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Something Else to Think About

November 6, 2007 Leave a comment

“In what ways am I buying into a system of oppression where I get more and more at the expense of someone else?” – Steve Wiens

Categories: culture, Poverty, Quotes

Justifiable Tasering?

September 27, 2007 1 comment

Out of curiosity, do you think the tasering of Andrew Murphy was justified or not?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about here is a video of the University of Florida events…

Categories: culture, news

Voyeurism and Exhibitionism in Culture

November 27, 2006 2 comments

Great article by Tim Challies on the increasing levels of voyeurism and exhibitionism in culture. Here are a few highlights..

This weekend a friend sent an article to myself and to a list of other people. He was outraged at a story that appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He is no doubt right to be outraged. Here are some excerpts from the story.

Just how far will people go to get their hands on a new PlayStation 3? Just ask KDWB-FM, 101.3’s morning show host Dave Ryan, who on Tuesday morning asked folks if they were willing to give up their baby for 24 hours in exchange for one of Sony’s highly coveted video game consoles. More than a dozen people called to offer up their kids, but only a few realized it was all just a gag.

“We got more calls than we could handle,” said Ryan, who referred to the practical joke as a “social experiment.” “They were lined up willing to turn their kids over to strangers for a freakin’ PlayStation.”

KDWB morning show executive producer Steve “Steve-o” LaTart said he was surprised how many people were interested in the bogus swap, which consisted of handing over your child to LaTart for 24 hours in exchange for a PS3.

“There were a lot of phone calls that we didn’t even get to, and I would say three- quarters of them were serious,” said LaTart.

People with babies of all ages — including a 2-day-old and a 1-week-old — made it on air. One of the more serious sounding calls came from a woman named “Katie,” who agreed to give up her 1-month-old for three days. She wanted to sell the PS3 on eBay to make some extra money for the holidays.

“In a way it’s flattering that we’ve built up 13 years of trust and that’s great … yet at the same time, hey, we thought we knew Kramer too, you just never know,” said Ryan referring to Michael Richards, who played Kramer on “Seinfeld,” and his recent racist comments.

After announcing that the contest was a prank, “Katie” called the station and asked “does that mean I don’t get the PlayStation?” She was clearly more than willing to give up her child to get her hands on this year’s top gift. It seemed to her a small price to pay for a Playstation. It’s sick.

Challies goes on to say…

And yet for some reason it didn’t surprise me a whole lot. This is the kind of behavior that is only too common in our culture. We live in what is now an voyeuristic, exploitative society. We love to see into other people’s lives and because of technology, this is easier to do than ever before. But there is more. As voyeurism has increased, so has exhibitionism….

We, the consumers, feed this frenzy. When we turn on the television we want to watch celebrities, both new and old, living out their lives before the cameras or learning to dance or cook or crochet. We want to watch families whose spending has spiralled out of control try to fix their broken finances. We want to watch families whose kids are overweight learn how to eat healthy food or adults who are fat lose weight or couples who have forgotten the joys of sex to rediscover intimacy or normal people slurp down blood, guts and bugs. We want to see people learn what not to wear, to see people with rolls on their stomachs get liposuction and funny-looking noses get the perfect Hollywood nose job. We want to escape our own problems by wallowing in other people’s problems which somehow always seem so much worse than our own. We want to see the sad, pathetic, tragic details of their lives, their personalities, their bodies. The more detail we get, the happier we are.

I think its true. I get caught up in some of the ‘reality’ stuff on television. There is something about watching other people that hooks you in. In the article Challies gives some interesting insight into a show that I really like: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. He points to an internal memo from ABC which details the kind of stories they are looking for. The most tragic the better. Because more tragedy equals more viewers.

Good stuff to think about. What role do you play? What role do I play?

Categories: culture, TV

Forced Prostitution in Thailand

November 22, 2006 4 comments

Last night Stephanie and I watched a horrific documentary about Burmese girls and young women who are being forced into prostitution in Thailand. The stories of the women interviewed made me feel sick and heart broken. Hearing these young girls recount bearing beaten by drunks, used by men (including the rotten police), sold as sex slaves made me so upset.

One lady told how pleased she was that her 6 month old baby was aborted after she took pills to kill it. She was happy because she didn’t really consider the baby hers, and besides, her woman pimp had told her she would raise the child until it could serve men like its mother. How tragic!

At first I was very upset with God. Why in his sovereignty would he allow something like this? How could he sit back and watch atrocity like this as some part of a greater plan? But then I thought, “What should my response to this be?” It is easy to just be mad at God and then go on with my own life. To put the responsibility on God takes it off my conscience. To blame God and do nothing is convenient for me but it is wrong. So here is what I can do, and how you can join me.

We Need to Realize!

Many men (including Christians) think pornography is no big deal. They think they can just look once. They think what they view on the internet doesn’t hurt anyone. But I want to plead with you to consider something else.

One look, in many instances, leads to another and another. Along with this comes diminishing returns on the pleasure, so more and more sexual stimulation is needed. This leads to dirtier and dirtier images being viewed. Next comes more substantial experiences and more distorted and sinful thoughts. Eventually the sexual sin addict becomes so perverted that animals and children get involved. Sometimes violence is included.

