Thursday, May 12, 2011

a theology for mad b*****ds

I went to see the Australian movie, Mad Bastards, over the weekend.

Set in the Kimberley, in Western Australia, it is a window into the life of indigenous people in Australia today. I went as a film reviewer, to write a 500 word film review for a Christian newspaper. That’s in process, but it sits alongside the ongoing work of the Spirit in my life. Ultimately, this is a personal blog, that marks my journey, so it’s important to note that I’m in a bit of hard patch, with too much work on my to do list, to really enjoy the month of May. Add in a sick child and ongoing homesickness (Yep, the fiddle is playing). And the recent article by Nicholas Rothwell in The Australian, which continues to grieve and astound me.

A crisis of grief is unfolding, a spiritual collapse so deep it cannot be held back. … Those watching struggle for words and fear they may be watching as an entire culture, acting collectively, destroys itself. (for more go here)

That quote just keeps on undoing me. It just goes against every thing I know and profess about God and life and resurrection. Can I call myself Christian in this Aussie land when this sort of thing is happening?

Anyhow, one of the best parts of the movie was the soundtrack – original – by Alex Lloyd and Pigram Brothers. Fabulous folk rock. And all through the week, I’ve been enjoying one song in particular, Hearts and minds.

From within, from without,
There is fear and there is doubt

Nothing’s simple, nothing’s clear
Whats (?) the words we need to hear

If we listen to the times
We can change your hearts and minds
We can change your hearts and minds
If we listen to the times

In your soul, the fire burns
round and round it spits and curls

In the flames, the truth may lie
Fumbling with the wrong and right

If we listen to the times
We can change your hearts and minds
We can change your hearts and minds
If we listen to the times

I was asked to lead a devotional today. The lectionary text for Sunday is John 10:1-10. I think there’s a link; between my sadness, the song, the movie and the Biblical text. For example shared themes of listening to and in change. A sense of the complexity of listening. That it takes time and requires discernment. A requirement of courage, for to listen is to lay aside what we’ve heard in the past, and to listen to today.

Posted by steve at 03:14 PM


  1. I hear much sadness for you Steve in this story, take time to take care of your self.
    I will be interested to read your review of Mad Bastards. I saw a review on the ABC movie show which had a scene of a bloke who had been bashed being washed in water by another. It struck us of an image of Jesus being baptised? healed perhaps.
    Haven’t had the chance to see the film yet but am curious about what it has to say.

    Comment by Geoff — May 12, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

  2. Yep lots of sadness Geoff. I know no other way to feel as I hear more and more of the indigenous story in this land,

    Yep baptism scene. (was keeping that secret for the film review :)).


    Comment by steve — May 13, 2011 @ 10:14 am

  3. Pieces of a poem for you and your homesickness and for our Aboriginal brothers and sisters

    This little now, this accidental present
    Is not all of me, whose long making
    Is so much of the past.

    …a thousand camp fires in the forest
    Are in my blood.
    Let none tell me the past is wholly gone.
    Now is so small a part of time, so small a part
    Of all the race years that have moulded me.

    From The Past, by Oodgeroo of the Tribe Noonuccal

    Comment by Margaret — May 14, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

  4. The Nicholas Rothwell article is harrowing. especuially the “collectively, destroys itself”
    I never knew things were that bad

    Comment by Tony — May 15, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

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