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On “Taking The Joy Out of the 19th Anniversary

I wonder if this was considered an old gag at the time.

On “Churches In the Hands of an Angry God

This is a really good comment.

As someone who does not assume the existence of a deity (at least, not one that most people would see as an entity worth worship or even meditation upon (it's a small batch artisanal deity... you've probably never heard of it)), I look at Christianity and say "okay, what's *REALLY* going on here if you take away the inessentials?" and see a lot of both tribalism and a surprising amount of trying to outright *AVOID* tribalism.

It's tribalism mitigation given tribalism as a constant.

And the evolution from Orthodoxy to Catholicism to Protestantism to Evangelicalism to Whatever The Hell Marianne Williamson Is Doing is really, really interesting when you look at it the way you look at such things as language evolving.

Because it’s not about doctrine, or faith, or theological principles.

On “A Timeless Box Full of Whistles

A lovely piece.

It's weird to think about modern instruments and what we've done with them...

We've got the electric guitar (which is pretty much a guitar, only teslafied/edisonated) and... what? The Theramin?

I suppose we could point to either of those as being capable of stirring the soul the way the pipes do and did... but for as greatly advances as we moderns are, I can't help but notice that we do a lot of resting on the laurels of giants.

On “Greta Thurnberg’s Semi-slow Boat Upon the Stormy Seas

Something you really ought to keep in mind if you are celebrating Greta Thunberg and contributing to make her a prominent voice for Environmental Change:

On “Saturday Morning Gaming: God Of War Completed

Quick time events in the middle of a battle...

How did we live like this?

On “Churches In the Hands of an Angry God

Τί ἐστιν ἀλήθεια?

In any case, day-to-day non-Christian counterparts seem to have similar moral stature to Christians, at least when it comes to charity.

Given my opinion of Christians, this is quite the insult.


When you're playing the "No *TRUE* Charity" game, you ought to notice that the well was like that when you got here.

On “Greta Thurnberg’s Semi-slow Boat Upon the Stormy Seas

Oooh! I always love these questions!

What difference would it make if he's *THIS* versus *THAT*?

Like, if his answer is, "I'm an artist who makes designs celebrating diversity while, at the same time, respecting other cultures and my latest piece is a video showing all of the 45 presidents dancing dances that were popular within a couple of years of their respective inaugurations", what would that mean for his positions?

If he were the CEO of Greenpeace, what would that mean for his positions?

If he were an office drone who goes to work, does Excel Worksheet stuff, prints it, staples it, and puts it in the out box, what would that mean for his positions?

If he were a stay-at-home dad who raises the kids while his wife brings home the bacon, what would that mean for his positions?

On “Churches In the Hands of an Angry God

I think that the assumption that helping one's group is co-extensive with helping oneself is, long-term, toxic. It may even be toxic in the short term.

But, I imagine, that attacking the outgroup for this sort of thing while ignoring it for the ingroup is useful positionally.


Can you provide a *SINGLE* example of charity that we couldn't wave away using this level of skepticism?

(Note: The value of marginal dollars versus endorphins will play heavily in the next few comments.)


"They *THINK* they're good but they're only helping *THEIR* *OWN* people! HA! Take that!"

If I pay a therapist for marriage counseling, no one considers that charity; if I pay a pastor for marriage counseling, suddenly it is. If I join a country club to play in an amateur sports league, no one considers that charity; if I join a church to play in an amateur sports league, suddenly it is.

If I pay a pastor to give marriage counseling to other people, is that charity?
If my church has an amateur sports league that plays against the Methodists (but *NOT* on Sundays!) but I don't play on the team because Levitical Law seems to indicate that individual sports are more Godly than team sports, is that charity or not?

If we're defining "charity" so narrowly that it doesn't include helping one's own neighbor because it's in the group's best interest to help each other, we're relying on Utilitarianism to the point where we can't even comprehend Virtue Ethics or Deontology anymore.


Churches may do comparatively more for charity than other groups, but individual congregants are indiscernible from their non-Christian counterparts on a day to day basis.

