Blog Entries The Political

Comments on Obama and Wright

There’s been a slew of comments and posts concerning Obama’s recent speech on the Pastor Wright issue, if you haven’t heard it you can watch the video here. It’s worth watching because I think Obama actually addresses some of the key issues that we still face in America today, and he’s refreshingly honest about just how complicated racism really is.  With that in mind, I really appreciated Fernado’s recent post which catalogues a whole assortment of quotations from various commentors responding to Obama’s speech. Here is one very thought-provoking one:

“…what’s wrong with afro-centric? Especially when much of Christian theology for the past 500 year or so has been ???euro-centric???. Of course we haven’t called it “euro-centric??? Christian theology. We’ve just called it “Christian???. Kind of like “person??? meant “white person??? for many centuries. Or like “rational???, “pure???, “normal???, “clean???, “articulate???, etc. meant “white???.???

(From Thoughts on Obama and Wright via Fernado’s Desk)

Did you see any thoughts or reactions you found particularly moving or insightful? What were your feelings on the whole situation?


Featured Reviews The Cultural

Looking Awry at Wes Anderson’s Darjeeling Limited

This is an article that was published back in the fall in Fuller’s “newspaper” the SEMI (that issue of the paper can be downloaded via .pdf here). There are two reasons I am posting this now: first, I held off publishing it on gathering because I submitted it to another online zine hoping they would “print” it but alas, they apparently didn’t want it or at least that’s how I interpreted three emails to them with no response back.  And second (and more importantly!), Emily just got me a copy of the film today so it is on my mind. Given that The Darjeeling Limited came out this past September you may feel that this is a bit late, but in a world of such high DVD sales and rentals there’s no better time then right now (the movie was only recently released on DVD). As you will see I found the movie to be anything but a disappointment and think Anderson’s writing is very rich and worthy to be mined. In fact, many of you may remember me posting my initial reactions to the film here, and while there are some similar themes between these two, you will find that what you see below is an attempt to theorize and engage the film at a deeper level.

Blog Entries DIY Green

On Biking: Safety Tips for Drivers

I posted a video and a few short thoughts on our other blog Weird Fishes about biking and some tips I wish drivers kept in mind when cruising around the city. If you’re interest you can check it out here

Quaker Reviews

Ben Pink Dandelion Interviewed on OUPBlog

Ben Pink Dandelion, Quaker professor at the University of Birmingham (UK) and one of my tutors has recently (as in this week) published, The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction with Oxford University Press. It’s a perfect book for someone who knows little about Quakers and doesn’t want to work through his much larger introduction (though I must say it is really good). This shorter intro is the kind of book that will cover all the really important bases: some belief and practices, a little history, key figures and what the Quakers are up to now. If you can’t wait to get your hand then I suggest downloading Dandelion’s lectures he recently did at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Center on the same subject.

To announce his new book Oxford University Press Blog did a (very short) interview with him, which can be read here. It’s a great interview, it is short but contains some worthy gems, like when he is asked whether the Iraq War has helped to increase Quaker membership:

Blog Entries The Theological

Between the Saying and the Said: Speaking Like Children

I’ve been really enjoying Peter Rollins blog lately and was struck by his recent post Did Jesus Speak Hoplandic? In the post he discusses Levinas’ theory about the act of saying something vs. the content of what was said. In it the question, “did Jesus speak Hoplandic” gets at the his point that “Jesus was someone who was always challenging us at the level of the said (taking what we thought was self evident and turning it upside down) so as to expose the nature of religious language as a mode of saying.” In other words, is our preoccupation for getting what is said down correctly disrupting our connection with who we are actually talking to (or about)? As Rollins says, Maybe Jesus was asking us to speak like children where what is most important is the actual connection that is made, not that that which is said. He makes this point, in a way I appreciated, by stating:

