Friday, February 29, 2008


Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. {continue...}
[HT: The Thinklings]

The Original Jesus Rocker Goes to Jesus
[via The Wittenburg Door]

a time for burning
[via The Carnival In My Head]

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

In Their Reflections

We want to know from whence we came and to whom we belong.

Despite puzzling questions from some blacks about whether or not Barack is "black enough," he speaks to this desire in us to understand our roots because he knows his story. He can return to the land of his father and siblings. He can join in the ancient rituals. He can don the traditional clothing. Obama, like many of us, is still unalterably American. His story is as rooted in Kansas as it is in Kenya. But he has easy access to both. He can draw from the deep wells of both his mother's hopes and his father's dreams.

The social death of slavery has cut off many black Americans from our ancestral narratives. During Black History Month we adopt our collective accomplishments and our common heroes as a salve against our lost personal stories. This is critically important, but there is something special about naming your own ancestors and encountering yourself in their reflections.

Yet here in Black History Month, Obama's own black history is being used as a weapon against him. President Bush can traipse around the motherland safely encased in his armor of whiteness. No one can mistake him for a "native". His role is simply to dispatch the White Man's Burden with billions in abstinence-based HIV/AIDS programs and malaria-fighting mosquito netting. In a single photo, Barack can be painted as indelibly tied to a deep and mysterious, exotic and dangerous Dark Continent that produced the shame of slavery and the fear of Islamic radicalism.
[via The Root]

It may be when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.
-Wendell Berry

[noted via Randall Friesen]

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Rapture and the Revolution

Larry Norman is no longer visiting this planet. The original Jesus rocker died Sunday of heart failure in Oregon. He was 60.

By the time I saw Norman play in the late '80s, his best work was behind him. He had become addled and erratic, prone to venting obliquely about the bridges he'd burned with so many of the people he'd worked with over the years. Yet still there were glimpses of the talent that had written so many weirdly beautiful songs.

He was, always, a long-haired, Son-worshipping Jesus Freak. A hippie -- with all of the unsustainable idealism and naivete that entails. For Norman, that hippie naivete merged with Hal Lindsay's premillennial dispensationalism -- setting him up for major disappointment and disillusionment when the 1980s arrived and neither the rapture nor the revolution seemed to be at hand. I can't help but wonder if the long downward spiral of Norman's later decades wasn't in part a result of his simple Jesus Freak idealism spoiling on the vine. {more}
[via slacktivist]

Giving Out

Larry David Norman
April 8, 1947 – February 24, 2008

As we all do in life, he made many bad decisions and made some enemies. (I think research would validate that the most brilliant artists are more inclined to do so.) He was driven and self-indulgent, passionate and focused.

Apparently he died a pauper and in relative obscurity; his death caused by heart problems. It figures it’s his heart that gave out. He used the heck out of it.{the rest}
[via ThinkChristian.NET]

only visiting this planet
[via The View From Her]

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hoping to Come Together

No one plans on wishing one’s life away. It happens frequently, though, because…we wander into a future with our hope that in the next place our world will come together. {full post}
--from Yearning: Living Between How It Is & How It Ought To Be, p.21

[via The Eagle & Child]


[via indexed]

Grow Up Already: Why Married Love Isn't "Settling"
[via Villainous Company, HT: The View From Her]

Honouring and Hampering

As long as violence is perpetrated against innocent people, there will be the need for others with the ability and the will to protect them with physical force.

What disturbs me, particularly in the debate over Afghanistan but also more generally, is the tendency of some people to continually frame the question in World War II terms. They talk about honour and glory and military might, and they denounce peacekeeping and security as unmanly pursuits advocated by Nancy-boys and tourists. Worse, they continue to cling to the notion that wars can still be won through the application of bigger armies and superior firepower.

Surely Vietnam should have disabused us all of that notion....

We must begin by acknowledging a fundamental paradox: that those who are directly involved in the military and military culture have a vested interest in their own continued existence. If peace were to actually become the norm, all these guys would be out of a job.

Therefore, while it is vital to have experienced members of the military involved in foreign policy decisions, we cannot assume that their advice is necessarily going to help advance the cause of peace. So when a Colonel or a General says we should follow a particular course of action in, say, Afghanistan, as impressive as their credentials might be, we need to be mindful that even with the best of intentions, their advice may simply propose the best course of action for the military, and not for us as a country or for the people we are trying to help.

We also need to recognize that the military can only be one part of any long-lasting solution to world violence and conflict. Simply marching in waving the biggest dick stick not only continues to fail to bring the desired results, but in most cases exacerbates the situation.
[via Runesmith's Canadian Content]

Love is much more demanding than law.
- Desmond Tutu. [via Kevin Powell]

Friday, February 15, 2008

love: ἀγάπη
[via Aristotle's Feminist Subject, also featured at Suzanne's Bookshelf]

the most private confessions of saint clair
words and music: Patsy Moore

It's been eight years since my last confession
Father, bless me, though I did not sin
I just gave over to some mad obsession
And- in so doing -let some bad stuff in

It's been eight years since my last confession
But must we insist on so much shame?
Can we find a way to ease the tension?
Can't you see that there's no one to blame?

