January 2, 2012

My favorite posts of 2011

The following is a list of articles, entries, and reviews that I wrote in 2011 and of which I’m particularly proud. They allowed me to write about topics or works of art that I felt passionately about or they were writings in which I felt like I really got in a “groove” and was able to truly express what was on my mind. In any case, I consider these to be the “cream of the crop” for 2011.

Jesus, He knows (A Triptych) (December 11, 2011)

...as I leaned over my sons, trying to wrap my head around the enormity of just how tiny and frail they were, I prayed one particular prayer over and over again: “Please Jesus, don’t forget what it was like to be a little boy.”

Hey Pitchfork, just what is “Instagram-folk” anyway? (October 31, 2011)

...my point is that once your review becomes less concerned with the item you’re reviewing, and more concerned with how you are reviewing it, you’ve begun doing an actual disservice to your readers, not to mention the artist(s) you’re writing about. It’s a selfish, prideful approach that places you, the critic, above all else, and it communicates and breeds cynicism and contempt, qualities we don’t really need more of.

Thank you, Steve (October 5, 2011)

Thanks for the beautiful devices, like my iPhone, that you played so crucial a role in developing. Thanks for the relentless and inspiring pursuit of excellence and elegance. Thanks for getting it, for understanding and communicating the human side of technology, that technology is no good unless it allows humans to develop and flourish. And thanks for making it possible for more people to do just that.

Scientific Advance, Art, and Horsing Around With Humanity (September 26, 2011, Christ & Pop Culture)

The arts and sciences are advancing virtually unchecked, and redefining the concept of humanity as they go.

In the shade of “The Tree of Life” (July 16, 2011)

In conclusion, The Tree of Life is one of those films that sticks with you, and that can even change you. Already, I’ve found myself reflecting on, and even tempering, my actions and behaviors as a father as a direct result of the film’s exploration of fathers and sons. Furthermore, the film’s portrayal of brokenness and our deeply human reponses to it, is poignant and striking. And while I know little to nothing of Malick's beliefs, and while I certainly don’t think he set out to make a “Christian” film, there is much within the film that deeply resonates with me because I am a Christian.

How “Dragon Age 2” Undermines Its Own Narrative (April 6, 2011)

The only thing that was disconcerting about the game was how little I was actually disconcerted by the game, despite its pervasive sense of gloom, doom, and tragedy. The brutal deaths of family members, the betrayals and backstabbings, the moral dilemmas: none of them seemed to matter.

Last Of The Country Gentlemen by Josh T. Pearson (March 20, 2011)

I’d say that this album marks Pearson’s triumphant return, but there’s nothing remotely triumphant within its songs. Which is precisely why Last Of The Country Gentlemen is so dang good.

Japan, Pearl Harbor, and the Wrath of God (March 14, 2011, Christ & Pop Culture)

...how could anyone, but especially anyone who claims to be a Christian, ever think to take any joy or satisfaction in Japan’s current situation? Japan’s foundations have literally been rocked to their core over the last few days, and the Japanese people will face a very long, hard road to recovery. How could I ever take pleasure in that difficult path, and how can I not but seek to help them on their way?

Smartphones and our ever-changing communication (January 22, 2011)

Biddle may want to avoid the incredibly annoying world, one in which human interactions are often messy and inconvenient, one that is rife with “the mundanities of your friends’ lives”. But messiness and inconvenience are not intrinsically bad things. Indeed, the messiness and mundanities are the very stuff of relationships, and that can be a very good thing.

When Christians Listen To Rap (January 10, 2011, Christ & Pop Culture)

What happens when one Christian fan of "Mozart, monks, and medieval polyphony" listens to rap? It's not pretty.

So that’s 2011. Here’s to an even more productive 2012, be it here on Opus or any of the other sites that I write for.