John Cleese on Football vs. Soccer

Posted on: 06/30/10 2:04 PM | by Jonathan McKee

I love the World Cup because it’s a time where America finally starts paying attention to soccer. (Neilson just released a report that the World Cup has reached one-third of all U.S. TV viewers) (Also, the USA– Ghana match drew the highest U.S. Soccer Audience ever.)

Apparently John Cleese would agree. More on that in a second.

I was just in the backyard practicing soccer with my 12-year-old, Ashley. Tonight we go to soccer practice together. I love it. It’s a great sport that produces some amazing athletes. In one pro soccer game the average midfielder runs 5 to 7 miles. These guys are studs!

Then there’s football.

Rather than me sharing my two cents… I’ll just turn it over to John Cleese. He sums it up well.

Hilarious! (CLICK HERE if you don’t see the embedded video above)

ht to David R. Smith- football fan. Sigh!

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California Gurls Hottest Song in 17 Years

Posted on: 06/28/10 4:11 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Katy Perry’s #1 song California Gurls just broke a 17-year record for the most plays in one week.

So what is this song about and how do we talk to our kids about its message? Glad you asked.

If you haven’t heard Katy Perry’s song California Gurls featuring Snoop Dog, then maybe you haven’t been outside your house. 🙂 Because if you’ve walked into a Wal Mart, a Target, a Best Buy, or taken your kids to swim practice… anywhere where they’re playing secular music… then you’ve heard the song.

Billboard reports:

A week after reaching the chart’s summit, Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” featuring Snoop Dogg, rewrites the mark for most weekly plays in the 17-year history of Billboard’s Pop Songs radio airplay chart.

“California Gurls” logged 11,816 plays among the survey’s 132 panelists, an average of 90 plays per station, in the chart’s tracking week of June 21-27, according to Nielsen BDS. The song passes the 11,224 plays tallied by previous record-holder Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK” on the chart dated Feb. 6, 2010.

What is this song about? Watch the music video (with her lying naked face down in a cloud) and you’ll easily discover what Katy Perry’s intention is– I talked about that a little in this blog last week. But one of our ministry’s writers Dave Urbanski goes a little deeper with a brand new piece of curriculum he wrote using this catchy little song to jumpstart a discussion about where we get fulfillment. In this discussion piece, Dave provokes teenagers to ask the sincere question: To what extent have we considered the message this very, very catchy and supremely popular tune is communicating?

I encourage you to take a peek at that free resource for a great discussion, including scripture and discussion questions.

What Twilight Fans Can Expect

Posted on: 06/25/10 10:27 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The Twilight saga is such big news right now that we actually are hearing buzz about the next two films… and I think you’ll want to hear what they just announced about the sex in Breaking Dawn, the next film in the making. But first… the film that comes out Wednesday, June 30th: Eclipse.

Some fans got an early glimpse of the film last Thursday. The word “some” may be misleading, because when you’re talking about the Twilight Saga, “some” means thousands. I would have hated to have been around Nokia Plaza in downtown L.A. last Thursday where 9,000 wristbands were handed out to screaming Twilight fans gathering for the Eclipse premier. What a madhouse. This young generation just can’t get enough Twilight.

Personally, after New Moon, I can’t believe there are any Twilight fans left. But seeing the mindset of most Twilight fans… I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

On June 30th, Eclipse hits theatres around the nation. So what can we expect to see with this new film? That’s a good question. Forget speculation– our movie reviewer Todd Pearage will be watching the film and delivering his two cents on our MOVIE REVIEW PAGE opening day Wednesday (it’s now posted here) (you may remember when David, Todd and I saw New Moon on the opening weekend last year and reviewed the film for you).

But it’s not Eclipse, but the following film Breaking Dawn that the news is talking about right now. Because yesterday at the premier, Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg told People Magazine, “You will see sex- Yes!” She went on. “The relationship (between Edward and Bella) does go all the way in the book, so in the movie it will as well. You are going to see more skin in Breaking Dawn than you did in the other films.”

I guess the sensuality we saw in the first film is going to run its course.


Katy Perry Offended?

