October 2012

general&Politics31 Oct 2012 04:22 pm

I know that conventional wisdom for people who want to be liked is to never discuss politics or religion. Forget conventions, sometimes a guy’s just gotta be real, right? Besides, being liked is over-rated.

Before I launch in (and before any of you start hating me), know that I mean no disrespect to anyone. I’m not attacking anyone. I’m not trying to deny anybody’s intellect or humanity. I’m simply stating my opinion and, in this case, response to an article. You may or may not agree, but there’s no reason to argue about it. Responses are welcomed, but I ask that you respond in kind.

The article: Why My Bible Seems to Differ from Billy Graham’s (Source: CNN – http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/22/opinion/martin-billy-graham-politics/index.html)

The gist: Billy Graham has sold his soul to the Republican party, compromising his belief that Mormonism is a cult and narrowing the election to a two-issue decision (abortion and same-sex marriage) while ignoring the needs of the poor and the sick.

Okay, I think that about covers the arguments from Roland Martin (who is very much pro-Obama, by the way). So, I have two things to address: Is Mormonism a cult (and does it matter)? and Why are Romney supporters “ignoring” the poor and sick? (And by the way, I plan to vote for Romney). Off we go…
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MUSIC&reviews26 Oct 2012 04:20 pm

Another batch of fresh, new releases to talk about in a way you can only get here at theTRu. A quick breakdown in 25 words or less along with some highlights, broad comparisons, and a random correlation. This week, I assigned each album a corresponding office supply item. Yeah, don’t read too deeply into them. On with the music!

Bebo Norman – Lights of Distant Cities
http://amzn.to/WOd5fJ (CD) | http://amzn.to/U1Fgli (mp3)

A new side of Bebo, subtle but expansive, big on sentiment, style, and substance. Erasing the time away, like reuniting with an old friend. Highlighters.

SEE ALSO: Andrew Peterson, MercyMe’s “The Hurt and the Healer”
DON’T MISS: The Broken, Outside the Window Was the World
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pop culture&SPORTS25 Oct 2012 04:15 pm

I’m getting a little better. Last week, I broke out of my 7-7 predictions streak and managed to get up to 8-5. Of the three teams I follow most closely, the Bills and Redskins each suffered heartbreaking losses again, but the Packers continued to hit their stride this season. And if you’re tracking parity, 2 more teams broke above and below 500 last week, bringing the totals to 11 winning records, 14 losing records, and 7 remaining even.

AP Photo/Bill KostrounI’m not sure of a topic for this week. I thought about diving into trade options, but that’s such a long road to go down. Instead, I’ll piggyback off of a recent Sports Illustrated poll of NFL players and pick 5 overrated players in the NFL. The SI list led with Tim Tebow and, spoiler alert, he won’t make my list. In fact, I’ll try to avoid all five on the SI list (Tebow, Sanchez, Romo, Vick, and Ray Lewis). As another caveat, it’s just too easy to pick 5 QBs because they bear the brunt of responsibility for games won and lost. I could easily pick on Flacco, Romo, Vick, Kolb, Cassel, Sanchez, Rivers, or Stafford, but I won’t. The truth is, as with each position, there are a handful of elite QBs, a few universally bad QBs, and a lot of mediocre, middle-of-the-road QBs, some of which crop up now and again hoping to become elite or at least mentioned among the elite. To avoid positional abuse, I’ll stick to 1 player from each of the following positions: QB, RB, TE, WR, and Defense. There. Ground rules are established. Off we go.
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americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television23 Oct 2012 11:44 pm

Given my growing concerns as to the demise of American Idol and my desire to continue watching some sort of singing competition on reality TV, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at the two contenders currently on this season: X-Factor and The Voice. I’ve “sampled” both of these shows in the past, but neither of them really held my attention for very long. I can’t tell you how many seasons they’ve each been on, but I think The Voice is in season three and X-Factor, season two? I checked into both shows last season and lasted longer with The Voice, but that was largely due to the presences of Anthony Evans and Tony Vincent, both of whom I covered back in the day. The X-Factor didn’t keep me very much past the auditions and some of the judge’s homes episodes, where the PussyCat Doll Judge offered remarkable critiques like, “When you sing, you create rainbows in the sky…” (or something like that). I honestly have no idea who won either show and clearly, their success (sarcasm) off the show has cemented them in the annals of music history.

This year, I’m trying to follow it through to the end, not because I think anyone will become a bona fide musical star worth listening to. I’m watching for the pomp, the theatrics, the performances, the competition, the bad auditions, and, the judges. Same as everyone else who watches, whether they admit it or not. So today, I’m going to pit these two shows head-to-head to see which one is better based on three main elements: the judges, the theatrics, and the performances (thus far). Ten points to split between the 2 shows and we’ll see which is best. Both shows are gearing up for the live shows and I’m mostly caught up, so consider this a mid-season report card.
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MUSIC&reviews19 Oct 2012 03:17 pm

So, I took some time off from the Music of the Day posts, but I realize that it’s a valuable part of the blog and I need to keep at it. I would typically do these earlier in the week to highlight the albums coming out that week, but more often than not, I rely on Spotify to give my ears a glimpse at these albums, which pushes things back a few days (I only have Spotify at home, where I spend far too little time.)

Be that as it may, I’ve got five new albums for you today – two are EPs – that are pretty diverse, but probably lean more towards a younger crowd. I’m including Ben Harper and I don’t know much about him, but when I checked out some of the songs, I thought they had a nice quality to them. I’m not including Brandy (she still makes music?) even though I felt nostalgic seeing her on the list of new releases and the beats behind the few songs I did hear were pretty nice. And now, I’m done with the introduction.

