Saturday, December 31, 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

Reasons for continued questioning... (Part 2)

Because of the monster discussion that Part 1 created, I feel like I should write another blog to give you my thoughts. A sort of "conclusion," if you will.

To summarize what the this whole thing is about (for those who haven't read my blog lately), Switchfoot's Adding to the Noise was played during a Victoria's Secret commercial. Switchfoot fans, haters, and in-betweens took sides on the numerous issues that erupted - namely if Switchfoot truly and fully sold out or not when they moved into the secular market. I wrote a quick blog about it when I first saw it on TV, and it exploded into craziness. Mac even wrote about it. Read Part 1 and Mac's post if you want more detail on discussion.

With that, here we gooooooooooooooooooo...


Switchfoot surely wasn't joking when they decided the name of their band. Some can interpret the name as a term from "switching" from a life without Christ to a life with Christ. That is, at least, how a Christian could interpret it. (You could just take the name as nothing but a cool band name...your choice.) However, given the recent events of the band, one can now say that Switchfoot has taken the previous interpretation and turned it completely upside down. Not in terms of salvation, of course, but of marketing and business. Ironic how one's name can mean so much.

Victoria's Secret ad campaign during the Christmas season has been encouraging women and men alike to buy their products as gifts. "Give me sexy," they say, "Give me Victoria's Secret." It is no wonder why so many are sitting very unwell with the fact that Switchfoot's song would play on one of their commercials.

There are many arguments that fans (and those who even don't care much about Switchfoot) use to defend Switchfoot. What are they defending exactly? They're defending attacks against them that it was very unChristian-like for them to throw their music on such an unwholesome commericial; furthermore, lots of people are beginning to question that Switchfoot truly sold out when they signed with the Sony label - the VS commercial was like the nail in the coffin to them.

I will go through the arguments I've heard from my blog and this forum that Kuya linked to in Part 1, and I will give my opinion to counter these arguments:

Switchfoot has nothing to do with Victoria's Secret other than they have a song on their commercial. Are they dating the models? Are they having sex with the models? No!

Allowing Victoria's Secret to use their song is enough for Switchfoot to promote Victoria's Secret products. Especially for a commercial that promotes and uses sex and lust to sell their things. They don't need to date a VS model to be in the wrong.

The producers from their label made them do it.

This is most likely true. This is probably the only argument that I'll take very seriously because it's one I can see Switchfoot not being able to get around easily. It is a very sad case when a contract gets in the way of choices, and this is why I get skeptical when a Christian goes into the secular market. Anyhow, I feel like Switchfoot owes their hardcore fans some kind of statement. I feel sort of betrayed that I defended them so strongly about going into the secular market, but they're throwing their music around like a pimp with his whores. And they don't seem to care about it! (Note: For those who think Switchfoot doesn't owe their fans a statement - or anything for that matter - they owe the fans everything for being where they are now.)

Switchfoot didn't know, and had nothing to do with arranging it with Victoria's Secret.

This may be so, but I think they still need to tell people their thoughts on it. There's too much reaction to ignore it completely. Plus it just looks bad on them. To me, it looks like they just don't care and they just want the money. This would be the claim that they sold out. Could it be true that they just want fame and fortune? I certainly hope not because their music speaks against such views!

Victoria's Secret sells underwear. They don't sell porn, and they don't promote the idea of pre-marital sex.

This is true. But as Mac said, "It ain't so much about what Victoria's Secret sells, it's the way they sell it." VS definitely uses the idea of sex and lust to sell their product. Whether it'd be girls who want to buy it to attract men, or men who want to buy it because they want to see it on their girlfriend/wife/wife's girlfriend, it is incredibly unwholesome and degrading to one's soul. Switchfoot shouldn't have anything to do with VS for this sole reason. If the label forced them to do it, then they can always leave the label or write a statement to the fans.

Moreover, I wrote in Mac's blog that Switchfoot wrote a song against society's obssession with sex. From Easier Than Love, they sing, "Sex is currency/She sells cars, she sells magazines" and "sex is industry/The CEO of corporate policy." This is also what bugs me. Switchfoot is acting like a huge hypocrite right now. It almost sickens me.

