Bob Dylan for President?

I’ve been enjoying some recent reading about the elections (here, here and here) and am finding the varying perspectives stimulating. Then tonight, as I was reading the book Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews aloud to the family, we came across a quote from Dylan talking about what he’d do if he became president ((This comes from his Playboy Interview in 1966)).

Q: Did you ever have the standard Boyhood dream of growing up to be President?

Dylan: No. When I was a boy, Harry Truman was President; who’d want to be Harry Truman?

Q: Well, let’s supposed that you were the president. What would you accomplish during your first thousand days?

Dylan: Well, just for laughs, so long as you insist, the first thing I’d do is probably move the White House. Instead of being in Texas, it’d be on the East Side in New York. McGeorge Bundy would definitely have to change his name, and General McNamara would be forced to wear a coonskin cap and shades. I would immediately rewrite The Star-Spangled Banner, and little school children, instead of memorizing American the Beautiful, would have to memorize Desolation Row. And I would immediately call for a showdown with Mao Tse-tung. I would fight him personally–and I’d get somebody to film it.

Dylan for president would certainly make for a far more interesting race, and at least we’d know that the state of the union addresses, and presidential interviews would be way more colorful.

GOOD Magazine | On Skid Row: Introduction

Good Magazine, a site I really like, cover all kinds of topics, from culture to politics and the environment. This week they’ve begun a video series looking at LA’s homeless district, otherwise known as Skid Row. I look forward to following these videos.

Los Angeles’s police chief called Skid Row “the worst social disaster in America.” In LA county there are 80,000 homeless each night. Los Angeles is the first third would city in the United States.

(From GOOD Magazine | Goodmagazine – On Skid Row: Introduction)

Continue reading GOOD Magazine | On Skid Row: Introduction

Bread For the World: Looking for Young Leaders

My friend Holly, who writes at Bread Blog and will be posting this week’s Dress Down Friday, works for a non-profit organization called Bread for the World. They do a lot of lobby work and other types of political activism to help raise awareness for hunger issues around the world. Today they are starting a campaign to find new leaders. Here’s what they write:

Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad, is inviting advocates to become our Hunger Justice Leaders. We’re looking for the best and brightest 18-35 year olds to come to DC this summer (June 14-17) for an all-expense paid organizing training. They’ll then commit to leading advocacy efforts against hunger and poverty in partnership with Bread for the World. The details are at www.bread.org/bealeader. We can end hunger in our time. For the first time in history, we have the knowledge, the resources and the capacity to overcome chronic hunger. What we need is the political will. Everyone, including our government must do their part.

Continue reading Bread For the World: Looking for Young Leaders

Reader Poll: How Would Non-USA Voters Vote?

elections Last week I announced who I’m supporting in the presidential race, and while my endorsement obviously didn’t help California, it felt good to bring politics into the subject here. And in keeping with the idea of “gathering” together for common discourse on this site I have question for all you readers who live United States.

  • Who would you vote for in this election?
  • And/or what are your thoughts on the elections?

Why should we care? Well, I think we should value your opinion. Last summer when I had the privilege of living in the UK for 3 months I discovered that just about everyone I met over there knew what was going on in American news (and sometimes better than we Americans!). But beyond whether I think your opinion is informed or not, I think your opinion matters because, for better or worse, American policy has major impact across the globe. With great interest then I welcome your voting choices, thoughts and opinions on the matter.

The Obama Poster From Obey Giant


obama.jpg

(From OBAMA – Obey Giant)

I’ve been debating whether to announce my choice for the presidential race, partly because I know we don’t all agree on who’s the best person for the job (and some more strongly than others), and partly because I hadn’t found an opportune time to say it. But after seeing this poster from Obeygiant.com I couldn’t help myself any longer. I recently talked to my friend Kevin about why I hadn’t said much about the candidates yet, and realized that some of it comes from my own desire to keep things at peace. There’s a part of me that loathes getting into heated arguments over things like this. But there is another, almost equally as strong, side of me that is extremely opinionated. A pleasant mixture!

Continue reading The Obama Poster From Obey Giant

An Ordinary Revolution You Probably Shouldn't Miss

I just finished Shane Claiborne’s “Irresistible Revolution,” which is the first assignment for the class I am teacher’s aid for and I thought it was a fantastic read.  In fact, if you’ve got nothing better to do in the next thirty minuets go out and pick up this book.

I rarely tell anyone to buy a book, except everyday I am at work at Fuller’s Bookstore, but that’s besides the point.  This time it’s an exception.  It’s a great book for any Christian who is looking to get some ideas about what other Christians are doing to follow Christ in the States.  It’s a really quick read because it’s so short and really engaging due to the stories that flood the pages of the book.

This book is for people who are not looking for an academic book to read but something that’s full of stories showing how young Christians, my age, are living out their faith in downtown Philly.  It’s not jaded, he doesn’t make a lot of digs about who the bad and good guys are, the book is more about giving people tangible evidence that following Christ makes a difference, as it should, in the lives of the people we live around.

The church they are a part of is called the Simple Way, because they seek to follow Christ in “ordinary radical” ways.  Of course these “ordinary radical” ways are going to push people’s buttons, and challenge the way we understand our own faith, but I think that’s a good thing.

He quotes, Jaques Ellul, “Christians should be troublemakers, creators of uncertainty, agents of a dimension incompatible with society (231).” And then he goes on to explain a bit about John the Baptist and Jesus and some of the adjectives used to describe these leaders of an “ordinary revolution” thousands of years before us.

One of the most memorable parts of the book is when Shane was in college and some of his other college mates found out that some of their homeless friends were being evicted from an abandoned Catholic church they’d lived in for years (and had been condemned even longer).  They rounded up college students from their school in Philly and went and slept in the church with the people for the weekend.  When the cops came, they decided to not arrest everyone and left.

Every time they’d get word that the police were going to evict the people, they’d blow a fog horn on campus and rally their friends together who’d all jam in their cars and run down to the church.  They did this for a long enough time that the city finally gave everyone in that church housing and helped them get on their feet.

So the point of the book is to communicate those kinds of stories.  Where simple people are doing simple things because they love God and others.  Claiborne says that it’s not about issues, it about people.  And because of that, this book’s got me real excited again about how faith changes real people’s lives.