Sunday, December 6

New SwimmersItch Video

Here is the latest video I made. Please rate it, and subscribe to get updates. Better videos are going to be made this Christmas.

Saturday, December 5

Awesome

GV football on ESPN, Women's soccer wins national championship, men's and womens basketball wins big. Great day for GVSU.

Monday, November 30

Turkey Trot (in my dreams)


I didn't run the Turkey Trot, mostly because I do not have the skill to finish it. Over break I did very little. 
1. I made one Swimmers Itch video, but it is so bad, I don't think I will release it. Maybe if I get 100 followers on twitter I will throw it out there.
2. I didn't blog, but tried hard. Several ideas came up though (One year anniversary of OLHN is coming up...)
3. I read half or Dinesh D'Souza's "Letters to a Young Conservative." Really good book, all college students should check it out. 
4. Thanksgiving was good, and I have a lot to be thankful for (including dangling prepositions).
5. We are for sure getting a new cat in the spring.
6. Detroit sports teams are terrible. 
7. Star Trek was good; the rest of the family hated it.
8. The Great Hambino
9. It gets dark at 4:00 now.
10. I got a haircut. "You were starting to look like Rambo" is never good to hear concerning your hair.
11. The Big Ten has 11 teams.
12. GVSU Football will be on ESPN on Saturday at 3:30 PM. Take that, Michigan, Michigan State, Western, Eastern, Oakland, Macomb, Saginaw Valley, Hillsdale, and Stevenson High School. But not Central, they are decent.


Thursday, November 12

The Droid

New Verizon commecial. Apparently At&t is suing Verizon for this. Maybe they should just get service that works.

Tuesday, November 10

Malk

This week, I agreed to rent my roommate's refrigerator for the remainder of the semester for a small fee. This will prevent my food and drinks from being stolen by the other vultures that live in my apartment. I now have many cold foods and beverages in my room, safe from the moochers that haunt the large refrigerator downstairs in the early hours of the day. A recent video by Julian Smith emphasised a few of the problems that used to occur before I was independent of the ol' Frigidaire. Thanks Julian.

Monday, November 9

The D Up Sports Blog

I'm running a new blog purely about sports with a few other people from GVSU. Check it out here.http://dupsports.blogspot.com/
Be sure to subscribe to it so you can get updates on the content posted daily. If you are interested in posting for the blog, let me know, I would be glad to accommodate you.

Saturday, November 7

TheCheeseItch

Here is what happens when two super-power youtube channels join to make an incredible movie.

Subscribe to SwimmersItch here-http://www.youtube.com/user/SwimmersItch
Subscribe to TheCeeseOutfit here-http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCheeseOutfit

This Thanksgiving I will make a video, I promise.

Friday, November 6

Live from the Griffins game


This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

Thursday, November 5

GVSU is better than MSU, Ohio State and Central Michigan

At dodgeball that is. Scope my newest article for the GVSU Lanthorn here-http://www.lanthorn.com/sports/21-Dodgeball

Also, look for a new blog to emerge out of Allendale. This time, I am planning to do a Detroit sports blog with a few other sport-smart fellows in the coming weeks.


Lastly, Facebook games keep getting stupider. It's bad enough that half of my friends are spending time buying tractors, flax seed and dairy cows online; now there is the option to divulge into a life on the dark side of the law. I want to play the online batman, but not really.

Saturday, October 24

Pulling an A-Flu

One year ago today, blogger Andrew P. Fluegge posted his last and apparently final blog post, in which he lazily copied and pasted a paper for one of his classes. You can read it here-http://apf4.blogspot.com/2008/10/sossame-old-spartans.html. Over the past year, Andrew often threatened friends and enemies alike with his full blog wrath. However, a year of time has proven these threats empty. If you want Andrew to return, send him a message. Personally, I do not think he has the motivation to live up to the hype he created over a year ago with the infamous homecoming court dance blog.  How long can this blogger hide behind the company line of, "I'm working on something right now!" The boy who cried wolf comes to mind. Within the past year, the phrase, "Pulling an A-Flu" has surfaced in writing circles, obviously referencing Andrew's lack of interest in his blog. I even heard the phrase at the Standale Meijer yesterday, "Wow, this self checkout is pulling an A-Flu today. It just won't turn on." Hopefully this blogger will live up to his countless promises made earlier last year. Or maybe he will go the way of a certain powerful politician and fail to live up to anyone's expectations. Only time will tell.

Wardrobe fail


So last week, the pastor's son at my church here said I look like Steve from Blues Clues. I have no idea why.

Tuesday, October 20

GVSU Volleyball Coach gets 400th win

Check out my latest article for the Lanthorn, about Coach Scanlon, and her 400th career win, all at Grand Valley. It's on newsstands and online here- http://www.lanthorn.com/sports/16-Volleyball.


Coming up this week: A preview of the women's GLIAC tennis tournament. The team is pretty mad about losing to Ferris earlier in the year. After all, its Ferris.

Wednesday, October 14

Bus Riding Manners



I have a dilemma. Now that I am living in a apartment off campus, I take the bus to and from school every day. No big deal, I have managed to figure out what bus goes where, and which drivers to avoid. The major probelm I face is seating. On the bus, there are two seats next to each other, an aisle and then two seats on the other side. When returning from a late class, the bus is usually packed to the gills with people. I live at the end of the route, so by the time I am home, there are few people still riding. So when I start out, I usually end up sitting next to someone on a seat. The bus gradually empties, leaving full rows open. Do I remain in the seat next to the other person, or do I go for an empty seat? I feel awkward siting next to the person when seats are open, but at the same time, I don't want to offend them by leaving for the open seat. What is the correct protocol? If you have any suggestions, please respond. And if you have never ridden a bus, I recommend getting on one and experiencing what it is like to get smashed between two smelly people while trying to hold your balance as the bus careens over curbs, mailboxes and Chevy Aveos.

