Give a What???

I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night
-Tony Campolo

Derek Webb is at it again. Imagine that. Derek Webb is striking up controversy. I never would have guessed it. I never thought I’d live to see the day. Okay, so that was all sarcasm. I am a huge fan of Derek Webb. I think he’s a great musician and great lyricist and a great fly on the rear of the horse we call the church. So what is he up too now?

Derek Web has written an album called “Stockholm Syndrome.” Take into consideration Derek’s past and the title of the new album and you can only imagine what the problems are. There are apparently some problems that are brewing between the label and him. Derek sent out an e-mail warning people that the album may be delayed.

After this announcement rumors started flying around the blogosphere that all the controversy revolved around one word… “Shit.” See the quote above. The rumor was that the entire controversy was that Derek had this word in a song and refused to take it out because he was using it in a similar way that Tony did in the previously mentioned quote. If that’s the case then you can see how it would change the entire meaning of the song.

That’s not all. After that surfaced a lot of people were upset. Many individuals claimed that he should just change the word and get over it. Alas, he sends out a second e-mail. In this e-mail he did a few different things. First of all, he affirmed that this was not a hoax. This is real. Secondly, he assured his readers that the controversy was over more than just one word. Again rumors began to fly around. The current theory is that there is also a song that condemns the way the church has treated homosexuals. Wow, can we get anymore controversial then gays and “shit.” He has also admitted that this album does deal somewhat with economics.

This is probably more than a rumor, at least on the issue of language. In the spirit of Toni Campolo’s quote Derek is planning on starting is new activist website at


So what? Well I’ll tell you what! We need to discuss these issues. I am a huge supporter of Derek Webb. I don’t always agree with him, but I’m pretty sure that’s not his goal. I know that his goal is to get people to do what I’m doing now. Discuss the issues and come to real conclusions not just the conclusions we’ve always been taught.

There’s actually more to the story. It is possible that some of this is a game to get people involved and thinking. Derek said that he was going to have to get creative to legally get around his label. This has gone as far as secret coded e-mails and tweets. Even going into coffee shops with secret code words. It’s become very elaborate and there is a huge following trying to get this album out there as it is leaked out in a very non traditional fashion. Even if this is a game, it’s a fun one and it’s working.

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One thought on “Give a What???

  1. What kind of assholes are we to be all that fucking concerned that someone used the word shit in a song?

    In all seriousness, though…seriously? This is controversial! Seriously?

    OK. I guess I have three points to make. The first is this, seriously! Does nobody get the irony here?

    Second, do people really get this bent out of shape about language! Do you really think that “Gosh, Golly, Gee-whiz” or any other expletives, even those that don’t sound like “God” or “Jesus” (I used to substitute the word “frackas” for ass), is any different than saying shit, damn, or fuck! Nevermind that there is pretty much only one passage in the New Testament that talks about language, and its part of a big long list of behavioral suggestions including course joking (i.e. giggling about sex), I might add. Seems kind of legalistic doesn’t it? Nevermind that John the Baptist called the Pharisees “sons of snakes” (basically sons of bitches) or Elijah taunted the prophets of Baal by saying, “Maybe your god is taking a shit!” (the NIV cleaned it up, but the Living Bible, in this case, is actually closer to the Hebrew). Or that Jesus called the Canaanite woman a bitch…

    Third, really?

    Fourth, never mind that language is entirely contextual anyways! Our words don’t have hard-and-fast definitions, but are part of a complex and evolving network of meanings. (The Hungarian word for basement is “Betch” and the German word for “therewith” is “Dammit”.) To wit, “fuck” used to be the linguistic equivalent of “screw.” Only recently did it develop “F-bomb” status. The fact that I can’t say “crap” in front of my mother-in-law attests to this phenomenon. For her, it is a curse word. That doesn’t mean that in other settings “crap” or “shit” or the dreaded “F-bomb” aren’t actually completely appropriate.

    I would say pointing out legalistic, Christ-despising hypocrisy is one of those settings.

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