Archive for September, 2009

Continuing the visual motif this week, it’s no secret my proclivity for bad Christian marketing.

From pop culture design to denominations, technology to terrible tactics for ministries, we have covered it all… with um, rotten tomatoes and sour grapes.

There are some really bad ideas out there in Christendom. As we have tagged before, it’s shameful that the Church seems to be the bevy of stolen… er, borrowed ideas.

Whether it’s a pastor’s sermon, “CSI: Christ Scene Investigation” or a cheeseball T-shirt swiping a popular logo and “Christifying” it, like “Jesus Christ: He’s the real thing,” real Jesus followers demand more. (And yes, I am considering coining that phrase.)

We follow a guy that had the idea to create the world in six days… and his children can’t do better than that?! I think they can, and have advocated that many times in my fare burgh.

Then I saw this brilliant post on Acme Arena’s Defending. Contending. Aside from the fact it just confirms my albeit jaded thinking, I haven’t stopped laughing about this mess.

Below are some of my personal favorites, but please click on the link and enjoy:

Choo-choo-soul for Christ?

Choo-choo-soul for Christ?

I think the BarackStar will claim copyright infringement

I think the BarackStar will claim copyright infringement

And I just got cross eyed looking at this shirt. Pray for me?

And I just got cross eyed looking at this shirt. Pray for me?

So, if I'm at a loss in the office, can I pray for "Staples"? Anyone?

So, if I'm at a loss in the office, can I pray for "Staples"? Anyone?

And Jesus is my (Patrick) Star too!

And Jesus is my (Patrick) Star too!

This shirt makes me wanna' fling poo as well.

This shirt makes me wanna' fling poo as well.

No child predators there, right?

No child predators there, right?

Does Jesus fart in his car too?

Does Jesus fart in his car too?

Take that, Jordan!

Take that, Jordan!

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In case you missed, Jesus has indeed come back… well, kinda’.

Meet Michael Belk, veteran fashion photographer and creator of the nouveau cover shot, “Journeys with the Messiah.”

(Snap. Snap.)

This collection of highly metrosexual Jesus photos was released on 9/11 because you know, when I think of that day, I want to be reminded of how the Lord would look as a fashionista in a name-brand toga.

Seriously?

“I was in New York prepping for a photo shoot a week after 9/11 and saw many people searching for something,” recalled Michael Belk, who created the Jesus photo collection out of his Christian faith. “Similar to 9/11, I think many Americans don’t know where to turn in the midst of the current worldwide financial crisis.”

Okay? I’ll give you that, but dude, let’s talk about Jesus here and just what you believe is being searched. These pictures in your “Parable or Messiah Collections” are more than 1,000 words (and I highly encourage clicking on this link).

All photos were taken in Matera, Italy. Yes, same place as “The Passion of the Christ,” but is this the right gospel with Jesus’ coifed hair, manicured goatee and lovely desert ensemble? Just sayin’.

Excuse me, Biff. Do you have any Grey Poupon?

Excuse me, Biff. Do you have any Grey Poupon?

Um? Sieg Heil? Or is this fashion police? Pull oh-vea!

Um? Sieg Heil? Or is this fashion police? Pull oh-vea!

I've heard of carrying me for footprints in the sand, but um...

I've heard of carrying me for footprints in the sand, but um...

Ever since 9-11, standards for airline security has been acclerated and enforced just a tad. Maybe you heard?

At least this guy was better prepared

At least this guy was better prepared

Well, one thing is for sure, a Bolivian pastor apparently didn’t get the news because he took more on board his flight to Cancun with more than just his carry-on bible.

Mexican investigators are evaluating a Bolivian pastor who hijacked a jetliner for possible mental illness, and trying to figure out how he managed to slip through Cancun Airport security with a fake bomb in his luggage.

Well, at least it was a fake. Just a “juice can with some lights on it.” I mean, he just wanted to put the “fear of God” in people. That’s evangelism, right? Yeah, not so much.

So, tell us Pastor Jose Flores, why the bomb? Numerology, of course.

Flores told authorities that [the recent date of] 9-9-09 is the satanic number 666 turned upside down. Speaking to reporters after he was detained, Flores smilingly told them: “Christ is coming soon.” He said he had received divine revelation that an enormous earthquake would soon strike Mexico and that he hijacked the plane to force a meeting with President Felipe Calderon.

Hey pastor, in lieu of the impending apocalypse, you may want to mix in one of those sandwich board signs telling everyone in Terminal A to repent and seek God’s face. That’s effective… and lawful under the U.S. Constitution.

But this? Suffice to say, I can think of better ways to do an illustrated sermon. Maybe I’ll carry a huge hammer to his jail cell, as an example. Given the fact this guy is a big tool, I think God will give him that revelation too.

