Sunday, March 25, 2007

"I'll kill a snitch."

I love the New England Patriots. I love the team, the players, the coaching staff, and the management. Because of this, I love Tom Brady. Despite all the press he gets, both negative and positive, I remain loyal to our awesome QB. Whatever team he goes up against, whomever the opposing QB, I know Tom has the skills to outplay them and win.

Despite my Tom adoration, I have a confession to make: Peyton Manning is BY FAR the superior Saturday Night Live host. I didn't watch all of last night's episode, but what I did watch was hilarious. Peyton was much more comfortable, competent, and just plain funny than Tom was on the show. Even the brilliance that was Tom as an office employee in tighty-whiteys could not overcome Peyton's overall performance. I sadly must acknowledge Peyton's supremacy in this field.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Go to Hell, Haters!

Lost is the motherfucking balls! If you've been complaining about it, you're just lazy. Not every episode can be as awesome as tonight's, but no show hits it out of the park every week. It's still one hell of an intriguing, well-written show, so shut the fuck up!

There goes my potty mouth again.

P.S. - Apparently Blogger got wise and added "fuck" and its derivatives to its spell-check dictionary. Bravo!

Where have I been?

Not that I've received any comments or emails expressing concern for my cyber-absence! Humph!

I've been busy and bored, distracted and uninspired. The weather here has been absolutely beautiful, and home life has been pretty busy with family birthdays. Everything else has been pretty uneventful. Here are the two most interesting things I have to write about:

1. I left work yesterday, and was driving in downtown, and saw a guy, about mid 50s, walking on the sidewalk wearing a very short yellow miniskirt and a purple blouse. He was walking very naturally, like nothing was unusual. I wanted to snap a pic with my phone, but didn't have time. Bummer.

2. Spike showed "The Boondock Saints" on Saturday night, presumably to commemorate St. Patrick's Day. I had never even heard of this movie until about 2 years ago. After reading a lot about it on blogs and message boards, I was excited to finally see it. Turns out that it's not a very good movie. It's pretty bad, actually. I don't think my reaction to it stems from Spike being required to bleep out the 1,235,736 times the word "fuck" is apparently used. It's just a choppy, poorly acted film that tries really hard to be cool. I was most shocked at how hammy Willem Dafoe was in it. He must cringe when he sees it now. I understand its appeal to youngsters who love violence and Irish accents, but I was not impressed. I actually turned it off early and watched "The Way of the Gun" which was more violent and more entertaining, though slower-paced and darker. I don't know why, but even though I know Ryan Philippe is a bad actor, I still like to watch him. It was written and directed by the guy who wrote "The Usual Suspects" and I recommend it if you haven't seen it.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Needle in the Hay

I live in a heavy commercial area near a convenience store, so trash often blows into our yard. It's also not the greatest socio-economic area, so we get some "less than desirable" folks walking by our house, too. So I wasn't terribly surprised to find what a friendly neighborhood junkie left in our front yard. We should probably move.

Wait, is that what I think it is?
Yes, it sure is!
At least he/she put the cap back on.

I wasn't going to touch it, even with gloves. But there was no way I wasn't going to document it and post about it. Have a great weekend (with or without needles)!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

"I Believe!"

I couldn't think of a title, so I used the title of the R.E.M song that was on my iPod when I began the post. Turns out, it's quite an apt, though ironic, title for what I'm going to write below.

First of all, a couple trivial things on my mind.

1. Veronica Mars was great on Tuesday, except for the ending.

Spoiler alert - I'm going to (mostly) spoil it for you if you haven't seen it.

I suspected the real killer much earlier, but the show worked so hard to throw you off and create surprise at the end that it seemed a bit deus ex machina. Just all of a sudden, Bam! It all comes unraveled in a couple minutes. Veronica pieces it together, confronts the killer, and it's over. It was done clumsily, I thought. And it left one event totally unexplained: why did the Dean's wife ship her kids off to England, buy a boat, and go to Mexico?

2. I'm going through a bit of a confidence rough spot right now. One thing I've always believed and accepted is the maxim "There's always someone better than you." But when it seems that there are lots of people better than you. In fact, you're not at all good at what you thought you were good at, that can be tough to take. It makes you reflect on all the delusions you've fed yourself over the years.

3. I was going to stop there until I stumbled upon something online today. If you're a fan of logic, and especially the incredibly flawed application thereof, then read this argument for the truth of Christianity. I mean no offense to my Christian readers. I'm not arguing here that your faith is wrong or naive. My only point is that the people who wrote this "argument" are stupid. Basically it says that Christianity, as a religion, faced many crippling obstacles to its survival in ancient Mediterranean society. From there it concludes that it could only overcome these obstacles if the Resurrection were true. Here's the basic problematic syllogism:

1. If the Resurrection weren't true, Christianity as a religion would not have survived.
2. Christianity did survive.
3. Therefore, the Resurrection is true.

The bigger problem is the presumed truth of the first premise. According to the author, people would never face the overwhelming stigma of believing Jesus was God's resurrected son unless they had seen tangible proof, or heard from people who had that proof. Setting aside the issue of whether such tangible, non-circumstantial proof existed, it's not logically necessary that the faith ONLY could have survived with the existence of this proof. The disfavor in which Roman and Jewish society held Christianity lasted long after any of the evangelical witnesses had died. The spread of the faith would then have been in the hands of secondary, tertiary, (etc.) sources. "I know a guy, who has a brother, who once dated a woman, whose father heard Paul the Apostle speak and he said that Jesus really was resurrected." If the present-day proof was so essential to the earliest converts, why did it not matter to the second generation if the consequences of believing were equally harsh?

It is not logical to conclude that the hundreds or thousands of followers that Christ had before the Crucifixion would not have succeeded in spreading the faith without having been an eye witness to some evidence of the Resurrection. Many religions have spread without having the benefit of the "proof" of the Resurrection, including ones that are still with us today. Making the point that other religions thrived in more favorable conditions (as this article does) is not valid. Nearly all religions, at their birth, need to overcome skepticism and hostility with some appeal to proof. Ask any member of a religion if they think that their faith survived because of its truth, and they will say "Of course!"

The author makes other fallacious claims (like "the Gospels include phrases inviting people to investigate the truth for themselves, so it must be true!") but the one that really gets me is at the end:

Skeptics and critics must explain otherwise why, despite each and every one
of these factors, Christianity survived, and thrived.

Two responses:
A. Okay, because Jesus, with the help of a very small group of wealthy co-conspirators, faked his death and resurrection. They bribed the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb, broke him out and then it all carried on from there with his apostles spreading the resurrection story, eventually getting the ears of influential Romans and finally Emperor Galerius, and from there global dominance. Did it really happen that way? Who knows? Is it as likely as the "True Resurrection" theory? More so, from a strictly physical standpoint.

B. Um, no we don't. You're the one trying to spread your faith though rational means. You either need to prove it really did happen without relying on texts written by non eye-witnesses many years after the alleged fact (impossible at this point) or abandon the logic exercise and rely on humans' capacity for faith in a conception of the divine.

Again, I'm not trying to destroy anyone's faith. I'm not about tearing down the Bible. I still have a lot to learn about it, and am looking forward to doing that. I know from my own experience how mysterious and powerful faith is. You don't need insecure Christians formulating hackneyed, inferential arguments to "prove" events in the Bible to have faith. In fact, if you're a faithful person, you shouldn't want them.