Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

#wildstyle: pto – a crash-course in looking good

i’ve written plenty before about my appreciation of and aspiration to the finer side of men’s tailoring and classic style (which is basically to say that i, like every other man, ever, would like to look like Steve McQueen).

in terms of my ever ongoing sartorial education, i find the blogosphere to be an invaluable resource, and the content served up by the fellas at Put This On has long been atop my list of best web resources.

there is no shortage of information and opinion out there, but, given the nature of the beast, many style commentators have honed the skill of making their reader feel like an utterly unworthy and rather hopeless being. by contrast, not only does PTO provide good quality coverage and well refined insight, it always does so in a charming and reassuringly human way.

as well as top quality and regularly updated text and image based offerings, PTO has, over the last year and a half, also offered a selection of short, excellently produced video entries covering some of the basics of men’s style – from choosing and maintaining denim and quality shoes, to proper grooming and honing your personal style.

the seventh iteration, which has just appeared, marks the end of what they’re calling ‘season one’. as such, i thought i’d share them all with you dear reader – for your consideration, inspiration and edification, and also as a plug for PTO in general. the more men that read quality style blogs, the fewer i will see wearing short sleeve shirts with ties, jackets buttoned all the way down, black sports socks and poor quality (and yet still expensive) shoes.

what is more, these short films also act as a perfect model of how to create decent web video content of any flavour.

enjoy.

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episode one – demin

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episode two – shoes

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episode three – work

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episode four – grooming

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episode five – tradition

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episode six – body

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episode seven – personal style

 
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#homefront: cinq not sunk

today, friends and lovers,

is The Dr’s and my fifth wedding anniversary. given that she is currently away, to mark the occasion, i hope (and i know you will) you’ll allow me to share this poem, which i’m sending online, with love, from me to her.

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when we met, you cried. a lot.
then paused, grabbed breath and,
slightly apart, we walked a little.
robes off-white and shoes kicked,
a baptism by fire and holy water.
young hands too tense to scatter,
have mercy on us, oh Lord.

well loved, here, gather, witness.
our Lord himself, sober and not lightly.
speak now, but peace is held and shared.
questions posed; response, and rings.
have, better, well. hold, broke, will.
earth and sky, thy be done and mine.
signed, said, and God only knows.

any fire is born with magic spark,
and every with pure heat’s flash, yet
those laid and kept, alone burn long.
circling lie of love: struck by fate,
easy come and free to leave likewise.
never bored or boring, we said.
my first real job of work.

and so the mark is fixed forever.
come tempest – cheeks or lips,
the rosy and the raging alteration.
i may not always love you, and yet.
the bent sickle and the compass,
come, guide us to the edge of doom.
heights we know, our worth be proved.

a small rest here, by this sign.
smiles shared, a swig to whistles wet.
ahead, an horizon of uncertain joys;
i would not walk this way alone.
with promise renewed, and strengths,
let us go then, you and i. this,
this takes more than spoons to measure.
—————————

and now, for our listening pleasure, performing a song that he sang for us the day we were wed, ladies and gentlemen, Mr Lou Rawls.

You’ve Made Me So Very Happy by Lou Rawls

#telosvision: treme (the third, fourth & subsequent lines)

long-time readers will recall me writing about the first season of Treme last year. the bitter-sweet story of the residents of New Orleans’ poorest and most historically and culturally vibrant neighbourhood trying to rebuild their lives and community following ‘the storm’, moved me greatly.

well, not only is the second season just about to come to an end on HBO (which will probably mean a migration to Sky Atlantic quite soon after they’ve finished showing season 1), but also the DVD of the first season is now widely available in the UK. i’m not going to talk in many specifics about the narrative arc, etc., of either season here, but if it’s not something that’s currently on your radar, then i’m sharing a few broad-ranging thoughts and insights which i hope will change that.

Treme places very few priorities higher than accuracy. like its illustrious forebear, Frank’s Place, it is made by and stars several daughters and sons of NOLA, and many of those involved who are not native, are clearly under the city’s spell. perhaps none more so than the creators, David Simon and Eric Overmyer.

the fact that the series was originally created by Simon and Overmyer, of (utterly deserved) Homicide and The Wire fame, was what initially attracted me. however, given how different it turned out to be, i must admit that it was a surprise to find that Treme was as engaging, as perturbing and as hard-hitting as anything of their’s i’d seen previously. Treme has a similar sense of scale and scope to The Wire, focussing on the concerns of a small geographical area but setting those concerns in the context of a large city with a large socio-political structure.

unlike the Baltimore of The Wire, however, the New Orleans of Treme is not a seething, brutal leviathan, swimming beneath a thin layer of political ice, but a beached whale. the waters have come and gone, and everything has been turned over, inside-out and left out to dry. Treme is about the resources for and possible of hope in the face of utter destruction.

the one resource that Treme focusses on more than any other is music. New Orleans, of course, has a musical heritage that few of the world’s cities can equal. arising out of its unique history, born largely of its position straddling the mighty Mississippi, New Orleans represents a collision of Western European, Latin American, African and North American cultural influences, and nothing illustrates this better than the city’s musical legacy.

in particular, the infusion of European instrumentation and African rhythms imbued New Orleans music with a strong culture of brass. add to the mix the influence of Cajun, Zydeco, Polka, Banda, Ranchera, Delta Blues and European sacred music. these diverse cultural intertwinings, and the fact that it was the first city in America to allow slaves to freely associate and to play music in public, NOLA was destined to be the birth place of jazz.

music and the many social customs that involve it are cast in Treme as the glue that holds the place together – the infrastructure that Katrina could not destroy. shaped by its French Catholic past, New Orleans is a city that rises to music and lays down to music; welcomes its new borns and mourns its dead to music. happy or sad, together or alone, in public and in private, it is always music that marks the comings and goings of everyday life. it is a sacred city with a sacred rhythm.

in this sense, Treme is about folk music. i don’t mean mumbling, beards, waistcoats and Morris-men – Folk music – i mean folk music, music of the people. every type of good music is folk music somewhere – emerging out of lived experience, speaking to and charming it and returning back to its source in the life of the community.

