Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
In case you missed the comment on Helliburton ( Halliburton ) being the contractor on the Death Star, a reader named Elijah responded: I have a personal experience with the wiring in Iraq. I was stationed in Balad between 2006-2008, and while I was on a patrol, my barracks building burned to the ground. About 50 soldiers lived there and everything we owned was destroyed. Very few soldiers were left back in the building and they weren't enough to put the fire out themselves. It was a horrible situation and thank God nobody was injured, but needless to say we had enough on our minds without having to recover our losses. Many of us also had belongings that could not be replaced. Going through a fire is a horrible thing and prevention is much easier than recovery. Follow-up comment this and I will send you pictures of the aftermath!
Elijah, if you are still willing to send the pix, use the email address in the profile area. Thanks.
There was a posting in a blog called Israel Matzev dealing with the US administration won't " save" Israel from an Iranian nuke.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
If anyone still thinks the US will save Israel from an Iranian nuke...
The author insults Mr. Olmert and Mr. Obama.
Well, why not? I mean, you have to have some sort of ending, right? May as well wrap it up with a pretty silken insult. I have always thought, however, that one may as well start out with the insult as the first sentence... and then one realizes that the rest of the bloody writing is superfluous, and you may get back to living a full-blooded life of moral imperatives.
O.K. Now I'm getting annoying.
Anyway, the blog is what the breed calls "right wing" and makes a big deal of its right-winged-ness, having links to other right-winged blogs and a mighty blog roll of the right (wing) stuff. Fine.
Now what totally surprised me was the fact that this posting had 19 commenters. Of this 19, 9 commenters with a profile in Blogger had started their blogs in March 2009, and had not yet gotten around to posting anything in their own blogs. There was exactly 1 comment by an individual that seemed to have a living blog. Of all the other profiled commenters - and of the 19, 6 were not available or not displayed - there was a grand total of 2 posts for all of them - ever.
I was somewhat surprised that some many March 2009 bloggers were interested in this particular topic: fully 9 of 19 were March virgin bloggers. I was even more surprised that some many people who went throught the trouble of establishing a blog, establishing a profile, and even rousing themselves to hacking out some commentary on Israel Matzev's post, cannot seem to write anything for themselves.
Furthermore, there were numerous links from another site to this very posting - not to the blog, but to this posting. I mean, things that did not seem related were linked, creating a impression of a good deal of info flowing back and forth.
I must contact Yahoo and see how they go about referring to blogs and topics. The column is titled Most Blogged - World, so there is some algorithm to measure activity. It appeared Monday, March 30 in Yahoo under a story I was reading about Kirkuk:
Most Blogged - World
If anyone still thinks the US will save Israel from an Iranian nuke... Israel Matzav – Sun Mar 29, 11:55 am EDT
Blogs About This Story (6) Prev Next WMD Proliferation Party: Iranian Missile Team In North Korea For ICBM Test Launch Infidel Bloggers Alliance – Sun Mar 29, 3:21 pm EDT Blogs About This Story (5) Prev Next The Day in Israel: Mon Mar 30th, 2009 – Sun Mar 29, 7:37 pm EDT Blogs About This Story (4) Prev Next
These links should work for a while. See what you think. Maybe it is just April 1 effect.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
In Plato's account of Atlantis in the Timaeus, he describes the island as beyond the pillars of Hercules. There have been various interpretations of these pillars, or stele. There is an ancient account of "pillars of Shango". referring to the god of thunder of Western Africa, but the story is placed in East Africa! The pillars of Shango form a trinity of volcanoes, the three which form Mount Kilimanjaro: Kibo, the central volcano with a permanent snow field and glacier; Shira, the most westerly and the oldest; and Mawenzi, a peak that stands just under 5350 meters, or just under 17,600 feet.
In this vicinity was the very old city we call Atlantis. It was on an island within the much larger Nyanza that existed at the time, and it was the center of a great empire which extended around the margins of the Rift Valley inland sea - of which today only the small necklace of lakes in the valley remain.
