2007-07-02 The Brief

Culture:

            The Death Channel:  After Last weeks post on Death and Politics which focused on what death tells us about our culture it is ironic that EosTV, “a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week television channel devoted exclusively to aging, dying and mourning — will hit the airwaves [in Germany].”  Der Spiegel, Germany’s leading newspaper covers this announcement in its article, Dead Air: New TV Channel Takes on Death and Dying.  Albert Mohler has also commented on this in his recent blog entry A New Meaning for “Dead Air” — Digital Death in the Media Age.

            Downtown L.A. residents yell ‘Cut’: As more and more people chose to live in downtown LA, the constant filming that goes on there is becoming a nuisance rather quickly.  This article is more fun than educational.  I used to live on Spring Street, in downtown LA, and was privileged to listen to machine gun fire and explosions for several months during the filming of Transformers, extremely loud music during the Pussy Cat Dolls video shoot, and lots of yelling during CSI: New York (sorry people they film it in LA).  I actually thought this was fun so I am not sure what the complaining is about, but hey, we did get a free steak dinner across from Keanu Reeves out of it so maybe my opinion is biased.

            Do-it-yourself Cosmetic Surgery: I think it was several years ago that liquid nitrogen hit home in the form of q-tips used to freeze off warts and before that Dr. Scholl’s sold those acidic patches used to melt away warts over time.  Both of which seem rather dated now that cosmetic lasers are going retail.  The LA Times article Lasers Hit Home examines whether or not these products will meet the consumer’s expectations.  Whether or not these products meet the consumer’s expectations I think it makes a distinct statement about our culture.

Religion:

            Among other things, I have been reading God is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself by John Piper.  One of his statements really challenged me this morning.  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).  Commenting on this he notes that, “The ability to see spiritual beauty is not unwavering . . . this is not an all-or-nothing reality.  There are degrees of purity and degrees of seeing” (p.55).  All too often I think of this as future promise rather than a current reality, but Piper presses upon us the ever-present need for a pervasive holiness because we need spiritual sight.  “Spiritual seeing is seeing spiritual things for what they really are—that is, seeing them as beautiful and valuable as they really are” (p.55-56).  We must constantly strive for purity so that we may maintain the eternal mindset necessary to keep a proper perspective on life, namely that we like Paul can say, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

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