March 03, 2011
This blog is closed for business. I've moved over to my own site and a Wordpress blog. Please update your bookmarks to http://www.benweasel.com and while you're at it, check out the new Screeching Weasel site HERE
Thanks to mu.nu for hosting Weasel Manor for 6 years. See ya at the new site!
February 16, 2011
Unleashed In The East
Click HERE to read yours truly on Judas Priest's Unleashed In The East over at Late Night Wallflower.
February 10, 2011
I talk about Great Expectations over at the MTV Book Club.
Out March 15th on Fat!
January 21, 2011
Here We Go
Okay gang, first up, here's the cover for the new album along with the track listing:
1. Follow Your Leaders
3. Beginningless Vacation
4. Dry Is The Desert
5. Totem Pole
6. Creepy Crawl
7. Three Lonely Days
8. Friday Night Nation
9. All Over Town
10. Fortune Cookie
11. Baby Talk
12. Come And See The Violence Inherent In The System
13. Bite Marks
14. Little Big Man
The album is out March 15th on Fat, and we're hitting the road almost immediately after it's out to support it:
March 17 - Dallas @ Trees w/ Dead To Me, Banner Pilot & Flatliners - TICKETS
March 18 - Austin @ Scoot Inn (Fat Wreck Chords SXSW Showcase w/ Dead To Me, Flatliners, Banner Pilot)
March 19 - San Antonio @ White Rabbit w/ Dead To Me, Banner Pilot & Flatliners - TICKETS
And of course we're be at Reggie's all Memorial Day weekend but that's sold out!
Tickets on sale around noon tomorrow.
Summer and fall dates coming soon(ish)
January 01, 2011
Weasel Weekend - Single Day Tickets On Sale Now
Single-day tickets for Weasel Weekend are on sale now!
Friday May 27 SOLD OUT Saturday May 28 SOLD OUT Sunday May 29 SOLD OUT We still have weekend passes available at a discounted price HERE
Also, the Sugar Stems had to cancel their Saturday night appearance but we're working on a kick ass band to take their place.
UPDATE: 3 day passes are no longer available and Sunday is sold out. There are a handful of tickets left for Friday and Saturday.
UPDATE 2: Friday is sold out. There are a few tickets left for Saturday.
UPDATE 3: SOLD OUT!
December 19, 2010
Damnation And Worship
A couple of interesting questions from one of my Twitter followers:
@Ben Weasel - If the guy I just read doesn't understand Christianity based on his statement about damnation then please enlighten me. Because I truly want to expose my kids to some kind of faith because I believe it's healthy. But I find it difficult to take seriously because everyone seems to have some variation of the damnation threat. Maybe I'm misreading it, or maybe the bible thinkers trying to save me in the past have been misinformed themselves. I do most definitely believe in the concept of god as a higher power, but have never found anything from any organized religion I could accept as a whole package. How can a person that leads an otherwise good life be damned in the end for not getting on their knees and giving themselves to the prophet with the right name? How can anybody be vain enough to demand outright worship and really be "righteous".
Some Christians believe that God is a judge who will send us to heaven or damn us to hell based on our unwavering allegiance to Him. The problem with this view is that it reduces God to little more than a egomaniacal man, albeit an omnipotent one. A God vain enough to demand our worship and to doom us to a fiery hell for eternity if we don't please him wouldn't be worth worshipping: he'd be a petty tyrant.
Extended Entry »
The book of Genesis tells us that we're created in God's image, but that doesn't mean that God is a superhuman. He's not just one of us, only better. Rather, God is the literal embodiment of love; He is the source of everything that is good. Our entire basis for the concept of good comes from God. And we're created to be naturally inclined towards good.
The Fall of Man marked man's turning away from God. This is the original sin. Christians believe that the warping effect of the original sin has been passed down in our spiritual DNA, so to speak; we're all marked by it and have been ever since the Fall. Protestants believe that Jesus Christ was the sole exception to this. Catholics believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was also conceived without stain of original sin, in order that she might be a pure vessel for carrying Christ into the world; this is referred to as The Immaculate Conception.
Christians believe that because God is the embodiment of all good, and because we are made in His image, our happiness requires obedience to Him. Not because God's ego needs stroking, but because "God is love" is a spiritual fact, just as gravity is a scientific fact. Since God is the source of all good, when we turn away from Him, we refuse to be in union with "good." God doesn't need us to obey Him in order to feel better about Himself; he wants our obedience to Him in the sense that our eternal happiness is impossible without union with Him.
Some evangelicals like to say "Jesus died for your sins." That's true in the broadest sense but putting it that way can be misleading. It makes it sound as though Christ died because you told a lie, or, worse, that because Christ died for your sins, whether you sin or not doesn't really matter anymore. Neither of those things are true.
