Dancing at Dusk

LastDancing HT weekend, a strange group of young Vietnamese Catholic adults gathered beside a lake in rural Wisconsin and found themselves dancing for the Lord at dusk. The following is video footage providing evidence of the ocurrence, and that Evan has learned to shed his shyness of the camera (with much gratitude to the fellow dancers and videographer!)

Yet, before (or after) you enjoy the evidence, please consider why it is that we dance? Why is it that we find it difficult to sit idle and still when a good song comes on? Why can we not brush off beautiful music, or ignore terrible music either? Why do we respond with shudders or dancing?

These are questions for the Theology of the Body to answer, and without drilling into the depths, I’ll say this for now: we have bodies. We were made body-soul, and our body makes visible our invisible soul. Music is a special art that cuts easily into the soul, and depending on the type of music (yes, there are types we should avoid), we respond physically and in certain ways that make sense.

So with these two songs presented below, I’d like to say that I did not sit down and draft out the movements in a technical and premeditated way. Instead, I listened to the music and moved the way the music steered me.

And many others can move way better than I. But this is my blog, so hah…

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Praying and Praising with Audrey Assad

The first time I encountered Audrey Assad‘s prayer through music, I was stunned silent. It was during an August sunset, and she was only a guest appearance during Matt Maher‘s charity concert. Before this point, she was only an unknown backup vocalist… but when she started singing her Restless… nobody wanted her to be merely a backup anymore.

Audrey AssadYesterday night I had the chance to see Audrey again on her final tour. So much of it felt like a reunion of sorts, but I also noticed and appreciated the beautiful and subtle ways she has changed since 2010’s experience.

She was not center stage this time — not even close! She put herself off to the side, and made sure icons and masterpieces of the Faith were our focus. The artwork would appear distorted at first, and only gradually become recognizable as we prayed with Audrey through song.

And she didn’t just sing, but she led us in prayer. She moved away from the mic and would let us take over — hinting to us that our voice is beautiful too. We needed to pray while she hushed.

And hushed… and hushed until she backed away from stage, unknown to us. She left us praying and praising Christ at the end, herself decreased to the point of absence, Himself increased to the point of sole presence.

It was clear she wanted to remind us that we were gathered there for Jesus — not for anyone else, not for her. Even after the whole show, she was nowhere to be found, because she wanted us to find Christ instead.

And I think a lot of us did find Him.

As my brother seminarians and I drove home after, we prayed and praised God the whole way. I really don’t think the other fans were doing anything different either as they went home that night.

Thank you, Audrey [and Bellarive!] — may Mary keep you and your beloveds close to her Son’s Sacred Heart always.

Some favorites:

Lastly, check out this post for how to move to Audrey’s You Speak… yes, you read right: move. As in dance. With me.

What’s Wrong with Being Lazy?

Hello Readers! If you’re in the mood for a rant, read on. If you’re not in the mood, read anyway because I got some good points to make — promise! 😛

[The following is a repost from my previous failed blog]:

I use to work in a place where pop music played all day on the stereo. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even hear pop music.

But I hear it, and I listen… and I think about what I listen to.

And I’d like to share what I think about this song. Is it bad? Is it ugly? Is it worse yet? Call me a pessimist, but I specialize in negative reviews – but I’ll try my darndest to be constructive and charitable.

So here goes: the song that put me over is Mr. Mars’ “The Lazy Song”. We’ll start with that…

First, the lyrics:

[The only thing worse than failure itself is knowing you could’ve done so much better.]

Today I don’t feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don’t feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
‘Cause today I swear I’m not doing anything
I’m gonna kick my feet up then stare at the fan
Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my pants
Nobody’s gon’ tell me I can’tI’ll be lounging on the couch just chilling in my Snuggie
Click to MTV so they can teach me how to dougie
‘Cause in my castle I’m the freaking manOh yes, I said it, I said it
I said it ’cause I can

Today I don’t feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don’t feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
‘Cause today I swear I’m not doing anything
Nothing at all, nothing at all

Tomorrow I’ll wake up, do some P90X
Find a really nice girl, have some really nice sex
And she’s gonna scream out
This is great
(Oh my god, this is great)

Yeah, I might mess around
And get my college degree
I bet my old man will be so proud of me
But sorry pops, you’ll just have to wait

Oh yes, I said it, I said it
I said it ’cause I can

Today I don’t feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don’t feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
‘Cause today I swear I’m not doing anything

No, I ain’t gonna comb my hair
‘Cause I ain’t going anywhere
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no

I’ll just strut in my birthday suit
And let everything hang loose
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Oh, today I don’t feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don’t feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
‘Cause today I swear I’m not doing anything

Nothing at all
Nothing at all
Nothing at all

 

Second, he swears he’s not doing anything today – just laying in bed all day. I say: “Waste of time! Don’t waste a day doing nothing… every day is a chance to love and to spend time with those you love. What if your wife died the day you were doing nothing? Your kids got gunned down while you snoozed? Your best friend needed your help while you ignored your phone? Just because you don’t feel like doing anything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything.”