Blog Entries The Technological

Tips for Using Delicious In (Doctoral) Research

delicious stickers is one of my most daily visited sites. Recently, I read a great post on the delicious blog about librarians and teachers using delicious more and more in their schools. This is an idea I think is fabulous and so I thought I might spell out a few ways I go about using this social bookmarking site for my doctoral research. I’ve been using delicious for at least a couple years now and have more than 3,300 websites bookmarked on my delicious page and a ridiculous amount of tags to go along with all those sites ((Actually, I’ve slowly begun to delete and rename tags but it is an extremely tedious process, read: almost a complete waste of time. Unfortunately, delicious, up to this point, only allows its users to edit tags one by one, there is no batch edit feature; nor is there, so far as I know, any 3 party app setup to help maintain tags, just create them.)). I use it for my blogging, I use it to send articles to friends, and most importantly I use it for my current research. I now find it indispensable in my daily schoolwork routine.

Featured Reviews The Theological

James K. Smith on Caputo’s Deconstruction

Since I recently posted on Caputo’s “What Would Jesus Deconstruct?” I thought it would be helpful to point out this article a friend emailed me by one of my favorite contemporary theologians, James K. Smith.

Smith, sounding a lot like Žižek (especially in chapter 2 ofThe Puppet and the Dwarf), argues that “orthodoxy” is in fact the most radical stance of all when he says:

Featured Reviews The Cultural The Theological

The Newsies and the Kingdom of God?

NewsiesOk, so I’m late to the game, yes, I just watched Newsies for the first time. Emily still can’t believe I just now saw it. All I can say is that in my home growing up, with four other brothers, musicals weren’t really something we willfully chose to watch (but it was my loss!).

I’m glad I watched the movie for a number of reasons. Watching it as an adult really opened up some interesting aspects to the film. First I was surprised that Disney put out such a subversive film, I mean the whole movie is about organizing unions, child labor issues and corporate greed. It’s about a bunch of filthy-mouthed street kids who are homeless and uneducated yet organize after having the cost of their papers go up. Granted, the movie is based off a true story about a bunch of Newsies in the late 19th century who went on strike against Joe Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, and so it has roots in history, it still stands out as a rather provocative tale, especially for Disney.

Blog Entries

Our New Family “Scrapbook”

Emily and I have set up a “family scrapbook” site called Weird Fishes (the name of one of L’s favorite Radiohead songs). It’s basically going to be our site for all things Daniels family. I know there are a number of you (family and friends) who read my blog because you’re interested in getting updates about what we’re up to in life, the baby, etc. and I recognize that Gathering in Light usually fails in this area. And since I am trying to make a move to keep this site more focused on being a journal of my “work,” it seemed like a good idea to Emily and I to create Weird Fishes. That said, I’d like for all of you who are interested in reading about the family life side of things in the lives of the Daniels to hop on over to our new site (or sign up for the email updates). As a little side-note, I am going to be transitioning into stay-at-home dad for the next 3.5 months and could use your prayers (I’m pretty nervous). One fun thing I’ve decided to do is take a picture of something L and I do everyday to show Emily what we’re up to while she’s at work, I’ll be posting those pictures on our other site as well. And as always, thank you for reading this site.

Blog Entries

Decluttering: Thoughts on a Difficult Practice

old version of deskAs of late I’ve been on this kick to declutter my life. I am sure this has a lot to do with now being a father and realizing there are a lot of inessentials in my life; and quite honestly, I can’t say I would have come to this otherwise. Actually, this has also lead to a lot of reflection on all kinds of things including my blogging: why I do it, and whether I should continue and if so in what manner? But all of that is for another post.

So I decided to make this year a year of decluttering. I say year so that it’s not too ambitious, like get rid of everything in the next month, but rather spend the entire year, not just getting rid of things, but organizing better, managing time differently, and make good choices about what to bring into my life (whether a material things, commitments, etc). One thing somewhat related that Emily and I have talked a lot about is trying to focus on buying used things instead of always feeling the need to have something new.

Anyways, I don’t have any great tips on how to become less cluttered and I’m still at the very beginning of this process, but here are some of the things I’ve been working on so far.