Monday, October 12

Miracle

Miracle is one of my favorite movies, which makes this clip awesome.


Also, check out today's Lanthorn for my artile about the cross country teams at the Michigan Intercollegiate at Calvin College.
http://digital.zoompubs.com/publication/?i=24250

Sunday, October 4

New Article for the Lanthorn

Read my latest article for the GVSU school paper before it hits the newsstands Monday morning. http://www.lanthorn.com/sports/12-Softball

Coming Thursday: A look at the GVSU men's golf team as they play in the GLIAC Championship at Grey Walls in Marquette, MI.

Wednesday, September 30

Christmas List

This is the perfect jersey to get. No one has it, and baseball fans will really appreciate it. Also Gene Lamont is one awesome guy. Anyone is welcome to get this as a token of appreciation for all of the vital knowledge this blog provides. Tigers tonight. Get it done.

Wednesday, September 23

Hi Mom, im eating healthy.

OK, so wow, I have not put up a blog in forever. I have literally been 100% busy with school, the newspaper, Laker Nation, running club and shopping at Family Fare. I haven't written anything for fun in about 2 months. And yes, I am eating well, and I occasionally sleep for 2 hours at a time. Most of my writing is dedicated to the GVSU school paper (The Lanthorn), where I am a sports writer. I now cover the men's and women's golf teams, and occasionally tennis. You can check out my articles here-http://www.lanthorn.com/sports/. I'll put up some news about the Lakers, such as how the women's team just got back from a tournament, where they beat a ton of DI schools like Oakland. Which brings me to today's topic. Yes, Grand Valley is Division II. I am getting pretty tired of hearing about how no one cares about Division II sports or how GVSU is a glorified high school. For the people who don't know, here is why GVSU is still DII. http://www.gvsulakers.com/links/qatimselgo.html. I like the part about how GV has spent half a billion on academic buildings over the past few years. I'd rather have a nice Mac lab to get work done (and edit awesome videos) instead of a shiny new football stadium. While visiting a few schools as a senior in high school, I noticed that they all might have really nice basketball arenas, but the rest of the buildings look like they are ready to fall over. I doubt I would do any studying under Calvin's rock climbing wall in their new arena, or hear a lecture in Oakland's basketball facility. No, GVSU has tried very hard to make the academic experience the best possible for its students. I am not paying all this money to watch a game comfortably (at least for a half, before we are up by 100 points). I am here to get a education. So stop running your mouths, you DII haters, and remember when we beat the Spartans at the Breslin, or when we were the national dodgeball champions (that's all divisions ha ha), or maybe when our golf and cross country teams wipe the floor with most of your Nike DI uniforms. Or when your DI football and basketball players (that means you Michigan) keep transferring into GVSU. Just somthing to think about. Please stop hating on GVSU athletics, even if you don't really belive in your own facebook statuses.

Also, I think I should point out that GVSU senior cornerback Robert Carlisle broke his leg in the Lakers' 38-7 win over Saginaw Valley. http://www.lanthorn.com/7-Football-Preview Carlisle attended Lutheran High East, a high school in Detroit that has since shut down. Carlisle's class was the last to graduate from the school, which as far as I can tell, means that Carlisle was the last player from East to still be playing football. He leaves a hole at cornetback, but you can read all about that in my editor's article. Speaking of the SVSU game (The Battle of the Valleys), once again, GVSU killed the Cardinals in another boring game. On the bright side, this year's shirts were pretty cool. That's our mascot, Louie, eating a cardinal. Standard.

Thursday, August 20

Return to blogging, what is G?

I go back to school on Sunday, which also means I start blogging for real for real. In the mean time, sit back, crack open a Gatorade and enjoy this video.

Monday, August 10

Business as Usual

This past week, Grand Valley State football was voted by the coaches in the GLIAC (Our football conference) as the favorite. GV has not lost a conference game since 2004 (40 game streak), and has not lost a regular season game in 42 tries. Also, senior QB Brad Iciek will be featured on the cover of D2 Football magazine as part of their preview issue. Like I said, business as usual. Meanwhile, U of M and MSU were not picked in the top 25, and everyone knows that the highlight of CMU's season was the new banner at Comerica Park...

Thursday, July 30

The Te Deum at Higher Things


While I am still getting pictures and video together to make a post about what I actually did last week at the SOLA conference, here is a video of the Te Deum from last Thursday's Matins service. It is taken from The Lutheran Service Book, page 941, "We Praise and Acknowledge You" This was all put together by talented musicians who had about 3 days to practice. There is no CD or backing to this hymn.
This video was taken by Hannah Adickes. I recommend minimizing the window and just listening to it.

Thursday, July 23

My Zwingli was too frothy

Here is an actual drink on the menu at Calvin College, where I am a Christ on Campus Volunteer for the 2009 Higher Things Conference. Daring to be Lutheran and sipping Zwingli's. Wow, I need sleep.

Thursday, July 9

Goodbye Jiri

My favorite Detroit Red Wing, Jiri Hudler, signed a contract with Dynamo Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League. He became my favorite Red Wing at the 2008 victory parade, when he not only shamelessly flirted with Channel 7 reporter Katrina Hancock (she would never interview him again without drooling all over him), but when he also stole the show at the rally. Check out Jiri at his best. "Detroit City baby!!! Yeahhhhhhhh!!!"



До свидания!

Tuesday, July 7

Trending the Trends

This summer I have noticed several trends that I find either funny or stupid (or both). Or maybe I am just bored.

