Friday, September 28, 2012
I went to the Newton public library the other day and, in perusing the shelves, I discovered John P. Meier's book A Marginal Jew: Volume 3 Companions and Competitors. (Our libary doesn't have volumes 1 and 2 or 4...)
I've seen these books referrenced in other books that I've read, but I haven't read them. And I've misunderstood the title - "Marginal Jew..." But now that I've started reading, I'm really rather impressed and am eager to track down (and or purchase) the entire series.
For a 'brief' summary and an interesting lecture by the author, you might like to watch the following video:
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
And now I have finished reading Norman L. Geisler’s The Battle for the Resurrection[i]. And while I am more inclined to agree with Geisler’s defense of the resurrection of Jesus than I am to accept Marxen’s or Vermes’ dismissals – there is very little I like about this book. I agree with Geisler that Jesus’ resurrection was a historical event and that he was raised in physical material body. But that’s about where the agreement ends.
From the beginning Geisler’s book is antagonistic, from the very title. He sees this as a battle, as war against the enemies of historic and orthodox Christianity – at least Christianity as he understands and practices it. Those who disagree with him are unorthodox, pretenders to the faith who are challenging the very foundations of the Church. And Geisler is unwilling to tolerate any deviation in the doctrine of the resurrection within the ranks of Orthodox Christianity.[ii]
Monday, September 24, 2012
For my piece I began by thinking – not so much in terms of music or auditory cues - but rather in colors. My opposites are based on the colors blue and orange – which are complimentary colors, opposite each other on the color wheel. My search through the Freesound Project’s collection of sound based on this idea lead me to these four particular sounds:
The Orange Samples are short, human and technological.
With that said, here is my entry for Dare #15 – Blue/Orange
Jesus disregards John’s complaint saying that “he who is not against us is on our side.” Seems clear enough… at least until we compare this statement in Mark against the other synoptic accounts. Matthew and Luke record Jesus saying, “Anyone who is not with me is against me and anyone who does not work with me is working against me (Matthew 12:30, Luke 11:23).” Is there a conflict between these two statements?
The verses that follow don’t really seem to follow. It is non sequitur teaching time.
This leads – without transition – to a discussion about cutting off and gouging out body parts if they cause you to sin. This is hyperbole – I hope! For it is better to “enter life maimed” than to have all your parts and be thrown into hell (gehenna- which isn’t exactly hell but that’s another discussion for another day…) where the devouring worm never dies and the fire is never quenched. There is a lot to unpack in these statements, but what I find especially interesting is the idea of “entering life” which is equated in parallel form with “entering the Kingdom of God (vs. 47). What does it mean to “enter life”?
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
This is the film, and this is the beat.
This is the way it begins:
In the murky blackness of a life in bars -
avenging and spinning,
and listening to music in cars,
walkin’ the streets,
and dark alleyways
hailing my boys and making these beats.
I am the Cosmic Christ,
the ascended master.
the reigning champion
with a cowboy hat on my head
and shit-kicking steel-toed -
and a boot to your head,
I’m packing a Glock
that’s ready to go off
a .45 caliber of power
what I want and what I say right.
I am the decider.
I am the dealer.
I am the speedway driver in a hot four-wheeler.
a fuel injected beast from the depths of hell.
Jaded American culture faded to black,
this boot-strappin’ rugged individual
is smokin’ crack.
He’s a loaded smoking gun for hire
to them that’s got the cash
This is the way it begins.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Now I share with you some music for that wasteland, a soundtrack for Professor Jon Hagalgolson's wanderings.
You can download it - free - here.
I used the following sounds from the Freesound Project:
before the collapse, before the bombs,
but once he had been a teacher -
Professor of Ancient Hearsay Evidence
at Baigent-Leigh University -
Professor Jon Hagalgolson.
