March 30, 2016

A Hodge-Podge of Discontinued Items (Now 50% off!)

Trump is very ancient Roman:  he'll provide the bread ("We'll take care of everybody") and the circus (himself). One stop shopping.

Our dog Max is to dogdom what Trump is to politics: a wrecking ball and a perennial surprise. Just as I wake up every day in shock and amazement that Trump is likely our nominee, I wake with shock and amazement that a dog can be so much trouble, both in terms of barking and counter-surfing.

I put Max in his crate and feel the ahhh…. I read six poems slowly, nature-themed, from the Keillor anthology. I rested my mind inside the words and phrases, between the refreshing cracks of font-faced symbols:
…under the outhouse vault, and ravens have left the ridges to gorge on Mormon crickets in the meadows. Flakes of obsidian and red flint knapped from arrowheads hundreds of years ago appear in the trails each day, and the big fish fossil in the limestone cliff dissolves a little more with every rain.
For awhile I sat, glued to the silence. I reveled in the heroin-like reprieve and half-dozed under the domed light in the book-room, the incandescence a foot from my face. I reckon I was in the daze of poetry and schlafen for two hours. I think it's safe to say that it made my day.

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The latest Jonah Goldberg National Review (GLOP) podcast featured a humorous “candidate” supported by Goldberg in lieu of Trump and Shrilllary: SMOD: Sweet Meteor o' Death. A meteor hitting earth would wipe out ISIS, cure global warming, fix the Arab-Israeli conflict and end the IRS. Support SMOD today!

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The Bible emphasizes, to put it mildly, giving God the benefit of the doubt.  Both the Old Testament and New start with the same story but with different actors: God gives us something very good and we use our freedom to destroy it.

In the Old Testament, God gives us a bountiful Garden of Eden free of death and suffering and we make the choice to sin. Then God gave us another along the same lines: In the New Testament, God offers us his Son, goodness personified, who only healed and saved, and we chose to put him to death. In both cases God was judged wrongly by man, but in the New Testament there's a different ending: Christ defeats death and saves man.

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Interesting juxtaposition of reads is Dreamland, about the heroin epidemic and our dream to evade pain and suffering, and Jeff Cavin's When You Suffer, about the meaning of suffering and offering it up.

A thought occurred: do oppressed peoples favor the OT and the less so the New?

Specifically I came across this quote in Dreamland: “Russian Pentecostals leaned on the severe God of the Old Testament to shepherd them through Soviet oppression.”

You'd think there'd be more desire to see their foes smite'd for the oppressed. More emphasis on justice rather than mercy. In the New Testament, the Book of Revelation is very hard on the lukewarm and bad actors perhaps because it was intended specifically for the persecuted.

I thought about how African-American slaves used to be particularly fond of Moses and his story in Egypt, for understandable reasons. How much St. Paul ran through the black community of the early 1800s? “I can bear all things, through Christ”? Most of the slave hymns were about escape to the Promised Land. Much about crossing the Jordan. The dreamland of Heaven, only it's no dream but real.

Michel, row the boat a-shore
Hallelujah!
Then you'll hear the trumpet blow…

And

Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home

Those seem much more of a longing for escape rather than a desire to see their masters humbled, at least in that very hasty survey. 

2 comments:

Thomas D said...

Author on the Keillor anthology snippet?

TS said...

william notter.