In old Islamic accounts, the city is referred to as Madinat Al-Launain, the city of the two colors, these colors being red, ahmaru, and white, abyadu, the colors of Shango. The people of the land were said, however, to be of three colors, red, white, and black. Geology indicates we are speaking of a time about 62 million years ago. This is much too early for human life, according to present science. However, the story continues that the Atlanteans became debased, and the forces of Nature and the forces of Justice conspired to destroy Atlantis.
Then we come to the Present, and we stand and stare into the Future: We are becoming as estranged from each other as was Spain in the years leading up to its Civil War in the 1930s. For a spokesman for a political party - the Republican - to forcefully state in the middle of great danger and uncertainty that he wishes that the President of the country fail...and by failure, we obviously imply that the country fail also...is a great change in America that I have never seen in my long, long life.
In the past, we fought tooth and nail, but we came together to do at least the minimum of actions required for the well being of the country. And we never, ever wished that the country go down to ashes, so that we - the latter day messiahs of our tortured imaginations - could then come down from our slum Galilee and scream - as if in a nightmare - Lazarus, arise!! Horrid blasphemy of the Present age! Unnatural men and women! We are entering the Faun's Labyrinth - Laberinto del Fauno - wherein the spoken stories of the horror of fratricide, passionately hot, become congealed into despairingly cold aspic of novel terror.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
That would be a good show. The way I see it is: A planeload of normal American families, parents and teenagers, makes an emergency soft landing by a desert island in the Pacific. Stranded, without any communication, they are forced to survive by relying on their wits, stone age tools, and wife-swapping. They also investigate the obviously haunted remains of the insane asylum, the only structure on the island, where professionally unsanctioned shock therapy medical experiments were performed. Exactly how Bobby Brown and Whitney would fit in is not clear. However, they are so outrageous that we could probably just throw them in any time, without explanation, and no one would notice a simple and ordinary thing like continuity.
Wife Swapping Ghost Hunters Marooned on a Desert Island with special guest appearance by Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The Title of this blog remains the same.
I did get rid of the sub-title, which was pretty much the mushy type of thing you expect from religious types with imagination impediments. I mean, how annoying are those religious blogs!!?? Jesus loves you?! Right. You know, I can get through an entire decade without trivializing my rapport with God by saying something as inane as " God loves you." Or mention anything about the Sacred Heart. I have never gotten along with that 17th century innovation.
The idea of worshipping by using the imagery of some 17th century visionary is much too heated for me. Plus I don't like the images of the Sacred Heart. And I don't feel the image of a God pointing to a hole in his breast, where His human heart is exposed, to be much of an image of undying love. It has always and continues to creep me out.
However, Catholics have never had enough shame. Nor good sense. Nor aesthetics. Having lived as an RC in the bloom of my youth, I can say we settled for crumbs when there was a feast. Crumbs. Little crumby images of hearts and putti-like angels. Yucch!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
After the First World War, Edwin Hubble researched and made observations which established the fact that the astronomical phenomena called nebulae were in actuality too far away to be considered any longer as part of our Milky Way galaxy...and thus were independent galaxies. The Great Andromeda galaxy was established as being a galaxy in its own right less than a century ago. And all the others. Then followed the expanding universe, application of Einstein's insights, as well as those of Quantum Mechanics, and you have the almost limitless horizon we have come to be used to. But it is all very recent.
There are people living today at whose birth the Universe was a small, sub-compact, and not the super-stretch Hummer it is today. In my childhood, my exposure to Religion was from my parents and teachers. From them I drew the lessons of religion, and from them I drew the correct emotional grammar of religion: when and how to feel guilty, when and how to feel to feel justified, when and how to feel awestruck. When filled with awe by the power of God, we bowed our heads before it. That is how we were taught. If I had been born a Holy Roller, I may have done something else.
Entering more fully into symbolic life - the life of using language: reading, writing, speaking, and thinking in language - I set my own researches into God on the same roads I had been taught to follow. Here we realize firstly that conscious beings each individually establish a history of their existence by employing that very consciousness they have. It is almost a logical contradiction to say that conscious beings follow what went before. Conscious beings almost by definition make their own way, thereby developing that consciousness, which in turn develops their view of the world. Each individual's story is different. It may differ from their predecessors by a small or large degree, but it is different. If the story was not different, then there would not be consciousness; there would be physics and chemistry, but no life.
