Thursday, November 30, 2006

Am I looking for or at trouble?

The commenters to my last post, though they seem to have misunderstood the complex phrase "hope there areN'T any bombings", ask a fair question. So I thought about whether I am too insouciant about death. Even we crackpots wonder about larger issues on occasion.

Every year we all have two anniversaries. We know our birthday, but we also pass the unknown date on which we’ll die.We live in a strange culture which tries to hide death, at least as a personal rather than an entertainment experience. I use that term carefully, because we produce and buy thousands of hours of moving picture slaughter in which the dead are explicitly not like the viewers. And aside from the death on the stupidity machine, most Americans see little death close up.

I have had enough of my own “marked for death” experiences that I’m perhaps more aware than I should be that I’ll personally find out what is on the other side of the door. I think of death not as just something that happens to other people but as something that will happen to me.

Fear and gloom about death are harmful. Worrying about anything is useless at best, and usually makes the event seem worse than it is. That’s been my experience so far, with few exceptions. And death is the most completely, utterly, entirely inevitable event of all, isn’t it? Sure, there is an element of whistling in the dark there, too. The dark is lonely, so why not whistle? I can't sing worth a hoot.

On the specific level of the war, the jihadis want us afraid. Every packing of a suitcase requires thoughts about the holy 19, and that’s all the faithful are getting out of me. I know that living one day in anytown, USA is far more dangerous than flying. I’m at more risk from a cell phoner on the road or some pistol waving dope fiend than I am from all the minions of Allah. So why not have a laugh at the shaheed? If the best they can do to destroy western civilization is to blow up a Jordanian wedding and make some happy, decent people into corpses, widows, and orphans, they deserve mockery, not fear.

And NO, I do NOT slow down to look at traffic accidents, and I have seen, smelled, and heard enough people burned alive to last me more than a life time. I feel for the mourners, and I do NOT take the tragedies of others as entertainment.

So there are some thoughts, for what they are worth.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I'm off! I'll blog now and then. Let's hope there aren't any bombings where I am this year as there were last year. If there are, I'll get the feeling it's personal.

Whooo- WOOP!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Best voting or election comment ever...

On the night of the election, a friend told me,

"I don't vote, because I'm afraid I might make a difference."

What he meant was that he found himself unwilling and or unable to educate himself to understand enough about the issues to make an informed decision.

His attitude is WAAAAAY better than "I always vote for the (name of party)."

It's a great line, anyway.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Montage, c'est tout...

Eisenstein said editing is everything, and I enjoy the genre of reedited movies. Check YouTube for words like "recut" or "reedited".

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Election approach question...

I've been getting a lot of election telephone calls, computer ones and live too. I saw on a lefty web site the other day a suggestion that when a call comes from a "Rethuglican", to not hang up but to spin out the call as long as possible, thus decreasing the enemy's contact time with voters.

This sort of tactic is, to my mind, right up there with stealing yard signs. But my question is, how do others handle these election calls? I've already voted, so I just hang up.

The German pastor is not the first...

person to self immolate over the religion of peace.

  • "Dr. Darabi practiced for two years in Bahmanier, a village in northern Iran. In 1968 she passed the Education Council Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) examination and came to the United States to further her education in Pediatrics. She later specialized in Psychiatry and then in child-psychiatry and was licensed to practice medicine in the States of New Jersey, New York and California. She became a naturalized citizen of the United States in mid 1970's...

    When a 16 year old girl was shot to death in Northern Tehran for wearing lipstick about a month prior to her death, Dr. Darabi could no longer handle the guilt she felt about her favorable involvement in the Iranian Revolution, and the way women were being treated in Iran, she finally decided to protest the oppression of women by setting herself on fire in a crowded square in northern Tehran, on February 21, 1994. Her last cry was
    Death to Tyranny
    Long Live Liberty
    Long Live Iran. "

  • I have never understood this sort of self destruction, and believe it is madness not self sacrifice. I suppose he despaired, but is not as though no one knows about the problem. Find another way to help.

    Friday, November 03, 2006

    The box of joy...

    I am remembering a time a couple of years back in England. I was at Greenwich, which is one of my very favorite places. It's so gorgeous and peaceful. Anyway, the old Royal Naval College, a fantastic beautiful work of art, is now
  • Trinity College of Music
  • . I was walking in the courtyard between two of the wings, each 3 stories tall. It was a warm autumn day, and all the windows were open. From each window came the sound of a beautifully played instrument or an amazing singing voice. Each different, each playing a different melody. Each student was practicing (as he or she thought) alone. But for their secret auditor, it was like being in a giant reverberating stone box of joy, roofed with a bluer than possible sky.

    The world can hold such unexpected brilliance.

    Pastor sets himself on fire as a warning...

    There's no other word but Christ, is there?

  • "In a farewell letter to his wife the vicar wrote that he was setting himself on fire to warn against the danger of the Islamization of Europe."

  • Of course, "Bishop Noack emphasized that the motive for the suicide complicates matters. He said he hopes that the affair and the question of how Christians should relate to Muslims will not lead to unrest."

    Because there isn't any unrest already. Oh no, pay no attention to those youths behind the banlieu, the great and powerful PC has spoken!

    A great new holiday...

    Top of the blog roll!

  • "There should be a day, every year-- a new holiday: Tell Them Day. A day when we all, together, gather Braveness in our hands and Run to those we love silently, and Sing."

    "Maybe there should be a day when we actually come out and tell someone we don't love them too. Maybe it could be the same day. I think that part would be even harder."
  • Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    If Kerry were a man, or an American,

    This is what he'd say:

    "There is no excuse or explanation for my comment. I am so ashamed of my insult to the millions, living and dead, who have served and saved our liberty as enlisted service members that I am today resigning from the senate and retiring from public life. Any pension to which I am entitled will go to (name of charity serving enlisted service people). That is all I can do to demonstrate my shame. Thank you, and once again I apologise for what I said, and more for the fact that I thought it.