Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Rachell Maddow requests Thomas Starr King statue for her office

April 19, 2009

maddow-starr-king

With California replacing Starr King’s statue with a huge 500 lb. bronze statue of the “Gipper”, Ronald Reagan, Rachel Maddow offered to purchase statue of famous Unitarian minister Thomas Starr King, once credited by Abraham Lincoln “as the man who brought in and kept California in the union during the civil war.”

“He would look great in our office. We would take great care of him,” said Rachel.

Big thanks to Maddow for this otherwise unwarranted publicity for Unitarianism. Rachel has been a big proponent of UU values.

Please EMAIL RACHEL and thank her for the coverage. Let her know we’re watching. Her address: rachel@msnbc.com

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#30255436

UU Affirmation

Please modify and use this in every way imaginable. You more than have my permission.

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UU AFFIRMATION

I believe in my right to search for the good, to choose it for myself, and hold it in my heart.

I affirm this right in you as well.

Together we share in the joy of community, the power of reverence, and the responsibilities of freedom.

This is the promise of my heart extended to you, as we walk on separate paths, together.

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Visit DiscoverUU.com for UU News, plus the best minister blog posts and sermon podcasts.

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My wife is attractive when…

July 14, 2008

…she hops on Metro and rides with me on her bicycle through downtown Los Angeles dodging homeless, street vendors, wandering souls, and true artists. We connected last night to the pulse of the city, to the life of the streets, and to that which is strongest in each other.

We bid on a Shepard Fairey series of signed original prints.

I hope we get them.

The Assasination of Barack Obama

June 10, 2008

I am a Unitarian Universalist. We have Seven Principles.

Strangely, Freedom of Speech is not one of them. Normally, I rail against the limitations to this freedom over the last decade- eg. “free speech zones”

Then, I saw this.  I’m glad they shut it down.

More (and far worse) here:

My work email erupted with enraged and hurt voices.

I sent this email.

The loudest cries come just before defeat. Be prepared for it to get worse.

There are very few people like this today compared to the rest of us.

Good men and women must not remain silent. We are in the majority if we vote.

Sending good vibrations…

Perhaps the most difficult thing about the Freedom of Speech, is that it can be used to violate so many of our other principles. Part of me didn’t want to post this at all. I’m giving it extra voice/ making it worse. But part of me wants to call things like this out and shame them. Tolerance is at least partly composed of silence.

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UU AFFIRMATION

I believe in my right to search for the good, to choose it for myself, and hold it in my heart.

I affirm this right in you as well.

Together we share in the joy of community, the power of reverence, and the challenge of freedom.

This is the promise of my heart extended to you, as we walk on separate paths, together.

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Visit DiscoverUU.com for UU News, plus the best minister blog posts and sermon podcasts.

If you only read one thing from DiscoverUU…

June 4, 2008

I love that DiscoverUU was mentioned in the UU World Magazine’s Blog Roll, which surmises recent UU blog postings. It’s an honor to have been mentioned and yet, I feel I missed an opportunity. I’d like to encourage the fantastic UU World editors to publish the below UU Affirmation.

Unitarian Universalism needs to adopt a shared expression of personal affirmation.

The UUA is cutting all (nearly) programs to focus on serving at the congregational level. But those UU Congregations won’t succeed unless they start affirming the individual.

Many people arrive at UU doorsteps reacting to negative experiences with another religion. It is only natural that UUism is often defined by those aspects it does NOT share with other faith traditions. However, after some healing has occurred, we lose those members who enjoy the church, but find they don’t NEED it. Often, the scattered, reactive, and overly political* message of the church has failed to connect with them at a deeply personal level. UU’s need to move from our reactionary organizational identity by using a positive and personal affirmation that articulates a clear UU message that originates in the heart and extends beyond the congregational walls.

*Political movements must flow naturally from an abundance of spiritual strength. Using politics to insight anger and adrenaline leads to congregational fatigue and frustration. It asks members to tear themselves in yet another direction, when they have come to gather and heal.

Just as the 10 Commandments do not contain the transformative message of Christianity, UU’s cannot rely on our own Seven Principles. Many UU’s know a congregational affirmation that starts with “Love is the spirit of this church…” But the power of the Apostle’s Creed would be greatly diminished if it began: “The Catholic Church believes…” Our affirmations are impersonal and distant, a collective statement that is limited to the walls of the church by its very construction.

By declaring UUism a creedless religion, creedlessness has become our creed. We need to reconstruct this message of negation into a freeing affirmation.

I do not own the below passage. Please use it in your prayers/meditations, in your congregations, and in your literature. Teach it to your children and share it with your friends.

-Aaron Sawyer

DiscoverUU, Founder

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UU AFFIRMATION

I believe in my right to search for the good, to choose it for myself, and hold it in my heart.

I affirm this right in you as well.

Together we share in the joy of community, the power of reverence, and the challenge of freedom.

This is the promise of my heart extended to you, as we walk on separate paths, together.

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Visit DiscoverUU.com for UU News, plus the best minister blog posts and sermon podcasts.

Blog post every UU Humanist should read

May 19, 2008

Per his usual, I found CAUTE’s latest blog post to be very well-written, informative, and challenging: What can be shown cannot be said.

or click here

The argument is not new to me… but the whole point of CAUTE’s post is that it’s not an argument.

