Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Birthday Reflections

Ok, yesterday was my birthday (and I have to say that I like the Facebook birthday feature, no only did I get many well-wishes from people I also have remembered some birthdays I would have forgotten). Since it was my birthday, I figured I'd do some reflections on my celebration this year.
First, my extended family gave me money and ordered me to get a new TV. We've never had a new TV before so it was a huge surprise. The Wii never looked so good and last night we got to watch the second season premiere of Jericho in HD (everyone watch it please, so it doesn't almost get cancelled again). I can't believe how awesome over the air digital broadcasting looks - wow! Tomorrow we'll get our cable upgraded and I'll finally get to see a regular season hockey game in HD, which is why my Dad insisted I get the TV. I'm looking forward to it. The TV isn't much bigger, screen-wise, than our previous TV (32-inch wide screen, vs. 26-inch standard def). But it's light as all get-out and has connections out the wazooh. I'm actually looking forward to teaching a small group at the house and using the TV with my mac (maybe I'll have to go out and get a mini-dvi to hdmi connector).
Second, yesterday I was subjected to a satellite seminar on "Trends in Media and Technology" as part of our ABCNJ staff meeting. I say "subjected for several reasons:
  1. I'm tired of being handed "new data" that is 2 years old already. All this says is that that Church doesn't have a clue, what's going on the world. I mean, 2 years after "You" was the "person of the year" in Time we're getting told about this new trend that people want to interact with there entertainment? Are you kidding me?
  2. The seminar was a "bait and switch." Barna displayed some "trends" (which were 2 years old, as I said), and the next two speakers talked about Christians should guard themselves against the darker elements of ubiquitous entertainment. The first speaker actually became a prime example of godwins law and the second speaker read some of the hate mail he received from people who read his reviews on his web-site. After reading some of the second speaker's reviews, I have to say I was thinking that the hate mail wasn't strong enough. I know I need to repent of the impulse - but the movie reviews SUCKED.
  3. It was yet another prime example of why I want nothing to do with the Evangelical™ world. If that was an example of what we want Evangelicals to be, all I can say is, "No thanks." I mean, in dealing with an art-form that deals with the great questions of humanity (questions posed in Scripture with even more brutal honesty, read Judges) the second speaker called for discernment by asking, and I am not making this up, WWJD. Are you kidding me? I was also put off by the "don't go on opening weekend because we're saying we want more of these types of movies ("controversial ones) made." Uhh, what if I do want more types of movies that make you think and challenge the nice little bubbles we make for ourselves? It was clear that all three people involved in the seminar were only used to talking with people who already agreed with them.
The only thing that kept the hour and a half I was subjected to the insanity of this seminar was the fact that the regional staff all saw through the smoke-screen and said, "Wow, that was terrible."
As bad as that seminar was, however, my day was redeemed when we all went down to the Franklin Institute for the Star Wars Exhibit. I stood in the presence of the actual Darth Vader costume from Episode IV, as well as host of other props and models (they wouldn't let me sit in the land-speeder though, I was bummed). Some of the interactive games were wild (unfortunately, I suck at setting up a Jawa camp, they all started shooting one another), and they did a decent job of comparing the tech of Star Wars with what we're doing in the world today (I thought the prosthetic and robotics segments were the best). I do wish they would have had a section on all the fighters used in the films, as those are some of the iconic images we relate to Star Wars, but even without that I went away pleased. You have to stand in presence of Darth Vader, or any one of the wookies, to get an impression of how HUGE they are. It's amazing. Some of the essays on the different cultures were pretty cool too. To cap it off we sat in a mock-up of the Millennium Falcon's cockpit and went though a cool presentation in it. My son freaked out almost immediately (it was loud and I think he thought we were actually going into space, his imagination is very similar to mine and we both get overwhelmed sometimes with it). Still, I held his hand and kept my head poked through the curtain so we could see. The x-wing fly by at the end is worth the cost of the ride alone.

1 comment:

Matt said...

I had to look up what Godwin's law was, but when I found it, I laughed too hard in the middle of the conference.

Horray Nazi's!