Thursday, January 30, 2003

The world makes sense again.
An e-mail from my friend James (Al-Haqq):

I came across an article at tni.org - here is an excerpt:

"The occupation of Palestine is growing stronger. And its threat to Palestinians -- to Palestinian rights and to Palestinian lives -- grows stronger too. Israel's occupation today claims more uncritical support than ever from the world's sole superpower. Alongside its current military and economic subsidies from Washington, amounting to a quarter of the entire U.S. foreign aid budget, Israel this week requested an additional $4 billion in military aid and $8 - 10 billion in loan guarantees from U.S. taxpayers. That money, if granted, would help sustain Israel's illegal occupation."

1/4 of all our foreign aid goes to Israel?!?! This sickens me! A nation in violation of 60+ UN resolutions regarding its illegal occupation of Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights!

America's pattern of pre-emtive strikes has been followed by Russia to justify their escalating repression in Chechnya and by Israel to justify their occupation of Palestine. Why shouldn't Syria or Jordan or Lebanon cite the U.S. precedent to legitimize an attack on Israel? Oh, wait, Israel gets billions of $$$ in military aid, Ooops. Sorry, Arabs, you lose! I think I can hear the words of Paul (to the Galatians) about casting out Hagar & her son...

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

The Legion of Doom's official response to President George W. Bush's State of the Union address: I want a hydrogen powered car. Thank you. Goodnight.

Students say the funniest things:
"Chelsea, we're not lesbians anymore!"

(Playing the game of LIFE, my students ran out of blue figures. Then they discovered some hidden under the board.)

Monday, January 27, 2003


Melissa and I began boxing up our possessions. (Still have a couch to give away.) We started the process of cancelling the phone line, cable, and internet service, and the tedious process of changing our address for all my subscriptions, memberships, and services.

My friend Wim sent me an e-mail. He's moving as well, within two blocks of us. Chance? Fate?

I find it odd that we live in a culture where geography is a choice.

Friday, January 24, 2003

Don't ask questions. Just click here immediately:


The former Bob Craft filed a lawsuit in November against the owners of the reckless-stunt-filled MTV program (and movie) "Jackass," claiming it has defamed him, in that five years ago, he had his own name legally changed to "Jack Ass," which he thought would call attention to his national campaign against drunk driving. Ass, who lives in Montana and filed the lawsuit there, claims that the TV show and movie have damaged his reputation ("which I have worked so hard to create," he wrote) to the tune of at least $10 million. [Reuters, 12-31-02]

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Mutants are people too!
From Andre's blog:
Billy Thompson failed his eighth grade civics class.
My wife and I were horrified last night as we watched a documentary where Christians held up signs
outside the funeral of a gay teenager who was brutally murdered.

So-Called Christian?
What makes you assume I even want to be associated with you?
Iraq: UN sanctions

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

From my friend Relaps, originally posted here:
"No good scientist can presume that every 'proven' theory is reliable. And no good Christian can honestly accept any single manmade doctrine whole heartedly."

In high school, the theatre club voted me

No kidding. Who? Me? I'm just an innocent school teacher trying to make a living.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Melissa and I are moving to Dallas. (some comments here)

We're on Grand Avenue. I like living on avenues. It sounds much cooler than road, street, or lane.

Nearby attractions: Dallas Arboretum (I love botanical gardens), White Rock Lake, Casa Linda, White Rock Yacht Club, a bus stop, and especially THE LAKEWOOD LANDING... one of the coolest hangouts... ever.

The apartment: Two bedroom/two bathroom. Fireplace. Balcony. Washer/Dryer. Dishwasher. The complex has a swimming pool and a hot tub, plus a workout room.

Highlights for me: I now have an office. My own little hole where I can write and create. I have a closet large enough for my comic book collection. (It's important to me. Okay?!) I live closer to my best friend Wim. I also live near Dan, which seems a little dangerous, but I don't mind. Deep Ellum is not too far away.

Highlights for her: Melissa now lives near work. No more hour long commutes from Fort Worth. Melissa has several good friends in Dallas. More space.

