Sunday, August 29, 2004

When Right Is Wrong

With the presidential election barely two months away, the boone box is more dedicated than ever to providing you, Mr. I Have Nothing Better To Do Than To Look At Pictures Of People Buried Up To Their Heads In Sod, with the most comprehensive campaign coverage on the internet, so long as said coverage doesn't interfere with following the Texas Rangers' pennant chase, the beginning of the college and NFL seasons, or the prelims for next April's Westminster Dog Show.

Today for your edification, we present the following interview with evangelical author, minister, and overall troublemaker Tony Campolo, who's at it again with a new book entitled Speaking My Mind. (You can read an interview he gave to about his latest tome. WARNING: He looks a lot like Arnold T. Pants, Esquire, the attorney for Chevy Chase's ex-wife in Fletch, voted the funniest movie of all time by people with a really advanced sense of humor.)

Campolo is either: a) challenging the status quo and calling all believers to examine the issues that really matter to Christ or b) a Democrat who wants W to get an L in November. Or he could be both. I mean if I guy in a kilt can crash the Olympic marathon, I suppose anything's possible.

Does Tony Campolo Drive A Familiar Red OldsmoBuick?

Friday, August 27, 2004

You Tell Me

Whoever comes up with the best caption for this picture wins a year's supply of nothing.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Queried, I, From The Straits Guy

Some questions are so simple, they're hard. Like, "Honey, did you remember to pick the kids up at school?" Sounds easy enough. I mean, I should be able to look around and see if the kids are with me or not, right?

I got one of those questions the other night after our first day broadcasting the PGA Championship from the magnificent Whistling Straits Golf Club in Wisconsin. This was my first week working with the crew of, a talented group of super nice people. Getting to know each other over a thin-crust pizza and some of Milwaukee's finest, I mentioned I'd been doing some work for Continent of Great Cities, helping mission teams plant strong churches. As I told my new friends how I'd drunk the Kool-Aid when it came to Christ, that I'd fallen for Him hook, line, and Savior, one of them asked me:

"So how would someone begin a relationship with God?"

Yes! For someone sharing his faith, this was a tap-in, a batting practice fastball, a chip-shot field goal...

"I'm sorry, what was that again? Can you rephrase the question? Can I phone a friend? Wouldn't you rather discuss instrumental music or why Phoebe wasn't really a deacon?"

This most basic query put me in a momentary quandary. Someone really smart and famous - maybe G.K. Chesterton - once wrote that it's more difficult to defend that which you truly hold dear than something you don't really believe in. (Okay, it probably wasn't Chesterton; he wouldn't have ended a sentence with a preposition.) For example, I might make a more coherent case for a presidential candidate than I could explain how deeply I love my wife.

The first thing I told the guy was that it was a really good question. Then we talked about beginning with some very basic prayer, asking God who He is and if He's real and being completely honest. The real answer, of course, is that there is no formula. There never is in real relationships. Books on dating or parenting offer helpful hints on how to achieve success in those areas, at best, and, at worst, reduce those endeavors to simple algebra that never quite equates in real life.

"How would someone begin a relationship with God?"

Good question. Here's another, "Does the school cafeteria have a dinner menu?"

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Big But Not Easy

Ernie Els is the golfer with the syrupy swing and the Alfred E. Newman, "What, me worry?" facade. But there's a fire in the belly of the guy they call "The Big Easy" - and, no, I'm not talking about the kind of fire that goes away with a coupla Pepcid AC.

Saturday night, after the third round of the PGA Championship in Kohler, Wisconsin, I saw Els belch that fire on Alan Shipnuck, the former full-time golf writer for Sports Illustrated who is now "par" sona non grata with golfers and fellow media members alike because, in the estimation of everyone I know, he's an ambush journalist and a sniper, willing to take shots at anyone from any distance. One writer told me the reason SI took him off the golf beat is because none of the players would ever talk to him.

