Archive for October, 2009

By Man Shall his Blood be Shed

October 31, 2009

Genesis 9:5-6  But for your own life-blood I will require a reckoning: I will require it of every beast; of man, too, will I require a reckoning for human life, of every man for that of his fellow man!  6 Whoever sheds the blood of man, By man shall his blood be shed; For in His image Did God make man.

I am a Texan and I am a Christian. I, however, do not believe that the state of Texas should employ death as a form of punishment. Not having lived in Texas for several years I will refrain from discussing the Willingham case at length. I have not really followed it much so I am not an authority. (Here is a good article by a current Texan and Christian.)

That being said, I will wonder aloud about a dilemma that it seems the executive office (interesting name in this context) of the state of Texas has seemingly found itself. (more…)

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Fox News Inadvertantly Argues that America is Liberal

October 30, 2009

I had written the article below the jump for the sadly defuncting Culture-Voice.com a few weeks ago (18 September, 2009). They have kindly lent me permission to republish it and my other articles here. I’m choosing this one right now because it complements this article by John Scalzi fairly well.

Scalzi writes:

[The White House’s war on Fox] is good news for Fox News, since four decades of conservative railing against “the liberal media” has given it a core of like-minded viewers, who being conservative are also loyal… But it’s also good for the White House, because at the end of the day, Fox News’ nightly audience in the third quarter of this year was 2.25 million viewers in primetime (source). For perspective this means that it has roughly the same audience as your average Dollhouse episode,which was just yanked by Fox (the broadcast network, not the cable news network), so that its ratings wouldn’t stink up November Sweeps. Even with Fox News’ ratings going through the roof because of its little war with Obama, the actual number of viewers is minuscule. Or to put it otherwise, 2.5 million Americans watch Fox News, which means that 297.5 million Americans don’t.

Enjoy:

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Homophobia is over!

October 28, 2009

Looking at the Huffington Post headline this evening (“No More Matthew Shepards”), I couldn’t help but think of Steven Colbert’s declaration that racism was over when Obama won the presidency. How’d that work out?

So the President signed a bill that would expand a 1968 law making it a federal hate crime to assault people based on their race or religion to include sexual orientation. Now, according to the headline, there will be no more assault on people based on their sexual orientation? How does one respond to something so stupid?

Are they implying that no one has been assaulted because of their race since 1968? That’s some powerful law you have there.

Mad Men post #1

October 27, 2009

I love the show Mad Men but I’ll resist publishing much on it, since I usually watch it during the week and also am not as obsessed with it as others are. So much is written during the week on each show that I’m not sure how much I can add.

I will say this, though. I am starting to get a little uneasy concerning the bets people are waging concerning the final two episodes of the season and how they will incorporate Kennedy’s assassination. I can’t be sanctimonious here, since I’ve assumed all along that Dallas will figure into the show. It just seemed as if the different seasons worked that way (unfortunately we skipped over Roger Maris’ record-breaking season in favour of the Cuban Missile Crisis).

However, we are dealing with an important tragedy. Does the show trivialise these events that act mainly as Musak for the drama onscreen? Should we be anticipating with glee how the show will deal with a national nightmare?

Perhaps I’m overreacting. The Cuban Missile Crisis worked because it heightened tension and built up the drama. I’m not sure how JFK will work since there was no tension and only payoff. In season 2, we experienced Hitchcock’s proverbial bomb below the table that never goes off, creating suspense. With JFK, the bomb explodes with no suspense except in the viewer’s anachronistic POV.

I guess we’ll just have to wait for a couple more weeks before we can be sure, but I still wonder how we should be interesting ourselves in the death of an actual human being–a death still in the living memory of millions of Americans.

Why are gorillas so funny?

October 26, 2009

They shouldn’t be, but they are.

If you don’t think that gorillas are funny, exchange the word “gorilla” in the headline in the linked article to “tiger”. Is it as funny?

Also, consider how many sports mascots are tigers, grizzlies, eagles, lions, or other menacing animals and how many are the gorillas. For goodness sake, there is an NBA team called the Raptors, but not even a NCAA I-A football team named the Gorillas!

The only mascot named the Gorillas that I know of is Pittsburgh State in Kansas, which is in the MIAA, an athletic association I was unfamiliar with before now.

I’m not sure this makes much sense to me. Does it have to do with its similar ancestry to humans? We have no problem using humans as mascots, and no problem using very very distantly related animals. So what’s our hangup with apes?

Bakhtin and problems with American conservatism

October 24, 2009

Two things that will become evident over the course of this blog is my interest in the Russian literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin and my tendency to look a little politically liberal. I assure you that I am not really very liberal in the grand scheme of things, but in the context of current American politics, I look far to the left of most Democrats. Explanations to follow in coming posts.

Until then, here is an excerpt from a book I came across that may help explain the current manifestation of the Republican party’s obstructionist behaviour (why I spelled behaviour that way will also be explained in future posts):

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A bloggish site

October 24, 2009

Welcome. I don’t know exactly what this blog will look like or how people will even find out about it. I really am doing this for myself. In the future, I will explain my name and origins (I’m kind of like a superhero). I’ll also explain why I’ve decided to start a blog (I used to have a different format for writing). We’ll see how this goes.

I don’t really have an interest in “blogging” but I enjoy writing my thoughts down in more crafted pieces. One possible format this blog could take is as a place for my immediate thoughts, links, responses to news items, short book reviews, etc. in the everyday, while a place for more columnish pieces once a week or bi-monthly.

It probably won’t matter much, however, since I have little interest in this being a site for hundreds of people to visit. I envision it as more just a public record of my writings and musings.