Disturbingly good TV from Jimmy McGovern, esp last night’s episode about a teacher accused of flashing in a park.
Hmmm, must remember to make my mind up and put that postal ballot in a post box.
Back to being best of the week with the good Doctor gracing our screens again. Loving David Tennant.
The Bard of Barking (aka Billy Bragg)…
Who we’re off to see tonight at the Bridgewater Hall. And supported by Seth Lakeman. Can’t wait! Light at the end of a long week…
A 600 page book by Kate Mosse (no, not that one!) about a C12th Grail secret. No I didn’t think I’d like it either but am pleasantly surprised so far (100 pages to go).
Happy Bank Holiday everyone! See you Tuesday...
The right reverand Cliff Richard didn't do badly in the Eurovision Song Contest, and do you know why? Because God was on his side, that's why.
So bless the Finnish and their cotton Finnish socks. They have taken a leaf out of the book of holy rock and come up with a band called Lordi for their entry in this year's Euro pop fest.
I will be expecting all Sanctonians to put aside their nationalistic bias and support Jesus' favourite Euro entry this year. How can you resist when their song is called 'Hard Rock Hallelujah'?
No really. Read more on the BBC website here.
Scene-setting: after a fairly interested and balanced preview piece by Riazat Butt, there follows a long series of comments... These two come one after the other on the Guardian's Culture Vulture column.
Question: When was the last time Morissey and New Order released a relevant piece of music? What like 40 years? I'm not going not only because its Easter, but because I like bands whose music is actually good. Who's funding this orchestra? I mean, isnt there someone in that city who's music is worth more than the hiring of a 20,000 pound cover band, or however much it costs to keep and orchestra of classical musicians alive these days? We've all seen 24 hour party people, so we know how self-celebratory people from Manchester can be about their flash in the pan music scene that, like Morissey, hasnt been relevant for ages. This event will be a gathering of secular dinosaurs and B actors, poking fun at Christianity by doing the really predictible things that artists do whenever they cynically approach religion. I mean, who could understand the meaning of Easter without hoodies, bad acting, mandated multi-cuturalism and played out urban stereotypes? Its a pathetic attempt at being edgy, but thats what the art funders want. Artistically its less than mediocre. Attacking religion is so easy people. Spend more time actually making music, or if you dont actually do anything, spend time at least listening to something different. That would be more creative than this feel-good secular talent show whose heart is self-proclaimingly about "the singing" rather than about Jesus. But todays metrosexual cant have Jesus alone without feeling uncool. He needs to be weeded and prodded with silly props and cultural icons. It's basically a show for unintellligent and unthinking people. Is this what it takes to get funded these days?
Posted by therealstan on April 14, 2006 02:29 PM. Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.
Jeus would not be at a burger stand. Jesus was Jewish, and the Last Supper was a Passover seder. Jesus would not have been eating unleavened bread during Passover. He wouldn't be eating at a burger stand even if it was not Passover because he would be keeping kosher. Jesus was a Pharisee in the tradition of Hillel. The Pharisee are not what they are portrayed as in the New Testament. They were scholars and mystics. Pharisees were not rich, nor were they hypocritical. Some Pharisees were poor. Most carpenters and other craftspeople were followers of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were trying to sanctify everyday life. Sections of the New Testament were part of early Christian polemics to prove the moral superiority of Christianiy to Judaism. Therfore, the completely distorted who and what the Pharisees were. Off Topic, but why is it so difficult for The Guardian to acknowledge Jewish holidays? The Guardian ignored Hannukah until it was half over.
Posted by Adina on April 14, 2006 03:13 PM. Offensive? Unsuitable? Report this comment.
You couldn't make it up...
Here's a sample of the before and after chat...
Reach out and touch the screen
Mark Berry - here and here
From the BBC themselves with a clip on the RHS
The Post Box
For what my tuppence is worth – it looked good on the telly (hey that’s what the Beeb would have wanted first and foremost) but we didn’t get the best experience walking behind the cross, missing most of the action in the square and elsewhere, and having to “enjoy” the “real Christians” singing Shine Jesus Shine. No, really.
All good pictures, with things to say in the spiritaul conversation between films and faith, especially the former two (am still processing Pleasantville since we only watched it last night) - both being films about personal identity in relation to community, past experiences shaping the present, and the thin line of redemption/ revenge.
