Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Face Rank

I commemorate today's release of THE SACREDNESS OF QUESTIONING EVERYTHING with the most compelling photograph of my own face I could find. I'm also including some especially good blurbs as I have yet to figure out (or find a friend to hire or help me to figure out) how to put them on an opening splash page. Here're a few:
"David Dark serves up a unique blend of pop culture and high culture, generously seasoned with religious texts. The result is an immensely readable, profoundly subversive, and deeply prophetic book." — Andrew Bacevich, Author, The Limits of Power
"David Dark is my favorite critic of the people’s culture of America and the Christian faith. He brings a deep sense of reverence to every book he reads, every song he hears, every movie he sees, but it is a discerning reverence—attentive to truth and Jesus wherever he comes on them. He is also a reliable lie detector. And not a dull sentence in the book." — Eugene Peterson, translator of The Message
"Brilliant and charming and insightful as always, Dark comforts both my soul and my mind with this synthesis, part memoir and part essay, of the culture around us and the culture within us." — Phyllis Tickle, Author, The Great Emergence
"David Dark is one of our wisest authors, and I plan to read everything he writes. The Sacredness of Questioning Everything will comfort questioners, doubters, and skeptics with assurance that their questions can be faithful, and it will challenge the complacent with an ethical summons to wonder. It invites everything to give life—and faith—a second thought, and did I mention that it’s beautifully written?" — Brian McLaren, Author, Everything Must Change
On the prospect of helping the thing go gangbusters...
Be seen in public reading it as often as possible.
Spread word.
Place it on the top of whatever stack of books you have in whatever place your sitting.
Review it for Amazon.
Ask your library to order a copy.
Tell people who bring in people to talk to other people that I'm bullet or something.
Start a discussion group.
Figure out how to create/facilitate the circumstances that lead to me sitting at a table in front of a camera talking to Stephen Colbert.
We're having a thing tonight at the Portland Brew at Twelve South (7:00). I'm hoping it'll be the beginning of a bunch of people I like coming to like other bunches of people I like...the beginning of a bunch of beautiful relationships...Maybe someone(s) will fall in love. We'll have more things like this in the weeks to come.
"Face Rank" is a reference to Scott Westerfeld's Orwellian, McLuhanesque mash-up of Sales Rank and Facebook in his tag on to the Uglies trilogy: Extras. It was a good, prophetic word delivered unto me today by one Sarah Masen.
I hope my book enriches lots of people. Lemme know what you make of it if you have the chance.


Joe Nolan said...


Love seeing these lovely words about your words.

Word up!

See you tonight!


LittleBird said...

wow. big day. congratulations. :)
i hope, or make that, i don't doubt at all, that it'll birth some enlightening and enlivening conversation that'll keep unfolding for a long time to come.
keep rockin'.

Derek said...

i just finished Gospel According to America and the conversation I would most like to have with you right now is how you arrive at these particular voices (O'Connor, Melville, Dylan et al.) as the ones engaging in prophetic gospel the book...this is a tangential thought...
Looking forward to Questioning Everything...
blessings as it is sent out into the world...

Megan Pacella said...

It was quite a success if I do say so myself. Look forward to reading. Congrats!

M. Lumpkin said...

I've had today on my calendar for few months now. Any chance you're swinging by LA, Pasadena or Fuller Seminary on this book tour? I'd love to say hi.

Nathanael Booth said...

I just finished reading the new book. As always, your words challenge me to adopt a generous openness that (God knows!) doesn't come naturally to me. Thank you.

Variations On A Theme said...

CONGRATULATIONS! It does look like a great book, but I don't think I could read it, because I still get pretty queasy with Christian stuff. I will pass it on to my pastor, though, who would probably love to do a Sunday school session on it. If so, would you be willing to come speak? Do writers charge for that type of thing? I wouldn't be there, but my lovely hubby would be in attendance.

Troy V... said...

Got the book the day it came out...unfortunately I didn't realize that I would be getting a free copy from Zondervan. I guess I could just share or give one of the copies back to you since I'm sure you payed for the free copy in some form or fashion. I think I'm on some type of "taste-maker" list or something...whatever that means. Congrats on another wonderful work...I'll let you know what I think when I'm done. Tell Sarah hello.... Troy V.

jdaviddark said...

Thanks to the people. Keep the positive reinforcement coming, if you please. A person was spotted in the lobby at the Symphony reading the thing yesterday, and I'd like to think directions were being followed. M. Lumpkin, talk to your people. I'd love to come out. VOAT, please believe enough of me that you won't imagine my written words to be another instance of "Christian stuff." I'll pray for the day when the words might stop referring to toxic marketing and become, as it once was and might yet be, a compliment. On the possibility of driving over to speak at the church building, I'd prefer to have a little something in the way of paper currency, but I might be persuaded to do a freebie. Troy V., you taste-maker you, I'll certainly tell Sarah hey. Lemme know what you think. And I'll thank you to not sell my book used on Amazon (as I suspect a taste-maker or seven or so have done).

Variations On A Theme said...

As a photographer who doesn't make much money, my personal opinion is that your creative work should be compensated. (I try to give that pep talk to myself all the time.

