Outside it’s America – Advent Bullets

We are barreling headlong into Advent, moving toward the coming Christ—the day of the Savior-baby’s birth, of angels, donkeys, and wise men. “There was this star that shone in the west,” we tell our children, “and the wise little kings of Orient came bearing gifts.” The Christmas story has become quaint, a thing to tell over mulled wine and stuffed Cornish hens.

And man do I love a good Cornish hen.

But this year’s Advent readings have not been quaint—the lamp stands of the Revelation, the red rider of Zechariah. Instead, the readings are eerie and tense, the stuff of Halloween movies. They show a broken Israel, an adulterous church. The readings evidence a tumultuous, warring world, Messiah waiting on the brink of salvation and warning “let every heart prepare me room.” The readings are a De Goya painting; they are “Bullet the Blue Sky.”

The prophets and visioneers leave the impression that Christ came to a world that was laid flat and pulled taut, one on the cusp of splitting wide and bleeding dry. Maybe we live in a world that is not much different.

“And I can see those fighter planes, and I can see those fighter planes…”

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6 Responses to Outside it’s America – Advent Bullets

  1. Kiki Malone says:

    that’s my favorite song from that record. “Outside it’s America. Outside it’s America.”

  2. The only time I saw U2 in concert was on the Joshua Tree Tour. We were in Wembley Stadium in London. Bono changed the words in “Bullet the Blue Sky” to be British and often said, “Margaret Thatcher” (this was 1987, so she was still relevant) instead of, “America”. Disappointing from a musical standpoint (didn’t flow every well) and an American standpoint (being the arrogant Colonial savage that I am). So that is my U2 story. Other than that, yes a good Cornish hen is awesome. Our next-door neighbor fixed some for us on Sunday. It almost brought tears to my eyes. Good stuff.

    • sethhaines says:


      Really jealous of your Cornish hen story. I’m actually thinking about cooking some up this Christmas Eve (before midnight mass).

      With respect to your U2 story, there is absolutely nothing dissapointing about seeing U2, on the JT tour, in Wembley. Nothing. Not even if he changed the lyrics. You saw history, lady. Man oh man… I’m really jealous of you today.

      • You are right, Seth. There was nothing really disappointing about that concert. At least in looking back. As selfish, arrogant American teenagers (I was only 17 then), we thought it should have been just as we wanted. Thinking about it now, it seems almost otherworldly that it happened at all. Remind me sometime to tell you about the last song of the concert…

  3. Kiki Malone says:

    Speaking of music, if you haven’t listened to the new Kelly Clarkson record, I highly recommend it. Almost as good as the last Kelly Clarkson record.

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