Fashion-
1. Children’s sunglasses young adult males. You know, the neon colored, plastic sunglasses that we used to get at the dollar store when we were 10? Well, they are back, but this time, they are mostly found on people ages 17-23. These are often matched with tight jeans and a neon graphic tee. Personally, if I am going to wear sunglasses, I want them to block the sun, not my ability to have a serious conversation about anything other than the Jonas Brothers.
2. MMA, UFC, or Tapout shirts. These shirts, usually bearing the logo of some mixed martial arts league, are covered in aggressive designs featuring skulls, barbed wire and a lot of slash marks. The major problem is that most people wearing them get the shirt about three sizes too small to show off their muscles. However, it just makes you look like a tool. I am willing to bet that 99.8% of the bros who wear this shirt have never stepped into any kind of ring, let alone used an arm bar (You have to mix it up!) on anyone. Yes, that was a Never Back Down reference. (And if you have stepped into the ring, then you have every right to wear the shirts, no matter how small.)
3. Large purses are another annoyance. Purses have gotten so big recently, that they could be used to smuggle people across the Mexican border. Seriously, why would you possibly need a bag big enough to store Chris Osgood’s pads and even Osgood himself, just to go to a graduation party? Usually, there is enough material on one bag (metal, leather, canvass, glass, acrylic resin, copper wiring, German butlers, etc) to rebuild the Hindenburg. Juicy.

The Internet world-
1. Fan pages on Facebook. There is a fan page for everything. In fact, there is even a fan page for this specific blog post. Become a fan!
2. Youtube videos that only have significance to the people watching them. No one wants to see video of your bff’s singing Akon songs at 3 AM. Not even me.
3. Twitter promotion. Does every single show on TV have a twitter account? Does it have to be flashed on the screen 400 times in a half hour span? Does anyone really want to follow Stuart Scott’s tweets? No, no, and no! PS, You can follow me on twitter at twitter.com/AaronBrandt.
4. Using Strube Slang. When chatting online or commenting on pictures you use language like: IMO, LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL, FTW, boss, pwnd, n00bz, I call, Obv, or COD 4. Basically anything Mark Strube would say while he was online. Well well well…
5. Pulling an A-Flu. This is when you have a blog, but you never update it.
6. Quoting song lyrics in status updates to make a direct point to a specific person, without actually talking to that person. “Boy, I’ll show Jane how much I like her through this Dashboard Confessional lyric! Because I am too scared to do anything besides a status update!” The sad truth; Jane will never see your post, and even if she does, she will only question your musical taste.
7. Facebook notes. Don’t tag me. If it is that important, I will find it eventually. Facebook notes are the tabloids of internet writing. Internet writings are the tabloids of writing. Tabloids are sold at CVS. CVS used to be called Arbor Drug. Ann Arbor is where the University of Michigan is located. U of M is where “pulling an A-Flu” was born.

Music
1. 96.3 WDVD. Apparently, the local adult contemporary radio station in Detroit gave up playing more than four different songs in a day. If I hear Nickleback, Daughtry, or Natasha Bettingfield one more time, I will simply change the station. Bam, roasted.
2. Cowboys. Maybe not a musical trend, but what’s the deal with the guys who dress in the full-out cowboy costume every single day? There is absolutely NO need for spurs in Macomb, Michigan. Save a horse, ride over to Lakeside Mall and get some real shoes.
3. Playing your iPod everywhere. There is no excuse to take your music into private property. Do you hate the store’s music that much? Do you have to listen to the Lil’ Wayne remix of Billie Jean that bad? Will your iPod get stolen if you leave it in the car? No, no, and only if you are south of Hall Road.
4. Michal Jackson music. Two weeks ago, it was embarrassing to listen to wacko-Jacko. Now it is so cool that Stuart Scott twittered about how much he likes “Bad”.

General
1. “Out of a job yet? Keep buying foreign” bumper stickers. Oh how I would love to go into the home of those people who think they are the ultimate Americans because they drive a Ford Excursion and see just how many Chinese products I can round up. Better hide the new TV! What’s for dinner? I hope it’s takeout.
2. Calling my phone and not leaving a message. I have a policy, if you call, and you want me to call back, then leave a message. If you don’t leave a message, then I will not call back. Not leaving a message is very rude, IMO.
3. Texting constantly. Very annoying. There is nothing like talking to someone who is talking to three other people at the same time. Or someone who trash talks over text. Step up and say it face to face. Or at least to their twitter. “ur blog sux. @AaronBrandt. i reed perez hilton 4 fun. don’t bash ppl so much, dat iz no kool”
4. Kim Jong Ill. What’s up with this dude? Is he really going to destroy us? I call.
5. Long lists. I am so sick of people who make long lists of personal information. Seriously, does anyone care about what you have to say about everyday life? Umm, no. Stop making those lame lists and start making a positive contribution to society. I can’t stand those people…wait…scratch that last one.

Tune in next week to my blog for, “76 Facts I bet you didn’t know about my wireless mouse.” It is sure to stir up some controversy.

“As far as I’m concerned, you’re just another picture to burn.” (See, that Taylor Swift lyric was meant to be read by one specific person in the world, and they were supposed to understand one specific idea that I am trying to communicate through this vague song lyric that has been way overused in the Facebook/Myspace realm). God bless America. (That song lyric may be applied by anyone.)

Tuesday, June 30

R.I.P. Billy Mays

Recently, TV infomercial superstar Billy Mays died after he was hit in the head with his own luggage. I have to say, he played a bigger role in my life than Michael Jackson ever did. I'm going to miss his frantically cheesy TV spots. Check out this classic Billy Mays moment.

Monday, June 8

Relevant Magazine: A worldly publication, Part 2

PART 2 of 2
If you have not read part one of my critique of Relevant magazine, check it out before reading part 2.

To summarize the previous post, I took a look at Relevant magazine, and I found many confusing and contradicting messages within its visually appealing pages. In part 2, I will look at the overall philosophy and a few more examples of how Relevant magazine is dangerous as it tries to fit in to our sinful culture.

