Quote #143

"Who among us has not had the experience of getting exactly what we wanted only to find that it wasn't what we wanted at all? And who has not feared the worst, only to find that it was all for the best? No, self-interest is revealed to us, not known in advance."


"Marketing has displaced philosophy to become the preeminent integrative science of the modern age."

— John Médaille


This post from John Médaille covers a lot of ground.   Whether you agree with every little point or not, there are plenty of shining moments.   The heart of the essay is in seeking to understand why popular culture has been fascinated of late with the image of the zombie (and don't worry, it isn't all — or even mostly — about zombies):
The image, so silly on its face, resonates with the young because they know, at some intuitive level, that we are already in the midst of the apocalypse, that the world wishes to strip them of their minds and their hearts and make them pure consumers, and relentless consumers of one product, the advertiser’s dream. 
Link to full essay...

Quote #142

"[...] sometimes 'asking tough questions' isn't the biggest challenge; it's accepting the answers and decisively moving on to other areas that render [our] contributions productive and valuable." 

 — Brent Blanchard

Quote #141

"Money usually follows vision. It rarely happens the other way around."

— Andy Stanley

SQF Radio #4

Look out Samson!  Another edition of SQF Radio is upon thee.  As always, the playlist keeps a-growing here..

  1. Mississippi John Hurt - Since I've Laid My Burden Down.    Simple, hopeful, and deep.   Probably going to adapt this one for use as special music in church this Sunday.

  2. Townes Van Zandt - Colorado Bound.   "It's a mighty lonesome feeling...," Townes sings — and brother, he ain't kidding.  

  3. The Decemberists - June Hymn.   This album came out of nowhere for me.   It's one of the best I've heard.   I've liked some of their songs in the past, but this album takes the band into new, country-tinged territory, and I can't stop listening.  

  4. Burlap to Cashmere - Closer to the Edge.   A live performance of a song from their new album.   The vinyl version is on its way to me now as I blog.   Soon, precious, soon...

"The Sacred Script in the Theater of God"

From the archives:  Douglas Wilson addresses the Desiring God 2009 National Conference.   The subject (at an event commemorating the 500th anniversary of John Calvin's birth) is the authority of Scripture.    I thought upon first hearing it (and still think today) that it is probably the most important theological speech given in its decade.   I'd probably still endorse that statement without the "theological" in there.   Have a listen.    

Link to audio (and video, if you swing that way)...

Demetri Martin: "if i"

So, Demetri Martin is what most people would call a stand-up comedian.   You would think that during one of his shows, you'd hear stand-up comedy.   This show, however, is something else entirely.   Along the way through palindromes and unicycles, we get some serious introspection and the beginnings of a meditation on law and grace (though I don't know if Mr. Martin would see it in those terms).   I don't know exactly how to describe it, but in the words of Pedro Sanchez from Napoleon Dynamite, "I'd like to see more of that."  

Here's a link to a Youtube playlist of the whole show.   Be advised, like most "stand-up comedy", this show contains some profanity and "thematic elements".  


Captain of this site's blogroll, Douglas Wilson preached in Tuscaloosa recently, and spoke about seeing the meaning in the recent tornadoes.   Bear with him a while while he sets things up, and he'll then get right to the point.    Well worth a listen.

Page with download / stream links...

Siding w/ Vinyl

Just saw this quote in an Amazon.com review:  "Vinyl is the future of physically packaged music."   Funny thing is, I think I agree.  (I'm currently in the process of buying a record player.   Otherwise, I'm all digital for audio.)

SQF Radio #3

Another week, another SQF Radio post. The blog's soundtrack rolls on with four new songs. A cumulative playlist is available here.

  1. Rev. Dan Smith - Babylon is Falling.    The good Reverend kicks it into high gear with a musical review of the book of Daniel.

  2. Arcade Fire - Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).   This song captures the feeling of being in town at night.   It's two parts sad to one part sparkly.

  3. Burlap to Cashmere - Build a Wall.   They're back, and the album is due in the next few days.   Don't think I won't be buying it.   This song increases your heart rate instantly.

