“I’m drawn to making church music for many reasons, but perhaps the biggest one is that, in looking at the historical Church, I see a pretty consistent pattern of there being two artistic paths for believers: one being church composing, and the other making art in the ‘mainstream’ arena. Caravaggio, Michelangelo and many others certainly made art that revealed their religious perspectives, but they did so in the general art world, not in a small cloistered bubble of religious artists making art for religious people.”—Honest songs | The Salvation Army
During unified action, U.S. forces should never violate basic civil or human rights. Most protesters are law-abiding citizens who intend to keep their protests nonviolent, but some protest planners insist that the event involve violence. Often in the media, protesters can gain sympathy for their cause by prompting authorities to take physical action against them…
Inciting a crowd to violence or a greater intensity of violence by using severe enforcement tactics must be avoided…
Community unrest results in urban conflicts that arise from highly emotional social and economic issues. Economically deprived residents may feel that they are treated unjustly or ignored by people in power and authority. Tensions can build quickly in a community over a variety of issues, such as hunger, poor employment opportunities, inadequate community services, poor housing, and labor issues. Tensions in these areas create the potential for violence. When tensions are high, it takes a small (seemingly minor) incident, rumor, or perceived act of injustice to ignite groups within a crowd to riot and act violently. This is particularly true if community relations with authorities are strained.
How, then can anyone say that the police in St. Louis County, and all over America, are not militarized? Because the cops aren’t acting like soldiers. They’re acting like extras in a Michael Bay movie playing soldiers.
Despite their expensive costuming, the police in Ferguson are putting on an unsophisticated, unscripted performance, a copy without an original. If these cops were to take a page out of the Army’s book on crowd control, it would be an improvement. But they seem to be making up tactics to go with the gear they’ve acquired.
Rest in Peace to Michael Brown and to every young black man murdered in America, whether by the hands of white or black. I pray that one day the world will be filled with peace and rid of injustice. Only then will we all Be Free.
“There is a feedback loop of recrimination playing in the streets of Ferguson. With the thinnest of rationales, the police here responded to community anger in the self-justifying language of force, under circumstances that call for a more humane tongue.”—What I Saw in Ferguson
“On the whole, art should not be explained; it must be experienced. But by means of words it is possible to help others to experience it…”—Steen Eiler Rasmussen, Experiencing Architecture (MIT Press, 1964). (via caravaggista)
France, which opposed the Iraqi invasion, is now welcoming any of the estimated 60,000 christian refugees fleeing violence in Iraq. The violence which France clearly worked to prevent from the onset.
Meanwhile, the US is taking absolutely no notice of it’s obvious, objective, and historically indisputable involvement in creating the violent climate that exists in Central America and is scrambling to deport the 60,000 children already within it’s borders seeking refuge.
"Brother don’t grow up….
Just hope that age does not erase all that you’ve seen
Don’t let bitterness become you
Your only hopes are within you.”
James Marcus Haney traveled to Seattle to shoot a music video featured his younger brother and friends. What he captured was the collision of destructive and creative forces churning within us at the edge of adulthood. Shortly after he began filming, a campus shooting occurred. Paul Lee, who died in the shooting, was a dorm mate of James’ younger brother.
“One random day in the San Fernando Valley, a dying father, a young wife, a male caretaker, a famous lost son, a police officer in love, a boy genius, an ex-boy genius, a game show host and an estranged daughter will each become part of one story. Through coincidence, chance, human action, past history and divine intervention they will weave through each other’s lives on a day that builds to an unforgettable climax.”—http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Magnolia.html
Wow. Wow. Incredible use of focus, grain, sharpness, grade, frame, shape and more. Archetypically human and, at times, simultaneously briefly unrecognizable. A fresh lens on the body— Most familiar, most Other.
“I got things to do, before I meet that glory in the sky
And my baby girl b-day six months away, she gonna be five
So I pray to the lord he spare me, and I make it by and by
And I help souls stay out of Hell with what I testify
And maybe when I grab that microphone and never lie
That’ll merit that he spare me, I won’t have to feel that fire
So Killa Kill gonna spit that real on each and every song
And each and every poem, until the good lord call me home, gone!”—Killer Mike
I kept seeing mention of the term ‘community’ on CrossFit websites and I didn’t understand what that meant. It made no sense to me. I was used to ‘team’. Team means to showcase the best and replace the weak link. I didn’t want to be the guy that everyone felt sorry for…
That day I learned that community was about the shared struggle. It is about recognizing people trying their best.
Pain is part of being human. Anyone who really wanted to get rid of suffering would have to get rid of love before anything else, because there can be no love without suffering, because it always demands an element of self-sacrifice, because, given temperamental differences and the drama of situations, it will always bring with it renunciation and pain.
When we know that the way of love — this exodus, this going out of oneself — is the true way by which man becomes human, then we also understand that suffering is the process through which we mature. Anyone who has inwardly accepted suffering becomes more mature and more understanding of others, becomes more human. Anyone who has consistently avoided suffering does not understand other people; he becomes hard and selfish.