but, despite the tempo of its music, Treme is not an upbeat drama. it is (somewhat predictably) steeped, from the outset, in tragedy. aside from the colossal tragedy of Katrina, the project itself was steeped in loss. one the main characters is based on New Orleans-based academic, blogger and political activist, Ashley Morris, who wrote profusely and passionately about The Wire and as a result became close friends with David Simon. in 2008, Morris died from a massive heart attack at the age of forty five. two years later, another of Simon’s long-time friends and collaborators, David Mills, the first season’s co-executive producer and writer (and staff writer on NYPD Blue, Homicide, E.R., The Corner and The Wire), suffered an aneurysm and dropped dead in New Orleans twelve days before the premiere of season 1.

there is little doubt that these tragedies close to Simon, as well as the numerous testimonies of those who suffered through the storm, shaped the tone of both series of Treme. however, the most beautiful moments Treme offers are those flickers of light that peak through the gloom, when laughter and good eating and dancing take away the pain and renew the faith of the characters – but i would be lying if these are the rule within the emotional landscape rather than the exception.

just as in The Wire, people die – and with alarming frequency and remorseless equality (i.e. don’t ever go thinking that central characters are safe). post-Katrina New Orleans is a disturbed place wrapped around disturbed people. in a strange way, the losses that we witness, that we grieve, bring with them a sense of calm and order that Treme has few other ways of portraying. i cannot help but think this is how it must have felt for many New Orleans people after the storm with the finality, surety and neatness of death providing a kind of perverted solace.

as with The Wire, the faces come and go, but what remains, what is really the focus of our attentions, is the city. the New Orleans of Treme is like a child perpetually struggling in the surf – just as it splutteringly finds its feet, another wave, perhaps smaller, perhaps larger than the last rolls in. the kicking, the gasping, the jumping is never over. the only way out is when you have no strength left.

but there is hope yet. the cultural bonds – the songs, the marches, the dances – are so powerful, are down so deep, are spread so wide that life will, must go on. as one character notes, following the death of a friend, towards the end of season 2, “he was always broke, but never beat.”

Treme wants to say that post-Katrina New Orleans will forever be broken in a specific way, but will never be beaten. i don’t know about you, but that’s a message from which i can take hope. everywhere i look around i see the unmistakable signs of brokenness and sometime even the glorious moments of peace, or the beams of truth that shine through can’t make up for the unescapable reality that damaged people damage people.

however, when the short-term goals of protecting those we love and holding on to what is ours become frustrated by the ebbs and flows of existence, sometimes, that is when its possible to see clearest that however broken life gets, it will never be truly beaten. frustrated? yes. waiting, with eager anticipation, for a end to futility? sure. hopeless? never.

 
The City by Steve Earle (shown above in his role as Harley in Treme)

#tirednewsflash: inzane

ZANE LOWE ARRESTED AFTER SEXIST RANT

the BBC have today terminated the contract of DJ/presenter/bearded kiwi Zane Lowe following his arrest this morning on charges relating to what can only be described as a vicious and misogynistic reaction to last night’s headline performance by Beyoncé at Glastonberry festival.

with the former Destiny’s Child member turned solo megastar becoming the first ever female artist to headline the world’s second most famous festival, emotions were bound to be running high and the music was always likely to take a back-seat to gender politics. and so it proved.

the relevant incident occurred straight after the historic set ended. as the cameras cut back to the BBC enclosure, Lowe’s then co-host (and RQT favourite) the lovely Lauren Laverne – who had clearly been quite enraptured by the struts and strains of the wiggly goddess – spurted out a lengthy and rather garbled gush about how, regardless of its rock-scented history, Glastonberry had always been about ‘great pop music’. unable to control his hatred in the face of these inclusivistical sentiments, it was then that Lowe’s true colours bubbled as it were to the surface.

not only did the New Zealander pretend to fall asleep while LaLa was waxing lyrical, but then, when she turned things over for his comment, he proceeded to laugh furiously (definitely presumably at how crap Beyoncé had been). then, as if wanting to drive home his bigoted message, he immediately folded his arms (in the infamous breast-covering gesture of the anti-woman movement) and spoke of how he had chosen to leave during the set to watch Queens Of The Stone Age, an all-white, all-male rock band, instead.

reeling viewers were then transported straight to the ageing funk of Kool & The Gang on the West Holts Stage. despite later attempts to mitigate his largely non-verbal, but unmistakably bigoted rant, Lowe was totally unable to undo the damage that had so clearly already been done. already.

soon after, feminist icon and current holder of the world record for bending right over the most times in a music video, Beyoncé demanded of BBC producers that she be able to go on camera to confront the narrow-minded Lowe. however, getting wind from a mole of what was about to ‘go down’, the Radio 1 DJ made a quick exit, providing a ridiculous excuse about wanting to go and see his children.

U2’s The Edge, who apparently rushed to Beyoncé’s compound to offer support, was later seen running after a blacked-up car leaving the media enclosure, shouting “Oh he low a’ight”.

two police later visited Lowe at his home, where the then-still presenter volunteered himself into their custody.

within moments of the initial incident, Twitter, along with the forum of the website of the United Nations Declaration On Human Rights (www.unitednationsdeclarationonhumanrights.org/forum), lit up with outraged reactions to Lowe’s hideous outburst.

the chairman of BBC entertainment, @AndrewNigelson44, initially stepped to Lowe’s defence noting “I think Zane was just rendered a bit speechless by Lauren’s reaction and was excited to talk about how much he had enjoyed QOTSA. I honestly don’t think he hates women.” this tweet was later deleted as it seems the machinery of Lowe’s departure was cranked into action.

“thinks Zane Lowe is a fascist woman-hater” soon appeared as Gwyneth Paltrow’s Facebook status, as expert opinion began to emerge. “u cud see tha hatin in he eyez”, tweeted MSNBC journalist and former friend of Michael Jackson, @martinbashir. in a similar vein, rapper, last year’s headliner and adult film director Snoop Dogg took time out on the set of one of his latest productions to state “I hope his children are proud of their ignorant, misogynist of a father”

as for us in the TiredNews studio, we were too enraptured by Beyoncé’s performance to even notice Lowe’s hateful reactions. the way she handled the momentous occasion was just awe-inspiring.

the two keys to any truly great festival performance are 1) knowing your audience and 2) having something to say, and Beyoncé was all over both. when the artist formerly known as Knowles (before her bitter and well-documented split from Nick) asked her audience to “put a bit more gangster into it” she clearly demonstrated a unique bond with the 98% white, middle class crowd.

as for having a positive message, when she encouraged all the women in the audience to thrust their hands into the faces of the ‘fellas’ near them and fiercely rotate them until they either moved away or agreed to adorn them with some expensive jewellery ‘as soon as we get home’, we, for one, fair welled-up.

