Archive for August, 2012

Dirty Mitsu Diaries, Episode Thursday: Turntablism and Temptation

Microphone check, one-two, one-two…

Hello kids; I know, I know…it has been almost forever again since I last posted. Life has been extraordinarily full these last months. You may be wondering why I named this post as I have. It came to me as I was driving into the office this morning and yes, the Mitsubishi is dirty. So what about the turntablism and temptation part, you ask? Let me explain.

First let me say that I am unashamedly Christian. That means that I believe in the sovereignty of God, the purity of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit. We could get into a discussion of my beliefs, but this is neither the time or place. Suffice it to say that I try to live a life that exemplifies the teachings of God. That said, I do spend time reading the Bible and Bible-related texts (commentaries, books not included in the non-Catholic canon such as the Apochrypha and the Book of Enoch to name a few) as well as various faith-inspired devotionals. I read one yesterday about temptation and have been thinking about it ever since.

The point of the particular devotional was that we should avoid those things which cause us temptation. Now, I happen to agree with  the Apostle Paul who suggests that we should not fault another for being tempted by certain things that do not tempt us. He tells us in Romans 14 that there are things that face all of us  1) so we are in no position to judge and 2) we all have answer individually for the things we have done.

So I was drawn back to remembering a conversation I had with a sister in Christ some many months ago. She mentioned something about gaining comfort from driving and listening to spirituals and hymns, and that I should do that whenever I get stressed out or whatever. Now I have absolutely nothing against driving and listening to “Christian music” and have myself done so on occasion. However, I explained to my friend that I find my comfort through listening to House music and various DJ mixes in my car. She was shocked, as if this was one of the most ‘un-Christian’ things I could be doing with my time.

All this brings me back to my morning drive today. I was listening to two of my favorite mix masters–or to use more current vernacular, turntablists–DJ Krush and DJ Shadow. I drive with my windows open, which necessitates a certain decibel level for effectiveness. As someone who spent an enormous amount of her free time during her undergraduate years on-air at the campus radio station, I am passionate about the beat, the mix, the drop. I rock my neck to the rhythm while I drive. Such an exercise in the morning prepares me for the day ahead, while it relaxes me on the drive home in the evening.

But there is more to it than the beat, the mix, the drop; in the cut you might find lyrics or samples, some of which contain words that one would not say in church.

Does being unashamedly Christian as well as a closet turntablist equal oil and water? I hope so, particularly if it’s blessed oil and the Water of life to someone.

I am not tempted to start shouting four-letter words because of something that shows up in a mix. Watch television sometime and you will probably hear worse than what is thumping through my speakers. Am I justifying such language? Absolutely not. Everyone who knows me also knows that I am no fan of cursing. However, what I am a fan of is the brilliance and technical skill of folks like Krush and Shadow. I hope to one day find time to create my own mixes that do not include some of those “forbidden” words, just to show that you can be down, hip, on, right, and righteous all at the same time.

Do I judge them for their choice of samples? Nope. Do I smile when a sample is particularly fierce, even if it contains some language I could do without? Yup. So to sum it up, let me sample Brother Paul right quick:

If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord…  You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat… So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God… Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

Ya dig?

Thursday, August 9th, 2012 Confessions of a Cave Dweller No Comments