Thursday, November 22, 2007

Zerox Machine

I know something about you! I may not even know you personally but I know that I know at least one thing about you.

You are unique.

Nobody else is you and you are nobody else. And that's good.

What I have to say really isn't all that deep or complex. It's just something that I know I need a reminder of now and then, and I would think most of us do too.

I am who I am. I don't need to try to be anybody else. I can sure glean a lot from others, and I can learn a lot from others, but my personality, my character, my talents and abilities, my gifts, my looks, my thoughts, my learning curve, my experiences, my ways, my tastes, my likes and dislikes, my prayer life, my Bible reading, my way of assembling with other saints, my... whatever... is uniquely mine and I don't have to be like anyone else! Sure, I want to get along with as many people as I can and I want to work well with others, and I can most certainly be flexible. But my uniqueness doesn't have to be breakable.


The following video may or may not be your taste of music, and the lyrics may not strike you in the way they have struck me, but it's really the main reason I started this blog entry. There's so much I could say about my thoughts of Adam Ant being a musical and lyrical genius. And while I'll use the same disclaimer as I used for the Extreme video I posted the other day (that is, I definitely wouldn't look to Adam and the Ants as a source of great spiritual enlightenment!), I can truly say that once in a while I find a "message" that I can relate to in the lyrics.

There's so much I draw out of this one song. I'll just say that there have always been "copycats" in the music industry. Artists copying other styles, etc. Just think, when you turn on your radio you instantly know the "era" of the very song you are listening to, whether or not you know that particular song. Some examples, of countless many: You know if it's a song from the 50's. You have your 80's pop music and "hair metal." You have the "boy band" era. You get the point. Each song from each era is different, but yet has many of the same elements. Adam Ant didn't seem to want to ever conform to the styles of his day and he was very vocal about all of this through the use of clever sarcasm and brilliant imagery in his art

Well, the song "Zerox" (funny how it's spelled "Xerox" in the video) is right to the point throughout the whole song. Executives in the music business - you might as well "lock up your brain" because we'll just get together and collect up the ideas and simply duplicate whatever else may be hot right now. Make sure you "keep your ears to the ground" to make sure you've got the next hit record. We'll steal the chords from another hit song and make sure this song is equally as successful.

You get the idea. And you perhaps know where I'm going with this. Many in the church today seem to be more focused on having the best programs and having the sermons and worship services that attract the most people. Let's see what's "working" in other churches and start applying it in our church. It's often about "church growth. Unfortunately, it's about how the people can make the church grow, rather than how the people can help the other people grow, if you know what I mean. It's about making sure the people's brains are locked into "our" vision. The pastor and other leaders sure do have huge smiles and they sure do give "inspiring" and "convicting" sermons. But are they being real, or are they simply putting on a show to try to attract people, or even to manipulate them into conforming to their program or into being just like them?

Which leads me to my favorite line from the song:

"I may look happy, healthy and clean
A dark brown voice and a suit pristine
But behind the smile there is a Zerox Machine..."

Can't anyone just be real anymore? Can't we just meet together with no false pretenses and with no hierarchies. Can't we just be who we are, and not try to be what that other church down the street is? Can't we simply base our identities upon who we are in Christ rather than being concerned about how we appear to each other and to the community? Can't we stop trying to reproduce people to be just like us, conforming into our image, and instead work to help them walk in their own uniqueness and for the purposes for which they were created?

adam and the ants :zerox machine

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A different version of the video with better audio quality is here. (It wouldn't allow embedding).

Lock up your brain
'Cause I'm here again
I'm never bored, I steal your chords
ooh-ooh Zerox Machine
ooh-ooh Zerox Machine

Give me a line
Or a middle eight
I've got the best so I want the rest
ooh-ooh Zerox Machine
ooh-ooh Zerox Machine

Let's get together before its too late
Collect up the ideas, and duplicate
Filling out the forms, send them off tonight
And you'll be the owner of the copyright
Of the copyright, of the copyright

Time's of the essence get your ears to the ground
However else can the hits be found?

I may look happy, healthy and clean
A dark brown voice and suit pristine
But behind the smile there is a Zerox Machine

I'm a Zerox Machine...

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