Here you guys go. Enjoy!
Things I’ve Read
Conversing with Our Children about Creation and Evolution, by Praveen Sethupathy
The wisdom in Caedmon’s story is sometimes lost on us. We are often offended that God should have to accomplish anything in steps, as though that made him less divine and all-powerful. But engaging a child can be a fruitful remedy for the biases that have been woven into the fabric of our thinking over time. Creation by process made God seem more powerful and real to Caedmon, not less. In fact, the process of fairy creation was vital to Caedmon’s story because he felt that without it, the fairies would be inclined to view themselves as a product of “magic,” rather than an expression of a creative Person. In other words, the process points to God, and maybe even represents an invitation to learn more about him.
Things I’ve Said
… here …
I know I prattle on a fair bit about Aristotle, but these two really do seem to capture the Aristotelian friendship quite well. You have two men who are virtuous in different ways – Wilson through his compassion and loyalty, House through his authenticity and raw intellect. Both shoot a bit excessive of true virtue, actually, but the point is they have virtues the other more or less lacks. House teaches Wilson how to embrace the idea that the world isn’t just and live with that, actually to live full-stop. When he eulogizes House, Wilson is brutally completely honest which I can’t see him doing at any earlier point in the series – and I can’t help imagining House would approve. And House, for his part, gives up first his Vicodin to take away a friend’s pain and then ultimately his life as a doctor.
And water sloshing over bridge-remains,
Deeper, deeper, deeper,
Water up to his chest now,
Chain mail dragging,
Momentary panic – Osgiliath reminders Osgiliath drowning brother two others and bridges collapsing orc arrows drowning drowning drowning and and and…
(from Aeneid’s “110″)
There’s this idea that violence isn’t blinked at but love, particularly love between two characters with matching genitalia, must be warned against lest teh innocentz be exposed. This is one of the things I love so much about Ellen’s novels, that characters aren’t heterosexual or homosexual so much as just people. What I mean is Richard loves Alec (or in this case Theron and St. Cloud) are obviously in love with each other, and in this book that means a few sex scenes. Tastefully done, integral to the plot, but sex scenes between two men. Yet in our culture, for Theron and St. Cloud to kiss requires forewarning in a way we’d never expect for Faramir and Eowyn. And certainly we wouldn’t expect them before the gruesome hike through the Capitol sewers in Hunger Games. That’s telling.
Bonus: the audiobook is now available for download. If the earlier ones are any indication, this is an audiobook you don’t want to miss.
… and on FB ….
1. In response to this song:
Ninety-three years ago today, the nineteenth amendment was ratified giving women the right to vote. That calls for a little bit of showtuneage. Danke schoen to all the brave women and men that fought to make my political life possible.
2. In response to this comic:
Many of David Hayward aka the Naked Pastor’s comics make me smile, but this one earned an outright laugh. I can totally see Jesus stealing NOT’s off church signs – fits in quite nicely with the radical inclusion that characterizes his statements in the gospels to the excluded groups of his own days.
3. In response to this link:
Slate.com has a piece by a woman whose marriage was arranged. Personally I found the piece overly preachy and didn’t finish it, but it was a good reminder that arranged marriages exist and that they work to a certain degree.
It got me thinking about the idea of gay marriage, particularly the claims you sometimes hear that gay marriage would redefine marriage. Thinking about arranged marriages it seems clear to me that over history, lots of people have gotten married for lots of different reasons. Some of them are built around biological procreation, some around love, some around stability and social alliances and the need to protect family honor. I’d almost certainly want to marry for love, because I want to sanctify my relationship with someone before God and because I want to use the legal privileges that help build a life.
But reading this article, it struck me: if someone else wanted to marry for a different reason? That wouldn’t change what my imagined marriage would drive at. And if it did change the general definition of marriage, that certainly wouldn’t be the first time in human history that happened.
4. In response to this headline:
I wonder if I’m the only one more than a bit bothered by this headline. As I read it, this article is basically about how the sequester and other government spending cuts are threatening grant money given to vital science research.
I’m not criticizing the basic point that such research is important and that short-sighted cuts are threatening it. But the Dark Ages? I’ll swallow my bile that my loverly medieval period so often gets painted as a time of ignorance and superstition. For instance the early medieval period (what’s usually referred to as the dark ages) saw the invention of things like mills that made use of the tides, Artesian wells, horseshoes and horse-collars that allowed greater use of horsepower, and the three-crop rotation system that improved agricultural efficiency. Those are just the ones I can think of off off the top of my head. And if we include the Arabic world, there was much more theoretical work being done, on mathematics, medicine, astronomy, philosophy. Always assuming things like algebra should be considered a good thing.
I may be wrong here, but was government-sponsored scientific research really a thing before the Cold War? Before then, it was mostly paid for through patronage by the uber-wealthy. So the way public funding is falling back isn’t just a feature of the Dark Ages; it’s pretty much a feature of any period before the last century.
I *am* concerned about the way anti-scientific “true for me” or truthiness seems to trump objective truth and expertise these days. But again, this didn’t begin with the Tea Party. America has a long tradition of anti-intellectualism and wariness of eggheads and brainiacs telling us how to run things. And even if it’s worse than it once was (I think it is), that’s not really what this piece is about anyway.
5. On Doctor Who:
Speaking of Pinterest, a rewatched video reminded me that I really can’t tell tell the difference between David Tenant and Matt Smith, at least not in clips and photos. I suppose I should be ashamed of myself.
6. And again on House:
A quick question for fans of “House”: Am I the only one who saw parallels between certain characters in the season six opener (“Broken,” where House is in the psychiatric hospital) and the regular hospital cast. For instance, the chief psychiatrist had a bearing a lot like Foreman’s, and the blond character with the superman delusions I thought was going to be paralleled with Chase, mainly because of the way both nearly die. The fat girl (the one who danced in the talent show) even reminded me a little of Cuddy for some reason.
I don’t know if I was seeing things that weren’t there, but I certainly expected something to be made of the connection.
LOLs I’ve Spread
Fandom Funnies (board)
1. Benedict Cumberbatch – 1; Paparazzi – 0
7. mini!Minnie McG.
8. Fandom in a nutshell
Academic Funnies (board)
Religious Funnies (board)
Viggo’s Artwork (board)
1. The photo that inspired my Aragorn/Arwen fluff:
Random Funnies (board)
1. Sad Cat Diaries:
Somebody’s $1m Idea (board)
1. recessed outlets, allowing furniture to go flat against the wall