Archive for June, 2008

Prophetic Musical Gestures & High-Speed UFO Chases!

A couple of tantalizing tidbits from the news this week, certainly not the most meaningful but definitely interesting.

Quoth Wired:

The recording industry and U.S. radio companies have squared off for decades about whether AM and FM radio broadcasters should pay royalties to singers, musicians and their labels. Broadcasting music without payment is akin to piracy, the industry says.

What?? And here I thought this was satire…Wired continues:

But now the debate is getting meaner; there’s more at stake as the recording industry seeks new income avenues in the wake of wanton peer-to-peer piracy and declining CD sales in part due to the iPod and satellite radio. A U.S. House subcommittee could vote as early as Thursday on a royalty measure.

Taking it to the House of Representatives? Yawn. C’mon, guys. Can’t you do something more, y’know, creative? Well apparently, yes you can!

On Monday, the recording industry sent the National Association of Broadcasters — the trade group representing the $16 billion a year AM-FM broadcasting business — a can of herring to underscore that it believes its arguments against paying royalties are a red herring. The NAB says its members should not pay royalties because AM-FM radio “promotes” the music industry. [Emphases mine]

Red Herring – get it? Well if you don’t know what words and colloquialisms mean, their next gift should clarify things for you:

The herring present followed another gift — a dictionary, a bid by the recording industry to explain what it saw as the difference between fees and taxes. The NAB describes the latest royalty proposal as a tax.

Those cads! A can of herring, and a dictionary? Could they possibly top those?

And two weeks ago, the recording industry, under the umbrella group musicFIRST, sent the NAB four digital downloads: “Take the Money and Run” by the Steve Miller Band; “Pay me My Money Down” by Bruce Springsteen; “Back In the U.S.S.R” by Paul McCartney and “A Change Would Do You Good” by Sheryl Crow.

As Dave Barry would say, I’m not making this up. Kudos to you, recording industry. While I find your argument (as I have most of your technology-restricting arguments since around 1998) draconian and stultifying, at least you’re saying it with some real flair and panache. You can read the full article here.

Moving right along, when I read the headline (again from the fine folks at Wired) British Police in High-Speed Chase … With UFO, my interest was piqued. When I read the opening line,

In a close encounter with the future of transportation, a police helicopter almost hit what its crew insists was an alien spacecraft. And then they chased it. Seriously.

I wanted to say “Heck yeah!” and “Finally!” Something you probably don’t know about me: As a teenager I was a huge UFO and conspiracy theory buff. I knew a lot, then, about the state of alien abductions and UFO sightings ’round the world. As one friend in my house church community here likes to say, “You used to be cool, Mike, and into UFOs and stuff. Now you’re just into theology.”

Oh, how we’ve fallen.

So this article! The original, from the Telegraph, sez:

A police helicopter crew gave chase to a UFO after it almost collided with their aircraft near a military base. The pilot was forced to bank sharply to avoid being hit by the mystery aircraft as the helicopter was returning to the Ministry of Defence base of St Athan, near Cardiff.

The helicopter crew are said to have crossed the Bristol channel in pursuit of the UFO, but lost sight of it and had to turn back due to a fuel shortage.

I don’t often utter phrases like this these days, but those police officers are my heroes. Having the cajones to give chase to a flippin’ UFO is amazing. I salute you, Brittian’s finest! Full story here and here.

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NT Wright & Cookie Monster Square Off on Colbert

So here’s the NT Wright clip from the Colbert report for some reason, Comedy Central and/or WordPress won’t let me embed the clip; it’s not as easy as YouTube, folks; any techies out there wanna give me the cut-and-paste-secret, leave me a comment.

…I’d recommend watching the whole episode here – it’s best to take Wright in context, as he shares this episode with none other than Cookie Monster. Colbert is funny as always, though you can tell he appreciates Wright, he’s a bit ‘softball’ – the good Bishop Tom, for his part, is affable and even occasionally funny, but its easy to see the inherent limitations of satirical TV as a medium for discussing ‘serious’ theology. Nonetheless an intriguing entree into a vital area of Christian spirituality – what is the nature of resurrection? Of New Heavens and Earth? Parousia and eschatology? While I differ with Wright in some key areas, I credit him more than anyone else living for bringing this conversation to the forefront of popular consciousness today. One could hardly hope for a better conversation partner. You go, NT!

O Sacred Wound, Now Headed – Rough Cut

So I’ve blogged for ages and ages about retooling sung worship, and adding more of the earthy and mystical and poetic and ancient and future into the lyrics, melodies, etc…pretty funny ’cause I’m not a songwriter per se.