As I read the rest of this magazine, I found more of the same. There is a clear identity crisis. They want to be a positive magazine for young Christians to read, but also want to be “cool” in the eyes of the world’s culture. This works at clear cross purposes. John 17:15-16 states, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as though I am not of it.” Yeah, we are in the world, but that doesn’t mean we have to buy into its evil ways, and be “relevant” with it. Denying the fact that this mag isn’t trying to fit in and be accepted in mainstream terms is a losing battle. Its overall message appears to be one of, “Hey, us Christians are just as cool as you people in the mainstream culture!” Its pages are filled with blurbs and articles that have no value to a Christian’s faith. Does a Christian magazine really have to bio a musician with no ties to Christianity whatsoever (p. 65 “The Record Man”)? Does it have to publish a fluffy interview of a regular contributor to The Daily Show (p. 82 Casinos Would Help)? Are six pages of album and movie reviews necessary, especially when only a handful are Christian, and an even greater number are rated R?

I also take issue with the blatant commercialization of Christianity. For one, half of the articles are promoting various charities. Charities and mission projects are good, but not in the glut that this magazine displays them. As if Christianity was all about giving and helping people. Yes, those are incredible ways to demonstrate God’s love, but not for ourselves, but as a response to the amazing sacrifice on the cross (which is almost never mentioned in this magazine). Chapels at my high school about how some group went on some mission trip to some place always annoyed me. As I sat through 25 minutes of pictures and stories about how awesome we are for helping those less fortunate, I always wondered if we were doing these missions in the name of Christ, or in the name of our Facebook albums and profile pictures. And Relevant magazine also contains pages and pages of advertisements for everything Christian available for purchase. In fact, 37 of the 94 pages were plastered with ads. I don’t like how Christianity is used as a marketing tool here. Not just through t-shirt companies or publishing houses, but by bands who claim to be Christian, but never mention the name of Jesus Christ, cough cough Switchfoot cough. It reminds me of the thieves in the temple before Jesus went in and put a damper on business. To me these companies are only there to make a quick buck off of Christian consumers. When I read a Christian magazine, I don’t want to see advertisements all over the place. I understand that they need to break even (or profit), yet this is too much. But that is the least of my concerns. The whole philosophy of this magazine is skewed.

This magazine takes Christianity and turns it into a good works philosophy. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is not even mentioned in the same sentence. Instead, it is replaced with tales of how Bob or Suzy “found God” or about all the good Jonny is doing in Africa. The familiar feel good, emotional side of Christianity bears its empty head once again. The precious few articles dealing with actual important issues of faith are bogged down by law driven tales of what you should and shouldn’t do. An article in the March-April 2009 issue titled “Learning From Liturgy” actually offered a somewhat honest look into the events of Holy week. I was at first impressed. The author, Brandon O’Brian, talked about how he used to be bored and even angry with how his “old fashioned” church portrayed Good Friday. But then he went on to describe the significance and importance of the somber service. Cool, I thought, defense of the church calendar and the significance of Good Friday. He showed that there was more to Christianity than fun, happy coffee hours. But then I thought, why do we need a description of Good Friday and the church calendar? Good Friday is one of the most important events in the Bible, with many prophecies that all pointed toward Calvary, yet, people don’t know what it is? What are churches teaching? Sorry for being naive, but is Good Friday not recognized by other churches? Do they not teach the importance of Christ’s suffering and death? I guess I have never “experienced” this lack of teaching. It seems as if young Christians are grossly undereducated when it comes to what we actually believe. Once again, this magazine illustrated the very unhealthy state of Christianity In fact, this magazine promotes unhealthy faith.

Sure, the magazine is not afraid to talk about God. The other articles are mostly stories about how someone became a Christian or how God saved their life. But none of those stories seem to mention the most important part of the Christian faith; Christ’s death and resurrection. In fact, there is almost no mention of the words “death” and “resurrection” in the same sentence in the ENTIRE MAGAZINE! Was I shouting? Sorry, a Christian magazine not mentioning the death and resurrection of Jesus is something that I would never expect. I don’t see how this magazine can call itself a Christian publication and not mention the most important parts of Christianity. It seems as if the only part that really matters is what we do. Not as a response to Christ’s love, but because we should, according to Relevant. The magazine is obsessed with what we should do, how we should act, and who we should be, that it forgets about the other half, forgiveness. They take the Bible and make it some kind of guide for how we should act, not the message of salvation for those who believe. On page 61, in an article titled “Overtreated,” the author talks on and on about physical pain and sickness, but never even hints at spiritual sickness and the ultimate cure for that ill. Instead, he focuses on what we do. In fact, he even messes up what faith is, saying; “Faith is Job’s demands and active pursuit of the reasons for his suffering, his refusal to accept easy answers.” Really? That is what faith is? I thought it was “being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)” I was unaware that faith meant making demands of God. As if we know what is better for us than God does. (This could be a entire blog in itself.) I’m not sure making demands of an all-knowing God is the best idea. How relevant.

Another point that stood out to me was the common idea that supposed “modern” or “contemporary” Christianity can only focus on only law or only gospel at one time. For example, on page 53, in an article titled “A Stealthy Enemy”, Jeff Cook describes sloth, a sin which he says “for many of us, it’s the deadliest.” He goes on to describe the various levels of sloth and pitfalls that come with this sin. And it appears he got it right saying, “It (Aaron Edit-I assume “it” referrers to salvation) is an invitation to escape the void of hell for the soul-engulfing reality of heaven.” Wait, was that a hint of gospel after the law? Well, of course he goes on to talk about how we need to embrace heaven, we need to reorganize, we need to sacrifice, we need an appetite, we need to take a step, we need a commitment, we need to want it, we, we and finally, we. Forget the power of forgiveness or even the immeasurable strength of God to help us; we must do this by ourselves. As if God won’t help us unless we do all those things. That’s a sad message to send to a sinful world. God is there no matter what, no matter how sinful. He always forgives, always loves and always strengthens. He loves even the most slothy of people, and will help us get out of that funk. That’s right, God can help us. We do not have to do all of that to get closer to God by ourselves. I get it; we should certainly not be so slothy about our faith. But we cannot expect to fix that by ourselves. And that’s one of my biggest issues.

