Well, I just recently finished watching all 13 episodes of the brand new Marvel project Daredevil, on Netflix, and in short, I loved the first season. There was so much that can be loved from this series and a great contrast to the rest of Marvel's properties. But I won't be giving a review in the strictest sense. Truthfully, there are plenty of voices in the blog world that have already done that (like my good friend who just wrote on it last night here). What struck me more about the show was some of the overarching themes that it chose to hit and the human story it chose to tell. Now, don't get me wrong, I found the show very entertaining and loved the ride, but what truly kept me going back for more and I am still thinking about, are the deeper things it chose to wrestle with.
Daredevil is definitely not your family friendly TV show and being on Netflix, it was able to take some greater risks in seeing the darker side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unlike the bright colours and big stage fight scenes of the Avenger movies, this movie is much darker and smaller in scale. Not only does it tell the story of the little guy and the struggle of the everyday person trying to get by, it does so by not trying to sugar-coat anything. All through the first season, you see the best and the worst in humanity, as people struggle through the trials of everyday life and the fear of the neighbourhood they live in (Hell's Kitchen). You could really relate to each character and could imagine yourself being right there, struggling beside them. As my friend put it so well: "The show did an amazing job of making you feel that everyone had something to lose".
Also, what this show did so well, was blur the line of who the real good guy was and who the real bad guy was. As a narrative, it is clear who we should be rooting for from the beginning: our hero Matt Murdock (Daredevil), and by the end of the season this is still firmly clear. But what is done so well, is when we are introduced to our main villain, the struggle for Hell's Kitchen and their individual visions for their city collide; the line of who we should cheer for and who is truly good and evil is somewhat blurred. Both our hero and our villain get such good story telling and character development that we get to see a depth of their humanity that we rarely get to see in television.
With our villain, we not only see him as the villain, but the victim as well. They bring his insecurities to the forefront and even highlight his good intentions and honest want to do good, even though the manner in which he does so and his moral compass are off. Through this, there are moments you actually feel sorry for him, relate to him, see his struggle and even sometimes feel that you want to root for him. The same is true for our hero. We see his imperfections and struggles, his drive to free his city, his valour and righteousness, but we are also pushed with him to the line of what he will do to stop this evil and free his city. The questions of morality in his life and decisions are brought into question and he is pushed so far to the edge that we wonder if he will cross a line that he will never be able to return from. In many ways, we get two characters who represent two sides of the same coin and the lines of where one begins and the other ends is sometimes unclear.
What we get, is not a sterile version of humanity, but a very real and messy one. The blurred lines of good and evil are not isolated to the Ying and Yang of our main villain and hero either, but spill over to almost every character presented. The human condition and all its complexities are explored in depth and the question of good and evil delved into in so many ways. There is even a great scene with the Catholic Minister when our hero asks him if he believes in the devil, and his answer is spectacular, both for the narrative and the human condition.
This show really shines a mirror onto the human race and the human condition. It shows that we all have a great capacity to do good and evil and explores how people will choose to act when pushed to our limits in a well scripted narrative form. Season One of Daredevil was a great origin story to a great complicated character and if you can handle a darker and more violent view of humanity, I would recommend this show for sure.
TO READ THE REVIEW OF SEASON 2: THE HERO IN US ALL -- CLICK HERE
Drake De Long-Farmer
Husband, Father, Pastor, Speaker
I am a passionate Frenchman who loves to see people thrive and come alive--to BELONG, wrestle with what they BELIEVEand BECOME the masterpiece God has destined them to be. I am a life learner and love being challenged to grow further. One of my favourite things to do is spend a good amount of time at a good café or coffee shop with a good book or challenging conversation. To be able to share in someone else's journey and experience the story that journey tells is always a pleasure and an honour. I currently serve as the Editor-In-Chief of boldcupofcoffee.com and as the Executive Pastor at Gateway Alliance Church, building & leading our various teams, speaking in various capacities.
I am a person that finds faces in things. I find faces in the clouds, car hoods and houses. I like when houses have symmetrical windows in the front and a door placed in the centre to look like a nose. When people around me are dreaming of growing up and buying houses and discussing square footages I have always dreamt of having a house with a bright solid colour front door. When I was younger my great grandfather passed away and I was the oldest Great Grandchild so I got a lot of books. That side of my family emigrated here from Ireland so I inherited books of ships and the Titanic and big, brown, hard cover book that had the most beautiful Irish country side and sunset pictures. I remember looking at pictures of castles wondering if he has been to any of those places or if he had really kissed the blarney stone. Near the back of this book was a page that had 12 pictures of front doors of houses. Every single house had a bright, solid colour front door. I think it is fair to say at the age of 10, that is where my obsession with doors came from.
