head would've been something along the lines of, "why on earth am I doing all of this for these people? They don't deserve this. If they didn't get it before, they're never going to get it." He even gets ripped into by a criminal (not to mention, people would rather He be dead than a maniacal murderer). "If you are the Christ, why don't you save yourself?" asked one criminal in a mocking tone. And then, bam. "But the other criminal rebuked him. 'Don't you fear God,' he said, 'since you are under teh same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Gosh, that really hits me. It's almost like, when you're at your last end, you can't take it anymore, you think that your pursuit is a hopeless endeavor, and then there's a ray of light. Someone gets it. It almost seems like Jesus was like, "Yes. I got through to one person. To me, that's enough. My actions haven't been in vain. There is hope." which is why I think that Jesus answered the criminal by telling him that he would be with Jesus in paradise. I picture Jesus so overwhelmed with emotion by the actions of this individual. I also like to think that it was an interaction motivated by God the Father. As a way of comforting His son and letting Him know that all of the pain is worth it.

So that's what I've been thinking about this Easter. Perhaps I'm taking the story and shaping it to apply to my life in a way that I can relate to my personal situation in order to better understand Christ's predicament; but I don't see any fault in that. I think it's being ignorant to think that Jesus was completely sure of what He was doing throughout the immediate series of events leading to his death (and resurrection). And I think that's one of the things I like most about Jesus. He wasn't completely sure at times, but He never faltered. He kept with it because He wanted to do God's will, and even though He might not have been fully secure and confident He never lost faith; He never lost hope; and He never stopped believing. Thank goodness for that; and thank goodness that He knew that He is life.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Music Likes

Sunday night I was supposed to work on a paper for a professor who leaves such debasing comments as "increasingly reckless and unresponsive" and "Is English your first language?" Instead of making progress on a paper I knew would be torn to shreds, I decided to occupy my time with Mr. Big. "To Be With You" has got to be one of my all-time favorite songs, and as I soon learned, I share this love with the Japanese people. Here are some wonderful videos of Japanese renditions of "To Be With You."

This video is amazing. Just check out the part where he misses the cue. And the part where he does the instrumental breakdown with the tongue trill. So good!

Interesting cover...with a melodica!!

Really odd game show. The guy is singing while he's wearing an apron? And his girlfriend is getting teary-eyed? And there's a rack of clothes on the side of the set? So do they just grab something and tell these people to put on some random article and sing a song?

Another music thing I've really been into is Electric Light Orchestra. AMAZING. Just blowing my mind. There's this song, "Yours Truly, 2095" that is so great. It's a part of this concept album they did, which is another thing I'm really into. It's just such a good idea! Any time storytelling is involved, I'm there. Just check out some of the lyrics to this song:

I drive the very latest hovercar
I dont know where you are
But I miss you so much till then
I met someone who looks a lot like you
She does the things you do
But she is an ibm.

She is the latest in technology
Almost mythology
But she has a heart stone
She has an i.q. of 1001
She has a jumpsuit on
And shes also a telephone.

Although her memory banks overflow
No one would ever know
For all she says: is that what you want?
Maybe one day Ill feel her cold embrace
And kiss her interface
til then, Ill leave her alone.

Here's a killer anime video with a few of the songs from the concept album. My mind was blown!