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Posts Tagged ‘u2’

I was slow to get on the smart phone bandwaggon.  Mostly because I really don’t like contracts, and couldn’t justify paying sooooo much for a phone.  That and I would often get my father’s hand-me-downs when he would upgrade his Blackberry.  I liked Blackberry.  It started long ago when I saw the U2 concert that they had funded.  Seriously.  the tesselated screen they developed was a marvel.  I almost bought a Blackberry on principle.  If it could wow me that much on stage, how about in my pocket?

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When my latest hand-me-down started dying, surprisingly like the company that made it, I decided it was time to get technically with it.  One of the major bonus’s of a smart phone with a touch screen is the ease at which one can take a picture and then post it to social media.  I thought to my self “Self, this might be the next best thing to having a husband beside you, whom you can hit, and read book quotes to when they strike you as interesting, or well written, or just plain funny. You can take a picture of the phrase, post it on facebook, and share the brilliance/humor/wit/biting sarcasm/poignancy/[this is good] with the world at large.” I decided that I was quite intelligent in this, and started this practice.  It has been a fun way to to document my reading, and my approbation of the books I read.  The system was working well.

That is, until Terry Pratchett.

Mr. Pratchett.  You, sir, are a genius, and I am unanimous in this.

I kept finding things to photograph, from the opening paragraph, to the book’s end, and I felt they were too much and too good to just randomly throw out on the interwebs without context.  Instead I thought they warranted a blog post, so that I could combine quote and review in one nice spot.

Dodger. The Goodreads summary can be found here.  You can read it if you like.

I will say this.  A) Terry Pratchett knows a lot of history. B) Terry Pratchett has a good of respect for Henry Mayhew, and we all should. C) Terry Pratchett cares about things like poverty, and injustice, and the fact that he can make a discussion about them funny and entertaining is just splendid. D) Any author who can reference “that nice young man, Karl, that I hid from the cossacks with once” and make it clear who he is referring too without being OBVIOUS should be my friend.

I liked the characters in this very much, especially since they have a place in my pop culture and literary reference library.  It isn’t a fantasy novel the way most of the other Discworld books are.  Instead Pratchett explores Victorian London from above and below, allowing the flights of fancy point to the things our society has been battling for a long time: Poverty, injustice, the difficulty of choosing the welfare of one vs the many.  I especially enjoyed Solomon who was unique, fascinating, full of surprises, scandalous stories and philosophical wisdom. Read the book, enjoy the sewers, meet Sweeney Todd, Charles Dickens, Benjamin Disraeli, and a very amused royal ‘We’.

So for you here, I present my many photographs.  I hope they prompt laughter, thought, and a little bit of snarkiness in you too.

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God, U2, and 9/11

Officially it is the 9th anniversary of the horrific events of 9/11. For me this event is intrinsically intertwined with some unusual things, one of which is an older U2 album October.

About a week before 9/11 I was going about my daily life when I had the oddest sensation.  I felt God tell me to go buy the album October.  Let me clarify.  I rarely hear God speak to me.  Not a usual occurrence. Sometimes I feel a nudging, or see a clarity, but rarely do I hear something concrete.  This was one of those rare times.

Since I’m not crazy, I did a very good “Whatchoo talkin’ about Willis?” in God’s general direction, and went back about my life.  I mean, I like U2 and all, but I wasn’t familiar with October. It was from before my time.  And seriously [insert universal sarcastic font] God’s not going to tell me to by a secular cd, is he?

A few day’s later I was on my way to a meeting about an hour and a half away.  The whole way down I was jamming to c.d.’s and off in my own little world.  I arrived at the location only to find everyone around a television, subdued and mournful.

It was heartbreaking watching those towers fall, knowing lives were lost, understanding that this would irrevocably scar us as a nation. I was also really fearful about what we would become, how we would respond.  I kept praying that we would, in the midst of our rage and pain, remember mercy.

On my drive home I did a lot of thinking about what our response should be, as a church: Church nationwide, and my own local outpost. In the middle of my ruminating I I realized that I was slated to lead worship at my church on Sunday.   I don’t know how much of you know anything about worship songs in the church today, but there are a lot of “God you’re awesome.  You do these great things.  I love you.  Life is good” songs and not a lot of “wow this is horrible, my life stinks, the world is going to hell in a hand basket, but Hey, You’re still God!” kind of songs.  I was more than a little perturbed.  I know that worship has the power to shape and channel emotions, and wanted to do something that could help soothe the rawness, and yet remind us to remember mercy, and understand a little of what God wanted for us in the middle of all this tragedy. So I started asking God “What do you want me to do on Sunday?”.

