Best used textbook description…

"…Your purchase helps plant trees & save lives!"

(PS. You know something’s wrong when your first semester of college textbooks will cost more than your Mom’s doctorate program materials, and my school’s textbook prices end up being a better deal than Half.com AND Amazon.com can offer!)

Contrasting Back-To-Back Pages

(Re: Adbusters, Issue #91) www.adbusters.com

The following are back-to-back pages from the latest issue of Adbusters. Everything in brackets are my additions, everything else is a direct quote. I typed it all out. No copy and paste. The newest additions aren’t available online yet.

[first page]

Roman persecution of early Christians was extreme. Emperor Diocletian is thought to have executed 20,000 Christians during his rule (284-305). Even so, Christianity continued to spread rapidly throughout the Mediterranean basin. In 324 Christianity became the preferred religion under Emperor Constantine.

The Idea That Overthrew The Empire

“[38] You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ [39] But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. [40] And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. [41] If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. [42] Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. [44b] Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:38-42

[second page]

Muhammad sparked the first genuine insurgency in antiquity. He was, above all, a revolutionary—a fiery religious leader who claimed divine authority. Rather than simply seeking to defeat a foreign enemy, Muhammad worked to replace the entire Arabian social order with a new one based on spiritual ritual and Devine law. His revolution—Islam—changed forever the spiritual, economic, and political situation of his people.

[end quoting]

On page one, yes, the scriptural passage was quoted as being “Matthew 5:38-42”, and he thew on v. 44b on the end. I was personally surprised to see such a flaw in editing in a magazine which I respect. But that’s all peanuts. OK, moving on.

Let it be known, that only about 330 years after Diocletian’s Christian-murdering tirade was the first of the Islamic crusades, lead by the founder of Islam—Muhammad. Christianity’s crusades (which were entirely uncalled for and I will never attempt to justify) were in response to Islam’s numerous crusades against Christians and Jews (and anyone who did not accept their religion).

I’m trying to think of the word that describes what I think about Adbusters putting these two passages next to each other. The word “ironic” doesn’t cut it. I’m trying to think of some description that combines “ludicrous”, “naive”, “sick” and “ironic”. If you think of something, let me know.

I would like to finish reading this issue before venturing further. Hopefully soon enough I’ll have something to say about the “Carnivalesque Rebellion” which Adbusters is attempting to incite come November of this year. I am taking this opportunity to attempt to form an opinion on the subject of rebellion (i.e., revolution), how I would define it, and under what circumstances (if any) I would participate.

Iranian Woman's Perspective of Prospective NYC Mosque

I found this article interesting, especially considering my last post.

Ground Zero Mosque: Thoughts

I spent 2 and a half months in a Muslim nation. During my time there, I learned about Islam (1) From Personal research, by reading the Koran and other Islamic resources, (2) From Arab-Christians who have lived their entire lives in a Muslim Nation, (3) From learned, practicing Muslims—both native Arabs as well as expatriates, (4) and from an ex-Imam (Islamic Mosque leader) who converted to Christianity upon receiving a direct revelation from Jesus Christ.

With that said, I have a thought pertaining to the buzz around the debate about whether or not a giant Mosque ought to be built on Ground Zero, NYC.

(Note: I don’t claim to be an expert on Islam, nor have I done an exhaustive study on this issue at hand. This is just a question, or series of questions that I, and hopefully others, might consider; as well, I would like to hear your response—whether or not you feel qualified. Also, these thoughts are raw, and by no means is this post extensive… or double-checked for grammar and spelling.)

A news topic that seems to be almost as popular as the recent Oil Spill is that of the possibility of an Islamic Mosque to be built on Ground Zero.

Statements I hear that are in favor (aka Pro) the building of the Mosque: - “It’s a reconciliatory gesture” - This country has Freedom of Religion. (A statement I just heard on the news minutes ago) “[In America] …all religions are accepted. It’s about Freedom.” - Opposing the construction of this Mosque perpetuates cultural barriers and hatred.

A general response, not necessarily specifically directed towards this particular issue—but definitely spurred by the topic: Is it possible that there is a religion, belief, ideal, movement, organization, group or freedom that is unhealthy?