This magazine is almost totally focused on ourselves. Our culture. Our actions. What we do. It is a purely selfish and worldly attitude. I could dissect each article, but I think the case is clear. This magazine is of the world. It caters to those who claim to be Christians, but cling to the world. And I am not saying that I am not a part of that group. I just don’t happen to be running a magazine promoting such philosophies. And speaking of Christian magazines, compare this to another Christian publication, Higher Things. From the title it shows the difference between the magazines. Higher Things does not get lost in the sinful stew of this world’s culture, but focuses on Christ. In fact, each article is based on the idea that we are sinful, and there is forgiveness through Christ. Yet, each article deals with a different situation. There are no advertisements, donation pleas or suck up reviews to secular bands. Most of the writers are ordained ministers, not just any writer hired to write whatever. There is a clear purpose in all of the articles to demonstrate the Law and the Gospel. Higher Things is also not afraid to take stands on important issues such as abortion and gay marriage. I found it interesting that Relevant never mentioned these issues once. Sure, they can save Darfur, but it’s probably too controversial to save an unborn child or even take a moral stand on anything. How relevant (or liberal). Higher Things has a solid base, the Bible. The focus in literally on higher things (God), while the focus of Relevant magazine appears to be staying hip in the world as a Christian. As Pastor Bakker of Christ the King Lutheran Chapel at Central Michigan University pointed out to me, who says we aren’t already relevant? Why do Christians have to fit in with the world? We are a part of God’s kingdom, not the world’s. That’s all that should matter. Who cares about the fads and celebrities of this world? Relevant magazine fails to offer anything useful in the greater spiritual sense. It is too bogged down with trying to please the popular culture, and loses focus on Christ and his entire purpose for being on earth. Christ did not come to simply be a model for living our lives, but a Savior. If you want to see some good visuals and a few album reviews, take a look at Relevant magazine. If you want some actual solid Christian reading, stay far away from this watered down, materialistic magazine. Look at the cover, enjoy the pretty pictures of your favorite band, and walk away. In fact, stay as far away from its worldy pages as possible There are far more productive Things you can do with your time.

EPLIOUGE:
In writing this, I am not saying that I am a perfect person with no worldly influence in my life. I am very sinful. However, I do not promote that sin in a magazine read by impressionable young minds all over the world. There is a great responsibility when it comes to writing for young people. And I think that Relevant magazine has been recklessly irresponsible based on the contents of its pages. Also, why criticize something Christian? Why be so “divisive”? Why can’t we all be friends and just hug each other? Well, I believe in absolute truth, which means some things in life are right, and some are wrong. Jesus tells us to “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.” (1 Thess. 5:21-22)” and this magazine failed the test, and embraced evil. I believe it is far more dangerous to let false or weak doctrine pass by in the name of unity than to step on a few toes in the name of truth. If we all just got along as so many people desire, then Christianity would fall apart into a void of subjective truth. We cannot all agree on everything Christian, because there are huge differences between different sides. Yes, we are all saved by Jesus through grace, but that does not mean we can let everything else go free. Paul came down very hard on the early churches that strayed away from the word of God. Sure, it would have been easier for him to let those falsehoods pass, but that would not have been right. Sometimes the truth is not always the softest, most comfortable or easiest way. Everything should be scrutinized to see if it is accordance with God’s will. And that’s not to say that I always do that, or I am a perfect person, but that’s where forgiveness comes into play. We are all sinful and thrive in sin. We can do nothing to get rid of it. We cannot buy heaven, choose Jesus or save ourselves. Salvation is a free gift, where Jesus came to us through his death and resurrection on the cross. A magazine should base its contents on that, not on fitting into a sinful world.

Epilouge #2: Hey, at least Relevant Magazine is relevant enough to follow me on twitter...

Monday, June 1

Relevant Magazine: A worldly publication

Part one of two.

The word “relevant” caught my eye last year. I saw it on the magazine shelf in my high school’s library, in the form of a magazine title. Of course, plastered on the cover was none other than trendy blasphemer Rob Bell. I didn’t give it much thought because I figured it was another article gloating over how many people sip lattes with Jesus at Mars Hill. Then I came across the magazine again. I actually opened it to see what was happening on its colorful pages. I could not have been more disappointed and saddened. This magazine, with its apparently edgy slogan of “God. Life. Progressive Culture,” once again illustrated to me the sad state of Christianity. Here is a magazine that claims to be on the cutting edge of Christian writing, but a closer look reveals a flaky, hollow and nearly Christ-less message sent out to readers all over the world.

Let’s look at the positive side of this glossy mag. I got a hold of the most recent issue, and I am working my way through the back issues right now. This magazine is indeed stimulating. Visually, that is. It pages are chock full of the edgiest graphics, fonts and titles. There are interesting pictures and slick looking advertisements. The table of contents is even in the back! (How very edgy!) Bold pull-out quotes and chaotic text alignments separate this magazine from the traditionally accepted style of columns, rows and uniformity. But the compliments will end there. Like I said, this magazine is about as watered down as it gets.

Let’s go back to that title. There it sits, boldly perched atop the cover, daring anyone to think otherwise. Here is my interpretation of the title’s intentions based on the contents of the magazine. For this mag, “Relevant” means real life. Like they have something more to offer to the average teen, something that applies directly to our (I am 19) lives. They are up with the times, and not stuck in the past. This is about a new kind of Christian, one that can have a good time and love God with all their heart. This mag gets us, man! At least that’s what I think they are going for based on the overall attitude found within its pages.