Well, Els was certainly talking to Shipnuck Saturday night, but there wasn't much I can repeat that would make it through my CyberSitter 2003 family-friendly internet filter. Suffice to say, Els is not a big fan of Shipnuck's work. Unless the index finger he was sticking in Shipnuck's face was to tell him, "You're the number one sportswriter in golf!" This particular dust-up is believed to have begun when Els learned Shipnuck had used one of his SI colleagues to get a quote from Ernie for a story Shipnuck was writing. Els wasn't happy. For ten minutes, he dropped f-bombs with abandon, an Enola Gay of expletives, to make sure Shipnuck knew he never wanted to talk to him again. Even Els' wife, Liezl, unleashed her own unique invective. I'd never seen a scribe proscribed quite like that. I was unable, however, to find anyone who felt sorry for Shipnuck.

Keep in mind, Ernie was already in a bad mood at the moment because of an 18th hole bogey that put him at 8 under par, 4 shots behind Vijay Singh with only one round to go. And for a minute there it looked like a stroke wouldn't be the only thing Els dropped. I thought the writer might go down, too, right there on the practice putting green as the sun set on Whistling Straits. Twenty-four hours later, Els would bogey the 18th again, this time costing him a spot in a PGA playoff. I hope for Shipnuck's sake he wasn't anywhere in sight when Els walked off the 18th green having notched yet another near-miss in a major championship.

Thursday, August 12, 2004


Some of you have been trying to find my broadcast of the PGA Championship on the web. You have to be an AOL member. Log in and you should find the link to the PGA Championship webcast.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Comic Relief

You've heard the old joke, right: "Old truckers never die, they just get a new..." (In a rare burst of civility, I'll withhold the punchline and let you fill in the blank.) Apparently, old comedians never die, they become political commentators. The list of comics-turned-pundits reads like a "Who's #*%*#%& Who?" of popular 1980s stand-up artists. Al Franken, Bill Maher, Whoopi Goldberg, and George Carlin are all more popular these days for telling people how to vote than for telling jokes (though the two can be confusing at times). Hey, whatever pays the bills.

And for that matter, not all of the aforementioned yucksters are complete idiots politically. The other night, for example, Bill Maher asked a conservative guest on his talk show for a good reason why gay marriage should be banned, something other than the apocalyptic cries of the radical right about how our civilization depends on who's allowed to stand at the altar.

It got me thinking about this issue in particular and how my faith should and does affect my politics. I can make what I believe to be a strong case for why God would be against gay marriage. But if America isn't a theocracy and we don't outlaw sins like adultery, what would be my next "line of defense."

People like Maher are asking real questions and fair ones, in my opinion; the kind Jesus was never afraid to answer. Of course, he had the slight advantage of being the Son of God and all. I, on the other hand, am left to wonder how my citizenship in God's kingdom could and should encroach on the world of American politics. And that's no joke.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Tee & AA

We here at the boone box are always on the lookout for ways you men can impress that special lady in your life. (Ladies, and by that I mean all non-men, a recent court order and my wedding vows preclude me from looking out for you.)

Guys, remember that a woman wants to know how much you care. And what better way to communicate your love than wearing a sexually-explicit t-shirt when you're out with her in public? It says, "I have only one thing on my mind." And, "I have only one thing on my mind."

In some cases, it might also say, "Whaddya mean I can't board the plane?" Last week, according to the Palm Beach Post, American Airlines kicked a couple off Flight 952 from Miami to New York because the man wouldn't change or turn inside out his shirt featuring a man and woman engaging in an act in which t-shirts are unnecessary, if not cumbersome.

The woman involved (in the incident, not on the shirt) didn't understand all the fuss. "It's a picture of a man and woman, and the woman's breast is showing. The flight attendant basically walked up to us and yelled, 'You have to take off that shirt right now.'"

(Apparently, the man would've been allowed to board the plane topless.)

Four Miami-Dade County lawmen and three federal security agents escorted the lusty lovebirds off the plane. While the couple was released without being charged, several of the officers offered to keep the tawdry tee in custody and under close surveillance.