#academix: the dr’s new book

so, friends, The Dr has a new book out.

it’s published by SCM Press in their ‘Controversies In Contextual Theology’ series and is called:

Controversies in Queer Theology
by Susannah Cornwall

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obviously, at only £16.99 from amazon, you will be buying some, but just if you’re unsure how many, here’s what people in the know are saying:

THE Theological work of its ageProf. Karl Barth (no relation)
An outstanding contribution to human knowledgeProf. Charles F. Xavier
Nya, nya, nya, rubbish and rot – Prof. Yaffle/Richard Dawkins
Superb. The best thing I’ve read since Bravo Two ZeroSlavoj Žižek
Utterly life changing. Read it, or I hate youGod (Christian one)
Nay hence so gay a dance have words e’re steppedEdmund Spenser
Dear Sir/Madam, this book is of absolutely, NO relevance to me. NoneSir Cliff Richard

#RIP: Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron:
1st April 1949 – 27th May 2011

with sadness we note the death of one of modern music’s most talented, truthful and troubled writers and performers.

anima eius et animae omnium
fidelium defunctorum per dei
misericordiam requiescant in pace

Gil was born in Chicago, but raised in first Jackson, Tennessee, then the Bronx. his writing was impressive from an early age, winning him a scholarship to exclusive New York prep school Fieldston. from there he went on to Lincoln University, following in the footsteps of his idle Langston Hughes. he never completed his degree, but instead left in order to write, both poetry and prose, full-time – a move which lead to the publication of two acclaimed novels, The Vulture and The Nigger Factory.

in 1970, he began a recording career that would span five decades and produce some of modern jazz and soul’s most memorable cuts. from the raw beat poetry and proto-rap of his early records, to the smoother soul of his later collaborations with Brian Jackson, a constant thread in his music was his political insight and his insistence on speaking truth to power.

in a cruel twist of irony, GSH spent most of his life battling with a hard-drug addiction of the sort that reflected the very socio-economic issues that his music highlighted. in his later years, as his health declined, he also spent several stretched in prison for possession of cocaine and drug-related violations of parole.

he will be sorely missed and remembered as a prophetic voice that knew all too well the effects of the evils against which it spoke.

.

Home Is Where The Hatred Is by Gil Scott-Heron

#showertune: ‘good man’ by raphael saadiq

my friend Drew is a good man.

here is a photo of him attacking two women with a stick.

today is his birthday.

happy birthday friend. you are a good man and thorough. and you mean the world to me.

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A good man never dies–
In worthy deed and prayer
And helpful hands, and honest eyes,
If smiles or tears be there:
Who lives for you and me–
Lives for the world he tries
To help–he lives eternally.
A good man never dies.

Who lives to bravely take
His share of toil and stress,
And, for his weaker fellows’ sake,
Makes every burden less,–
He may, at last, seem worn–
Lie fallen–hands and eyes
Folded–yet, though we mourn and mourn,
A good man never dies.

James Whitcomb Riley
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you might be interested to know that the very same man that can lunge so gracefully at unexpecting women can also write, play, perform and record excellent songs.

his debut solo album was recently released to rapturous applause and plaudits in several of the right places, so if you like music, perhaps you should check it out.

it’s called The Ember by Drew Worthley and you wish you can buy it here or even here

anyway as a coincidental result of all of this, today’s happy-birthday-drew #showertune is by pure chance:

Good Man by Raphael Saadiq

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#telosvision: a.w.o.b.m.o.l.g

i’ve waxed lyrical about Adam Curtis before.

so all i have to say today is please watch BBC2 tonight at 9pm.

thanks.

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I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

Richard Brautigan

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#showertune: ‘rapture’ by blondie

howdie, doodie.

and how are we all enjoying what might be either our last day on earth, or the last day before our lives begin the rapid slide into apocalyptic chaos and (presumably) become dedicated to the looting of the houses of those who’ve been taken? good. me too.

it was very difficult to choose what song to play in the shower this morning – a list of literally one sprang to mind.

so here it is, in all its glory. the first commercial track to ever feature the art of rapping.

ladies and gentlemen, i give you: Rapture by Blondie
(and i’ll catch you later, in the sky)

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#telosvision: stewart lee’s comedy vehicle

i like Stewart Lee.

he first came to my attention as the sulkier, more aloof and thinner half of the double act he shared with Richard Herring in and around the early nineties.

i never heard their first radio show, Lionel Nimrod’s Inexplicable World, but encountered them doing Fist of Fun on Radio 1 and subsequently reinterpreting it for a seeing-eye audience, after it achieved BBC2 TV show status. i’ve spoken of my love of FoF previously, at length.

however, lot’s have things have since changed. Ceefax, for example. and Stewart Lee is no exception. back then, he was like a long, cynical sliver of black, brummie denim with post-punk hair. today, however, while being no-less cynical, or brummie, his hair is some-less, and he, himself, is generally considerably more.

although he might today look like some sort of cross between ageing, whiny xenophobe Morissey and sad-dog faced BBC character actor Martin Shaw, stuffed into a cheap looking, ill-fitting and incorrectly buttoned jacket, he’s still alive and as funny as he ever was, if not in several ways more so.

despite his face and cynicism, Lee is a serious student of comedy and his obvious love for and considerable knowledge of the art form both fuel his comedy. like a funny Jimmy Carr.

his routines are notable for multiple call backs, repetition and persistence ad absurdum, imaginative flights combined with an absence of the forth wall, political, socio-cultural and socio-economic observation, and a fondness for playing with an audience’s perceived sophistication (with regard to the culture of comedy) or lack thereof (with a particular fondness for parodying the status of ‘that London’).

in addition to making several award and DVD-release winning stand-up shows over the last few years, and writing the most penetratingly insightful reflections on the recent right royal nuptials, Lee has recently returned to your screens for a new series of his comedy vehicle, Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle.

last year’s Armando-Iannucci-produced first series was a breath of fresh air, arriving, as it did, not far off the back of Michael Mcintyre’s Comedy Roadshow.

it wasn’t an unreserved triumph, however, and i’m pleased this time round he’s decided to largely (if not entirely) leave behind the ill-conceived sketches that interspersed the segments of funny talking.

more appealing are the scenes of Stewart in conversation with Armando which have been upgraded from red button extras last series to ‘full vehicle’ cut-aways this. some of the more pointless full-on sketch sequences are still present though, like the one of Stu burning down a house at the end of episode one. to my mind, however, these short but annoying sketches and the aforementioned terrible jacket by no means count as reasons not to watch.

what is more, nostalgic fans have another reason to celebrate in the form of the news that, after so many years of the BBC refusing to do it, Lee and Herring are themselves putting out a Fist of Fun DVD using their own money. it’s due to hit the shop near Christmas, and I for one will be buying it. you should too.

feel free to find Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle on Wednesday nights on BBC2 at 11.20pm, or on iPlayer one hour thereafter.