In this case particularly: Could it be UNhealthy (regardless of the claims about what Islam really is) to build a ginormous Mosque, representing Islam in the most fundamental and obvious way, on the site of one of he most catastrophic events in America’s history, that just so happened to be done in the name of Islam and their God?

I will be among the first to say that I don’t believe that “all Muslims are Fundamentalists/Terrorists/Extremists/Violent (or whatever people are saying these days)”. My personal experience convinces me that Arabs are a beautiful, hospitable, peaceful, joyful people. My personal experience also sends huge red flags when people say such things as “it’s ignorant to think that Islam could be harmful!” Perhaps its because I was living in Cairo (one of the most modern and peaceful Arab cities, as well as one of—if not THE—largest) when Arab Muslims, in the name of Islam, threw pipe bombs at one of the largest, most sacred Mosques in Cairo, injuring and killing foreigners and locals alike. Maybe the red flags arise because of the conversation I had with an ex-Imam, who was risking his life by informing us of his experience as an Islamic leader, and as someone who was, himself, on his way to becoming what American media calls “a Muslim Extremist”. Another red flag that arises is because I know very well that Mohammed (the man who claimed to be the last prophet of God) teaches that deception is allowed if it is for the sake of spreading Islam.

Knowing what I know, and having experienced what I have experienced, Is it ignorant for me to raise red flags when I hear of the spread of Islam to this extent?

Side-note: there are also plans for a Mosque to be built here in Murfreesboro, TN. I’m excited about the opportunities that are arising due to the controversy.

~ Devin

Video updates from Brazil!

Shot with a little JVC HD video camera (as seen in the first Youtube link below). It also takes still shots. It’s beautiful. It shoots in full 1080P! The raw video is so huge I have to downsize it 50% just to watch in on my 15” laptop screen! (And just for $170.) The video you see on youtube was waaaay downsized to normal DV quality. I just dropped the original video into iMovie and export it as a much smaller video (e.g., from 150MB TO 10MB). I had to do this because there is no fast internet out here.  Oh, and somehow the clips are NON-intentionally squished from the natural 16:3 ratio to 4:3 (i.e., wide-screen to square). Apologies.

1-7. http://www.youtube.com/wendelljohn

8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcJ7ypgmIC4

9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeXo_Q4uK7Y

10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZvLcdCEcZA

11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43ANeVt8njw

12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg3N6CnXppM

13. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeB_SRuUDc8

14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FWcINzN7iY

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More videos shall come.

Give me feedback. Tell me what you want to see!

"Higher Education"

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A friend of mine was required to answer the following question in a college essay: “How would you revolutionize higher education?”

He then polled a bunch of his friends, including me, so as to get our opinion on the matter. My immediate reply was, “I don’t think I’ll be any help.”

A mutual friend piped in with, “It might be helpful to know why you didn’t think higher education was necessary.”

I went outside to think, and this is the response I comprised:


From personal research, wisdom from older people, and insight from friends/acquaintances currently in college or recently graduated, I learned this:

College provides (1) a diploma for people who need it to succeed in a specific field, (2) something to do, for people who don’t know what to do with their lives, (3) an environment for people who love education in general and can afford it, (4) great community and connections.

(1) I know the direction in which I’m headed (i.e., film) and a diploma doesn’t matter in that world. (2) I see too many people leaving college still not knowing what they want to do—in many cases people are MORE confused—and many get degrees in fields they think they want and don’t do anything with it after college. Plus, like I said before, I know where I’m headed… in general, at least. (3) Though i love learning, I don’t love it THAT much. And I don’t have the money for it. (4) College isn’t the only place for relationships, connections, and community.

I would have gone to college for any combination of the following reasons: (1) I absolutely needed a diploma, (2) I didn’t know what I wanted to do, (3) I could financially afford it, (4) I couldn’t find community, connections, relationships elsewhere.

For me, it really came down to the fact that I didn’t need a diploma to succeed in film/TV, and that I couldn’t find a college that could provide good and affordable enough experience in film/TV.

I’d prefer a film institute with a lot of hands-on learning. But those are really expensive. Might as well find the people and resources another way, and work on filmmaking for real—outside of “the classroom”.