Baltimore in the Age of Ultron

I wonder how many of us will watch Avengers: Age of Ultron as it comes out this week. It’s probably going to break records. For many of Americans, the rising of an inhuman an evil trying to destroy the community is not only fictitious but entertaining to watch the fanciful nationalists defend us against it. Others see the Powers more clearly, like the apostle Paul offered in his letter to the Ephesians “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

In Baltimore, it shouldn’t be hard to see something dark allowing a 25yr old to get killed for running after making eye contact with law enforcement. Six cops are suspended with pay and the department admits they should have buckled him in while in custody as well as attended to his medical needs sooner, multiple times. Although I think seeing that white supremacy inherent in the system actually requires some work for many Americans. We see burning cop cars, angry black people, and the headlines filled with “riots,” “looters,” or worse. We don’t see the inhuman circumstances that lead up to the outbursts or even the “peaceful” protests after Freddie Gray’s funeral. As a society, we see the destruction of property before the destruction of human life or community.

As much as we can point out thugs overzealous fans rioting celebrating a little too hard getting reported differently reflects a majority public opinion, we know that crowds burning stuff because Joe Pa got fired for not protecting kids from his sexual predator friend is different than Baltimore. Baltimore’s unrest, riots, or uprising stands as a challenge to white supremacy. It might be easier for you to see people damaging stuff than it is to see dead people. It might be easier to make suggestions for how desperate people should act than to stay focused on what makes them desperate.

I’ve noticed more “unfriend threats” on Facebook in the past day than in the last half a decade combined. Many by white people who are trying to be clear that they will no longer tolerate sympathy for the state/property without empathy for another loss of a black human by unreasonable policing methods. I wish it didn’t shut down dialogue or cut of relationships-even virtual ones but I get it. We all have our limits.

I actually saw this picture in my FB feed yesterday. You can read most of the original post [that not only got taken down but the profile deleted] with some commentary in this article.

While I haven’t talked to or seen the poster in almost 20 years, you might think “how can you still have a connection with him?” While admittedly, the connection is thin but I hope he reads this post. I want to influence him. If he was in the Philadelphia region, I would want him to get compelled by Jesus to see a bigger world than he’s been exposed to and get in touch with a healing agent that actually forms something more powerful than even the atrocity-spawning Powers.

I think forming the Church with Jesus actually heals the brokenness of the world. I also march (why not come out on Thursday?), organize, make deep relations with different kinds of folks, live in an urban whatnot, practice peacemaking, village parent, etc etc etc. I see Jesus still out there getting pushed around and told to be calm while thousands of national guardsmen and riot cops move to restore “order.” We are still angry because it’s actually this order that perpetuates ultraviolence here and abroad and doesn’t bring justice. We still don’t know who killed Brandon Tate-Brown. The War of Terror isn’t slowing down.

My sense of the Age of Ultron is more than a film about techo supermilitary turned back on its perpetrator/creator (like so many of my favorite robot stories). In real life there are no Avengers, only those moved by the Holy Spirit to resist & restore. We have an opportunity to take a deep breath of the Holy Spirit,  looking for something real in fiction while Jesus unmasks the fictions in reality. Let’s be considerate in our conversations and see. Maybe we can compel more people to come together and create something beautiful with our Creator even while we fight against the evil of our times.

kicking Lent old schol

I think I have been influenced by some ideas floating around that seem to be more and more common.  Some of my friends seem to be losing “faith battles”, some returning to destructive lifestyles, some grow harder spiritual exteriors but are still really soft in the middle.  I know a lot of people that get bogged down in sort of “extra curricular” spiritual activities.  I feel a need for maturing.  I’m glad to begin Lent.  I need to get old school about now.  I’m thinking about every Rocky movie when he gets down to business.

I miss apollo.  He’s such a great image in the training about how the Holy Spirit can work.

I want to let some of my own “extra” stuff go.  Anyone else want to get old school and spend time getting a good prayer discipline going?  Eating better?  Exercising?  Sleeping in your own bed alone?  Spending less time/money on things that don’t deserve it?  Kicking habits?  Telling the truth?  Taking ourselves out of the center of our spirituality?

Wanna let some stuff burn tonight at the vigil?

look, mom, we’re on TV

My rather cool friend Josh Camerote has been working on a piece for Current TV on Circle of Hope for a few months.  The finished piece is now on their website and will be on their tv station at some point.

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Pardon the whacky description on the Current TV website (here is the video).  That wasn’t Josh, it was written by zippy editors I guess.  God is doing some cool stuff, though, in Philly.

I’m having trouble with the imbed, sorry about that.  If anyone has any experience with their player and wants to give me a hand posting it into wordpress that’d be awesome.

the post you need, not the one you deserve

Last nights baseball game was rained out (W.N.M.W.G.P.U.G.), and martha already had plans so I made some.  After bathtime and bedtime fun with the kiddos, Jeremy and I went to see the Dark Knight (with 6 other people in the seats).   I love that vibe for these kinds of movies.

there were definately some exciting parts (when Zeus did the thing on the ferry), but overall felt like one of those movies that was on the verge of something and decided to instead celebrate post-modern irony.

More irony…this movie is like a year old and no longer being talked about, I’m so behind on the times even writing about it.  I guess it wasn’t movie that I deserved, but the one I needed.  (If you haven’t seen it yet than you may not get this line).

At least the Flyin Hawaiin is giving us something to root for tonight!  Go Phils!

unprogrammed time

After we got home from Greg & Diana’s wedding last nigt I put the kids to bed.  I came downstairs and MG was going out, I realized that I had a couple hours of “unprogrammed time,” it seemed like the first in a while.  I guess it’s how it works for me, but I ended up among other things watching a couple movies.  Sometimes it feels nice to think about L.A.R.P.ers for a bit and wonder about how some of my friends from high school are. BTW-thanks, Scott.

I got some great laughs while watching a classic from my youth, Flash Gordon-HD.  I hadn’t watched it in so long, but so many of the 1-liners were so familiar.  “Flying blind on a rocket cycle?

It somehow got late, though.

people like angels

I watched Angels in the Outfield with my children last night because it was On Demand and I was treating them (and didn’t want to watch new fangle kids cartoons).  What shit!

The only comfort I have is that I know that 2 sequels were made.  Angels in the Endzone, and my favorite-that I kind of guilty pleasure wish I would have seen before…Angels in the Infield.

Christopher Lloyd didn’t pull it off as the angel that helped the football players, I guess.  Part 3 they totally mix everything up and have a girl kid pray to angels and David Allen Greer (what happened to him?  In Living Color was so great!) comes to the rescue.  Holy crap.

Besides things like the head angel telling the 11yr old that his friend/hero was going to die in 6mo and nobody knows, it brought up a lot of intersting questions for my kids.  Are angels real?  Do they really appear in coke cups?  Do they like baseball, too?

I was tempted to tell them stories that always seem to begin with angels saying “don’t be afraid”, but I instead told them about mystery and how I don’t totally know a lot of details.  They are definately not as cheezy as that movie, though, and they probably don’t need you to pray to them.

meko and the dream moth

Brittney had a pleasant surprise up her sleeve today when she brought our friend Meko over for dinner at my house.  I didn’t even know he was back in town!

Welcome back, buddy.  Can’t wait to get the studio/school rolling with you.

Among other more relevant things, my cell discovered afterwards that Monster Camp is out on DVD!  Dude, I moved that junk to the top of my queue!!

Sooo goood!

Dream Moth:  “I eat your mind 1…I eat your mind 2…I eat your mind 3…”  I hope it actually proves to be good, because Denzel in American Gangster just got bumped to 2.