excellent article

Thanks to one of my Livejournal friends for showing me this.

Welcome to Middle-Class Lockdown 

Excerpt:

But I never in my life imagined it would be so hard to escape the various American forms of institutionalized extortion and blackmail. Becoming debt free was the least of it. And having everyone you know and love believe your have slipped your moorings is just the beginning. Meanwhile, you become a Kafkaesque character wondering if you’ve gone nuts, as you simmer in the ambient wrongness pervading American society and watch the futility of our vast life-consuming program of intense management and control of everything, the money, the bombs, the roads, the retirement fund, the communications, the propaganda, the entire buzzing tower of bullshit so massive as to make Babel look like a chicken coop. And you ask every passing stranger in the shopping mall “Is all this fucking necessary?” Only to discover that you are in an isolation chamber, a vacuum, a void in which no one can hear your voice at all. They are sleepwalking. They are shopping. Shhhh …

misc.

The Jesus Radicals conference went very well. If you weren’t able to attend, there will be CDs available of the sessions for a very reasonable price, so check back here and I’ll let you know when they’re available – or, better yet, you could join the discussion on the forums and find out first-hand!

I have been living in a cooperative housing project now for a few months, and it’s really cool. All the people I live with are great. That’s not to say we always get along, but we’re learning how to live together and find common purpose, while at the same time trying to let our relationship dynamic be as anarchistic and free as possible. A couple of us are Christians, and we’ve talked about trying to start a radical Bible study in the house. If you’re ever in Evansville, Indiana, just look up the Grand Old Co-Opry at 1405 S. Grand.

There is at this point a remote possibility I’ll be doing a seminar at Cornerstone next year. I had a nice, long conversation with Loren Abraham, an architect who specializes in developing more environmentally-sustainable projects, about the question of dominion in Genesis 1 and he said he’d recommend me to the dude in charge of seminars for a discussion on that topic. So if any news comes along on that front I’ll let y’all know.

I’m reading a pretty good book right now, Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder by Richard A. Horsley. I’ll post some thoughts on it when I’ve finished reading.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the various character-formation devices that exist in our culture. I’ve really been getting into Foucault’s idea of the Panopticon, and the roles of things such as voting, paying taxes, and media consumption as kinds of rituals that remake us into the image of the liberal capitalist societal ideal, and on how participating in the rites of the church can be a form of resistance as we seek to become conformed more and more into the Imago Dei as we were created to be. Perhaps I’ll have something coherent enough to post later, but if anyone would like to meditate on that and maybe send some comments my way that would be cool too.

And along that line, if anyone would be interested in co-authoring this blog with me, I wouldn’t mind sharing space. It would help make content creation a little more regular, and it would also make this site more than just my rants and vents – I think that would be a good thing. So if you’re interested, drop me a line and we’ll talk. I won’t just automatically approve anyone who applies, but at the same time I don’t want to be dictatorial about the whole thing. So let me know if you’re interested!

Good night, and good luck.

the flag of truth

I’m back from Michigan! Don’t forget to register for the Jesus Radicals conference. It’s free!

This is an amazing picture. I got it from Gavin at Make/Shift.

Flag of truth.

Sergeant Timothy John Westphal, 31, of Denver, 18th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. In Tikrit on year-long tour beginning February 2004.

“If Soldiers Came From Another Country And Did This To My Family, I Would Be An Insurgent Too” – War Vet Describes Iraq House Raid. Transcript of an interview with Westphal and others at Democracy Now.