Now he wanders through
a post-apostolic wasteland
in search of the Manuscript
that had been stolen from him.
and members of a sacred mushroom cult,
he must find the missing pages of this ancient text
before his enemies
or something worse than the bombs
something much worse
will fall upon the land.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
If you'd like to see some of the behind the scenes work watch this video.
If you'd like to listen to some of the music that I've prepared for the show, listen to this song.
And if you'd like to see some still photos from the show, you can look at these.
These photos come from the shoemaker's shop - part of the first episode, which focuses on the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls at Qumran.
and outside these paper thin walls
The coffee is hot but the night is dark
and I drink with a certain reluctance
because now I know that the time is short
before I stand condemned.
with a golden trumpet in his right hand
The herald of the new age of love
never quite knew what he believed.
He believed it all and not at all,
and then he was no more.
And as anyone anywhere can tell you,
they’ve already been taken straight to heaven
Kurt Cobain was there to greet them
still holding that goddamned shotgun
“Welcome,” he said, “to eternity,
but I think this might be hell.”
with the stars faillin’ out of the sky,
a fantabulous night for the apocalypse
‘neath the collapse of nations and kings.
The night is magic but when the spell’s been cast
only dreams of death will survive,
and no amount of chanting will repair
a circle that has been broken.
is the sounding of the trumpet of the Lord
and the sky is about to be cracked
like a boiled lobster’s shell.
The show is over, the end has come;
it’s time for our final reward.
The heavenly choir has sung the last encore.
It’s the rock and roll apocalypse.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Now that's a deeply compassionate conservative...
Monday, September 17, 2012
One new Powerpoint (or similar presentation program) background image each week - that's the goal. You are free to use these images in your own school, work, church, or personal projects. You're free to use them in any way - I only ask that you share them freely and that you tell others that you found them here.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
And now we're working together again, albeit in different parts of the world. He is in Israel filming the first three episodes of a Arabic language television program entitled The Stones Cry Out. I am - not in Israel- helping with the scripts and with the music. (The crew has received funding for another 10 episodes!)
Here is one of the songs that I've put together for the show.
You can hear a little bit of the song in this behind the scenes video.
I spoke with my brother a little bit this afternoon. They had some excitement while filming at the Jordan River today. At one point my brother had climbed into a tree in order to get the necessary shot when he realized that he was being covered in a swarm of ants. Instead of flailing about, trying to swat them - and possibly dropping the camera or falling from the tree - my brother did the sensible thing and climbed out of the tree and baptized himself in the river.
Later the crew saw smoke coming from one of the laptop cords.... Fortunately my sister-in-law was there to yank the cable out before the laptop was fried.
A crazy day, but my brother said that he likes what they filmed today.
In making the song above I used the following sounds from the Freesound Project :
Friday, September 14, 2012
the broken spines of falling trees and crashing limbs,
the arcing, sparking power lines in the street.
he staggered to the ground and lost a shoe.
Baghdad was on fire and his house was burning down
and retrieved his coat, the uniform coat of soldiers
the uniform worn by his enemies.
and sliced his hands with jagged shards of broken glass.
He swallowed the sugar on his tongue and went on.
and creditors were beating at his breast for his purse,
but there was no time for treatment.
A word of explanation....
A friend of mine recently commented after reading one of these poems that although he liked the poem, he was " too honest to pretend" that he understood what it meant. That's okay. Influenced by the Dada and Surrealist movements I write these poems by taking random bits of sentences in the books that I am reading, the songs I hear on the radio or that are running through my mind and other bits of flotsam and jetsam and putting them together in a new and strange way.
In this particular example you might (or might not) recognize bits of the Left Behind series, and the music of The Talking Heads and the musical Godspell.
And an Update
I decided to record a pseudo-folk /rock version of my writing. I'm just getting over a pretty severe cold so my voice sounds.... well you can hear it. But it sorta' makes me sound like Conner Oberst, no?
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Artifact 3 from jeff carter on Vimeo.