#tirednewsflash: headlining

you’re looking at #tirednews

… the news, in your world, as and when it happens*, reported.

and the headlines today: are. these. headlines.

*bong* Shergar found. Then eaten.

*bong* Royal wedding list still open. I’m getting one of the two dinner plates, plus something ‘off-list’ I found in a cool boutique.

*bong* Yes vote ‘could let extreme moderate win leadership election’ claims Al-Qaeda No-To-AV campaign.

*bong* John Paul II – not exactly a saint.

*bong* China introduces world’s most weak-hearted smoking ban.

*bong* Mugabe pockets millions thanks to Bin Laden assassination & Middleton wedding dress accumulator bet.

*bong* Trump kicks off presidential campaign by forcing British nephew to do surprisingly well in snooker tournament.

and in financial news: Stock price of moths up again.

[*news will usually be available slightly after things have happened]

#faithseeking: wholy weak

so, we’re back to work – well, at least for now. one weekend Jesus dies then comes back to life, the next some smiley, rich people have their TV wedding paid for by our taxes. one of these holidays is worthy of RQT attention.

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there are numerous of ways of interpreting the Easter story, all of which affect, in turn, the interpretation of Christ. how we conceive of his work affects how we conceive of his nature: soteriology and Christology are intertwined.

orthodoxy stipulates that Christ is fully God and fully man, but, beyond this mystery, a vast range of interpretive options stand. the tendency, however, is for interpretations of Easter to emphasise Christ the God. the logic runs that Christmas is when we reflect on the transition from eternal divinity to finite humanity, and Easter is when we chart the reversal of that process.

as such, interpretations of Easter often become way of understanding how Christ’s humanity functioned as a diminutive foil to his ultimate divinity.

for St Basil, who saw the cross as the location of a cosmic trick, Christ’s humanity is in some way an elaborate deception that paves the way for the triumph of his divinity. for St Anselm, it is simply the necessary condition to enable due legal process – Christ must be human for a time in order for the system to work.

according to various other interpretations, Easter shows us how Christ’s humanity was a necessary vehicle for suffering – suffering being understood as that which brings about change. for some, Christ’s pains make satisfaction: God is set against God for our sake, and violence acts as a purifier.

in Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ, Jesus’ divinity allows his humanity to suffer to a superhuman extent. they whip him down, but he gets back up. again and again. the soldier who confesses that Jesus was ‘truly God’s son’, appears to do so largely on the basis of how much punishment he was able to withstand. here, the (David Copperfield-esque) resurrection is the ultimate manifestation of sadomasochistic glee.

i find Gibson’s near-superhuman, glint-eyed Christ extremely offensive. if Christ is fully human, then his sufferings must be fully human also. Jesus died exhausted, naked, covered in his own shit and with an erection, just like every other criminal the Romans ever crucified.

one of the emphases in Paul’s interpretation is that the work of God in Christ is the making of weakness into strength. i think this is one of the ideas that lies behind Gibson’s superhero Christ, but for me he fails to see just how radical this Pauline conception of ‘strength’ is. this is not physical, warrior-like strength summoned at a time of apparent weakness – it is not about a masquerading hero who chooses to let the baddies think he’s weak even though he’s incredibly strong. for me, this weakness-strength is about something fundamentally other than might and power.

not only do i think that all the hierarchical conceptions of the two natures mentioned above are crypto-docetic and counter to orthodoxy’s radical dialectic, i also think they gloss over details of the Easter story that we do well not to miss. one of the most important of these is Gethsemane.

many people find Good Friday difficult. liberals always want to skip straight to Sunday, where everything is made nice again. conservatives (like Gibson) are eager to linger on the agonies – the brutal torture that buys our health.

if Gethsemane doesn’t get ignored, then it is primarily the site of the disciples’ final failure, or the place where Christ’s physical torment begins (sweat so profuse that it’s like drops of blood seems often to become actual haemorrhaging in the conservative imagination). however, what, in my experience, tends not to figure prominently in Good Friday reflections is the psychological trauma, the mental breakdown that precedes the physical collapse.

just as in society, so in theology. ‘physical’ suffering is less disquieting than mental suffering. it can be more easily perceived, empathised with and ultimately rationalised. the truth is, however, that the synoptic accounts of Gethsemane (Mark 14. 35-37; Matt 26. 38-40; Luke 22. 40-45) testify to a weak, scared man in way that many Christians find too difficult to encounter. why would Jesus, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity break down and beg not to have to go through with the scheme that God had planned from all eternity? yes, why indeed?!

kenotic theology gets something of a bad press nowadays. a bit like Liberation Theology, people seem to think that because some of its expressions were found to be problematic that we can now safely ignore it.

for me, however, it still offers the best fit when it comes to a way of understanding Christology that marries well with a way of understanding history. the Greek word kenosis means emptying or pouring out, and its most famous use is found in what is thought to be an early Christian hymn, quoted by Paul in his letter to the Philippians.

