Tag Archive: Star Wars


Last week on @AFrikkinHashtag…

With Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens smashing all kinds of records across the world, we decided we needed to get in on the action and so along with good friend slash evil Twitterer nemesis @KeshaTedder and her tag-teag-tagger buddy Brandon aka @theclobra we decided to play a game of #YodaSpeakASaying: Continue reading

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i know what you’re thinking? What absolute clickbait, right? How could Brett “Fish” Anderson possibly have stumbled on to a real and practical way to achieve peace [of the worldly variety]? Well, what if i told you right off the bat that one of those ways involves flourless pancakes? Exactly. Your mocking is not needed here, chaps. [Nor yours, chapesses although i doubt you’d stoop to that level – you’re just naturally better at some things].

But back to the most serious matter at hand, which was, of course:

WORLD PEACE

Everyone wants it. Most of us fight daily to wrestle back the hopelessness that easily pervades and fills us with such underpowering phrases as “It is only going to get worse”, “There is no hope” or “I can’t believe Telkom still hasn’t sorted out our internet, maybe this week”.

But, as previously, clickbai..um mentioned, i have found two definitive ways of achieving said goal [i don’t want to come across as arrogant and pretend these are the only ways to achieve World Peace cos none of these contain any reference to melted Lindt balls, all night Settlers of Catan sessions or a movie starring Chris Pratt, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd AND Johnny Depp, so clearly there may be others…] and here they are:

FLOURLESS PANCAKES 

That is NOT a typo. Actual pancake type things with no flour in them. Not to be confused with the flourless brownies i made from Nicky Lloyd’s mouth-watering recipe that one time when i somehow accidentally managed to omit the entire bag of flour or whatever it was and somehow they still magically and mysteriously tasted flippin amazing [you can leave out the flour, Nicky!]. And what is more we are talking only two ingredients. Three if you count the second egg.

Two eggs and a banana

And look how happy it is…

So to test the power of the internet and whether everything on it can be believed or not, i ventured forth just half an hour ago to test run something i saw but could barely believe. Two eggs and a banana = pancakes. i couldn’t believe it a lot more once i’d chopped my banana into slices like in the picture and added the eggs and had it mixed into a chunky liquidy mess that looked nothing like their i’m-pretty-sure-they-substituted-a-picture-of-actual-flour-filled-pancake-batter pic. So i dived back onto the internet to read, “First mash up the banana completely and then add the eggs.” [They used a lying picture – thankx a lot flourless egg pancake consortium! You have betrayed my trust already, but fortunately i am too far in and so will have to continue].

Then i grabbed a hand whisk and tried my best to get it looking like the fake picture they had submitted which was suspiciously flour-coloured and didn’t look much like the bitty goop i was trying to tease into something more nourishing looking. When i stick my concoction in the frying pan it didn’t look much better and kinda resembled the mess that happens when you’ve finished making your french toast and throw the rest of the egg batter into the pan for a horrendous omelette type creation that NEVER tastes nice.

And then suddenly it happened…

A minute or so i looked back into the pan nervously and an amazing metamorphosis had taken place. Where my squiggly messy omelette flops had been floundering, were now some legitimate looking pancake types and i started to get really excited and hopeful. Like when there is news of a new Star Wars movie happening at the end of the year. But still quite nervousful. Like when there is news of a new Star Wars movie happening at the end of the year. Cos, you know, Jar Jar.

pancakes

But they worked and they were amazing and you should totally try them and if everyone in the world who was fighting or doing bad things to other people in the world just stopped for five minutes and made themselves a batch of two-eggs-and-a-banana flourless pancakes, then at least for those five minutes, the world would be a more peaceful place. Mission very much accomplished. [But seriously, try them and come back and report how amazing they taste!]

EXCHANGE BAGS OF MONEY

i see some of you are still a little skeptical about my Definitive and Practical Ways of achieving World Peace, and if that is you, then handing over bags of money is sure to win you over. Because money, right? Well, at the risk of losing the ‘But what about all the poor people with no bags of money?’ people, bear with me three more minutes [and by that i don’t mean have my children] and take a read of this.