Posted on: 06/23/10 3:26 PM | by Jonathan McKee

This is a real treat… Katy Perry was offended by Lady Gaga’s “blasphemy” in Gaga’s new video for her hit song Alejandro.

This is funny on so many levels, I don’t know where to begin.

Hmmmmmm. So the question is, is it worse to be completely promiscuous, or to mock religion while being promiscuous? Because Katy Perry is having no problem tramping it up for audiences… because sex still sells. Katy’s new video for California Gurls is still riding number one on iTunes. In much of this video, Katy is lying naked, face down in a cloud, with only a few inches covered here and there. In the video Katy makes a crude gesture imitating oral sex when she says the line, “melt your popsicle” (just like she did in her live performance at the MTV Movie Awards a couple weekends ago). Katy finally ends the video with whipped cream cans on her breasts, squirting whipped cream.

Katy and her video are both so overtly sexual that iTunes even slapped the small “explicit content” label on the video.

Then we have Gaga’s video Alejandro, currently riding at #4 on iTunes, with over 26 million views on YouTube. Gaga’s video is so… well… it’s so Gaga. It has dancers truly simulating sex throughout the latter half of the video. Let me be clear. I’m not just talking about what Miley did with her Can’t be Tamed video, just “dancing seductively” and “intimately with male and female dancers,” as the news media put it. No, Gaga makes Miley’s video look like a Barney episode. Gaga and her dancers are acting like they’re having sex, every position in the book. But she intermixes these images with shots of herself in a nun costume, eating a rosary, then wearing an upside-down cross on her crotch. I understand why, yes, even Katy Perry was offended.

Unfortunately, Katy’s comments give light to what many of our kids probably believe today:

“Like, you know, when Madonna was on a cross? And sometimes my boyfriend will say things that are ‘eh…,’ she said, referring to fiance Russell Brand. “From where I come from,” (both her parents, who are both pastors) “It’s hard for me to say that, because sometimes I’m a very hypocritical person. Everybody’s like, ‘How do you say that and you kissed a girl?’ And I think sometimes, most of the time, you can disagree or agree, spirituality and sexuality are two separate things, and then when you decide to put them into the same subject, it gets interesting for some people.”

All that from the great theologian, Katy Perry.

I won’t even try to interpret her meaning from that pithy little discourse. But it sounds like for Katy, being overtly sexual is okay… but don’t connect that to your spirituality.

Perhaps she should open her Bible and read a little bit of Paul’s writings, because as much as we might like to separate or compartmentalize our own morality (it’s okay if I sin Saturday night, but it’s time to dress up and go to church on Sunday), when we commit sexual sin, we are joining Christ to a prostitute (I Cor 6:15). Like it or not… that’s joining spirituality and sexuality together.

Sorry Katy… it’s all sin. We can sit around and talk all day about who is on which rung of the ladder, whether Gaga is lower than Katy… but the fact is, no one on the ladder can make it to God without Christ. We all need him. I know I do.

What’s New for Teens on TV… Don’t Ask!

Posted on: 06/21/10 2:24 PM | by Jonathan McKee

School’s out, summer has officially arrived… and kids are officially bored. So what are many of them going to do?

As much as I would love to tell you that kid will be outside playing stickball in the street or riding their bikes to the lake to swim… the reality is, media is going to be a HUGE part of their summer. And research shows that the majority of that media will be TV.

So what’s on TV?

Most of the new shows aren’t out yet… except for two strategically timed brand new shows from MTV. And I’m actually afraid to even type what these two shows are about, because then many of your “content-blockers” might block this blog. So… hmmmm…. let me be scientific: the shows really focus on male genitalia. (how was that?)

This week our Youth Culture Window article goes into great detail about the shows. Here’s just a snippet. And please, pardon our candor:

A nerd with a big penis becomes the talk of the school. A stuffed bear with a big penis becomes the rival of a puppet ape.

Yep, these really are the plotlines for two of MTV’s new shows.

Introducing RJ Berger
The Hard Times of RJ Berger now airs on MTV on Monday nights at 10:00pm EST, following its pilot episode which debuted immediately after the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday, June 6, 2010. The title of the show is actually a play on words because of the lead character’s…ummm, how do I say this?…“anatomical gift.”


