Wednesday, July 31, 2002

sorry i have not posted for a while. the man is holding me down. has been blocked by my work internet service so i have to do it from home now.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Check out the links!
my wife's retreat went well and so did our viewing of predator. Jesse Ventura delivered a fine performance. My friends could not resist pointing out every time he appeared on screen that those wise citizens of Minnesotta thought this guy would make a good govenor. All around an excellent film with plenty of people getting killed by the mysterious jungle alien and Arnold spouting out the occasional great one-liners ("Stick around" as he throws a huge knife through a terrorist and into a wall! Great!).

Thursday, July 11, 2002

I also saw up close for the first time some of the flood damage near my home. There are some baseball and other fields in a park a few blocks to the west of where I live. The trees are covered with a thin layer of dirt that goes about twenty feet up into the branches. The chain link fence of one backstop is full of broken branches and leaves also about twenty feet up and it looks like the pitchers mound was washed away. Debris is everywhere and the streets have new potholes. One fence is now at 45 degree angle.
I plan to watch the classic movie Predator this weekend with a bunch of other guys. We decided to watch it after having a discussion on what the ultimate guy movie was and I still have not thought of any that top it. You have Arnold and the governor of minnesota running around a south american jungle shooting at an invisible hunter alien with a mini-gun. What could be a better idea for a guy movie than that. Some other contenters for ultimate guy movies were the orginal Die-hard, which is right now in a close second, and the Oscar nominated Starship troopers, which was quickly shot down, despite having more gratuitous sex and violence than almost any other academy award nominated film.
I hope to finish a book on Greek/Roman/Norse the next few days. I can not remmeber the authors name at the moment, but it is supposedly one of the best books written on the subject. I also finished a book of Norse myths about a month ago that I will comment on.
i have completely changed templates in order to make it easier to access the links. I will add more tommorrow as well as try to include some commentary on other books and movies.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

