Who is this Kent Dobson …


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Kent Dobson Photo by Ted Bingham 

I talked to my brother the other day on the phone and he recommended that I take a listen to comedian Pete Holmes’ podcast recorded with a guy named Kent Dobson. You can listen to it here.

In a nutshell, Kent Dobson is a friend of Rob Bell’s, the controversial pastor who lead Mars Hill church to mega-churchdom. Bell later removed hell from his personal views, maybe even heaven, and concentrated on the here and now. His blasphemy cost him his pastorship.

I read about Bell long after I had left faith. Hell was one of the first things I was able to let go of as being biblically unsound. So reading him was a little boring. Bell was late to the party.

From what I understand, Kent Dobson took over the church after Rob Bell was basically pushed out. Dobson also flew the evangelical nest and stripped lots of dogma from his perspective.

 

From listening to this podcast, his perspective(s) is/are hardly unique.  I wished that when I was going through my own period of stripping off the dirty, wet clothing of evangelical Christianity, that I could have known more people like Kent, Pete, or anyone else who is able to leave the ideas of our youth.
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Happy Easter to us everyone …


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Here’s wishing you and yours a happy Easter. Whether you celebrate Christ’s resurrection or not.

For me, Easter is a reminder of what I do not believe. I can’t help it. On the social media outlets, you have friends plugging “He is Risen” graphics. Continue reading

The tragedy of celebration


In 2006, Tina’s dad made an announcement. Not just any announcement.

He announced he had cancer.

Not just any cancer. Stomach cancer.

Not just any stage cancer. Stage 4 borderline stage 5 cancer.

This was not just any announcement. An “I’ve got so long to live” announcement. “Let’s do things. Let’s reconnect. Let’s make up for lost time.”

The distance from the announcement to his death was short. At most, eight months. He attacked it with every ounce of strength he had. He tried keeping up his active lifestyle of rollerblading in his Florida neighborhood. He tried to keep dating a woman he’d been on and off again for a few years.

We saw him for a weekend that fall. His mom, Tina’s grandma, passed away in October. He flew up to the funeral. We talked to him. His hair was gone. But he felt okay. His feet felt heavy, like “concrete” he said, so he was buying tons of shoes to comfort the feeling.

Back in Florida, he was far from all of us Chicago relatives. While the sun and warmth were probably good for his soul and his attitude, he was alone down there. He had to drive himself to doctor’s appointments and treatments. He was a proud man, and didn’t want to bother his girlfriend. He started taking cabs to the doctor. He took cabs to chemo. He needed help.

His health nosedived toward Christmas. His brother ended up driving down to get him around the holiday with hopes he could help alleviate some of the ease of doctor visits and cancer treatments. But it was really to have him near his brothers, Tina and the rest of the family when he died.  Continue reading

Media diet, busy-ness, relationships, life, learning and you


The last few months have been some of the busiest of my career (Thanks, President Trump!*).

The level of busy is positive for income and also for how it’s teaching me about my craft. While I make mistakes all the time on sets, I’ve learned how to deal with them better.

Another way to look at it is that I turn failures into opportunities. And that generally feels good.

Tina and I haven’t had a day off in what seems like forever. There wouldn’t be any real way to count. It would be exaggeration to claim no day off in months. There’s not a day that goes by when we don’t do something work related.

When we’re busy, my social life, media diet and reading life turns to shit. It kills me when I feel like I can’t keep up with my friends, or even maintain my personal media diet of books, exercise and mediation. Through the thick of it, I try my damnedest when and where I can.

Last Saturday night, Tina took some time to spend with her cousin Kelly and other girlfriends. I hunkered down and worked the night away on some interiors photography that had a hard deadline. It’s work that I’m really proud of, but can’t share because it has to publish first in a magazine. After that, I can share it.

Most of the night, I listened to one of my favorite radio stations: Nova Radio France. They play a mix of House, Jazz, some disco, etc. I heard a version of a Radiohead song once that I can’t find and it’s killing me. A lot of the music on Nova is bass-driven, and I think that’s why I like it so much. I used to play bass (try to anyway). Plus I get a little taste of French between songs, or in French songs, or in interviews they do with DJs.

Lately, they’ve turned me on to a pair of beautiful twin artist who go by Ibeyi. They’re super thought provoking and talented. Plus, I have a weakness for female vocalists.

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Finally! Someone with some brains has predicted Armageddon!


From a reputable news source:

A Christian numerologist claims that the world will end next Saturday when a planet will, supposedly, collide with Earth.

