I submit, to you, the funniest 2.5 minutes of all time. After finally finding this on YouTube, my kids and I have watched it repeatedly.
It is always funny. It never stops being funny. And, like all good and funny things, it only gets funnier with repetition. Driving it into the ground is a mere beginning.
Unsurprisingly, it's Monty Python. (George Harrison famously said there was no successor to the Beatles -- save for Monty Python.) But what merits dismay: No one, anywhere, it seems, includes "Rival Documentaries" in their lists of favorite Python sketches. The sketch is so funny that you can read this unfunny buildup, and STILL... it's funny.
If you do not appreciate the non-stop genius of this, it's not my fault. Respectfully -- and I submit this with humility borne of love -- it's because you're stupid.
Sam Cook is sounding the alarm. He's qualified to do this, as someone who watches kids, and other big young people, play games against each other. Sam Cook then writes about how those kids played those games.
Sam Cook has discovered a "Tim Tebow", who, while wearing an orange-and-blue outfit, frequently advertising Nike, the Southeastern Conference, and Tostitos, also has black tape under his eyes with writing on it. The writing? -- IT REFERS TO THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE.
Not only that, but Cook goes further, and offers evidence that this Tebow believes the Bible in a way reminiscent of American wingnuts (Billy Graham) or right-wing reactionaries (Jimmy Carter).
This Tebow is enrolled in college in Gainesville, Florida, where he runs over people while carrying a striped, leather toy. And Sam Cook is glad that education will end this year, because this Tebow, who is exceptionally effective on "third down", is unlikely to embrace, anytime soon, religious universalism.
Yes, Tim Tebow both rushed and passed for 20 touchdowns last season. But remember, next time he's running a draw out of the spread formation: His father may not be enamored with the theology of the Catholic Church in, obviously, the Philippines. Sam Cook identifies himself as a (Martin) Lutheran, which means he has no objections to the theology of the Catholic Church. Especially in the Philippines.
Yes, I, too, am glad Tebow is a senior. One shudders if he had redshirted. How much can this republic take?
Dostoyevsky's post-prison fiction abandoned the European-style domestic melodramas and quaint character studies of his youthful work in favor of dark, more complex story-lines and situations, played-out by brooding, tortured characters—often styled partly on Dostoyevsky himself—who agonized over existential themes of spiritual torment, religious awakening, and the psychological confusion caused by the conflict between traditional Russian culture and the influx of modern, Western philosophy. This, nonetheless, does not take from the debt which Dostoyevsky owed to earlier Western influenced writers such as Gogol whose work grew from out of the irrational and anti-authoritarian spiritualist ideas contained within the Romantic movement which had immediately preceded Dostoyevsky in Europe. Ultimately, Dostoyevsky would achieve his dying wish of having a quote placed, by an American evangelical, on awesome t-shirts for puppies.
Me: Boy,I really am excited about what you guys do. I love that you have hospitals all over the world, healing the poorest of the poor, blah blah blah, it's really awesome, etc. etc., keep it up, etc.
Them: Great! Why don't you come join us for a week, see how we operate, help us out?
Them: Where do you want to go? What do you want to do?
Me: Wherever. Doesn't matter. I'll do the bedpans. Don't care.
Them: Okay, Afghanistan. Clean blood off the beds and floor in the O.R.
Me: No pr -- excuse me?
I'm leaving November 8th.
This is all Lord-willing, of course. But that's the plan. Cure International is an amazing story. They do work in the name of Jesus, and they are in some very unlikely places. They are now -- get this -- the number one provider of clubbed-foot surgery in the world. And did I mention it's very purposefully a Kingdom of God thing?
The hospital is *not* in a protected zone. So I figure the beard won't hurt. Just trying to blend in and stuff. Kind of like Jason Bourne, and how he blends into that story about the price-fixing informant-guy at ADM.
I'm kinda concerned for my safety. And then I think, "There are doctors and staff who have given up American salaries to LIVE in Kabul." Not for just a week, like me -- they live there, and they do it to heal the broken, and let little kids run and play for the first time, and they do it because of Jesus.
The Church. Making sense. It's beautiful.