I don't know who we're yelling "TAKE THAT!" at.

On “Saturday Morning Gaming: God Of War Completed

Not yet. But! It was one of those things where I figured I'd beat the game then go back and do the side quests... then I beat the game and then it told me to play New Game +... and then I said "I will play God of War III remastered to do a side-by-side comparison and *THEN* I will play New Game + and *THEN* will I complete the Valkyrie fights."

On “Breaking Bad: Picard

Here it is from the horse's mouth.

There *WAS* an episode where it was said and Wilw Himself says that it's an example of bad writing.

Does he have a point? I'm not going to pretend that he isn't biased... but I will say that it turns out that Wesley was right in the episode in which he was told to shut up and the grown-ups were wrong.

On “This One Really Hurts

The big problem was that they fell back into the whole "One Free Grope" rule that was so popular when Clinton was President. Sure, maybe Franken *WAS* inappropriate with that sex worker when they were visiting the troops! But people make a lot of assumptions about sex workers and he made one and took an inappropriate picture and WHO AMONG US HAS NOT? And then they came out and said "It's not like there are *MULTIPLE* accusers."

And then more women popped up and said hashtag me too.

If the opening bid was "of course this is awful behavior and the Senate needs to investigate it to its fullest ability!", then maybe they could have gotten away with multiple names popping up.

But the opening bid was "he didn't do anything wrong and, besides, she's a bad person and it was only one time so he should get a pass."

Which pretty much made calling for his resignation inevitable.

On “Greta Thurnberg’s Semi-slow Boat Upon the Stormy Seas

Does China have people like this? People who drive a green car around the country telling everybody to start recycling?

On “Weekend Plans Post: Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

I've been listening to this song a lot.

The parts between 0:25 and 0:27 where the song goes from icicle cold to microwave hot (and these parts happen multiple times during the song) have been keeping me... somethinged… throughout the week. Energized? I don't know. But I think about the freezing tink tink tink to kittycat warm that happens with those chords a *LOT* over the last couple of days.

On “Epstein Dead

Ah yes, the other unproven conspiracy.

Did we achieve "fishy" with that one?

Or do we have to say that, hey, we just don't *KNOW* whether that's fishy too?

I suppose it doesn't matter, now that Epstein is dead.

Why are we even still talking about this?


You are spinning a bunch of common facts of prison life into a grand conspiracy based solely on…common facts of prison life and a displeasure that Epstein is dead.

Well, there's also the thing where Epstein's whole life for the last couple of decades was central to a different grand conspiracy that involved powerful elites and sex and all sorts of embarrassing things.


It has nothing to do with what I *WANT*. I want Epstein to have gone to trial.

The fact that he didn't is convenient to too many powerful people.

Now I'm stuck here asking "what the hell happened?" and seeing stuff like guards falsifying logs, cellmates being transferred, and hyroid bones being broken.

And people saying that this ain't even fishy.

What the hell?


At this point, I'm wondering if the tapes are destroyed if people will say that that doesn't prove anything.

Or if the tapes show two guys going into the cell, they'll argue that that doesn't prove that Epstein was *MURDERED*. Maybe they were visiting.


Huh. Maybe she will.


But that doesn’t rule anything out, it only keeps the possibilities open.

Indeed it does, and that's part of the problem.

But, for example, if the bone was *NOT* broken, it would indicate against strangulation.

Like if we had guards who followed protocols and walked past every 15-30 minutes, it would indicate against funny business. Like if they didn't falsify their own freaking records, it would indicate against funny business.

Instead, we're in a place where the guards falsified records but we're saying that that doesn't mean anything because we just don't know. And that there was a new guard there that night but it doesn't mean anything. And they failed to patrol but that doesn't mean anything. And his hyroid bone was broken but that doesn't mean anything.

It feels like smoking weed after existentialism class.

Does anything mean anything? Even in theory?



That said, his neck bone thingy being broken seems pretty fishy.

Wanna hear a *REAL* conspiracy theory?

The only time the hyoid bone is broken during suicide by hanging is when the suicide by hanging happens to occur while in police custody.