Easter 2024

29 July 2007
Mo' Synod - organists report from the

One of the joys of being an organist is exposure to a lot of different varieties of Christianity. One of the problems with being an organist is exposure to these different varieties.

Without fail, the sermons at these services were saturated with such racism, xenophobia, and general ignorance it was scarcely believable for me. Growing up on the east coast you hear stories of the religious right, and are aware of its existence, but you rarely actually encounter anybody who adheres to this philosophy and it seems like more of an abstract annoyance than a grim reality. I find it heart-wrenchingly depressing to be forced to listen to someone pervert and twist God's word to espouse messages of hate, intolerance, and frankly, abject stupidity. Given some of things these people said over the past few months, I really have to wonder what kind of education is going on in [Lutheran Church Missouri Synod] seminaries these days. These pastors had at best a questionable grasp of scripture, a very rudimentary understanding of Christianity, and absolutely know knowledge (or interest) in any kind of historical or biblical scholarship.

Wherein I discuss my extrication from an extremely frustrating job, and ridicule San Fransisco fans from David's Blog.

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27 July 2007
Usualis - Liber, in PDF format

MusicaSacra is hosting the Liber Usualis online. Note that this is not a link to the file itself, which is 115 MB.

(via Hot Lutheran on Lutheran Action)

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24 July 2007
Universalis - Musurgia

Don't miss pages from Musurgia Universalis at Bibliodyssey.

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22 July 2007
heart - (see treasure)

The following includes information about a scriptural quotation in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

On the tomb of Kendra and Ariana Dumbledore is written Matthew 6:21. Here's a bit of context:

19Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21

We in the liturgical churches read this on Ash Wednesday, but Harry Potter reads it on Christmas Eve.

An astute cultural/theological observation by Mrs. Rowling, I think.


21 July 2007
Hallows - Deathly

I have read it. You know of what I speak, surely.

Elsewhere, I'm guessing the Astros's second baseman has not.

Biggio has been plunked 4 times on release weekends of Harry Potter books (including both US and British releases of "Prisoner of Azkaban"), but he hasn't been plunked on the release weekend of any of the past 3 books. Biggio has never been plunked by a pitcher named Potter, Voldemort, Dumbledore, Weasley, Granger, Snape, or Hagrid.

Craig Biggio and the no-blood plunks at Plunk Biggio

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19 July 2007
processionals - Royal bridal

On YouTube you can watch bridal processionals from recent decades. It's interesting to note the variety in the processional music.

1999 - Edward and Sophie - Herbert Brewer's "March Heroique"

1986 - Andrew and Sarah - Elgar's "Imperial March"

1981 - Charles and Diana - Clarke's "Trumpet Voluntary"

So why, then, do modern, non-Royal American brides feel that they have but only one option? (At least in my experience. I have never been asked to play anything other than the Clarke.)

Among their myriad tasks, organists unwittingly carry on Diana's memory everytime a Jane Schmoe walks down the aisle in a white dress.

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18 July 2007
Finland - home of Fiskars

I feel like I've always known this in my heart of hearts, but Fiskars is based in Finland.

I think the last pair of Fiskars scissors I had were lost in middle school. This will be remedied soon.

And then I'll try to visit the company when I go to Finland. Maybe I'll even bring my new scissors along for the ride.

Or maybe I could buy some in the Fiskars gift shop. But how will I open the package containing my new scissors?

Wait! I bet they'll have scissors in the gift shop that I can use to cut open my scissors!

Those Finns. Always thinking.


17 July 2007
sheeple - wikipedia definition of, includes Christians

Common usage also applies the term to devoutly religious people, particularly Christians; however, it is also used to describe devout members of any religious persuasion, and perhaps its particular application to Christianity is a combination of the fact that Christians are the majority religion in the Americas and Europe where the term is commonly used, and the fact that Christians describe themselves as a "flock" and Christ as a "shepherd."

from Wikipedia's "Sheeple"

Previously: Christians - sheeple as culturally persecuted

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16 July 2007
Christians - sheeple as culturally persecuted

It doesn't bother me so much that a new online videogame advertising the Toyota Scion xD is violent, but I am offended that it seems to be blatantly anti-Christian.