According to Christian numerologist David Meade, verses in Luke 21:25 to 26 are the sign that recent events, such as the recent solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey, are signs of the apocalypse.

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Meade has built his theory on the so-called Planet X, which is also known as Nibiru, which he believes will pass Earth on Sept. 23, causing volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and earthquakes, according to British newspaper The Sun.

NASA has repeatedly said Planet X is a hoax.

Don’t make any plans past Sept 23, 2017, all ye breathren!

It’s time to meet your maker!

I was going to post this article without commentary, but apparently, I can’t keep my fingers still from typing a little response.

This article was given credence on a national “news” site. If you read the phenomenal journalistic writing, it just dives into biblical rational behind the prophecy. This assumes a lot, especially that everyone knows the bible and that everyone would be familiar with its predictions for the future.

There’s a part of the article describing this as being issued forth by the astrological sign of virgo. Ah, those pesky virgins! What with all their gifts of gods giving eternal life and taking all life away at the moment when planets ram into each other. Virgins are bitches!

At least the journalist behind this amazing story evens everything out by including a cautionary quote from a “rational” mind who is quoted as saying, “There is nothing to suggest that 23 September is a momentous date for biblical prophecy, and Christians need to be careful about being drawn into such sensationalist claims.”

That seems well and good. But if you go to the source of the quote, he also wrote: “We won’t know the day or the hour—so we should be prepared at all times!”

Phew, thanks for including an expert opinion on this matter!

We won’t know the day or the hour. 

Le sigh. Le humph. Le barf.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that line growing up. Yawn.

No really. The church and whoever said that kind of thing scared the shit out of me. They scare the shit out of any ol’ gullible dimbulb any chance they get. “Yeah, little Jeremy, you have the choice to follow Jesus or not. But just keep in mind, we don’t know the day or hour when Jesus is coming back so make sure you invite him into your heart and ask for forgiveness of all your sins that we made up or bam, Jesus could return. Then you’ll find yourself swimming in molten lava for ETERNITY! Sleep tight, little guy. This is the gospel. This is love. And it shows how much I love you by scaring you with telling you this!!

It’s your choice. 

What choice?

There may be some cataclysmic events in the world. And these ideas of apocalypse were certainly much greater back in the olden times when people didn’t know shit about the size of the earth or how to even remotely predict catastrophic events. When the earth and its place in the universe is a big fat mystery, of course the explanations that emerge will scare the shit out of people and inspire shit-scaring tactics of mind control.

Them there’s the best way to occupy a world without a 24-hour news cycle and a world in which 99% of the world population couldn’t read or write.

 

Yesterday, it snowed in Chicago


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Okay, okay. This photo isn’t from yesterday. But I came across it while archiving old photos.

Yesterday there were also many eye-witness accounts of white stuff falling from the sky in and around the Chicago area.

In case you haven’t noticed your calendar lately, it’s May. Fucking May.

And it snowed.

This winter there was more snow than I’ve ever seen in Chicago. It started long ago … in November. I was able to shoot our Christmas card after a few inches in December.

This photo above was from January 3 or so. And it snowed, at least a little all the way to May.

The 2013-2014  season was the weirdest months of winter we’ve ever seen.

And you may ask yourself, why, oh why is all this weird weather happening? Why is it so cold and the scientists — those liberal, immoral scientists — screaming that there’s global warming?

It blows my mind that this weather is all been predicted … by the bible … and by science.

The bible reads that an increase in earthquakes and weather phenomenon will call forth the end times.

But the bible also reads:

The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
    speaks and summons the earth
    from the rising of the sun to where it sets.

And you can insert images of sunsets and flowers with a soft glow. Or you could insert the soft warm glow of a setting sun cast across the bloated belly of a starving child covered in flies in Africa or Detroit.

These kinds of vague references are so tarot card reader slash fortune cookie like.

So when we are all arguing about climate change and global warming, everybody feels right as rain and self congratulatory. The bible is the astronaut jamming a flag into the moon of so many things … and it’s a little annoying at times.

Just a tad.

I was very appreciative of this video (below) from John Oliver that I saw yesterday. But I don’t think it will help things. It’ll just make people who disagree look for more disagreement. It’ll make them blame liberalism and thank the dusty old book that they think they love, but not the parts that they choose not to. And those who agree, will agree.

And the sun will rise and fall.

Oh, wait. We’ll actually do all the moving — we here on this spec of dust called the Earth — and the sun will sit relatively still. But we’ll all be moving through space with billions and billions and billions of stars and planets. And science will continue to answer questions. And ignorance will still win out in the end!