Bruce’s Friday Five v9.21

 BOOKS // If you are like me, you are reading more than one book at any given time. Some are for work, others for edification and still others, what I call “brain candy,” for the pure joy of reading.  Here are three books that are are being lugged around in my bag and/or on my kindle these days. If you liked the non-fiction gem, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America then I guarantee that you will devour Erik Larson’s latest book, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. Holy schmoly, only is it a page-turner with the added bonus that you feel yourself getting all smarter and stuff as you read it.  Next up is one that was recommended to me by a friend and professor at the University of San Francisco, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation by Jeff Chang, again, get smarter. And if you really want to dive into the hip-hop scene, grab the pricey That’s the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader or give a listen to Blue Scholars’ Cinemetropolis, one of my favorites. And finally, I have been trying to finish my review of T.C. Ryan’s Ashamed No More: A Pastor’s Journey Through Sex Addiction, so I’ll say more about it later, but it’s one of those topics that is simply never talked about; a good one to read.

 The 47% // Okay, I admit it, while I will resist the name-calling and demonizing that is just too easy, after watching the video of Mitt Romney and his comments during a private fundraiser, I for one, do not think that he was pandering or misspeaking. One can argue about whether or not Romney should have said what he said, but I have no doubt that he echoes what many people believe . . . and he has helped to make my choice of Obama or Stein even clearer.  I posted some thoughts on the whole thing, but here is a great post from Rhetoric, Race and Religion [blog | twitter | facebook] and contributor, Rashad Grove, as he muses about a Theology of Privilege. Good stuff.

 GANGNAM STYLE // This week, I REALLY felt out of the pop-culture loop . . . more than usual. Not only was I unfamiliar with most of the songs from this week’s episode of Glee, Britney 2.0, but “Gangnam Style” references were popping up everywhere. Apparently there is this thing called Youtube where people can share movies and this one is a biggie. Thank goodness for Grace Ji-Sun Kim, for dropping a little knowledge for those of us who are out of the know.

THE DEMOCRACY OF INCLUSION // If you are looking for a cool project to support with a few bucks, I just got a note from multimedia journalist and friend, Michael Fagans, about a very cool project that he is working with the Kern Arts Council. From Michael, “One of the reasons that this project resonates with me is that it is a film about and by people with special needs. Rather than document a group of people in our community, the group is turning the camera back on society and talking about and illustrating their experiences with life. All too often people think of special needs children, but no one seems to realize that they grow up to be adults.” This seems like a worthy project, so please like their Facebook Page and, if you feel so called, please join me and donate on Kickstarter.

ONE-LEGGED SOCCER PLAYER // And lastly, from the “If this does not move you, you might just be dead inside” file, here is a 12 second video that made me tear up just a bit. Watch it a few times. Pure awesome. h/t David Lewicki

Five blog highlights since my last Friday Five . . .

  1. Thoughts on Bitter Gun Owners and the Entitled 47%
  2. What the Body of Christ Can Learn from Fantasy Sports
  3. Why This Christian Will Never Own a Gun
  4. A Gift of Perspective in Discerning God’s Call
  5. FREE eBOOK: 54 Leaders Under 50 Share 50+ Ideas to Revitalize Your Congregation

My Friday Five  is a mishmash of weekly-ish happening and people that I find compelling, provoking and/or just plain quirky. If you stumble upon such things over the course of your day, please feel free to pass them along to me via Twitter or Facebook.

Number images are from the Leo Reynolds’ Collection, Creative Commons

Bruce’s Friday Five v8.24

Richard Aoki

For those of you who lived through the 1960′s or are simply interested in the political climate of that time, you may have heard of Seth Rosenfeld’s new book, Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power where he claims that one of the day’s best known activists and reputed arms supplier to the Black Panthers, Richard Matsui Aoki, was an FBI informant. Not so fast, says Diane C. Fujino, author of Samurai among Panthers: Richard Aoki on Race, Resistance, and a Paradoxical Life, who asks the question, Where’s the evidence Aoki  was an FBI informant? I loves me a good conspiracy theory debate, but I tend to fall on the side of Fujino on this one. Fascinating stuff for sure.

There is so much pain in the world and what seems to be dominating headlines as of late have been stories of gun violence. Just this morning 10 people where shot at the Empire State Building, this past week in Chicago 19 people were shot in the course of one evening and, while the Silence after Sikh shooting has been deafening, it occurred only a few short weeks ago. Historically, some shootings and communities that are impacted by gun violence get more media play than others, but this is not time to engage in competitive tragedy ranking, but a time for all of us to find a way to fight gun violence. Lord hear our prayers…

Like many who fancy ourselves some kind of “thought leader” doing a TED talk would be very cool. But then I listen to some folks and quickly realize that I am probably writing motivational checks that my speaking proficiency cannot cash. Still, maybe my bolt of lightening moment will come at 4 in the morning inspired by this ode to the mystery of 4 o’clock in the morning by poet, John Rives, 10 minutes, but quite good.

This is a post from last month, but if you did not stumble upon Enuma Okoro‘s blog post for She Loves MagazineThese are our bodies, broken for you it is well worth the read. I met Enuma last year and was struck by her genuine nature, insightful questions and fun spirit. Take a read and pass it on. You can also follow her on twitter at @TweetEnuma.

This morning I posted on my Facebook Page, the question, “What brings you joy?” and immediately folks started posting. From family to food there is so much to be thankful for in the world. It’s great to hear what feeds peoples’ souls and brings them joy. Please visit the update, add your joy or just revel in the joy of others.

My blog highlights since my last Friday Five . . .

My Friday Five  is a mishmash of weekly-ish happening and people that I find compelling, provoking and/or just plain quirky. If you stumble upon such things over the course of your day, please feel free to pass them along to me via Twitter or Facebook.

Number images are from the Leo Reynolds’ Collection, Creative Commons


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