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied (ekénōsenhimself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2. 5-11)

despite the fact that it seems to endorse at least two notions that the Church calls heresy (“human likeness” and “human form” both smack of Docetism, and “Therefore God also highly exalted him…” more than likely testifies to a form of Adoptionism), i am of the opinion that the Philippian hymn is full of theological insight. in particular, i find the notion that Christ “did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited” a very useful reflection on incarnation and the riddle of the two natures.

where the NRSV has “something to be exploited” i prefer a translation of arpagmon that brings out the sense of something being seized, held, or grabbed on to – perhaps “did not regard equality with God as something to cling on to”. in a sense, I think Christ’s pre-incarnate status is both something that could have been exploitable – i.e. something that would have rendered true incarnation problematic – and something that it was necessary for him not to clutch, hold tightly, or covet, but to let go of, to give up.

for me the logic of the incarnation at large, but also the details of the Easter story make more sense when considered alongside this notion of Christ’s giving up of his status as equal with God. not only does this conceptual framework throw interesting and useful light on Gethsemane and the crucifixion, it also pleasingly illuminates a nice little detail in the resurrection narrative.

a favourite scene of the Great Masters down through the ages, there are numerous paintings of the post-resurrection encounter between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, classically entitled Noli Me Tangere. the phrase is the Latin rendering of John 20.17 where Jesus instructs Mary “do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my father.”

whereas some people take a daft, sci-fi inspired approach to interpreting this verse – Mary couldn’t touch Jesus because he hadn’t fully re-materialised (or something) – a more plausible interpretation, and one that happens to mesh pleasingly with the above reflections of the Philippian hymn, emerges by virtue of a better translation. the Greek haptou properly suggests not mere touching, but holding or grasping on to.

in the same way that the Philippian hymn claims Christ had to be willing not to hold on to his equality with God in order for the incarnation to come about, so Jesus tells Mary, probably his most loved companion, that she must now not hold on to him. for me, this is a moment of Gethsemane-like weakness. i think Jesus is begging Mary (like he begged the Father) not to hold him – it is as if he knows that if she does, he will never be able to let her go. as Nikos Kazantzakis knew, Christ’s last temptation is the temptation to stay, to allow himself to be held on to.

the mystery of Easter is death made life and weakness made strength. and yet, i think we can’t really embrace Easter’s true life, its true strength, unless we are fully open to the reality of its death, and the real fragility of its weakness.

#inspiringquotations: number twelve

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“Good Friday? Yeah, well that’s easy for you to say.”

> Jesus (H. Christ) of Nazareth

#RIP: Sidney Lumet

Sidney Lumet: 25th June 1924 –
9th April 2011

with sadness we note the death of one of cinema’s greatest directors, producers and screenwriters.

anima eius et animae omnium fidelium
defunctorum per dei misericordiam
requiescant in pace

in addition to being renowned for his outstanding skill with both camera and pen, Lumet was widely regarded as one of the warmest and most humane of Hollywood’s greats. while his long career featured work on more than fifty motion pictures, he will be most fondly remembered as the director of (among many others):

12 Angry Men (1957)
The Appointment (1969)
Serpico (1973)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
The Verdict (1982)
Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)

here, however, is the classic scene from my favourite of his films, Network (1976). it’s a brilliant movie, and as powerful and prophetic today as it was then.

#musicdiaryproject: fri-up

Like the night before,
the dark portion of Friday was spent at the poker table. this time the game was in the upstairs room of Exeter Snooker Club. same stakes, same outcome (no winnings for me).

this time, however, i didn’t listen to any tunes at any point during the game. although i knew most of the players quite well, my table had a very serious air about it which it seem like even popping a single earbud in was probably a poor idea. plus the play was snappy, razor sharp and genuinely engaging.

the afternoon’s workload, however, was light enough to yield the perfect opportunity for some musical accompaniment, which was interrupted only by the imperative of tuning in to Mark Kermode on Radio 5Live.

while i worked i whistled to:

most of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble by Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
– a special mention goes to:
Marcus Garvey (which is like a David Shire cover of the League of Gentlemen theme)
Ballicki Bone … and …
War (my favourite track on the album – pure brass awesomeness)

I followed this with a playlist of various cherrypicked tracks, including:

Dream About The Future by The Apples In Stereo
Crosstown Traffic by Jimi Hendrix
The Man With The Harmonica by Ennio Morricone
Tropicalia by Beck
Burnin’ and Lootin’ by The Wailers
Showdown by Electric Light Orchestra
Freewheel by Duke Special
The Warmth Of The Sun by The Beach Boys
Since I Left You by The Avalanches
Ping Pong by Stereolab
Waitin’ For A Superman by The Flaming Lips
The High Road by Broken Bells
Brooklyn Is Burning by Head Automatica
Lipstick by David Carbonara
Ghost Town by The Specials
… and …
Brainwashed by The Kinks

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#musicdiaryproject: thorsday’s tunes

problem=lateblogentries
apologies=1
excuses=[“two late nights followed by early mornings in a row”]
peaceoffering=[

in the spirit of
‘better late than never’ – a favourite saying of the doctor at my local STI clinic – here is a rundown of the shape of the listening experiences i had on Thursday.

the daytime was constituted by largely music-less work, but the evening was fleshed out by my weekly pilgrimage to the back-room of a pub in St. Thomas for ‘The King’s Game’ – a regular £10 re-buy no-limit hold’em poker game.

while i’m definitely not a silent, iPod in, sunglasses on player – mostly because not only does pretending you’re at the World Series make you look like a total tool, it prevents you from playing properly – i do often have my iPod on hand to dip into when i need help to keep my spirits up and my brain working.

however, when i listen to music at the table i only ever use one earphone – like a killer owl, sleeping with one eye open. therefore, what follows is a list on songs of which i heard the right channel while i played.

if you’re wondering whether my selections constitute good songs to play winning poker to, you might like to know that I ended up crashing out of the game in 6th place (out of 18) and winning exactly nothing.

so, i heard the right-hand half of:

Keep Me In Mind by The Bamboos feat. Kylie Auldist
Tighten Up by The Black Keys
Oye Como Va by Cheo Feliciano y Joe Cuba Sextet
Tell Me What’s On Your Mind by Cyril Neville
Money Don’t Make The Man by The Dap-Kings
Fever by Marie ‘Queenie’ Lyons
Hold On, I’m Comin’ by Sam & Dave
Kiss The Sky by Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra
Doing It To Death by The JBs
Fortune Favours The Bold by TM Juke & The Jack Baker Trio
… and …
Reach Out, I’ll Be There by Lee Moses
this gem of track from a great, but little known (outside the deep soul/funk scene) artist.

what more could you want than raw, boom-bapping drums, rapier-like organ, rolling guitar licks all topped off with the welcome tinkle of the xylophone and some partially audible vocals that sound like they weren’t meant to happen, but just couldn’t be stopped from spilling forth?]

