Tag Archives: Entertainment

Why Chastity Is Important

As the whole world now knows, Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant. I was so saddened by the news. I had such hope for her. She’s a better singer than her sister, and Zoey 101 is a cute show. This makes it seem like she’s headed down Britney’s path. I know fame played a substantial role in Britney’s decline, but there are plenty of famous people that lead more wholesome lives. (Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe were my showbiz couple role models until they got divorced.)

The consensus around the table was that it was unrealistic to think that 16-year-olds would not have sex, and that someone should have talked to Ms. Spears about contraception.

The girls, who had followed the story on TV and the Internet, were also critical of Ms. Spears’s mother, who had been widely quoted as saying that one reason she was shocked by her daughter’s pregnancy was that she had always followed her curfew.

“When I heard that, I started laughing out loud,” Ms. Akusis said. “You can have sex during the middle of the day,” adding, “It’s not like there’s a time limit.”

Jamie Lynn’s situation goes to show that something is seriously wrong with our society. It is completely realistic to expect that 16-year-olds can control themselves enough to stay abstinent. Moreover, they can stay chaste. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. Obese people can’t blame stores and restaurants for selling them unhealthy food; they choose to eat it. Likewise, teenagers can’t blame their hormones and the existence of temptation for giving in to it. We’re people, not animals. No, no one needed to talk to Jamie Lynn about contraception. Someone needed to tell her she deserved better than an 19-year-old boyfriend who didn’t care enough to guard her body and her heart.

Disbelief

Disbelief: what I feel at having been linked from SwitchFeed. I love Switchfoot; they’re my favorite band. I was delighted to find Switchfeed, and I thought it was really cool when they went official. Never, ever did I think that I would find myself linked in SwitchFeed, and therefore linked from Switchfoot.com. Never!

Switchfoot.com Link

Here’s what my site traffic looked like in response:
Traffic Due to Switchfoot.com Link

This is the coolest thing that has happened to me since I was personally blessed by Archbishop Wuerl.

Yeah, I’m a great big Catholic nerd, but if this is what happens to Catholic nerds, I say, bring it on!

A Little Into It

I just finished watching over two hours of free streaming concert footage of “Rock the Boat,” the Evan Almighty/Habitat for Humanity promo concert featuring DecembeRadio, Relient K, Jeremy Camp, and Switchfoot. It was so awesome. I had to wait forever to get the link to watch it because Hollywood Jesus was inundated by the traffic, and the video ran 1-3 seconds behind the audio, but I loved it anyway.

I think I’d heard of DecembeRadio before, but I’d never heard their music. They were cool, though definitely more on the hard rock end of the Christian rock music spectrum. Relient K came next. I hadn’t realized Matt, the lead singer, played keyboard for so many of their songs. It reminds me of when MuteMath opened for the Switchfoot concert I went to. Their lead singer plays only keyboard, so they had him on an extension from the stage, and he was much harder to see than any of the other guys. But they had a keytar, so it evened out. I’ve been listening to Pandora Radio at work, and one of my stations is seeded by Relient K and Switchfoot. “Sadie Hawkins Dance” is such a fun song. I hoped they’d play it, but I got “Life After Death and Taxes” instead. Fair trade. They’re a bit like the much cleaner, more Christian version of Fallout Boy in that sense. Plus, one of the guitarists also played bells and banjo.

I don’t think I’d ever actually seen Jeremy Camp before. He was much more like a rock star than I’d expected. When I hear his songs on my Wow Hits CDs or WGTS on the radio, he sounds much more CCM/adult contemporary than he did in concert. I liked it. I also liked how he made his plug for Jesus and the beauty of the gospel in his life without sounding too preachy. It fit well. He led a sing-along for “Right Here”: “I’m going to lead the guys to sing the first line, and then Randy will lead the girls for the second. So guys, be nice and manly, and girls…Randy.” (I don’t think he knows that’s already an adjective.) So then Randy broke out a hilarious falsetto to lead the girls. It was great.

Finally, Switchfoot came on. They started with “Stars,” which is always gold. At the end of “This Is Your Life,” I think Jon was playing his guitar with his tongue. “Got a little into that one,” he said. “Just a little bit,” I replied to my computer screen. He introduced the guys, including “Jerome Fontamillas, on keyboard, on guitar, on tambourine, and singing. He’s like Prince, except he doesn’t have a purple guitar. I’m trying to convince him, though.”

Switchfoot’s performance was amazing, even in its cut-down, streamed form. Jon still does the “Cowboy Song,” which for the occasion went like this:

I’m not a comedian because I’m not funny
Every time I try to make a joke, it won’t sell
That’s why they didn’t cast me as Evan Almighty,
And instead they chose my buddy Steve Carrell.

Then he played the harmonica. I was so excited, it was like I was there. I chose not to yell the words, though, because I’m at home this weekend, and I don’t think my family would have liked that very much.

I love how much energy they put into all their songs. Jon spent about a third of their set playing and singing at his mike, and the other two-thirds leaping onto Chad’s drums or running around the stage and jumping on amps. You can tell they do it because they love it, and we get all the benefits, and get to join in for audience singing where everyone knows all the words.

I love Switchfoot!

Switchfoot is definitely my favorite band. Their position was only cemented when *NSync was finally demolished for good. (Why, Lance, why?) I missed their current tour since it was on a Sunday night and I didn’t have anyone to go with, but two super-cool things happened in the meantime.

First was SwitchfootBootlegs.com. During the tour, they press and hand out a free bootleg of the show each night. They encouraged the fans to share it, so they have: online. It’s so cool: a website of live concert mp3s from Switchfoot’s tour, available for free downloading. The best part is that, because the band gave permission to distribute their music this way, it’s totally legal. Yay!