If it’s not something that is seen, it’s not something that can be made clearer by talking about it.

An exerpt:

Towards the end of the Tractatus Wittgenstein says “There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical” (6.522). Those things which cannot be said are ethics, aesthetics, religion, the meaning of life, logic and philosophy. Ray Monk observes that “Wittgenstein appears to believe, there are indeed truths, but none of these truths can be expressed in language; they all have to be shown, not said” (p.21).

I liked CAUTE’s list of things which cannot be said. Humanists might find themselves less put off by religious texts if they allow themselves to place their words in the same de facto realm as art. To view the works as art might allow the reader to open up to its beauty and meaning in a way previously withheld.

This framing takes some of the magic out of religious texts, but adds more in its place.

Big day for me: my screenplay and the Jefferson Bible

March 19, 2008

I’ve been working on a screenplay (no easy feat!)

I’m now done (until the endless re-writes occur).

And I’m having a staged reading using professional actors in front of industry professionals. Tonight!

The script started when I was reopened to the ideas of Jesus by the Jefferson Bible.

Thomas Jefferson edited the Bible by removing all but the words of Jesus including the stories of his miracles and surrounding commentaries. Not only did it open me up to the actual words and message of a man that walked the earth, but it enabled me to realize the difference between that message and the other writings contained in the Bible.

I was captured by the story we are told about the man called Jesus. The first thing that struck me was that he was thirty (thirty!), before he ever performed a miracle. AND that miracle was to help a wedding party keep drinking after all of their wine had been exhausted. Jesus’ first reported miracle was to go on a beer run without ever leaving the house.

Yes, there are stories about him doing things as a youth, but I decided to stick with the canon most people know.

His mother is unquestioning in his role as the Son of God- something he can not prove in any meaningful way. He’s famous for hanging out with prostitutes, criminals, and other undesirables. If he was a man, he must have had sex before the age of thirty, and likely had a wife (Mary Magdalene?). In fact, Jesus must have had quite a few women who doted after him, as it is mentioned in Luke 8:2-3 that Mary Magdalene was only one of the many women who gave Jesus the money and supplies he needed.

I grew very interested in the life of Jesus before he miraculously became the life of the party. Who was this twenty-five year old claiming to be the Son of God? Women are doting all over him. He hangs out with prostitutes, beggars, and tax collectors. He’s never performed a miracle. He’s gathering hoards of people into his clan…

I think a guy like that would be too much for people today as well. My screenplay explores a very human second coming as he struggles to come of age, learning about life and love.

Come check it out!

Mount
A New Feature Film Script Written by Aaron Sawyer
Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 7:30 PM

Theatre Palisades

941 Temescal Canyon Road

Pacific Palisades, California 90272

CLICK HERE FOR A MAP

Obama and blackface

February 26, 2008

Politics aside, this weekend’s return performance revealed that Saturday Night Live needs to get a black actor to play the part of the man likely to become our first black president. And why not hire some black writers while they’re at it. Not writers who ‘write black’.

Either that, or have a male play Hilary.

I don’t know what to do with McCain.

Competing with Lindsay Lohan for Wost Screen Couple

February 25, 2008

Here are some pics from the 2008 Razzie Awards. My wife (red dress) carried me across the threshold for the Worst Screen Couple Award, which went to Lindsay Lohan for her twin roles in I KNOW WHO KILLED ME. We had a lot of fun with our high jinks and enjoyed being part of a record breaking Razzie season.

There’s also a little video for you. My wife and I presenting Worst Screen Couple

And a slide show from CNN.com

I get bleeped in this one!

Enjoy!

Presenting at the Razzie Awards with my wife

February 22, 2008

I’ve been (honored?) to be a presenter at the Razzie Awards for a few years now. This year, my wife is presenting as well. We’ll deliver the ‘dis-honor’ of “Worst Screen Couple” on Saturday morning to a lucky ‘winner’.

The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation “awards” the WORST of each year’s major motion picture categories in a ceremony the day before the Oscars take their turn to award the best. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s mean. It’s always well-deserved.

There was a time in which I didn’t have the stomach for mockery. I felt it was mean and unproductive. Now, I’ve developed a thicker skin. I place more responsibility on the willing participants and the eager investors. I look at what could have been. I calculate the time and effort as they repeat the awful line take after take, scene after scene. How deliberate this is!

When I see the millions of dollars invested each year in remakes and sequels or just plain trash– and this stuff is truly horrific, knowing that those same dollars could have gone to support two or three risky indie projects with a strong message or unique voice… When I see the opinion these people must have of their fellow man, that we would pay money for the product they’re offering…

I get mad.

And then, I do what I always do when I’m mad- I make darn certain that I’m not doing whatever it is THEY’re doing.
So I look at my own wallet.

I look at what I’m putting out in the world, what I’m investing in, and what I’m offering my fellow man.

My wife and I started supporting local, organic growers of fruits and vegetables. We launched DiscoverUU. I finished a screenplay. And I supported a presidential candidate who also tries to raise the bar of discourse in America. This has been a good year for me. It hasn’t always been this good.

I don’ t deserve an Oscar yet, but I certainly don’t deserve a Razzie.

Do you?