Love itself is a passion, something we endure. In love I experience first a happiness, a general feeling of happiness. Yet, on the other hand, I am taken out of my comfortable tranquility and have to let myself be reshaped. If we say that suffering is the inner side of love, we then also understand why it is so important to learn how to suffer — and why, conversely, the avoidance of suffering renders someone unfit to cope with life. He would be left with an existential emptiness, which could then only be combined with bitterness, with rejection, and no longer with any inner acceptance or progress toward maturity.
“What I’ve seen is how disruptive Pope Francis has been within the hierarchy of the United States," said Tobin. "I was talking to a couple of brother bishops a while back and they were saying that bishops and priests were very discouraged by Pope Francis because he was challenging them." "I think there was a particular image, perhaps, of what it means to be a pastoral leader in this country, and Francis is disturbing it," he continued. "I think there is some resistance to a different way of doing the Gospel mission of the church.”—Archbishop warns of ‘balkanization’ in US church | National Catholic Reporter
I’ve had a number of folks ask me about O Happy Fault. Both technical questions and spiritual ones. I figured I’d just go ahead and post the below correspondence with my friend Brandon.
“Hey man, I’m seriously super impressed with the production quality of O Happy Fault. First, the blended concept of concert plus narrative is such a unique and fresh take on typical live concert videos. Whoever thought of that deserves a solid high-five. But second, as a video-guy myself, I’m interested to learn more about the production of the film. You’ve got some gorgeously shot, compelling visuals there…what equipment did you shoot with? What did your crew look like? How long did the whole thing take you (from pre-production to filming to post)?” - Brandon
“Hey man, Sorry for the slow reply.
I’m really glad you enjoyed it. It felt like a risky project to make, so anytime someone connects with it I really do appreciate it. The concept was mine (and Audrey took a little convincing but once she bit on it she added some really great thoughts and helped drive it towards being a fully meditative experience.)
I worked with the same crew I’ve been working with a lot lately. (They do incredible work and I’m so proud to have them in our corner http://identityvisuals.com)… Basically a 4 man guerrilla unit. Me producing and directing. Samuel Cowden - Co-producing and DPing. Zac Dixon and Tyler Scott doing grip, sound, etc. On the narrative shoot, we used a steady cam for a lot of it with Tyler pulling focus remotely from a monitor. The camera is the Canon 1Dc - Canon’s 4K DSLR Camera. Prime lenses. Mostly a 35 and 50mm. It performed really well in low light. Better than my experience with REDs. We also used a small ARRI kit for light, but mostly took available light and worked with it. On the performance shoot we had 5 cameras, 2 Mark II 5Ds (blown up to 4K for the theater version, which worked really ok using Davinci to color and sharpen), 2 REDs and 1 Canon C500. 2 cameras on tracks, 3 on sticks. We lit the stage and crowd with a lighting kit of focusable Source 4s on 4 trees. The projection is double-wide rear projection with ultra short throw projectors and propresenter using their image blending plugin. The audio was recorded by a seperate unit and mixed by Sean Moffit. We didn’t overdub or tune anything (which is crazy and unusual these days)
I don’t know the time. We did the concert shoot in late August 2013. Probably something like 1-2weeks preproduction total, plus the time it took for custom visuals (by Zac.) But the pre-production for that doubled as prep for tour where we used all of the same set up (less the cameras and recording gear)
The narrative stuff was like 2 weeks of writing by me, 5ish days pre-production (not full days but maybe 30hrs over 4 days (split between Sam and I), 2 days of shooting, and then I didn’t track my hours in post. It was a lot. Sam took a day to color, we recorded the voice-overs in one full day. I probably edited for 2 full weeks I’d guess. Plus some post-effects. Zac did the dream sequence effects in 2-3 days time.. mostly that took time because I had a very specific vision and a hard time communicating that. So we had to do some work, and then sit on it while I thought of ways to convey what I needed. The score was written/ recorded by Matt Kidd in about 4 days during that time. He nailed it.
We’re doing screenings of it this summer if you’re interested in scheduling one….” - Me
I feel like I’m working backwards on this. I never was a virgin artist. Somehow I was “pragmatic” from the very start- a walking compromise the first time I created something of my own. Unraveling the binds of money and adulation is not any easy process; for me it’s because I can’t remember the spark that came before a slow degradation. Instead, I remember a creative prisoner with Stockholm Syndrome, trying to serve it’s captives to freedom. Thanks for writing this, Seth. For me, it’s a reminder to fight. And that good art is not made by way of good business.
Hurt and harm are not equals. Exercise hurts. Gluttony harms. Truth hurts, sin often feels well and natural, but ultimately harms. Therefore our discernment of goodness, justice, and/or virtue cannot invoke the immediate and present self as a deciding factor.
Another, simpler way of looking at discernment is asking “will I want to *have done* this?” It is a far better question than “do I want to do this?”
And all that did not much enter my mind this am when I picked up a treestump full of sleeping carpenter bees to carry it 30yds to the woods. Though I survived unscathed, it was a pretty rash choice.
I’m still really digging this Japandroids record from a couple years back. Fuzzy vocals, classic/ alt rock progressions, punk rhythms, anthemic shouting, the feeling of skateboarding through traffic at night.