Man of Sorrows


He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

Talking Genocide at the Jubilee Lounge

Every Tuesday lunch, 12.30-1pm, the Jubilee Lounge meets to discuss an article relating to some topic of sociopolitical significance.

This week we discussed Helena Kennedy’s piece in the Guardian about Isis committing genocide.

Various questions arose:
– What does the Genocide Convention actually require once a situation is identified as ‘genocide’?
– What is this ‘international judicial system’ that should be identifying genocidal situations? And is it actually (even plausibly theoretically) independent?
– Given that what is happening with Isis is genocide — what should be done?
– Can we draw any more precise lessons from recent Iraqi history than merely that intervention tends to make the problem worse?
– What will war look like in the twenty-first century? (Ground war, cyber war, terrorism, economic sanctions…)

Let me know if you have any thoughts on the matter or would like to join one of the discussions.

Dance Floor as Origin Myth

Smith identifies the entire ethos of the EDM dance floor––the idea of cutting loose and “being yourself” in an environment without scrutiny or judgment––as an essential part of what the song means in a Christian context. The “dance floor” here is part origin myth, part ethical rulebook, and part eschatology. What is being transvalued or co-opted is not simply a lyrical image, a musical style, or even a way of organizing aesthetic judgments, but rather an entire ethical system of performance, participation, and reception that is associated with the EDM subculture. Dance music is not simply the musical model for the song, it is also the model for any proper understanding of the song. Smith and Tomlin seem to assume and even require that their audience already possess an embodied habitus of dance music participation in order to even engage the song as spiritually meaningful.

(Joshua Kalin Busman)

Most Influential 50 Hip Hop Tracks

Someone‘s list.

1. White Lines (Don’t Do It) – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

2. Walk This Way – Run DMC & Aerosmith

3. Rappers Delight – Sugar Hill Gang

4. Fight The Power – Public Enemy

5. Fight For Your Right – Beastie Boys

6. Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio

7. Planet Rock – Afrika Bambatta

8. The Message – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

9. Killing Me Softly – The Fugees

10. Stan – Eminem

11. I’ll Be Missing You – Puff Daddy

12. California Love – 2Pac

13. Cop Killa – Ice T

14. The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) – Missy Elliott

15. I Need Love – LL Cool J

16. Doo Wop (That Thing) – Lauryn Hill

17. Push It – Salt-N-Pepa

18. Mama Said Knock You Out – LL Cool J

19. Ms. Jackson – Outkast

20. Work It – Missy Elliott

21. Nuthin But A ‘G’ Thang. Dr. Dre

22. People Everyday – Arrested Development

23. 99 Problems – Jay Z

24. Crossroads – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

25. Mo Money Mo Problems – Notorious B.I.G.

26. Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

27. Country Grammar – Nelly

28. Gin & Juice – Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre

29. In Da Club – 50 Cent

30. Stop The Violence Movement – Self Destruction

31. Hey Ya – Outkast

32. Everything Is Everything – Lauryn Hill

33. Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me – Geto Boys

34. Looking For The Perfect Beat – Afrika Bambatta

35. No Sleep Till Brooklyn – Beastie Boys

36. Big Poppa – Notorious B.I.G.

37. U-N-I-T-Y. Queen Latifah

38. It’s Tricky – Run DMC

39. I used to love h.e.r. – Common

40. Gettin Jiggy Wit It – Will Smith

41. Excursion – A Tribe Called Quest

42. Black Steel In the Hour of Chaos – Public Enemy

43. Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot

44. Real Love – Mary J. Blige

45. The Magic Number – De La Soul

46. Hard Knock Life – Jay Z

47. Straight Outta Compton – N.W.A.

48. Bridge is Over – Boogie Down Productions

49. On and On – Erykah Badu

50. The Way I Am – Eminem

(Against!) Slam Poetry

Slam Poetry -poem by Walter Thornburgh

I open by addressing a group of people I chose from a list
My options are narrow: white, straight, or cis
My voice trembles a little, making me sound emotional
But then I get louder, my verses commotional, and the rhyme scheme stops
And I look off into the distance as I build a crescendo of forced and fake passion and yell a cliche condemnation
You see, it’s not really for me when the audience cheers because I’ve only told the audience what they expected to hear
Because you see, slam poetry is no longer personal, mate
Because the person you hear is who you impersonate
And that’s what happens when you recite your art from the list of beliefs that an ideologically, uniform environment allows you to think
See, I act like I’m deep, but I’m a pretender.
The only topics I speak on are race, sex, and gender
So think about it when I share my opinions with you
That they all can be reduced to a hashtag or two
Slam Poetry Sucks

Scum of the Earth

” To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the Scum of the Earth, the refuse of the world. ”
1 Corinthians 4:11-13

A few days before Christmas, pastor Mike Sares got a call from his associate. “Mike,” he said, “Mary Kate Makkai has agreed to read one of her poems at the Christmas Eve service. It’s really, really good, but it’s got the F-bomb in it several times, and I just thought I should check with you about that.”

Sares first told me his unexpected “F-bomb story” last March at the FutureGen conference in Orlando. We’ve all heard the tales of pastors accidentally detonating a vulgar ordnance from the pulpit (everyone’s recent favorite being Blake Bergstrom’s infamous “pitch your tents” faux pas). But the dropping of multiple F-bombs during a Christmas Eve service with laser guided premeditation? That is nothing to laugh about.

Mike Sares pastors a congregation called “Scum of the Earth” in Denver, Colorado. No, Scum of the Earth is not your typical congregation. Scum calls itself “a church for the right brained and the left out.” They embrace authenticity, creativity, and those who are on the margins of society. That explains why Sares didn’t immediately take the nuclear option off the table. But he wasn’t quite ready to push the button either… (From here).

And you can read some of the poem here.

What is hearing?

“Hearing is basically a specialized form of touch. Sound is simply vibrating air which the ear picks up and converts to electrical signals, which are then interpreted by the brain. The sense of hearing is not the only sense that can do this, touch can do this too. If you are standing by the road and a large truck goes by, do you hear or feel the vibration? The answer is both. With very low frequency vibration the ear starts becoming inefficient and the rest of the body’s sense of touch starts to take over. For some reason we tend to make a distinction between hearing a sound and feeling a vibration, in reality they are the same thing. It is interesting to note that in the Italian language this distinction does not exist. The verb ‘sentire’ means to hear and the same verb in the reflexive form ‘sentirsi’ means to feel. Deafness does not mean that you can’t hear, only that there is something wrong with the ears. Even someone who is totally deaf can still hear/feel sounds.”

(Evelyn Glennie)