When we sin, we deliberately turn away from God, the source of all good. Original sin marks us and inclines us to this disobedience. But Christ's sacrifice on the cross removed the "damning" effects of original sin. It didn't remove the mutation to our true nature that was caused by the Fall, but it removed the previously immutable consequences of original sin: eternal death. For the first time since the Fall, we were given the ability to confess our sins, and to be forgiven by and reconciled to God. And although we're bound to keep sinning due to our inherited inclinations from the Fall, we can continue to confess and receive absolution when we sin. Catholics confess our sins to a priest, who, acting in persona Christi ("in the person of Christ") is authorized to absolve us. Protestants confess their sins to God privately in prayer.
The man who persists in sin isn't judged by an angry God and sentenced to eternity in hell upon his death. Rather, of his own free will, he rejects God and thus faces the inevitable consequences. Hell isn't a place where God puts "bad" people (in fact it isn't a place at all; it's a state of being). Hell is simply a possible consequence of free will. God is "judge" in the sense that He is the measure by which good is determined. Again, "good" is not an independent concept that God happens to excel at; he literally is what we know as "good." That doesn't, however, mean that God is impersonal. Very much the opposite, in fact; the Church notes that God the Father is, along with God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, three persons in one. He became the perfect man in Jesus Christ, both fully human and fully divine, thus enabling us to know Him on a human level. Of course, God is much more than a man, but by entering human history in the person of Jesus Christ, he assures us that he is not a distant, aloof ruler, but rather that he is interested in and involved in our salvation.
When we talk about worshipping God, some people get an idea that we're slavishly devoted to a despotic, maniacal ruler who demands our constant adoration. At best, an eternity of this would be excruciatingly boring; its own sort of hell. But that's not what worship means. Worship is first of all an acknowledgement of God's greatness in comparison to our weakness. It's an exercise in humility, not because humility is a virtue to be paraded around in order to make other people think highly of us, but because we've come to the understanding that God is greater than us and that we can't be complete without Him.
But most of all worship is our attempt to be in union with God. Most of the heavy lifting is done by God, not us. The most crucial element of our own contribution is our willingness to humble ourselves and recognize that our happiness is entirely dependent on that source of all good that we call God. When we speak of the eternal worship of God, it doesn't mean we spend eternity on our knees before Him. It means that we return to Paradise. Each action we undertake - our whole existence, in fact - naturally praises God because we're finally in union with Him. We're not automatons, mindlessly bowing and scraping; we're individuals who experience firsthand true peace and happiness. We don't become slaves - we experience the full consequences of using our free will to choose life over death. We are more alive than we ever were before, and we finally become our true selves; something we were never able to be while marked by the stain of original sin.
In Milton's Paradise Lost, Lucifer claims that's it's better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven. He believes that he can make of himself his own God. If we reject the notion that our happiness depends on union with God, the immediate question isn't whether such a view is moral or immoral, but whether it's true or false. We all have to wrestle with that question.
When we come to conclusion that God is the source of all good, we spontaneously wish to worship him, in prayer, sacrifice, song, thought, word and deed. God doesn't demand our worship in the sense of giving us an order; He demands it in the same sense that natural beauty demands a reaction of wonder and awe. And when we come to conclusion that we ourselves are the source of good and that we're entirely self-sufficient, God doesn't damn us to a horrifying eternity as punishment. On the contrary - we choose a lie, in spite of God's many efforts to help us turn back to Him.
« Close Extended Entry
December 14, 2010
Screeching Weasel's 25th Anniversary
We're still working on our 2011 show schedule, but I wanted to let you guys know about this one now because it's too good to wait.
2011 marks Screeching Weasel's 25th anniversary. To celebrate, we're playing Reggie's in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend, and we're pulling out all the stops on this one, my friends. Screeching Weasel will be playing Friday, May 27th and Sunday the 29th (a different set each night), with the Riverdales playing our only North American show of the year on Saturday the 28th. Tickets will be on sale this Saturday, Dec. 18th at noon CST HERE. Right now we're only selling tickets at the package price for the whole weekend - single day tickets will go on sale January 1st. In the meantime, check out the line-up!
FRIDAY MAY 27th
THE JETTY BOYS
SATURDAY MAY 28th
SUNDAY MAY 29th
TOYS THAT KILL
THE STEVE ADAMYK BAND
The shows are all 17+. I wish we didn't have to restrict them but with this many bands on the bill every night we're going to need to go later than the curfew would allow for an all ages show.
Vapid and I will be doing a DJ set one of the evenings in the lounge after the show, and people from some of the other bands will be doing them the other nights. See ya there!
December 13, 2010
Misconceptions About Religion
I owe one of my Twitter followers a response to a couple of excellent questions he asked about religion. I'm a bit swamped at the moment but I'll get to it ASAP. In the meantime, please read Heather King's excellent piece, What Belief Doesn't Do. I couldn't have said it better myself, so I won't try.
This sort of thing doesn't typically make the punk gossip sites, largely because most people wouldn't think to do it in the first place. We have a good relationship with Recess Records and I enjoyed working with Todd. As is obvious from the piece linked, he's a class act.