// March/April round-up

So. It’s mid-April now – the end of the first Quarter, by American standards – and subsequently time for a few awards and honourable mentions. Please note – not all of these have been released in March/April, they’re just what’s on my ipod/cultural radar recently. If you disagree or have further suggestions for any categories, please post a comment – I’d love to hear them.

*

// CULTURE

BEST VIOLATION OF CIVIL LIBERTIES/OVER-REACTION (I’ll let you decide:)

(this is, undeniably, incredibly famous, but still a terrifying piece of real-life footage. See if you can find the full version to see just how unjustified this beating is. “Don’t taze me bro’!”)

BEST QUESTIONING OF PAPAL INFALLIBILITY:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7987566.stm – “Blair questions Papal gay policy”

(uh, that’s not really how Papal infallibility works…)

BEST UNNECCESSARY SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENT:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1169788/Twitter-make-immoral-claim-scientists.html

(also, “Best Unjustified Hate Campaign”)

*

// FILM

BEST SUMMARY OF AN ACTOR’S FILM CAREER:
http://www.inquisitr.com/wp-content/nicolas-cage-movie-plot-generator.jpg

(a link that is WELL worth following)

BEST FILM:
“Let the Right One in” (Sweden 2009)

(apart from the beautiful central love story (-ish), it also has an astonishing scene involving a woman and some cats. Highly recommended for anyone who saw Pan’s Labyrinth, the Orphanage, et al., it’s a truly stunning film…)

HONOURABLE MENTION:

“Knowing” (starring Nicholas Cage; need I say more)

(if only for the moment an hour and a half in where the entire film falls apart in such spectacular fashion as to leave you gaping. “We must save the children!” “The radiation will penetrate UP TO A MILE UNDERGROUND! Our only hope is TO GO WHERE THE NUMBERS ARE LEADING US!” Just amazing)

*

// MUSIC

BEST INDIE TIP:
“It’s blitz!” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

(check this out on Spotify, especially “Skeletons” – it’s been creeping inside my head and I’m very impressed. For relevant context, “Maps”, from their first album, “Fever to Tell”, is also indispensable)

HONOURABLE MENTION:

“The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place” – Explosions in the Sky

(I just rediscovered Explosions in the Sky in all their amazing, heart-stopping, magnificent glory, and I’m not going anywhere again anytime soon. Have a look at “Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean” if you don’t believe me and see if you ever go back…)

BEST POP SINGLE:
“Embers” – Just Jack

(this is a brilliant pop tune, and I don’t care what anybody says)

GUILTY PLEASURES:
// “Love Story” – Taylor Swift
(wow, this is maddeningly catchy. It sounds like pop-Springsteen crossed with Dire Straits via. Avril Lavigne. If that hasn’t sold you, then I don’t know what will.)

// “My Life would Suck Without You” – Kelly Clarkson
(if this doesn’t make you want to put your ams in the air, you are clinically dead)

// “Naked”, “Complicated”, “Things I’ll Never Say” – Avril Lavigne

(if you have not yet rediscovered the wistful and bratty charms of Avril Lavigne’s first album, now is the time to do so. Seriously, I guarantee that you won’t regret it.)

// “Starz in their Eyez” – Just Jack
(everything in me cries out that I should hate this, the faux-Cockney accent and the lyrics, with their Mike Skinner earnestness, but I don’t…)

*

// WEBSTUFF

BEST WEBCAM:
http://www.dcb02.com/churchmusic/cams.php4

(don’t get excited, it’s just David Crowder band filming their new album. But it is oddly addictive)

BEST WEBCOMIC:
http://www.samandfuzzy.com

(you’re just in time to catch the latest story, and Sam and Fuzzy are on form at the moment. XKCD is also well worth plugging – see www.xkcd.com)

BEST IDEA:
http://www.demotix.com/

(this is brilliant; it’s like youtube for journalists, apart from news agencies such as Reuters, and it’s well worth looking at to get a different angle on what is happening around the world. A demotix reporter had the photo for the Guardian front page this week, and they recently won a major media award – this model is going somewhere. Check out http://www.demotix.com/news/evangelicals-brazil for some amazing photographs of the Brazilian church…)

BEST TWITTER FEED:
Gerard Kelly, at http://twitter.com/twitturgies – both deep and concise, well worth following.

HONOURABLE MENTION:
Bono’s twitter feed (http://twitter.com/paul_hewson) was shut down today for not actually being Bono at all. Brilliantly, nobody noticed this far.

*

// GOD

BEST CHRISTIAN BOOK:
I’ve been re-reading Pete Greig’s “The Vision and the Vow” – check out a sample chapter at http://www.kingsway.co.uk/Shop/Sections/Items/Item.aspx?item_id=87295. It’s well worth reading, if not quite as good as “God on Mute”.

BEST NEW WORSHIP:
A cheat, but Tim Hughes’s “Happy Day”, whilst not being strictly *new* (it has “Beautiful One” on, for goodness sake…), is really excellent, and the version of “When I Survey…” is literally breathtaking. http://worshipcentral.createsend5.com/t/r/l/tyhtw/suiidjd/j to listen.

BEST WORSHIP SONG THAT IS NOT A WORSHIP SONG:
If you have not listened to Switchfoot’s “Twenty-Four” yet, rectify this by clicking here:

you won’t regret it.

(i want to see miracles
to see the world change
i wrestled the angel
for more than a name
for more than a feeling
for more than a cause
i’m singing, Spirit take me up in arms with You…)

*

I think that’s enough for the moment, although feel free to comment or add anything as you see fit.

Normal blog service will resume on Sunday, but for the moment that’s enough to be going on with!

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