Blog Entries The Political

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.

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Dress Down Friday | Monchhichi and Hawaiian Chairs

Well I’m back after a four-week hiatus. It was nice having guests blog for me, felt like a little vacation. But I’ve been stocking up on links over the past four weeks so I had something good for show-and-tell. Here’s what we’ve got for today:

Blog Entries Church in Mission The Political

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)

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My 2008 Reading List (so far)

With every new year comes new lists of things we all would like to accomplish, take for instance the reading list. How many of you have compiled, if not physically, at least a mental list of all the books, authors and ideas you’d like to read about in 2008? What are the ones you’re most excited about? After seeing Josh’s list I thought I’d make my own.

I’ve got quite a list working already:

Books Leftover from Last Year

Featured The Cultural

The Wire And Disrupting the Othering Process

Season02_posterart.jpg If you haven’t had the chance to watch HBO’s TV show The Wire I highly recommend you take the time and begin watching. It’s in its fifth and final season, so there’s plenty to keep your Netflix queue busy for quite awhile. While it may not a good show for the family or follow the sitcom-styled story line (where the narrative begins, climaxes and resolves in thirty minutes), it is the perfect show for those of you who like TV shows that feel like a good work of literature. It is a very elaborate story, with very intricate characters and development, but then again the show was written for five seasons from the start. This means the narrative in this show really takes its time to develop and you have a chance to watch the characters grow and change (or not change as the case may be).

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Jarrod McKenna on National Sorry Day (God’s Politics)

Over on God’s Politics Blog, Jarrod McKenna has written a great post on national ‘Sorry Day,’ a day when White Australians are trying to enact reconciliation for the pain they’ve caused through racism and colonialism. This could (hopefully) be a chance to change history.


She shared later, “things are different now.” Somehow wrapped up in this one little word, “sorry,” was a new future. This strong aboriginal woman, who I’m proud to call my friend, was saying that in this word a new day is possible for her people and our nation. In this word, grief can now find its energy in change rather than despair. The cries of mothers who have had their babies torn from their arms and stolen from their breast have finally reached the halls of government. And miraculously, government has started to repent from the legacy of racism and colonialism.

(From Jarrod McKenna at God’s Politics)


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Claiborne’s Cedarville Cancellation

My buddy Rhett Smith has posted a great reflection about the recent cancelation of Shane Claiborne’s scheduled talk at Ohio’s Cedarville University. Rhett questions the validity of the quote below, and discusses his own thoughts as someone who is a college pastor.


“There was a tension between my desire to use this event to challenge students to take a closer look at a very important social issue, and the need to protect Cedarville’s reputation as a conservative, Christ-centered university,??? said Ruby. “There can’t be any confusion about our commitment to God’s Word and our historically conservative doctrinal position.

(From a quote by Cedarville Dean Carl RubyVia Rhett

Since when did living with and serving the poor make you not Christ-centered?

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Dress Down Friday | Guest Holly

Big thanks to Wess for inviting the guest post for today’s Dress Down Friday! With Wess’ recent endorsement of Obama, I decided to take DDF in a political direction. For me, following the 2008 election is like watching a good soap opera. I’m completely addicted.

Say What?! :: Obama’s music video by has a sister video that my friend Matt affectionately calls “Cien Anos.” It’ll have you laughing for the next week – bbaaabbbbyyy. Thanks, Cate for the link.

I’ve got Obamaphilia :: When Joel Stein wrote that he wanted to install a urinal in his house, I became addicted to reading his Friday Op Eds. Be sure to read his most recent – Obamaphilia on the rise.

Bush-Clinton Forever :: During the last democratic debate, a 38-year old voter stated that she had never voted in an election without a Clinton or Bush on the ballot. I must admit it’s a damn good point to consider. This clever fellow writes that we could potentially have a Bush or Clinton in the White House until 2057. Vote Chelsea in 2025!!!!

Obama Girl is a huge disappointment. The first video was OK (ridiculously sexist, but funny.) Since then, Barely Political has released a few other video. I can’t even make it through the first ten seconds. It’s like a really bad version of home videos my girlfriends made in high school. Don’t even bother watching.

That’s all for now! Vote Obama 2008. (I guess this is my official endorsement!) I hope I don’t get fired from my non-partisan organization for this post!

Holly is our last dress down friday guest for awhile, so be sure to check out her blog. Thanks Cate, Ben, Josh and Holly for participating.

Blog Entries The Political

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 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.

Blog Entries Reviews

Book reading Meme: Zizek and 123?

My buddy Kyle has tagged me to write out a quote from page 123 of the nearest book on my shelf. Well unfortunately for all of us, my book is Slavoj Zizek’s “The Puppet and the Dwarf,” which means mostly that it’s going to be difficult to make sense of it outside it’s context. Zizek isn’t really the kind of write who you can proof-text easily but I’ve tried.

The rules of this meme are as follows:

  1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
  2. Find page 123
  3. Find the first 5 sentences
  4. Post the next 3 sentences
  5. Tag 5 people

(Of course, a question arises here: if sexuality is just a metaphor [in the Song of Songs for our relationship with God], why do we need this problematic detour in the first place? Why do we not convey the true spiritual content directly? Because, due to the limitations of our sensual finite nature, this content is not directly accessible to us?). What, however, if the Song of Songs is to be read not as an allegory but, much more literally, as the description of purely sensual erotic play? What if the “deeper” spiritual dimension is already operative in the passionate sexual interaction itself? The true task is thus not to reduce sexuality to a mere allegory [which then allows us to easily commodify it], but unearth the inherent “spiritual” dimension that forever separates human sexuality from animal coupling. Is it, however, possible to accomplish this step from allegory to full identity in Judaism? Is this not what Christianity is about, with its assertion of the direct identity of God and man?

(Zizek, The Puppet and the Dwarf, 123)

I’ll tag: