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Posts tagged “philosophy

Netflix Monday: “The Parking Lot Movie” and “Darkon”

Some quick recommendations for Netflix streaming…

The Parking Lot Movie: It’s hard to know how much of my enjoyment of this film resulted from the prior suspicion that a documentary about a parking lot just couldn’t be very…exciting. So any entertainment that happened despite the odds was naturally bound to be that much more impressive.

And there was plenty of entertainment. Each of the characters featured were (thankfully) self-aware, yet beguiling engrossed in the microcosm of paved-real estate that provided them with employment. And let’s face it, there are days where chasing down a frat-boy-driven SUV and giving it a well-placed kick in the tail-lights would be rather therapeutic.

Yet, if Parking Lot’s characters were comical hipster-philosophers, Darkon featured true believers (from single parents to stay-at-home dads to military members) whose earnest passion for LARPing (etc) wasn’t charmingly comical in quite the same way.

That’s not to say that the sight of grown adults hitting each other with foam weapons and sewing felt costumes ever gets old, of course…

Anyway, what’s curious is that both documentaries clearly set out to examine and question “reality. As one character in Darkon says to a skeptical friend, “the little world is just as important as the big world.” Hmm, ok.

Possible delusions aside, it’s a quirky discussion whose construction purposefully follows close on the steps of such excellent (true) stories as Air Guitar Nation and King of Kong–and it’s none the cheaper for it. The communities these two documentaries featured provides a truly fresh, respectfully wry lens on identity, conflict, and creativity.

So as long as filmmakers keep finding these people, I, for one, will keep watching.

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Poverty.

This past week, a good friend restated to me his belief that poverty is caused almost solely by the choices of individuals. He credited the wealth of America to the biblical principles espoused by its forefathers. He acknowledged that it’s hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps when you have nothing, but pointed out that his parents once survived on 15k a year with a growing family–and they pulled themselves up.

What would you say to him?

I think this is one of the most pervasive myths of capitalism, and like all true myths, has elements of factual reality in it. However, the more I travel the world,the more people I meet, the more history I read, the more I think there are huge errors with this way of thinking.

My friend is not alone in his viewpoint. I have read numerous religious-based texts that openly espouse such a worldview and history books that imply it. Many, if not most of my friends probably believe the sentiments my friend shared are reality.

Do you?

I am looking forward to watching this movie and considering its claims. Is it vile socialist propaganda, or does it have some accurate observations to share?

What do you think?


a worship question

Kirsten and I have been talking about a question re. worship.

Should worship leaders lead out of an overflow in their own lives?

Historically, this has been my philosophical conviction.

At the current moment, however, when I come to participate in worship, I often feel as “needy” as anyone else in the room. I’m not necessarily looking to “lead” anyone–I just want to meet with God, to lay my questions and struggles at his feet, and declare something in faith. Ideally, I would think this would be the kind of “lead worshipper” that Matt Redman talks about in his (excellent) book, as opposed to a “leader.

More and more, I desire to be as honest with God as I think he wants us to be (which is totally). The same goes with my relationships with other people, both inside and outside of a church setting (and I use that word in the “two or more gathered” context). Sometimes, this doesn’t look like leading out of an “overflow” in my life, or equipping others…sometimes the only encouragement I can give others comes from my declaring something in faith that I need for myself just as much as the other people in the room, and not out of an overflow of conviction.

But I know from personal experience and observation that it can be very dangerous for people to “lead” from a place of need/discontent with God. I think it is extremely foolish to give people a blank check, as it were, to shrug off all sense of personal spiritual responsibility. What’s the difference?

I tend to think it’s a combination of factors, including whether you’re looking for that time to be your healing, and (again) your honesty. Am I trying to present a front to anyone (including God!), or am I trying to behave a certain why to usher in a certain atmosphere, a certain set of reactions?

I think there is scriptural evidence that we are supposed to prepare and to come with the overflow of our hearts. I think there is also evidence that we are supposed to simply come with our needs and hurts…

Most of all, I conclude, we’re supposed to simply come and be completely honest with the one who knows everything about us. And while I think there are movements that have greatly abused the idea of “speaking things into existence”/”declaring”/”creating spiritual reality,” I think there is truth to be winnowed from the idea. Maybe the answer is to do it in humility, and not from a place of spiritual pride? From complete recognition of our need, that isn’t fatalistic or dramatic, but simply Honest?

What do you think?