Highlights for our cat, Josie: Not many. She hates moving. All of her cat friends were at Dorothy Lane (sorry Cosmo). But we've got lots of windows and she does like windows.

Interior design: Already, Melissa has begun to plot the "look" of our living space. We're thinking a type of '50s atomic age lounge-retro look (click here for inspiration). Lots of retro-futura furniture, toy rockets, silver age comic book pop art, fun colors, etc. I could tell you her plans (very cool stuff). I'll just wait and take a picture.
Okay, here we go...

A few months ago, a person who shall go unnamed called me a "so-called Christian." Alas. When are we going to move our faith beyond theological social clubs? Where our only accusation is: "You don't think the way I do!" (?)

So called? What makes you assume I even want to be associated with you?

- I cherish the one God. There is only one God. He is the God of Abram, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus. On good days, he's my god too.
- I cherish the Kingdom-- the total extent of God's will on this reality and the people who seek his way.
- I cherish Jesus. Son of God, Son of Man, Messiah, Prophet and Teacher of the Kingdom.
- I hope in salvation, based only on God's just will.
- I think doctrines on the trinity and sanctification do not adequately explain the nature and purpose of God.
- I think the bible was written by historical communities searching after God. Knowledge of the bible itself is not sufficient for righteousness. I am a student of the text; I do not worship the text.

To you: I honestly and genuinely do not doubt you are a righteous and kind person. I do not doubt you care deeply for God and the community of God. I have reason to believe you are a capable and respected pastor. I even think your e-mail to me was written more out of concern, than spite. I even appreciate your honesty. But I will say this:

You don't know me.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

In honor of David Galbraith's unique attempts to understand Derrida, I have decided to use Altavista's Babelfish in order to better understand copyright law:

In English:
Copyright is a right, granted to you by law, to control the copying, reproduction, distribution, derivative use, and public display of your photographs, and to sue for unauthorized use (infringement) of your work.

From English to German to French, back to English:
The royalties are the right, authorizations with you by the law, controls your Fotographie doubly, interpretation, the distribution, the derived use, with the general demonstration with regard to the use which does not authorize (wounds) with the continuation with your work.

And now, Dan Hughes in English:
How does one enact moral virtue without reference to principle or outcome? In what way is virtue a method for moral ordering and not a generalized descriptor of a particular deontological or consequential position in action?

From English to German to French, back to English:
How does it order a moral virtue without indication on a basic rule or a result? In lesquel the manner is a virtue a method for orders and not Beschreiber morals generalized some deontological or the position logically according to in the activity?

And finally, the Apostle Paul in Russian:
"ß íå ñòûæóñü Åâàíãåëèÿ, âåäü îíî ñèëà Áîæüÿ äëÿ ñïàñåíèÿ êàæäîìó, êòî âåðèò, - ïðåæäå âñåãî èóäåþ, ïîòîì è ÿçû÷íèêó."

From Russian to English to German to French, back to English:
I am not to it indeed shamed gospels, the force god to save with each one which, of all, israelite believe initially, then and with heathen.

Andrew Jones, one of my favorite blogging pastors, recently posted some comments about my comments concerning his earlier comments (and also here) about something I wrote.

So I'd like to comment on this most recent commentary about my commentary on his comments on what I wrote.

1. The "coffee thing" was more poking fun at myself for trying to generalize and classify people. On a deeper level, coffee, tea, or beer could classify the recent waves in "fashionable beverages." We began with Starbucks and the overpriced gourmet coffee blends. Then we move to the hip Eastern-sensitive hot tea, or chia. (Right?) Green tea and all that crap. And of course, the Flying Saucer (and other pubs) that specialize in having an UNREAL amount of imports. Pretty deep, huh?

2. Everybody is against religious elitism.

3. I give the Super Friends great respect (although, I admit, sometimes tongue-in-cheek) for bringing the postmodern discussion to the mainstream American church and for giving church leaders language to talk about it. Your voice encourages other pastors, now more excited about what they do and who they are. Of course, you've also terrified some of the fundamentalists, which has entertained me immensely.

