1. A couple of articles that follow-up on the filter bubble phenomenon we posted on last week, both from The NY Times. The first is an editorial by Eli Pariser, “When The Internet Thinks It Knows You” and the second a slightly broader look at the issue, “The Trouble With The Echo Chamber Online.” While the issue is clearly an important one, the solutions being proposed – i.e. programmed diversity – strikes me as a tad shallow. That is, there’s clearly a resistance to the idea that we might actually be culpable in our selective listening/browsing in a way that…
Another Week Ends: Online Echo Chambers, Deathbed Regrets, Dylan at the Cross, MJ’s Bad, Singing Spiderman, Penmanship Psychology & Seinfeld
Lest all the anti-New-Years-resolutions sentiment come across as pure party-poopery, I give you four songs in keeping with the holiday, two of which are downright joyful:
1. The best of all-time, without question – sorry, Bono – is The Zombies’ “This Will Be Our Year”, covered here by The Avett Brothers:
2. I didn’t think it was possible, but Slaid Cleaves’ prayerful (and considerably more Mbird-friendly) “One Good Year” gives The Zombies a run for their money, sort of the peccator to their justus:
3. Let’s face it though – the aforementioned “New Years Day” from U2 is pretty darn great. Great…
Pretty exciting stuff, reminiscent of their other superhero-inspired song (below), and featuring some particularly great opening lines, the first preview of their upcoming Turn Off The Dark musical:
p.s. Believe it or not, the video above was responsible for introducing yours truly to post-Narnia Lewis (3:50).
Filling in for DZ this week…
1. A great article from Chris Gottlieb for any parent who has ever been given unsolicited advice on their parenting skills ( I suppose that includes everyone?).
The author laments: I marvel at how comfortable people feel telling complete strangers about their purported parenting flaws…No infraction is too small or too strange to elicit comment. (The newspaper was too close to the baby’s eyes?) All my parent friends have experienced this no-win culture of judging parenting. Depending on their personalities, they have cowered, gotten angry or been demoralized by…
“We cannot afford to lose these old hymns, they are full of the Gospel…” Basil Manley (1891)
Every December Paste Magazine publishes a list of their top fifty albums of the year. Each year I scan the picks searching for the worthy successors to Led Zeppelin and U2. Needless to say, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
2008 was like any other year. I found myself nodding in agreement with some of their selection, shaking my head in dismay at others, and completely ignorant of most. But as I reached the end of the list I saw a write up…
Okay, here goes. I would break the pop culture of 2009 down this way: a pretty good year for music, an alright year for film and a downright incredible year for television.
Five Favorite Films Of 2009*
1. Fantastic Mr Fox
2. District 9
3. In The Loop [warning for profuse-albeit-very-inventive foul language]
Most Underrated: Duplicity
Most Overrated: Inglourious Basterds
*Bear in mind that I haven’t seen The Hurt Locker, An Education, A Serious Man, The Road, Dr Parnassus, Big Fan or 2012 yet. So this is definitely more of a favorites list than a “best of”. And I am as surprised by the predominance…
1. Old White Lincoln – The Gaslight Anthem
2. It’s All True – The Lemonheads
3. Don’t Go Away – Oasis
4. Hey Bulldog [mono] – The Beatles
5. Psalms 40:2 – The Mountain Goats
6. Bless This Mess – David Bazan
7. Jena & Jimmy – Derek Webb
8. True Love 1980 – Ash
9. Got The Hots – Michael Jackson
10. Do It Again – Steely Dan
11. Come Undone – Duran Duran
12. Wake Up – Teddy Thompson
13. For Your Lover, Give Some Time – Richard Hawley
14. Jesus Is Waiting – Al Green
15. All Things Must Pass – Billy Preston
16. Why Do I Keep Counting – The Killers
Talk about jealousy – our friend Nathan was among those fortunate enough to score tickets to U2’s much-anticipated gig in NYC last night, and he sent us the following report. [To read Aaron Zimmerman’s excellent 4-part series on the spiritual history of the band, click here, here, here and here.]
“We’ve got a spaceship,” Bono said in reference to the massive staging above his head in the center of the stadium, “but we’re not going anywhere without you.”
He didn’t just invite the audience on his otherworldly journey, he also invited Someone Else: at the end of the first song, “Breathe”, he…
I downloaded “Show Me What I’m Looking For” (any U2 similarities are purely coincidental?) by Carolina Liar a few months ago for free on iTunes, but didn’t pay much attention to what it said until I heard it on a preview for the Time Traveler’s Wife yesterday.
While the verdict is out on any intentional Christian meaning, I don’t think it matters. The lyrics are pure Gospel, and even the video, depicting the singer in his best v-neck tee wandering forlorn through Atlantic City, seems to suggest this man gets his inability to fix things for himself.
The last chorus, where…
PART 4: SAVED BY GRACE
Back in May, Mockingbird began a series examining the intersection of the lives, the faith, and the music of the members of U2. You can read the earlier posts here, here, and here.
The series was born out of the observation that the personal journey of the band—in particular that of Bono, and to a lesser extent, The Edge—traces a narrative arc that is mirrored in the lives of so many Christians. That is, some crisis in our lives turns us into seekers, people looking for love or mercy (ultimately, a quest for a gracious God). Then,…
Part 3: Sinners
Our four-part series on U2’s spiritual journey continues with a look at how the band dealt with the failure of their early aggressive form of Christianity. As we saw last time, their spiritual seeking had led them to a deep faith in Jesus. But it was in the context of an extremely legalistic community. They could not reconcile the grace they saw in Jesus with the rules-based living this community sought to enforce.
You can hear a lot of the ensuing doubt in the 1987 classic album, The Joshua Tree, especially in the super-obviously-titled, “I Still Haven’t Found What…