Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Blasphemy Challenge

Never heard of Now I do. It was quite shocking to see a website devoted to calling youth to denounce Christianity and upload their videotaped message to YouTube. All they have to do is 'deny the Holy Spirit' in a misinterpreted but probably equally ill-fated attempt to commit the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It seems just one other but more openly evil plan to undermine anything Christian. To what goal? On the Fox Network the owner of the website wants to alleviate the psychological torture inflicted on millions of youth across the USA by the dangerous Christian idea of moral guilt before God.

A few quick arguments against it:

1. The reasoning is incoherent: Denying God, denies intrinsic (as opposed to situational) morality. If God does in fact not exist, there is no reason to alleviated people from any psychological torture as such a thing is justified in itself. It cannot be condemned on any moral basis whatsoever.

2. Religion is the result of a felt moral guilt not the originator of it.

3. Many Christians prove to be balanced people free of guilt or fear of punishment. In fact they do not concern themselves so much with their own inner well-being as they do with the well-being of others.


I hear the sky
It calls me

It beckons me to witness
the unfolding drama

of events far away
and hope at hand

I see the song
and live

Monday, January 29, 2007

Atheistic Metheny

While I applaud Methny's apparent interest in intellectual things I was a bit saddened today to find him recommending books like 'The God Delusion' by Dawkins and 'The End to Faith' by Sam Harris. Music that to me is almost divine in its beauty and longing for meaning and poetic expression is made by someone who holds a worldview that radically opposes mine.

I won't like Pat's music less for it. I deeply respect his talent and artistry and still find myself caught up in the other worldly imagery of his beautiful music. Yet I deeply believe it is this very materialistic worldview which opposes any notion of God that holds nothing absolutely nothing for us to hope and strive for. It is the elimination of meaning and beauty.

God have mercy!

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Okay, back to advertising. There's this company that was a group consisting of many incs doing different things. Now it's become one big inc doing the same things but now as one big company. It sure is a good reason for another concept. Here are three things I came up with, the best one being a swiss knife featuring the different subdivisions of the company. The four features prominently in the other two concepts as the name of the company is H4A. The '4' refers to the original 4 sectors the company had expertise in when it started.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Advertising, the justification of immorality

Advertising is anything but the self-justification of immorality in the name of economic principles. We have all been brought up with a sense of decency, a healthy dose of shyness, an innate morality. Not so advertising.

1. We have been told to be altruistic. Advertising is selfish. It's sole pupose of existence is to speak for itself. In doing so it appeals to man's selfishness and greed.

2. We have been told to tell the truth. Advertising has turned telling lies into a virtue. Lies are the only means to make the market believe the product is superior.

3. We have been told to be content with what we have. Advertising wants to generate more profit at the expense of other players on the market. It tells us we need to buy more of the same because we are worth it.

4. We have been told to help others. Advertising helps you to empty your wallet for your own greedy purposes. It makes you spend till you drop so that you have nothing left to give away or help others with. If advertising pushes others out of the market so that companies go broke and people loose their job, it can't help it, shrugs its shoulder and moves on.

5. We have been told: do unto others as you would have do them unto you. Advertising teaches us: do unto yourself what you could have done unto others and do nothing unto them.

6. We have been told: love your neighbour as yourself. Advertising teaches us to love ourselves only and excell in it.

7. We have been told to be modest. Advertising brags about itself and makes you brag about yourself.

8. We have been told that to remain silent is often better than to speak. Advertising vomits its message uncalled for at all times in every possible way in every imaginable place.

9. We have been told that greed is the root of evil. Advertising tells us that life starts to be fun only when we are greedy. In doing so advertising aims to fulfill its own greed.

10. We have been told to count our days and remember that they are numbered. Advertising envisions unending material fulfillment as we buy and spend.

11. We have been told that truth is virtous. Advertising tells us that money creates the power to persuade and influence. This persuasion is truth, power is truth, money is truth, what advertising makes you think is true is truth.

12. We have been told that it is moral to be moral. Advertising teaches us that the principle of seeking commercial profit at all cost is the golden rule of moral conduct. Even if it means the world will burn up like a candle.

