Thursday, March 13th, 2014 :: 8:50 PM

“Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential-as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.

“You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.

“To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.” (>>)

Monday, October 7th, 2013 :: 7:08 PM

“We are the richest people ever to walk the face of the earth. Period. Yet, most of us live as though there is nothing terribly wrong in the world. We attend our kids’ soccer games, pursue our careers, and take beach vacations while 40 percent of the world’s inhabitants struggle just to eat every day. And in our own backyards, the homeless, those residing in ghettos, and a wave of immigrants live in a world outside the economic and social mainstream of North America.” (>>)

Sunday, May 26th, 2013 :: 8:28 PM

“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.” (>>)

Monday, September 24th, 2012 :: 8:25 PM

“That’s the ironic gesture, right? We’re absolutely concerned — “Oh, we’ve got to do something,” Right? And then, actually, […] it’s what you’re doing that’s creating the problem in the first place, and yet your concern, it masks that.


“How many of us sit in Starbucks and talk about the evils of corporations? How many of us drive fuel-consuming cars while listening to radio programs about the environment? We engage in this ironic gesture all the time, and we don’t experience it.

“Batman’s a perfect example. What does he do at night? He puts on this crazy rubber suit, and he goes out and he beats up criminals, right? Then, after he’s beaten up the criminals, the next day, he gets in his suit, and he goes and he works in Wayne Industries as Bruce Wayne. Now, what’s really interesting, is he’s doing this big stuff on Saturday night, you know, beating up on the bad guys, trying to to make Gothem City a better place. And yet during the day he’s working in an industry which makes so much money that he can fund a high-tech military campaign and nobody even notices.

“How much money is Wayne Industries making? Wayne Industries is making phenomenal amounts of money. And one has to ask, is it not industries like Wayne Industries, who are making such vast amounts of money without any social regard; is that not the reason that there are criminals that he has to beat up? He’s not made the connection that the very thing he’s doing on Monday to Friday is the very thing he’s fighting on Saturday night.

“He thinks the site of resistance is going out and beating up criminals, but he doesn’t realize that what’s he’s doing in his grounded daily activity is creating and generating the very conditions that means he has to do that.


“The very thing he thinks is the site of Resistance is the thing he has to do to in order to feel good about himself so he can get the suit on and go into work the next day.


“What you find out is that the very place you thought was the site of resistance […] is the very thing the system requires in order to continue to run smoothly.” (>>)

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 :: 12:31 PM

“They follow the news; they’re aware of what’s going on around the world- and of how terrible much of it is. But they’re also unwilling to stop working for these corporations, to give up their elitism and sports cars and fancy houses and $500 shoes. They are aware of their hypocrisy- painfully aware- and so they take small, baby steps to make up for the atrocities they are complicit in […]. They are aware, mindful, maybe, but ultimately will not radically change their way of living. They might even look down on the people who are eating fast food/processed food for not ‘being healthier,’ while deep down knowing these people cannot afford organic tomatoes and coconut water and fair-trade dark chocolate imported from some faraway place.” (>>)

Saturday, October 8th, 2011 :: 8:49 PM

“There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.” (>>)

Thursday, December 4th, 2008 :: 10:03 AM

“OK, so I am not wearing those things, but the point is I could be.

“The other point is WTF?” (>>)

Friday, August 1st, 2008 :: 1:11 PM

“You know, things weren’t always where they are right now in American culture; we weren’t measured by our ability to consume. We were measured by things like, ‘did we do good work?’ or ‘were we a good father, brother, or son?’ And now, through the marketing of things, we have…and I’ve fallen victim to it, I hope I don’t sound like I’m coming from a high place—but I hope that the song kind of expresses it… you can get caught up in measuring yourself by things that don’t really matter. And this song is kind of just about trying to get connected on who I am as a man and a citizen versus who I am as a consumer. And it sounds like a really big issue, but these things play out in really small ways in our lives, from dissatisfaction and disenchantment with ourselves and with our partners, and it can be pretty noir, you know? But the song’s trying to say that we might need to start turning our back onto some of this and try to find value in our words and our real experiences, not just in the virtual world and purchasing things and keeping up with the latest things. Maybe there’s something richer to be found through real contact.” (>>)

Friday, June 13th, 2008 :: 3:23 PM

“People go on about places like Starbucks being unpersonal and all that, but what if that’s what you want? I’d be lost, if JJ and people like that got their way, and there was nothing unpersonal in the world. I like to know that there are big places without windows where no one gives a shit. You need confidence to go into small places with regular customers, small bookshops and small music shops and small restaurants and cafés. I’m happiest in the Virgin Megastore and Borders and Starbucks and Pizza Express, where no one gives a shit, and no one knows who you are. My mum and dad are always going on about how soulless those places are, and I’m like, Der. That’s the point.” (>>)

Thursday, May 15th, 2008 :: 4:09 PM

“If we know that we’re in a recession and our government gives us the equivalent of monopoly money to play with to kill the pain, we’re idiots, we’re complete idiots if we take the money and we spend it on toys.” (>>)

