OLD school hip-hop

When I started a website exploring the intersections between faith and pop-culture I did not have this in mind, yet while visiting the COLLIDE Magazine blog this morning I found this video and just knew it had to be shared. I mean, isn’t a church choir singing rap songs pretty much the epicenter of the intersection between faith and pop-culture?

I don’t want to ruin any of the surprising humor of the video, but if you’d like to know titles and artists of the choir’s selections, read the rest of this entry.

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Kindergartener kin of Davey Crocket kills bear

This is absolutely fantastic and to be honest, I’m still not sure what to think about it; according to an article on espn.com, a descendant of Davey Crocket killed a 445-pound black bear while hunting. That’s a very large animal, but it’s not the size of the bear that makes the story so incredible, it’s the size of the boy who killed the bear, and who he is related to, that makes this story so unbelievable. Tre Merrit is only 5 years old and he is descendant of Davey Crocket, the legendary American mountain man (aka “King of the Wild Frontier”). Tre’s grandfather witnessed the instantly-legendary hunting story; here’s how they told it to a reporter from KATV/Little Rock,

“His 10th great-grandfather was Davy Crockett,” Mike Merritt said. “And Davy supposedly killed him a bear when he was three. And Tre is five and really killed a bear. I really doubt if Davy killed one when he was three.”

Mike Merritt was in the stand at the time but said Tre did it all by himself.

“He came in about 40 to 50 yards,” Mike Merritt said of the black bear, “and when he got in the open, I whistled at him and he stopped and I said, ‘Shoot Tre.'”

Tre confirmed his grandfather’s account.

“I was up in the stand and I seen the bear,” Tre Merritt said. “It came from the thicket and it was beside the road and I shot it.”

At first, Mike Merritt didn’t think Tre had hit the bear with his youth rifle.

“I said, ‘Tre, you missed the bear,’ ” Mike Merritt said. “He said, ‘Paw-paw I squeezed the trigger and I didn’t close my eyes. I killed him.”‘

The bear turned out to be 445 pounds — 12 times the weight of Tre. Mike Merritt said tears rolled down his cheeks when he found out his grandson killed the enormous bear.

The entire article – including a video of Tre, Mike and the bear – can be found on espn.com (or by clicking here).

Issues (aka think about it)

Following the theme of passing on names and previews of some of my favorite comedians, I give you Flight of the Conchords–New Zealand’s 4th most popular gangster folk group. FOTC has begun gaining popularity in America over the last few years, thanks mostly to an HBO comedy special in 2005 (and thousands of youtube views of performances from that special) and their HBO series this past year (2007). Flight of the Conchords (the television series) was “loosely” based on Bret and Jemaine’s lives as Kiwi rap/rock/folk stars trying to make it as musicians in America while living in New York City (the show was funny and I was happy to learn that it got picked up for a second season that will air in 2008). Warning: although this clip is fairly PG, the comedy special and their show were on HBO, so not all of the content is as tame (it’s not very bad, but just so know).

(I’m taking my “salutation” out of yesterday’s post–not that any of you actually read yesterday’s entry yesterday–and tagging it onto the end of this one).

Happy Thanksgiving! (I hope you watch the Packers beat the Lions before you take your after-Turkey nap.)

trendspotting: social networking

Note:  I can no longer find this video on youtube and the one I originally used was taken off…sorry (February 27, 2008).

Before Demetri Martin received my vote for the funniest comedian in America–assuming Dave Chappelle is retired–he was the goofy “trendspotting” guy on the Daily Show (for those of you who don’t watch the Daily Show–perhaps because you prefer receiving your news from what some people might consider “legitimate” sources–trendspotting is a series of humorous and somewhat informative segments about current cultural trends). The video above first broadcast on the Daily Show back in February of 2006 and is about online social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook; because both Myspace and Facebook have grown exponentially over the last year or so, the segment is already a bit outdated – for instance, the reference to Friendster, which is another online social community that—although it may have started the whole craze—is now basically non-existent due to the incredible popularity of Myspace (110 million users) and Facebook (47 million users) [1]. I am fascinated by many aspects of the Facebook/Myspace phenomenon, so you can count on seeing posts in the future about the many different ways I see online communities influencing how people in my generation see themselves and interact with each other [2]. Newsweek has included a few articles about the differences between Facebook and Myspace over the past months and there was even a story on the CBS Evening News this past Monday on sites like Facebook (I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s still on my DVR); but for now, I thought this short video would be a great not-so-serious introduction to the topic and to the work of Demetri Martin [3].

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[1] Statistics from a Newsweek online article (November 20, 2007).

[2] I spent two weeks at a Bible camp in Wisconsin this past summer interviewing college-aged counselors to study how they make meaning amidst the influences of things like Facebook, reality TV, People magazine and other pop-culture creations. I have not had time to complete the study yet, but you can count on hearing more about it when it is finished. Right now it is called the Meaning Project: Faith & Facebook.

[3] If you like Demetri’s style of comedy, check Comedy Central’s schedule for a rerun or search youtube for last year’s comedy special “Demetri Martin. Person.” It’s a good one; very funny stuff.