I have been reading this book whose cover is below that i’m sure you can read the title of, and really finding it enlightening.

book

i am still very much quite new in the trying-to-understand-what-is-going-on-in-the-whole-Israel-vs-Palestine-conflict thing and have people [well, a person] telling me this book is more than likely evil [because the internet told him] but i have found it a really interesting read and have learnt a lot about life and nonviolence and perspective along the way. But this morning’s story felt like a must share and if we could harness the heart out of this one, then surely actual World Peace cannot be too much further away:

‘Four thousand years ago, two brothers lived near each other on a hill by Jerusalem. They each had their own farm, but they shared a threshing floor. Every year they would bring in the harvest and divide it equally between them. They they would take the grain to their farms and sell it in the market place.

One of the brothers was wealthy but had no family; the other had a family but was poor. One night after the harvest had been divided into equal measures and taken to each brother’s home, the wealthy brother lay awake in his bed, thinking, “I need just enough grain to pay for my food and servants. But my poor brother, he has so many mouths to feed. He needs the money more than I do.’ He rose up out of his bed and went down to his granary. He lifted up as many sacks as he could carry and started to walk toward his brother’s farm. Just around that time, the poor brother was lying in his bed, unable to sleep: “I have a wife and children who will take care of me and the farm if anything happens to me. But my poor brother – if something happens to him, he will have to pay to be cared for. He needs the money more than I do.” Quietly, so as not to disturb his wife and children, he rose up out of his bed and tiptoed down to his granary.

He lifted up as many sacks as he could carry and walked toward his brother’s farm. The two brothers met midway between their farms, their arms laden with the sacks of grain they were carrying to each other. The full moon shone down upon them as they dropped their bundles and ran to embrace each other. And God looked down and smiled.’

According to legend, on this site Jerusalem was built. With this kind of a spirit, Palestinians and Israelis can move together toward a just peace.

Yeah? World Peace anyone? Bags of grain, bags of money, a loaf of bread, an invitation to a meal round our table, learning the language of ‘the other’, hearing each others stories, giving to people rather than projects… so many streams leading downwards towards this river of World Peace.

Well, there you have it. i guess the irony of Flourless Pancakes followed by a story all about Grain which is used to make flour. i hear the strains of Bono in the distant background crooning out the words, “With or Without Flour…” and maybe something else about “And you give yourself away” or something…

[If you’re a parent, or know one, ‘How To Raise Your Children as World Changers’ might resonate]

i am a big fan of Weird Al Yankovic and if you don’t recognise that name then WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Move out from under that rock you’re under and hang out with Uncle Google and get educated…

From probably his best music video for ‘Fat’ [the parody of Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’] to classics such as Amish Paradise, Smells like Nirvana and The Star Wars take ‘The Saga Begins’

More recently there were two exceptional pieces which saw him take on “Ridin” by Chamillionaire and re-inventing it as the Geekfested ‘White and Nerdy’ and the little bit more quite appropriately  ‘out there’ version of Lady if-anyone-was-asking-to-be-parodied-by-Weird-Al-it-was-me Gaga transforming her weird ‘Born this way’ into the possibly weirder ‘Perform this Way’

All this to say, this week he came out with a new song turning the chart-topping uplifting clap-filled ‘Happy’ by Pharrell into ‘Tacky’ posing questions about “wearing stripes with plaid” and “instagramming every meal I ever had” which was good and fun and silly and contained traces of Jack Black, Eric Stonestreet [Modern Family] and the stalkery lady from ‘Flight of the Conchords’…

But then, THIS HAPPENED!

I stumbled upon a new song of this coming album which takes the below-the-belt-but-way-too-catchy Robin Thicke ‘Blurred Lines’ and weaves it into an acceptable and commendable and brilliant piece of insane wordplay and i seriously am thinking that Word Crimes might be my new favourite Weird Al – it is SO SO good…

Check it out and then forward this to all your teacher and grammar police friends…

i hope you enjoy this as much as i did – definitely deserves multiple viewings – it is fantastic, and no i was not being sarcastic…

this is something that my friend Deborah Dowlath reminded me in her simple blog post, A Drop in the Ocean which included this line:

I wish that followers of Christ would be as vocal about the injustices that occur on a daily basis as they are about the progress of their favourite team.

and this passage:

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

i think what strikes me the most is that i hadn’t thought of it this World Cup yet until i read her post.

it is something that has bothered me a lot.

and maybe, for a moment – which has passed, thankfully – i gave up on being bummed by it, because what is the point…

WHAT’S YOU DRUG OF CHOICE?

# when a new Star Wars movie comes out, people line the blocks for miles sleeping outside, sometimes for days, to get a ticket.