The innocuous sheep-faced humanoids of the game are "sheeple". And who are we supposed to believe the sheeple are?

Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his;* we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Psalm 100:3

Yes, Toyota. When we're not busy drawing fish in the sand, we Judeo-Christians like to think of ourselves as sheep.

We are, in fact, his people and the sheep of his pasture. Sheep-people, if you will.

The advertisement I was forced to endure in the movie theater (because no, I wasn't going to walk out before Harry Potter 5 started) featured a "little deviant" wearing the disemboweled carcass of a "sheeple" in the spirit of Jesus' remarks in Matthew 7:15

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves."

The sheep in the advertisement and the game itself are defenseless. They are the "harassed and helpless" sheep without a shepherd that the author of Matthew describes in 9:36. (The ones we sing about "harvesting" to the tune ORA LABORA.

Jesus also uses the sheep as a metaphor for the children, "the greatest in the kingdom of heaven":

What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?

Matthew 18:12

The sheep in the game also bleed green. [NEED BIBLICAL REFERENCE FOR THIS!!!]

And, finally, there's the infamous "Sermon on Mt. Sheep":

“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

John 10:1-18

More to the point: Toyota's advertisement refers to sheeple murder as "evolution". The implied message that Toyota wants it's car buyers to inhabit is "Gray-painting Christians are cramping our style. This car will show them who's boss. I'll be a little demon! Try to stop me now!"

To help them with their new worldview, Toyota offers a fictional guidebook. The ads feature a tattered tome with the title "Book of Deviants" in goldleaf gothic script.

I take all of this to mean that I read this to be somewhat anti-Christian, and I don't think I'm too far off base here. I suspect this is what the marketing campaign is after.

Tapping a cultural undercurrent of Christian antagonism to sell cars is pretty . Especially when the kind of car they are selling is an eco-friendly compact (32/38 mpg), which is exactly the kind of car a progressive Christian might be interested in.

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Smith, Justin - on playing the organ

A young organist in Charlotte, North Carolina speaks for a whole profession when he says:

I thought for the longest time that it would be neat to be able to play that thing with all those keyboards and all those knobs.


"That's what I like about playing the organ -- especially in church. When you're playing the hymns ... you get to lead everybody," he says with a laugh. "If you take it slow, they have to follow you. I like having that kind of power."

Organist senses power of music... and of politics


13 July 2007
Hall, Shorty - murder of

Don't fail to read: The Gruesome Death of Shorty Hall: Indiana's Matthew Shepard

12 July 2007
Sibelius, Jean - quoted in the New Yorker

“Isolation and loneliness are driving me to despair. . . . In order to survive, I have to have alcohol. . . . Am abused, alone, and all my real friends are dead. My prestige here at present is rock-bottom. Impossible to work. If only there were a way out.”

Sibelius wrote this when he was 61. He lived for another 30 years.

This quotation is from the fifth chapter of Alex Ross's forthcoming The Rest Is Just Noise.


11 July 2007
cooler - Boston

This interesting dessert conconction derives its name not from the city of Boston, Massachusetts, but rather from Detroit, Michigan. More specifically, Boston Blvd in Detroit.

I saw one at a trendy restaurant yesterday for $$$.

I plan on making one myself for ¢¢¢.


09 July 2007
What's the deal with coffee

What's the deal with coffee shops in Northeast Ohio clipping the horoscope from the paper and posting it near the drink pickup area? Does this happen in other areas?

01 July 2007
Delaware - Lake

I'm going to Lake Delaware again. Look over the archives from the past three Julys to see what I'm talking about. I'll be back next week.

Peace out, ya'll.



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The author of this website is an organist whom the New York Times calls “repeatedly, insisting that he pay for his subscription”. He likes to read parking meters, music, Indianapolis Monthly, and weather forecasts in Celsius, particularly whilst wearing cassock and surplice. He serves lasagna, overhand, as an example to many, and on ecclesiastical juries. He mixes salads, drinks, and metaphors. He takes photos, lots of dinner mints, and a little bit of time to get to know.




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