  4. Carolina Chocolate Drops - Hit 'Em Up Style.    Getting back to a forgotten chapter in roots music's roots.   In this song, CCD functions as sort of a hip-hop jug band.   Awesome.

"The History of Redemption"

Kristopher Koelle's collection of artwork titled "The History of Redemption".

Quote #140

"Thee uses thyself only to learn how to love thy neighbor [...]"
— character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin


"[...] perhaps, as God chasteneth whom he loveth, he hath chosen poor Africa in the furnace of affliction, to make her the highest and noblest in that kingdom which he will set up, when every other kingdom has been tried, and failed; for the first shall be last, and the last first."
— Harriet Beecher Stowe

Froggy Things

John Piper:
But God is good. He has his plan and it is not to make this metamorphosis easy. Just certain. There are a thousand lessons to be learned in the process. Nothing is wasted. Life is not on hold waiting for the great coming-out. That's what larvae do in the cocoon. But frogs are public all the way though the foolishness of change.
Full article...

Anonymous Authorities

Mark Mitchell at FPR:
"First, we are learning to obey anonymous authorities. [...]  Second, we are growing accustomed to taking orders from irrational devices. [...]  Finally, because these irrational devices cannot be argued with, we learn to meekly obey."
Full article...

Why not rather untruth?

Throw this article on the pile of other evidence that we are slowly approaching a point where reality can be manufactured seamlessly.   If you haven't read any Malcolm Muggeridge, now's the time to swing by the bookstore and arm yourself.
"Those who watched Boston’s revered Fourth of July celebration Monday night on CBS were treated to spectacular views of fireworks exploding behind the State House, Quincy Market, and home plate at Fenway Park, among other places - great views, until you consider that they were physically impossible."
Full Article...

Tom Waits in Traffic

A Radiolab segment takes on the idea of making deals with yourself when engaged in creative work.   They stray into the subject of Muses, etc.    Have a listen.   I have to say that I can't count the times I've had some thought or other, and intended to come back to it, only to have it appear somewhere else in the culture soon thereafter.   The idea of ideas circling the globe looking for somewhere to land has some power.

Segment audio...

The Seltzer Man

Transcript of an interview with one of the last seltzer water delivery men in New York City:
"That's the year I was born, the bottle's as old as I am. Funny thing about it is that now to this day, the bottles are worth so much that I'd be better pulling out all my bottles out of every customer's house and selling them slowly as antiques and collectibles. At this sad point in time the bottle is unfortunately worth more dead than it is alive."
Read the transcript...

"Ordeal By Golf"

P.G. Wodehouse:
To lose one's temper at golf is foolish. It gets you nothing, not even relief. Imitate the spirit of Marcus Aurelius. "Whatever may befall thee," says that great man in his "Meditations", "it was preordained for thee from everlasting. Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear." I like to think that this noble thought came to him after he had sliced a couple of new balls into the woods, and that he jotted it down on the back of his score-card. For there can be no doubt that the man was a golfer, and a bad golfer at that.
Full text of short story...

SQF Radio #2

The second installment of the blog's soundtrack.   Remember, the entire soundtrack is available as a Youtube playlist here.

  1. Zac Brown Band - Fox on the Run.    I'm trying to learn this one right now, but as it turns out, I can't sing four part harmony without three other people.

  2. Matisyahu - Struggla.   If you have something to do that you need to get done, but you don't have the resolve to do it, I'd recommend listening to this.

  3. Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation.   I like this band: sue me.   More Biblical imagery in the lyrics, plus some kind of retro groove.

  4. Fleet Foxes - Helplessnes Blues.   Honesty in musical form.   Don't know what else to say about it;  I'll get back to you someday...

Dying Tomcats

Mary Karr's poem "For a Dying Tomcat Who's Relinquished His Former Hissing and Predatory Nature".  Click through to read the whole thing:  it's well worth your time.
[...] Thanks
for that. I’m not one to whom offerings
often get made. You let me feel
how Christ might when I kneel,
weeping in the dark
over the usual maladies: love and its lack.
Read the whole poem...

Quote #139

"[...B]elieving that something is evil does not necessarily make you good."

— Andrew Sullivan