Metallic Pea

Frustrating People Since 1971.

Archive for December 2008

Spanish Harlem-Upon-Avon

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‘So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.’  ~ Proverbs 2:16  

  

  • Moments of clarity hit you in the strangest places and in the most unexpected times.  As I watched the Kennedy Center Honours to-night on television (did I mention that the wife and kids are out of town?) I gained a realisation regarding the connection–or lack thereof–between popular culture and the Decalogue.  As a couple known only in the esoteric circles of Broadway sang ‘Somewhere’ from West Side Story, I thought about the meaning of the song and the theme of that musical and Romeo and Juliet(from whence the inspiration came) which is nothing less than a blatant disregard for the Fifth Commandment.  Both WSS and R&J are celebrated as literary and artistic masterpieces, respectively; yet, they are celebrated in spite of–or is it due to?–their celebration of rebellion against parental authority when it comes to marriage.  That’s all–I was just thinking.  (And the homage to Roger Daltrey & Pete Townshend of The Who rocked.  Immensely.)

 

 

  • A professor I had while in college once told us a possibly/ probably apocryphal story about ‘Alvin’s Daddy.’ Without getting into all of the details, the long and short of the story was that, while facing a dare to visit the Chicken Ranchout in La Grange during his old Aggie days, Alvin passed his daddy coming out the front door as he was going in. Supposedly, neither Alvin nor his daddy ever mentioned the incident for the rest of their lives. (And, one can assume, Alvin’s poor mamma never was clued in to his daddy’s catting around.) I imagine that would be an awkward moment. But what happens when someone runs into their wife at a brothel?

 

 

 

  • If the conclusion voiced by Thomas Schweich and other very credible analysts is correct – if, indeed, we are living under a de facto military junta , the nature of which will become clear as the economic collapse strips away all politically comfortable pretenses – we may soon learn, in the most painful way possible, that our military missions abroad have been carefully training the occupation force that will extinguish whatever remains of our liberty.’

 

 

 

  • One of my favourite country legends is that of an incident in the life of the Redheaded Stranger himself, Willie Nelson. After coming home drunk and passing out in bed one too many times, his wife, who was fed up with his shenanigans, sewed him up in the sheets and proceeded to beat him senseless with a broom. She then took all of his clothes and left him where he lay. As painful (and embarrassing) as that may have been, it sure beats (pun intended) having your wife kill you with a sleeper sofa.

 

 

 

  • During this holiday season of hard times, not even houses of God have been spared. Some lenders believe more churches than ever have fallen behind on loans or defaulted this year. Some churches, and at least one company that specialised in church lending, have filed for bankruptcy. Church giving is down as much as 15% in some places, pastors and lenders report.’

 

 

 

  • Was General George S. Patton a potential whistle blower who was assassinated before he could tell what he knew?

 

 

 

  • Folks really need to understand how overbearing our government has become; nothing—and no one—is untouchable. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) is introducing a bill that would mandate a college football playoff. Where in the world is this authorised in the Constitution of the united States?!!

 

 

 

  • The Israeli War Machine continues to kill innocent women and children with the assistance of their U.S. enablers. ‘Aside from the fact that Israel’s response [to Hamas’ rockets] was anything but judicious, the idea that it was Hamas who broke the six-month truce is a complete fabrication.’

 

 

 

  • The Bible tells us that we can judge people by their fruits; in other words, we should not place too much importance on what folks say but watch what they do. That is why I have been perplexed by the sterling reputation George W. Bush has among the Religious Right. I am not making a determination as to whether he truly possesses a saving faith in Jesus Christ, only God knows that. However, while he does profess to be a Christian, I have found many things in his life that cast at least a little doubt in my mind. To-day comes news from his staff which paints a picture of the White House paying homage to ‘faith-based’ (as opposed to Jesus-based, I suppose) initiatives yet actually having a fairly low view of the religious leaders used to garner support. And, apparently, the President shared the view of his staff in large part as it related to the leadership of the RR. ‘The reality in the White House is—if you look at the most senior staff—you’re seeing people who aren’t personally religious and have no particular affection for people who are religious-right leaders,’ [head of the White House Faith-based and Community Initiatives David] Kuo said. In the political affairs shop in particular, you saw a lot of people who just rolled their eyes at…basically every religious-right leader that was out there, because they just found them annoying and insufferable. These guys were pains in the butt who had to be accommodated.’

 

 

 

  • Thirsty? How about a nice, cool glass of Heavy Water? (Orange afro no extra charge.)

 

 

 

 

 

  • ‘…Wikipedia, by its own definition, is little more than an electronic graffiti board under the control of high-tech Crips and Bloods.’

 

 

 

 

To-day’s 1980’s Moment is brought to you by: Yello

 

 

 

 

 

  • Researchers have found out what made the 1918 flu pandemic so deadly — a group of three genes that lets the virus invade the lungs and cause pneumonia.’

