Saturday, May 19, 2012

Self-portrait by Vicente Amigo

Vicente Amigo, Paseo de Gracia



Unce upon a time there was a lost paper boat
Unce upon a time there was a cardboard man hurt
Unce upon a time there was a beach without sea, without children
Unce upon a time
Look at me in the broken mirror

Bitter is the thorn nailed to my soul
Unforgettable memory that kills me

Downloading Youtube videos with subtitle

I wasn't able to download a video directly with Youtube's closed caption, but I could do something better. I downloaded the video and the SRT. And I can play the video with the subtitles offline.
Here are the steps:
1- Use DVDVideoSoft Studio Free to download the youtube video (careful with Ads & toolbars... ) . I downloaded as MP4.
2- Use google2srt to generated the SRT from the youtube video. (It may require the Java Runtime)
3- For Windows 7, download the K-Lite Codec Pack. I accepted some 'well known' codecs.
4- As the experts tell us, name the .srt file generated the same as the .mp4, and put them in the same directory.
5- Play the MP4 file with Windows Media Player.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

O cafajeste e a bobinha

O que encanta a bobinha é a lábia do cafajeste. Ele passa a conversa nela. Carregado de perfume barato, fala bobagens e safadezas ao pé do ouvido, causando frisson. Ela se abre rapidinho.
  O que a bobinha quer é uma tarde no xópin com seu chihuahua tomar banho de loja por conta do cafajeste. O que a bobinha quer ouvir são poemas com "amor" rimando com "flor". A bobinha sabe que ele está de olho é na butique dela. Os cafajestes e a bobinha são felizes.
   O Jesus que diz que quando deixamos de dar de comer a um destes mais pequeninos, deixamos de fazê-lo a ele próprio (Mateus 25.42) é muito chato. Dizer isso no Brasil é receita certa para olhares de horror seguidos de isolamento e estigma.
   A igreja bobinha prefere seguir sendo enganada e mantém um mínimo de 'alteridade' suficiente apenas para descargo de consciência. O cafajeste, por sua vez, com o seu templo grande ereto se orgulha da coleção de calcinhas em seu quarto.

Crítica dos jogos das instituições (igreja emergente)

"Parece-me que a tarefa política atual em uma sociedade como a nossa é criticar os jogos das instituições aparentemente neutras e independentes; de as criticar e atacar de tal forma que a  violência política que se exerce obscuramente nelas surja, para que possamos lutar contra elas." - Michel Foucault. No debate entre Foucault e Chomsky em 1971.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Widening the Circle - 3 - Mennonites and the Civil Rights Movement

The initial chapters of the book (Widening the Circle: Experiments in Christian Discipleship) are very encouraging and interesting. They tell stories of communities in the 50s and 60s involved with the Civil Rights movement in the US. 
  I personally think that the Mennonites had a very good discernment of time in History and took the action to be involved in the Civil Rights movement. We have to note how the Mennonite Central Committee commissioned Vincent Harding  and Rosemarie Freeney Harding  to begin communities directly involved with the Civil Rights movement (Reba Place Fellowship and Atlanta's Mennonite House). They were very much involved with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Rosemarie says: “We had such a strong commitment to the movement” (page 41)
  I also found it interesting and encouraging to read how Vincent Harding was exploring his own 'trip into blackness' bringing the questions of Christian identity to the forefront. 
  Rachel Elizabeth Harding, her daughter, is "a historian and writer [...] author of numerous published essays and a book on Afro-Brazilian religion, A Refuge in Thunder: Candomblé and Alternative Spaces of Blackness." Very interesting. 

(See here also part 2 of this series of posts)

Widening the Circle - 2

Here are some nice simple quotes from the beginning of the book:

Page 12: “Other Christian denominations have their own wisdom about the way of community, but it is the Anabaptists who link their practice of community to their political discernment
    - What is she speaking about? What is this link?

Page 12: “The stories in this book demonstrate that many believers seek something substantial, something more authentic and real than the Christian world they see all around.”
    - Do you agree or disagree? What is the problem with ‘the Christian world they see all around’?

Widening the Circle - 1

The Adult Education Committee at the Ottawa Mennonite Church is studying with the class the book "Widening the Circle: Experiments in Christian Discipleship", edited by Joanna Shenk.
  The book writes about a variety of stories of Anabaptist 'intentional communities' primarily in the United States from the 1950s until today.
  I decided to publish the notes that I brought to the group in the first class.
  I made an intro saying that the book has mainly stores of these 'intentional communities'. They are individual and collective stories.
  The circle to me speaks about borders of identities. Considering primarily the circle of 'institutional church', one could say that the book speaks of communities on the 'edge' of the circle. That is, these intentional communities at times have a continuos relationship with institutional churches, and at other times they have a break/disruption in the relationship.
  I would go one step further and say that to me the circle itself is problematic, in the sense that in the moment the circle  is defined it excludes. The circle defines who is in and who is out. The only way around it is to constantly question the circle, living 'inside' and 'outside' (that is, if the circle in fact exists).
  We can list a number of criteria for defining circles. Here is a list of characteristics to look at when reading the history of these communities:
 - The Circle: who's in and who's out? Who is in the communities and who's out of the communities?
 - Is the community aware of the circle? That is, are they aware of exclusions?
 - The historical context:
     - Relation of the community to 'social movements'
     - Bridges outside of the religious domain
     - How much is the community a cause and a consequence of the events in History?
  - Signs of dis/continuity
     - History of breaking / uniting. Breaking with idea, institution, traditions.
  - Denominational labels (specially Anabaptists)
  - Ecumenism
  - Relation to charismatics or 'spiritual practices'
  - Culture, race and ethnicity
    - How far do concerns go geographically? Are they concerned with the neighbourhood? Are they involved with issues in countries far away?
    - Ethnic Mennonites versus Mennonites ?
  - Raison d'être, Ethos
  - Size and variations of size through time (does it matter? )
  - Gender
  - Leadership | power distribution and relations
  - Politics
    - Identification of the political actors (visible and invisible) and their relations: institutions, parties, local neighbourhoods, 'movements', causes, macro politics
 - Economics and financials
    - Shared resources
    - Diversity of income and classes
    - 'Viability': can the community survive and maintain itself?
 - Overall diversity
 - Historical legacy