Thursday, August 25, 2016

How Like A God

A new poem of mine, written several months ago from a restaurant view.

How Like A God

Looking down on a new city
from a third-story restaurant
is not like being a god
in the sense that I am on top of the world,


it is like being a god
in the sense that I am
better than you,
that I am judging you in this moment,
o motorcycle pizza delivery guy,
seen from above
through a canopy of flowers,
playing with a colleague’s son.


Not judging in the sense
of heaven and hell,
but in the sense of the senses.
I am deciding that your moment
on the sidewalk immediately below me
is beautiful
and that I am worthy to say it is so.


Also this is like being a god
in the sense that I am outside you,
completely other.


And although I am sure I understand you
you do not even see me
and could never hope to understand
from down there without revelation,
that is,


if I were not completely condescending
in the theological sense.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

5 Reasons Christians Shouldn't Have Kids

Sometimes Christians feel pressure to have children from their own churches and communities. This is a crying shame. With a view to remedy some poor attitudes and to offer assurances to those who are called to not have children, I have produced this short video.

I hope and believe that you will find these five points of living child-free helpful and practical.

You will find a brief discussion of 1 Corinthians 7 below the vid. The Lord bless you and keep you.




1 Corinthians 7 is often used as a "proof-text" that celibacy is spiritually superior to marriage, because Paul urges Christians not to marry. He allows that some of the saints might be unable not to marry, so that if the choice is between burning with lust or marrying, they should go ahead and marry.

In evangelical circles this is used to make marriage, family, and children a matter purely of preference and personal choice, with the caveat that only super-awesome grace-filled Christians can handle being Christians. Last week, for example, my wife met a woman who told her she never married because she needed all her time to do the Lord's work. This attitude despises what the Bible teaches us we are called to in our Christian walk.

The context of Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 7 is this: The world is being turned upside down, a new age is coming. Persecution is coming. Paul promises there will be much suffering. And there is. Read 2 Corinthians 4 to realize how much the Corinthians suffered between receiving the two letters from Paul.

Here are some key phrases from 1 Corinthians 7, followed by the text of verses 25, 26, 29-32.

"in view of the present distress"

"those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you"

"the appointed time has grown very short"

"the present form of the world is passing away"

In context: "Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away. I want you to be free from anxieties."

Saturday, July 2, 2016

In Praise of This Meme Maker, & All Like Him


I'm a huge fan of abbreviations and acronyms being treated gramatically as if they were their fully-fledged selves. I praise the maker of this meme for treating Brexit as if it actually means "British exit". Not "the most delicious delicious irony of British exit", but "the British exit". Cheers, sir. The Lord bless you and keep you, and provide you with many happy Spanish sherries.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Names To Build & Destroy (Naming of Parts)


A long time ago, man gave names to all the animals and Bob Dylan sang about it. Then he, that is, the man, was named Ish, and she, the woman, was named Ishah. Then he named many other things, murdering and making as he went. He decided to build a tower to heaven but ended up with too many tongues, and had to name all those things again. And again and again.

It was self-evident even in the days of Noah that you had to give things names if you were going to make them. It was also kind of obvious, although they didn't really talk about it, that you could destroy already-made things by making up other names. You could use names to break things into pieces, or at least to stop them from doing what they were made to do.

As the apprentice coder said, "Suppose I have a struct list, and I want to provide a 'constructor' and a 'destructor' function. Is there an established naming convention that is predominant in the real world?"

Come Discover the Beauty of Brazilian Favelas!

This has shown up in my Facebook feed more than once. I guess Facebook's analytics figured out that I might visit Brazil sometime soon (I live in Brazil); Visit.org is probably ecstatic with how well their targeted advertising is working.

Brazil is a beautiful country, full of many incredible places worth visiting, from waterfalls to wetlands to food trucks and fabulous city culture.


The ad above includes a wonderful highlight that you should include in your poverty-tourism: checking out a Brazilian favela. So romantic, so real. People with simple lives are happy people. Rousseau and Thoreau said so.

Below are some photos I collected of favelas, to encourage you in your condescending white-bread visit to the sexiest place on earth. Yep, you'll be contributing to the dignity of people's lives by spending your money there, and you'll definitely be getting an authentic favela experience. Nothing fake and processed for our American friends. Even the sex trade here is legit, i.e. super-authentic.

