Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Do you remember when Weezer was the best band in the world. I do.

So I've actually remained pretty disciplined in my resolution to start running. In fact, I'm doing the C to 5K workout, which becomes increasingly more difficult every week until you can run a 5k. I'm glad I'm doing it and although I've only been at it for 4 weeks, I think I'm starting to see the beginning of results. That said, I really hate running. I would rather do almost any other kind of exercise. The one good thing about it is that it gives me a chance to listen to music and absorb new records and rediscover old ones. Last night I listened to one of my favorite records of all time, Pinkerton by Weezer. I don't know if I've ever listened to it on headphones and I was amazed by all the stuff I'd never noticed before. Some records, particularly older stereo records like the Beatles', I don't like listening to on headphones because, to me, the music is panned so hard right and left that it loses a lot of its body weight; it's meat and potatoes, if you will. Anyway, I love everything about how Pinkerton sounds. Matt, if you're reading this, do you think we can make our next recording sound like this one? Weezer has never made another record like Pinkerton, but they have made some very bad records (Cameron says that, where Star Wars and Weezer are concerned, I'm like an abusive husband that says I love them but make fun of them all the time). So it goes. I still have love for them, though, if for no other reason than the fact that their first two records essentially defined my teenage years, and still stand up as 2 of the best rock records of all time.

When Weezer's first record came out, almost no one in east Texas knew anything about it. And its because of that that Jeremy and I got away with constantly telling and convincing people that we were in Weezer while at UIL competitions in high school. I just love the idea that somewhere there are people talking about how one time, they met two guys from Weezer at a theatre competition. Jeremy was always Rivers and I was always Brian Bell. So it goes.

Probably once ever year or two, I re-read the gospels for one reason or another. Its always interesting to notice how every time I read them I see them a little differently. Its not hard to imagine why. A year or two has passed and my perspective has changed and therefore my interpretation has undoubtedly changed accordingly. I only started yesterday, and I'm currently reading 2 other books as well, so I'm only about half-way through Matthew (which has always been my favorite). So far the things that have stood out to me are that the sermon on the mount is a beautiful rant on the merits of selflessness, but that isn't really anything new to anyone, but what's interesting is how uninterested Jesus is in anyone who isn't Jewish. It isn't until chapter 12 that he quotes a scripture that even remotely sounds like he has anything for the gentiles ("...And in his name the gentiles will hope"). Another thing that's weird is that Jesus is understood to be a descendant of King David, but in the lineage at the beginning, he's only related to David on Joseph's side. So you see the problem, if it is even a problem. If he's a virgin birth then Joseph's bloodline has nothing to do with Jesus'.

I've always thought Jesus said some weird stuff mixed in with his good stuff, but I've always liked his character for how he handles the Pharisees. He's always breaking their laws and when they call him on it, he's quick to make them feel stupid for valuing laws more than people and, personally, I've always envisioned his tone of voice to be very "hey man, shut the f**k up," when addressing them.

I've updated my Amazon widget largely so I could recommend the book Lamb by Christopher Moore. Its a fictional account of Yeshua's first 30 years which are consistently left out of the gospels. Its funny and endearing and instantly became a new favorite for me. I found myself really wishing it was true because I loved the character of Joshua (Jesus/Yeshua) so much. I didn't think it was irreverent but I suppose some people might. I don't guess its ridiculous to assume that making religion remotely funny requires at least a little irreverence. Either way, whether you're the faithful or the faithless, its a good time.


  1. I'm going to start telling people Maladroit is my favorite record just to piss you off.

    Honestly though, as much as i want to debate this with you until the end of time I have just about given up, In regards to both Weezer and Star Wars. I still hold that those early records and original movies have some weight more because of the time when we saw them and the length of time between the new and the old.

    And still nothing in the summer of 1999 was better than Episode One.

    As far as the lineage of Jesus is concerned, i would argue that bloodlines are not all that makes a father. It is my belief that an adopted child can be every bit as influenced and even loved by a parent who chooses to raise them.

    Jesus seems like a pretty funny guy, but between the flipping of tables and the WTF moment when someone woke him up for something that could have waited until morning I can see where your coming from.

    I look forward to reading Lamb.

    All of this reminds me of the time you watched Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon in English Dub on full screen VHS and continued to tell me how bad it sucked. With your perspective in a constant change I would hope you would give this another view, as I think Widescreen and Mandarin will help.

  2. I read Lamb years ago and adored it.

    I went to Luthran school for couple years in high school, and remember something about how Mary was also from some other line of David? Like the house split and Mary + Joseph would have been a re-joining of two lines that go back to David way back. Still, the logic there is funny.

    One thing that I think it's important to remember is that Jesus did not come to create a new religion. "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them" Matt 5:17 My interpretation here (and consistent with what I've been taught, which doesn't happen very often) is that he came to fix problems in the Jewish religion, not to start over and separate. So when you say that he wasn't interested in anyone that wasn's Jewish, I think you're probably right- he at least started out his teachings with a target audience of Jews. Whether the scope widened within his tenure or as the result of interpritation of his followers and supporters is not something I'm an expert on, however this does seem to be a big part of the distinction between Peter's teachings and Paul's teachings.

  3. Maladroit is probably their third best record and is actually one that I enjoy. The green record is a coaster, so is most of the red one. Make believe has 2 or 3 really good songs and then a ton of filler.

    You can't honestly believe that the new trilogy is anywhere near as good as the original trilogy. When's the last time you actually watched Episode one? It. Is. Painful. Sometimes I feel guilty about not watching the new ones more often but I can just never bring myself to pull those dvds over the old ones.

  4. Also, while I totally agree that more goes into fatherhood than a bloodline and that Joseph may have been a wonderful father, it still doesn't make Jesus a descendent of David, unless as Green says, there may be a connection on Mary's side. I also agree with you, Green, that Jesus came to fix the Jewish religion more than he did to start Christianity.