As a Christian, the magazine’s content scares me. We are supposed to be in the world, and not of it. Meaning, yeah, we are on this sinful planet, but that does not mean we should engage in sinful activity, or “do as the Romans do.” This magazine appears to try and blend Christianity and the world into one convenient smoothie, ready to be consumed at a trendy coffee shop. I think this mix is not only dangerous, but spiritually fatal. Mixing the trends and popularities of the world with the Christian faith is a recipe for disaster (clichéd pun intended). On page 37, in an article titled “The Rise of the Ironic Class” the magazine appears to address this danger saying, “We are a growing class of ironists who speak in terms of pastiche, Internet bits and pop culture bites, film quotes, and song lyrics, and “oh no she didn’t!” tabloid tomfoolery.” I agree. However, this article on irony turns out to be incredibly ironic itself. Let’s flip to the beginning. Once you make your way through all of the advertisements, you get to the actual magazine. Is it filled with Christian writing, bible verses or even a mention of Christ? No, it is instead full of the same celebrity gossip that was called “tomfoolery” later. Examples include: News about a Spiderman musical put on by U2, Summer movie highlights, a great deal on a Disney vacation (hope it’s not gay day), George Clooney’s take on Darfur, Seth Rogen’s next movie role, info on the Metallica/Megadeath feud, info on Heath Ledger’s movie, Michael Jackson Tour news with comments from Chris Martin and info on the Go Green Expo in Atlanta. It’s all pivotal stuff, right? There is not even an attempt at acting like a Christian magazine until an article on page 22. And that’s a long time, considering the amount of text crammed into a page. But the stupid and immature gossip mentioned above is the tame stuff. There are worse examples from other issues. I assume that when a magazine puts something in its pages without any kind of disclaimer or warning, they are promoting it. Well, should a Christian magazine really be promoting Katy Perry (sings “I Kissed a Girl”), Kanye West (noted womanizer), Paul McCartney (noted atheist and God hater), Seth Rogen, “the irresistible-but-fun cop in Superbad”(translation-the foul mouthed idiot in a movie purely about teenage sex, who also starred in a movie called Zak and Miri Make a Porno), Lupe Fiasco concerts (Lupe is a Muslim), and music festivals (translate-drug fests)? The magazine even had the audacity to use the word “awesome” and “Tha Carter III” in the same sentence. Tha Carter III is the latest album from rapper Lil Wayne, whose lyrics are almost always about sex, drugs or violence. So Lil’ Wayne is awesome, which is the same adjective used to describe God in many contemporary songs. Either this magazine uses diction incredibly recklessly, or awesome is just another meaningless term thrown about for dramatic effect. Probably both. Right from the start, this magazine is about as worldly as People magazine. How Relevant.

Once you get past all the mindless gossip you get to the articles. Of course this comes after the 4 million advertisements, mostly about love and inspiration (there is a fee of course). It seems that in order to understand God, we all have to attend at least 30 youth gatherings. The articles shocked me. I read the whole June issue, and I am reading the back issues, and I am amazed that this magazine thinks they are such a strong Christian beacon in the world. The first actual article in the June issue is all about how Christians are branding themselves with Christian merchandise instead of actually focusing on their faith. I agree. But once again, the irony of this magazine surfaces. Half of the mag is ads for Christian clothes, merchandise, albums and any other way to brand yourself as a Christian. How can a magazine denounce this branding in one article, then promote it in the rest? The message is, “buy these clothes, support this mission and listen to these albums,” and not actually talking about salvation, forgiveness, sin or any other major aspect of the Christian faith. It is a very mixed message. Speaking of mixed messages, let’s take a look at the cover.

Plastered boldly on the cover is the band Kings of Leon, with the title “Sex, God, & Rock ‘n’ Roll” In the interview, writer Matt Conner gloats over how KoL is so original because they were sheltered from pop music early on. They are so unique, so different, so refreshing, bla bla bla. I have read this article countless times. You can literally fill in the blanks with numerous bands that have the same story (The White Stripes, Brand New, We Are Scientists, etc). But Conner’s softball questions and inability remain objective is not my major problem. My issue is the fact that Christ is never mentioned in the cover story of a Christian magazine! Sure they talk about how a few members were brought up as Pentecostals, but one of their producers later talked about making the album, saying, “There was drinking and partying, and that promotes a fun atmosphere. But it sometimes can create an aggressive atmosphere.” Well, that’s a great lifestyle to promote in a Christian magazine. The author tried to paint a pretty picture of this band, when the picture doesn’t exist. He says, “As Followill (KoL’s producer) explains, they’re still involved with charitable causes and their daily life consists of prayer and the occasional jaunt to church-at least for mom’s sake. ‘We still give money to churches that are in need. We’re still pretty active as far as being charitable. Every now and then, like on Easter Sunday, we will go to church.” And that’s the best the author could do to spin this band with a Christian message. I can hardly believe that Conner was serious. Even if a good writer conducted this interview and wrote this feature, he or she could not possibly spin this band, who sings about drinking, prostitutes and cocaine, into a quality group of Christian dudes. Keep in mind this is the cover story, and this article is totally pro-KoL. So attending church because of sheer parental guilt only on Christmas and Easter is a good example? Simply giving money to a church makes someone a Christian? Keep in mind Kings of Leon is on the cover. How Relevant.

Those are a few examples of how Relevant magazine fails to be the strong Christian magazine it portrays itself as. Come back on Friday for my review of the magazine as a whole, and how its philosophies can lead young and old Christians astray.

Wednesday, May 13

New(er) SwimmersItch Video "Lost Keys"

Tonight is the season finale of LOST, so here is a little spoof. I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, May 12

New Swimmers Itch Video

I made a new video highlighting (or low lighting) the state of Detroit radio.

