Thursday, June 28, 2007

sufjan stevens cover

i'm a world famous musician! my band just aired our music video for sufjan stevens's "chicago" on youtube. i'm the fellow on secondo piano and occasional background vocals.

(if you press play and the video appears to be slow or perpetually loading, click the youtube logo in the right-hand corner of the video screen and follow it to the youtube site. also, be sure to take part in the first ever 17 point scale poll--see the side bar--and leave poll-related comments here on this post.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

back page: the master and margarita

the master and margarita by mikhail bulgakov
translated by michael glenny

some masterpiece--this book stinks. the master and margarita was the worst experience of my recent trip to belize. its fantastical plot reminds me of some of the tales my buddy adam and i wrote in junior high. its funky, disjointed style reminds me of chesterton's the man who was thursday. and its ceaseless chaotic pouncing of immortal crazies on squeamish muscovites reminds me of the sadistic violence of tom and jerry with a slice of greek mythology. i'd like to blame this mess on the translator, but some parts of the book were actually rather good. if you choose to read this book, skip to the creative retellings of the life of jesus, judas, and pilate.

3 out of 17

i should mention that (1) the critics love this book, (2) rebecca the internationally-minded legal counselor-in-training loves this book, and (3) if you don't mind messy senseless plots, people say there's a meaningful satire here.

andrew david. "the wise mennonite grinds the master and margarita into the hard grassy slope." san ignacio town, belize.

Monday, June 25, 2007

blog to do list

  1. change the red font to something more readable
  2. find a way to capitalize (i.e., make money) on the 10-50 hits that i get each day for blue scholars lyrics
  3. decide whether i want to change the random nature of the blog. that is, i generally post on whatever topic strikes my fancy, which tends to include a lot of off-the-wall reflection, but perhaps i should narrow my focus. over the last month or two, i've hit a serious dry spell as far as creative writing and insight are concerned, and i feel like i'm letting my dwindling readership down with the substandard fare that i post instead. therefore, i'm considering limiting the content of the blog to ratings and reviews. if i make this change, the frequency of posts may decrease slightly or stay about the same as the current rate.

andrew david. "the posing problem" san ignacio town, belize. this man was busily building a shoe, but when i asked him if i could take his picture, he stopped, said yes, and stared. he didn't return to work again until i left.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

oh, crap

i guess i just destroyed my blog template.

let me know if the new colors are annoying.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

my culturally savvy christian blurb and some words on poetry

the june 15 issue of imageupdate includes the s.o.'s reviews of sandra scofield's the scene book and michael mott's the world of richard dadd.

in addition to noting that she's reviewing two books, not one, i'd like to emphasize that mott's book is poetry. indeed, i'm particularly impressed when a fellow non-poet like the s.o. can pull that off. yes, i was an english major; i have scanned and explicated my share of strange poems, and i do all right in the comprehension department, but reviewing the stuff is beyond me. i feel rather inadequate when it comes to comparing the quality of one poem to another. i suppose prose is just my thang.

why all this attention to imageupdate? well, i also contributed to the latest issue, and it went something like this:

The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite by Dick Staub
There’s a good chance that the writer and social commentator Dick Staub is a secret apologist for Image. His newest book, The Culturally Savvy Christian, closely parallels Image’s underlying mission: it vigorously challenges readers to discern rather than idly consume, and more importantly, to nourish the contemporary culture rather than becoming pop culture clones. As the past host of a syndicated radio program, Staub has mastered the art of pairing people with ideas and watching them take off. This talent makes The Culturally Savvy Christian a particularly intriguing read: Staub collects facts and voices from sociology, theology, and pop culture and fits them into an insightful conversation about the devolution of culture and evangelicalism. He contends that most Christians, even those who travel in exclusively Christian circles, have been wooed by the forces of marketing and technology and have thereby fallen into an unconscious illicit union with superficiality and sentimentality. Staub dubs this blind self-centeredness Christianity-Lite, and he believes that to avoid a quiet backslide into mediocrity, we must get serious with our faith, sink deeper into the Word, and react to the world with intelligence and creativity. Some Christians bemoan culture’s vulgarities and believe that deepening faith requires us to withdraw into cocoons of Christian isolation and churn out happy-feely Christian art, but Staub warns us that this is not the way of Christ. Instead, he explains that like CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and Dostoevsky, “Christian artists are not bound to create religious art, but they understand that their exploration of everyday human occurrences is gilded by their walk in faith.” The Culturally Savvy Christian encourages us to peer through the pop culture fog, dismiss the fluff, and reach for the life-changing, the thoughtful, and the meaningful.
let me know if you want any more feedback about the book. i'd give it a 10 out of 17.

