Saturday, August 29, 2009

Can Satan receive salvation?

My good friend and co-philosopher Justin "Gunther" Gaupp posed this question on facebook just to see what varying points of views exist, and in general what people think. Although the answer in no way matters, and there may never be a way to find out (in this life) Justin and I now pose the same question on my blog. Please, no yes/no answers. We really want to know what you think and why. Feel free to use multiple paragraphs :)

Can Satan receive salvation from his sin and return to be with God?

Although we know Satan will not be redeemed (Rev.) what is your opinion on the theoretical, hypothetical possibility?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'm in the Nazi killin' bidness

and bidness is a-boomin.

What words do I use to describe Inglourious Basterds? Horrifying. Disgusting. Inhumane. Incredible. Magnificent. Beautiful.
From one chapter to the next, Inglourious kept me wanting more. Character development, plot, cinematagraphy, and brutal-ness all wrapped up in a blood red bow.
I recommend this shockingly amazing film to annyone courageous enough to step into the theatre and be, well, a Basterd for a night.

Left me with a smile on my face, a skip in my step, and a bloodthirsty laugh. Whoa.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Changing politics, 5 minutes at a time

Screenr. If you tweet, you should check it out.

Watch this video my dad and I made:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

District 9: It didn't accomplish it's goal, and is a sucky movie. But I love it.

I walked out of District 9 after watching the credits roll and I could only say one thing about it. "That movie was CRAZY."
If you've seen the trailer, you'll know that it was a little ambiguous. Aliens, guns, and explosions were the main points. The movie, surprisingly, wasn't much different. That being said, it was so unique, and so well made that there was no way I couldn't write a blog on why I hated it, but can't help but love it.

No spoilers are ahead, so feel free to read at ease.

They all die at the end and get their heads cut off.

The movie starts off as a documentary. Using interviews and a camera man, I was heavily intrigued at where this would lead. Think Cloverfield. It's set 20 years from when human's were surprised to find a UFO sitting in their backyard (Africa- is that racist?). At first we tried treating the Aliens (Prawns, as they're called in the movie due to their shrimp/crustacean like bodies) like members of society. Once it became apparent that their culture was far different then ours (throwing cars is fun) we fenced them in to what slowly became a concentration camp-like area called District 9. The movie follows happenings in District 9, and let's just say it's gruesome.
The documentary feel kept up through about the first half, then all of a sudden it switches to a full fledged movie. I'm not sure if this was due to laziness on the Director's side, or if they simply wanted the transition as an integral part of the movie. Either way, it threw me off. Graphics, CGI, and makeup were seamless, though. The Aliens were really there, as were the heads that got blown off and the bodies that got disintegrated by alien lightning-guns. Like I said, crazy.

I believe the movie was supposed to get me to think. I suppose it did, but more in a confused manner. Perhaps they're trying to say our race is going down the tubes. Perhaps they're trying to make a political statement about the treatment of prisoners or privileged members of society. Or, perhaps the makers of District 9 are simply warning us of what the human race may do if Aliens ever come down.

The movie disappointed me. But with so many fantastic graphics, character development up the shizzang, and Aliens that I felt connected with, how could I not love it?

If you don't mind a plethora of f-bombs, people being blown to smithereens, and scary alien-shrimp people ripping off human arms, I suggest this movie to you. If you prefer great story, interesting plot, and fantastic conclusion, go see 500 Days of Summer.

Have you seen it? Your thoughts?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Connecting Beauty, Music, and 500 days

A while ago I wrote about some of the closest people I am connected with. I want to expand on that a little bit, but in a different way.

Beauty has a way of grabbing my attention. A recent memory that sticks out in my mind happened just a few weeks ago. I was driving home to Idaho from California. My dad was asleep in the back (he had been the main pilot all morning) and I had taken over the wheel in his stead. In the passenger seat sat my girlfriend, Kona. We kept each other entertained by playing various types of music and having even more various conversations. At one point in our discussions I looked over to my left for a split second. What I saw completely and utterly consumed me. A small mountain stood about 4 football fields away, and above this mountain were broken clouds; like shattered glass the sun peaked through and was reflected off of the clouds onto the face of the mountain resulting in one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. My attention was completely taken over by this magnificent light show. Coupled with the most amazing girl in the world sitting by me and talking, this memory sticks out in my brain as being one of sheer beauty. Beauty has a way of grabbing my attention.

