another jesus

If you search for images of Jesus on the Internet you will find an unending supply of everything from the serious to the comic, pious to the sacrilegious, realistic to the saccharine. Jesus has always been an appropriated figure by different Christian groups, but now it seems everyone appropriates Jesus for any reason, group, or perspective. Or, to put it another way, Jesus is increasingly seen as a non-religious figure who can be anything you want him to be. I think this can be seen as both a bad thing and a good thing.

Bad because Jesus was and is who he was and is. Any other perspective or viewpoint is not true. That would hold true for our perspective of anyone. But it’s good because so many traditional images of Jesus are just as wrong headed as the many non-traditional. It is a good thing to have our assumptions challenged, and to be reminded that we may not know as much as we think we do. If we don’t take Jesus seriously then, I suppose, anything goes. But if we do take him seriously then it makes sense to find out who he really was – and is. I would expect non-Christians to have fairly limited knowledge of Jesus but, ironically, many Christians do as well.

I saw a lot of politicized images of Jesus. One of the biggest debates going on today (consciously and unconsciously) is whether Jesus was a political figure with a political agenda and whether that political agenda was conservative or liberal. I am inclined to think Jesus was more of a political figure than I have been taught, and I am inclined to see the more liberal side of his politics. However, I think his politics were far more radical than either left or right.

As for those images, here are some of the least offensive, but still non-reverent, images I found in just a few minutes:

The not-meek, not-mild Jesus. Sure he’ll die for your sins, but he’s still as tough as a Chevy truck.

No comment needed – except – reminds me of the ‘who would Jesus bomb’ slogan.

The kind, teaching non-non-violent Jesus.

The Jesus for whom there will be no cross, I suppose. Lookout Romans, it’s smackdown time.

The radical leftist Jesus. “After fasting for forty days, Jesus put on his beret and returned to the collective.”

The twitter gospel Jesus. But why does “sins” have to be spelled with a “z”? It’s not any shorter or easier to type on your blackberry.

The Rastafarian Jesus (I suppose). Is he actually looking at anything?

The astronaut Jesus. He’s in orbit and he’s coming back!

And ironically, maybe the most scriptural of all, the un-dead Jesus. He lives!

Now I recognize how goofy these images of Jesus are, but so are classic Victorian ones like this:

And yet, we have this one in our house and I like it. Hmm.

>another meme

>Anything to do with creating fake band album covers piques my interest. There is a meme going around facebook lately that has the instructions listed below. Here is my cover:

1 – Go to Wikipedia. Hit “random… Read More”
or click
The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 – Go to Quotations Page and select “random quotations”
or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your first album.

3 – Go to Flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 – Use Photoshop or similar to put it all together.

5 – Post it to FB with this text in the “caption” or “comment” and TAG the friends you want to join in.

round & round

um, so… I got new glasses. I do like them, but I’m still getting used to them.

They have round frames.

For many years I wanted round glasses. I used to have some cheep, colored sunglasses that were also round. I thought they were cool, and I thought I was cool wearing them. When I see pictures of myself from that era, with those glasses, I am mostly struck by how much better I looked then and how much thinner I was. I don’t really notice the glasses.

Now I’ve got a pair of prescription glasses with round frames and I think they are cool too, but maybe they are also a bit funny. I’m not sure. Maybe I just need to be thinner to make them “work.”

I order to assuage my concerns of potential funniness I am reminding myself of certain famous people that wore round glasses. Here is a short visual list of round spectacles and their wearers.

I begin first with some of my heroes (of sorts).

The heroes:

John Lennon

When I was in highschool I think I liked Paul best. As I grew up, became more educated, more thoughtful, and became more sophisticated in my musical tastes, my preference switched to John. He was, in my opinion, the best of the Beatles.

and again, Lennon

Also, when I was in college, had long hair, and wore cheap, sound sunglasses, people sometimes said I looked a little like John Lennon. I can’t really say that I did, but I thought it was a kinda cool compliment. Maybe it wasn’t meant as a compliment. Anyway, his glasses were round and so are mine.

Henri Matisse

I didn’t know much at all of Matisse until I majored in Art History as an undergraduate. His use of color and simple forms still gets me. When he wore glasses they were round, as are mine.

Bertolt Brecht with his son

Most of the cinema that changed my life was heavily inspired by Brecht. Sometimes he wore round glasses, as I do.

Edith Head

I can’t think of another person’s name that I’ve seen more in the credits of movies. She was one of a kind. She also wore round glasses as I do.

Phillip Johnson

I love architecture and almost began a career in that direction. Johnson was one of the greats, and he wore round glasses like me.

Kurt Weill

Only recently have I studied any of Kurt Weill. The more I do the more I am impressed with his art. Plus, those are really round glasses which, coincidentally, are as round as mine.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

As a kid I had the Berlin Philharmonic’s version of Scheherezade. I practically wore the grooves off the record. I am also wearing round glasses, and so is Nikolai.

The others:

Jean-Paul Sartre

You know him, probably read him in college. He may be one of the most over-rated philosophers of the past hundred years, but he was a great protester. And here he is with glasses like mine, round.

Heinrich Schliemann

He taught himself Greek, read Homer, and with his copy of the the Iliad in his hands, searched for ancient Troy. Though his methods were crude, he practically began modern archeology. I think my glasses are a little more round than his, but he did quite well.

Osip Brik (photographed by Rodchenko)

I don’t know, or care, anything about Mr. Brik. But I love the photography of Rodchenko. Brik, needless to say, has some Russian letters reflecting in his very round glasses.

Ozzy Osbourne

No comment.

Sigmund Freud

For years I dreamed of having round glasses. Could I have had a round-glasses-complex? Maybe. At any rate, Sigmund and I see eye to eye when it comes to the shape of our glasses.

Thank you for your time.

>I’m voting for comedy (and other serious matters)


Once upon a time…

..the big talk about political campaigns was about television. Kennedy looked better than Nixon in the 1960 television debate. Of course Kennedy looked better than Nixon period, but television was now king.

Today it’s not so much about television. The candidate who wins will need to garner positive “youtube points.” But it’s more than that. It’s not so much how one looks in online video clips. Certainly many people watched recorded excerpts of the debates and various speeches, but now one also has to be extremely careful not to be recorded saying or doing anything incriminating that can then be watched over and over online. And yet, the real issue may be the comedy clips that have been springing up since the campaigns began.

Sara Palin was skewered by her interviews with Katie Couric, but it is likely everyone will remember Tina Fey’s portrayal of Palin even more. It is the comedy clips that get forwarded ad nauseum. I speculate that it is more likely that a McCain supporter will watch a clip that humorously makes fun of McCain than watch a serious clip of an Obama speech. Comedy cuts through a lot of bias. Speaking of these creative comedy clips, why is it that most are coming from the left? Is it that there is a natural link between artistic creativity and a liberal temperament?

Will these comedy clips sway the vote? Or just reaffirm already held beliefs?

And just in case you missed any of those clips, here are some of my favorite:

I would like to think there is a link between creativity and more progressive leanings. But that’s just my bias. Anyway, I’m voting for comedy.

As a final note, Nixon did finally get his day. I guess looking back this is comedy too:

And maybe a little bit of tragedy as well.

>Pepe & Bjorn


Well now . . . it’s about time you heard of that magical musical duo, Pepe & Bjorn. Not that there’s much to know.

You are wondering, I know. Do not wonder. Just accept.

It’s really all about Photoshop …and nonsense.

But… if Pepe & Bjorn ever come you way, you’ll know what to do.