Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Footloose - Tuesday, September 14, 2004

What happened to the Footloose article??

This is it.

But I stopped by yesterday and all I saw was the title and a picture of the movie poster.That was a ‘flash preview’.

Flash preview?? What the hell does THAT mean??

It’s just like a trailer for a movie..’here it is’..’this is what’s coming next!’ ..’get ready!’..just trying to generate a lil hype.

Yeah..but you’re so crazy, that when I saw the poster and title I still had NO IDEA what it was going to be about.

That’s good…unpredictability can be an attracting trait for writers.

Whateva..I’m just ready to gone and get into it, and see what this ‘Footloose’ is all about.

Did you see the movie?

Uhh..yeah, I think I did, that movie came out awhile ago didn’t it?

20 years ago..it was released in 1984.

Wasn’t it about some crazy country white kids or something?

Kevin Bacon played a high school student from Chicago who had moved to a small country town in the Midwest. The movie was based around the kids desire to have a ’dance’ versus the strict religious school board/city council that disallowed such ’evil gatherings’.

Damn! Them folks were just tripping off of a DANCE???!! I think I remember something about the preachers daughter being a biggo freak or something.

Yeah..John Lithgow was the pastor of the church and his daughter Lori Singer was one of the most rebellious children in the town.

Heh-heh..you know what they say about them preacher’s kids! They’re the wildest ones!!

That’s usually because ‘PK’s’, as they’re commonly known, have the increased burden of visibility and expectation in the church as well as the community.

So why did you choose this movie?

I think it had some important themes which are just as prevalent in our homes and communities today..but now, 20 years later, I view that movie a lot differently than when I first saw it as an early teenager.

Wait..don’t tell me that you’re on the side of the ‘establishment’ now???

I didn’t say I was on their side..it’s just that now that I’m a parent, I can better understand the reason for their position.

You’re changing on me D..you used to be Mr. Fight the Power..now you’re acting like you’re on ‘their’ side.

Oh don’t get it twisted..I’m all the way down for God’s Will..that’s THE power that I’ve submitted myself to. The hard part is trying to figure out exactly how that transcribes to the real world..from what we wear to who we vote for, there is always a challenge to live within the covenant

So how do you do it?

Do what?

How do you decide what is God’s Will and what is something that YOU just want to happen??

I’m still working on that one..all I know for sure is that you have to read and study the Bible diligently and you have to pray fervently for direction. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Sometimes when I pray, I don’t know if I’m talking to God or just thinking to myself in my head.

I think we’ve all felt that way or some time or another..the key is to STAY prayerful no matter what....God can hear ya mane.

That’s real.



I guess it startled me a bit when I was doing a bit of research on the movie Footloose and I saw that this movie was released 20 years ago. When I first saw this movie, I was in middle school and I can distinctly remember becoming an instant Kevin Bacon fan. His character in this movie had a convicted individualist attitude that I just thought was the only way to be. But instead of the complete Rebel Without a Cause roguishness, this movie highlighted the voice of oppressed youth. Too often we have all dealt with what the ‘old-fashioned’ constraints imposed on us by our parents and elders, the immediate ‘powers that be’ for our childhood. I’ve often pondered the fact that every generation seems to look at it’s succeeding generation in amazement..

I don’t know about these young folks of today.

Our parents had to deal with it during their formative years from their parents, our grandparents had to deal with these same remarks of derision from their parents, and when I look at a lot of our kids today here on the Southside of Houston, I shake my head in amazement..we’re in trouble ya’ll.

Case in point: There are 2 girls who live in my neighborhood that often come over to our house to play with my daughter. These girls are sisters, ages 8 and 4. One day they were over to the house hanging out with my daughter. My wife was in the same room with them as they talked and listened to music, when my daughter stood up and did a lil bank head bounce shoulder move. Her 8 year old friend looked at her all frowned up and confused..

"What are you doing??", she asked.