Advertising is immoral, deceitful, seductive and untrue. It's a monster that devours. It's the whore that fornicates and gets drunk with the blood of the poor.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A new Metheny fan

This evening I drove home from my parents with my nearly 8 year old daughter beside me. During the 10 minute drive I turned on Metheny's 'The Gathering Sky'. As we arrived home I expected her to quickly jump out of the car as she normally does. This time she sat back with her eyes half open, mesmerized, listening to the hectic musical development that took place. When I turned the music off abruptly she suddenly woke up from her hypnosis. 'Do you like it?' I asked. She nodded. I said: 'Do you know who this is?' She was a bit shy and then mumbled: 'Metheny?' Another Metheny fan in the making.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Education is my foundation

We do a lot of work for educational institutions.. er... schools and colleges. Here are various concepts for a campaign aimed at emphasizing the importance of education in the region and hence the the relevance of the college behind the campaign. The first ad reads: 'Education is my foundation' and will feature well-known achievers who have become national icons. The second and third ad show professionals together with an object that is at the center of their profession or skill. The object is placed in such a way that it seems to be one with the head of the subject. The headline reads: What is not there cannot come out... that is why such-and-such's ambition started with education. Ambition starts with education.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's bynne reel

For Michael Brecker

It's been real
but what reality we've got?

Are notes just good vibrations
mechanical sensations?

At last you had to let it go
no more breath to let it flow

Tomorrow encroached relentlessly
upon the nearness of you

You went to sing a greater song

It's bynne reel



There is an organization of printers in Holland that still preserves the medieval guild practice of assigning an apprentice to the task of creating something that proves his or her skills. No apprentices anymore but the assignment is given to a different company each year. This year it was my company's turn and it turned out to be my job. Since the design was to be presented to the mayor of the town where the annual meeting was to be held, I created a design that showed the connectedness of this 'TwinTown' Etten-Leur: A picture is represented by letters of varying density thus creating a photographic effect. In the head on the left the name of the first town 'Etten' can be read and the second head features the other town 'Leur'. (Click on the image to see a larger view so as to see the letters.)


Designing with Photoshop

As an Art Director I usually design with Adobe Illustrator. Once in this mode it is kind of hard to change. Illustrator becomes an extension of my body a way of thinking. Yet, the new generation designs in Photoshop when they have to design for the web. So I've taken up the challenge and designed my first site in Photoshop. It's never too late to learn...


Monday, January 15, 2007

Michael Brecker dead

Yesterday I got the sad news that Michael Brecker has passed away. At the age of 57 due to leukemia. I had no clue that this great musician was ill. Just two and a half years ago he took centerstage at the North Sea Jazz Festival.

The North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague, Netherlands is where I got to know him during his famous collaboration with his brother in the early 90s. I loved the fusion work of the Brecker brothers and greatly appreciated Michael Brecker's solo work as well as his collaboration with others. I too was shocked yesterday to hear the news (it was big enough to reach the national prime time news broadcast in Holland and rightly so) and lament the loss of this intelligent and multi-talented musician.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Apologetics and reason

Some look at apologetics with mistrust as they are under the impression that depravity includes reason. I hold to the position that man's reason has remained intact after the fall, although its functioning has been hampered by the sinful nature of man. Here are a couple of reason why I believe reason still functions properly:

I do hold to the utter depravity of man. However to say that reason has become imperfect as a result of the fall is not the same as saying that reason is dominated by sinful nature. Reason functions well, but put in a corner the sinful nature will try to escape, mock, deny or do whatever in order to suppress what reason tells it. This is what I think Paul teaches in Romans 1. Fallen mankind has knowledge of the eternal God, but it is suppressed.

There is I think an interesting analogy with the will. What does the gospel message say? It says: repent and believe, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. Now, if the human will is so fallen that it doesn't function anymore, why preach and call to repentance? Yet, the call is there including the human responsibility to act upon that call. If the evangelist calls on the fallen human will cannot the apologist in the same way call on the mind? In fact the latter makes more sense as I believe that the will is the very center of man's rebellion toward God whereas the capacity to reason is merely a function of being human and thus subject to the sinful nature. The will is fallen, reason is merely subject to fallenness.

In addition there are a few biblical examples of reason being used in order to persuade men toward God. (A) In the OT God says to his people: Let us reason together. God does reason through the mouth of the prophet with propositions and showing the logical falacies of idolatry. (B) Jesus used logic on his adversaries (his argument on the Messiash being the son of David and named Lord by the same / his argument of paying taxes to Ceasar, etc.). (C) Look at Paul's use of logic, i.e. apologetics in the various settings where he confronted men with the gospel, esp. Mars Hill.

If you look at Eastern Orthodoxy you will find they have a interesting take on the creation of man. They hold that man made in the image of God is not the same as man made in God's likeness. One of my relatives wrote to me this on it: 'Orthodox affirm that Adam was perfect not so much in an actual but in a potential sense. Made in the image (icon) of God means that he possessed rationality, freedom, moral responsibility, etc: everything that marked him out as different from the animals, and he had these from the moment of his creation. Made according to the likeness of God, on the other hand, means that he had the potential to be assimilated to God through virtue, by which, if he had made proper use of this facility for communion with God, he could have become like God, deified.' When Adam sinned the likeness was affected not the image. If that is true it gives us yet another argument in favor of my position on reason.