I will make sure not to forget that the Postmodern Super Friends are #1.

Monday, January 13, 2003

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief."
-Gerry Spence

"La passion est la garantie de l'existence."
(Passion is the hallmark of existence.)

"Je hais les gens qui se disent existentialistes"
(I hate people who say they're existentialistes.)

Thank you, Catherine, for sending me the list of French quotes.

My friend Pat Rutherford has a clothing line. The clothes (and accessories) look great.

Friday, January 10, 2003

From a previous blog on Suburban Hell


In December, police in Urbana, Ohio, said they would soon file fraud charges against Teresa Milbrandt, 35, for tricking local people and businesses into giving her more than $10,000 on behalf of her 7-year-old daughter, who she falsely said had leukemia. Milbrandt apparently never even told her daughter why she had to have her head shaved (to simulate the effects of chemotherapy), but that touch of realism ultimately caused the scheme to collapse when someone noticed the hair had been cut and was not falling out. [Associated Press, 12-20-02]

Crush came over time
I shoulda been here, I shoulda been there
For a long time
Oh baby, baby I pray in order
thy void recorders
won't ever bother you

I got free space to occupy
In case they wipe away your signs
But I didn't play
But I got traced down

They came close to close for me
I think they always been in charge
They're complicated memories
Oh yeah, they must have been
They must have known that you were here
I think they're always well informed
Oh yeah, they're always well informed

"The Horror Partyjokes" by dEUS
Clever white youths with attitudes
that's what the world is today
We sing a song about the alienation
Hey, hey, hey

All you little white boys with nice haircuts
We'll entertain you so
And play the little electric guitar
to the little finger beat

"Clever White Youth" by dEUS
Godawful I adore you
angels were there before you
nothing can stop what we do
it's breaking us up in two.

Hey maybe should we ask it
could our friends be worthier.
Like things we trust for if we must
We must burn them.
And burn them good, real friends they would
be understanding if it came to us
and us we must we must turn to
the God of small things.
The God of small things.

"The Magic Hour" by dEUS
A tribute to pretend
a kiss of God
It was just some accident
just a little somethin'
I did not impose
just merely chose
to recommend

"Overflow" by dEUS
I ordered the dEUS DVD "No More Video" from a Belgian website proxis.be. The reason? It's not available in America. (Let hear it for imported music!) It was weird (and kinda cool) purchasing something and converting euros to USD. Call it cultural imperialism-- I'm just not used to anything besides USD.

By the way, dEUS is the greatest band you've never heard.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Of all the stuff I've written, I probably got the most attention with my labeling of the "Postmodern Super Friends." For kicks and giggles, and to leave no subgroup alone, I've created a few more postmodern elitist groups. I'm fascinated by elitistism. Religious snobbery among the educated and influential seems to be as old as the church itself. We (yes, I'll include myself among the snobs) like to see our name in the index of books. We like to be invited to speak at conferences. We enjoy seeing our name on other people's blog rolls. All the while, we plead humility in the name of Christian sensibility. I do not necessarily fault people for identifying themselves within groups of people they admire. I merely urge us to distinguish between communitarian and sectarian.

The Special People Clubs:

The Evangelical pastors and church planters who popularized the postmodern discussion in American Christianity. They are the pioneers, the book writers, and the keynote speakers. They drink coffee.

The Christians who were influenced by the Super Friends. They started websites and webzines and message boards and blogs (lots of blogs). They began ministries. Some are pastors, but not all. A few have spoken at conferences. None have written a book. They have similar passion as the Super Friends. They lack the recognition. They drink soda.

They blog and blog and blog. They scoff at everything and anything comercial or "Christianized." They complain a lot. They grew up embracing pop culture with postmodern sensibility... and were not necessarily influenced by the Super Friends. They take "Fight Club" a little too seriously. They say stuff to scare orthodox Christians. (Are they really Christian?) They drink beer.

