College Shopping

Posted on: 07/7/10 6:44 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I’m on vacation with my family this week in Southern California visiting colleges with my kids.

Some of you may remember when my son Alec and I did a little of this last fall. We’re doing it again, this time with the whole family.

We started in Santa Barbara at Westmont College, where I went. Westmont is a beautiful campus, and most of all, a great Christian environment that encourages kids in their faith. We had a counseling appt and a tour. My kids loved it.

I think Westmont and Biola are Alec’s top two choices. I’m excited for him.

A funny addition to this story is my 12-year-old Ashley. Ashley has always wanted to go to Westmont “like her dad.” She’s an amazing kid… soooooo driven! She runs track and plays soccer. So last week I shot an email out to the track coach and soccer coach, explaining that we’d be there and that a “12-year-old” would like to meet them. I thought, “Yeah, right.”

Both responded and welcomed the opportunity.

So yesterday, we sat in the office of the track coach, and he asked Ashley some incredible questions. “Tell me what made you start running.” “Tell me about your faith.”

You should have seen my little 12-year-old answering questions like a senior in high school. The coach was amazed. I was amazed. Such a proud moment for dad!!!!

Alec is still looking at schools. Ashley is determined to go to Westmont. 🙂

Today we’re off to Biola and Vanguard, then down to San Diego.

Peace out!

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The New Online Red-Light District

Posted on: 07/3/10 1:25 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Porn sites are about to be given their own domain.

It’s official. People can now by domains that end in .xxx   New York Times reported last week:

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers on Friday agreed to move forward on a long-standing proposal from a Florida company to create a specialized dot-xxx suffix for adult entertainment Web sites.

People don’t really know how to respond to this. It will be an entire domain devoted to porn.

On one hand, it’s really sad that our world is that obsessed with lust (although historically, this is nothing new… it’s amazing what was going on 2,000 years ago when the Bible was being penned). On the other hand, this could turn into a good thing if all porn was forced to move to that domain. But as the above NY Times article argues, “some of the biggest names in online pornography prefer not to be in that neighborhood.”

CNET News expands on this:

The problem, in other words, is that as soon as .xxx launches, conservatives in Congress will begin to clamor for laws to make the domain mandatory for sex-related Web sites. That may not be a big deal for hard-core pornmeisters who prefer that virtual street address, but what about sex education sites that include explicit graphics and don’t wish to be blocked by filtering software? And where should Salon.com–which features images of topless women–or Playboy.com–which publishes important interviews with U.S. presidents–end up?

Ha, yeah… that’s why people read Playboy. Those really good interviews!!  🙂

I haven’t had time to think about the ramifications yet, but all porn on one domain doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me. It would sure be easy to block!!!

Reviewing the New Twilight Film

Posted on: 07/1/10 2:46 PM | by Jonathan McKee

I went to a movie with my wife on Tuesday night– date night. As we arrived to the movie theatre just before 8PM, we saw a long stream of females lined up along the walls of the theatres… Twilight fans, all waiting for the midnight showing of Twilight’s newest film, Eclipse.

On the way to our theatre (we were going to see The A-Team), we walked passed literally hundreds of these fans sitting in roped off areas, in eager anticipation of the film over four hours away. Not a male in sight! Mostly teenagers, some tweens, and about one in 5 seemed to be moms. Interesting group. I’ve never seen more Twilight t-shirts, tattoos, posters, and yes, even shrines! (Several groups had commandeered a bench and set up a shrine-of-sorts to Patrick and Taylor. Wow. Even Star Wars fans were saying, “These people are freaking weird!”)

A few days ago in my blog discussing the content we can expect in the next few Twilight films, I promised you a review of this new film from our movie reviewer Todd Pearage. Todd (my hero) braved the crowds of Twilight women on opening day to bring you our official review of the film.

Here’s just a snippet of that review:

The biggest problem I have with the movie continues to be the characters and the choices they make. Edward is so “in love” (aka obsessed) with Bella that he seems unable to make any rational decision outside of their relationship. Likewise, Jacob, who is still in love with Bella, refuses to accept the reality that she will never feel that same way towards him even though she has told him many times.  Then there is Bella.  She is willing to sacrifice everything, including her family, her dreams and even her soul, to be with Edward (i.e. become a vampire). It’s the same old thing that we saw in the second film, New Moon (Jonathan and I talked in great detail about these elements in our 2009 annual movie review podcast).

He goes on to say:

Jonathan and I have been discussing this since the first Twilight film. Realistically nothing has changed. I think Jonathan and David’s Youth Culture Window article, “I’m in Love with a Vampire summed up our feelings about the movie then, and ring true for the entire series still. The characters are far from role models. As parents and youth leaders we need to be equipped and ready to discuss these issues with our students.

Todd said it well. Let’s keep dialoguing with our kids about these issues we see popping up in youth culture.

In addition, here’s a great free resource that one of my blog readers Amy linked a few days ago– a great discussion guide you can use with the film.