"Dancing", my daughter replied.

"You call THAT dancing?? That ain’t how you dance..THIS is how you dance!!"

The girl proceeded to crouch down and put her hands on her knees as she did one of those Beyonce-booty-bouncing Uh-ohh dances, dropping it all the way down to the floor then gyrating back up.

"THAT’S how you dance!!" She exclaimed matter of factly and proudly.

My wife stared at her for a few minutes, then collected herself...

"Umm..now WHO taught you how to dance like that?", my wife asked the girl.

"My family!!"

The girl was looking at my wife’s face trying to figure out if my wife was pleased with the dance or not.

"Who in your family taught you how to dance like that??"

"Oh..well..uhh..we don’t be doin it around no preachers or nothing like that!!"

Now, I don’t know about ya’ll, but it’s kinda scary to me for an 8 year old girl to not only know how to dance in such a suggestive and mature manner, but to also have the awareness to know that she’s not supposed to be dancing like that around ‘preachers or nothing like that’. It seems in so many ways our children are becoming more and more ‘footloose’ while the traditional Southern standards of decorum like how a woman carries herself are sinking down towards the depths of uncut music videos. The Southside can feel me.

I was thinking about all of this as I read our Sunday School Lesson this week about Noah and the Great Flood. One of the key points our teachers made in the lesson is something our community needs to pay close attention to today. The world was full of evil people, who’s thoughts were on evil continuously, it was so throwed off that God was lamenting the fact that He had ever even MADE man. (Gen 6:5) But there was one man named Noah who found grace in the eyes of God. And God allowed Noah and his family to be spared from the great flood by building and ark and finding security in it. Some anti-Creationist scoff at the notion of some boat that was able to hold all those animals and people. When you read the Biblical dimensions of the story of Noah, the ark was (300 cubits x 50 cubits x 30 cubits) (Gen: 6:15). A cubit is about 18 inches, so if you do the math, this means the ark would have the equivalent volume capacity of over 520 standard railroad cars.

But instead of focusing on the dimensions, I think the closest inspection needs to be afforded to Noah’s sons and daughter-in-laws. They were allowed to be on the ark NOT because of how good Noah was..but for how good THEY were. If they had been out there living that evil lifestyle like all the rest of the folks, God wouldn’t have let them into the ark either. That’s a key point today, because some folks are under the illusion that they can enter the ark of God’s safety because of what their parents or grandparents did..and that’s not true. We all must be accountable for our own actions. As parents, our command is to train up our children in the way that they should go. Some people choose not to impose any religious structure of worship into their children’s lives. They don’t make them go to church, they don’t make them study the Bible stories and learn more about God’s essence, they just let them free to figure things out on their own. Of course we all have our real guidelines that we put down in our households, what our kids eat, watch and wear. But as my father always says, ‘There’s a very fine line between being too strict and too lenient on your children.’

Allowing children to run wild and unchecked is just as abusive as always riding them and berating them for even the smallest of their errors. I think it’s imperative for ALL parents to ‘check themselves’ from time to time, to evaluate their situations and make sure they’re not leanin’ too much to either extreme. When I look at my daughter and my nieces, cousins and all the young ladies who are growing up in this world, I pray that they will be able to recognize real and I do all I can to keep them up on the game. At the same time we often fall trap to the common Southern double standard treatment of the sexes. We want to lock lil red riding hood in the house, but we let the wolf out the front door to roam and devour. The same structure and value system that we teach our daughters are just as important for our young men. Because if we’re ever to progress and move on as a society, our father’s hearts will have to be turned back toward their children. Despite all the wild things I know my kids will see, I know that our ultimate task as parents is to teach them to discern right from wrong. Some folks try to ‘freestyle’ this structure and just go by what feels right. Some get all the way real and look to the Word of God for their direction and understanding, because if we don't, our kids will become a lot more than just 'foot' loose.

"Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6