I was planning on starting my work binge at the Pharmacy on Thursday of this week, but go unexpectedly called in on Monday for four hours. That was fine with me because I wasn't really doing anything. The Pharmacy is like usual: a bit slow at times with a dusting of mean, irate, mental people. The customer I fear the most (the one that has called me a "jackass" in times past) came in this morning and my heart started beating faster than it has in a very long time. This guy is so mean and inconsiderate than when he comes in, my hands start shaking. It was nerve racking and he had an explosion or two this morning. It's all over now, though. Until next time at least.
A nice aspect of working at the Pharmacy is that I know it is run by people who are Christians and desire to have an honest business that is pleasing to Christ. The only stipulation to this is that we play Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) all the time. Those of you who know me know my loathing for most CCM. It's boring, thoughtless, uncreative, and repetitive. Most modern pop music shares these adjectives as well, but I'm not going to cover that right now. My main gripe over the past week at work has been with the group Selah and their shameless covers of a few popular secular songs.
In the last two years, Selah has covered "Bless the Broken Road" by the Rascall Flatts and "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban. In both of these shameful arrangements, Selah has changed the focus of the song from a person (both Groban and the RFs are singing to people) to God. You might say, "Oh, this is nice. Selah is redeeming popular songs by singing them to God." I say that this is something you just CAN NOT do and it goes against everything I have ever been taught or read about the concept of authorial intent.
When someone writes or creates something, it has a specific meaning. There is one meaning that can not and should not be changed. People do this with the Bible all the time and it does terrible things to the faith. It's kind of a spiritual postmodernism ... this is what Selah is guilty of. It's not just doing a nice thing for God ... it's disrespecting Him by taking advantage of someone elses creativity and thrusting it upon Him. For the love of God (literally), WRITE SOMETHING CREATIVE!
We have a history as Christians when it comes to art and creativity. Michaelangelo created some of the most influential paintings and sculptures of all time. Flash to the 20th century and we see J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis creating whole worlds through literature (literature that is still respected today) ... all to the glory of God. Even Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame) found ways to reflect God's beauty and truth through some of his music. Check out The Lost Chord, for example.
It's pretty sad that I can't really praise much of anything written of produced by Christians for its artistic merit AND profundity. You're lucky to find anything worth talking about in a Christian bookstore amid all the second-rate novels and "Holy trinkets." Christians need a call to arms when it comes to engaging the culture WITH our message. Outside of preaching the message (which we are most definitely called to do), we need to find creative ways to express the hope that we have been given and the truth that we possess without coming across as a bunch of ignorant hacks that know nothing about craft and artistry. End of griping session.
Lost was extremely well-written this week ... possibly one of the top five Lost scripts in the show's history. Lost has an amazing episode formula with the flashbacks and all and when they hit the nail on the head by making the flashbacks inform the island story narratively AND emotionally ... it's just grand. This week, they did and the result was a very good episode with lots of literary references, great acting, and depth of character. This show just keeps getting better and better. BTW, if anyone else caught the symbolic meaning of the screen-cap above, please comment!
A bunch of my friends are going to Hersheypark on Thursday, but I have to work. It's probably a good thing I'm not going because I don't have the money. I have been selling some stuff online to make some extra cash. I'll get a nice check from the Pharmacy on Thursday, too. I still need to save, though. Such is the life of a college student.