From time to time, as I sit in my makeshift home studio, I find and record these artifacts from space. They fall through the atmosphere and into my computer. This is the third Artifact that I have recorded. Artifacts 1 and 2 are available here.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
These images are free for you to use as background images in your Powerpoint presentations at school, work, or church or for whatever purpose or project you have in mind. Use them as you will. I only ask that you share them freely and that you tell others that you found them here. Thanks.
This is the newest collaborative project between my brother and myself. Or rather, this is a preview of our latest collaborative project. He is currently in Israel filming the first three (of thirteen) episodes of a short television program called The Stones Cry Out. This particular video is a behind the scenes sort of teaser for the program. The focus of episode one is on the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
BTS Ep1 from Brad Carter on Vimeo.
In this preview you can hear a short bit of two of the songs that I have prepared for the show.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
While it is true that this is
a religious belief based, however tenuously, on faith
I must remind you that it will not be tolerated.
This is the moral chaos at the root of your
heterodox, metaphysical philosophy.
You will not be allowed to travel
a hundred thousand miles every year -
not without the video recording devices and cellular telephones
of prominent television and radio preachers
trained upon you – we are watching.
And we are waiting for you to answer our questions,
questions we have asked repeatedly.
This is supposed to be the home of the free
and a land of milk and honey
but you, sir, have plunged us all
into a revisionist nightmare;
using the mind controlling properties
of television and higher education
you have made the children of this world
wiser than the children of light,
and we are not pleased.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Others, still trying to get around this horrible depiction of Jesus, suggest that Jesus was using a particular teaching technique called “periastic irony” – that is, Jesus –the teacher- said precisely what he did not mean, with the expectation that his student would be able to understand and respond by correcting him. This is, perhaps, a plausible explanation. I think this is perhaps what Mark, the gospel author, is doing with the story, but I’m not convinced that Jesus is being ironic here.
Irony is difficult. It’s easy to miss – because on the surface, what is said sounds perfectly normal. The humor or instructiveness of irony is in the ability of the audience to understand the hidden, underlying meaning – which is usually the complete opposite of what is being said in the surface layer. A devoted and practiced disciple would probably be able to recognize and respond to Jesus’ instructive use of irony, but would this woman have been able to understand? She’s a stranger to him. Even allowing that she may have been one of those who traveled from Tyre to Galilee to hear Jesus speak, would she have been so familiar with his teaching techniques as to recognize and respond? And, consider that she’s coming to him in extreme desperation and fear. I can’t see her responding this way.
If we remember that Jesus was fully human in every way (without neglecting that he was also divine in every way…) we will remember that he had to learn and to grow and to mature. And perhaps part of that learning and growing and maturing happened in this story. He overcame the prejudice of his culture and became the Jesus we have been raised to expect – the Jesus who loves the children of the world, no matter where they come from
Friday, September 7, 2012
The Blessed Virgin Chastises the Infant Jesus Before Three Witnesses: Andre Breton, Paul Eluard and the Painter (1926) was painted by the German artist Max Ernst, a leading figure among the Dada and Surrealist movements. In it we see Mary, the mother of Jesus, spanking her firstborn son – who has apparently been a very naughty boy. His halo has fallen to the floor. In the background Ernst and his friends turn away. Perhaps they are uncomfortable seeing this.
Indeed, it is discomforting picture. Most of us are probably not very comfortable with the idea that Jesus might have needed to be spanked (or that he might have needed any other sort of corporal or non-corporal punishment whatever.) And this is probably because we tend to think of Jesus in his divine nature. Jesus, as the perfect, God incarnate God-man, seems to us incapable having any sort of blemish or fault, incapable of any sort of behavior that might need correction – or, heaven forbid, punishment.
But in thinking of Jesus that way, we run the risk of forgetting that he was also fully and completely human. And with that comes lots of potential discomfort for his followers. Being human makes him … vulnerable. Could Jesus read? Did Jesus need to learn? Did Jesus ever need to be spanked?
But I think that Jesus may have needed, at least on this occasion, some corrective discipline.