Mystic River especially intrigues me - as M said as the credits rolled, "what does the ending mean?". I think it's a film where many, many things go unsaid (Jimmy and Katie, Dave and Celeste, Sean and his wife, and more) and thus the two incidents at the end of the film where people are forced to "say it, admit it, tell me" are even more petinent to the characterisation and plot. But why the title, Mystic River? What has the river got to do with the story, why is it so integral that the film is NAMED after it? We see countless shots of it with the bridge in the background, and also of the sky. Maybe it's because it hides, it knows, it cleans, it divides, it unites, but it's also unknowable and misunderstood. An Easter film indeed.
Update: Oh and for David, I promised an update to the film list for my profile - the ones previously mentioned and 7even, Shakespeare in Love, City of God, Crash, Amelie, Oh Brother, Fargo, Babette's Feast, The Deer Hunter, Evita, Mary Poppins, History of Violence, and anything with Sean Penn...
If you missed The Quite Early Show last week, twiddle your radio to 87.7FM at 9pm on weekdays. And on Wednesday, it's the last chance to hear the rather unique Theatre Of Noise, which mainly comprises death metal, power tools and man waxing. It isn't Radio 4, you know.
I'm missing my Sanctus buddies. I feel completely out of touch. Has the 'revisioning' stuff happened yet? How did the Manchester Passion go? Has Lev reached Number Ten yet? Did Sarah ever decide between imperialism and globalisation?
Incidentally, we've booked the legendary Cris Acher for Thursday, and expect a set from Mr Stephen Devine towards the end of the week. If you fancy coming down to the studio and taking part in the fun, contact me.
Constant blithering updates at www.fatroland.blogspot.com...
For my part, I talked a little about the re:source course that I’m on this year, especially relating to mission and culture that we’ve really been focussing on. Jonny Baker’s presentation on these two, and their relation to postmodernity, really spoke to me at the last weekend, and I magpied some of his material to share.
I started by using two quotes. The Chuck Kraft quote, "I have nothing against those, who as part of their devotion to God, choose to follow God according to the patter of Europeanized African culture. These are truly God's people... But my heart yearns for the 300 million who will not westernize in order to become Christian."
…and Rob Warner’s revised version, "I have nothing against those, who as part of their Christian devotion, serve Christ according to the patterns of traditional Western culture. These are truly God's people. But my heart yearns for the 90% who will not traditionalize in order to become Christian."
For me, it’s about valuing the minority that will conform culturally in order to be Christian (chino-wearing, Cliff Richard-buying, etc), but also being one of those who will not fully conform in order to be part of The Church. That feels more than a little uncomfortable to me sometimes. And surely The Church is big enough for all of us? If we can accept that it’s got room for those who do conform to the institution's cultural norms, can we also accept that there should also be for those who are awkward or uncomfortable with making that transition? It seemed to strike a note with a few Sanctonians... wonder why? ;-)
I also used the PS2 fleacircus advert to explore and explain my feelings of discomfort and contradiction because of being a po-mo, emerging, urban 20-something woman and also wanting to be part of the institution of The Church, without leaving my culture at the door.
One final observation that lifted my spirit and took me out of myself... For me, there are break-through moments of God’s grace and abundance illustrated in the most amazingly ordinary things. Last night’s was when Ben hesitated about pouring the contents of a small bottle into a deceptively large glass, and then tipped the rest in, relieved that it was going to fit easily after all. Another that springs to mind was my godson blithely offering me half of his chewed dried apricot during a Sanctus2nds communion once. Grace abounds. I’ll eat dried apricots and drink my fill to that.
On a slightly different note, on the way home, Primal Screams new song can on the radio, Country Girl. Has anyone heard it? i really like it. i'd gone off them a bit recently but this is more like some older stuff. I'd make a great music critic...
Spirituality, Gospel, Culture and Mission
We talk all the time about our desire to be ‘spiritual’, and ‘spirituality’ is regularly used to sell everything from sex to shoes, as well as being promoted as a stand-alone lifestyle or belief system that we can invent for ourselves.
What do we mean when we say we want to be ‘spiritual’, and how does that connect with anything that Christians might understand about the Gospel and God’s mission in the world? Can we create spiritual experiences for ourselves, or do they come to us from outside, unannounced and unsought? And what happens to us when we are in ‘spiritual’ mode? Is it the same thing as being ‘religious’, or something entirely different? Does ‘spirituality’ require a prior belief system, or is it a stand-alone dimension of being human?