(I also love doing trades. Is that the best headshot you've got? :) Check out my updated website: My contact info. is there.)

aaron roche said...

congratulations dave, it seems two chapters in an important work for the church.i'll have it read by touchdown in nashville. let us discuss. i've been writing all over the pages. My plan is to pass it around and fill it full of thoughts then send it back to you.

Kate said...

FACE RANK!!! Now there's a literary reference I don't hear often outside my nerdy librarian circles. Charming to find it here.

Now, the related questions are as follows:

1) Have you read Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother"?
2) Have you read Suzanne Collins's "The Hunger Games"?
And finally,
3) When are you going to write your own young adult novel?

It was great to chat with you at the Heffner place on Saturday. Hope I'll run into you again sooner rather than later. Take care,

Kate BoJo

jdaviddark said...

i'll await the merry feedback, aaron.
kate, i have checked out (without yet reading) the c. doctorow. will investigate _the hunger games_.
dunno, though fiction's what i want--ultimately--to be all about. that and poetry. and teaching. and when are YOU going to collect all your librarian moments, switch the pronouns, and call it novel? do it. we need it. it'll make everything better.
y'all come to nashville some time.

Nate Baldwin said...

Hey Dave,
Not sure if my post from yesterday transmitted... if not:

Thanks for writing this book. I've only ready snippets so far, but the soul-provoking words are appreciated.

Are you and Sarah still planning to visit Kenyon College anytime soon?

Anonymous said...

David, I'm finishing up the last chapter or two this weekend. Thanks for this book; the writing is exceptional. There are many passages where you've put some things I've thought about for a while in a very succinct way, which is helpful because when I to try to explain these thoughts, they often come out as incoherent ramblings (maybe I read too much Dostoevsky).

With that said, I think there is a lot to unpack for more discussion, as I'm sure you would hope given the thrust of the book. I hope that this book will get the audience it deserves due to the "major Christian publishing house" of Zondervan. Perhaps it can have a delightfully subversive future!

It's hard to pin down a favorite moment, but something I keep ruminating over is the Martin Buber quote in the chapter on interpretations.


stephy said...

Hi! I'm listening to a podcast right now (your Survival of the Freshest workshop) and am really excited about what you're saying! So I googled you and found this, am going to check out your book soon. Thanks for what you do!

Anonymous said...

Just discovered this one & excited to read it. Really enjoy your writings. Oh, plus the fact you get a reference to The Clash in your profile has sealed the deal for me being impressed. Thanks again. "So go easy, step lightly, stay free." Cheers, Blake (a youth pastor with hope)

Kory said...

Love the book David! Keep up the good work! the message of redemptive living is SO important for this day and age. Really every day its important, because I believe its living how Christ calls us to live. Thanks for being honest and making things talkaboutable.


JD said...

I'm 38 pages in. It's much too quotable, too many passages I want to sit and soak in--do you realize how much time that's going to take me?, thanks a lot.

jdaviddark said...

Why Jason Dean, how cool of you to resist the alleged demise of blogs by commenting more than ONE YEAR LATER. I thank thee.
Keep in touch dear man.

JD said...

Now on page 74--a few random thoughts, if you don't mind:

Thank you for affirming that comedy, jokes, are mysteriously much more than the sum of their parts. Like a lot in your book it's something I'd been padding around in the dark for and I had a rough, hazy outline of it up until now.

David Dark, the only man (I'm aware of) willing to put Colbert and Jesus on the same plane!

You're right, everything is connected. Dostoevsky, Arrested Development, Woody Allen & The Office have all resonated with me in a big way, and now you're telling me these somewhat disparate entities are neatly intertwined--whoa. I totally buy it, but whoa.

I'm really struggling with "listening" to the likes of David Lynch and Bukowski. I have chanced my soul on 3 of Lynch's films and I come up snake eyes every time. He seems 99% esoteric to me--I feel like I could only understand his films if he were sitting next to me explaining, and even then I probably wouldn't be very satisfied. I know it's very Philistine of me to say "What's the point?" but that's what I've got. And Bukowski--he was a self-professed hater of humanity and his stories are soul-sucking (I've only read "Post Office")--what more is to be known or gleaned from his body of work? Look, I know that sounds ignorant and over the top, and it is, but my general feeling is with so many people out there saying so much more, why waste your finite time? I want to be right alongside you with receiving story telling, and I don't want to bash, but I struggle with making good use from these voices.

It's a soul-shaking book sir, I look forward to a) finishing it, and b) your long catalogue of books to come.

P.s. Did you catch B.R. Myers "Reader's Manifesto"? Where does that register on your receiving storytelling radar? Perhaps it's categorically something different from what you're saying in your 3rd chapter? At any rate I thought it was excellent.

JD said...

K, finished. Wow, it's an incredible work, more thought provoking than anything I can ever remember reading. I hope you take that as a high compliment as we "seem" to be politically and theologically at different ends of the spectrum. You have provided for endless amounts of discussion/debate for my wife and I. Being a "Reformed" elder/pastor I'm intrigued by some of the conclusions you seem to be at, but I just don't see how you get there from here. But b/c I take you much more seriously than a Claiborne or Mclaren (no offense to those guys, it's just that your way of articulating was, personally, more penetrating) I want to keep considering, digging & praying.

Thank you for the work, can't wait to share it with others.