Loving Religion, The Atheist Way

I wasn’t planning to jump on the bandwagon of those who have watched the viral video about loving Jesus, but hating religion (which got 15 million views in its first 10 days). Not only are lots of people watching it, they’re blogging about it, from a number of angles. I’ve cynically smirked at several emerging church bloggers, because of the conundrum the video puts them (us?) in. On the one hand, they’ve been deconstructing and sniping at the religion side of Jesus-following for the past ten+ years.  On the other hand, two things are happening – first, many emerging church folks have been at the deconstruction/reimagining thing long enough to have learned that the institutions of religion aren’t all bad all the time after all; and second, even if they agree with the sentiments of the video, the viral “success” of the video means they’re not on the hipster fringe […]

Bringing Blogging Back

I don’t spend nearly as much time on blogs as I used to. I’ve greatly trimmed the number of blogs I follow, too. I’ve noted before how Twitter and Facebook have changed my own blogging, and I know I’m not alone in this. So many of the conversations that I used to watch taking place on blog comment boards are now taking place on Facebook walls. Reading blogs through feedreaders has also changed things significantly. At least 80% of the blog reading I do is from within my feedreader . . . so I don’t usually even see the conversations taking place in the comment sections. But I’ve noticed a trend in the past couple of weeks. Call it a widespread case of a New Years Resolution meme if you like, but I’ve seen a lot of my friends – both “real” and virtual – posting to their blogs for […]

Favorite Cover Song of 2012?*

I’m not sure how I missed this hilarious headline: “Susan Boyle Covers Depeche Mode Classic,” but apparently a couple months back, I did. Ms. Boyle, who became one of the viral-est viral video stars after her TV talent show thing, would certainly not be the kind of ‘artist’ I’d expect to cover Depeche Mode. And yet, that happened. So, was she able to do with “Enjoy the Silence” what she did with “I Dreamed A Dream”? As a big DM fan from my high school/college days, I couldn’t resist the trainwreck. I’ve often been a fan of artistic juxtaposition, but cover songs are so rarely done well. So how did she do? Stunned. She nailed it. Well sung, well produced. She actually captured the spirit of the lyrics, and added some artistry. It’s not quite as good as Johnny Cash’s cover of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus, but you’d expect Johnny to […]

Daniel Blue Live at The Round

I haven’t really blogged about my community of faith here in Seattle, but as the time for me to be away from it approaches, I want to acknowledge the good folks at Church of the Apostles (COTA). I’ll write more about the church itself in another post, but one of the many beautiful things to come out of this quirky little band of God-chasers is a separate, non-religious non-profit organization called the Fremont Abbey Arts Center. Concerts, dance recitals, music lessons, and community events all take place at the Fremont Abbey. In fact, COTA, while being the “owner” of the Abbey, is only a minority user of it these days. Every month, the Abbey puts on its signature event, called The Round. A few musical artists/bands, poets, and visual artists all share the stage together, creating art that is engaging, interactive, and intimate. It’s been going for over six years […]

Anais Mitchell – Why We Build The Wall

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing a couple of concerts at The Fremont Abbey in Seattle. It’s a great venue, and home to my faith community, Church of the Apostles. One of these shows was an artist that was new to me – Anais Mitchell. She gave a great show, along with her friends Jefferson Hamer and Rachel Ries. Her live performance reminded me of Alison Krauss, with just a little less country and little more folk. It was a good enough show for me to go download Mitchell’s latest album, Hadestown. It’s a concept album – “a folk opera based on the Orpheus myth and based in a post-apocalyptic American depression era.” It’s a haunting, compelling, epic work  – very artful. Not easy listening per se, but worth your attention. “Why We Build the Wall” is a brilliant, dark, empire-challenging commentary – very different on the album […]

Around the World Without a Map

While traveling around the world, I did something fairly uncharacteristic of me . . . I took a lot of pictures.  Usually, I’m pretty lousy at documenting my travel, but I did pretty well this time around – thanks mostly to the constant nagging of friends and family.  I put together a video of some of my top picks from the hundreds I shot along the way.  This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive telling of all the places I went and things I did.  They’re just some of my favorite photos.  I’m not a great photographer, but I stumbled into some shots that I’m pretty happy about.  Obviously, each picture tells a story of its own.  The background song – “Careful Not to Draw Your Maps in Pen & Ink” – is courtesy of my lovely friends, Ryan and Holly Sharp, a.k.a. The Cobalt Season.  That song is one […]

Disenfranchised Men

On the heels of this week’s New York Times story about Christian cage fighters and the nature of masculinity, The Daily Show ran the following story that shows that it’s not just men in the Church that are having a problem.  Poor, poor men. Perhaps this is an opportunity for the Church to give some leadership to the wider culture as to how to manage a peaceful transfer of power.  Watch and enjoy . . . and please feel free to laugh a little – it’s good for you. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c Male Inequality Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Crisis

Sunday Brunch in Barcelona

I was out for a Sunday morning stroll through the lovely streets of Barcelona, and I began hearing some music.  I thought it was just some recorded Christmas music coming from a shopping district nearby, but then as I got closer, I could tell it was live.  I went to investigate, and found a large group of folks, enjoying a small orchestra and dancing together.  Once again, my poor camera skills are obvious, but have a look.

Images From Off The Grid

I’m still not going to say where I went in words . . . I’ll let the pictures figure it out for you.  Just a little slide show I threw together.

Random Cartoon Street Party

I seem to be drawn into some interesting gatherings while on this trip.  In Puerto Rico, I stumbled into a political protest.  In Costa Rica, I found myself randomly watching a big street parade to honor firefighters, which shut down the streets of downtown San Jose.  And now, from my recent adventures off the grid, I was walking back to my guest house, and took a wrong turn on a dead end street.  I noticed a couple of costumed cartoon mascots playing with a bunch of kids in a park – looked like a birthday party or something . . . and then it got all Grease/Mama Mia/Moulin Rouge on me.  Please pardon my rushed, shaky camera work and poor sound quality – if you can’t tell, it’s a Spanish language recording of that crazy song from The Jungle Book.