  

Written by ninepoundhammer

December 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm

The World Needs Ditch Diggers, Too

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‘Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.’  ~ Acts 7:22

The title of this post comes, of course, from the classic 1980 goofball comedy ‘Caddyshack’.  Due to the gratuitous swearing and other sundry indiscretions therein, I haven’t watched it in years (at least the unedited version).  Still, I have fondness for the superb dialogue and madcap misadventures performed by several comedy legends and Saturday Night Live founding fathers.  Here’s an example of its comedic genius:

 

 

Another of my favourite scenes is when Danny Noonan, the film’s antagonist, begins his quest to win a caddying scholarship that will propel him to college and, presumably, the good life.  As he dives headlong into sycophancy with Judge Smails (the country club scion who holds sway over much of the process), Danny mentions how important it is to him to win the scholarship due to his family’s dearth of funds and his lack of academic acumen.  Judge Smails (preoccupied by the bad round of golf he finds himself in) tells Danny, ‘Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too!’

Judge Smails’ offhanded dismissal of Danny’s sob story–in addition to being darn funny–contains volumes of Truth.  The wife and I have had a similar discussion many times, both in relation to our situations and those of our children.  In summation: Not everyone should go to college.  Unless you are embarking upon a career path that requires an advanced degree beyond high school, it is merely a waste of time and resources.  If one considers the fact that not everyone is even equipped for college (either monetarily or intellectually), it can be seen what a waste of resources a college career (however it may last) can be.

To be clear: There is nothing wrong with not going to college.  A sheepskin on the wall amounts to nothing in the Big Picture if it cannot be utilised.  It is a tool and should not be seen or used as a status symbol.  A welding certificate can be of infinitely more value if it is actually used; it certainly has more utility than a PhD in Philosophy of Dead Languages or even a Master’s in history (‘Would you like fries with that?’)

Here is the link to an article that discusses the Education Bubbleand why it can be such a waste of time and money for so many.  Too many students, too many (enormous) student loans–and not enough ditch diggers.

For the record, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a ditchdigger.  Honest work is honest work.

Written by ninepoundhammer

December 27, 2008 at 9:42 am

Posted in economy

Marry, Marry–Quite Contrary

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‘And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow.’  ~ Genesis 21:20

 

 

 

  • I may not know a lot about many things but I do know this: Germans love David Hasselhoff and Koreans have some mad archery skills.

 

  • It has occurred to me lately that their aren’t any decent anti-war songs being written anymore.  You couldn’t swing a dead cat in the 60’s without hitting a classic tune decrying the Great Vietnam Mistake but, for some reason (and despite fertile ground for it), the current forays into martial diplomacy don’t excite the Muses.

 

  • The primary reason I oppose the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and any ‘marriage amendment’ to the u.S. Constitution is because the civil government has no business taking part nor interfering with a religious institution.  (That is why my wife and I did not apply for a marriage license.)  In that vein, it may surprise many folks to know that the old wives tale about genetic troubles that follow when cousins marry is erroneous and has no basis in science.  The government’s proscription against cousins marrying has no basis in religion, either–nowhere in the Bible are cousins forbidden to marry.  Our ancestors understood this and, while we may find it a bit odd due to modern social/ cultural mores, there is nothing sinful perverse about it.  Yet, the government bans and approves of marriage in the exact opposite measures as called for in the Bible.

 

  • ‘The first martyrs for Christ were put to death before he was. They were killed by order of the state. But just like Bush and Cheney have not themselves actually killed anyone in Iraq, Herod is likewise not guilty of actually killing any of these young children. Yet, many of the same Christians who maintain that Herod has blood on his hands go out of their way to absolve Bush and Cheney of their war crimes.’

Written by ninepoundhammer

December 24, 2008 at 3:03 pm

X-Mas Redux

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‘For he thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.”‘ ~ Genesis 32:20b

After having posted about the crowding out of Christ-mas hymns by X-mas pop hits (see below), I was hoisted by my own petard later that evening.  My dad, stepmom, younger brothers and sisters, and two exchange students blew into town to visit and, as one might expect, they had presents for Gracie Mae and Jackson in tow.  Perhaps the earlier blogging had planted the seed but the lifelike (a.k.a. eerily real) baby doll given to GM certainly provided the increase and I have, thus, been unable to get an X-mas pop hit that I absolutely LOVED as a child out of my head since.  This verse in particular is the culprit:

Said Santa to the girl child

‘What would please you most to get?’

‘A little baby doll that can cry, sleep, drink, and wet!’

And then away went Rudolph whizzin’ like a Sabre jet.