Anberlin – Vital
http://amzn.to/T50H8p (CD) | http://amzn.to/T50KBb (mp3)

Four parts rhythm, three parts smooth vocals, a dash of production, and a hint of nostalgia. Mix well. Apply liberally. Solid Rock-n-Roll recipe. Golden Crisp.

SEE ALSO: Anchor & Braille, We Shot the Moon
DON’T MISS: Modern Age, Desires
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pop culture&SPORTS18 Oct 2012 03:35 pm

Another week, another 7-7 record. Can’t take any game for granted. The Falcons remain unbeaten, but the Browns leave their zero behind as they find a way to beat the Bengals. It was also a good week for my teams as the Bills managed not to lose, despite trying to give away a late lead and the Packers woke up from their offensive slumber. And RG3 bounced back from the “mild” concussion he suffered last week to run rough shot all over the Vikings defense and lead the Redskins to 500.

The standings and parity remain pretty intriguing with a full third of the league (11 teams) sitting at 3 and 3 after 6 weeks – 8 more than last week. Nine teams have a winning record (5 less) and twelve have a losing record (3 less). This week, I’m going to highlight one winning team with the biggest potential to fall into the losers bracket by season’s end and one losing team that can run up through the ranks and claim a spot amongst the league’s elite. I say this without really looking closely at the records, so it may be harder than I think.

AP Photo/Joe Howell
AP Photo/Joe Howell
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Bookshelf15 Oct 2012 04:31 pm

I’m not traditionally a Sci-Fi fan, but more and more, I’ve found the genre has crept into the mainstream more and I’m finding it in more and more places. It may have started with LOST, the appointment viewing television show that set new standards of excellence for the TV landscape. It may have been sooner, but since LOST, many more shows have tried to capture that audience and strike the chord that resonates with viewers who would otherwise have nothing to do with science fiction. The key to it all (besides brilliant writing, strong character development, intrigue, and masterful story telling, of course) is time travel. But not just time travel in the traditional “point a” to “point b” sense of the term. Time travel that includes multiple universes, time lines, galaxies, and numerous other dimensions we can’t really quantify, but can only imagine. Now, these concepts are finding me in books… and that’s where I am today.

Four book reviews for you today and the common thread is… A STIFF ARM TO SPACE, TIME, AND DIMENSIONAL CONTINUITY.

Illusion – Frank Peretti

Frank Peretti is famously known for delving into the world of spiritual warfare. Sure, he’s written about other subjects, but when you think Frank Peretti, you think angels and demons swinging swords and hiding in shadows as they manipulate people to gain some influence in the outcome of humanity. In fact, when he’s strayed from these supernatural themes, it’s been less than spectacular (Monster, anyone?)

Regardless, after an extended break, Peretti returns with an all new novel. And it’s not about spiritual war, it’s actually about time travel… sort of. It’s a love story with a lot of twists and turns and, besides the nagging suspicions that it was doomed for a disappointing or pat ending, I was pleasantly surprised. Solid character development and unpredictable plot turns marked the story that draws you in as the underlying story is slowly revealed.
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pop culture&SPORTS11 Oct 2012 03:31 pm

Well, I was 7-7 last week with my picks, which is not very good, but it has been a rather exciting ride thus far this season. You can’t really take anything for granted. There is such a good distribution of wins and losses throughout the league (unless you’re in Cleveland). 14 winning records. 15 losing records. 3 teams at .500. Parity.

Making it even crazier, a good number of the teams that were on top last year (Packers, Saints, Lions, etc.) are struggling this year. And some teams that were lousy last year (Colts, Vikings, Rams) are showing signs of life this year. Of course, perennial dumpster divers (Bills, Browns, etc.) will find ways to lose regardless of the year.

Today, I’ll make my post season picks. I typically do this after week 3, but I’m behind this year and besides, the replacement refs really jumbled things up, right? Okay, first the AFC Division Champs and Wild Cards.

AFC East: Patriots
AFC North: Texans
AFC West: Broncos
AFC South: Ravens

Wild Cards: Bengals, Steelers

Now, the NFC Division Champs and Wild Cards.
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features&front page&MUSIC10 Oct 2012 02:58 pm

WOAH! 2013 album coverOkay, I’ve had this up for a while now, waiting for a few more items to come together for an official “sneak peek” update, but I want to go ahead and post it now.

Recently, WOW Hits released the 2013 edition of the endless series of radio hits and notable songs from the year prior to the date on the album cover. It always ends up leading to endless discussions and debates over which songs were slighted, which songs should have been included, and whether or not any of it matters.

This year, I took a different route and made up my own compilation – including a cheesy album cover to match the pattern of the WOW collections. So, I present to you, WOAH! 2013. Read. React. Discuss.

peace… love… bdg…

general09 Oct 2012 12:32 pm

The headline reads: FaithVillage Opens Virtual Doors to 50 Shades of Evangelicals. This is a marketing FAIL as far as I’m concerned.

Here’s the problem. “Faith Village will be the premiere online home for the Christian community with its relevant, vetted content; resources for spiritual development; trustworthy products; and plenty of room to connect online in public or private groups.” (This, taken from the press release.) And to market this community with “vetted content,” “resources for spiritual development,” and “trustworthy products” they choose to reference a series of “mommy porn” books that has been selling sickening numbers of copies and spreading a crude, explicit message that undermines some principles of Christianity.

“Relevant”? maybe. FAIL? definitely.

peace… love… bdg…

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