J23 Drama Emails, Move Rappers & Cameras

So a few more days have passed and with it not much time to post, but I’ll try to see what I can do to get caught up on where things are at:

So an update on a few lingering things…  I finally wrapped up the whole situation with the web page, ending with me identifying another contact for the web site.  It was a bit of a painful process, I spent quit a bit of time composing the emails that I sent to them, and I got some pretty interesting responses.  For those who are interested, I have posted the emails, and you can read them.  I have taken the liberty and removed any specific names (remember break down situations, not people).  If you really want to know who I was exchanging emails with you can go their staff page and figure it out, but it’s not really worth it.

  • Email #1 – Me to J23 Staff, Monday 8/8
  • Email #2 – J23 Staff member’s response to my message, sent about 4 hours after I sent my original message
  • Email #3 – My 2nd email to the staff, sent about 4 hours later, early Tuesday morning (8/9)
  • Email #4 – J23 Staff Response to my email, sent late Thursday 8/11
  • Email #5 – My resignation announcement sent to J23 Leadership community, Fri 8/12

So that’s finally done with.  The leadership email went to roughly 85-100 people, as of right now the response has been pretty minimal.  I got one or two nice notes from people, but it’s been quiet – almost too quiet.  Which then gets me back to wondering: all the people that would have cared about this – are they all gone now?  Have things changed that much in our faith community that virtually all of the institutional memory has been wiped?  It might sound harsh, but that’s been something that I’ve really been thinking about and praying about when asking the question, "Where is my place in this community?".  It still looks like I have a lot of questions that still need answering.

I’ve gotten over the bitter, anger, and grieving stages, and have really come to peace to where I’m at with this situation, however there is a part of me that’s still a bit upset that I haven’t heard anything from any other staff members, namely the pastor.  I’ve put 5 years of my life, and countless hours of work into designing, re-designing, developing and maintaining the web site, and you would think I would be acknowledged for my efforts or thanked – I guess not…  Maybe that’s just the way things are at the new J23…

So shifting gears to a few other things.  I ended up seeing Four Brothers with my mom and sister last weekend.  It turned out to be an ok movie. It wasn’t great or spectacular, but it was entertaining enough so that I didn’t regret going.  The biggest highlight of the film for me was the fact that Andre Benjamin (or better known as Andre 3000 from Outkast) had a major role.  I love Outkast and 70% of my love for them is because of Andre 3000.  He did a really nice job in the movie.  Nothing academy-award winning, but pretty good nonetheless.

Speaking of rap-stars-turned-movie-stars, I saw the latest "thug" to add his name to a cast list – 50 Cent.  Who is going to be starting in an essentially auto-biographical movie about his rise to stardom…  Now I don’t mean to pile on the movie before it comes out – but when did it become a requirement that in order to make it big into the rap world you need to star in a movie…  Some recent flicks that come to mind:

  • 50 Cent in Get Rich or Die Tryin’
  • Eminem in 8 Mile
  • Nelly in the Longest Yard
  • Ludacris in Crash and Hustle & Flow
  • Snoop Dogg in Starsky & Hutch

That’s just off the top of my head.  I bet if I did some extensive searching through the IMDB I could find a ton of other rappers that have starred in movies.  I’m not saying that these people aren’t talented (I actually thought Ludacris did a good job in Crash), but is there any specific reason why there is such a correlation between Hollywood & the rap industry.  I guess in order to have "Street Cred" you not only need to have a wrap sheet, but also a silver screen credit as well.   It gives you the impression that the media is just in one big bed of cross-promotion with each other.  You give us 50 Cent in a movie, we’ll make sure that Lindsey Lohan and Hillary Duff cut an album.

I’m not against artists branching out into different forms of medium.  But do it the right way and let your talent speak for itself.  I admire Andre 3000 in his acting endeavors, mainly because he’s suspended his career in doing acting (their last CD came out over 18 months ago and Outkast hasn’t toured since, no news about a new album).  Or when actors/actresses branch out (Russelle Crowe has a band that plays in clubs, Forrest Gump‘s Gary Sinise has a cover band called the "Lt. Dan Band" – that plays at military support foundation’s fund-raisers.  I just get frustrated when there’s some media fat cat playing Gepetto, pulling the puppet strings while a certain star all of the sudden has a media blitz (new movie, new album, new line of clothes)… 

Then they wonder why the music industry is losing so much money…

One last thing…  I once again spent money that I didn’t have this weekend, this time upgrading my HP Photosmart 935 Digital Camera and buying a brand new Canon Powershot S70.  7.1 Megapixels, and probably a bit overkilling (being that there really wasn’t anything wrong with my 5.3 Megapixel HP), but with my sister going to Boston for school, we decided that I’d sell my HP to my family for way below cost (and I’m throwing in a 512mb SD card in there as well), so that my sister could take that digital to school with her.  Part of the other reason I did it is that I knew I was about 6 months to 1 year away from upgrading my HP, and I’ve been pretty frustrated with the direction they’ve been taking.  When I bought the 935 I bought it with the intention of possibly upgrading that to a more enthusiast model – with a stronger optical zoom, better resolution and better features.  But it seems that since HP discontinued their 945 (pretty much the most advanced model they have), they’ve relegated themselves to producing this mid-range, beginner-class cameras that appeal more to pop culture than the tech enthusiast.  While I was researching the Powershot, I made one last stop over to the HP pages, to look at their most advanced camera, and right next to the image of the camera, here is what I saw:

Hmmmmm…  Now please take it out of the homosexual context, because I’m not considering that – but think about the audience that Queer Eye appeals to: typically a younger demographic, that likes to stay pretty trendy, and is tied to this "flavor of the month" mindset.  Maybe I’m stereotyping here, but I don’t think that the Queer Eye audience cares much about the line resolution in pictures, the boot-up time, time between photos, or the lighting modes that are available – but rather whether or not the camera looks "hip & stylish".  I can understand their targeting of this "flavor" demographic, but at the same time, they’ve really turned their backs on the tech enthusiast – who may some day wish to "grow out" of their camera and graduate to the next level…  For whatever reason, HP’s camera line isn’t doing that.  Which is why I switched to Canon’s.  If I someday outgrow my S70, I can upgrade up to the powerful G6, or (if I find a pile of money) the Digital Rebel XT.

So maybe a bit of a gripe on techno-babble, but these are a sample of the random thoughts floating in my head this week…


p align=”left”>…trying to not think about school starting next Monday ….