What does this mean?
Yes, yes! I know what the overall ad is about. It’s yet another gimmick in the “pay us money and we’ll make it a little easier for you to hook-up, date, or maybe even more” game.
I’m talking about the assertion that “Jesus Christ is Lord.” This is from my computer’s built-in dictionary:
OK, “Jesus Christ” is something having “power, authority, or influence.” I can understand that. But “master or ruler”? That one’s tougher. I mean, who would want to live on in some afterlife as a slave? Who would want to exchange freedom and democracy in this world for feudal servitude and subjection in another? New Hampshire’s state motto is “Live free or die.” Would those who wrote this ad tack on an addendum? “Live free or die until after you really are dead. At that point live for the rest of eternity in un-free feudal servitude”?
But, as the TV hucksters say, wait! There’s more!! “Jesus Christ is Lord”…
- …as opposed to some other Jesus who isn’t also Christ? or Christ who isn’t also Jesus?
- Jesus Christ as opposed to God? or maybe the “Holy Spirit”? (Fat chance! The latter is given short shrift by Christians in general. On the one hand they can’t give up the magical third whatever. Three bases, three strikes, three outs, 3 X 3 innings; 1…2…3…Go!; 3 X 3 Commandments, plus 1 to represent the unity of the whole; 3 X 4 tribes of Israel; and, yes, this is becoming boring. On the other hand they can’t really figure out what it is or how to get their minds around it. They say the words, but don’t actually know what the words mean.)
- Lord as opposed to …? George Carlin’s “Buddy Christ”? Polygamous husband of nuns all over the globe? You know, the “brides of Christ” who wear his wedding band? Or …?
I have no trouble knowing what I myself believe. I do have trouble understanding what people who say stuff like “Jesus Christ is Lord” believe. Sometimes I wonder whether they’ve really thought through the implications of the platitudes that lie so ready to their tongues. At other times I wonder why they would prefer to live in servitude to a feudal master rather than in freedom and concomitant personal responsibility. I can’t help wondering why they keep looking for a bigger and bigger “daddy,” why they refuse to grow up and accept the responsibilities of mature adulthood.
Wait. Sorry. I have nothing against religion. As I always told my students, believe whatever you want — as long as it helps you and doesn’t encourage you to hurt anyone else. I’m just urging you remember that words and arrangements of words carry meaning; that you really understand what the arrangements of words you’re uttering actually mean (by implication as well as straight up); and that you understand they might mean something different to others than to those who’ve been taught the coded language of your in-group.
Believe what you want. Say what you want. If you want to hunker down and nurture despair and/or resentment about how nobody understands you and everybody is attacking you, I can’t stop you. No one can. It’s too much easier to blame others than to accept personal responsibility. But if you really care about others and about community, then think about what your words mean to those outside your cloistered community of “true believers.” And vice versa, of course.
My wife and I are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary this year. To help us celebrate, our daughter and son-in-law treated us to a short-week cruise on Royal Caribbean’s ship Enchantment of the Seas. We embarked Monday afternoon and disembarked Friday morning. Each of us — me, my wife Jewel, our daughter Katrina, our granddaughter Julia, and our son-in-law Jim — experienced the cruise uniquely, of course.
For me, spending time with four of the people I love most was what really mattered. Second best was getting to know those who served our dinners. (I haven’t yet memorized their names — I will — but their faces, their personalities, and key details about them I’ll never forget.) The headwaiter, Cristian, spent time with us, and gave me his email and Facebook addresses. I’ll write to him tomorrow, learning the others’ names, having him make sure they know how well I remember them as unique individual persons. Obviously I won’t impose on them, but will encourage them to contact me.
Like the waiter from St. Vincent, in the Lesser Antilles, whose daughter is the same age as our granddaughter, who shared her picture and their story with me, and who spoiled our granddaughter rotten. And like his assistant (don’t know the official title) from Goa, the island and adjacent area on the west coast of India. I surprised him, pleasantly, by showing him I know about the history, culture, and cuisine of his homeland. Indeed, I promised him that when I got home I’d cook a traditional Goan dish and drink a toast to him while sharing the meal with friends who’ll appreciate the gesture. Problem is that Goan cuisine features seafood (it’s an island, remember) and I can’t eat seafood. Bummer! Fortunately I enjoy vindaloo sauce and preparation, so that’ll work.
Yikes! Time has flown. I’ll share more of my experiences, some pleasant and some horrible. But right now I’ve had enough. A domani.
Tomorrow morning we’ll be driving down to Port Canaveral to board a cruise ship. Don’t ask me which one! I just follow orders. Our daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter will be joining us for about a week on the floating hotel. A friend will keep the house safe, and our feline dominatrix will be staying at a place where she’ll feel she’s in kitty nirvana.
