Benefits Street programme sequel to be filmed in Southampton

Benefits_Street

Makers of the controversial Benefits Street documentary are planning a sequel in Southampton.  Love Productions has approached residents in Derby Road, St Mary’s, for the new show that will be called Immigration Street and will focus on the area’s diverse communities.

Harjap Singh, chairman of Sikh Council Hampshire and Southampton Gurdwara Council, said the organisations have raised concerns over the programme.  He said:

“We are against it because it would be pretty bad for community relations.  The Vaisakhi celebrations looks to bring communities together but it seems the programme makers could put certain sections of the community against each other.  A few people I have spoken to have raised concerns and have asked to make sure this doesn’t happen.”

David Bane, secretary of the Southampton Council of Faiths, said the organisation was “cautious”:

“The council of faiths had a meeting last Tuesday and there’s mixed feeling about it.  We don’t have control over what the programme comes out like.  The Southampton Council of Faiths is nearly 19 years old and we have worked very hard to link communities and keep the trust and peace.  Southampton has a history of immigration. We have had people come to this city for years and I think in a way majority of people see it as a real added value to the community – we have around 47 languages spoken here.  We need to be careful.”

However Khalid Farooq, of the Derby Road-based Pakistan Welfare Association said it was an opportunity to show how multi-cultural Derby Road is.  He said:

“I think it’s good. It shows the multi-cultural environment of people living in Derby Road.  They should show a positive aspect of the community.  I think there needs to be more support and show how hard working people are here.”

Cllr Stephen Barnes-Andrew, deputy leader of Southampton City Council and cabinet member for resources, represents the Bevois ward.  He said:

“It is difficult because your whole experience of the programme is sensationalised from James Turner Street in Birmingham and it turned out the whole programme was stage managed.  They have had meetings with council officers on one occasion and said they will try to do a balanced programme.  My view is that on balance looking at previous production it will not be in the interests of people in Southampton as I fear they will be turning to portray a certain angle on the downside of immigration.”

Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead, who represents the area, has spoken of his concern.  He said he was worried that the programme would follow a script rather than tell the truth and reflect the community accurately.  He said:

“Some programmes can be a tremendous fillip and bonus in getting across to the public what the real issues are. I don’t think the company in this instance has a track record to do that.”

Back to the Future Day!

Back to the Future

It’s here! We’ve finally reached the day that Marty McFly traveled forward in time to in the movie Back to the Future Part II. Now where’s my hoverboard?

Actually, every day is Back to the Future Day with this handy generator. You can save today’s date, or program any date from January 2012 to December 2015 into it and get a photo. That could be fun for, say, party invitations. And any time you go to the generator site, Back to the Future Day will always be today. Now you know how people confusing their friends about the date do it. The date in the movie is really October 21, 2015.

Jesus, Gandhi and Mother Teresa Star in UNICEF’s Ad Campaign

Three very familiar faces are featured in UNICEF Sweden’s new ad campaign that encourages viewers to purchase life-saving medical supplies for children in need this Christmas.

Obviously, “The Good Guys” campaign is a bit irreverent, but for advertisements that show three revered religious figures—including Jesus Christ — in a humorous light, the series is actually pretty good-natured.

World’s Classiest Christmas Flash Mob

End your weekend the right way, with this video of what’s possibly the world’s classiest flash mob.  Members of the United States Air Force Band wore disguises to the National Air and Space Museum, and then with no announcement, slowly began coming out of the crowd to perform a collection of Christmas classics, culminating with an epic rendition of “Joy to the World”:

 

A Real Flying TARDIS

It might not actually be able to travel through time and spave, but to have a TARDIS that can at least take off into the air on its own is still one step closer to having our favorite blue spaceship become a reality.

Of course, the next step is to develop one that’s not made from styrofoam and that can actually land without crashing so we can actually ride it in while it’s flying. While we’d all like to get to fly through new galaxies and forward and backwards into time, we have to go one step at a time and getting to fly across London in a TARDIS is certainly a step toward the future.

Via Geek Tyrant

Jon Foreman of Switchfoot Reflects on “Christian” Music

Switchfoot

Lead singer Jon Foreman was asked if Switchfoot is a “Christian” band.  His response is worth pondering.

“To be honest, this question grieves me because I feel that it represents a much bigger issue than simply a couple SF tunes. In true Socratic form, let me ask you a few questions: Does Lewis or Tolkien mention Christ in any of their fictional series? Are Bach’s sonata’s Christian? What is more Christ-like, feeding the poor, making furniture, cleaning bathrooms, or painting a sunset? There is a schism between the sacred and the secular in all of our modern minds.

The view that a pastor is more ‘Christian’ than a girls volleyball coach is flawed and heretical. The stance that a worship leader is more spiritual than a janitor is condescending and flawed. These different callings and purposes further demonstrate God’s sovereignty.

Many songs are worthy of being written. Switchfoot will write some, Keith Green, Bach, and perhaps yourself have written others. Some of these songs are about redemption, others about the sunrise, others about nothing in particular: written for the simple joy of music.

None of these songs has been born again, and to that end there is no such thing as Christian music. No. Christ didn’t come and die for my songs, he came for me. Yes. My songs are a part of my life. But judging from scripture I can only conclude that our God is much more interested in how I treat the poor and the broken and the hungry than the personal pronouns I use when I sing. I am a believer. Many of these songs talk about this belief. An obligation to say this or do that does not sound like the glorious freedom that Christ died to afford me.

I do have an obligation, however, a debt that cannot be settled by my lyrical decisions. My life will be judged by my obedience, not my ability to confine my lyrics to this box or that.

We all have a different calling; Switchfoot is trying to be obedient to who we are called to be. We’re not trying to be Audio A or U2 or POD or Bach: we’re trying to be Switchfoot. You see, a song that has the words: ‘Jesus Christ’ is no more or less ‘Christian’ than an instrumental piece. (I’ve heard lots of people say Jesus Christ and they weren’t talking about their redeemer.) You see, Jesus didn’t die for any of my tunes. So there is no hierarchy of life or songs or occupation only obedience. We have a call to take up our cross and follow. We can be sure that these roads will be different for all of us. Just as you have one body and every part has a different function, so in Christ we who are many form one body and each of us belongs to all the others. Please be slow to judge ‘brothers’ who have a different calling.”

Via the Christ the King Church blog

A Cappella Disney Medley

This medley will either take you back to your childhood, or else take you back to the time when you had young children at home.  Peter Hollens and Alex G perform a string of anthems from Disney movies in lovely settings with proper accompaniment.  The accompaniment is solely their own voices providing the orchestra, including percussion!  The medley begins and ends with The Lion King, with Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast in the middle.  The song is available at iTunes.