West and Wilson Deserve Each Other

I’m pretty sure that Kanye West and Joe Wilson have nothing in common. Kanye is a swaggerific hip-hop fashionista who wears Alexander McQueen suits and Yohji Yamamoto gloves, and whose vanity is only eclipsed by his ego. Joe Wilson is an extremely white, Southern Republican congressman who has never heard a Wu-Tang Clan song and who once voted against the removal of the confederate flag at South Carolina’s capital.

continue reading

The Worst "Christians" in the World

A couple of years ago the BBC aired a television documentary about Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist (the “God Hates Fags” church). The documentary, The Most Hated Family in America, follows the BBC’s Louis Thoreaux as he spends time in Topeka with the Phelps. I watched it for the first time yesterday, and experienced the most anger and disgust I’ve ever felt towards people who supposedly worship the same God of the same religion and Bible as I do. I was thinking that if these people are Christians and are going to be in heaven one day, I don’t know if I want to be there with them. It’s a HIGHLY disturbing and maddening film for anyone to watch, but perhaps especially frightful for anyone who cares about Christianity and hates to see it be expressed in such a thoroughly skewed, unbiblical, self-serving manner.

continue reading

New York Cares

The subway is a porno
And the pavements they are a mess
I know you’ve supported me for a long time
Somehow I’m not impressed
But New York Cares…

Those lyrics are from Interpol’s “NYC,” one of the iconic songs of the immediate post-9/11 era of music. It’s a song that captures the confused emotional tenor of the city in the traumatic aftermath to that dark day 8 years ago, a mix of the old New York harsh-edged urbanity and the “United We Stand” solidarity of a city reborn amidst ashes.

Perhaps moreso than other cities, New York has that peculiar combination of crowded connectedness and desolate urban isolation. On one hand the city cares and accepts all people and all dreams; on the other, it is an impenetrable, callous machine of industry and ambition. On 9/11 both faces merged as the city in all of its seething terror and magnificence forever changed. Before that day, NYC was the incomprehensible nexus of the world. But after that day, NYC was forced to consider the truth of its mythos: that it is still just a city, vulnerable and imperfect as anything else.

continue reading

Obama's Conservative Speech

On Tuesday, President Obama—following the precedent of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush—delivered a “Back to School” speech to American students, beamed live via the Internet and C-SPAN into thousands of classrooms across the country.

It was a fantastic speech. Read it here.

I always love a good Obama speech. He’s a great, inspiring orator, and in recent years he’s delivered some of the best American speeches of the 21st century (such as this race speech from the campaign trail).

continue reading

Christian Cussing

When I was a writer for The Wheaton Record circa 2003, I wrote a feature entitled “Cursing at Wheaton.” It was a two-page spread, 3,000 word story that I had researched and worked on for a month. It covered all the angles of cursing from a Christian perspective, including insightful interviews with English and Anthropology professors (Roger Lundin and Brian Howell), and even a survey of 100 Wheaton students who reported on their cursing habits. My biggest finding in the article? Seniors at Wheaton were about 30% more likely to cuss on a daily basis than were freshman. And more likely to use the f- word on a daily basis. No big surprise, I guess. The language of Christian young people isn’t as pristine as it used to be.

continue reading

Our Addiction to Public Communication

I wrote a new technology piece in Relevant magazine’s September/October issue, entitled “Short Attention Span Faith.” You can read the whole thing by clicking here, but here’s a short little excerpt:

Unsurprisingly, this frenzied, obsessive-compulsive proclivity toward being digital busybodies has deleterious effects on Christian disciplines like Bible study and prayer. How do we justify sitting down and praying for an hour when there are Hulu videos to browse, “What Ninja Turtle are you?” quizzes to take, and online “community” to cultivate? If we’re not wired, plugged-in, and communicating with the world at all times, it seems like such a waste of time…

continue reading

Could Woodstock Happen Again?

This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the summer of 1969, which for most people is a “so what?” sort of thing, but to anyone who lived back then or (like me) obsesses about “The 60s” period of American history, it’s a big deal. They don’t make years like 1969 any more.

40 years ago this summer, a lot of big things happened. The Who released Tommy and Hurricane Camille killed 250 people in Mississippi and Louisiana. Star Trek aired its final episode and two American astronauts landed on the moon for the first time. The Manson family murdered 8 innocent people and Ted Kennedy (RIP) received a two-month suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to leaving the scene of a fatal drowning accident in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts.

continue reading

Meditations on Late Summer

The start of every summer is always so full of excitement—the promise of endless free time, lazy mornings, late nights, swimming in pools and oceans, climbing trees and mountains, reading books. Every year around late May, the summer looms so large. It seems so immense. Those endless days! Those boozy low-pressure thunderstorm nights! And so little that must be done!

I used to make “summer plans” every May when school ended: plans that including a list of books to read, projects to work on, relationships to pursue, etc. But invariably, most of these “plans” never really materialized. June would come and go, July would be a flurry of vacation, August would start and so would school. Soon it was football and marching band and getting the right calculator for math class. Pep rallies, bonfires, ever shortening sunlight. Summer a fading memory. Another year passing.

continue reading

Review: Inglourious Basterds

There are very few directors in the world who can imbue a dollop of cream and a plate of apple strudel with the sort of pulsating, vivacious energy that Quentin Tarantino can. And there are very few directors who can make twenty minutes of table talk as utterly engrossing and tension building as Tarantino can. But the Pulp Fiction auteur has a way of bringing to life the cinema in ways that hardly anyone else even attempts anymore. He doesn’t do it by using CGI or massive budgets. He does it by knowing how to tell a good story and how to tell it cinematically. And he does it by taking risks. He’s an utter master of the craft—a nerdy, fearless, movie nut genius who turns low art pop kitsch into masterful, luxurious moving picture epics. He’s like the Andy Warhol of the post-MTV, videogame era. And his new movie, Inglourious Basterds, might just be his masterpiece.

continue reading

A Brief Thought About Home

From Marilynne Robinson’s beautiful book, Home:

And here is the world, she thought, just as we left it. A hot white sky and a soft wind, a murmur among the trees, the treble rasp of a few cicadas. There were acorns in the road, some of them broken by passing cars. Chrysanthemums were coming into bloom. Yellowing squash vines swamped the vegetable gardens and tomato plants hung from their stakes, depleted with bearing. Another summer in Gilead. Gilead, dreaming out its curse of sameness, somnolence. How could anyone want to live here? That was the question they asked one another, out of their father’s hearing, when they came back from college, or from the world. Why would anyone stay here?

continue reading
Syndicate content
»  Become a Fan or Friend of this Blogger
About
Brett currently works full-time for Biola University as managing editor for Biola magazine. He also writes movie reviews for Christianity Today and contributes frequently to Relevant magazine.


Media
Resources
Link Roll