In the midst of my love for doors I have come into contact with a phrase that bothers me. It hit me about a week ago and I have spent that much time running it through in my head. I think I am safe to say that if you are old enough to be reading this, you are old enough to have had a problem in life. Have you ever noticed some of the “helpful” things people say when you are having a problem? The grass is greener on the other side, the grass is greener where you water it, it wasn’t meant to be, you’ll get it next time. Be patient, it wasn’t your turn. And my personal biggest pet peeve…When God closes one door, he opens another. Worst thing to say of all time. I know God hasn’t given me a problem with the intention of shutting down my life over it. I would hope not. I know he’s closed a door because it wasn’t my turn and it wasn’t my time. And here I am being selfish and greedy and banging on the closed door. It took me a long time to trust God and his timing. How dare he not think I needed what I wanted? Turns out that things I thought I would die without getting, I didn’t need. Things I never would have thought about have become extremely important.
I AM PART OF THE 'INSTANT GENERATION'. IT HAS TAKEN ME TOO LONG TO REALIZE THE BEAUTY OF TAKING THINGS SLOW.
I have read articles that say things like, “children aren’t born racist, we make them that way”. Which I agree with, there are many things in life that are learned behaviours, and I feel like trust and patience are two of them. Either way, you learn to like them or hate them. Having the patience to trust in the timing of my God’s plans has been hard for me. Doors have swung shut that I thought could have been my fancy red front door and instead I have turned around to see a much less pretty, more basic, neutral coloured door. I have learned I have to earn my way to the dream door. I have to work for it.
One of my biggest personal flaws is that I make myself too busy and I am impatient. I buy things for the quickness of them. Minute rice, instant dry nail polish. I hate watching TV with commercials. I buy lotion that moisturizes for 24 hours and now I carry a battery charger station in my purse. I am part of the “instant generation”. It has taken me too long to realize the beauty of taking things slow. I am learning crafts with my hands now like painting and crocheting. I find myself looking up ways online to learn faster. It is a thought I have to have every day. Slowing myself down.
It makes my skin cringe, and I was trying to think so hard about opportunities and patience. And I can finally say that I have a rebuttal, or at the very least, how the end of the statement should be finished. It should say, when one door closes, another door opens…The doors however aren’t revolving doors, and sometimes it might even be an escape route out a window. You never know how much time there will be between the doors and windows that open and close for you, and sometimes you have to wait. It will be worse than watching paint dry, and people will offer you words of comfort and strength. You will be trying to open doors with lock pics and breaking windows with crow bars, and you still won’t make it through. You won’t make it through because it isn’t what god has planned for you, and you have absolutely nothing to do except but put your faith in him and trust his timing.
HE HAS THE BEST INTENTIONS FOR US AND SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO PUT SOME TIME INTO SOMETHING TO BE AWARDED THE KEY TO THE NEXT DOOR.
This window could be the days between and old job and a new job, the months between lovers or the years between moving houses or cities.
In this instant generation I am a part of I have had to learn to respect the art of prayer and learn that my God isn’t a magic 8 ball or a fortune cookie. He has the best intentions for us and sometimes you need to put some time into something to be awarded the key to the next door. You might feel like you have been walking past hallways of closed doors for a very long time. You are going to start to panic and try banging on the doors. Trust me when I tell you that if it isn’t a part of his plan for you it isn’t going to open. The best part about loving our God who loves us so much is that you are too important to him to have you be stuck in a revolving door. Even though those types of doors are in the entrances to fancy lobbies of possibilities, it isn’t a one size fits all solution.
Just know that when hard times happen and one big fancy door closes on what you thought could happen. There is a much more beautiful door of open opportunities just waiting for you. The trick is waiting gracefully for them to open.
by Charlotte O
In the build up to Easter, I was trying to build more awareness in myself of how I spent my time. So starting on Palm Sunday, I decided it would be a good idea to go off Facebook until Easter. I knew people who did it for the whole Lent period, so I thought a week shouldn’t be a big deal. I didn’t announce it or anything, just decided to stop checking my Facebook news feed.
People have a lot of different reasons for taking a break from Facebook. Maybe they find themselves in a negative pattern of comparison, or trying to make their lives appear better than they actually are. I was simply wanting to stop wasting so much time. I would always have it open in a browser on my laptop, and the app was the first think I checked in the morning on my phone. I found it easy to kill an hour on the bus using Facebook on my iPad, when I could have been reading or doing any manner of more productive things. So I decided it was time to cut the strings. But I didn’t know how hard it would be:
Sunday night, 10:00pm
I’m probably going to be in bed a whole hour earlier than usual thanks to not wasting time on Facebook. This is great! I’ll get up in the morning, read my Bible, exercise, take a shower before class it’ll be perfect.
