24 July 2010

Being Open Minded

Been thinking about this for a while. I consider myself fairly open minded, progressive, whatever. However, I am finding that I am becoming more and more close-minded with close-minded people. Is there such as thing as open-mindedness?

26 May 2010

5 Observations/Thoughts about Ironman 2

  1. It was really entertaining. Robert Downey, Jr. is a great, charismatic actor.
  2. It's amazing to see how far the special effects technology has come in the past 10-15 years.
  3. Movies disseminate the mythology of our culture and world.
  4. Ironman 2 is mythology.
  5. The myth of unlimited progress is the overarching theme of this movie. The movie would have us believe that science will always stay ahead of the curve. By the time the bad guys have scary technology, the good guys' technology will be superior and we (ahem...we are the good guys) will be able to kick the bad guys' butts. Science will be able to solve the problems that science created. Eat popcorn, drink Coca-Cola, fear not!

25 May 2010

Mission Statements & Taglines

I have always found these things to be frustrating and meaningless.They are all about style. They lack substance. They tell one side of the story. They may market your company/organization/church, but they do not tell the full and real story. Offering only the shiny part of who you are is where the seed of cynicism starts. So be honest....about all of it.

02 May 2010

Surface Level: Some Oil was Spilled

I love watching the Sunday morning political shows. Today's biggest (and scariest) topic was the oil "spill." Here are some random things that happened on the show...and went through my mind.
  • "We're dealing with this on the surface." --some BP exec. Truer words were never spoken.
  • How can this be called a "spill?" When you spill something, you say "oops" and clean it up. 200,000 gallons of oil per day (or more) is not quite an "oops."
  • This could truly decimate (environmentally and economically) a big chunk of the South.
  • Why are we relying on BP to solve the problem that they created?
  • In becoming all riled up about this, I am participating in deep irony. I whine and complain about this "spill" and our oil-based economy, but then I drive and drive and drive.
  • In our quest to "harvest" the oil (a non-renewable resource), we will likely destroy the seafood industry (a renewable resource) in much of the Gulf.
  • The long-term effects of this "spill" will long outlive those of Hurricane Katrina (except for those who lost people in the storm, of course).
  • The conservative view is that this "spill" is collateral damage to our economic system.
  • The liberal view is that oil is evil, so let's get into some other type of energy (while maintaining our level of consumption).
  • Are there any other options?
  • As I often do, I was thinking a lot of Wendell Berry. I was thinking of Jayber Crow watching his town and state move forward and "progress."
  • Is progress a myth?
I took a nap after lunch.

13 March 2010

Two Problems from One Solution

In one of Wendell Berry's agrarian essays, he discusses two of the biggest problems in modern, industrial agriculture: loss of soil fertility and producing too much animal waste. The scientific, industrial method depletes natural soil fertility (micro-organisms, micro-nutrients, etc.) thus creating more and more dependence on chemical inputs (which have unintended consequences-comprimised water supply, bees?, beneficial insects?...). Industrialized animal production produces a lot of *crap*. Food, Inc. describes one hog farm in Utah that averages over 1 million hogs on site at a time. Because of the food input and, ahem, *output*, this one hog farm produces more *waste* than the city of Los Angeles. Holy *crap*.

Wendell Berry describes a typical, small farm prior to the industrialization of farming. He tells of farmers who knew how many animals their land could support. He writes about how farmers used the *waste* from their animals to fertilize their fields. Free, nutrient rich poo with much more complexity and variance than the typical three-nutrient chemical fertilizer. Wendell Berry reflects on this and says that, in typical industrial/scientific style, we have created two problems from one solution.

01 March 2010

Economic and Political Insanity

Two connected items from a talk I did last weekend:

1. Anyone remember what George W called us all to after 9/11? Shopping. Go to the malls. Consume. Spend.
2. Anyone pay attention to the societal/political reaction when Obama suggested that we avoid blowing our kids' college education money in Vegas? You'd have thought he was recommending human sacrifices. How dare he!

Richard Foster (paraphrased) says that when we live in and allow ourselves to be consumed by a sick culture, we become sick. I am interested in becoming less sick.

28 February 2010

Thanks BMW...and a Request

In business school, I was taught that business, in its truest form, was about solving problems. In this vein, I would like to congratulate BMW. Their latest advertisements tell us, "We don't just make cars...we make...joy." We live in an increasingly joyless society. I, for one, am glad that someone, somewhere has developed a combustion-based transportation machine that can also make joy. The evolution is amazing! Now these machines are solving emotional, relational, and community problems. Unfortunately, I can't afford a BMW right now, but I would like to propose something. I would like two other people to split the cost of one, new BMW. The car would rotate between the three of us on a weekly basis. I would be joyful for one week and then I would have two weeks of joylessness before it was my turn again. Any takers?

03 February 2010

I Hate Pete Rollins. Also...I Love Pete Rollins.

I saw Pete Rollins at a churchy conference this summer. Never have I seen people so pissed off as when Pete spoke. Never have I seen others (myself included) so moved. Watch this video to get an taste of Pete's work. Churchy is a word I made up. You can use it if you like.