"Does Switchfoot have to be glorifying Jesus with every move they make? Do you? Why do you expect more out of a band, they are human also and they need to pay the bills. Sure Jesus wouldn't PROMOTE a commercial but he also wouldn't condemn it, Paul would do that." - AldoDaldo

What...the...crap! How much more disturbing can you get when someone
actually writes this just to defend their beloved band! We must always strive to glorify God. Every move we make, every thought we think, and every word we say should be glorifying God. Granted that we, as people with corrupt flesh, do not do this even half the time we live on Earth, it is still indeed a true statement.

As the thing with Paul, Jon wrote in the comments of Part 1, "St. Paul, an inspired commentator on Jesus' life and sayings, by the Holy Spirit (the third person of that trinity that Jesus is also part of), is a good indication of what Jesus would condemn."

It isn't our business to concern ourselves with these matters. Who cares if Switchfoot put their song to a Victoria's Secret ad? If you think it's wrong, then it's wrong. If you think it's okay, then it's okay. Don't judge Switchfoot, leave that to God.

It's not a matter of judging, it's a matter of watching each other as Christian brothers and sisters. When a fellow Christian has sinned or is causing people to sin, it is definitely our business to set them straight. The idea that God will do the judging and we just need to look to ourselves is not a Biblical way of living. We aren't judging Switchfoot, we are just trying to show the correct way to see situations. Will Switchfoot go to hell for this? I highly doubt it, but that's not the issue. We must always concern ourselves with Christians' wrongdoings. Not to be smarty-pants or finger-pointers, but to help build each other up in our walk with God.

Switchfoot is using their music to reach out to people who watch that commercial.

Anyone who saw the commercial will know that only the intro guitar riff was played. None of the lyrics were sung, and no one who doesn't listen to Switchfoot would make any correlation to them and the music. With that said, what did Switchfoot do to reach out to the audience? Nothing. What did they get out of it? Easy money. Hmmm...

P.O.D. touring with Korn is a better example of reaching out to that type of audience. They are at concerts, talking with people, singing their music for all to hear their message. Switchfoot's song on Victoria's Secret did nothing but get models to prance around their underwear looking lustfully into the camera.


With all this said, I don't want people to think I'm some kind of high and mighty Christian who only sees the world from the clouds. I am a terrible and cruel sinner just like everyone else, but like I said, we strive to become more like Christ and help others along. One person said that we should just love Switchfoot and leave the rest to God. Is setting someone straight when they are wrong a way of love? I believe so.

Don't worry, I will still listen to my Switchfoot CDs. I'm still hoping for a response from them. However, until then, I will detach the person from the music and just listen to their songs as good Christian rock music. I don't know about their last two albums, though. It's just too painful now to listen to those. Their first three are still very good...and very Christian. :)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

At its best.

Back on Thursday was my trip out to the city. I've never visited a large city on the Eastern side of the States, so I was excited. Clinton Bauman, one of the staff workers at CityTeam, took me to his evening Bible study group in the center city area.

The weather had been pretty crummy. At least, for people who normally lived in Philly during the winter time would think it crummy. I, on the other hand, was having a blast. It was cold - DANG cold! It had snowed during the day, but the precipitation had morphed into rained by the night's arrival.

I rode with Clinton to his apartment where we dropped off his car. We did a slight jog down the hill to the train station where we would take the 30 min. ride into the city. Stepping off the train onto the platform, down the escalator, and through the hallway, Clinton and I entered the main lobby of 30th Street Station. Before then, grand train stations like this had only been pictures and movie scenes to me. One thing I absolutely love about the East is the history found in the architecture. There was, no doubt, history in this building. The columns, the large lamp lights that hung from the roof 100 ft. above us, the benches that covered the hard floor. I wanted to pull out my camera.

But we were short on time, and Clinton wanted to get something to eat before his friend came to pick us up. We got a couple pretzels moments before Mac showed up. After a couple polite greetings, we were out of the station and across the street to his old pickup (with not extended cab, I might add).