These questions, and others like them, are of great interest not only to philosophers and theologians, but also to social scientists and healthcare workers. The possible answers are both fascinating and challenging, and will be explored in a context of asking how they might all connect with the mission of the church in a post-secular culture.
John Drane is the author of Do Christians know how to be Spiritual? The rise of New Spirituality and the Mission of the Church (Darton Longman & Todd 2005).
Olive Fleming Drane is the author of Spirituality to Go: Rituals and Reflections for Everyday Living (Darton Longman Todd 2006).Both are adjunct professors of Practical Theology at Fuller Seminary, California.
blah...manchester is a series of conversations hosted by CMS in partnership with The Church Army on mission, worship, church and Christianity in today’s rapidly changing culture. It’s a time to keep listening, chatting and reflecting as God beckons us into the future.
Tuesday 2nd May
Drinks and refreshments provided
Drinks served from 6:30
Input begins at 7:00
We have a limited number of places. It would help us to know in advance if you're coming, so please book a place and turn up!
E-mail Ben Edson on: email@example.com
The sound of velcro and zips
Having to wear a hat to bed
Hearing more closely the noises which walls and other sounds drown out
Walking an average of 8.5 miles a day
Getting sunburnt on an off-chance April day, and…
...the peculiar feeling of sunburn in the evening (to borrow a line)
Seeing the stars
Listening to CDs of Stephen Fry narrating Harry Potter 6
Being outside from evening to night to morning to noon to evening every day
Food shopping one day at a time
Remembering that everything tastes better eaten outdoors…
...and maybe most of all, the food - sardine sandwiches, cook ups for tea, custard and bakewell tarts, hot chocolate, bread and jam.
Remember my post about Refresh FM? It all starts later today (at 9pm on 87.7FM to be precise).
I will be posting regularly on my own blog as the two weeks progress. Do check in daily to gain a fascinating insight into the world of shoe-string radio producing.
I'm off to town tomorrow to buy blue-tac. The fun never ends!
A celebration of Palm Sunday.
Sunday 9th April: 4 - 5 p.m.
Sacred Trinity Church, Chapel Street, Salford.
Open to people of all ages, Sanctus2nds is a sanctuary for creativity, reflection and socialising. Sanctus2nds will feature a cafe space to refresh your body, a creative space to inspire your mind, and a prayer space to nurture your soul; building an environment to encounter Christ.
Sanctus2nds will also feature an under 5’s play space.
From the Scotsman:
BONO has declared that he is not a man of the cloth, "unless that cloth is leather".
But the words of the charismatic U2 front man are nevertheless ringing out from pulpits across the United States.
The Irish rock band's songs and lyrics are being used by the Episcopal Church in so-called "U2 Eucharists" as a means of attracting young people who relate to the group's social activism.
Read more here.
Oh and don't worry, all you trendy types, Bill Drummond's coming back. Maybe he didn't find another festival so open to his "emporer's new clothes scheme" :)
If you want to take part in any of the interviews or games or silliness, let me know!
Refresh 87.7FM is a Christian radio station which begins broadcasting on Saturday 8th April, runs right through Easter and ends transmission on Sunday 23rd April. Depending on your viewpoint, it is a Christian celebration of Easter or an opportunity for me to abuse the fact that I have a microphone connected to a transmitter and pretty much carte blanche from the station director.
Refresh is an RSL, a low powered temporary broadcast awarded by Ofcom to organizations with a community or often minority interest. You should be able to get it on a normal radio if you live in and around Manchester, although the signal can be patchy in places. We have raised an idea of doing a web/podcast but we haven't resolved the copyright issues of this yet.
So my shows...
QUITE EARLY SHOW
Music, chat and vague silliness presented by me and Lee Moore, including stupid news, interviewing with Jenga and an investigation into whether Christians really ought to be doing cover versions of famous songs.
TIMES are 9pm-11pm on 87.7FM on the following dates: Monday April 10th, Tuesday April 11th, Thursday April 13th, Friday April 14th, Monday April 17th, Tuesday April 18th, Thursday April 20th, Friday April 21st.
THEATRE OF NOISE
Same presenters again, but this time if it's got guitars and it's loud, we play it. We wax hairy men, destroy bad CDs with power tools and get complaints.
TIMES are 9pm-11pm on 87.7FM on the following dates: Wednesday April 12th, Wednesday April 19th.
XFM eat your heart out!
[Link to part II of this post]