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#gastrognome: nemesis

friends, it pains me to
have to report that the #gastrognome has been blighted by sadness.

what pains me more, dear reader, is that i cannot but help feel more than slightly responsible. in an attempt to bolster his oftentimes meagre self-confidence, i had expressed to him in no uncertain terms that he was the world’s finest online food critic.

at the time that i first made this pronouncement, it was motivated not only by sympathy and compassion, but also by the sense that it fitted all the available data.

recently, however, it has come to both our attentions that this conception can no longer be maintained in the face of the breathtaking work of a new, young wünderkind of the food criticism world. this precocious genius does his work primarily online, publishing stunning video reviews under the formidable name Thefoodreviewer, and is very much Curnonsky, Ronay and Reichl rolled into one.

here is a flavour the brilliance that has thrown the #gastrognome into a fiendish funk.

 

———————–
Transcript (for the speakerless):

Troobet, today I’ll be teh-tasting the [ugkhum] diet coke in can.
I’ve already had one today. I know it’s good.
Cisco right ahead gettin’ right in the view no talking.
Moss tart by opening it, what that le-Paul thing.
I hate these things [*chish, ker-klaa*]
Smells OK.
[*zzzzzzzzeruup, slllleppeeeruuup-aah*]
Amuch better than regular. Coke and Pepsi, huuh.
Yeah, d’um [*slllerrr-cuaah*]
Ah, buy the diet coke in a can, s’pretty good.
[*indecipherable mum-shouting*]
[sudden aggressive tone]
THANK YOU FOR WATCHING

#musicdiaryproject: incidental wednesday

due to combination of a man-flu induced lie-in, a not unrelated headache and more than usually concentrated work day, and leaving my iPod at home when i briefly went out, i haven’t actually purposefully listened to any music.

of course, the guidelines of #musicdiaryproject make ample concession for such circumstances by encouraging participants to log not only intentionally listened to music, but also the tunes that they have come across incidentally during their comings and goings.

rather than noting these interlopers each day, i have decided to choose one day (today) in which to focus solely on their contribution. it is purely coincidental that i didn’t have time to listen to anything on purpose today.

i’m sure there were more, but i remember hearing:

Bullitt by Lalo Schiffrin (wakes me up)
Holy Thursday by David Axelrod (tells me to take my pills)
King of the Beats by Mantronix (some gambling advert)
Green Lights by Aloe Blacc (from a passing car)
… and …
The Golden Age by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour (new Heineken advert)

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#wildstyle: hipster tipster

i’m going to London next weekend, and i will be staying in Shoreditch – i expect to see several people rocking these Mexican super-pointees.

——————–
thanks to our friends at Put This On (hatsdown the best men’s style blog on the interweb)

#recordbox: #musicdiaryproject

not that far
down on the list of my favourite things to do comes joining in the with other peoples’ online projects, especially if they have their own #hashtag.

today i met a man with hair and glasses who told me about his #musicdiaryproject which involves people blogging, vlogging, tweeting, tumblring and otherwise information superhighwaying in a way that logs the music that they’re listening to this week. i’ve come, obviously, late to the party, but being as keen as ever not to let tardiness, poor preparation or a lack of the required skills for a task get in my way, i decided to join in.

if anything, it’s rather nice to cast off the usual constraints of #showertune (ie. music that makes me feel happy and is not by an artist that has already been featured) and embrace the knowledge that anything goes. at least as far as i understand them, the rules of this project dictate that what i have to do, is to record what i’ve been listening to and then that’s it.

so, here goes. today i subjected my ears to:

Powerboat by Alan Hawkshaw
I Can Dream Can’t I by The Andrew Sisters
Flying by The Beatles
Stones Throw by Little Barrie
… and …
Slag Under Bältet by Petter

yes, the lyrics are in Swedish.

no, i don’t either, but i can only hope, for people that do, that they are supremely profane and conjure an horrifically vile vision of the world.

meanwhile, in my ignorance, i will continue to put this track on, turn that shit up, and nod my grinning face like a fool.

.

—————————————

if you’d like to find out more about #musicdiaryproject then i’d suggest following
@sickmouthy on Twitter, checking his blog to see his entries and searching the hashtag to catch up on what you’ve missed from others

#gastrognome: christine crimble’s coconut ‘croons

those of you who are friends of mine or RQT regulars will no doubt have heard me wax lyrical about the many comestible virtues of Mrs Crimble’s Coconut Macaroons.

i love them passionately.

my profound admiration for Christine’s (as i like to imagine Mrs Crimble is called) moist, wheat and gluten free coconut cakes derives from two outstanding qualities:

1. they’re freaking delicious
2. The Dr doesn’t like coconut, so I don’t have to feel guilty about not sharing them

given all this, you can imagine how delighted i was when Mrs Crimble herself got in touch and asked if she could send me some samples of a recent addition to her confectionary family: Mini Choc Orange Macaroons. however, in the interests of impartial, professional evaluation, and because i’ve given up chocolate for Lent, i handed all but one of the delicious morsels over to our resident foodie and RQT heart-throb, the #gastrognome (i ran the other one under the hot tap to remove the chocolate).

——————————-

as far as i can tell from my lowly (disad)vantage point, one of the most remarkable things about Mrs Crimbles Macaroons is the fact that the people that buy them seem to think that they are privilege to some sort of special, secret revelation – like the Gnostics of old, or Tom Cruise.

the facts are, however, that the original Choc Macaroons sell at a rate of over 1/sec in the UK. one. another one. one more. and so on. so, it seems that, in reality, everyone is keeping the same secret.

i think perhaps it is the indulgent nature of the sumptuous coconut cakes in question that gives rise to this phenomenon – eating them creates such a sense of satisfaction that no-one can bear to think that other people regularly enjoy the same experience.

when confronted with the new Mini Choc Orange variety my first thought was one of overwhelming joy that, at last, littler people were being catered to and for. like our illustrious editor, i too enjoy an original Mrs C’s macaroon, but at around 3″ across, they’re nearly half as wide as i am tall, and, as such, are a nightmare to get home from Gnomesbury’s (i get a taller gnome friend, who’s 9’2, to help me).

these new gems, however, are barely larger than my head, and much easier to handle (even if they are in a more spread out arrangement in their packaging).

their texture is quite different from that of their large, plainer cousins, but while they’re looser, softer and more yielding, they’re no less satisfying to munch. the orange element is nicely tangy (with that delicious, slightly bitter tang of quality marmalade) and the dark chocolate sets the whole thing off superbly.

whether you buy them because they’re wheat and gluten free, because they’re more wholesome than many snacks, because you’re small and so are they, or just because they’re delicious – whatever the reason, i’d recommend you try them.

nomnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnom

ps. Mrs Crimble also does a wide range of other gluten and wheat free treats, from muffins all the way over to crackers – check out the full range here

#telosvision: the killing

so, dear friends, tonight is the night that we finally learn who killed Nanna Birk Larsen. or we better had do, unless my TV wants to be smashed.

yes, it’s the season one finale of the gripping Danish crime drama The Killing, or Forbrydelsen in its native tongue. can it be only ten weeks ago that we first met strong-headed, ambitious Troels Hartmann, grieving but shifty-eyed Theis and Pernille Birk Larsen, and keen minded, self-destructive, Faroe-Islands-snowflake-jumper-wearing sex symbol super-sleuth Sarah Lund? yes, it can, precisely that.