The second is that I found two new videos. This brings me to do something I don’t think I’ve ever done before: embed YouTube videos into my blog. (I had the videos embedded, but that made my XHTML invalid, and I like having valid code.) The first is their new video that just came out in the email newsletter today, for the song “Awakening.” Bonus points for recognizing the two video games they parody. If I can spot them, you can.

Cool, no? The second is a cover song from the Yahoo! Pepsi Smash series. They covered Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”! I kinda like it…though I don’t think the Beyonce booty bounce would quite work to Switchfoot’s version.

Good News

Via Happy Catholic. Despite being over a week behind on my Bible in a Year plan, this is good news (and a sign that it was a really easy quiz).

You know the Bible 100%!

 

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses – you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

I’ll make a real post soon.

Switchfoot, and American Education

Yay! On top of finding out that Season 2 of Joan of Arcadia will be out in November, I got an email today that Switchfoot’s new CD will be out on December 26! It’s called Oh! Gravity. The punctuation in the title makes me think of Panic! at the Disco. I’ve only heard “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” and I hate it. I like the style of the music, but I don’t understand how a song with a chorus that gets edited so liberally can be so popular. Forget them: there’s new Switchfoot on the horizon! The email mentions a fall tour, too… any takers?

In other news (pun not intended), I read two WashPo articles today and one yesterday that deserve mentioning. The first was in the Sunday Source, which is my favorite section. It was written by a Yale senior who took a cooking class designed specifically for college students. Genius! Forget lab sciences; I need to take that class. The second addresses one of my biggest complaints about the current state of education in the United States: high school graduates’ vocabulary is pitiful. How do you graduate from high school without knowing what “satire” means? You don’t have to understand it, but you shouldn’t frown at the sound! The author blames this crisis on the lack of pleasure reading. To some extent, I agree. However, in the era of Harry Potter and (unfortunately) The Da Vinci Code, more students are reading. Even back at my high school, I’d see my peers reading what are popularly called “black books.” (Borders keeps them under “African-American Interest.”) So they’re reading, but apparently it’s more about the sex scenes than expanding their vocabulary. Mark my words: I will be the teacher the students complain about because she makes them watch School House Rock.

The third article caught my eye for several reasons. The first, clearly, is good copy editing leading to good headlines. The second is that it’s an issue I’ve pondered myself, also for clear reasons: black American culture.

Where is the civil rights groundswell on behalf of stronger marriages that will allow more children to grow up in two-parent families and have a better chance of staying out of poverty? Where are the marches demanding good schools for those children—and the strong cultural reinforcement for high academic achievement (instead of the charge that minority students who get good grades are “acting white”)? Where are the exhortations for children to reject the self-defeating stereotypes that reduce black people to violent, oversexed “gangstas,” minstrel show comedians and mindless athletes?

The best example of this chasm between the reality and the potential of black American youth may be my sister and me.

Yeah, this is gonna get personal.
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Checking In

The bad part about this awesome new blog is that there’s so much to do behind the scenes that… I forget to post. So let’s rectify that now.

Life has been pretty good lately. I can’t believe it’s already the middle of August, though. In mid-July, I was ready to go back to school solely for the company. Now, I realize that going back means going back to class, which sucks, and so I’m less eager. I’m excited about living in Commons. Maura and I might have some moments where we’re crossing each other in the bathroom, but if we managed to live practically on top of each other for a year, we can manage this.

I am learning to cook! I made a Mexican lasagna for my mom and Courtney a few weeks ago. I found the recipe online, then put the ingredients on the grocery list and gave it a whirl. And it was so yummy! I even took the leftovers to work the next day. On Saturday, I tried another recipe and made a pizza casserole. It was like pizza-style macaroni. I think I should have used chopped pepperoni instead of sliced, though, because it was hard to mix. It had a ton of cheese, and the pizza sauce wasn’t as tangy as I’d hoped, but my mom said it was “really good.” Considering my relationship with my mom, that was a huge compliment.

Earlier this week, I got the best news since Honors hired me: CBS is releasing the second season of Joan of Arcadia in November! I still wish they hadn’t canceled it. At least I’ll get to relive my intro into Joan. The first episode I saw was “Independence Day,” which immediately drew me in. I mean, when Will.I.Am (yes, the guy from the Black Eyed Peas) is playing God, you know it’s gonna be a good show. I finally got around to watching the first season finale recently, which was unbelievable. I cried. I don’t cry very often when watching TV or movies. If my birthday party plans continue, I think we’ll be watching Joan. Or maybe the live-action Alice in Wonderland.

What entry would be complete without a random link? I found a video by OK Go via Happy Catholic. It’s mesmerizing. I can only wonder how many rehearsals it took to perform a song while “dancing” on eight treadmills.

Not much has been going on lately; I suppose I haven’t posted about my life because I don’t have much to post about. I finally bought myself a thesaurus (Oxford) this weekend when I went with Mom and Courtney to The Blvd at the Cap Center. (For non-locals, it’s an outdoor mall constructed where the hockey arena used to be.) I also ran into Paul, who I knew from high school. We had the standard “I’ve just run into a casual acquaintance I haven’t seen since high school” moment.

Also, I entered the second half of my 54-day Rosary novena on Saturday. I wasn’t sure how it would work out, but now I’m convinced it works, because of my vocation breakthrough and Lacy’s resignation as CDA regent. (We have to elect a new vice-regent now, since the bylaws say Cathy’s automatically regent.) It’s always nice when I actually catch the answers to my prayers.

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