We finally got to the apartment where Clinton and the group of eight young, Christian men gathered to study the Word. There I met guys with interesting backgrounds and careers. The most interesting was an FBI field agent - he wasn't even 28 years-old! I was amazed how old he looked. I would guessed he'd be in his early 30s at least.

So the Bible study lasted for a few hours discussing 1 John and the assurance of our salvation. At a few points, it led to pre-destination and free will and where the balance between the two was made. You can always find out how long a group has been together by how they react to the discussion, and you can tell that these guys had been together for a while...they forced the conversation to move on before the topic became more of a heated argument and less of a calm, quiet discussion.

After the lesson, the prayer requests were exchanged, the praises were shared, and the heads were bowed as we lifted to God Almighty our concerns and love for each other and fellow Christians. We did some casual talk, but the only one noteworthy was when Clinton asked the FBI guy if we could hold his firearm. He was very cool about it, and all of our eyes went big for a split second before we had to act non-chalant to pretend we were cool. He pulled out the clip. He emptied the chamber. He handed the glock to Clinton, and the rest of us waited in a impatient, five-year-old type manner.

Time rolled on. The later it got the more I realized that I wouldn't be able to see the rest of the city like Clinton and I had planned. Clinton had another thing on his if we could make it back to the train in fifteen minutes or not. Looks like we got a little carried away with the glock. Heh...

So Mac, Clinton, and I raced back to the pickup, which was parked a couple blocks away from the apartment. Through rain, snow, and ice, we jogged back. The dry air cut through my lungs, the cold temperatures broke through my jacket, and my ears rang out in a silent numbness; and it was all for catching a train on 30th Street in Philadelphia. It was the experience I was looking for from a visit into the city!

We got to the station with five minutes to spare only to find out that the train was eight minutes late. Clinton and I walked to the main lobby again so I could take a few quick shots. By the time we got back on the train and back into Chester, it was close to midnight.

I didn't get my Philly cheese steak sandwich from Abner's or Gino's (sorry David and Caryn), but I found my trip to be quite enjoyable. It's a shame I wasn't able to go back out during the rest of the week I was here. Tomorrow morning, I board a plane at 8:45 am back to California. It's been a good trip back East, but I'm ready to go home.

Time for pictures!

30th Street train station in Philadelphia. Too bad I wasn't spending days of free time here. I would have went out to Jersey and New York...THAT would have been grand!

Columns are cool.

I can't remember what this building is called. I really like this picture, though. So colorful. I think I'll come back to it and spend more time editing it to make it look really nice.

Here's a lame picture that I thought was cool and "artsy." Whatever. That's Curtis who just exited out of those revoloving doors.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Reasons for continued questioning...

A couple days ago I was watching some late night TV (it wasn't really that late - like 10:30 or 11 pm - but whatever). As I was waiting for the advertisements to take a break from air time, a commercial for the well-known Victoria's Secret Christmas sale campaign came on. Usually it is very unfitting for a young, single Christian man to stay tuned on the channel for various reasons...reasons that are unspoken yet understood at the same time. However, I was drawn this time to the commericial. It was odd and against my good sense of integrity, but yet I did not fight back. It was the music. The music was so cool and rockin' and I've heard it before...I even sang along with it in my head (there was no lyrics). The rhythm, the guitar riffs, the bass lines - they were all so very familiar. I named the song within seconds...then my jaw dropped when I named the band within a few more seconds.

"What was the band?" you ask. I will tell you...


Yes, you read those big, fat (but cleverly tasteful) letters right. Switchfoot's intro guitar riffs to their beloved Adding to the Noise track was helping women rock out in clothing inappropriate for television.

Sometimes you love something blindly. Sometimes you love something even if you see their faults. And sometimes you gotta question why you love something when they start puting their music to Victoria's Secret commericials.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

What is this white flakey stuff from the sky?

It's snowing! Yay yay yay!!!

I'm going outside to take some pictures.

UPDATE: I put a couple photos up that don't do much to show it actually snowing. The layer of snow on the ground was from last week.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Things of sort.

After going almost a whole month straight with no post, I decide to come back at 1:45 am to write something. I have to wake up at 7 am tomorrow, what the crap am I doing?

