Friday, April 23, 2010

Pop Culture Roundup

I'm still reading Walking a Sacred Path in preparation for my sabbatical. Artress advises against unreasonable expectations when walking the labyrinth, as if one is assured of some mystical experience. She notes ways to prepare to walk it, such as identifying questions one is wrestling with or hopes for clarity, but also advises to be open to the experience and just let things happen. She uses the analogy of walking through the country and expecting to see a frog: one may either become so preoccupied with finding a frog that one misses the scenic beauty, or if one finds the frog one misses how expectations affect what we see or don't see. So one may experience something in the labyrinth, but one should be open to the high possibility that it won't be what one expects.

I watched The Hangover this past week. I'd heard from pretty much everyone that this was one of the most hilarious, laugh-a-minute movies they'd ever seen, so my expectations were pretty high. I did laugh, but not that often. This is a story of four guys who go to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, and who wake up the next morning not only remembering nothing from the night before, but not knowing where the groom is. Zack Galifinakis' character is actually pretty funny in a disturbing sort of way. The rest was uncomfortably amusing, but I hardly laughed out loud. If one thinks about it, it's a string of typical jokes/cliches about Vegas: strippers, drugs, marrying a complete stranger in a gaudy chapel, a tiger, some mob guys, and keeping it all a secret. I just didn't get into it as much as so many others have.

This past week, the news broke that Christian singer-songwriter Jennifer Knapp has come out as a lesbian. I saw her in concert about a decade ago (yikes) when she opened for dc Talk alongside The Ws. I remember that she broke 2-3 guitar strings during her set, and that made me think she was hardcore. She's soon to come out with a new album and will be playing her CD release show pretty close to where I live. Of course, this news has the usual people saying the usual sorts of things, which I'm bored with. Not coincidentally, I've taken a great/renewed interest in her music the past week. I actually don't have any of her albums (and of course I already can't find her stuff at the local Christian bookstore), but I've been listening online. Here she is performing "Breathe on Me:"

I've also been on a Green Day kick this week, mostly American Idiot. I had my senior highs discuss "Jesus of Suburbia" this past Sunday, which went very well. And I've just continued to roll with that CD during the week.

Blogger David Hayward, aka the Naked Pastor, has left pastoral ministry. There's been a lot of flux among the pastor/bloggers I read lately.

Here's the trailer for a documentary coming out in September called Lord, Save Us From Your Followers, based on a book of same name. I'm going to fess up and say that I was crying by the end of this trailer. This is resonating that strongly with me right now.