Friday, November 20, 2009

Hither and thither 11/20/09

Been a particularly rugged week at work. Maybe for you, too. If so, you'll be relieved to know... we still get to go Hither and Thither! And (if I may say so) a surprisingly good one at that.
  • Now, here's a suggestion for a presidential pairing in 2012 that would have the emptiest (or most ill-filled) heads detonating on the west and east coasts, like a grand Fourth of July celebration. Gotta love it, if only for the pyrotechnical aspect.
  • As a public service, my DAOD cautions us all to be very careful about how we phrase and deliver our McDonalds' orders in Utah. I'm thinking the folks who pressed charges were some manner of -ites.
  • That is, BTW, my favorite verse in the Book of Mormon. So far.
  • Gosh! What An Idiot! alert.  The only thing noteworthy about "Franky" Schaeffer is that his dad was a great man. And that "Franky" has traded shamelessly on his dad's name. And that he's a media darling for his frequent acts of public micturition on his dad's grave.
  • Me, were I "Franky," I'd be far more concerned about Proverbs 28:24 and Proverbs 30:17 than I would about any sinister "religious right."
  • Hunh. So Levi Johnston thinks his tiny baby son is a paint-thin, amoral, unaccomplished, self-obsessed leech. Or... am I misreading this title?
  • Maybe Johnston and Schaeffer should write a book together.
  • All right, maybe there is an app for that. But why is there an app for that? 
  • We might have quite a discussion about this:

  • Why?  Because it's a statue.

  • It is, in fact, one of a collection of startlingly realistic sculptures.  What "discussion"? Well, it's beyond dispute that these are all stunning bits of craftmanship, remarkable achievements. But should "art" be about beauty, about lifting the spirit? Few if any of these would meet that standard; most achieve the opposite effect. What do you think?
  • What's the only thing cooler than spending vast stores of other people's money to no measurably good result? Why, doing it again, of course!
  • Hey — who says that Democrats don't value marriage? Fact is, they value it highly more highly than singleness. In tax terms, that is.
  • Bow wow.

  • Truism: if you don't want to learn, you won't. Example: Assemblies of God
  • The title of Sarah Palin's book ("Going Rogue") dates back to her disagreement with the geniuses who ran the McCain campaign, who decided to give up on Michigan. She felt it could be won, and wanted to go with her husband and campaign there. She's come there now, with her book tour — lifting spirits, encouraging folks. Like a good president would do. Wish we had one.
  • Oh No! Not That! alert. It's been much in the news that Dems like voting for massive, hideously harmful bills that they've never read. In the case of the massive health care takeover attempt, Senator Tom Coburn — who may have replaced Senator Jesse Helms as the most indispensable member of that august body — is threatening (!) to force the reading of every word of that monstrosity.
  • "If do right, no can defense." 

  • I know, I know, I'm a terrible person. I'm very sorry.  But it cracked me up! 
  • Okay now, that was a joke. But was this one real?

  • "Hey! We're not that apostate!" is the message I get from this story about an ELCA split-off group who is leaving the denomination over approving homosexuality. Ironically, the departing group are called the "conservatives." I guess that's a relative term. They're forming a new denomination. Why? Why not just join with the Missouri Synod? Because they want to ordain women as pastors. My readers are smart; I don't think you need me to spell that one out for you.
  • Hitler didn't much like the idea of keeping that Jewish baby, Jesus, in Christmas. (h-t reader Brodie Carroll.)
  • Tim LaHaye is fixing to make yet more "reformed" heads explode. Dude just can't get enough.
  • Knowing that I am blessed with many readers who are also exacting writers, I offer this as a public service: when to use i.e., and when to use e.g. (I actually learned something, myself, from it.)
  • Okay, so maybe this British guy is the dream employee... but eeyikes!
  • On my list of Things I Do Not Want for Christmas, Nor At Any Other Time, you would find this $50 Yoda Christmas Tree Top.

  • Bringing us inexorably to....






JackW said...

Levi JohnsTon ... Phil might object.

DJP said...

Oh, whatever.


Fred Butler said...

On Lahaye:
If you have book based upon stuffed "ripped from today's headlines," a person has himself a genu-wine classic on his hands.