"Discover a Brazilian favela."








No, seriously, go ahead and discover a Brazilian favela. It definitely won't be bizarre, condescending, or exploitative in any way.



Saturday, June 11, 2016

Reacción al avance de los EE.UU. en la Copa América Centenario


Los Estados Unidos se han garantizados frente a Paraguay su lugar en la siguiente etapa de la Copa América Centenario, apesar de cuarenta minutos de tarjeta roja y un montón de amarillos (muchos sí merecidos).

A todos los países al sur del Río Grande de México digo que no merecen tener a EE.UU. en la Copa América. No son ellos que deben sentirse honrados por el convite, pero sí ustedes honrados que les muestran el espiritu con lo cual se debe jugar el "jogo bonito". En la CONCACAF se ve dia tras dia, pero no aprenden nada, porque están jugando dos soccers en la misma conferencia, y un no tiene nada a ver con el otro. Y no hablo exclusivamente de los EE.UU., pero de Canadá y Jamaica tambien. EE.UU. son simplemente los mejores expositores en las Américas del fútbol jugado con espíritu.

Si Brasil o Colombia o México jugasen con sólo la mitad de la rectitud de los norteamericanos, serían otra Alemania. Sí, lo dije: rectitud.

Los latinoamericanos se dicen unos a los otros que su juego tiene alma, o que el juego alemán o holandés es robótico. Pero en las Américas se disfraza la falta de pasión con cinicismo y fresquilitas muestras de habilidad. (Excluyo La Roja y los albicelestes, y me cuesta elogiar a cualquier argentino.).

A veces hay que jugar al fútbol con un poco de violencia virtuosa. No se juega como si fuese un recreo de bailarín desempleado.

Pero de veras, y'all, no pasa nada. Está todo bien.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Turner-Batey Scale Measures If You Are Too Purty Fer Prison

A great kerfufflage is happening online because the father of a young man convicted of sexual assault wrote the judge a letter asking for lenience in sentencing. “His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.” Yes, you read that correctly. Like I said, there was a great kerfufflage.

The judge appears to have agreed with the young man's father. Brock Turner faced fourteen years if convicted. Prosecution asked for six years. He was given six months plus probation. He will probably only spend three months in prison. The judge was worried that a harsher sentence might have "a severe impact on him".

Brock Turner went to Stanford, the Ivy League of the west. Last year four student athletes from Vanderbilt, the Ivy League of the south, were tried for rape. Two were tried and convicted before it was discovered that the jury foreman had been a victim of rape. Retrials were scheduled, and this April one was convicted again, while the trial of the second has begun. Although the gravity of the two assaults could be debated, the two cases include chemical influence and an unconscious victim. And, of course, they include the violation of the victim, whose dignity we would disdain if we insisted on the fine points of sexual assault.

I would like to compare Brock Turner to Corey Batey, the Vanderbilt athlete recently convicted. We can also throw in Brandon Vandenburg, the athlete currently on trial. This will be done in order to talk about what the judge in the Turner case meant when he said "a severe impact". We all know we're talking about prison rape here, right?

Follow-Up To "This Is Why You Should Hate Soccer"

A couple of days ago I posted a complex but clear argument for why you should hate soccer. It's worth checking out here. Today I post the coup de grace, the inevitable result of the horrors of the first post.

The event pictured here happened on the evening of June 4, the same day the events from the previous post happened. The gods trembled when these two titans joined forces.


The Braggadocious Parent Trap

Being caught in a humblebrag is unsightly and tacky, but the danger of actually being caught can be reduced to almost nothing because of two mitigating factors: your skill at executing such humblebrags (no need to brag, we know you're good), and perhaps most importantly, the environment of the online community into which you release your humblebrags.

There are some online communities where not humblebragging would be seen as haughty and aloof, i.e. homeschooling blogs, mommy blogs, parenting blogs, homeschooling mommy parenting blogs.

There are several dangers incumbent in such behavior, but the worst might this one, which you might not have considered: your kids might see what you're up to.

Friday, June 3, 2016

This Is Why You Should Hate Soccer

Because of these pants. I mean, come on. Only Russell Westbrook and soccer players would wear pants like these. Also, these guys. Am I right?

Although I am more impressed with Justin now than I was at the beginning of the day.

Justin and Neymar, loving the California lifestyle.