Monthly Archives: February 2011
We live in a world where we eschew real in depth conversations that expose our hopes and dreams, our failures and idiosyncrasies in favor of facebook status updates that make us look cool. The Christian version is to look “holy.” In the name of being a “a good example” all sorts of insecurities, flaws and sometimes deplorable acts get covered up with fake smiles and confidence and occasionally fraud. And another televangelist or church sex abuse case is exposed.
I was asked the other day why the hell I would want to go into ministry/church work with all of the phony smiles, fake shake of hands and moral and intellectual dishonesty. I didn’t disagree that these things are prevalent in the church.
As Sarah McLachlan so aptly points out “building a mystery” is a pretty universal experience. Spend an afternoon reading hip hop blog comments and trace the most ignorant and blindly racist comment left by someone with the screen name “realistniggalive” back to a blog or facebook page of a suburban white kid. Read almost any biography of anyone who has ever dealt with the pressures of fame. Have a real gut wrenching conversation with a good friend, preferably after a couple of beers. We all put time in working, choosing so carefully the right clothes, the right books on our shelves, knowledge (or vacuous opinions) about all of the right subjects, the right words and the list goes on.
The problem is not religion or lack of religion for that matter. The problem is the way people use style, culture, sub-cultures, relationships and religion as a facade to hide their actual selves from the world.
I know that Rafael Perez and David Mack are not new names or faces to anyone who has ever seen that awful Nick Broomfield film or read a “conspiracy theory” blog about the shootings of Biggie or Tupac. But I do hope that while this is making news, perhaps there will finally be some justice and answers for Voletta Wallace and just maybe one day for Afeni Shakur
Words I Never Said – Lupe Fiasco
This single was released today. It reminds me of one of the reasons I fell in love with music in the first place. Music, and I think especially hip hop, offers a medium for people to hear and process spoken or sung poetry they might have ignored in any other mode of transmission. Sometimes its all about what the artist is saying. Sometimes lyrics are sparse or altogether absent and the music is all about the feeling that is being conveyed. But this song has both powerful and evocative lyricism and a soundscape that drives home the urgency of the words. The song was produced by Alex da Kid of Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love the Way you Lie” fame. And the chorus is sung by Skylar Grey who from what I can dig up also contributed to the writing of Eminem’s song. This track is musically just as big and bold as that one. If this song does not triumph on radio it is only further proof that in general people do not like to think or be challenged by the art they take in. But Lupe has already told us he will not dumb it down.