By the way, is that Neil Shay on the left in that last picture?

Brad Williams said...


Okay, I can't get the Presidential pairing link to work, could be me. Also, I can't follow the "Gosh!" link. But that's okay, b/c I wiki'd Frank Schaeffer and thought, "Whaaa...?" And then I googled the fancy word for urination because I didn't know what it meant. So this has been a true learning experience. Why would he do that to his father's grave, dude? That's awful. I'm going to hug my son extra today.

As for the statue, it creeped me out. Was that Goliath's mom? As a side note, I'm thinking that creepy might pass for art. If not, then we cannot completely explain Van Gogh or Edgar Allen Poe.

And with that, I'm back to work.

Unknown said...

Ahh...a great way to start my weekend off! Thanks!

Unknown said...

Ahhh! What a great way to start off my weekend!!!

Chris H said...

On LaHaye: Is your objection to the subject matter of the upcoming books, or extrapolating from his previous works?

I have no horse in the race; don't care about the man's eschatology, and thought the Left Behind books were shoddy fiction.

DJP said...

I actually didn't voice an objection about LaHaye.

SolaMommy said...

First link's broke.

Those statues are creepy. I definitely think art should be more about beauty!

Loved the crane thing...took me a minute to make the connection :-)

DJP said...

I don't think it is broken, but I do think the site is down at the moment.

SandMan said...

Regarding the sculptures: definitely creepy. I did think, however, that some of them really seemed to convey the end of life (i.e., mortality).--you like that? In our hyper-insulated, plastic surgery society we are rarely forced to confront our own death. In this sense, if these sculptures could break through the daily noise long enough to cause a person to consider his own death, and thereby to contemplate what is to follow that death, then it could be argued that it fits your definition of uplifting the soul.

Did I reach to far with that one?

Rhology said...

I just called Coburn's office (I live in OK) and egged him on.
Please, God, let Coburn succeed in making it be read on the floor of the Senate. Amen.

DJP said...

Sandman: I have deeeep readers.


Brad Williams said...

Oh yeah, the "My (baby) looks like the Emperor" pictures...that was awesome. I laughed pretty hard at that one.

What is even more disconcerting, however, is when they come out acting like the emperor.

trogdor said...

The Palpatine-looking baby is pretty freaky. My wife and I thought it was bad when we noticed that our kid's ultrasound looks like Big Boy, but this is much, much worse. It doesn't help that the Old Bald Guy (her dad) works with several Big Boy restaurants. The next ultrasound can't come soon enough.

DJP said...

My first job after high school was at Bob's Big Boy. Loved their burgers; still do - but they're hard to find.

One Big Boy, bun well, no relish, extra mayo, add avocado.


Fred Butler said...

Oh yeah, the "My (baby) looks like the Emperor" pictures...that was awesome.

I thought it looked like the Witch King, but that's just me.

Dan, come down to visit us sometime and we'll stop by Bob's in Burbank. You can get a burger and i'll get some spaghetti and chili.

RT said...

Great H & T - thanks for putting it together.

I was hoping to find the bowing bird available for purchase somewhere but have been unsuccessful.

. . . and if they can't agree on a book deal maybe they can do a Playgirl shoot . . .

"what", in the words of the immortal B.Bunny, "a pair of maroons!"

DJP said...

Indeed, RT.

One might even say, "Ultra-maroons!"

SolaMommy said...

HAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! @ the Burger King cartoon :-D

Brad Williams said...

Dan and RT,

You guys are insulting maroons.

Elmer Fudd was never this despicable.

lee n. field said...

Art about beauty? How antique.

My wife got a BA in painting, many moons ago. For the life of me I couldn't tell you what those people thought they were doing. Something trendy and postmodern, probably. Normally at public expense. It certainly wasn't about anything as bourgeois as beauty.

Your link has done gone all 404 on us. The one example you show at least looks like something recognizable, instead of being a welded together conglomeration of scrap metal or a pile of congealed goop.

LaHaye's new novel series -- ehh, who cares? Knock yourself out, Tim and ghost writer. Real eschatology is more interesting but less flashy than pin the tail on "teh Antichrist".

lee n. field said...

Re LaHaye again, the "About Zondervan" blurb at the bottom was interesting.

"For more than 75 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through general, ministry, and academic resources by influential leaders and emerging voices, blah blah blah".

Transformational Christian experiences??? Are you-all as uncomfortable with that claim as I am?

Associate-to-the-Pastor said...

The Cheney/Palin link is working now.

LaHaye...ugh. I'm sorry, but the Left Behind series was awfully written. Awful.

CGrim said...

- I like Sarah Palin (although she's starting to lose me lately) but Glenn Beck really bothers me. Palin is a populist and an optimist, but Beck is a populist pessimist. To be fair, though, he deserves a lot of credit for slowing the Obama machine this summer and fall.

- I think a better definition of "art" would be "the use of some medium that expresses (consciously or unconsciously) the artist's worldview." For example, the perfectionism of Greek sculpture, and the morbidity of medieval gargoyles were both "art," but coming from vastly different worldviews. Another example: is Andres Serrano an artist? Yes, albeit a nihilist one (like many many many other modern artists). Is Thomas Kinkade an artist? Yes, albeit a romantic impressionist one, like some sort of peculiar cross between Thomas Cole and Claude Monet.

Personally, I feel my calling as an artist to point people towards eternity. But that's not the definition of art itself, it's just how I think art should be used.

DJP said...

Your link has done gone all 404 on us

Huh? Nuh-uh.

lee n. field said...

OK, works now.

Interesting. Real(-ish) people, not pretty people.

RT said...

Solely for DJP's sake I will quote that "gaseous and soporific" (his words) old bore Nietzsche: "Art is not merely an imitation of the reality of nature, but in truth a metaphysical supplement to the reality of nature placed alongside for its conquest." In my view the hyper-realist school can produce art but mostly doesn't. It is a case of the physical completely over-shadowing, and indeed submerging, the metaphysical. Thus one can respect and admire the technical accomplishment but be totally unmoved by the result.

Neil said...

Freddie: Yes! Don't you remember that time we were waiting for our beautiful wives and that passerby was kind enough to snap a polaroid?

CR said...

Read the linked article of Levi. It says that he is seeking joint custody because the Palin family is making it difficult for him to see his son....GEE I WONDER WHY????

If I was Bristol, I'd fight for full and sole custody.

Halcyon said...

Best understatement: "Church Sign Raises Objections"

Also, I feel much better knowing that the Chairman of Transportation approves the stimulus bill.

Those "hyperrealistic" statues are astounding and even disturbing at times. I can't even image the skill it takes to do something like that.
They make me think, though: Past civilizations carved giant statues out of materials at hand, statues of heroes and gods and other various cultural icons. We have learned a lot about past civilizations by excavating and studying such art. In light of that, I can't help but wonder what excavators and scholars of the future (perhaps thousands of years in the future) will think of us when they uncover some of these things.
"Good grief!" exclaims future excavator, "What kind of gods or heroes did these people have?"
"Apparently," explains future scholar, "all they had was themselves."

Tyler said...

Let's not talk about Schaeffer. Let's talk about Obama.

Presidents in the last two decades have typically been hated by around 50% of the population, am I right? George Bush faced genuine threats against his own life, as did Clinton and Bush before him. And all you need to get shot isn't even people hating and wanting to stop your policies with echoes of the American Revolution, all you need is a lone nutjob who thinks that shooting the President will help him impress an actress, as we found out with Regan.

Now you have the most socialist President ever (who happens to be black), with threats against his life every bit as legitimate as threats against previous presidents' lives. These threats (while never exclusively) have been sometimes infused with Biblical allusions. While you might disagree with Schaeffer about the direction his life has taken, wouldn't it be a decent idea to devote a post to how horrible it would be for Christians, to wish for the death of President Obama? to how wicked it would be if someone actually managed to assassinate him? Because I'm sure you've run into some Church goers in your day that have kinda freaked you out a little.

DJP said...

Please take no offense, I mean none. I am bad with names.

Are you new to this blog?

I've said Christians should pray for Obama's (A) physical safety (he is not ready to die), and (B) conversion (see A). In our family prayers, we do just that.

And no, I would not insult my readers by dignifying Schaeffer's overwrought, melodramatic, idiotic pose with any credibility. Quoting that psalm is not "trawling for assassins."

RT said...

I wouldn't get too worked up over the Psalm citation. My mother used to put "Colossians 2:21" on anything in the refrigerator she wanted us to leave alone. A citation amusingly out of context is often used to convey an innocent message. No one in his or her right mind would take that Psalm to mean anything harmful, and I personally would be hesitant to curb free speech in deference to the insane. Not clear on what that would accomplish were it even possible.

Fred Butler said...

Freddie: Yes! Don't you remember that time we were waiting for our beautiful wives and that passerby was kind enough to snap a polaroid?

After I wrote that, I did notice that other fellow did strike a resemblance to myself.

By the way, Neil is the only one allowed to address me with the use "ie" at the end of my name.

Paula said...

Little Frankie needs to go away and lead a bitter life quietly out of the public eye.

The bumper sticker also needs to go away.

And Levi too.

Along with the McDonald's rap, MEEP'ing is also considered illegal speech in some parts. Watch your mouth, Beaker!

I felt like the sculptures were somehow...intrusive. Like they were invading someone's intensely private moments and I felt voyeuristic looking at them. Did anyone else notice that nearly all of them depicted sadness, pain, and suffering. Almost no celebration of life, beauty, or creation.

I read an interesting statement about art from the Hillsdale College Art Mission Statement It reads, in part:

1. To instill in students an understanding and appreciation of the greatest traditions in the visual arts and how they contribute to a richer understanding of life...

5. To promote a belief through art that the world makes sense and is beautiful—that artists have a vital role to play in making this truth known...

6. To promote a belief that beauty is a relevant and vital term for the artist today—that the pursuit of it requires knowledge, skill and character and is therefore an elevating and enriching experience.

Maybe just my personal taste, but I'm going with that : )

Aaron said...

Actually, the last thing Christians want is an assasination. It would be disastrous. A.). People would blame right wing fanatics and Fundamentalist Christians. B.) it's not like the succession chain is a whole lot better. I mean we'd end up with Biden, Pelosi, and Clinton in that order. I'd argue that all but Clinton are worse than having Obama. The problem is not Obama. The problem is the people who elected him.

DJP said...

The problem is the people who elected him.

Amen. And nothing fundamental has changed, there.

Paula said...

So now, DS is spending way too much time trying to find the "Blower" app for his Touch. Much better use of his time than say, studying for the ACT...

Aaron said...

The new tax regs are going to bring a lot of business my way, that's for sure. Ironically, raising taxes usually doesn't result in long term increases in revenue. But it sure does cause more people to evade.

Susan said...

Man, those sculptures are crazy....

In terms of technique and realism, these sculptures are incredible. In terms of uplifting one's soul--not so much (although the series of sculptures of the janitor and the tourists, etc., weren't as disturbing as the rest). I can't imagine myself buying a piece like these too-real sculptures. How can I possibly sleep at night with it?

(But then again, by the same token, maybe a piece like that can deter burglars and scare them half to death.)

@Jonathan V.-- Your hypothetical example of future archaeological excavations of these sculptures is very thought provoking and interesting. Strangely enough, my word verification before I accidentally clicked myself out of this page was "hystri". Appropriate, perhaps, because art really does reflect the times?

Angie B. said...

I think the use of that Psalm, although it was not "trawling for assassins," was inappropriate. What a terrible sentiment for a Christian to express. I hope the bumper sticker is rare.

SandMan said...

I'm with chrish on the LaHaye Left Behind series. I got sucked in with everyone else on the first few, but by the 4th or 5th book it just got bad. Especially his character development. He started introducing new characters on almost every page. They were all too stereotypical. The white guy: Buck. The black guy: Zeke. The Chinese guy: Chang. Kept waiting for the Italian guy: Mario and brother Luigi. Then there were weird things like one of the main character's (Rayford's)wife (whom he decides to marry during the Great Tribulation) goes missing after a commercial plane crashes in the water. He just "has to know" so he somehow gains the equipment and skills necessary to personally do an underwater crash scene investigation in which he is able identify the remains of his dead wife; she apparently remained mostly intact after a 500mph water impact (you know, aside from being dead). Anyway, you get the point. It was things like this that made me finally give up on the whole affair.

Herding Grasshoppers said...


Why, thank you for - in the same morning - clearing up that pesky i.e./e.g. dilemma AND cracking me up with "If do right, no can defense."

No time for deep thoughts today...


Aaron said...


I'm with you. Tim LaHaye's Left Behind was what the good Lord used, in great measure, to bring me unto salvation. But by the fourth or fifth book, the development got crazy. So I have a soft spot in my heart for LaHaye, but I stopped reading his books. Now I read stuff like, Have a Pint with Luther and Calvin. LOL.

Aaron said...

Angie B:

Especially in light of my earlier point. Cutting off the top of the weed does no real good. You have to get to the root.

SandMan said...

@Sir Aaron:

You are the first person that I have ever spoken with who has that testimony. I had not considered that angle, but it is true that in the first book or two, at least, The Gospel was presented pretty clearly. In that sense, I guess my criticism was unbalanced. But, as a body of fiction I still think it was poorly written.

Also, did you notice that as it developed a core following, whole books were written that only progressed the timeline of the Great Tribulation by a few days or weeks? It seemed like he started trying to squeeze as many volumes/release dates out of the "cash cow" as possible. I am positive that he is not the only author to have ever done this, but I thought it detracted from the overall "biblical" message he was trying to convey.

Rachael Starke said...

So... is the next seried going to be called Right Behind? (That's a freebie from my DH :) )

Speaking as one who spent long enough outside the U.S. growing up to view the American political process with less jaded eyes, I can't believe it's not a basic procedure to read every bill before it comes up for debate! Good grief, even the high school debate team has to read the proposal before the actual debate begins.

We just finished watching the John Adams HBO series a couple nights ago. He's probably spinning in his grave fast enough to fuel a carbon-neutral generator or two right now...

Aaron said...


Yeah, I got demonstrably annoyed at the last few books. I refuse to ascribe such selfish motives to LaHaye without some evidence of such. I think, more likely, is that LaHaye was trying to take advantage of the following to continue to expose people to Christianity. That's really more in line with his way of thinking, at least from what I've read. Jerry Jenkins actually wrote the books anyways. I believe LaHaye just contributed the theological outlines.

But whatever his intent, I did think it harmed the series, which I thought could have been wrapped up in two or three volumes. The first book had me absolutely mortified. I was raised as a Christian and new the talk. When I read the book I knew that if Jesus returned (or I died), I was a goner. It was that mortification that caused me to repent.

Aaron said...


That's funny. I saw the John Adams series too. Absolutely fantastic. It is interesting to note that the Revolution was started over taxes that we would consider trivial now. Also, for all those who hate fiat currency, it's interesting to note that the colonies used forms of fiat money which helped to precipitate some of the issues that led to the revolutionary war.

CR said...


Wasn't that a wonderful series?

The founders did not write bills that were over two reams of paper long.

CR said...

Wow, Sir Aaron, I did not know that about you on the Left Behind Series. Pretty wild. The Left Behind Series??!!

lee n. field said...

"is the next seried going to be called Right Behind?"

There's a parody out there already with that title: Right Behind: A Parody of Last Days Goofiness. Pretty heavy handed parody, good for an couple hours amusement, nothing more. Written by Doug Wilson's son, make of that what you will.

Aaron said...


I was traveling a lot at the time and needed a book. It was selling in the airport and I was curious so I bought it. The rest of the story, is as they say, history.

Kirby said...

for fun: Your giant bizarre art page had a link that took me here and that had a link that took me here.
pretty cool, especially the finger twirling of an X-acto knife.

Kirby said...

your giant bizarre art had a link that took me here - and that had a link that took me here -
it’s a bit long, but the finger rolling with an X-acto knife keeps the interest level up.

Irv said...

(yes, what follows is on the web!)

It's perfectly clear that Tim knows how to make LaHay while LaSun is shining and before the San Andreas Fault gets a big jolt out of his theological skullduggery. And Blundervan Publishers up in Grand Rapture, Me-Itch-Again, knows which multi-millionaire to team up with for more of that "cankered" stuff they've been "wanton" for their "last days," according to James, chapter 5!