I am going to try to fix the links and stuph on thursday.
One last thought about American weakness. One of the biggest problem with Americans right now is that we are a bunch of whiners. Oh no my daughter feels intimidated by saying the pledge of alegence! Some people made fun of my beliefs on talk radio! I have to buy an extra seat on southwest because I am to freakin' big to fit into the seat normal sized people can fit into! Suck it up and deal. We didn't beat the Nazi's by whining about Gas rationing or a lack of nylons and coffee. We are not going to beat the Islamic Terrorist Fascists if we whine about the crap that is naturally a part of life. One of my most disturbing college memories is of when a girl I knew through a friend was on the verge of tears because her car was broken. She went on for several minutes about how this had ruined her week and let everyone in the room know about it. I forgot to mention, the only part of her car that was broken was the cd payer and I did not own a car at the time and felt no simpathy. I think what americans need right now is some real deprivation. For a couple of years lets take away the fully stocked grocery stores, contant electricity, phone service, clean running water, the multiple appliances in each house, and the other countless ammenities that mankind had to do with out for centuries and show people real pain. People from really crappy countries don't whine nearly as much as Americans and Europeans because they know that suffering is the natural state of man. They don't talk about "the Problem of Pain" nearly as much becuase they are too concerned with where their next meal is coming from. Westerners have gone for so long without real suffering that they have forgotton this and think that pleasure is the natural state of man. When they do not get happiness they think something is fundamentally flawed in the universe at that moment and that everyone around them needs to listen to their lament and fix their problem. I say, bring on the pain.
Getting back to Eldridge, who also wrote Wild at Heart and The Sacred Romance. His basic point is that God never envisioned a Christianity with a bunch of wimps who do not want anything because they might get hurt. He thinks that we were made to desire that even though we will get hurt in life we should still desire becuase that is how we were made. Also, that is the only way to find true fulfillment, both in an accomplishment way and a personal spiritual way. God our creator desires us and we should desire Him. I especially agree with the idea that God does not want us to be a bunch of wimps. Read the Bible. How many wimps are there in it? There are a few people like Moses who start out that way, but even he iced a guy before he wussed out at the burning bush and made Aaron go talk to pharoh. Later on he toughened up a bit. Most of the people in the Bible God called to serve Him were tough guys. David killed a both a lion and a bear by himself. And that was before he capped Goliath and led his mighty men into battle. He was a man after God's own heart. Samson killed a whole smack of people. (For those who may not know a smack is like a flock or herd, but for jellyfish) Look at all the other people God called in Judges to go out kick butt. Most of the disciples were sailors, known the world round for their softness and meek language. Finally Jesus himself is a carpanter who lasted 40 days fasting in the wilderness who went on to use a whip on a bunch of money changers. I am part of the school of thought that says those pictures of Jesus as a scrawny toothpick may not be quite right. The idea that we shoould not be tough is a very dangerous one and leads people not to take risks becuase it might hurt. Do we really want Americans to end up like the French?
And another thing. I love partisan politics. I do not think our country's politics are partisan enough. Most ideas politicians come up with are pretty foolish. We need to debate and fight and tear the ideas apart in order to figure out which ideas are good, wise, and just, and which are bad, foolish, and unjust. I also think politics should be divisive. If a group of people are advocating a bad idea than everyone else should gang up on them and make sure the idea does not become law. Sometimes good people come up with really bad ideas. Woodrow Wilson comes to mind. Woodrow wilson had really good intentions about getting rid of war and establishing just governments across Europe. His plan to get to that point (the league of nations and 14 or however many points) was really foolish. His nice, but foolish actions helped set the stage for WWII. Right now we have too many politicians who feel our pain but are fools and are unwilling to have other people debate their ideas.
Just finished reading Journey of Desire the other day by John Eldridge. He does a good job of attacking the value of niceness in our culture today, although he focuses only on this in the Christian walk. I personally am pretty disgusted at the niceness, most of which passes under the name of tolerance these days. I like the idea of classical tolerance a lot more than the current one. Don't go using physical coersion to try to change my beliefs or speech or actions, but if you want to call me an idiot or a nutjob for what I think or just ignore me, that's fine. If someone thinks I am a looney for believing that Jesus rose from the dead and forgives our sins and is the son of God etc., fine as long as you don't use anything other than words to try to stop me. Also if someone thinks I am jerk for being a republican or a snob for thinking opera is better than rap or a speciesist for eating tasty animals that is fine too. Go ahead and tell me so. Prove me wrong. I have been wrong before and it took other people pointing this out to convince me of it. I like vigorous debate and firmly believe that it is necessary to expunge wrong ideas. In several college courses I took (usually taught by english professors, not philosophy or classical studies professors) serious debate ended as soon as sombody's feelings were hurt. I remember once calling a classmates ideas of relativism evil and the professor pretty much ended the debate right then. I had backed my idea up with carefully thought out arguments, but these were ignored because her feelings got hurt. No one used reason to try to prove me wrong.
I have been busy helping my wife plan her marriage retreat for young married/engaged womenfolk. I m more in charge of the menfol. Mass quantities or food and beverages will be consumed and much testosterone will flow as we discuss the finer points of supporting our wives while playing pool and watching John Wayne movies.

Friday, July 05, 2002

San Antonio is still partly under water, but the 4th was sunny most of the time. I spent the day outside b-b-q-ing until it started raining agian, at which point we all migrated inside to watch partiotic movies. The first of which was Ghostbusters. Dan Akroid and Bill Murray defending New York against the forces of evil, much like current events. Also saw The Right Stuff. That really is a patriotic movie and it shows just how much better our country was than those godless commies. We may not have been first in space, but damn it at least we were we free when we made it up there. The one scene in particular that remeinded me of this was when LBJ, who was in charge of the Space Program, wants to talk with John Glenn's wife on TV. She has a speech impediment and does not want to be on national TV. Glenn's superiors try to make him convince his wife to go on anyway. When he talks to her he tells her not to worry and that she does not have to go on TV. His superior yells at him and Glenn refuses to back down even when threatened with loosing his spot on the next space flight. All the other pilots back him up. Eventually the supervisor realizes how bad it would look if the media found out about the situation and gives up. LBJ is very unhappy. Glenn makes the flight and is given a parade with his wife. Later on he became a senator. In Russia he would have been put in the gulag or shot.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

San Antonio is under water so I have not been able to post the past few days. I use a dial up modem at home and my phone was out and could not get to work. On the bright side our drought is over, my car is clean, and my neighborhood was on TV since the Olmos Basin a few blocks away was under water.