Thursday, July 22, 2010

shall we play a game?

Here's the game, plug the entirety or the key lines of some legendary poem into this analyzer and see what 19th or 20th century prose authors the poems are considered to be similar to. You'll discover that a John Donne poem "writes like" H. P Lovecraft or that a Wallace Stevens poem resembles James Fenimore Cooper. Robert Frost's "Take Something Like a Star" becomes like the of James Joyce. Tolkien becomes Stephen King ... which at least gets in the zone of a dim correspondence.

From Orthocuban: Church, state, and Kuyper's sphere sovereignty

Just a link for now but this Orthodox critique of the Calvinist idea of sphere sovereignty illustrates perfectly why I don't take Reformed conservative political thought seriously. It has a propensity to contain within itself the seeds of promoting the things Reformed conservatives complain about. This is one of the reasons I don't take either side of the American Civil War as having any moral high ground ... though having a dad who's American Indian may have significantly informed/skewed my perspective on that. It's easy for white people whose ancestors had dogs in the fight about how to condescend to non-whites to demonize each other as being relatively better than the other side. It doesn't look particularly magnanimous or ethical once you get out of the self-justifying bubbles of North and South.

As Tim Kellery dryly observed the societies that were most founded on Christendom and godly principles for ordering society in America or in Europe are now incontestably the most secular societies in the West. It seems far better to have be a Christian in an ostensibly godless culture than one that claims godly roots just on the basis of Israelite history alone! Yet Christians seem to think that WE will be different. WE will not be like all those other people but that is the warnign the scriptures give us time and again. Unless we own that we are like our fathers in our sins we are doomed to repeat them. In sphere sovereignty those who would wield the idea to fight papist intrusion in the state may have discovered that it was precisely what the state needed to ensure the church would never be capable of influencing the state again. The conservative Reformed idea was actually the weapon needed by the godless liberal heathens to turn the tables and yet there are Reformed conservative Christians who have fooled themselves into thinking that if the shoe could just get on the other foot the same mistakes would not be made (again) and this things would get better.

Of course Mark Noll wrote a concise, thought-provoking book about how the American Civil War revealed the impossibility of an evangelical Protestant society to negotiate the issues of race and slavery and governmental power without bloodshed. Ironically the intellectual trends in Jewish thought, Catholicism, and other streams of religious thought branded off-limits to evangelical Protestants would have had the ideas that could have allowed for other ways of resolving the conflict. Amidst all this heroes are always villains. Lincoln is a saint to some and a demon to others just as today there are people who consider John Piper or Rick Warren alternately heroes or villains as with Spong or Borg.

See, I'm managing to have some more time now that this week is nearly over. :)

kind of a big week for me

This week after months of nothing I've finally landed two job interviews. First was Monday second is tomorrow. I've also done some volunteering at the local symphony just to have something to get me out of the house for a change (I used to help their music librarians a few years ago). I've also been tackling stuff like, well, food stamps. Lord willing I won't have to make use of them because I'll get a job sooner rather than later but now that I'm half-way through ten months of being unemployed and not eligible for unemployment benefits, and since the job market in the Emerald City is actually not that great I shouldn't presume to get a job via some blab-it-and-grab-it thinking.

I have also been compiling my thoughts for the long-delayed essay(s) about Toy Story 3. First I've got a family birthday and a baby shower to tend to but the architecture for the piece is getting into place. And, along the way, I finished a sonata movement for trumpet and guitar. I'm more fluent with musical expression these days than literary efforts.

As positive as the recent changes have been I am not the sort of reflexive optimist some people I have known over the years have been. Things appear to be getting better now but that doesn't mean I'm anywhere close to out of the woods yet.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Just when I thought I was going to be able to make more time to blog

I've got job interviews, finally. Thank God! I'm also working on some application processes that are connected to, well, food stamps. So much as I do want to get back to blogging about Hell and Pixar (I'm brewing a lengthy examination of the character arc Woody goes through in the trilogy and my thoughts on that as a Christian) I am in month ten of unemployment without having ever been eligible for unemployment benefits. The most I'm managing in terms of creative output is musical for what I trust are obvious reasons.