Note: These Special People Clubs do not literally exist (except maybe the LEGION OF DOOM). They only exist within the satirical walls of my mind.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

via Summer's livejournal

Saturday, a waitress was killed at Bennigan's in Arlington. I didn't know her, but it has affected me.

The basics:
A group of four teenagers came in at 12:30
Jennifer probably sold them alcohol.
They ran up 100$ and walked the tab.
The manager told Jennifer to run after them to get the license-plate number.
They backed over her.
She's now dead.

Very unfortunate. Reading the newsreport affected me too. It's not right.

Monday, January 06, 2003

In our school library, they've started the BOOKS ARE FUN campaign. Unfortunately, some books aren't fun. Some are downright dreadful. It really depends. But I guess, the BOOKS CAN BE FUN campaign just doesn't sound as persuasive.
Last night, I couldn't sleep. My mind was racing. So many thoughts about God, life, meaning, purpose, success, failure, responsibility-- it was too much. Then I realized what it's all about:


That's the answer. In all it's beautiful, stunning simplicity: Akerirya.
So I fell asleep, just pondering the magnitude of this word.

Saturday, January 04, 2003

It's 1:53 AM according to my EXPLORER 3100 cable box. I just got back from watching the movie Adaptation, an incredible movie. The story was unconventional without alienating it's audience. Absolutely fascinating. While Being John Malkovich explored the absurdity of acting, this film goes into the bizarre torment of writing-- the battle against cliches, the impulse to put yourself in the story, and the desire for "easy" endings. I liked this movie, because it was playful and poked fun at itself.

Among other things, Charlie Kaufman (the screenwriter) writes about Charlie Kaufman (the character). The character is fat and bald. The writer is not. I find this sublimely amusing. The audience would never know, unless they read this article about the "real Kaufman" like I did.

But the movie was more than just deconstructing the medium of film, the theme was beautifully (and blatantly) splattered throughout. "You are what you love, not what loves you." The implications moved further into a pseudo-existentialism: "It not what you love, but only that you love." Love/passion is an act, a decision, a choice each of us can make. The choice itself is meaningful.

During the first ten minutes of Adaptation, a thought came while watching. The Charlie Kaufman played by Nick Cage is a cautionary tale. Had I never met my wife, I wouldn't be too different from the protagonist... you'd just have to watch the movie to understand.

Friday, January 03, 2003

Next time I'm in D.C., I would like to visit the International Spy Museum. It looks cool. But until then, I'm going to brush up on my spy lingo. I could act as a "sleeper" or "floater" for any "wet job" where I need to "sanitize" the "raven". Yeah, I could be a spy.

Thursday, January 02, 2003

via Dan's blog~
"Coffee, Tea, or Should We Feel Your Pregnant Wife’s Breasts Before Throwing You in a Cell at the Airport and Then Lying About Why We Put You There?" by Nicholas Monahan

When Melissa and I were leaving Mexico, I found it interesting that airport security confiscated our toenail clippers-- but on the airplane, our flight attendants gave beer to the passengers served in glass bottles?! Maybe I haven't seen enough Western flicks to know better, but a broken glass bottle makes one hell of a weapon.

I got a haircut. It's a nice '50s clean cut look. I walked to the barber shop down the street from our apartment. I was tired of the fancy salon stuff. Instead, I paid twelve bucks. Got a hair cut and a hot shave.
Driving home last night, Melissa and I saw an SUV (about 50 yards in front of us) nearly tip over performing an impressive 180 degree tailspin while going 60 mph. This amazing feat of drunk driving was accomplished on I-30 in the Dallas canyon. No one was killed or injured, but if I had the opportunity to address this driver, I would say this:

Dear SUV driver,
You could have killed my wife and me. You are stupid. I hope you never reproduce and create more stupid people just like you. Anyone as dumb as you should never be allow to drive. You should walk your stupid drunk self everywhere as punishment for endangering two perfectly intelligent people, such as my wife and me.
The witness to your idiocy
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