The Dr has been convinced since early on that Birk Larsen employee and surrogate family member Vagn (who she calls ‘Vadgen’ to annoy me) is the most suspicious of the characters. we also distrust Hartmann’s sultry assistant and on-off lover Rie, Theis (who The Dr thinks isn’t Nanna’s real father) and Chief Inspector Brix (who I call Hans Brix, in a Kim Jong-Il from Team America way and who we both suspect of killing Meyer).

who will emerge as a villain, and who (if anyone) will be exonerated? why and how did the killer do it? how will the delicate balance of the familial, the forensic and the political lie once the facts have all been unearthed?

will Lund, Hartmann and the Birk Larsens ever be able to put their lives back together? will Copenhagen be able to trust either their Mayor or his main opponent? will Lund ever get a different jumper? all we can do is tune in to BBC2 at 9:00 tonight and wait to experience the revelations.

#tirednewsflash: midsomer whites dream

the makers of ITVone’s suddenly controversial, but not in an exciting way, crime ‘drama’ Midsomer Murders have hit back at their critics by meating their challenge heads-on.

following a recent interview with the new look RadioTimez in which producer True Brian-May ill-advisedly let slip about the show’s theirtoofour secret “white’s only” casting policy, there has been increasing heat on the programme’s production team and the commissioning executives at ITV to reverse the shame-and-white faced practice.

initially, there appeared to be an initial disinclination to sway in time with the music of popular opinion – exemplified by the bruskly toned and somewhat confused interview Midsomer’s lighting engineer, D’shawn-Leroy Freeman, gave to the TLS yesterday. “if we”, he argued, “wanted browns, moslems or ladygays in it, we would have them, but we just don’t”.

in the early hours of this morning, however, an announcement was made that has rocked the world of dull detective drama to its very soul. in a statement issued (quite deliberately) at 4:44am, series chief Inspector Eamon Cleverly revealed that:

In the interests of a more progressive casting policy, a better future for all children and in immediate and total reversal of our former policy, we have decided that in the episode currently under production – which will air in seventy nine days – the murder (a gritty street stabbing) and the series of brutal muggings and drug-related burglaries that lead up thereto, will be committed by a hooded, but undeniably black, character.

We hope that this move will once and for all end the rumours that Midsomer Murders or its production staff harbours racist prejudices or upholds any racial stereotypes.

In a skilfully crafted piece of plot development, of which we are very proud, a young man, who goes only by the name ‘Blap’, will arrive in Midsomer from one of Britain’s larger urban settlements in order to visit his aunt, Glenys Blap – a Midsomer resident since series 4. It is our hope and belief that this momentous episode will be one of the most dramatic and baffling yet.

while we admit that we have been, in the past, a little reluctant to bring the realities of modern Britain’s ethnic regions to our sleepy corner or middle-bit of the country, now that we’ve forged a new identity, we are very excited about the new possibilities that now lie ahead for the programme.

in addition to this dramatic and revolutionary token, ITV bosses have announced that a new honorary production assistant will be joining the Midsomer team, who despite not being black/moslem herself, is a girl and has apparently watched Bend It Like Beckham twice and most of The Wire.

#faithseeking: lent & the job centre

so we’re into the third week of Lent and it’s high time i got round to sharing some thoughts that have shaped my seasonal reflections thus far.

Lent is the time of year that Christians use to prepare themselves for Easter, the most important festival of the Christian calendar. it lasts for forty days, and traditionally people choose to abstain from various things for that period.

you’d be amazed how many Christians there are for whom the above sentences are about the extent to which their understanding of Lent stretches. i’ve spent the last eighteen Wednesday evenings tutoring an evening class largely comprised of people training to be priests and readers in the Church of England. chatting with several of them last night, it was apparent that few of them had ever really reflected on the purpose of Lent beyond a general understanding of it as a period of preparation and prohibition.

on the one hand, this understanding is both orthodox and meaningful in its own right. Lent, like Advent, is a time of fasting and reflection that preceeds a time of feasting and celebration. but what to reflect on during Lent? Easter? well, that’s what Easter is for. on Good Friday we reflect on Christ’s execution, on Easter Saturday his descent into hades and on Easter Sunday his resurrection to new life. given that these facets of Easter each have a day set aside for their contemplation and that they also play quite an important part in Christian worship the whole year round (at least Christ’s death and resurrection do), then it seems somewhat strange for the whole of Lent to require focus on them as well.

given that Advent prepares Christians to celebrate the hope, love and radical potential that collide at Christmas, by reflecting on judgement – a probing juxtaposition – it seems like there should be more to Lent than just a warm up period in which you think about Easter and don’t yet eat chocolate eggs. and i think there is.

the forty day duration of Lent is derived from the period that, according to the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), Jesus spent in the wilderness thinking and praying before beginning his work of teaching and healing. during this time, Jesus is visited and tested. while Matthew and Luke refer to this ‘tester’ as “the devil” (Mark, widely accepted as the earliest of the three accounts) calls him Satan.
 