(Masonry shout out to Crummy Church Signs for the well, crummy church sign.)

Keep on rollin'

Keep on rollin'

A little more than a year ago, I was in a dark and dreary place.

Unemployed. Beat down. And alone… at least it felt that way. I had this cushy office. Huge window overseeing downtown and all the world was my stage.

Then, the floor opened and swallowed me whole. The industry I cherished stuck a rusty hacksaw blade square between my shoulder blades.

That, while my former boss left her swanky and pretentious designer shoe in my behind as I was leaving the office.

Sure, “cutbacks” was the answer, but when you have a family months later looking for food, toys and a brave “man of the house,” I can’t really sell them with “Well, I really didn’t do anything wrong.”

Online searches, headhunters and going to network meetings with all my church and media friends wasn’t paying off. I needed something… fast.

Then it happened – My Fair Lady decides to tell me, “You write for churches. You work in the media. Make a blog. Please?” Yeah, so I wasn’t the model Jesus-loving guy five months into my forced sabbatical and her plea of desperation got me strolling toward WordPress.org.

And “The Writing on the Wall” was born. Today, 200,000 hits later, I still write amazed and humbled in God’s grace.

From Madagascar to Mexico, the U.S. to the U.K., Australia to Azerbaijan and all sundry points in between, thank you.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon his name; Make known his deeds among the peoples! (1 Chronicles 16:8 NIV)

Consider this post making it known and me giving thanks to the other bricks in the Wall, the ACME Arena, WOW News and the 1000s of e-mails and comments. They all keep me going and focused on what’s real about the Bible and Jesus.

You saved me from going bananas and quite possibly losing hope, faith and love. No joke. The cagey comments. The personal e-mails. The links. The love. All of it has been a source of inspiration and shelter of peace amidst a very tumultuous storm.

Seriously, thank you very much indeed and please keep taggin’.

Peace,

HiScrivener

Times are tough these days, namely for newspapers. Advertising dollars are at an all-time low so many papers are trying to think “out-of-the-box” to capture revenue.

You know, going online… and offering editorials for advertising… and marketing in particular business spaces… oh, and denying the Holocaust, as in the case of the Harvard Crimson school newspaper.

Harvard is known for its rigorous scholarly standards and prestigious reputation… however, The Harvard Crimson, in what it said was an error, ran the Holocaust-questioning advertisement, which had been rejected by the paper over the summer.

An error? Ya’ think? Yeah, because giving a middle finger to the Jewish donor base in New England is always a good idea for the benefaction trust, right?

Courtesy: HarvardSucks.org (and Amen to that!)

Courtesy: HarvardSucks.org (and Amen to that!)

This is the most egregious decision at the very least and surreptitious bigotry at the most. And probably a little of both.

The ad, paid for by Holocaust denier Bradley R. Smith and his Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust, primarily raises questions about then-Gen. Dwight Eisenhower’s account of World War II and the existence of Nazi gas chambers.

So, what of the Jewish community at Harvard? Meh. Or should I say ‘Bupkes.’

Harvard Hillel’s student president, Rebecca Gillette, circulated a letter saying she thought the situation was being appropriately addressed. “The fact that organizations and individuals like that publicized in this advertisement still exist today is frightening and disturbing, but unfortunately it seems that Holocaust denial will persist for years to come,” she said.

Ooooo-kay? Well, this should be good, because if I represented the Jewish community at this school and read that mess, I would be screaming from my synagogue and begging to kick someone square in the tuches. This “address” should be good. Take it away, Crimson president dude:

In response to the commotion created by the ad, Crimson President Maxwell L. Child released a statement Wednesday citing three weeks of summer vacation between the submission of the advertisement and the publication of the paper as the explanation for why the ad “fell through the cracks.”

That’s it?! Is it just me or does that explanation to the students… and the alums… just a skosh short? I think the only “crack” this guy should be worried about is the one he was sitting on when this advertisement was approved.

With that kind of complacency, it’s amazing prejudice and bigotry hasn’t been flourishing more in this country. What’s next?

The KKK takes out a front-page article in this esteemed publication looking for the “next generation of overweight, bull-headed segregationists.”

Maybe the Black Panthers can do a cover shoot, and with fists clutching AR-15s like back-in-the-day can exclaim, “Beat the crap out of Yale… by any means necessary!”

Whatever the case for bawdiness and indecorum, I’m sure the mighty Crimson will continue publishing the standards of excellence and applying additional schmutz to those ubiquitous cracks.

Who knows, maybe one of those will be in the president’s blessed assurance.

Oy vey!