despite staub's criticism of marketing, i think his book succumbs to two marketing ploys: (1) every five paragraphs or so, he has a new section. this makes the text easy to digest, but it's a cheap writing technique. (2) staub loves to watchwords. he picks adjectives that seem heavy and laden with meaning and then he uses them again and again.

still, although i skimmed the meaty middle of the book, the culturaly savvy christian certainly succeeds in its overaching goal. it is an insightful depiction of the emergence and cure for christianity-lite.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

the reason i didn't blog tonight

i'm getting tired of looking at that last post every time i boot up the internet, so i thought i'd shoo it further down the page by writing a sentence or two about why i'm not writing:

  1. first, i toured alex's new house and ate at his neighborhood BBQ joint. fans of the blog might remember alex because of his vast collection of music (somewhere between 3,800 and 4,016 songs) which i nabbed and subsequently rated. during our afternoon chat i was shocked to learn two things: (a) alex is renting his two-bedroom ballard house for an insane $600 a month and (b) because of financial problems (i.e., working as a mars hill intern, having an upcoming wedding this month, and being alex), he is no able to keep current with the indie music scene. still, he let me borrow the shins' latest album.
  2. i'm breezing through dick staub's the culturally savvy christian: a manifesto for deepening faith and enriching popular culture in an age of christinaity-lite, the next book that i've been asked to review for imageupdate. i have to finish skimming the book and writing a one-paragraph blurb by thursday morning.

andrew david. "conversations in spanish I: but what if he's this tall? can he still ride the octopus? yes, sir, it is right over there, in the field." san ignacio town, belize.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

first sentences and google

NEWS: i'm performing at the norse center tomorrow. just me and a piano this time.
no blog today. i'm
not doing well at this timely posting business lately, and i don't expect to improve anytime soon. the problem is that i don't have anything to say and no time to say it.

but once long ago i had plenty to say. here's some of the first sentences that i wrote while i was in college. the sentences aren't spectacular, but i can objectively prove that they're unique. you see, for some reason, i was curious to see if any of the sentences were duplicated on the internet. not even close. i couldn't even find a duplicated independent clause. in the list that follows, citations are formatted like this: The first sentence of the paper with material duplicated elsewhere on google in bold. The name of the paper. A description of the closest duplicate on google with the number of hits for the bolded material in parentheses; in some cases this description is hyperlinked (3,780).

12.08.99 Before embarking on my first quarter at SPU, I possessed a fair share of anxiety regarding my future roommate.
The Victorian Perspective. Chris Lear's first marathon (44).

05.02.00 In his Discourse on Method RenĂ© Descartes urges travelers “lost in a forest…not to wander this way and that, or, what is worse, remain in one place, but…always walk as straight a line as they can” (Veitch, 165-66).
Contemplating Contemplations. A chapter in a philosophy, science, and technology book (6).

06.8.00 Some folks find gardening to be a great stress reliever; probing the moist earth sets their minds at ease.
The Brothers Karamazov. (22,700).

06.8.00 The literature of Stephen Crane typically portrays a world bereft of God.
A Shipwrecked Commentary. A horror literature course (18).

11.22.00 George Herbert’s “Redemption” is a poem narrated by a tenant in search of a cheaper rent contract.
Residing in Redemption. (6).

02.12.01 In the corner of the Skagit Valley Hospital maternity ward lay three pregnant poets.
Parents of Perspective (Dryden, Swift, Wordsworth). (1,010,000).

03.13.01 Without wise men, no nativity scene is complete.
Journey of a Sophomore (TS Eliot). Commentary regarding Ralph Waldo Emerson's Nature (33).

03.15.01 With eager anticipation, the crowd gathered about the fire.
No Such Monk (Beowulf). A pipe shop (707).

05.25.01 Let’s be honest, I am writing this paper for you—a captive audience of one.
The Patchwork Quilt of Humanity. A dumb blog (7,510).

03.19.03 According to Dante Alighieri, the gates of Hell warn newcomers to “abandon every hope, you who enter” here.
Arbeit Macht Frei. (4).

yes, i spent way too much time on this post. yes, in the time that it took to do all this googling, i probably could have written something more substantial. yes, i am going to bed now.