Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Blogging Lite!!

Yes I know I have been woeful in the amount of posting recently. This is partly due to being busy at work, being tired and not wanting to sit in front of a computer.

Also I have just bought a new Roland TD12 drum kit so am spending much time working out how to get the sound I want out of that.

I also have this week and next week off work so am spending time with my wife and doing jobs. So don't expect too much writing in the coming weeks, but I will return, fear not!

Transformers (Robots in disguise) the Film!

Well yesterday I finally saw Transformers at the cinema. All I can say to start is wow and I really enjoyed it. I was never a great fan of the cartoon version as I think it was a little after my time as a child, however I always liked the idea. I was vaguely aware of Optimus Prime and Megatron and co. but don't have a great attachment to the original comic or cartoon versions. This I feel was good as I didn't bring any baggage to watching it.

I only noticed one bit of ropey CGI which was a point when Bumblebee turns back into the car and drives off. Apart from that I was very impressed with the special effects. The plot was thin but who cares. Bib powerful life giving cube, lost on earth, Autobots and Decepticons are after it for different reasons. Boy connected to it through grandfather etc...

I thought the humour was well pitched against the action. Particularly the Autobots trying to hide in the back garden while Sam's parents are giving him a hard time about parental type stuff. Great big robots trying to bend into corners and around the house in an effort to not be noticed, brilliant. There was plenty of eye candy for the boys and girls in the audience and I am talking about the older ones here. Ladies, apparently the main soldier bloke is particularly gorgeous! Yes my wife came and watched it with me and did enjoy it and not just because of him! I thought the analyst girl plot strand was wasted and I hope she wasn't just there for the men in the audience. Of course if big hunking robots slugging it out is your thing then there is plenty of that too, oh yeah.

Anyway, getting carried away here so go see the film if you want to more or less switch brain off and be very entertained for a couple of hours.

Friday, August 03, 2007

What Parents are doing to their Children!

The other day I witnessed a rather upsetting display of a mothers behaviour towards her son. I was on a train returning from London reading a book called 'Wild at Heart' by John Eldredge. I will come on to why I mention the book I was reading as it has relevance to why I found this scene so upsetting.

Anyway, the train stopped at the station before mine. This station has a short platform and you must be in the front 4 coaches in order to get off onto the platform. This message is repeated several times over the journey by the recorded messages and the conductor. I was in that 4th carriage towards the back. Just as the train was about to depart these two women followed by about 6 kids came rushing through the electric doors from the carriage behind mine in a desperate attempt to get off. However by the time they reached the doors to get off the conductor had closed and locked them and the train moved off.

What followed can only be described as verbal abuse from an adult to a child. One of the women just verbally laid into this young boy of about 10. "It's all your fault...", "You stupid boy...", "You've done it again...", "it's always you..." and so on, you get the picture! Now I don't know what the boy had done to delay the group getting through to my carriage to get off. What I do know is it was the two adults responsibility to be in the correct bit of the train in the first place, not the children. No matter what that boy had done to somehow delay them, once they realised they could not get off in their carriage, is irrelevant. They should have been in the correct bit of the train in the first place. This carried on outside the station. I was waiting to be picked up and they were there as well. In the end the boy walked off saying he was going to walk home whilst all the time being shouted at.

My heart wrenched when I hear this verbal tirade aimed squarely at this poor boy. The things he was being told about himself from this mother was heart breaking. The arrows that would have been piercing that boys heart would have run deep right to the core of his being. Now what will he grow up thinking about himself? What self image will he form as he grows up? I suspect this is not the first time he has received such abuse nor, I fear, the last. What lessons will he learn from that and other occurrences? He could end up never having any confidence in himself to achieve anything, always telling himself he was useless and no good. He could go the other way and end up driven to succeed beyond anything else. He will most likely end up a very angry young man leading to possibly destructive behaviour and labeled accordingly which will just reinforce his view of himself.

I was so desperate to stand up and give that mum a right earful. But for many reasons I did nothing except weep inside for him.

I mentioned the book I was reading as it speaks of this very kind of thing. About how the damage done to boys leads to Men who are bound up and unable to be truly free and alive. Unable to be 'real' Men to their partners, friends etc... By real men it doesn't mean society's view of real men as physically strong and butch macho types.

The back of the book said this, to quote:

'In Wild at Heart, John Eldredge invites men to recover their masculine heart, defined in the image of a passionate God. And he invites women to discover the secret of a man's soul and to delight in the strength and wildness men were created to offer'

It tackles the things that can cause men to stop living out their true God given identity and character. A large amount of which is caused by ones parents.

The inside cover has the following:

Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul

A Battle to fight. An Adventure to live. A Beauty to rescue. This is what a man longs for. This is what makes him come alive. Look at the films men love. For that matter, look at the dreams of little boys, the games they play. There is something fierce, passionate, and wild in the heart of every man. That is how he bears the image of God. And the reason that most men "live lives of quiet desperation" (Thoreau) is because men have been told that the reason God put them on earth is to be a good boy. To be nice.

God designed men to be dangerous. Simply look at the dreams and desires written in the heart of every boy: To be a hero, to be a warrior, to live a life of adventure and risk. Sadly, most men abandon those dreams and desires--aided by a Christianity that feels like nothing more than pressure to be a nice guy. It is no wonder that many men avoid church, and those who go are often passive and bored to death.

Now, in all your boyhood dreams growing up, did you ever dream of becoming a nice guy? Ladies, was the Prince of your dreams dashing... or merely nice? "We've taken away the dreams of a man's heart and told him to play the man." As C.S. Lewis said, 'We castrate the gelding and bid him be fruitful."

Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. That is how he bears the image of God; that is what God made him to be.

Having literally just finished reading this book, for the second time, these themes were in my head. Which is why hearing that mother broke my heart. She clearly has no comprehension about the power and damage words can do. Especially to children who haven't yet fully formed their identity and self view. Parenting is a God given responsibility and not to be abused:

Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so they won't become discouraged. Colossians 2:21

From my own childhood I know the power of negative words spoken to me. It is only through my relationship with my Heavenly Father that I have understood who I am, what my real identity is and the lies that I had taken into my heart and soul. Of course I am still on the path towards being made whole by God. No one in this life ever reaches perfection. It is a journey that we must all take, many don't start and few get a long way. But the road must be trodden and battles must take place along it. I thank God so much for bringing me to Him and enabling me to 'get up and walk' as 'my sins are forgiven' (Matthew 9:2-8)

I just pray that boy and so many like him find the same. A God and Father who is perfect, Loving and who's words bring life not bondage and death of the soul.