Now when I had reached 8th grade, I stumbled on Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men, a novel in which the history of man is followed millions and millions of years into the future, to the point where the Sun itself is about to end its existence. On this journey of millions of years, mankind never loses its sense of divine-in-creation: that which is (what we call) divine in that situation wherein we live - the universe. There was a Zen type feeling in the book. What I mean by Zen is this: there is a being-inside and a being-outside. We are in history. We are not condemned to be in history forever. We are in the world. We are not condemned to the world as a prison. Thus, as a mirror reflection, we see now by the end of this little paragraph that there was a St. Paul-type consciousness also. (When I say Zen, I do not exclude St. Paul...nor Rabbi Akiva...nor the Prophet of Allah. I am not "for" nor "against". We cannot choose up sides. We use adjectives like "zen" as watercolours, not as permanent ink.)
My childhood narrative of the divine was what I fancy the Middle Ages' narrative to have been: a bearded and irrascible God in heaven, angelic choirs, ceaseless hosannas, and saints milling around looking for the right place in the hymnal. The universe was small, small enough to fit within the miniscule ambit of the Church of Rome. If I could but strain sufficiently, I could see heaven far off in the stars. All evil was punished. Hitler was in Hell. Tojo was, too. Society was correctly stratified into the correct "apart-ness" of the races and nationalities. I wasn't aware of Hubble, so what was bound on little old Earth was bound in Heaven, and - by implication - the entire universe...because it wasn't all that big, and what went in Heaven must go for the whole universe! Stapledon shattered that. I actually felt as if my lungs expanded, and by some magic process I could breathe more. Of course, I also felt more exposed, more liable to new winds blowing; winds which may be gentle or stormy. The old world view was not a prison. I might say that it was metaphorically, but that would be misleading. It was a cocoon, protective and confining, until the time is reached that one leaves it.
Our lives show a series of cocoon-like structures, starting at the womb and extending to our final rest here. (The dynamic of the cocoon continues until the Resurrection, when religion says we are all in heaven and the process ends. Faith, all faith. Maybe the process will never end. This leads us to re-birth and another line of religiosity.) Finally, what is appropriate to our time is the expansion of religion, not its diminshment into obscure violence and superstition. We expand by opening one door and closing the other, emerging from the protective cocoon. We open and feel the air of the suddenly immense universe and the divine-in-creation, but we must be ready. For at this time, the STORY is going to change. And I have told you, when the story changes, it is absolutely necessary that the new story be a good story - not a horror story. For the new story to be good, we must be good. Time's a-wastin'! Get crackin'!
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Otis P. Driftwood here, reviewing the local Arts - or what's left of them. She-who-must-be-obeyed and I attended the American Ballet Theater production of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Jillian Murphy dancing the lead.
She-who-etc. loves Ms. Murphy with what borders on an unwholesome motherish doting, and she was pleased beyond measure. Yours truly viewed it in a different light, loving Ms. Murphy - who, if the truth be told - is the paradigm of some sort of Elfen Rivendellian beauty from the imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien; a beauty not quite of this earth, deigning to give us a view of eternity, and scampering off to Grey Havens after only 3 hours, leaving us and never returning....................................literally! For the corporate sponsors are drying up.
We find the Arts imperiled. American Ballet Theater may never come back. Didn't some Know-Nothings and Nativists and KKK gut the Stimulus Package of Arts monies? I vaguely remember something to that effect. I can't think of anything more sad than proceeding to one's seat, looking at the nameplate affixed to it, attesting that Mr. and Mrs. X had donated a sum of money for the refurbishment of this very seat; only now everything was becoming a little tarnished, a little threadbare, or it threatens to do so in the very near future. Just what I always wanted: a testimonial to my munificence posted in a gilded relic of the golden past which is falling down around our ears !!!!!!!
BUT, I digress.