It was funny. When I sent this article to my secretary to proof, she sent it back to me with this note: “Too much ‘penis’ in this article.”

I’ve never been sent a note like that before. (What has our society come to that we have to be careful how to even disclose to you about this kind of content?!!)


TV isn’t Dead, but Growing

Posted on: 06/18/10 2:21 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes claims, “TV is not only not dead, but it’s one of the fastest growing businesses. Ratings, time spent and viewership are all up.”

Two weekends ago I taught my Connect Workshop to a group of youth leaders from West Virginia and Pennsylvania. In that workshop I started with a youth culture quiz. Two weeks prior I started my parent seminar with the same quiz. In both those groups… they almost all missed this question:

What activity is more popular with teenagers age 12-17?

A. Watching TV

B. Internet Use

Everyone always guesses B.

The answer is A… by a landslide.

The results are clear across the board- all agree that TV dominates the media time of young people (and adults too, actually). Kaiser reports that 8-18 year olds average 4 hours and 29 minutes of television programming each and every day (an increase of 40 minutes per day since the last report 5 years ago). And Nielson reports about 3 hours and 46 minutes daily on traditional TV alone (not internet TV, mobile TV, no DVRs, etc.). for 12-17-year-olds.

Time-Warner’s Jeff Bewkes says “Digital is good for TV,” in this report from Nielson this week, contrary to conjecture that internet or mobile devices are slowly replacing TV.

The sad fact is… TV content is just getting worse and worse. As I shared last week in my article about the sexually charged MTV Movie Awards, MTV has put themselves in a bind. Each year they try to trump the previous year, and the easiest way to do that is to push the limits even further. It’s difficult to even imagine the show 10 years from today.”

Dawn Treader Exclusive Trailer

Posted on: 06/16/10 1:49 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Okay… this is kind of cool.

I get to release to you an exclusive trailer for the new Narnia film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. This trailer is only being released to a few people in the Christian media world right now so we can show it to you guys first. Pretty cool!

Here it is:

The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader Official Teaser Trailer

(If you received this blog via email and can’t see the embedded trailer, click HERE to view it on my blog)

I’m pretty excited about this film. In my blog a few weeks ago, I not only showed you the cool new poster for the film, I mentioned that this film (coming December 10th) is going to be directed by Michael Apted… a really solid director.

I don’t know if it’s this preview or the fact that I grew up reading the book. Either way… I’m eager to see it!

Chime in and comment. Tell me what you think.

Katy Perry the Host

Posted on: 06/13/10 3:32 PM | by Jonathan McKee

You know Katy Perry as the girl who Kissed a Girl and Liked It, or most recently, the girl with the naughty hand gestures at the MTV Movie Awards when singing about how the California Girls are so hot that they “will melt your popsicle.” Who better to host the next Teen Choice Awards on August 9th.

The Teen Choice Awards is Fox’s chance to both reflect and currupt our culture annually. Last year the Awards was where Miley did her little pole dance.

This year, with Katy at the Helm, we can probably expect a lot more sexual humor. Her few minutes of screen time before and after the MTV Awards last weekend gave us just a glimpse of that.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Perry will “both host and perform at the show” this year.


This October

Posted on: 06/10/10 8:29 AM | by Jonathan McKee

For those of you in the youth ministry world (I realize that my blog goes out to both parents and youth workers), most of you are familiar with Youth Specialties’ National Youth Workers Convention… or as as lazy folks call it, the NYWC.

This year I’ll be teaching again at the NYWC in San Diego. They have a brand new promo video for it. Interesting approach. Check it out.

Here’s the link to the video.