So does music. My favorite songs are ones which can only be described as epic. Two bands which write epics extremely well, in my opinion, are Anberlin and Mae. I'm gonna talk about Mae, but please do look up Fin and Miserable Visu by Anberlin.
One of my favorite songs by Mae is called "The Fisherman's Song". To me it so accurately portrays the heart of the writer, and I love the message. On top of that, the lyrics are written in story form which help me connect immensely. Listen here.
I am an incredibly visual person, and yet I couldn't imagine life without music. As I write this I'm listening to my "Sit Down and Relax" playlist on Pandora. I've found it a great way to connect with myself today.

I was apprehensive about going to see "500 Days of Summer" with my parents and our close friends tonight. I didn't really know what to expect, but I figured a free movie is always worth it. I suppose I was right. That being said, I would gladly pay extra to see this masterpiece. It really connected with where my mind has been the last few weeks; connections.

People. Music. Situations. Friends. Jobs. Movies. Life.

Thinking about all the connections baffles me. It's not really a matter of fate or predestination to me (the way I figure it, God knows everything no matter what I believe.) Really, to me what it comes down to is whether or not I want to acknowledge the connections. Fate? Chance? Phooey. If life were a slot machine I would hate to pull that lever. It's like people are totally willing to acknowledge all the Cherries or BARS lining up perfectly but refuse to instead see the beautiful constelation of life that all our intercrossing lines make.
Life is actually a whole lot safer to look at as a slot machine. Pull the lever; you win some, you lose some. Often it's a whole lot harder to take those losses as building blocks, or at the very least see that they've made me who I am today.

500 Days of Summer emphasized this point for me. No matter what I tell myself, life really holds no accidents. The movie is artsy, beautiful, saddening, vulgar (at times), and flat-out well written. Unlike many chick flicks, this story follows the guy. Also unlike many chick flicks, it holds no happy Hollywood ending. The trailer boasts "this is a story of boy meets girl," and also includes "you should know upfront, that this is not a love story." That's why I don't believe 500 Days of Summer is a chick flick at all. It's too big for that label. It's an epic.

But don't take my word for it. Watch the trailer. Then, go watch the movie.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

A new day dawns

Everything is dark, silent. Mist and fog cover any source of illumination. Shadows fall on shadows, and all color is kept at bay. A breeze blows, and one is reminded of times when that same breeze wrapped and played with their hair on a spring day...but no more. Now this wind is frost biting and gnaws at exposed flesh. Forced to pull their layered coats and jackets closer to their body, one ponders how and why they got there. It's as though the darkness came on its own accord, uninvited, unexpected, unbelieved.
Then, something happens. The horizon sparkles, and some gray turns to orange. All of a sudden, mist is burned up, and fog melts away. A warm beam of light makes its way to the shivering body, while also in hot pursuit of that quickly fleeing icy breeze. Jackets are shed, flip flops are put on, and frowns are turned upside down. What is this welcome visitor that brings back the chirping of birds?

A new day.

In many ways I feel like this summer has in some way or another birthed a new day in my life. I'm not sure exactly how to form this feeling into words, but I'll do my best.
These last months have proven to be the hardest in my life. Grief and pain are not enemies to be underestimated. The deaths of my brother and my grandma sent me in a tailspin, one which I am still only barely coming out of.
I write today not to say that I am "back to normal" or that I've "dealt with everything." Rather, I write because I believe I have begun to change.

I'm ready for my senior year. I'm ready to make the most out of my last year in High School. But more then ready, I'm pumped. I feel like I'm on an edge, on a precipice, of something much much larger: and it excites me.
I also feel like the contrast of these last months of darkness and death, and this new chapter of my life is what makes me excited. I appreciate the light so much more after being in darkness.
Not to say I don't have my dark days, my dark times. Those are still frequent. But just glimpses of light are enough to make me excited, and it's great!

So, after a summer of West Point, Spain, France, Italy, and California, I'm so ready to appreciate the light of my senior year. Please pray with me as I go into this year locked and loaded.
What's next Papa?

Until then, I'm enjoying my last month of summer!