As I said recently on Dan Wilt’s blog:

I’d love to take a lot of the practical developmental wisdom from Christian writers in the contemplative/mystical tradition, when they wrote of the disciple’s spiritual ’stages of ascent’ toward the ‘renewing of the mind’ and one’s conscious union with God. (Also the East Orthodox tradition of ‘theosis’ or ‘divinization’) I’d like to take some of this poetry, this wisdom, from writers from Meister Eckhart to Hildegard von Bingen (herself a composer) to Francois Fenelon to Evelyn Underhill, and put it to music, put it to worshipful poetry that will itself be a transformative contemplative experience, by God’s grace.

Well, now I’m putting my moolah where my mouth is, and am showing you, with fear and trepidation, a reworking/word-play of a revered hymn hagiographically attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux. I emphasise that this is a rough cut; it’s probably off-meter and incoherent and heretical and in need of cuts, rearrangements, and additional verses. If it helps you with the tune, read along with the instrumental video, below. Give me your thoughts – and additional/reworked verses! – in the Comments below. We’ll write us something good, uh-hunh.

O Sacred Wound, Now Headed

O sacred Wound now headed, with momentum unbound
Here so fully sustaining, G-D’s absence presence now
How thin the lines of aging, on his receding face
Molecules rearranging, in every moment’s grace

My G-d, what abyss endured, within her hollow eyes
Plunge in the darksome cavern, its here we realize
How long do we see faces ‘ere facing what we see
Vouchsafing quiet courage, for Others simply Be

Omega, now receive thee, G-dhead from you does pour
Lo, here we fall, Redeemer! Plunged outward and before
Our outstretched hand does meet yours, in emptiness delight
Our glasses flicker dimly dissolving light from light

NT Wright on the Colbert Report Tomorrow

This just in from the man himself:

“Bishop Nicholas Thomas Wright of Durham wants us to take a good look at what we think happens when we die. Is it heaven? Where do we go? His latest book, ‘Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church,’ explores Western religious thinking and confusion about the afterlife. The Bishop has served as Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey and has taught the New Testament for two decades at Cambridge, McGill, and Oxford Universities.” – No Fact Zone (HT: Becky Garrison)

NT Wright, funny? Yes, he had us in stitches at Soularize. If you get Comedy Central, tune in tomorrow night, Thursday June 19 at 11:30 p.m. EST. Otherwise, watch this space and I’ll see if I can’t troll around for some clips…

Stay tuned.

Related Post: Colbert, Charismatic? (Hilarious dancing video)

Conservatives for Obama?

Apparently so.

Micah Mayo: In Defense of the Spirit

The ‘Crowder conversation’ continue to invite reflection from many perspectives – including mine, but it shall have to wait (tomorrow, hopefully!). My fellow Raleigh house church communard shares his thoughts ‘In Defense of the Spirit.’ The past year has been a spiritual renaissance for him, Micah says, being exposed to solid biblical scholarship and emerging churches and like-hearted authors…

“I have all of these new, great, and powerful ideas floating around within me, but in this presentation of the Gospel of the Kingdom I can’t help but notice a gaping hole. Where is the Spirit? It isn’t as if these folks don’t believe in the Spirit, or that s/he/it (who knows?) is never mentioned, but it I only seem to find it in passing, or mentioned in such an abstracted context that there seems to be no method of approach or interaction with this very real facet, or hypostatsis of God. I’ve been to a couple of emerging churches and new monastic communities. I’ve enjoyed authentic people who love Jesus and are pursuing his Kingdom. I’ve admired the community, participated in group expressions of our experience(i.e. art projects), fed the hungry, taken communion and heard words of encouragement and good news. But still, I’ve wondered… where is the Spirit?”

>Continue reading ‘In Defense of the Spirit’…

Pentecost and the Way of the Shaman

Still no new post from me…sorry…I’m gearing up to go to DC this weekend, as I’ve been elected to take part in Bread for the World’s Hunger Justice Leaders Training, a great honor…but speaking of Spirit-filled, I was on a panel of judges for Jesus Manifesto’s Pentecost 2008 (in other words the Jewish/Church Feast Day, not the flavor of Christian spirituality, though the lines were intentionally blurred) writing contest, “Stepping Into The Wind.” Enjoy here our first-place winning piece, “Pentecost and the Way of the Shaman.”

Also: Jason Clark, a Vineyard pastor and Emergent Village guy in the UK, has just weighed in with astute thoughts on revival, Todd Bentley and John Crowder.

The sacred drum stays out of sight, behind skins and blankets until the old woman has need to travel. She lives among the reindeer herdsman of Northern Mongolia. Inside her oortz (a type of teepee), the Mongolian Shaman begins to beat her sacred drum, and chant. These are the vehicles of her travel as she enters a spirit realm on behalf of those who seek her help. Sometime during her spirit travels she enters a trance, the spirits enter her body, and the old woman dances like a child.

Read more on Jesus Manifesto.com… »


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    My Writings: Varied and Sundry Pieces Online

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