I’ll be teaching two workshops at the NYWC this year:

– Seminar Series 4 – Sunday, Oct. 3 – 2:00pm-3:30pm– Using 10-Minute Talks: Speaking to Generations with Short Attention Spans
Wouldn’t it be nice if all of us could communicate the Scriptures like Francis Chan or speak with the clarity of Andy Stanley? Francis goes about 45 minutes… Andy averages about 40 minutes… I should do the same, right? Newsflash: We aren’t them! So stop trying to talk as long as them! That coupled with the fact that students’ attention spans are growing shorter brings up a critical question: How can we communicate truth in a way that teenagers will truly remember? In this seminar you’ll learn the power and effectiveness of the 10-Minute Talk, a method of storytelling that’s laser focused and impactful.
– Seminar Series 5 – Sunday, Oct. 3 – 4:00pm-5:30pm– Ministry by Teenagers: Developing Leaders from Within
You may be sitting on an untapped gold mine of leadership for your youth group—the teenagers! Millions of teenagers are apathetic about their faith, and their indifference greatly reveals itself each year when many teenagers graduate high school…and exit their faith altogether. It’s a problem that every youth worker in every denomination acknowledges. Could it be that today’s youth ministries are too focused on offering ministry TO teenagers instead of leading ministry BY teenagers? Teenagers must get opportunities to serve and use their gifts in ministry prior to high school graduation, taking full ownership of their faith development. This seminar will highlight key strategies for developing spiritual growth in students and giving them opportunities to serve in their ministries.

Here’s the link. Hope to see some of you there!

Christina’s Woohoo

Posted on: 06/8/10 12:49 PM | by Jonathan McKee

By now many of you have heard the buzz about Christina Aguilera’s performance at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday night where she debuted her brand new song Woohoo. It’s difficult to miss when an “artist” sings a song basically asking someone to lick her vagina. MTV not only allowed Christina to peform this song live Sunday night, but they also zoomed in for a close up of her crotch at the end of the performance with a lit up heart on her… should we call it her “woohoo?”

As a parent who researches youth culture for a living, it takes a lot to surprise me. But I confess, I was truly shocked with how far MTV was allowed to go on Sunday night. (You can catch my detailed synopsis of this popular event watched by literally millions of our teens and tweens in this week’s Youth Culture Window article.)

As for Christina’s new album Bionic, released today… I guess I’m not surprised at all by its racy content. Christina has always trumped Britney on the road to skankville. Bionic features the song, Not Myself Tonight, a song and video that I already blogged about a few weeks ago. That particular video was number one in iTunes for a few days– it’s the 5th most downloaded video today. If you’re a parent, you might want to take a peek at what your kids have access to only a click away.

As for the third song on the album, Woohoo… there’s not much to say. Here’s a glimpse at the lyrics:

You know you really wanna (hey)
Wanna taste my (woohoo)
You know you wanna get a peak
Wanna see my (woohoo)
You know you wanna put your lips
Where my hips are (woohoo)
Kiss all my (woohoo)
All over my (woohoo)

All the boys think it’s cake
When they taste my (woohoo)
You don’t even need a plate
Just your face, ha (woohoo)
Licky, licky, yum yum (woohoo)
What a great guy (woohoo)…

One of the sad elements of this song if you listen to the entire thing is that it is so casual about drinking and hooking up, with, of course, no mention of the numerous consequences to this physically, emotionally and spiritually. I’m not the only one upset by this kind of irresponsibility.

Another interesting thing about these lyrics– notice how Christina never uses any cuss words or says anything outright. (I mean… yes… HELLO! It’s as blatant as ever… but I can hear kids now, “What are you talking about mom! The song is clean!”) Interesting enough, iTunes still has labeled the song explicit. I say “interesting,” because they and many others didn’t label the “clean version” of Lil Wayne’s Lollipop (also about oral sex) explicit. They just edited out the cusswords, but left all references to licking the lollipop… and poof… it was “clean.”

Parents… listen up.

It’s a simple tool called Google. When your kids want to download a song, just pop on Google, type the artist, the song name, and then type the word “lyrics,” and hit search. In this case, you would type: Christina Aguilera Woohoo lyrics.

Read the lyrics and then have a conversation with your kids. Don’t tell them it’s wrong. Have them read the lyrics out loud to you. Then ask them. “What’s this song about?”

I’ve written an entire article about this process here: Dad, Can I Download this Song?

Keep having these conversations. Because as long as the Christinas, Britneys… and even Mileys of the world are out there, we need to teach our kids discernment with their media choices.