My Men‑U presentation has come and gone, and overall, I’m pleased with how it went. There were about 15 guys in attendance, I spoke for about 15 minutes, and we spent the rest of the time listening to some songs and discussing a slew of good questions and topics, including:
- Is there any value in the critiques of modern society, religion, etc. offered by bands such as Arcade Fire and Radiohead?
- Do those aforementioned bands offer anything beyond said critique, or are they “stuck” there?
- What would it look like if Christians put aside the typical party line in their lyrics and instead, sought to have a more authentic artistic expression?
- Are there certain music styles that are more pleasing than others to God?
Of course, we couldn’t fully address everything that came up in the hour, but even a little amount of discussion of such ideas is valuable.
If I could’ve changed one thing about the morning, though, I wish my opening speech had been a little more practiced and polished. I spent most of my time reading my presentation rather actually presenting it, which felt rather wooden to me — but I guess that’s what happens when you decide to rewrite a third of your presentation the night before you present it.
And FWIW, here’s the list of songs that I played:
- Arcade Fire — “Neon Bible”
- Radiohead — “Fake Plastic Trees”
- Sufjan Stevens — “Casimir Pulaski Day”
- Woven Hand — “To Make A Ring”
I was really hoping I’d get to play “God Is In The House” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, but the discussion just didn’t move in that direction, so I’ll play it here.