Monday, October 27, 2008

Whassup?! Best. Political. Ad. Ever.

Most people, whether they be alive, dead or fictional, are vaguely aware of Budwieser's "Whassup" commercial and it's various spin offs. But this has got to be the best one ever! (For the very old, young, forgetful and/or Amish among you, I've included the original Whassup and one of many home-brew spin offs below - watch them before you watch the new one posted first below):

New Whassup Political Ad:

Original Whassup:

Superfriends Whassup:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Margins & Memories

I have a tendency to stick my head behind the curtains in the middle of the show.

As I sit here in the middle of the warm, gentle humidity, green growth and ocean roll of downtown Honolulu I notice the dirty margins. It's very Disney-ish here: The people cleaning, building, working and especially those who are suffering are swept behind the buildings and under the concrete. But I still notice them ... I look for them. In, fact, I am one of them, and so are you. When we're near the tourist destinations of our hometowns, we're often someone else's backdrop to a perfect holiday; Our disheveldness actively interfering with their illusion of perfection and peace.

My eyeballs tend to drift down the alleyways and under the rugs to the place where people are marginalized. I often meet Jesus there (the real deal ... not the dude who managed my pizza experience [see below]). But, today I think I saw him somewhere else. I sat here on my little hotel balcony, and I stuck my neck out and saw a little swath of beach. There were people kicking their shoes off. Flash bulbs were glittering. waves were bobbing bald heads up and down. Hands were being held. And people were stopping, and staring, and letting go, if only for a moment, of their anxieties and arguments.

And as I observed this, it occurred to me that I was witnessing happy memories-in-the-making. I was sitting in the back row of the theatre of some strangers mind's eye. The images I could see at a distance were destined to be the full-screen, high-definition highlights of someone else's life: "Remember that trip to Hawaii back in '08."

I've long known that beauty dwells in the margins: The tear in the corner of the eye of the homeless old man I stop to talk to. The moment of laughter enjoyed with the mentally ill friend whose anxious voices quiet for long enough to let a smile out. The young street-urchin who pulls-his-crap-together a little and stands taller, buoyed by a first taste of self respect.

The quiet prayer of someone whose hardness drops off as their chin is lifted by the finger of Christ.

But this morning, it was my hardness that dropped off. It was my Disney-fueled cynicism that cracked as I saw that real, enduring beauty is not limited to the margins. It dwells on the wide boulevards as well. Some perfect-tourist moments are real too. Sure, many are plastic and part of an endless cycle of consumer longings that are never satisfied. But others are as solid as the concrete alleys I expect to find beauty in. And even the most superficial holiday memories are only plastic on the exterior ... when the shrink wrap is peeled off of them by an older, wiser tourist looking back on their perfect memories, there will be deeper beauty waiting to be discovered underneath.

The enfleshed-God who had "no place to lay his head" also filled the wine jugs to enhance some else's perfect wedding memory.

Beauty can not be limited, it spills out and surprises. All the forces of culture and consumerism can neither dominate nor sully it.

It is everywhere.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Is KFC Managed by Buddha?

Yes it's a real label, from a real pizza, delivered to my house.
Yes, I know it's probably just some mere mortal with a name pronounced "Hey-Seus."

But if "Jesus is a friend of mine," why wouldn't he manage my pizza experience?

Mmm Jesus Pizza.