This ultimately leads to little girls (along with women young and old alike) becoming nothing more than objects used for men’s pleasure. They are stripped off all their God given dignity and worth. Women become property to be sold and used and later discarded.

What I/You Can Do!

Next time you are tempted to view pornography or think about a woman sexually, please remember that you are contributing to the worldwide slavery, prostitution, and desecration of young girls and women.

  • Think about the wonder and beauty of your daughter, wife, niece, or grandchild.
  • Think about the girls in Thailand (and worldwide) who are forced to ‘service’ hundreds if not thousands of men each year.
  • Think about the pain and abuse and fear and hurt they endure daily.
  • Think about the thousands of girls being kidnapped from their homes, robbed of their childhoods, and exploited around the globe.

Then make a decision to stop feeding the sexual sin beast. Choose purity as your first step of contribution to the rescuing and saving of woman from sexual sin. This is a very serious issue and we all need to help change the tide.

What We Can Do!

  1. Please pray everyday for these girls.
  2. Next, if you read my blog and have a blog yourself, please link this post. Join me in spreading the word about the plight of young women and help start a movement to convict and motivate people towards purity. Little girls you will never know could be saved from a life of hell.
  3. If you don’t have a blog, please email the url of this post to everyone you know and ask them to read it and consider who they could pass the word on to.

Thank you.

Categories: culture, Sex

almost getting tricked at the A&W

November 13, 2006 2 comments

Last Friday as I was returning from the bank my assistant manager Molly called me. She informed me that there was a woman in the store who claimed to have purchased food from us two weeks ago. Her contention was that we messed up her order and now she was upset because she had not received the coupons we supposedly offered her. After talking with her I asked for her phone number and told her I would try my best to find a record of her order and then I would personally call her.

But both my assistant managers told me not to waste my time since she was lying and trying to get free food. There were a couple problems with her story.

1. She said she ordered a 24 piece meal, but we don’t sell anything like that.
2. She told me that a manager offered to mail her coupons. We would never do this.
3. None of the managers remember dealing with this woman.
4. She had no receipt and claimed to have paid in cash – two weeks ago.

So, based on all the aforementioned factors, I decided that I couldn’t refund her anything. Then, when I dialed her number I got an automated message that the number didn’t work. She gave me a fake number!

The whole situation really bothered me. I hate being lied to. I wanted to treat this lady with respect and do my best to rectify the situation and she was just playing me. It is hard to fight feelings of cynicism for people after incidents like this. But I will.

Categories: A/W, culture, Life

Bridging the Gap w/ Bridging, Inc.

November 10, 2006 Leave a comment

My mom sent me this link to a pretty neat news article about an organization called Bridging, Inc. Bridging, Inc. is a group that collects both used/unused furniture and other household items to help people who cannot afford to furnish their own homes. Here is an excerpt:

“Last night, did you know that 5,000 little kids slept on their coat on the floor in Minnesota. THAT’s not RIGHT! And as long as Bridging is here, we can change that!” Fran Heitzman is nothing if not passionate.

He is the founder of Bridging, Inc. a charity built to furnish the homes of the working poor.

“Over 80 percent of our clients earn less than $15,000 a year,” said Bridging Executive Director Ron Osterbauer.

“It’s people that don’t have the financial resources. They’re faced with more month than money to survive,” he said.

The two were showing off the third Bridging warehouse to a TV crew while clients were shopping… picking out davenports, beds, silverware and/or towels. All the furnishings needed to make a house, or an apartment, into a home.

Folks get to shop at Bridging, Inc. one time, and only one time. But everything they need is free. It has been collected and cleaned, if necessary, from homeowners, hotels, and corporations, which, in many cases would have thrown it away.

“We saved 74,000 items from the landfill last year,” bragged founder Fran Heitzman.

“This year we’ll save 85,000 items, good stuff that should never be thrown away.”

I think it is interesting that Bridging, Inc. refers to the people who shop in their warehouses as ‘clients.’ I think it adds some dignity to them and I like it.

Bridging, Inc. is always looking for volunteers, financial resources and donated items.

Categories: culture, Ministry

where are the dudes leading our schools?

October 25, 2006 4 comments

As General Manager one of my responsibilities is to drive sales at our restaurant. I am currently trying to put together a campaign where some people from our store (including a large Root Beer Bear mascot) would visit local elementary schools and visit with students. The visit would include free ‘Birthday Float’ coupons for each student.

One interesting thing…
as I looked up and emailed the 16 elementary schools in close proximity to our store there was a trend that surprised me – of the sixteen schools there were 13 female principals. That really caught me of guard. Thirteen woman and three men. Wow. What’s going on here.

Some questions…
1. Is this a new thing?
2. Has the push for equality in recent years made school administrators more likely to promote women?
3. Are there more women in the education system than before?
4. Is this even surprising or am I just naive?
5. I wonder if the lack of male leadership in schools has anything to do with higher reported cases of ADD and other behavioural issues in classrooms?
5. How has the surge of estrogen-empowered leaders (oozing with God-given mothering instinct) changed school discipline, teaching methods and learning expectations?

Categories: culture