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Archive for December, 2008

In a few words

I just placed an order for a copy of Karl Löwith’s book From Hegel to Nietzsche via Amazon (from another seller; don’t buy directly from Amazon), and after checking out I thought I might have a look at Amazon’s recommendations for me, since I’ve placed many orders over the past few months. I’m still browsing the selections, but I thought it was interesting to take a look at the keywords used from other books I’ve viewed/purchased. I think it’s fairly accurate as a pseudo-intellectual interests description:

Adult Alternative; Church and State; Classics; Deconstruction; Discipleship; Education; Ethics and Morality; Existentialism; History; History and Criticism; Humanities; Indie Rock; Missions and Missionary Work; Modern; New Testament; Nonfiction; Political; Political Science; Religion and Spirituality; Religious; Singer-Songwriters; Social Sciences; Sociology; Study; Wright, N.T.

The topics in large, bold type were Humanities and Indie Rock, and I guess that’s a pretty fair assessment. It’s pretty funny that N.T. Wright has his own category; he deserves it, and I probably deserve to have him on my list with how many of his books I have. I’d like to say I’ve been greatly shaped by reading him, but the 5 or 6 books that I’ve read of his were so thorough that they will need multiple reads to get a lot out of them. I plan to revisit Simply Christian in a little bit, and hopefully Surprised By Hope as well, which was one of the top books I read last year.

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I caved

I now only need a North Face jacket to officially become a hipster-Christian. Today I purchased a MacBook, the new, sexy 13-inch aluminum one to be exact. I feel like a sellout for how much I’ve (in jest) ripped on my friends for having them, but, I can say with the upmost sincerity that it’s good to be done with PCs.

I’m looking forward to smooth, clean, simple organization, and also finally coming over to the dark side and getting iTunes. iDunno if this is going to have adverse, cooler-than-thou effects on me, but it sure feels like it will. 

Anyways, I wanted to offer up a half sincere apology to all of the massive readership of the blog for not updating much in the past few months. A lot has happened, and I’m still processing a lot of my experience in England. I’m reading at a good clip right now, and am currently delving into some self-examination. I’m jumping in with the help of three atheist friends, Freud, Marx and Nietzsche (with the masterful help of Merold Westphal and his excellent book ‘Suspicion and Faith’), but soon it will be intensely Kierkegaardian, like all good things.

In the meantime I will keep using single quotes in denial that I have moved on from Oxford and can no longer walk over to North Parade for a baguette. Also, I feel obligated to head over to the Apple store to see all the cool accessories I can get.

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New Sufjan

Apparently Sufjan has released a new? album under the guise of ‘The Welcome Wagon.” I realize that I am a little behind the times on this one, but I’ve been outside the country for 4 months. From what I’ve listened to so far, it’s very good, as you would probably expect. I guess it could be called a sort of concept album. Here’s Asthmatic Kitty’s description:

The debut album by The Welcome Wagon unveils a ramshackle sing-a-long enterprise of a Presbyterian pastor (the Rev. Vito Aiuto) and his wife (Monique) wrestling out the influences of folk music, religion, popular culture, and church tradition in a collection of songs that is as soulful as it is good-humored. This gorgeous brew is reflected in the group’s repertoire, which unflinchingly consolidates a vast history of “sacred” song traditions: from Old Testament psalms, to Presbyterian Psalters of the 17th century, to iconoclastic pop innovators of the 1960s (The Velvet Underground), to charismatic Catholics of the 1970s (Lenny Smith), and into the melancholy lovelorn pop of the 1980s (The Smiths). There are even a few originals. Armed with a particleboard parlor guitar and a plastic glockenspiel, pastor and wife stumble their way through an arresting catalog of hymns—hallowed and unholy—with the simple desire to know their Maker—and to know each other—more intimately. The result—due, in part, to producer/arranger Sufjan Stevens—is an awe-inspiring collection of hymns, pop covers, and originals that render soulful stunts from quiet skirmishes of home recordings.

Can’t wait to get the album.

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Dylan Upon Homecoming

Well, I am home, but I’m not really one for words right now. Oxford has sapped the words that I have both academically and in other ways, too. So in lieu of me, perhaps the fourth verse from one of the best Dylan songs will do.

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind.

Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves.

The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach.

Far from the twisted reach of constant sorrow.

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free.

Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands.

With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves.

Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.

I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.

In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

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