I recognize your good intentions
I'm thankful that- of all your sorrows - you love me most
But you can't be my Holy Ghost
And I can't be your dream

It's been ten years since I pressed a record
But it's been nine years since I cared at all
And it's been eight years since my last confession
And it's been four years since the sad phone call

And I only bring this up to mention
That every single, solitary story on that shelf
Brought me to the best part of myself

I recognize your good intentions
I'm thankful that- of all your sorrows -you love me most
But you can't be my Holy Ghost
And I can't be your dream
I can't live your dream

Copyright 2003 Patsy Moore/Patchouli Grove Music/SESAC

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Broken Hearts and Leaflet Campaigns
[via Ron & Jessica, HT:]

Why it's better not to have a valentine
[via The View From Her]

Happy Quirkyalone Day!
[via Quirkyalone]

Lent to Justice

Sure I joked with my friends about giving up homework for Lent and even flirted with giving up chocolate a few times (how significant is denial if it doesn’t lead to spiritual reflection?), but Lent remained an odd tradition I played at and not a habit I embraced. I respected the idea of discipline, but balked at the legalism of giving up something just because that is what people do during Lent. Perhaps hearing my friends complain about how desperate they were for a cola and not hearing anything about how they had been affected spiritually fed my confusion. Lent just didn’t make sense, at least not in the popular ways I saw it conveyed and practiced.

Then I discovered the connection between Lent and justice.
[via Next-Wave Ezine, HT: onehandclapping]

Prepositions and Serving One Another
[via ThinkChristian.NET]

Realism Vs. Romance?

For Single Women Who Have Choices
[via Faith Dance]

Thanks for the anxiety, Lori
[via Quirkyalone]

Received In Full

This is Joe Bob "The Exegete" Briggs with a special Valentine’s Day edition of our online Bible study, and we're going into one of my favorite areas—King Solomon's sex life.

One thousand women.

Please let this sink in for a minute.

One thousand legal women. Because, when you're the King of Israel, there's no such thing as jailbait, and there's no such thing as bigamy, and there's no such thing as having too many women in bed at the same time.

I like the way he puts it here: His eyes desired something, he just took it. He trusted his eyes.

Now. Any guy past the age of about, oh, 19, knows what happens when you trust your eyes. One day you wake up next to Miss Supermodel-On-The-Outside and discover that she's really Miss Demonic-Gargoyle-On-The-Inside. But the amazing thing about most of us is that we continue to go skulking around after supermodels, instead of doing the sensible thing and maybe asking a few questions, like, "Do you ever take a picture of your boyfriend, paint a pentagram around it, set it on fire, and chant 'You're a loser!' before you go to bed at night?"

One thousand women is a good solid number, though. That's about how many it takes to get to the point where you say, "Aha! We males want one thing, but maybe they want something else!" {continue...}
[via The Wittenburg Door]

Just in Time for Valentine's: Mathematical Proof of God's Existence!
[via Letters from Kamp Krusty]

Better to Boast In

For those--married and unmarried alike--who today are unable to boast in flower deliveries, sparkly little gifts, or uber-romantic dinner plans as evidence of being loved ... there is something even better to boast in. {continue...}
[via Radical Womanhood]

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Relationship Apocalypse

"Saying 'I love you' on Valentine's Day means less than it does on pretty much any other day of the year, you know. It's like there's inflation on the currency of romance or something....Maybe that's what's missing from Valentine's Day, you know: a choice. It could be like the 'relationship apocalypse', you know, once a year judgement day...."
"on valentine's day" a short film by ze frank

[HT: Savvy Single Christian]

What We Can Learn of Civil Dissent and Christian Disagreement From the Controversy Over Easter's Date
[via Grace and Truth to You]

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Good For The Environment

You may have heard that religion and science are at war. There are those who say that science has made religion obsolete. There are others, on the other side, of the spectrum, who say that Charles Darwin, and scientists like him, is the devil incarnate. You have to choose. And there’s my problem, I don’t want to choose. In fact, I’ve come to believe that my faith can live in peace with science, including evolutionary science.

Because Evolution Sunday falls this year on the First Sunday of Lent, I thought maybe this year we could combine the two observances. Evolution Sunday challenges us to learn from the witness of science. Yes, it challenges some of our cherished ideas, but the end result is a stronger faith. As they say, Darwin is here to stay, so how are we going to deal with him? Lent, on the other hand, calls us to a time of fasting, prayer, reflection, and sacrifice. Maybe this year, instead of giving up chocolate or Doritos, we could do something more constructive. Perhaps we could take some time and change some light bulbs, turn off some appliances, drive a smaller car, and do something good for the environment.
[via Words of Welcome, HT: Ponderings on a Faith Journey]

Flesh Against Flesh

Love may make you fall, but hate will see you fallen.

Love is in the air, and it stinks to high heaven of selfish ambition. What are we if we're not in love, to borrow words from another poet. (The answer? Still human.) The pressure mounts, but it doesn't amount to anything. Lies in the heat of the moment, and truth as cold and clear and sharp as glass. No glass can change our focus: the defeat of loneliness or temporary assuaging of desire. And death surrounds, looms large - a deadline bigger than the office cubicle or the aircraft takeoff or the time of your hot date. And where death casts its shadow, other shadows cease to fall. Our consumer atmosphere in February is red and full of heart. But our hearts are merely physical, or consumed by physicality.

Which holds more truth for my generation? Flesh against flesh is good marketing. Flesh against flesh is bloody death.

Descent into blindness may be little different than falling in love - your choices form the movement.
[via You saved my life from a colorless one]

Lent and Depression
[via I Trust When Dark My Road]

Friday, February 08, 2008

Trying to Leave Behind...

How to Handle a Stalker

You meet someone at a dinner party in a city far from home. He seems pleasant, normal enough. You depart on friendly terms, telling him to give you a call if he's ever in your part of the country.

The next morning you learn that he has booked a flight to your city. More than that, he has booked a seat on the very same flight you are taking home and, telling the airline that he is your traveling companion, has arranged for the seat next to yours. What should you do? How should you handle this aggressive, frightening development and this man's increasingly disturbing advances?

In this educational filmstrip, we'll watch as our young subject -- let's call her "Chloe" -- attempts a variety of strategies for coping with her stalker. We'll call him "Buck."

Boop. Please advance the filmstrip now. {continue...}
[via slacktivist]