Monday, March 3rd, 2008 :: 6:36 PM

The Story of Stuff

Thursday, November 15th, 2007 :: 11:54 AM

“It just seems kind of crazy for us that a holiday that is supposed to [be] about Jesus has now forced him out of the picture and co-opted spending and consumption in his place. For us, the Jesus of Christmas is not just a fragile little baby in a manger. But the wild, subversive prophet who challenged an empire and practiced justice. It doesn’t make much sense as followers of the Way for us to buy gifts made by people overseas in factories that treat them contrary to the way Jesus would. Or to buy gifts made by detached machines.” (>>)

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 :: 3:16 PM

“Every time I spend time with them in the RV, I am reminded of how very few material possessions we need to be happy. They don’t have rooms and rooms full of STUFF and THINGS that need dusting and organizing. They don’t have separate closets overflowing with clothes they don’t wear. They don’t feel compelled to save items they don’t want because someone gave it as a gift, or because it meant something to them when they were ten. They’ve pared down to the essentials, and every time they buy something new they have to get rid of something old. It’s a forced form of simple living!” (>>)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 :: 9:38 AM

“The primary benefits of a position in Senior Management are increased status and increased salary. The disadvantages are decreased free time and increased stress. So, logically, the sort of people who end up working in Senior Management are those who are most motivated by money and status, and care least about missing time with friends and family.” (>>)

Sunday, October 24th, 2004 :: 5:37 PM

“I am not old enough to be anchored by material possessions. I have a truck. That is about it. So I speak without the benefit of real knowledge. Had I a family, I might think differently. A home is an expensive thing. A family lifestyle is expensive. Vacations are expensive. I think that all of these things can be considered necessary. Still, every possession is an anchor. When we have too many of them, we move sluggishly. Soon, we have so many anchors, we simply don’t move at all. I am not one to say that Christians shouldn’t have nice cars or toasters. I will say, however, that a nice car and a toaster are not needed to do what God wants us to do. And, should we purchase these things, we mustn’t excuse ourselves by believing that God would want us to have them. I don’t believe that God cares whether we have nice things. I believe He cares about whether we are obeying Him.” (>>)

Tuesday, September 21st, 2004 :: 11:36 PM

“If Jesus flat out asked me to give up my stilettos, highlights, iPod and credit cards (boys insert: cars, motorcycles, power tools, video games, CDs or season tickets) so I could better serve Him with my time and money, I might have to be knocked unconscious to release the death grip I have on my stuff.” (>>)

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004 :: 1:20 PM

“I was striving to be a monastic, convinced it was the only option if I were not to be a materialist. I knew that greed was a corrosive, and that endless wanting is one of the surest ways of corrupting your soul. I wanted to be free from greed and live freely. In my sincerity, I misdirected the trajectory of my life course. I had concluded that the opposite of greed was poverty and that the solution to wanting was not having. But I would soon discover that the opposite of greed is not poverty, but generosity.” (>>)

Monday, October 27th, 2003 :: 11:47 AM

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (>>)

Tuesday, July 8th, 2003 :: 2:27 AM

“The packaging is nice,
we’re building it to sell,
call all your people in Hollywood and Nashville.
It’s one in a million,
in fact we broke the die,
it’s all of the hype that your money can buy.” (>>)

“Beloved, these are perilous days.
When your culture is so set in its ways,
that you will listen to salesmen and thieves,
preaching other than the truth you’ve received”

Tuesday, May 27th, 2003 :: 12:49 AM

“Don’t Wanna be Known as a Punk in First Class”

Well, it seems that a lot of people missed the point of my DC rant. That’s probably my fault for not re-reading and editing the post after I initially got the emotion down on paper. So, I’ll try to clarify.

This is one of the fundamental parts of my “personal philosophy,” or whatever you want to call it. It’s the same reason I take the stairs instead of the elevator. It’s the same reason I stand there and hold the gas pump handle instead of pushing the little lever that will hold it for me–even when it’s cold and snowing. It’s the same reason my computer is about 4 years old, even though I’m a “computer geek” and, if I really wanted to, could afford to buy a really fast new one. It’s the same reason I never want an $80,000 a year job in business, a big house and a BMW.

I heard that line from a PAX217 song, maybe six months ago, and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. “Don’t wanna be known as a punk in first class.” That’s the best way I can describe it. Who am I? I’m not cool, or rich or smooth. I’m not. I never have been, and I’ve lost that stupid middle school desire to be. I struggle with pride, but I don’t have a big enough ego to actually think I deserve those things. It just doesn’t fit. All those people who think they look elegant, smart, sexy, successful or whatever…don’t. They look like fools. They look like they don’t know who they really are. Or they know, and they’re trying to cover it up.

I still don’t think I’ve really articulated this very well, but hopefully you can figure out what I’m trying to say.

“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (>>)

“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.” (>>)

“And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (>>)

“Better one handful with tranquillity
than two handfuls with toil
and chasing after the wind.” (>>)

“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” (>>)

“Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.” (>>)

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death–
even death on a cross!” (>>)

“Rip the tags off mattresses,
you’ll buy more anyway.
Is the paint on that SUV
some brand new type of gray?

Believe in anything,
Vultures circling.
Open, swallow
you’re so hollow.”




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