Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Olympic Anthems - the Reserve Squad

With everyone now heartily sick of the Chariots of Fire theme, Spandau Ballets 'Gold'  and anything by the Beatles or Queen, here are a few musical suggestions which could have worked at the various Olympic venues and events.

Torch Relay - There is a Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths)

4x100 Relay - I Started Something I Couldn't Finish (The Smiths)

4x400 Relay - Oops I Did It Again (Britney Spears)

Boxing  - Hit Me Baby One More Time (Spears)

Taekwondo  - Aint that a Kick in the Head (Frank Sinatra, at a guess - I'm not really with it on jazz))

10m Diving - Vertigo (U2)/Going Under (Evanescence)

Archery/Shooting - Dont Want to Miss a Thing (Aerosmith)

Velodrome - Round and Round (New Order)

Horseriding - Jump (Van Halen) or if that fails Whip It (Devo)

Weightlifting - Lifted (Lighthouse Family)/Lift Me Up (Howard Jones)

Pommel Horse - Teenage Kicks (Undertones)

Vault - Head over Heels (Tears for Fears)

Beach Volleyball - On the Beach (Kirsty MacColl, or Chris Rea)/Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (Black Lace, I think)

Closing Ceremony - Rio (Duran Duran)

But what a fantastic couple of weeks, and it looks like the Paralympics might be a sell out too, as people can't get enough of the Olympic spirit. How we build on the goodwill, sense of a job well done, success and fun of the last fortnight seems to be up for grabs - the BBC didn't help by ending Sunday night with a downbeat song and then a trailer for a series on Jack the Ripper. It almost made me long for a 4th song by the Who.

Massive congratulations to the atheletes, coaching staff, volunteers, organisers, army, LOCOG and everyone involved. It's been brilliant.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

CofE Disinvests from Newscorp

Andrew Brown, Secretary of the Church Commissioners, said: "Last year's phone hacking allegations raised some serious concerns amongst the Church's investing bodies about our holding in News Corporation. Our decision to disinvest was not one taken lightly and follows a year of continuous dialogue with the company, during which the EIAG (ethical advisory group) put forward a number of recommendations around how corporate governance structures at News Corporation could be improved. However the EIAG does not feel that the company has brought about sufficient change and we have accepted its advice to disinvest."

more here. I doubt this will extend to advice to clergy to stop buying the Times or the Sun, though that would be thorougly consistent. Drat, I really like the Times' puzzle page.

Marginal Gains for God

Dave Brailsford, on cycling success, from the BBC Olympic coverage:

Brailsford has also been expanding on the idea of 'marginal gains':

"The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of an improved it by 1% and put it back together again you will get a significant increase.

"There's fitness and conditioning but there are other things that might seem on the periphery like sleeping in the right position, having the same pillow when you are going away and training in different places, hygiene.

"Do you really know how to clean your hands? Without leaving bits between your fingers? If you do things like that properly, you'll get ill a little bit less. They're tiny things but if you clump them all together it makes a big difference."

Has got me wondering what this looks like in discipleship terms. What are the small changes in small areas that, added together, will make us significantly more Christlike?   There's also more than a trace of Pharisaism here, which at its best is attention to detail in obedience to God (read 'the year of living Biblically' if you're not convinced). Attention to detail is an expression of devotion, an act of worship, a declaration in the small things of the big things that are most important to us.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Inherit the Mirth: Bubble Wrap Cartoon

From Inherit the Mirth, which is superb. Plenty more of these to browse on Facebook too. It's like the Far Side, but with more bible jokes and fewer chickens.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Plan B 'Lost My Way'

Some lyrics from the latest Plan B single, from 'Ill Manors', currently top of the album charts.
god said let there be light created adam and eve
then he gave them eyes and told them both to both belive
something they’d actually physically see
and then the devil came along and planted a seed

and down started growing from the ground like trees
right up to the sky so profoundly seen
to be the only thing in this life that wasn’t a dream
made from stone still and iron beams
the council blocks to defining mean

and bullied the sky so that everybody can see
some birds are caged and will never be free
and gradually people began to change there beliefs
until god was nothing more than just a fictional being

the worship and money merged all colours and creed
into one true religion that was driven by greed
corporate machines trying to sell you shit you don’t need
on television and the ad breaks in between

until people only cared about material things
not lives with other fellow human beings
and i’m guilty of it to or so it seems

lost my way,
fell down a hole,
no-ones gonna come,
and save my soul,
lost my way,
no going back,
i’m stuck right here and that is that!

if you don’t believe if something then you’ll fall for anything
and if that happens then you’ve lost your way
if you don’t believe if something then you’ll fall for anything
and if that happens then you’ve lost your way

if you don’t believe if something then you’ll fall for anything
if you don’t believe if something then you’ll fall for anything
if you don’t believe if something then you’ll fall for anything
fall for anything, fall for anything

it's not the first song he's done with a strong spiritual content, but to be honest his is an entirely different world to the one I inhabit. And there's no point Christians jumping up and down going 'hey look chart topping rapper mentions God!' because I can't think of many churches in a position to engage with the culture and issues he represents.

Is Jesus at the Olympics or in the estates just down the road?