Monthly Archives: July 2009

Social Networking!

The year was 1492.  Christopher Columbus was preparing to set sail to open new trade routes and share Jesus with the new world.  On August 3rd, 1492, headed westward landing at the Bahama island of Guanahani on October 12th.  For those of you keeping track, it took him more than two months to make the trip.Facebook

In other words, our world is much smaller than it used to be.  The internet has brought the entire world right into our living rooms and computer screens.  In a split second I can be
connected to someone across the ocean and talk world economics with them if I wanted to.  Online social networking sites have done nothing to slow that down.  If anything, social networking has only served to speed our world up and shrink it down some more.

I share my thoughts on a blog.

Post pictures on flickr or photobucket.

I friends on facebook.

And in 140 characters, I can tell you exactly what I’m doing, right now, on twitter.

It seems that social networking has capitalized on an idea that the church has also been trying to capitalize on; connection.  Social media allows us to connect with people all over the world and right in our back yard.  We can talk, chat or have a video conversation with them instantly.  We get updates on their family pictures.  We read about their lives.  We make more connections with more people today than at any other time in history (no statistics, just my opinion from observation).

Our church has a facebook and twitter page that we use to keep people who follow or befriend us up-to-date on what we’re doing.  But I wonder if the church is doing all it can toTwitter
capitalize on this social phenomenon.  How is the church really using social networking sites to make an impact in the world for Jesus Christ?  How is your church or ministry using social networking to advance the Gospel of Jesus?  What are some creative ways the church can use these sites more effectively to reach the culture?  I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts and hopefully some of your ideas.

For bonus points- push further than current social networking sites have.  Tell me what you see in the future for social networking.  Is there an end in sight?  Will the fad come to an end and the church will find itself back at square one?  Can the church push the envelope further and possibly lead the way in some form of social networking?

New Family Blog!

Many of the readers at Cultural Awakening are friends or family to me.  I just wanted to let you all know that my wife is trying her hand at the wordpress blogging thing.  She has begun a new blog for our family called, Five Roddas.  Go over there, check it out, add it to your blog feeds and tell her I sent you.  Now you can get the inside scoop into the Rodda family.

Book Suggestions!

I am constantly on the hunt for good books to read.  Most of the books I read have to do with church work, leadership and how it relates to the culture.  I want to know what you read.  Who is your favorite author?  What type of books are your favorite?  Read a good book lately?  Tell me about it in a comment and I’ll go check it out.

Transformers: Rise of the Fallen -or- Pop Culture Trash!

If I ever meet the person who made the new Transformers movie I’m going to kick them in their knee. Honestly, the movie, aside from being over 2 full hours long, was pretty good…I would say it was equal parts fantastic and complete crap.

Fantastic in the sense that the special effect were first rate, the action sequences were well constructed and pretty easy to follow and the story line didn’t bog down too much… it kept moving.

Complete crap in several ways.

The overall story line of the two movies has some glaring inconsistencies with it’s self and common sense in general… To avoid looking like a TOTAL nerd I won’t expound.

This movie displays some severely critical messages about our society as a whole both in the way it was made and in the way it’s been received. Immediately into the movie I noticed that the Transformers were speaking a lot more than they did in the first movie, but more concerning was WHAT they were actually saying. 90% of the profanity, crude, immature humor and graphic violence was from the “good” transformers, not the humans or the “bad”transformers… There was a lot more “personality” given to the individual robots in this movie, and sadly, the “personalities” were LOADED with racial stereotypes and attitudes more congruent with a gangster rap video than a sci-fi action movie about cartoon robots. I don’t remember my Transformers ever saying “bitch-ass Decepticon” before shooting someone in the face or “I’m gona bust a cap in your ass” with a gold tooth and chains around their neck, or “Damn I’m good” after cutting another robot in half in slow motion. All lines spoken by the good guys in the movie. The movie even ended with Optimus Prime twisting a pipe around the head of the bad guy and saying “give me your face” as he literally rips his face off, spilling different kinds of oil or whatever all over the movie screen. It saddens me that people think movies have to be this way to be any good. None of this fit with the movie and was all blatantly and purposefully added into the movie.

Equally nauseating was the way the audience reacted to these certain scenes. THIS IS NOT A MOVIE FOR CHILDREN! Movies have ratings for a reason. I’ll say this so nobody misunderstands me, I dont want to be accused of saying something I didnt…

ANYONE WHO TAKES THEIR CHILD TO SEE THIS MOVIE IS A BAD PARENT.

Movies have ratings for a reason people!!!

The audience in the theatre was mostly children, brought by “parents” who undoubtedly thought that special effects robots= childrens movie and perfectly displayed everything that is wrong with our world.

At every crude sexual joke they taught their kids to laugh. At every graphic mutilation they taught their kids to cheer. At every screen shot of a pretty girl the “men” in the room let out an audible “woah!” or “holy crap!” with their wives or girlfriends present…

It makes me sad to think that the people my age who are making these movies now, people who also grew up watching things like the Transformers, have degraded to the point that this is what they feel they need to make it into… pop-culture trash. We cannot even appreciate a science fiction movie without crude humor, graphic violence and overall immaturity in every facet. We have to include testicle jokes and dogs humping each other because it’s all our society can understand. We have to include half-naked women because nothing else will hold american attention. All our children want to be “gangsters” so we have to make our heros into gangsters as well.

My opinion: this movie is a disgrace and the people who made it should be embarrassed and ashamed. Consumers who embrace this sort of “entertainment” (not just this movie in particular, but all such) should also be embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no wonder our culture is going down the toilet when we glorify crap like this. The STORY being told, the depth and message of the movie has taken a backseat to the superficial and immature, the violent and profane. There was a time in entertainment when such content was added for the sake of the uneducated poor who filled the sidelines of the playhouse, because they didn’t understand the depth of the story the way the rest of the audience did. Today such content is the mainstream and those who enjoy taste, class and depth in their entertainment have been left sitting there with disgusted expressions, lazy imagination and insulted intellect.

Movie makers, I’m calling you out. Grow up.

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