# when your favourite band is in town, you will pay an exhorbitant amount of money for a ticket to a live show.

# last night my mind wandered to the place of trying to imagine – i had no chance – just how much money was spent on fireworks in the Oakland area alone, let alone the United States of Americaland or the world… hm, let me see if Uncle Google has anything on that… [according to Eric Dye over here, it is over $600 million spent on one day’s entertainment although with the conscience-easing quote of ‘You wouldn’t ask Michelangelo how many buckets of paint he used to paint the Sistene Chapel, would you?’ but ending with the more provocative question:

With a nation in debt and a world full of needs, it makes you question the wisdom of burning-up $600 million in one day, doesn’t it?

# don’t get me started on how i get ‘attacked’ on social media [usually by christian friends] for daring to suggest how ridiculous it is to me that football/soccer players are paid millions of dollars in transfer fees [which you can translate to $20 million for an actor to star in a movie or whatever it is singers, politicians, business owners take home]

THE IMPORTANCE OF COUNTING BACKWARDS FROM TEN

i totally believe there is a moral question in here for everyone to be asking, and if we are looking at redressing the balance of the world where [small percentage] of the people own [ludicrous] percentage of the stuff, this would be a good place to start.

but specifically for people claiming to follow the ways of Jesus, this feels like an even deeper, more pertinent question not too many people seem to be asking, or answering.

i remember a few years ago when i helped organise a New Year’s Worship event at a megachurch building in Cape Town where we were hoping to have thousands of Christ followers from around the city coming together to worship God into the new year – and we did. i was purposeful about letting the countdown into the new year take back stage [or no stage at all if i’d had my way] so that we could focus on what really mattered. but somehow it still happened and i remember being broken by the fact that 2 to 3 thousand people seemed more excited about counting backwards from 10 than they were about worshiping the Creator of the Universe and Saviour of their lives.

one of the main reasons we were not allowed to use the same church the following year and the only complaint we received from the church leadership [most, if not all, who had not been at the event] was that we didn’t give the New Year’s countdown a big enough focus. It is clearly important that people are given the best opportunity available to count backwards from ten.

IF WE BELIEVED WHAT WE SAY WE BELIEVE…

then surely this picture would look different.

if we truly believed that there is a God, who created the Universe in a moment [or a million years of moments] who came down to earth and lived among us to save us from ourselves and that this God desired to have intimate and profound world-transoforming relationship with us and involve us in the redeeming of this planet and this people, then surely we would be inspired to do a little bit more than simply attend a meeting once a week and throw the excess money we have in our wallet into the bowl out of guilt as it passes us by.

if we love God more than the Football World Cup.

if we love God more than Star Wars.

if we love God more than U2 or Mumford or The Smashing Pumpkins or One Direction or Beyonce.

if we love God more than J.K.Rowling or Johnny Depp or Lionel Messi or Manchester United.

if we love God more than fireworks and Christmas presents and turkey and chocolate eggs and bunnies.

if we love God more than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube or Pinterest.

then surely, surely, SURELY, things would look different. things would be different.

because clearly we are so much more excited about SO MUCH OTHER STUFF.

does that mean we don’t really believe?

or that we simply see the God part of our lives as significantly less of a priority and focus than a bunch of other things?

“let the person who has no sin cast the first stone.”

i definitely am not without sin here. i HAVE to start this question by asking it to myself. and it is one i wrestle with.

having just returned from a week of speaking to young people about Jesus on houseboats on Lake Shasta, i can definitely say with no doubt that speaking to people about Jesus and writing about Him is one of the things that gives me the greatest joy and feeling of life in life. so passion for God and the things of God is definitely up there.

but there are definitely many areas where my excitement and passion for other things is out of sync and definitely a lot of time spent on things that could be spent on better things. definitely a lot in my life needing to be wrestled with and some changes to be made.

one question i am hoping to better figure out after our next transition [coming August 6th] when we move back to South Africa is which of the ‘least of these’ i should be engaging more with. that feels like a call that has been placed on all of us and something most of us could be more intentional about.

what about you? i would LOVE to hear some feedback on this one based on what you see when you look into the mirror. are you doing well? is this an area that needs some more attention from you? what is your response to the idea that we tend to give so many other things so much more focus, attention and out-of-control passionate support and celebration?

and what does this verse mean to you?

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Fireworks

Sometimes two sides of a vociferous argument can both be right.

A silly [but true] example could be someone from Americaland arguing that mayonnaise is horrible [i have lived here for three years and am still to find one i find overly edible]

Whereas, having tasted South African mayo, and especially the no name brand big jar version, i might argue that mayonnaise is incredible.

