What is THAT? – Oddities from the MT mailbox

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Here’s the deal. Every day here at the Metro Times, our mail delivery includes CDs, books and all sorts of other promotional items. A lot of it we can use and review – local-interest music, DVDs, etc. But we also get a lot of weird and whacky items that just kinda build up. So that’s where this idea came from. Each week (or at least most weeks) I’ll gather up some of the more interesting, freaky and brow-furrowing promo pieces and offer them up here for you. I could be about to show you anything. On that note, feel free to send us anything to Brett Callwood, 733 St Antoine, Detroit MI 48226.

Does Jesus Really Love Me? (HarperCollins) by Jeff Chu has the subhead, “A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America,” which basically means that author Chu traveled the length and breadth of the country, visiting churches, church picnics and all manner of churchy people and goings-on, in an attempt to basically figure out if he’s going to Hell because he’s gay. Chu was being pulled in two directions; his Christian friends and family were calling him an abomination, while his gay and liberal friends were telling him to quit being part of an institution that called him an abomination. He came to the conclusion that America is a loving country, it is just conflicted in how to love. He seems to have arrived exactly where he wanted to, which is good. He’s happy that he can be both Christian and gay, and that’s important to many people. Hopefully the book will provide some comfort. However, from the outside it appears as if he didn’t really uncover anything jaw-dropping in the way of a revelation. Some liberal pastors say that, of course, God loves everyone, no matter what. The Westboro Baptist Church says that “God hates Fags,” because that’s a disgusting group. We all know that. Many other churches fall somewhere in-between. No surprises, no news. But Chu is happy at the end.

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On a similarly spiritual note, but on a different path, spiritual medium Rebecca Rosen ‘s book Awaken the Spirit Within (Harmony) seeks to do just what the title says. “Are you up for the ride?” Rosen says. “Then buckle up. Your life is about to take off and expand in ways you never thought possible.” Then she sets off on 286 pages of banal self-help gobbledygook. Remember when Wayne Gretsky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”? Rosen has stretched that into a whole book. How about this though, people? Quit looking for the answers within your own limited head and live a little.

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I’m Awesome (IT/HarperCollins) is a book by Jason Ellis, an X Games skateboarder, pro mixed martial arts fighter, punk rock singer and SiriusXM radio host. The book has the subhead, “One man’s triumphant quest to become the sweetest dude ever.” That’s “triumphant quest,” meaning that, presumably, he is now the sweetest dude ever. Except he isn’t, because on the back of the book, it says “Jason Ellis lives in Los Angeles, where he continues to kick ass on a daily basis.” The sweetest dude in the world wouldn’t set foot in LA, and he certainly wouldn’t kick ass on a daily basis. Rather, this is a guy reveling in the fact that he used to indulge in silly levels of debauchery, and now he likes to run on the beach and spend time with his kid. That doesn’t mean that you’re the sweetest guy in the world, dude! Welcome to humanity, though.

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Marques Houston is most famous for playing Roger Evans in the TV show Sister Sister. In other words, he’s barely famous, and that would be OK if he hadn’t named his new album Famous (Shanachie). God, it’s awful. Bedroom R&B devoid of emotion. Look at that cover pic. No shirt and huge gold chains. Fucking hell. “If I was going to make another album, I wanted it to be a classic timeless,” said Houston. You, sir, have failed.


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