Trip-Hop for a Trip, Bad Boys Stay Sharp To The Bottom of the Glass and The Wandering Stars of Luke 11:33 - 12:3
Warning: Boring conference calls cause inane doodling and the making of packing lists*Tasked with providing the mix tape for our dive trip, and under duress to avoid all things "noisy" (goodbye pierced punk derivatives, nice knowing you indie striped cardigans), dug out an old stash of trip-hop.
(Massive Attack? Your bass looks phat in that.
Tricky: what are they - Stomp cast-offs? I love you man, but too industrial for this gig.
Thievery Corporation? Wait over there and we'll have a look at you. Unless of course, you've got you some lovely downtempo bossa nova and a pinch of dub, then you can go right in.
Woocha Zero 7. Bring on the Salt Water Sound.
Hey, aren't there any ambient popsicles around here?
Non, not you, Hotel Costes.
Oh, sorry to trip over you, Brian Eno. Didn't notice you there.)
Revisiting nostalgia. Music from a previous life of post-clubbing lounging; of post-midnight English urbanity; of the camaraderie of university halls; of dismantling smoke detectors in rooms; of Marmite toast and sipping gin and tonic from teacups and bantering Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, swathed in a swirls of smoke; and, when everyone else had fallen asleep on couches and beds and carpets, of being wide-awake and gobsmacked by the wonderment of Portishead's sonic noir, whisky abandoned in a dirty snifter, spellbound till the dark magic dissipated with the dawning light.
Jude 13. There is no magic at all in this Wandering Star youtube snippet. "Etoiles vagabondes" indeed. Heh.)A lifetime ago, a description embraced with fatalistic identification. Now, total anathema.
Because the season for terrible-tasting heart-shaped chocolates was upon us, we were discussing the reasonableness of a S$100,000 diamond ring if amortised over 70 years of marriage and the cheesiness of the plots of romantic sitcoms: usually, girl who loves a bad boy; a bad boy who pretends to love the girl but actually uses and abuses her; and a good boy who waits in the wings, nursing true but unrequited love. In a feel-good show, the girl gets clued in and rides into the sunset with the good boy. (In an arty show, the ending is postmodernishly vague and the fate of the three characters, unknown.)
A dozen eyes rolled at the blatant unrealism of it all: surely, if she'd known she wouldn't have gone with him!
Yet, whole branches of criminal and family law and psychology are fed by the fact that human beings (and not just those in Stockholm), when faced with a choice between the obviously harmful and the patently beneficial, will sometimes, illogically, choose to remain in an abusive relationship.
Similarly, despite overwhelming and conclusive historical and internally corroborative evidence, when faced with the choice to remain in God's judgement and the assurance of eternal death or to trust in Jesus' death to save us from God's wrath, many people baulk at the latter and choose to remain on course for eternal misery. The silly reason for this demonstrative lack of the self-preservative instinct?
people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (John 3:19-20)But the mere perambulation into the light is hardly effective. If the eyes are unhealthy, the body will still be full of darkness. (Luke 11:33 - 12:3). Woe to us who call on the Lord's name but do not rightly perceive Jesus, who is the light, and do not allow the truth of his words permeate our lives, and still look back with illogical nostalgia upon our pagan days of yore, like the Israelites complaining against God in the desert; living lives that are Christ-flavoured not Christ-centred; attaching ourselves him, because, for at least a little while, it is interesting to attach oneself to a celebrity:
Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgement of the great day - just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Yet in like manner these [false teachers]...blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion. These are blemishes on your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, looking after themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgement on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him." These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favouritism to gain advantage.
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, "In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions." It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:5-25)
* in case of a complete washout, we will also have in our backpacks: Immanuel Kant, David Hume, Alasdair MacIntyre, Iris Murdoch, Mary Midgley, JC Ryle and...err...David Sedaris and TS Eliot. Best.
** ironically, Zouk generously handed me two acoustic Faithless angpows tonight: the "Greatest Hits" DVD and "To All New Arrivals". "God is a DJ"? Hmm.