January 30, 2015

Friday Seven

Tired, he wrote. Yesterday's pure prairie league of fatigue led to a sort of mini-euphoria due to and accentuation of my beer-quaffing.

Fell into a new novel, just $1.99 (a Kindle daily deal) and it was all reverie. Wilderness it's called, by Lance Weller. Marvelous collection of words that massaged the brainstem.

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Grow close to the brine
Suckle at her salty tit.

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I read somewhere recently something commonsensical: that if one is not ambitious and thus choose not to make much money then there must be self-discipline to not to consume much; i.e you can't spend what you don't earn. And I think there's a corollary as far as having sex and having kids. If you choose not to have kids then you are in effect choosing to have self-control in the area of sex. Sex and kids are joined, or should be, as firmly as spending and earning.

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Read article via Drudge that boys who have been circumcised more likely to become autistic. Owie - don't cut our pickles!  No causation proven, just correlation but whether true or not there could be a correlation between stress levels felt in adults and whether there was a traumatic experience in early youth.  From a scholarly article titled “Psychosocial implications of pediatric surgical hospitalization”:
The prevalence of childhood surgical illness and injury requiring hospitalization suggests the need for implementation of an applied intervention to decrease levels of anxiety in these patients. When psychological concerns are not addressed in the present moment, potential for long-term negative psychological effects occur. To respond to the psychosocial needs of pediatric surgical patients it is important to understand foundational stages of development. Age is not always directly correlated with developmental stage and attunement to this subtle differentiation is essential. 
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I'm not sure if it's theologically accurate, but I always imagine that when Jesus came to earth he had a choice that was not immediately clear. One that He would have to discern over time. And that is whether to judge the world or to save it. In the OT, there were certainly prophecies of the ghastly day of Judgement, when God would avenge his enemies. (Of course that will still happen, with the Second Coming.)

One Bible commentary opines that John the Baptist was shocked and surprised that Jesus was as mild and merciful as he was. I think John expected the OT prophecy coming true at that particular time.

Jesus certainly had many harsh words for the people of his age. He called them weak of faith, hypocrites, fools, and even wicked. So the time was ripe for judgment, certainly and Jesus would've been well within his rights, as God, to have chosen to destroy rather than rebuild. To not, in other words, die on the Cross. But over time I think He discerned the Father's will for him as coming to save, to redeem, via his own sacrificial death. He saw that Isaiah 53 (“the suffering servant”) applied to him more than the prophecies of Malachi at that time.

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Took puppy Maris on a inaugural walk and she slipped the leash and I had to make a citizen-stop on a car coming and then attempt to wrangle Maris back under leash. Scary because she is only about twenty times faster than me and doesn't respond to voice commands. A bad combo.

Disturbing to read article the other day about the introduction of furry, cuddly robots to seniors for companionship. On the one one hand, I think of how young girls played with dolls and senescence of age suggests a second childhood. On the other hand, doesn't human interaction provide something intangibly greater, much as the bread of Eucharist conveys far more than mere bread? At the very least companionship in the form of living animals seems preferable, let alone humans.

The secular author sounds like recent popes:  “We seem determined to give human qualities to objects and content to treat others as things....Artificial pets don't require cleanup, are lovable and responsive, and never die..Technology is seductive when what it offers meets our human vulnerabilities."

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What if the mother's love, sometimes discredited for its bias, was God's too?

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Here are things that people do that make me feel served, that make me feel like I should be working harder to make others' lives better:

    Symphony musicians
    Lyrical writers
    Massage therapists

They say the mark of artistic excellence is that it looks easy even though it's hard, i.e. Joe DiMaggio instead of Pete Rose. But that doesn't inspire me the way it does when I see someone working hard and doing something well, like a violin virtuoso with electrically-charged moves and head bobs, or a writer who jams novels with evocative scene-settings (spare me a spare Hemingway), and massage therapists who knead and tenderize muscles with verve.

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Found on the web:
One of the things that is lost when there is too much wealth or when values are misunderstood or we have become accustomed to injustice, to this culture of waste, is the capacity to cry. This is a grace we must ask for. -Pope Francis
And…
    We students read his The Crisis of Our Age (1941) in which he developed his then famous theory of cultural cycles. He argued that cultures move from ideational forms in which transcendent truth claims and moral norms are the organizing principles of social life, to idealistic cultures, which blend ideational and “sensate” aims, to sensate cultures, which focus exclusively on sensory perceptions and experiences. This latter stage rejects transcendent values and slides into decadence and chaos, out of which is born a new ideational culture. The transitions between cycles are characterized by violent upheavals. Sorokin thought the period of World War II was such an upheaval, one which marked the end of a sensate cycle and presaged the dawning of a new ideational phase.

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Too too funny, from Jonah Goldberg:
My buddy James Lileks writes about how left-wing students at Berkeley (sort of redundant, I know) are starting to turn on Marx, not because of his potted theories of the dialectic, his crude reductionism of man to homo economicus, or even the fact that he set the foundation for turning the 20th century into an abattoir. No, Marx is bad because he’s just another dead white guy. The students write in the school paper:
We are calling for an occupation of syllabi in the social sciences and humanities. This call to action was instigated by our experience last semester as students in an upper-division course on classical social theory. Grades were based primarily on multiple-choice quizzes on assigned readings. The course syllabus employed a standardized canon of theory that began with Plato and Aristotle, then jumped to modern philosophers: Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault, all of whom are white men. The syllabus did not include a single woman or person of color.

1 comment:

Thomas D said...

Oh, marvelous that bit on Marx! Yes, white privilege extends to the author of the Communist Manifesto! How tonically ironic!