 

 

Run, Run, Rudolph

Written by ninepoundhammer

December 23, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Music

Putting the X in X-mas

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‘For long ago in the days of David and Asaph there were directors of the singers, and there were songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.’ ~ Nehemiah 12:46

In keeping with Pastor Anderson’s sermon yesterday regarding the distracted and confused nature of the modern version of Christ-mas, I offer the following list of the 25 Most Performed Christ-mas Songs of the past five years.  You might notice that Christ (the first part of ‘Christ-mas’) is conspicuous by His absence.  Only one song of the lot centres on the Messiah.  One.  I wonder just how much we, as Christians, realise how much we are in fact distracted from the real meaning of this, our holy day?

 

  1. Winter Wonderland
    Written by: Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith
    Performed by: Eurythmics
  2. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
    Written by: Mel Tormé, Robert Wells
    Performed by: Nat “King” Cole
  3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
    Written by: Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin
    Performed by: The Pretenders
  4. Sleigh Ride
    Written by: Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish
    Performed by: The Ronettes
  5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
    Written by: Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie
    Performed by: Frank Sinatra
  6. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
    Written by: Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne
    Performed by: Michael Bublé
  7. White Christmas
    Written by: Irving Berlin
    Performed by: Bing Crosby
  8. Jingle Bell Rock
    Written by: Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe
    Performed by: Bobby Helms
  9. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
    Written by: Johnny Marks
    Performed by: Gene Autry
  10. Little Drummer Boy
    Written by: Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, Harry Simeone
    Performed by: The Harry Simeone Chorale & Orchestra
  11. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
    Written by: Edward Pola, George Wyle
    Performed by: Andy Williams
  12. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
    Written by: Johnny Marks
    Performed by: Brenda Lee
  13. Silver Bells
    Written by: Jay Livingston, Ray Evans
    Performed by: Kenny G
  14. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
    Written by: Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, Buck Ram
    Performed by: Amy Grant
  15. Feliz Navidad
    Written by: José Feliciano
    Performed by: José Feliciano
  16. Frosty The Snowman
    Written by: Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins
    Performed by: The Ronettes
  17. A Holly Jolly Christmas
    Written by: Johnny Marks
    Performed by: Burl Ives
  18. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
    Written by: Meredith Willson
    Performed by: Johnny Mathis
  19. Blue Christmas
    Written by: Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson
    Performed by: Elvis Presley
  20. (There’s No Place Like) Home For The Holidays
    Written by: Bob Allen, Al Stillman
    Performed by: Perry Como
  21. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
    Written by: Tommie Connor (PRS)
    Performed by: John Mellencamp
  22. Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)
    Written by: Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman
    Performed by: Gene Autry
  23. Carol Of The Bells
    Written by: Peter J. Wilhousky, Mykola Leontovich
    Performed by: David Foster (instrumental version)
  24. Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Feed the World)
    Written by: Midge Ure (PRS), Bob Geldof (PRS)
    Performed by: Band Aid
  25. This Christmas
    Written by Donny Hathaway, Nadine McKinnor
    Performed by Gloria Estefan

Written by ninepoundhammer

December 22, 2008 at 7:24 am

Brew or False?

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‘Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish.’  ~ Proverbs 31:6

I want all of you Luther’s Leaguers to pay attention:

Ten Beer Myths Exploded

 

 

Written by ninepoundhammer

December 20, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Posted in Silly

Tagged with

Shame On You (and Me)

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‘But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.’  ~ I Corinthians 5:11

‘On January 4, my sins will be told to the church, publicly, with my children sitting in the church and my friends.’

So go the protestations of a professing Christian in Jacksonville, Florida.  While I certainly can empathise with her desire that her sins remain concealed (don’t we all?), her situation reveals a host of ills in the Church to-day.  Namely, we have members who profess the Faith yet live lives hardly distinguishable from the heathen around us, many have a sadly anemic view of sin, and more than we would like to admit bristle at the idea that they are in any way accountable to anyone other than themselves.

Matthew 18 is not only a valuable tool for discipline and instruction–it is a mandate.  Churches particular to-day too often shy away from enforcing the authority God has given the elders.  (To be sure, many are so large that the sheer numbers of the congregation inflict a nearly insurmountable and oppressive anonymity precluding adequate accountability even where it is desired and sought.) 

As our ancestors knew well–shame is a powerful tool.  Perhaps we need to employ it a bit more than we do currently.  Of course, the end we seek is to gain repentance on the part of the offender and reclaim them into the fold, not embarrassment for embarrassment’s sake.  We can all pray for the lady mentioned in the story–and that we ourselves do not fall into the same trap the Enemy sets for us.  We can also give thanks that there are elders in Christ’s Church who view their authority with the seriousness it deserves. 

It’s not easy being on the business end of church discipline; yet, it certainly is no ecclesiastical picnic doling it out, either.

Written by ninepoundhammer

December 19, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Christian Living