The past month has been incredibly busy. I've been working on this, a lot of this, some of this, and...oh yeah...this too.

Okay, just kidding...sort of. Here are the updates:

City Team-ups

As you all probably know (yet don't know anything about what's going on because of my unhealthy laziness to update), I've been on an internship with CityTeam Ministries for the past couple months. It's been a lot of work day-in and day-out. There are times where it's been slow, but when it picks picks up! Thanksgiving week was especially interesting, as I had to run to three different locations on three different days for each of their three different Thanksgiving meal distributions for three different videos that I would have to make later in post-production. I'm still working on the San Francisco video, but the other two (San Jose and Oakland) turned out quite nicely. Hopefully, I'll be able to throw them on the web for all to see, but rendering those suckers to a reasonable size for download has been an absolute nightmare.

Pictures of stuff I've done for CityTeam can be found on their Flickr account here. Nothing before November is anything I've done.

Sharks Endure the Hurricanes

Lisa Cupples (soon to be Lisa MALABUYO) planned out a fabulous night with her friends to celebrate Daniel, Sandra, and her birthday. I think others put effort into planning it too, but I don't know about it and it seems everyone is giving Lisa the credit, so whatever. Anyway, after eating a yummy meal at the Spaghetti Factory in San Jose, we all walked off the food to the HP Pavilion to see the San Jose Sharks play the (whoever) Hurricanes. I'm not that much of a hockey fan, so I wasn't as diehard as someone like Mac or Daniel ("Come on Sharks--the Hurricanes can't touch you when you're already in the waterrrrrrrr!!!"); but playing roller-hockey with them gave me enough knowledge and understanding of the game to really enjoy it. Rooting for the hometeam, going nuts when they score, trash talking the visiting team...I love going to live sports games! The Sharks winning 4-3 made the night even more enjoyable.

Pictures of this event will be on Kuya's blog soon, no doubt. Stay tuned.

Enter the Narnia

Kuya, Chesney, and I went and saw The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe last Friday night. I was very skeptical about the movie after seeing previews with all the action shots and the video game that came out which is basically LOTR with four kids. It looked like another epic war movie to give everyone high on special effects and cool sword fighting sequences. It made me extremely sad. However, after hearing stuff from Oli, Phil, and Julie about how amazing and loyal it was to the book, I couldn't wait another day to go see it. I was happy to see that they were right, and my doubts were shattered as the movie progressed. Everything about the movie was very good, and I thought the cast was dead on. I absolutely loved Lucy; it was relief to see that they found actors who captured the kids so well. Scenes that were added didn't take away from the story or book at all; in fact, it magnified the story! Aslan carried on the screen well, though I felt he wasn't...magnificent enough...I guess I always pictured him being loving and kind but also one to tremble before as you stand in his mighty presence. I guess my view of God carries too much into the story, yeah?

All in all, it's a very good adaptation to the book. It was hard to let go of C.S. Lewis' writing and just watch the movie plainly because I kept remembering how Lewis wrote each scene and how much I loved his story-telling. It's almost as if his voice was a sub-conscious narrator in my head as I watched the film.

One more thing: This movie is the most PG-13 PG-rated movie I've ever seen.

Oh, WoW!

I hope you all got the message earlier that I have been terribly sucked into World of Warcraft. It's addicting, and I'm obssessed. The gamer in me has fully manifested itself as my character in this game, and I am now an ultra-uber dork. All I have to say is:



Tomorrow I fly out to Philadelphia. CityTeam has a location there, and they want me to go out there and photograph their Christmas events as well as their daily workings in the building and on the street. From what Carol told me, it will be a lot of work. Not only that, but it will be COLD! I don't know how I'm going to deal being a Californian, but it sure will be an adventure. I'm really stoked, which is partly why I'm not sleepy. The other is because I'll be traveling all day tomorrow, and sleep is the best way to pass time; so I don't have to worry about sitting in an office editing a video and fighting sleepiness. I rock.

I will try to post more often, especially when I'm in Philadelphia. It's always fun to write entries when you're out of town - at least, to me it is.

Ta ta.