Monday, May 11

This just in

According to this site, as advertised by Jay and Bill on 97.1, I am 96% Detroit. What up doe.
DETROIT WHAT !!!96%

DETROIT 4 LIFE96%

HOW DETROIT ARE YOU
Take More Quizzes

Star Trek

The new Star Trek looks cool enough for me to rent and view in the privacy of my home. However, it will never replace the obsession I had with Star Wars in 6th grade.

Sunday, April 19

Dolphins wanted: dead or alive


Proof that journalism has gone to the dogs: A "news" story on Yahoo.com reads "Dead dolphin found near Bon Jovi's house." Not in Jon's home, near it. Other than kicking the chum bucket near The Bon's house, this dolphin has absolutely nothing to to with Mr. Jovi Read all about this fascinating piece of earth shattering news here. Not only do I think Bon Jovi is overrated, I don't really care about dolphins all that much. Seriously, this is news? They even threw in a "Livin' on a Prayer" reference. Not only is that line a cliche, the fact that it is part of an overplayed, top 40 pop song makes it even worse. The Associated Press, which is responsible for this stirring piece, is supposed to be the champion of blunt and objective news. Now they seem to be competing with Perez Hilton and crew. Once again all of the damage control I have been hearing from the journalism department simply crumbles as each day, the old way of printing news falls victim to the plain stupid Internet world of free news. I am even getting tired of FoxNews and crew. I always knew that "Fair and Balanced" was marketing, but seriously, they are going too far. I guess that's where we are headed. Back to studying mt Communications final. New SwimmersItch video will be up on May 4.

Tuesday, April 14

Hi-Res Obama


Here is an awesome panorama of the inauguration speech this past January. If you were there, try to find yourself. This is the coolest picture I have seen in a while. Click this link, not the picture I captured from the site.
In other news, I gave a knockout speech on why PCs are a better purchase than Macs today in my COM 201 class. It went better than I expected. No angry Mac users rushed me after class. Basically, most college students have limited funds, which makes the PC the most viable option. I compared two similar models and showed a $400 price difference for basically the same computer. If you can afford to pay that just to get a logo and slim body, more power to you, but for the rest of us in the real world, PCs are the best option. I will put up the full speech sometime later.

Thursday, April 9

Young Punks

Here is a promo video for Chicago Blackhawks playoff hockey.

Ok ok pretty humorous. Maybe. But I have a question for Mr. Burish. Why did you skate away like a little kid who knew he was going to get punished? Burish seemed like he wanted to get out of there pretty quick. Almost like the time when I was golfing in my front yard and it started raining. I kept playing and the club slipped and hit my neighbors window (it didn't break). Just like Burish, I fled the scene as fast as possible, because I didn't want to get beat up. (Mrs. Coppins was a tough old Irish woman). Sure the Blackhaws are no longer a joke in the NHL, but why would they instigate the Wings like that? The Blackhawks are 0-4 against the Wings this season. They better hope that they do not meet in the playoffs, because that little octopus gimmick will come back to haunt the Hawks that are black.

Tuesday, April 7

New Lanthorn Article-Track and Field

On Monday, my newest article for the GVSU school paper came out. I wrote about the track team, which as some seriously good athletes. This team is going to do well this season. You can check it out here http://www.lanthorn.com/56-Track-and-Field. Also, you can view the online edition of the paper, which acts just like a real newspaper, here. http://digital.zoompubs.com/publication/?m=4140&l=1 My article is on page B3. You have sunk my battleship. Anyway, I have another article coming in Thursday's edition, so it was a very busy week for me. This sure beats the once a month deadlines that people complained about during the Northstar... I had an article due on Sunday morning, and two due this morning. I think I actually write better under pressure, which is good, because that's about the only important writing I will be doing for the next few years. Also, congratulations to Chase Taylor, who was elected as Event Coordinator of the GVSU Running Club last night. He ran on a solid platform, and an even better slogan, "Chase the Dream" which was the creation of yours truly. I look forward to his uplifting and inspiring events next year. He is truly the event coordinator of a lifetime. And haha MSU did great last night. I thought Izzo always had his players ready to play? The team looked like they had never practiced together. And don't give me the whole "blame the refs" sob story. The refs didn't turn the ball over 300 times in the first five minutes. MSU got beat by a better team. Good season Spartans, enjoy it now, because Manny's coming.

Sunday, April 5

Twitter Scandal!

Last night, as I typed up my latest article for the Lanthorn, I was checking my Twitter every once in a while, and one person's updates stood out to me. Actually, this user wasn't so much a person, but rather th Twitter account of the Detroit News. In my journalism classes, lesson number one is objectivity. Don't write like a fan, or give any indication of what you think. On the DetNews Twitter, I found the exact opposite. Lets take a look at some of the updates DetNews posted during the MSU-UConn game. Click the images to enlarge them. I know they are grainy.




^^^That one wasn't too bad, just an update of the score.




^^^It starts to break down here. Ok, they have heart. Cliche siren engaged.




^^^Really? In the house? That's what a drunk guy at a Pistons game yells. Start at the bottom with the next picture.























^^^Let's decipher these posts. Starting at the bottom, we see a few score updates, many of which make no sense. By the way, who uses Twitter to get real time game updates? So it all falls apart with the "Detroit is green and white" comment. Really? No slappie journalism there...DetNews goes on to send a message at Gov. Granholm (I told you she was cool) and Det. Mayor Ken Cockerel. "Go State!" and "Sparty On" are not terms I like to see out of a major news publication, even if it is a Twitter. So I fired a witty message at DetNews that said:








^^^By sending the messages @DetNews, that means that the News would see them on its update feed. I didn't expect to get a response, but here is the direct message I received:








I can have fun with plenty of things, Mr. DetNews. I can watch TV, hang out with friends, play some sports, read, write a blog post, watch a movie, get some ice cream, the list goes on. Last time I checked, a function of the press was not "have fun". Also, I am glad to know that "BBALL" is not considered journalism. I'll tell that to my editor the next time I cover GVSU basketball. Since it isn't journalism, I guess I can say whatever! GVSU in da house! K'Len Morris bringin the thunder! My main man Pete Trammel takin over!!!!! Holla at GVSU ballerz!! Paint G-Rap blue! What up D. Devos? How 'bout them Lakers?