Mark’s nomenclature is more helpful (and probably more accurate) given that it attests to the fact that the origin of the being that Christian tradition calls ‘The Devil’, lies in ‘the satan’ – a traditional character in Hebrew mythology who, rather than a wicked fallen angel, is a member of the heavenly court (one of the ‘sons of God’) and fulfils the function of an accuser (i.e. the person that presents the charges in a court). the satan is someone who tests a person, who strips away their facade and exposes them for what they truly are.

in the prologue to the Book of Job, the satan petitions YHWH to test Job’s apparently extensive faith, and in so doing lays the narrative foundations for Job’s critique of the Wisdom tradition. in Zechariah 3 – a text that clearly inspires Matthew’s temptation account – we find the satan standing at the right hand of the angel of YHWH as an accuser of Joshua (NB. in Hebrew and Greek Joshua and Jesus are the same name). the influence of this text on Matthew probably also explains the shift from the satan in Mark to the devil in Matthew, given that in the Greek version of Zechariah (which Matthew seems to have used) the original Hebrew ha šātān is rendered by the Greek diabolos.

so, if the tempter of Jesus in the wilderness is a derivation of the traditional, legal figure of the satan, what does that suggest? well, to me it implies that interpretations of the temptation (and possibly wider accounts of the life & ministry of Christ) that emphasise his purity and sinlessness are perhaps slightly missing the point. if the satan is not a malign being, tempting Jesus into sin and corruption, but a morally neutral ‘tester’, whose purpose is to probe and challenge Jesus and discern his true colours, then that seems to put a rather different spin on the encounter from the usual interpretation.

if the emphasis is not on Jesus’ purity, then what is the purpose of the story? well, perhaps, i’d like to suggest, it is more about the nature of his vocation. for me, the temptation stories represent an attempt by the early communities to grasp (in the light of his death) the meaning of the distinctiveness of Jesus’ ministry and the origins of his focus. rather than a garden of illicit delights, i interpret the psycho-social space of the wilderness, under the narrative direction of the satan, as a kind of primitive job centre (plus).

in all three Synoptic accounts, the temptation is directly preceded by the baptism of Jesus by John, and thus by the declaration from heaven that: “This is my well loved son with whom I am pleased”. Jesus was by no means the first person to perceive a messianic calling within the Hebrew tradition. great community leaders like Moses, Joshua and Samuel, great prophets like Elijah and Ezekiel and great kings like David and Solomon all stand in some way as messianic figures, as sons of God. what is more, the several reflections on the coming messiah throughout the Hebrew Bible present him in various ways: a king, a warrior, a seer, a priest. as such, there were many ways that Jesus might choose to express his calling, many patterns he could have followed.

what i think the satan offers Jesus are three ways in which he might not only begin his ministry, but also shape its objectives and outcomes. as the gospel stories of the feeding of the crowds show, a person who can provide for the needs of the people will gain a huge following. and yet, when the satan suggests that Jesus satisfy his own hungers first by turning stones to bread, more is implied than just a ministry of provision. as Christ seems to understand, not only do people need more than bread to survive, but also truly great community organisers must also be self-sacrificial servants of the people, and not the sort to put their own interests ahead of those of the many.

when the satan suggests that Jesus throw himself from the temple tower and have angels catch him, he seems to be invoking the image of a radical overthrowing of the religious order. those convicted of blasphemy during this period were taken to the top of the temple and thrown from there over the walls of the city.

to throw himself and be saved, would be, in a single act, to dismantle the religious structures of Israel and undermine the temple. despite his healings, during his ministry Jesus makes several withering references to those who desire to witness spectacular signs – least of all his famous comment to Thomas after the resurrection: “Have you believed because you have seen? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” even if he could have done it, performing such a public stunt and thus announcing himself as a messiah would surely have brought a rather different context and tone to Jesus’ ministry than the one he decides to plump for.

in Psalm 2 (“whoo hooo, when I feel heavy metal”) – a passage that clearly provides the pattern for the gospel writers’ image of the heavenly voice blessing Jesus at his baptism – it is the messianic king, newly installed on the holy hill of Zion, who is told “You are my son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession”, but also warned “Now therefore, O Kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, with trembling kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way”.

in the third of his ‘tests’, it seems the satan is offering the exact same deal to Jesus. become a great king, and you get to possess the whole earth. as a member of the heavenly court (and perhaps, as in Job, some sort of overseer of the earth) the satan seems to have the authority to grant great power, but he also demands allegiance. the seemingly obvious interpretation here fits with the notion of the satan as a diabolic being, seeking to tempt Jesus into idolatry and corrupt him with power. however, i think we miss something if we pass over the extent to which Jesus’ rejection of the satan’s offer is a rejection of centralised wealth and power per se, not just that gained from idolatrous worship.

Jesus seems to emerge from his wilderness based psychological experiment/careers interview with a clear sense of what it might mean for him to be a son of God. his ministry will prove to be inspired most, not by the tradition of the wealthy, divine king, the powerful magician, or the revolutionary warrior, but by the vision laid out by Isaiah of the Suffering Servant – one who sets aside all that they have, gives themselves up, and through radical, selfless suffering demonstrates the limits of power, inspires hope and enables a new kind of future.

therefore, leavings my reflections on Easter until Eastertide, i’m using these forty days of discipline and self-denial to focus on the notion of vocation. that means not only trying to discern my own skills, aptitudes and abilities, plotting a path that is meaningful, and reflecting on what examples i definitely don’t want to follow as well as those that i do, but also, more fundamentally, the nature of purpose in general – not just my own, but that of the whole of reality.

#tiredgamer: sword & sworcery

gleetings RQTlings

i hope all you game fans have been digging my #tiredgamer column at GamePeople

either way, please do get in touch with comments either here or there. if you do, then please be aware that comments should be in the following format:

Dear #tiredgamer, please could you fix it for me to [your comment]

those who’ve not explored it yet, do check it out for rambling, overly philosophical and frankly ill-informed reflections on various video games such as:

> Medal of Honor 2010
> Mario Sports Mix
> Nail’d

(… coming soon: Fight Night Champion, Deathsmiles, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit)

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as for today

how about an RQT-only preview of what just might end up being one of the most interesting iOS games yet? what was that? silence? well, allow me to take that as a ‘yes please’.

some birds are angry – so what? that’s yesteryear’s news. kill the zombies? let ’em live I say, maybe they’ll know how to run the economy or the NHS? nah, if you’re looking for something a little less run of the Pebble Mill, then i have something that might just be right down your bowling alley

Sword & Sworcery is a retro-HD styled, fantasy adventure from veteran indy developers SUPERBROTHERS and has a sort of Monkey-Island-meets-Gaunlet-then-meets-Zelda-but-for-hipsters feel. there is a deliberate emphasis on cinematic audio and visuals – which, given the pixelated aesthetic, is an interesting concept.

it might end up being lame, but, on the other finger, might it be this year’s Limbo? i guess we’ll all have to bate our breath and see what we catch.

it should be in the App Store soon, priced at £TBA.19

in the meantime, let’s study this promo video for clues.