Monday morning 6:30am
So tired. Don’t want to get up yet, but shouldn’t go back to sleep either. I’ll just check my newsfeed. Oh yeah. Never mind. Well, I guess I’ll get up then.
Hmm, I guess I’d normally be checking Facebook right now, but it’s ok. Let’s just get to work.
Clicked on a link that automatically opened Facebook in my browser. I closed it right away but not before seeing 16 notifications. It’s now driving me crazy.
Checked Facebook. What did I miss? Two comments and a funny YouTube video. Oh crap, I have to start all over again.
Well, maybe I should just check it once a day to make sure I don’t miss anything important…. (Oh the slippery slope)
Oops, I just spent the last 30 minutes on Buzzfeed. So much for not wasting time.
Conclusion: I have an addictive personality.
In light of these thoughts I allowed myself a quick scroll though Facebook, liking and commenting where appropriate. It wasn’t as satisfying as I’d expected.
The second day went much better until I came across something that I wanted to share with someone, and started thinking about why we would rather share or write something for all to see than send it in a private message.
By the third day, I even stopped trying to rationalize myself back into ‘cheating’ until I talked to a friend who mentioned news from mutual friends. I realized the only way I’d find out about a lot of things is through Facebook. It’s hard to get off because it’s become so ubiquitous. I’ve been getting my news, birth announcements, and travel updates on Facebook. So in that sense, I WAS missing out. I started to wonder if I would be a bad friend for not keeping in touch via Facebook.
At the same time, the urge to be on all the time began to subside. It really was helpful to not have immediate notifications always nagging me that something new is happening right now and I’d better respond, then second guessing myself because would it be weird if I’m the first one to like this post? Oh the tangled web we weave.
In light of these thoughts I allowed myself a quick scroll though Facebook, liking and commenting where appropriate. It wasn’t as satisfying as I’d expected. I realized that it doesn’t feel quite as exciting to see something that happened hours ago rather than the illusion that it’s happening right now. Maybe I’d allowed being connected all the time to be a substitute for really connecting. I don’t know why it was so hard for me to go the whole week, except that it’s really become a habitual part of my life, something I don’t even consciously do anymore.
A good friend who tried a similar (and probably more successful, but let’s not compare) experiment assured me that I wouldn’t even miss it after a while. I often hear people say, “I deleted my Facebook and I’ve never looked back.” But I think for me, for now, a break did suffice, and after evaluating my habits and motivations and I feel like I can adjust how I use it. In general, I think it’s a good practice to regularly give something up or take a break, especially if you feel like it has taken over your time, emotions, or focus. But at the same time, it should be a lesson in self-awareness rather than just vilifying the external, which tends to become a way to absolve yourself of responsibility at the other extreme.
Good thing the purpose of Lent isn’t to be perfect; it’s to shine a light on how little we can do on our own effort.
Social media gets a bad rap because of all the annoying game requests, political rants and useless ads. Most people would admit to spending more time on it than they should. But there are things of real value too. In some ways all the flak it gets for destroying our relationships is funny, because we're the users and it is the tool. We can be the annoying people or the ones that fall into certain categories. As a blogger, I've wondered whether I was/hoped that I won't be THAT person who posts too often/can't get off her soapbox/uses vacation photos to #humblebrag. But even before my Facebook break, I realized there were at least 5 types of Facebook friends I'm actually happy to have. This list is definitely affected by the fact that I don't get to see a lot of my favorite people on a regular basis—except on Facebook.
1. The friend who is hilarious and doesn't mind sharing her embarrassing moments for all to see
2. The discerning friend who actually posts relevant, interesting articles - you know if he posted it, it will be worth reading
3. The photographer friend you don't talk to often but keep stalking his photos because they're just SO good
4. The friend who is actually honest about her struggles and successes
5. Your best friend/sister-in-law/cousin who mostly posts baby photos but you don't care because you love them, and their kids
SO WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
I think the best way to start is by doing what I can to make sure this tool is used for connection and not disconnect, for transparency and not filters showing some perfect life, and make sure I do more than just 'like' someone's status if I want to show I care. If I look at the people I talk to most on Facebook, would I talk to them as much in real life?
I think I need to be more mindful both of how I use my time and how being on (or off) Facebook affects my life. Because I live overseas, I rely on Facebook for a lot of my keeping in touch, but am I actually cultivating real relationships? Am I showing off either in my friendships or my posts? Am I showing off right now in this post about post-Facebook enlightenment?
Good thing the purpose of Lent isn’t to be perfect; it’s to shine a light on how little we can do on our own effort. So whatever habit you may be trying to kick, a couple of good questions to ask are: What place does this fill in my life? and Will I be healthier or unhealthier if I stop doing/using this?
Well, those are all my thoughts for now. See you on Facebook. Or maybe not.
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