And this is the point of being in Christian RadioTM, of course: I'm going to agitate some people. We're going to ask people to give. CURE provides pre and post-natal care for moms, and cares for little babies, too, in a place with the highest infant mortality rate on the planet. CURE wants to ask American Christians to provide blankets to wrap around Muslim moms and their newborn babies, and let the moms take the heavy blankets with them as they return into the cold.
And you know what else is cool? "Cool", in this case, means "poetically right":
I get the bloody job.
I like that, too. I've watched a lot of footage of war in Afghanistan. I'm thankful for our military and their families.
And, I'm also guessing you'll agree, something just rings right about getting on the floor and cleaning up some blood -- blood from a surgery to heal. You may think this is odd, but please know: Many people reading this, right now, wish they could do it alongside me. I'm looking forward to this.
Rule #1 in good blogging (as if I would know...) don't get too specific if you want to make a point.
Seriously. Such is the case with the below entry on the Catalyst website. I really didn't want to say the conference was a waste of time, or vacuous, or anything, but apparently it came across that way. Sorry about that.
I really wanted to talk about a theme I encounter a lot: We want to image ourselves all important-like, and that kinda scares me -- especially because I'm prone to it, myself. I found an example.
I tried to let on that I didn't think the conference, as a whole, was portrayed well by its own web-speak, but that flew by some people. Bad writing? Probably.
But I knew this before: If you give an example, an illustration from reality to make a point, the illustration may become the point.
Especially if you include a big picture of it.
For a more full-bodied understanding of the conference itself, see Anne Jackson's comments in the thread. For a more full-bodied understanding of the many ways I personally struggle with trying to make myself significant, and -- possibly -- recognize it elsewhere, see the original post.
As for the "Brant, stick to your guns!" objection to my apology: I am a-stickin' to my guns.
I went ahead and invented a StickyShirtTM personal organizing system. I'm kind of absent-minded, so I invented it.
I invented this StickyShirtTM personal organizing system a few months ago, but it was during my last blog-quitting phase, so I hadn't posted it here yet. If you're wondering how the marketing is going so far, I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you it's not going so good.
c) the "doers", the "cultural architects", the "influencers", the "change agents", the "bold", the "excellent", those who are "passionate about something big", and the "driven".
d) fumble-y people
In light of the answer being "c", are you okay with not being there?
a) In light of "c", I don't think I should be there
b) I so belong there. I'm driven, I'm an influencer, I'm a change agent, I'm bold. I'm a leader, and I'm passionate about Big Things. But my wife said no.
c) I don't know, but I totally wondered why all the people with goatees were missing at Bible Study last night.
d) Maybe they don't mean that. Maybe marketing won over reflection. Maybe it often does.
I'm going with "a" and "d" on the last one.
In all seriousness: I appreciate what many of them are trying to do. And I've never been to a Catalyst conference.
But -- just my hunch, and for what it's worth: Dynamic "cultural architects" will not be the ones "who will reclaim our communities and culture for good."
It's just me, based on my understanding of Biblical stories, and how the Kingdom works, but I'd actually be afraid of considering myself a driven, bold, cultural architect, because I think I'd honestly feel like I was disqualifying myself from the work. They're impressive, sure, but don't seem the type God chooses, you know, reclaim our communities and culture for good.
Maybe you've never had to even think about it. Most humans don't even consider it a possibility. They didn't grow up white, didn't grow up around success-speak, and don't worry that their thing isn't the next best one. Maybe you're like them.
You might not even be able to tie your shoes right, let alone aim to prepare a dynamic, weekly, culturally relevant, weekly, multi-campus, satellite-uplinked power presentation.
If they were picking an All-Star Awesome Dynamic Future Change Agent Leader Team, you might get picked last, or not picked at all.
Shoot, you might be the little Hispanic lady cleaning up the floor after the dynamic conference, before taking the bus home, late at night, to her family in an Atlanta apartment.
Because there's nothing more fun than forcing people to look at your own photo albums, here's an online version.
I can't force you to look at it. I can't even force myself to think you'd want to. But here it is.
Oh, the places you'll go!