    Also, there is no aspect ratio or digital film quality that could make Crouching Tiger a good movie. There is a short list of movies that, at the end of them, I've actually felt guilty about how I'll never get those 2 hours of my life back. Crouching Tiger is one of them.

  5. The lineage of Jesus is recorded in two places: Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:28-38. It seems as if these two genealogies of Jesus contradict. Do they? Most biblical scholars assume that Luke is referring to the genealogy of Mary and that the genealogy recorded in Matthew is of Joseph. The Matthew genealogy follows Joseph's line (Jesus' legal father), through David's son Solomon. Luke follows Mary's line (Jesus' blood mother), through David's son Nathan.

    Through both of these lines, Jesus Christ is David's descendant and is eligible to be the promised Messiah. Tracing a genealogy through the mother's line is somewhat unusual, but the virgin birth is unusual as well!

  6. It definitely says that Joseph is the son of Heli(in Luke) and the son of Jacob (in Mathew) with no mention of Mary's lineage between the two books. Why do people think that Luke is tracing Mary's if it says its Joseph's in both books? They each feature some common names, though not always in the same places.

  7. i actually watched Episode I back in march and enjoyed it yet again. Podrace + Duel of the fates outweigh anything else that is bad about it. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the new trilogy is on equal footing as the old, but I don't really think we're supposed to see them that way. Its just one story now. And I prefer The new trilogy to Return of the Jedi (which i still adore).

    when is the last time you watched Crouching Tiger? I'm not saying your going to love it. I honestly don't know if you could watch it without your preconceived notions weighing in.

  8. the Duel of the Fates fight scene is amazing, I will give you that. I think the pod race is boring. What it really boils down to is that George Lucas, no matter what strokes of briliance he's had, can't direct his way out of a paper bag. The new trilogy and A New Hope for that matter, are full of great actors who are seemingly just reading lines for 2 hours. Ewan, Liam, and Frank are the only ones to pull out decent performances in TPM. I think the new trilogy would have been amazing with some different casting decissions and a real director. Cameron, my love, you don't have to love it just because its Star Wars, you know.

    I've only seen Crouching Tiger the once. If I watched it now would it still be 2 hours of cheesy wire work. Ang Lee is another director that hasn't impressed me at all. I still can't get over that Shrek movie he did where Shrek was really angry and smashed everything, and Donkey wasn't even in it. I bet Eddie Murphy was pissed.

  9. The gospels do not give a very satisfactory record of the lineage of Jesus. Try reading Bart Ehrman's The New Testament: A Historical Introduction, published by the Oxford University Press. It has a section on the birth narratives.

  10. I also prefer the original trilogy to the new Star Wars. However, I think that Revenge of the Sith is incredible (and incredibly slow) simply because of what happens. Lately, I find myself watching A New Hope more than any of them. Probably because I watch it with Kya and she loves that one. That's Star Wars to her.

    Pod races suck. So do Speeder Bike chases, Speeder car chases, and Ewoks.

    But I love Star Wars. I'll watch anything from that galaxy far far away over and over and over again.

    Camp is hard. I'll post more when I'm done. Miss you all!

  11. Taylor have you ever watched American Graffiti or THX-1138? Lucas very much knew what he was doing. Furthermore, the guy pretty much directed Return of the Jedi, as after EMPIRE where he distanced himself he was on set every single day giving Marquand the business. The Pod race is an almost shot for shot redo of Ben Hur (though with a killer sound mix). I also think Watto was a pretty well developed charachter.

    I also disagree with your assertion of everyone just reading lines throughout the first film. Lucas had a very clear (and ultimately fully realized vision). People thought he was crazy during the dailies and even first rough cut because it was without the John WIlliams score, the james earl jones voice, and was still using WWII fighter plane footage during scenes of the Death Star battle. He took a major pay cut (in return for the action figure rights) just to get money to finish the movie.

    I still don't get your hatred for the wire work in Crouching Tiger. Its some of Yuen Wo Ping most graceful stuff, due in part i think because of the multiple females in the movie. Inn comparison to stuff like the Matrix which he is also responsible for. As far as watching it English dubbed, you are pretty much robbing the actors of their performance. Watching it in Pan & scan ruining the scope of the film. While this may be less painful in comedy it can kill an action packed martial arts film.

    I would hardly even say you saw the same movie as i did, only because somebody working at Blockbuster Video decided that the East Texas mindset would prefer a dumbed down version of the movie on VHS. They could have ordered the widescreen tape with the original language, but insisted that the redneck majority would be pissed off about it. Don't damn the movie because of that.

    I have always assumed that when you (and I believe Jeremy) watched it together that one of you probably made a great wisecrack about something you didn't like. In turn the other tried to top it and vice versa. By the end of the movie you hated it only because you tore it to shreds as it went, and it would be easy to do with bad voice dub actors.

    I never have heard your opinion on Ang Lee in Brokeback Mountain. You know my thoughts on The Hulk (as i still think could have been saved with a better edit) I just picked up Ride with the devil which i have never seen, though his version of Sense & sensibility has always left me bored.

    All in all, I do hope you see it again in the future, and enjoy the love story wrapped around the wirework. I'm still not sure that you will love it, as I think you have created a deep seeded hatred for it that you'll never let go of. But I am certain its not nearly as bad as you think it is.

  12. Man, I just typed a really long response that was both engaging and well thought out but my computer at work sucks ass and not only did it not post, but it deleted. I don't think I have it in me to retype it. Maybe I'll call you, Cameron, and tell you why you're wrong about everything you've ever thought in your entire life.

    Ewoks 4 ever!!!
    Death to Jar Jar!!!