Prokofiev's music always leaves me wanting more of someone else's. It's bad enough that the seats are designed for a bygone crowd of less gargantuan proportions than we, and I must twist and turn uncomfortably trying to find a balance between pain and acute discomfort. The Capulet Masked Ball sequence features a piece of music which can only be described as lugubrious...almost dirge-like. The Funeral March from Saul would be a Irish Jig in comparison. However, in all fairness, we decided that this was what passed for gaiety in Stalinesque Russia at the time of Prokofiev's youth in 1935 or '36. The orchestra was quite adequate.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Sunday, March 08, 2009
I never had much to say about that. It was sort of a mystery that I couldn't get to the bottom of. Recently - as recent as yesterday morning, to be exact - I was sitting down to write something. Ruth had posted a post that mentioned "the world in a cup", accompanied by a picture of an egg in a Spode teacup. http://ruthie822.blogspot.com/2009/03/technology-overload-vs-world-in-cup.html
I wrote the title "Universe"
and was thinking along the lines of world in a cup, universe in a grain of sand type of line of thought, and I came up with something surprising...or something surprising came along and decided to pop in, actually.
If you read it - and you must, for I shall not synopsize it - it came out that we do not suffer from God's Creation; we suffer with it. Or we should realize that as we suffer, we are suffering with all the universe in community.
So it is not a matter of whether God allows suffering. Suffering and pain are; they exist. There is at least the pain of Change. If there were no Change - if God forbade Change - this pain would disappear, but at what cost? We would be as immobile and inflexible and as unchanging as the mountains. Do Mountains kiss their offspring goodnight?
And all Creation suffers. Ah, but does God suffer? you ask. He puts Himself in a special position to observe the suffering of what He has created...in a sense, allowing its continuance. However, we learned that God's Son died for us. Therefore, God feels that pain, and suffers in community with us. (An atheist objected that God created all things; suffering exists; therefore God created it. At this point I think we would do well to look at the Lord Buddha's critique of pain,or dukha. The logic of Buddhism and its metaphysic can be very illuminating. More later.)
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
An example of a terms of venery would be a "pride" of lions. There very often is a conscious effort to do synecdoche in the venery term: a part standing for a whole, as in our example, the lion's proud bearing is extended and changed to mean a group of lions.
Of course, there is a lot of the joker and trickster in all this, and good venery terms should bring a smile to the face, a good example being a "rash" of dermatologists. The Periodic Englishman has a post titled Like A Murder Of Crows - That's All
The word "murder" in the title is a venery term for a team or herd or whatever of crows. Since "murder" is a bit too "zero at the bone" for a whole bunch of us, I tried my hand at it, but the best I could do was the latter part of the post title above.
A "stedman caters" is a type of English bell change ringing, and I have heard it used in memorials, so there you have it. I never was one for the brisk, light, and breezy. I fancy it over "murder", since "stedman caters" sounds a good deal like "Scatman Crothers", an actor, whom I enjoyed, and a "scatman crothers" of crows is not too bad, either.
There are other possibilities. Arabic has a phrase: slower than Noah's crow which suggests other routes. I think of Noah's crow as a guy taking advantage of the situation: there Noah is, water all around, no place to go, totally castaway - except for the winged breeds. Of course, crows, being crows, would milk this opportunity for everything it's worth, neglecting the fact that sooner or later, the flood would recede, and the slow, cud-chewing bovines would again rule the world of Hamburgers and Light.
This post actually was to deal with signing among the deaf. There is the possible "venery" term : a hush of deafs, or a hush of hearing impaireds. Personally, I think "hush" is becoming over-used, being as it is already used in the well known "a hush of ushers", which usage seems to be the definitive usage, according to H.W.Fowler, who spoke of the officious blighters who "ushed" the chapel in his youth, and went about with their indices held to their thin, pale, manta-ray-like lips shushing all the lads.
Signing has always been a very sensual experience in my part of the world. I mean, the utter joy of the flow of words from a good speaker added to the fluid gestures...and if she plays the acoustic guitar afterwards, so much the better. I do not mean to imply anything here. I happened to have delved into the joys of hearing-impaired intimacies in my youth. I was, indeed, magna cum gallaudet for a brace of years.