We would both be telling the truth in terms of our understanding of the word ‘mayonnaise’ simply because our practical and experiential understanding of the word is so completely different.

That is an inconsequential and silly example though as it is purely subjective on my part in terms of my feelings towards mayonnaise.

But hopefully it still conveys the message of the idea that two people might have a completely opposing and contradictory sounding argument that might still be completely true to each individual based on their understanding of the words being used to make the point

THE WORDS ARE IMPORTANT

I have had two very frustrating [multiple] conversations recently with people arguing so strongly against me on some issue, while clearly having a very different understanding of the meaning/concept we were arguing about.

[And by “Conversations” I, of course, mean Facebook comment stream back-and-forths. Eye-roll!]

At times it felt somewhat like me saying, “I am a huge fan of Star Wars” and the protagonist responding with, “No, Star Trek is useless!”

Your point MAY OR MAY NOT be completely valid, but your opinion is completely unhelpful in this conversation where we are talking about completely different things [oh and if a Trekkie hears you assuming it’s the same as Star Wars they will beat. your. ass. up.]

EXAMPLE ONE: GOD AND THE CHURCH

A fine example of this comes up again and again with christianity and God and church-related things which is why so many followers of Jesus continually look for new names for themselves [christian, no believer, no follower, no child of God… etc] because sometimes we don’t identify with the people using the same name.

I touched on that in this post which looked at the idea of ‘The God you don’t believe in is not the same God i believe in.’ 

The extreme, and easy, example to use as reference in this is the Westboro Baptist i hesitate to call them church, but you know the ones whose website is GodHatesFags.com and who celebrate when soldiers die and who picket, well just about everything it seems.

When i meet someone who says ‘I don’t believe in God’ and i ask why and she says, ‘Oh because look at Westboro Baptist church and all the stuff they do. If that is the God you believe in, I don’t want to have anything to do with that.’ Well my response to her is , ‘What a coincidence. Me neither. I don’t want to have anything to do with a God that is characterised by hate and celebration of people doomed to hell.’

And it happens with church as well – i do love the broader definition of church being the people of God doing the things of God and seeing in His Kingdom on earth. But there are many church congregations and leaders that do things that make me want to step away and distance myself and when people say they don’t believe in church, there are a lot of times when i hear them on that.

Which is why i always challenge people to study Jesus – if you go face to face with Jesus and walk away disappointed and uninterested then that is a totally different story from you walking away from someone else’s depiction of God or someone’s [or a group of someones] depiction of the church.

FURTHER EXAMPLES

RAPE CULTURE – i take a closer look at the idea and issue of ‘Rape Culture’ and what you can do to make a difference.

WHITE PRIVILEGEi take a closer look at the idea and issues related to ‘White Privilege’ and invite your engagement.

Women across the world and people affected by apartheid in South Africa [and other places of course] have been deeply affected and possibly the best thing we can do, or at least one of the first things, is to listen and try to understand so we can have any hope of moving forwards. But so many people seem to trip over the ideas that these terms can conjure up and so instead of sensitivity and listening and vulnerability and empathy, we are faced with defensiveness and reaction and blame and walls and a complete lack of listening.

Sometimes we really need to lace up another man’s boots and get the feel of them, before we can formulate any kind of helpful response at all.

Do you have the smallest bit of space in you to be able to listen to what is being said BEFORE you form your opinion and response?

Do you have the capacity to try and hear the entirety of an argument or story, even if it contains words or phrases that make you uncomfortable or want to react or lash out or defend?

As the person who is not the person who is/was marginalised, do you honestly believe that you can legitimately tell them how they feel or what they’ve been through? Or refuse any longer to give them a chance to do the speaking and telling us how it was/is and might be…

 

This is no doubt [in. my. mind.] the greatest ad of all time… especially for a random Olympic event…

Anything that references the black knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail… and connects it with legendary pirate Jack Sparrow [“There should be a captain in there somewhere.”]…

alongside Neo from the Matrix, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader from Star Wars and Inigo Montoya from “You kill my father… prepare to die” The Princess Bride fame…

while tossing in Puss in Boots, Arnie, the Highlander and more…

I’m not sure it gets any better than this – hope the entire team that came up with this got a raise.

And knighted. [but not by the Black Knight cos he will bite you to death… okay, he’ll call it a tie!]

…maybe the only thing missing is Bruce Willis, so he should probably make a sword movie soon…

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