exercises in compound storytelling

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

are reading and listening really consumption? etc.

D.Image via WikipediaWork's been crazy, and last week doubly so: I don't know about you, but I'm a lot less secure, financially speaking, than I was a month ago. I've been rearranging my media consumption, too, adding the NPR Planet Money podcast and both (for the moment) Richard Land podcasts.

I do not like Richard Land. I blame him for the Iraq War.

Well, it's not really that simple: Land is the author of the Land Letter, a document that made one of the big mistakes conservative Christians make in confusing the authority to do something and the rightness of doing it. Yes, a head of state has the authority to declare war, and yes, a head of state holds the power of life and death, but Land, along with Bill Bright, Chuck Colson, Carl Herbster, and D. James Kennedy should not have jumped on the bandwagon for the current Iraq war. Their reading of "just war theory" is responsible (not to say primarily responsible) for the deaths of thousands of Iraqis, many of them Christians.

I'm listening to Land anyway; I've ignored the mechanics of the relationship between conservative Christians and whatever Land is selling (the Republican Party? the American Way of Life? who knows?) for too long. I honestly believe Land is intentionally repackaging Republican talking points for consumption by Southern Baptists for the purpose of making conservative Christians a captive constituency of the Republican Party. I'm listening to him primarily because I "know" this stinks, but I can't yet put exactly what's wrong into words I can stand behind.

(For the record that's a picture of Kennedy, not Land; Zemanta can't seem to find a good picture of Land. I blame his name.)

I also read Steve Brown's book What Was I Thinking? Things I've Learned Since I Knew It All, partly because Brian at BrianDBlog suggested it. I'm outside the Reformed Theology camp, so I don't know much about Reformed celebrities, and I'd never heard Brown or read anything by him.

This is a terrible book, chock-full of the sort of profiteering nonsense celebrity Christians perpetrate against their fellow believers. It merits a post of its own, though, and I'll get back to it later.

I'm partway through Bill McKibben's book The Age of Missing Information now. It's a fixed experiment, and I'm waiting to see if McKibben owns up. It reminds me of Nickel and Dimed in terms of its unfair comparisons: short on facts and full of comparisons between real unpleasant things and unreal pleasant things. Frankly he reminds me of the sort of people I grew up with who compared the homes they grew up in to Ozzie and Harriet and from that perspective condemned All In The Family for being vile and slanderous (as opposed to just vile).

Anyway, work is crazy busy still, and most of my words are going into work-related documents; I love reading and writing, but most of the reading and writing I should be doing is work-related right now.

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1 comment:

spud tooley said...

you and i seem to share some common views.

but i'll keep my mouth shut about it if you will, too... ;)

mike rucker
fairburn, georgia, usa