This Blog is Mixxie

In the age of the internet, some things are so much easier to do.  Writers can put together a novel and put it out there in order to try and find an audience.  Musicians can not only put together tracks and make videos available.  But just because something is easy to do doesn’t mean that you should do it.  (Ain’t none of what’s going to follow safe for work.  So only click if you’re ready to hear some profanity laced, banal idiocy.)

I know I shouldn’t waste my time on this, but sometimes I can’t help myself.  (And some of my “so called” friends keep putting this stuff on my radar when I’m trying to keep a low, unopinionated profile in 2011).  Picking on indie artists at all seems like clubbing anorexic baby seals which have washed up on shore.  There is an automatic, sympathetic sentiment which wants to respond with “they’re trying.  They’re putting themselves out there.  We should be supporting them. “

No we shouldn’t.

In the marketplace of ideas, I’m not going to support an artist just because they mean well and their heart’s in it.  That’s the usual starting place.  It’s what makes a writer pick up a pen, an artist their paint brush, or a musician their mic.  Pouring yourself into your craft and then putting yourself “out there” is part of the process.  Then I see some of this mess and I now realize why folks begin their commentary with “bless their hearts” … especially if the next thing they want to say is along the lines of “that $#!+ was whack.”

(And now our video break down of the week…)

I can almost picture the video planning meeting.  How excited they were, talking about the women and money sure to follow once they blow up.  I know they’re just teens, but part of being an artist means that your art is subject to criticism.  And as a professional writer, I kinda believe that words mean things.  So when your dream of the high life consists of smoking, drinking, having sex and “hitting people with your stick like Gretzky”, your song should be titled “This Ish is Empty.”

And when I think about it, my mom would still be kicking my behind for pouring stuff on her carpets, cause you know they were filming this in their bedroom.  And Lord help me if she actually ran across me spouting this nonsense as my “values”, revealing after her hard work of raising me, this is what I’m about.  All I’d hear is “This is what you’re doing in your room when you lock the door?  Why couldn’t you be masturbating like every other boy your age?!?”

Hey, you know some things that are mixxie?

-going to school

-not pouring $#!+ on your mom’s carpets

-not living in your mom’s basement after you graduate

-getting a job

-pulling your damn pants up and walking around like you got some pride and a lick of sense

-NOT POURING $#!+ ON YOUR MOM’S CARPETS!

I know I sound like a cranky old man whose being too hard on today’s youth.  Truth be told, they are the product of our design having dined on what our culture has fed them. The advertising, which is what videos are, fuels our consumeristic mentalities, generating or nurturing a pursuit of designer labels. We want the cars, the house, the clothes, the jewels, the gear, not realizing that we chase an illusion. This driving materialism perpetuates a sense of the need for immediate gratification, perhaps even a sense of entitlement, as far too many of us are duped into pursuing these things. As if this meaninglessness is what life is about.

But like I said, I have friends which put this stuff on my radar.  I write, so that’s how I respond.  These same friends (I’m looking at you AlluringShrew and Thesselonious) pick up the mic to offer their own commentary (though she freely cops to having no vocal skills … and that in this day and age, that’s not much of a requirement anyway).  They, too, pick up on the nexus of ghetto crackery which sees folks caught up in an aversion to work, proclivity for violence, contentment with little to no education, sexual promiscuity, short-term thinking, drunkenness, an anti-entrepreneurial spirit, reckless pursuit of meaningless things.  Plus, their video made me laugh …

Their ending coda sums it all up:  “Stereotypes are ugly … why try so hard to be one”.  QFT.

Battlestar Galactica: Gaius’ Progress

“Life can be a curse as well as a blessing.” –Gaius (“Gleaming I”)

Probably the most intriguing character on Battlestar Galactica is Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis). The reason he resonates especially with me is because of his internal struggle, as a man of science, to embrace the idea of faith. His is the battle of the scientist versus the theologian, trying to reconcile worlds for faith and facts.

“What is the most basic article of faith? This is not all that we are.” –Leoben Conoy (Callum Keith Rennie)

All truth journeys begin with a leap of faith, that is, what we choose to put our trust in. For some, it is ourselves (the individual or humanity); for some, it is science (the determination of our senses, empirical evidence, and measurable/reproducible data); for some, it is the spiritual (under the assumption that there is more to this life than presented, both in terms of the spiritual and in terms of after this life; that there is more to us than body and consciousness including a spiritual dimension to the universe beyond our senses).

The fact that there might be a world beyond what his science could measure, categorize, and deal with was the thing that sent Gaius into his version of the dark night of the soul, nearly driving him mad at one point.

“We’re all just trying to discover who we are.” –Gaius

If you watch what drives Gaius, beyond self-preservation, it is redemption. He begins with the search for his true identity, in order to quit being a traitor either to the Cylons or humanity. He wants to come to terms with who he really is and is looking for a place to belong. Once he finds the community to which he can belong, it would provide his identity (this is who you are), provide his mission (this is what we do), provide training (this is how we do it), and then send him out to live their mission (now go do it).

In other words, Gaius Baltar is on the journey of what it means to be fully human.

“Life has a melody, Gaius. A rhythm of notes that become your existence once played in harmony with God’s plan.” –Caprica Six (Tricia Helfer)

He realizes that we live in a “failure condition,” that we largely sleepwalk through life, wondering what’s it all about, why we are here, and what we’re supposed to do and be. He wrestles with the idea of being originally created in God’s image, related to God, in right relationship with Him, under His rule and agenda. Something along the way went wrong, with humanity, with the Cylons, with creation. Something cause humanity to disconnect themselves from the rhythm of life set out by God, becoming alienated not only from each other, but God and creation.
“Our people need a new beginning, a new way to live in God’s love. Without hate. Without all the lies. All they need is for someone to show them the way.” –Caprica Six

With the half-human, half-Cylon child, we have echoes of the story of Christ. With Christ, He seeks to rescue His people and usher in His kingdom, modeling a new way of living.

“Repent of your sins and you will be saved.” –Caprica Six

Embracing this new way of living, this way of being fully human, begins with repentance, exchanging your old way of life for a new way. Gaius offers up this prayer: “Dear God, I now acknowledge that you are the one true God. Deliver me from this evil and I will spread the rest of my wretched life to doing good. I want to carry out your divine will is what I want to do. To carry out your divine will.”

“Stop running from our lives and start living them.” –Gaius

The final and longest part of the journey is joining the story of the mission to restore. To live out a life of love, becoming part of the ministry of reconciliation between God and creation.

Science and religion don’t have to be at war with one another. If allowed room for each to do what they are called to do, there are areas where the two meet. True spirituality and true science abhor certainty, it is because an attitude of certainty stops you from questioning. once you’re certain, you “know” and not only do you close your mind to further conversations, but there is no point in further investigation. Both science and religion are truth pursuits, and all truth is God’s Truth.

Gaius continues to have what passes for his faith tested. It’s uncertain whether he understands what he believes, the tenets of his faith, or even the idea of who God is and how He works. Only by continuing to question and test does he stand a chance at the redemption he so desperately craves.

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