“Go buy October”

Excuse me?

“Go buy October”

I need help with worship….in light of the tragedy….I need to know you care about this horror, and you’re telling me to get a CD? WTF God?

“Go buy October”

I had to head to Walmart [1] for some things for work and decided that I would just check and see if this random, from the early ’80’s U2 CD was there, and if there was one I would purchase it.

There was one.

One.

I put it in the CD player and started home.  The first couple songs were uneventful.  Then I hear something that made me pull the car to the side of the road.  I listened again, with tears coursing down my cheeks.

It’s falling, it’s falling
And outside a building comes tumbling down.
And inside a child on the ground
Says he’ll do it again.

And what am I to do?
What in the world am I to say?
There’s nothing else to do.
He says he’ll change the world some day
I rejoice.[2]

Then the voice.

“Weeping is there for the night, but Joy comes in the morning. [3]  Joy is not you being all happy and giddy.  Joy is when you come to realize that I am bigger than anything you face.  This is what I want you to do on Sunday.  I want you to rejoice.  Realize that I am more than enough for all that you face”

Being able to count the number of times God has ‘spoken’ to me on one finger, it was pretty stunning.

This is my 9/11 stone of remembrance.  The lesson learned that God is more than enough.  And that he cared even about what me, far removed from the tragedy, was going through, even in advance. And now, while I’m living in what I call the Silence of God, I can remember a time when God spoke something that changed me.

1. ptew, ptew, *throws salt over shoulder*

2. U2, Rejoice, from the album October

3. Psalm 30:5 excerpt, paraphrased.

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U2 ROCKED MY WORLD!

And I'm still in AWE!
Photo's of our day in Chicago and the awesome concert follow.

At GiordanosLoren and Kim at DinnerTim, Jon, and Alesha cheer on NDBruce and RachelIn the Cloud gate

And here we are preparing for Snow Patrol:

Chicago from Soldier fieldThe rest of the gangMy Party PeepsI swear it isn't photoshopped

And then the concert! 

Gary LightbodyBig Screen BonoScreen shotsaccoustic Bono and Edge

Check out the amazing stage and expanding screen that almost had me considering buying a Blackberry:

the bottom dropping outFalling in love with the screenAnd the pieces keep comingFully extended and blowing my mind

And just so we're clear. I want a Giant Spike of lights with a Huge Disco ball on top!

StageBlinding LightsGalaxy of Stars

Traffic jam on our way out.

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Audio:  Share a song that makes you nostalgic. 
Submitted by Alex

From back in my college days Mysterious Ways, U2.  I loved this song.  Still do. Also Duran Duran from back in the UK.  There are a lot of songs from England that I take me back, but I can't find, Propaganda, 19, and ones that I just miss, Depeche Mode, Clash, Smiths, AHA

(I know, hardly in the same league, but what can I say, I was 11)
Funny story tho.  My dad and Mum often pass off thier used Cell phones to me, when they upgrade, and this latest time I got dad's phone which has a billiards game on it. Actually, there's no pool, just snooker, and to figure out how to play the game I sang the song that I knew from back in the day in the Uk  'Snooker Loopy'.  We were in London in the 80's as my dad was pastoring a church over there.  When we returned to the US we had to do a tour of churches speaking on the mission that we had been doing.  I was 13 and deeply sarcastic, and hated the tour.  Mostly because mum and dad did the same talk every church, and I had committed the entire thing to memory. I kept begging them to let me do part of the talk, and was always turned down.  I think they knew my attitude would cause trouble eventually. One church we went to had a number of ladies who were very charmed by our accents (we all sounded like good little brits) and asked if us kids could sing them something british. With a glint (evil glint) in my eye I rallied my siblings and took them to the front of the conservative Mennonite church, and belted out a good version of Snooker Loopy.  It has some illusions of a slightly sexual nature, and was very shocking to these poor people as the three angelic looking missionary kids are belting out comments about balls.  I pretty much caught hell for that.  Mum was not happy with my blatant disregard for decorum, but I know that later she and dad laughed much at my brilliant attempt to stick it to them.

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