He also doesn’t want to spend time with any person. BUT he’ll gladly spend time with TV. Does he have no friends? (How tragic… maybe he should go meet some!) Does he love playing staring-contest with a fan THAT MUCH?

That’s a pretty lame and lonesome castle he lives in… all by himself, nobody visiting… if he was your king and ruler – would you respect him for doing that all day? Spending quality time with television and turning you away from his door and phone? By the way, of course he’s the freaking man of his castle – there’s no one else there!

Now the really insulting part – I actually felt offended for women everywhere – he’s going to “find a really nice girl, have some really nice sex”. He’s going to find her as if she was some object to pick out from others, and if she’s nice enough (whatever that means), he’ll have sex. No, he’s not out to meet a woman – a person – he’s out to find a nice toy to satisfy himself. Even if she screams “out this is great,” he’ll get back to doing nothing again. He’ll snooze away, ditch her, ignore her… treating her like a prostitute – some doll with a pull-string. Nothing special.

No woman is a prostitute. Deep down, inside and out, they all deserve to be loved.

And then, after that abuse, he’ll go get a degree – and his old man will be proud of him? After he womanized a girl (a “girl” – not a “woman”… sounds like pedophilia to me), his dad would be proud of him? If I had a son who did that, I wouldn’t write what I’d do because it’d frighten people. It doesn’t matter how many degrees he has – he remains a failure if he remains a womanizer. It doesn’t matter what he has if he doesn’t first have love for others.

I think I’ve made my case.
And I think this song has no case at all, no… nothing at all, nothing at all, nothing at all. Oooo, oooo, oooo, oooo…

Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Beware of Rapist)

It’s Christmas Eve! And as much as I enjoy a good Christmas song, I have to say that at least one has really irked me to the point of publicly whining about its horrors. So here goes: the first of many posts regarding What’s Wrong with that Song?!

May I present the atrocious lyrics for your criticism (lines in parentheses are the man in the song) [lines in brackets and bold are my 2-cents]:

I really can’t stay
(But baby, it’s cold outside)
I’ve got to go away
(But baby, it’s cold outside)

—–[Quit making excuses, man! If she wants to leave, let her! Jerk… she ain’t asking permission!]

This evening has been
(Been hoping that you’d drop in)
So very nice
(I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice)

My mother will start to worry
(Beautiful, what’s your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor
(Listen to the fireplace roar)

—–[What’s her hurry? She just told you, bub. How dare you worry her parents like that?!]

So really I’d better scurry
(Beautiful, please don’t hurry)
But maybe just a half a drink more
(Put some records on while I pour)

The neighbors might think
(Baby, it’s bad out there)
Say, what’s in this drink?
(No cabs to be had out there)

—–[Date-rape danger. Date-rape danger. Date-rape danger!]

I wish I knew how
(Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell
(I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell)

—–[Eyes dazed… yeah, this is bad…]

I ought to say no, no, no, sir
(Mind if I move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried
(What’s the sense in hurting my pride?)

—–[Of course he’s only concerned about himself this whole time. I’m surprised he even has any pride left, having sunken so low… what a leech!]

I really can’t stay
(Baby, don’t hold out)
Oh, but it’s cold outside

I simply must go
(But baby, it’s cold outside)
The answer is no
(But baby, it’s cold outside)

—–[Did he just say no and expect her to obey, when she said no earlier and he walked all over it?!]

This welcome has been
(How lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm
(Look out the window at that storm)

—–[He’s starting to sound like the big bad wolf… “Oh! Little Red Riding Hood… how delicious you look!”]

My sister will be suspicious
(Gosh, your lips look delicious)
My brother will be there at the door
(Waves upon a tropical shore)

—–[That’s what I thought… he’s a predator.]

My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious
(Ooh, your lips are delicious)
But maybe just a cigarette more
(Never such a blizzard before)

—–[A vampire, even.]

I’ve got to get home
(But baby, you’ll freeze out there)
Say, lend me your coat
(It’s up to your knees out there)

—–[Maybe he should lend her some R.E.S.P.E.C.T.?]

You’ve really been grand
(I thrill when you touch my hand)
But don’t you see
(How can you do this thing to me?)

—–[Of course, he’s still worried just about little-old-himself, while she’s been thinking of others the whole time!]

There’s bound to be talk tomorrow
(Think of my life long sorrow)
At least there will be plenty implied
(If you caught pneumonia and died)

—–[Yep, more me-me-me… boo hoo, big pervert. He’s even trying to scare her now!]

I really can’t stay
(Get over that hold out)
Oh, but it’s cold outside

—–[In the end, he should have ESCORTED HER HOME HIMSELF. IF NOT, AT LEAST SHOW SOME CHIVALRY AND DECENCY. WHAT AN EMBARRASSMENT TO MANHOOD. GOOD LORD HAVE MERCY ON US WHO ARE LIKE HIM…]

Winter Wonderland is such a better song...

This photo is what should’ve happened. Winter Wonderland is such a better song…