(Re-Post) JesusWeen(?)

October 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm

(Please note, this is a repost from last year) Apparently, the Tucson Weekly has a column called “Stupid Christian Idea of the Month.” I don’t know if this is actually a regular column or not. If it isn’t I’d be happy to provide them with some fodder to make sure it could run for quite a while. The most recent installment pokes fun at the continued attempt by many Christians to replace Halloween with some sort of “Christian” alternative.

This time, a pastor in Calgary wants to replace Halloween with “JesusWeen.” Instead of giving out candy, he wants Christians everywhere to give out Bibles and Christian books.

Watch the group’s video explaining the idea here:


Paul Ade, the pastor behind this explains:

I think it‘s an activity that doesn’t have anything to do with Christians. And I think many Christian families are not knowledgeable to what it’s all about. Halloween is not consistent with the Christian faith. Many people say they feel uncomfortable on that day. We think people should choose an alternative activity.

Dan Gibson of the Tucson Weekly responds:

I’m sure that every kid that’s given a copy of the New Testament instead of candy on October 31st is going to be totally psyched about attending your church.

Wait, this isn’t Bizarro America where kids hate candy and love to be proselytized by total strangers and where black is white and people say “Goodbye” instead of “Hello!”. It’s actual America, where this idea completely defies logic entirely.

A note to Tucson churches: those “harvest festivals” churches often put on, with a few jumping castles, and other stuff kids like (including candy!) providing a safe environment for families…those are actually a decent idea, providing a non-threatening, useful service to your neighborhood. Trying to change the identity of an event people seem to like? Bad idea and really only useful in reminding me that I should listen to the band Ween more often.

While I understand the sentiment behind “JesusWeen,” I can’t help but side with Gibson: “I’m sure that every kid that’s given a copy of the New Testament instead of candy on October 31st is going to be totally psyched about attending your church.” Not only that, I’d be interested to see if Pastor Ade is concerned with the pagan roots behind Christmas celebrations or if he’s wanting us to put “Christ back into XMas”? But that’s neither here nor there.

I wonder what things like this communicate to the larger culture, not just about us, but about Jesus. Instead of a Jesus who ate and drank (grape juice, of course! Maybe we could market it as “JesusWine”?!) with sinners and tax collectors (Matthew 9:10, etc), we are presenting a Jesus who wants to distance Himself from everything (and everyone) unless it is sanitized. Not to mention the fact that the group’s video (which pretends to be made by a third party but is not) admits that they “hope to have many bookstores and churches benefit.” But again, that’s neither here nor there.

Instead of taking a once/year awkward “all or nothing” leap at exposing our friends and neighbors to Christianity, wouldn’t it be better if we lived life with our neighbors all year long? Maybe I just need to drink some JesusWine and listen to Ween.

Who Is Clutchy Hopkins?

October 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm

As the Scooby Doo gang syas, “Everyone loves a good mystery.” And I love good music. So, how much better for a good mystery to be tied to good music? Anonymity has long played a role in music. Artists like The Residents, Jandek, for a while The Weeknd, and Burial, and, though we know who they were, they still liked to wear masks, Sun City Girls have all taken the “let’s let the music speak for itself approach.”

It’s an interesting concept. Is the music itself enough to keep people interested or have we so consumerized even music that we need the “whole package” to keep our attention. Then again, the “you don’t need to know who I am” move might just be a publicity stunt to sell more units. You might wonder exactly that when you hear the tale of Clutchy Hopkins.

The official story is that, Clutchy, the son of a Motown recording engineer, has been traveling all around the world, learning all kinds of music, philosophy and general worldliness. Clutchy’s website says that: “He worked at recording studios in Bombay to Cairo and studied musical techniques of the Cahuilla Indians, Rinzai Zen monks in Japan, and tribal drummers in Ethiopia. Returning to the U.S. in the ’90s, Clutchy worked as a session musician on obscure funk and jazz records; he was rumored to have collaborated with Moondog.”

Then, “In 2005, a crate of reel-to-reel tapes was discovered amid boxes of old, home-made musical instruments and electronics at a flea market outside Los Angeles. The trail from these tapes led to a woman named Kelly Hopkins: Clutchy’s daughter, the only person still in contact with him. Kelly obtained his permission to release some music and even persuaded him to collaborate with young new artists. Clutchy’s exact whereabouts remain a mystery. According to Kelly, he currently resides in a cave somewhere in the Mojave Desert.”

Just in case you’re still wondering if this is a ruse, the website also says:

Clutchy Hopkins is a mysterious entity whose downtempo grooves have infected the eardrums of hip-hop, jazz, and funk fans across the globe. His music has been praised by OkayPlayer, URB, and Wax Poetics. His true face is unknown. Some claim he is the “secret identity” of one (or many) DJs…speculation has included Madlib, DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Money Mark, Danger Mouse, Shawn Lee,and others. No one knows the truth…except for us. And we’re not telling (yet).

Well, until they do tell, we’re left with the music and the myth, which they’ve done a great job promoting. Check out these videos:

 



 



  • Visit Clutchy Hopkins’ official website