I’ll take my PowerBook and a portable drive full of a whole bunch of multimedia resources, so I’ll definitely be blogging. However, depending on how the wi-fi/internet facilities work out, I may not be posting blogs or answering email. In other words, I might be incommunicado for a week. (I know that for many that’ll be reason to celebrate.)
I’ll be enjoying precious time with my family, eating, drinking, making photos and videos, thinking, and playing with digital art.
Wish me luck. I don’t like boats. I don’t like water. I don’t like being trapped in a confined space (even if the space is as large as a floating hotel). I don’t like crowds. I don’t like the sun. I won’t gamble. I don’t like “entertainment.” I can’t dance. I hate being hassled about going ashore or seeing the sights. (Yes. I’ve always despised “traveling,” but I used to love getting to know people and places in other lands. I’ve turned that page, though. Now I just want to be left alone.)
I love my wife, with whom I’ll be continuing celebration of our 50th anniversary. (We spent our honeymoon in Nassau, and that’s one of the ports where the floating hotel will anchor overnight.) I love my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. That overshadows any of the miseries I’m dreading. I’m looking forward to the snuggling, reminiscing, discovering, and even arguing. I’m an old fart, so I’m especially looking forward to catching up with my 11 year old granddaughter and seeing what she can teach me.
Young people often are grossed out at the thought, but even though I’m 71 years old I’m still excited by the anticipation of some intimate snuggling with my wife. I love her more all the time. I love the way her beauty and sexiness have evolved – but never diminished! – through the years. I love the way she can still turn me on like a radio.
Yeah. Lots to dread about this trip, but much, much more to anticipate with excitement. I know I’ll have lots of good things to share by the time we return.
Then and a couple of years ago.
And speaking of golfing during a crisis, let’s never forget this classic. It was so embarrassing to “Dubya” that he gave up golf for the rest of his time in office. The “optics” (a ridiculous term, BTW) were just unacceptable for his propagandists.
You want to be petty? Arguably – at least in theory – the second most powerful person in the nation is the speaker of the House, who’s third in the line of succession to the presidency. Speaker Boehner plays golf 4 times as often as President Obama. Indeed, they’ve played golf together. The president who played golf most often? That would be the Republican Eisenhower, who played 800 times while he was in office.
You want to talk vacation time? George W. Bush spent 32 months at his ranch (490 days) or at Camp David (487 days). Think about it. He spent 96 months in office, and he spent 32 of those months on vacation. The arithmetic there shouldn’t be too difficult, even for Fox News viewers. You know, 96 (months in office) divided by 32 (months on vacation) ? The previous president, George W. Bush, spent 2/3 of his time in office at work, and 1/3 on vacation.
All of which is total bullshit! TOTAL!!!
From a Nancy Reagan press interview:
“Presidents don’t get vacations — they just get a change of scenery. The job goes with you.”
The devil Mephistopheles in Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus:
If you really are a devil, then why aren’t you in
hell instead of standing here tempting me?
Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it!
A president doesn’t go to the office. The office goes with the president. “Office”? That means the most sophisticated communications network in the world, the key advisers, the nuclear “football,” the “red phone,” and all the rest of it. You’re on Air Force 1? You’re in the office. You’re at Camp David? You’re in the office. You’re in Crawford, Texas? You’re in the office. You’re in Martha’s Vineyard? You’re in the office. Etc.
And that’s not necessarily a good thing. The adage is that “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” And Jill a dull girl. And a president a weary, tightly-wound, profoundly-pressured decision maker.
Have you read the novel or seen the movie The Bedford Incident? It’s set during the Cold War, and features the fanatical U.S. captain of a nuclear-armed destroyer playing lethal games with the captain of a nuclear-armed Soviet submarine. The men on both ships are more and more sleep-deprived, clamped under more and more pressure, until…?
The journalist (Sidney Poitier) is very unhappy with the captain (Richard Widmark).
The movie was released in 1965.
During the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 nuclear-armed Soviet submarines and U.S. destroyers had confronted one another.
The submarine commanders were authorized to fire their nuclear missiles if they were attacked.
They were prevented from doing so by a single courageous officer, Vasili Arkhipov.
That’s how close we came.
Remember that the next time you hear some asshole Republican congressperson or “pundit” compare
the Crimea or Benghazi to the Cuban missile crisis..
Coming soon: Reflections on optimizing vs. sufficing vs. disaster.
This is an ad that some marketing algorithm placed in the sidebar of one of the political blogs I follow. I felt insulted!
This is what the ad suggests to me: