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Showing posts from December, 2009

Consumerist Blues

Why is it that when I go shopping for Christmas presents I very quickly find myself on stimulus overload? That overload then creates in me the attitude that I don't want anything for Christmas. The overload builds so much sometimes that the very thought of receiving gifts from anyone is downright blue-black depressing. My to-read book pile is quite high, my iPod has 4800+ songs on it (and climbing), I don't want any new DVDs. What do I want? Land. That parcel we've had our eye on for about six months now. That's it. But who's going to get me that? And if someone actually purchased it for me, what the heck would I do with it? That's the kind of gift that would just gaw at you over time. So, you want to give me something this Christmas? I'll take your prayers, your time, and your long, deep conversation about things that really matter. F*@k small talk, man; bare your soul. Peaceful Advent, everybody.

The Axe Laid to the Root

I read this today in a meditation on Matthew. It's from a homily by St. John "Goldenmouth" Chrysostom. He did not merely say that the axe was barely "touching the root" but "laid to the root"--it is poised right next to it and shows no sign of delay. Yet even while bringing the axe so near, he makes its cutting depend upon you. For if you turn around and become better persons, this axe will be laid aside without doing any harm. But if you continue in the same ways, it will tear up the tree by the roots. So note well that the axe is neither removed from the root nor too quickly applied to cut the root. He did not want you to become passive, yet he wanted to let you know that it is possible even in a short time to be changed and saved. He first heightened their fear in order to fully awaken them and press them on to repentance.
"Beautiful the axe that flies at me."

Who's a Nerd?

Why is it that if you enjoy words and their development (etymologies) you are a word nerd? Or if you enjoy entering another world or life through books you are considered a book worm or book nerd? Who determines this? If you know all the minutiae associated with baseball (and there's a lot of that) why aren't you considered a baseball nerd? Are there hunting nerds? There are band nerds. I get a thrill out of fishing, does that make me a fish nerd?
It seems to me that physical activities act against the thought of one being a nerd, but any action that requires cerebration doesn't. So the athletes made the rules on this, why? Why have we let them? Just because my enjoyment of reading makes me better than you doesn't mean I can go around labeling the sub-literate. Of course, camping and rock climbing are clearly superior to some loud, drunken tailgating party, but those adherents of outdoor recreation shouldn't condemn the less-fortunate sucking down chili …