Right.

I guess I expected DetNews to be far more professional, considering that they are an extension of the newspaper. This is yet another example of my belief that print journalism had no idea how to handle the Internet. What a great way to increase publicity and maybe subscriptions using the red hot website of Twitter, yet all DetNews can come up with is some immature and homer posts about painting the city green. There is no plan on how to make a buck online or how to revolutionize journalism, which is why I switched my major to Public Relations. The industry will flounder into oblivion because either the old guard is too stubborn to change or the changes they do come up with are nothing more than gimmicks, rather than a solid, revenue generating industry. Look for my latest article on the Laker track team, and their meet at Michigan State. No favoritism, I promise!

Friday, April 3

New Swimmers Itch Video

I just put together a few bloopers from my videos with Swimmers Itch and from high school. I hope you enjoy (and subscribe if you like!)


Also, here are a few new designs for my logo.

Thursday, April 2

Tuesday, March 31

Tim Tebow


Tim Tebow is the man. The quarterback at The University of Florida has won two national championships and a Heisman trophy. He will return to Florida for his senior year to go for a third title. I just saw on ESPN that they have put up a plaque on Ben Hill Griffin Stadium memorializing his words after a loss to Mississippi in 2008. Here is what he said. “I’m sorry. Extremely sorry. We were looking for an undefeated season. That was my goal, something Florida’s never done here. But I promise you one thing: A lot of good will come out of this. You have never seen any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season, and you will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season. You never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season. God bless.” You don't see this very often. A star athlete taking responsibility for his or her play in a loss. They blame the refs, the coach, teammates, fans, and family members, but rarely themselves. But Tebow didn't just throw his words out there fro no reason; he backed them up. He went out and won that championship. In a world of crybaby soccer players, egotistical baseball players, and moronic basketball players, Tebow stands out. This speech reminded me of a scene from my favorite movie, Miracle, where coach Herb Brooks prepares his team to face the USSR. Enjoy.

Monday, March 30

Lanthorn


My first article for the Lanthorn was published today. There was a late delivery, but it is still coming. Check it out online here http://digital.zoompubs.com/publication/?m=4140&l=1.
More to come.

Sunday, March 29

Annoying Facebook pictures

Facebook changed its layout. That means that I have to see more pictures people uploaded on the home screen. Now, don't get me wrong. I really don't care that much about Facebook in general. Anyone who joined an anti-new Facebook layout group, complained about the Terms of Service (See the epilogue), or got emotional when Facebook changed its layout needs to reorganize their priorities. The new layout tries to be Twitter, by posting a news feed of what is happening on Facebook. So now I have to see tons more hilariously stupid pictures by people trying to look cool. Let me give you some examples (click the images to see the full size):
1. Picnik. This is a website that gives you very basic photo editing tools, and a few tacky stamps to decorate your pictures. People go to the extreme and create entire albums of them, with large red lips, one of the same 12 fonts available, and some kind of black and white effect. No, you are not on the artistic edge of image editing. You are a Picniker.
2. The "educated pose". This pose is an attempt by the person to make themselves look smarter, by posing with books, using smart sounding quotes, or dressing up in a suit to take a picture in your mom's bathroom mirror. Sunglasses are optional, but reccomended.
3. The "tough guy pose". This pose is pretty simple. The person turns on their web cam and snaps a few pics trying to look as tough and cool as possible. A hood is a 100% necessity.
4. The "Abercombie Model pose". We all know at least one person like this. If it isn't Abercrombie, it isn't clothes. (Funny, because some Abercombie clothing isn't clothing at all...) Anyway, this pose involves putting on every piece of ripped, sandblasted, bleached, and greasy piece of A&F as possible. This picture is usually taken in front of a bathroom mirror or with several "bro's". What is a bro you ask? Well, a bro is the ultimate toolbox. A bro is a person who thinks they are the coolest thing on earth. They can be found "chillin" with other bro's, playin' some Box (X-Box 360), eatin' some za (pizza), and sheddin' some concrete("skateboarding" on a longboard, which is a long skate board that takes no skill to ride. What's an ollie?).
5. The "wankster pose". This pose is the wannabe gangster pose. A suburban white kid who has never traveled south of Hall Road puts on a flat brimmed fitted hat, an over sized t-shirt with some type of printed gold chain, and Nike Air Force One's. Also, the sideways two finger hand gesture is required.

There are a few other poses, but not as common. This is only the male side; trying to analyze the other side would take years and be far too controversial.

I mentioned earlier the terms of service on Facebook. Apparently, people got all worked up that Facebook was using uploaded pictures and holding on to them even after people terminated thier accounts. This led to a large rabble, until Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook came out and had to rewrite the facebook terms of service, with input from the users. I saw a few friends of mine joined groups in protest of the old terms, and it made me laugh (out loud). Seriously? Facebook offers a free web service, where you can up load tons of data, including pictures and video. You are storing all of this info on Facbook's servers, which isn't free. The fact that people are mad that Facbook is using your pictures that you uploaded to their servers for free is hilarious. When you put something on someone else's servers or store something somewhere besides your own computer, then I think you lose a lot of your privacy rights. I don't care what they do with my pictures, because I don't put up anything stupid like 74.6% of facebook users. Go ahead, share my striking portraits with the inter-webs, I would enjoy it. And that's...the rest of the story. RIP Paul Harvey.