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internet round-up, June 2-8

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

Here we go again. Sorry this round-up is a few days late. Enjoy!

Favorite Blog Posts / Articles

1. The Patron Saint of Poop: How My Kids Fell in Love with the Saints [Dave Henson]

A brilliant post from David Henson about his experience introducing his children to the Lives of the Saints.

2. Joss Whedons Much Ado About Nothing: as Bracingly Effervescent as Picnic Champagne [Dana Stevens @ Slate]

Joss Whedon filmed a low-budget movie with a lot of stars from his former shows, set around his house, adapting “Much About Nothing.” This could be awesome.

3. Stop Freaking Out About the NSA Surveillance Program [William Saletan @ Slate]

Having the NSA get records from Verizon may be hypocritical on Obama’s part, but it’s not illegal, and it’s nowhere near as outrageous as some people describe it to be. (It’s still wrong, but not as wrong, and that distinction matters.) William Saletan does a good job contextualizing it here.

4. Creationists Are Right, Leading Atheist Concludes [I Love You But You're Going to Hell]

An interesting review of a book on creationist subculture, written by an atheist mathematician who adamantly disagrees with their rejection of evolution but also seems to have a certain respect and understanding of the variety of groups falling under that label. Looks to be a good read.

(The post title is deeply misleading, but intentionally so and does good work with that misdirect.)

5. Do Dogs Mourn Their Owners? [Brian Palmer @ Slate]

Slate’s “Explainer” looks at the question of whether animals (dogs in particular) mourn when their owners die. It’s an interesting look at why it’s hard to answer whether animals have emotional or cognitive states: all we have to go on is their behavior, and that’s usually open to interpretation.

6. A Believer in Fandom: Can Geek and Christian Mix? [Caroline Symcox @ Apex Magazine]

A fascinating look at why many people in sci-fi fandoms, and in organized religion, think you can’t be a member of both groups.

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Best of the Blog

1. Now and at the Hour of Our Death

What’s not complicated is this: if you can look at someone you believe is hell bound and feel happy about it, celebratory even, that’s cruel. It may be an understandable human weakness in the case of someone like bin Laden, but it’s still cruel. Heaven and hell is never about justice – the reward and punishment is always out of proportion to what we deserve – and if their suffering serves any greater good you couldn’t get at through universal conversion or obliteration, the ball is in those people’s court to explain what exactly is going on here. I can’t see it. If hell is necessary, we at least shouldn’t be taking joy in it.

2. Religion and Fandom [reaction to the Apex piece above]

I think that my ideal kind of Christianity, the type of Christian I try very hard to be, embraces this hope for unexplored places and ideas. I think some Christians live out this ideal, to a degree at least. But I also realize there are a lot of people who claim the label Christian and don’t live out the ideal. People on the outside, heck even a lot of people n the inside of the church walls, could easily be forgiven for thinking that Christianity is about rattling off pat answers. Fandom most definitely isn’t, particularly sci fi and fantasy fandoms and double-particularly those of us who write fanfic, like ourselves. It’s a whole community built upon what-ifs, and when someone floats a bizarre possibility (what if Gandalf was really Dumbledore who had been kidnapped by Doctor Who, dragged back in time in a TARDIS, had that Men in Black doohicky wipe his memory, and landed outside Cirdan’s fortress with no real idea where he came from?) – my response isn’t that’s ridiciulous, it’s convince me. Preferably in fic form.

3. John Rawls in the New York Times (Surprise, Surprise)

There’s one point where I agree with Rawls, and I suspect Dr. Krugman would be on board with this point: We shouldn’t reward people because they deserve it, because they worked hard or are smart or athletic or whatever else. We reward people because everyone in society is better off with their particular brand of genius being encouraged and enabled, perhaps even coddled. Sometimes we’re all better off with a bit of inequality – but we shouldn’t pretend this is about fairness. We certainly shouldn’t pretend that the rich are better people than the poor, or that the poor don’t deserve whatever assistance society chooses to give them.

4. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

fanfic is immensely creative. Some people create whole worlds within the margins of Tolkien’s kingdom. Dwim’s story “The Last Whose Realm Was Fair and Free” is an excellent example of this, though certainly not the only such example. Daw, Elliska, Oshun, Dreamflower, Altariel, entirely too many others to name… I’m looking at you. But equally there are people like me who write fairly short pieces that digs deep into Tolkien’s world without building whole new institutions. [...]

The point is that fanfic just makes more explicit what I think all art ultimately does. Every writing and painting and song is built on archetypes, yet still finds room for creativity. Fanfic similarly builds on Tolkien’s and PJ’s worlds and the fanons we’ve all encountered. But we still find space for originality, a place to put our own story rather than just retelling Tolkien’s.

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LOLs and Other Pinterest Goodies

Fannish Funnies [board here]

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{Now if we could only get him to sit PJ down for a nice little chat…}

4.

5.

6. Hunger Games meme, with spoilers here

7. [text slightly clearer at Pinterest]

8. Hobbit meme, with spoilers here

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11. [text slightly clearer at Pinterest]

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Gender, Sexuality, Dating, etc. [board here]

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Groovitudes [board here]

1. Alma, by Tom Lehrer

2. In the Sun, by Joseph Macarthur

An anecdote I shared on FB, apropos to this song:

My muse goes into weird places. When listening to Joseph Arthur’s “In the Sun” I imagine a fanfic story that I once tried to write but couldn’t come up with anything that didn’t break the moment in my head. Basically, Boromir wakes up in the Gardens of Lorien after his death and sees Rue sitting in the crook of a tree beaming down on him and gets him to chase her as a way of psychological healing.

I can’t hear the song without seeing this in my imagination. And somehow it makes me tear up every bit as much as a dramatic death scene from an actual movie.

3. Can’t Hold Us, by Macklemore

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Academic Funnies [board here]

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Random Funnies [board here]

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3. [text slightly clearer at Pinterest]

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Political Humor + Shares [board here]

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{The fact that I see a difference between the Democrats and Republicans, and support Democrats as the best of two bad options doesn’t mean I don’t agree with this, and how. Except the two-dimensional axis is much too restrictive. But whenever I see Obama referred to as a far-left socialist, all I can do is laugh bitterly to keep from crying.}

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{Incidentally, the commercial is simply delightfuly. What a cute kid!}

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No posts to share on these boards:

1. Religion
2. Somebody’s Great Idea
3. Because I’m a Closet Foodie
4. Cuteness
5. Deep Thoughts

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
fliewatuet
Jun. 12th, 2013 07:59 pm (UTC)
That Esher cartoon is just hilarious. I'm still grinning just thinking about it :-D

Thanks for sharing!
marta_bee
Jun. 13th, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
I'm glad! That one earned a chuckle from me, too.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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