Oh, Brant? Yeah, he's faking that his "finger is hurt". Yeah, that's Brant for you. He gets lazy and doesn't post, and then blames on his allegedly "hurt finger". Yeah. That's Brant, all right, blah blah blah I'm better than Brant blah blah blah.
Interesting that you said all that stuff. Because I went to the doctor yesterday, and they did one of those "X-rays" and my finger is BROKEN.*
Hope you're proud of yourself. I broke my finger, and then went to breakfast, and then played guitar (trying to avoid especially painful "F" chords) with my friend Todd. And I played the accordian the next day. With a broken finger.
Brant's whining, blah baa baa.
Well you know what? It hurts right now to hit the "shift" key. I try not to start new sentences, because it hurts to capitalize. Think about that. Huh.
Hope you feel pretty good about yourself right now. Punks.
* -- that picture there isn't of my finger, but of somebody else's broken finger, and mine probably looks pretty much like that, except it's a different finger and stuff.
My favorite sports team is the champion of its sports league.
My favorite sports team outscored a rival team called "The Tigers" and was awarded a large trophy.
Your favorite sports team? A little awkward. Lacking coordination. That's why they fumble the ball and/or puck. Your favorite sports team's coach lacks organizational skills, and your favorite sports team's uniform colors don't really "go together" if you think about it.
Your mascot fails to entertain. It's been doing the same unfunny stunts for about ten years.
My favorite sports team wins big trophies, sets off fireworks, and then begins a frenzy of hugging, thus demonstrating its youthful joy and heterosexual affection for other each other. Your favorite sports team occasionally hugs, but without a trophy nearby, and that's a little questionable.
I haven't been posting, because typing hurts.
Long story, but I mashed my finger in a very significant way. It's cool, sure, because I can gross people out, but it really hurts.
Meantime, a modern SNL classic:
I feel good about myself because a sports team a choose to associate myself with has recently experienced success.
This sports team is headquartered in St. Louis, and is a franchise of the most popular professional baseball league in the United States. Last night, it tallied a higher score than a New York-based franchise.
This pleased me greatly.
Why this particular sports team? I feel a certain kinship with these players, because while I am not from St. Louis proper, neither are any of them. Yes, they are considerably richer than me, but we also share a common humanity. They have their servants put their pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.
I now feel better about me, Brant Hansen. I find myself exhibiting a strange glee and newfound personal confidence. This is because a young Puerto Rican male named Yadier, whom I've never met, swung a stick really hard, with great accuracy.
Naturalist E.O. Wilson says he believes there is no God. And the chemicals in his brain have interacted, and given us The Creation: A Meeting of Science and Religion. Wilson is understandably concerned about the environment, and wants to enlist the help of religious believers. This is a bit tricky, because he clearly finds their beliefs disdainful.
As a side note: I've written before that I believe there are no true atheists, only those in denial. The real beliefs of purported atheists are betrayed by their own actions. After all, what you believe isn't what you say you believe, it's what you do.
So my response to this is simple: We can argue about whether there's a God. We can argue, and I'll say there is one, and you'll say there isn't. But when we walk away, we'll both act like I'm right.
There are those who will still say that there really is no ultimate meaning, that we're left with contriving meanings, but it's essentially pretend. They maintain that, but they don't live it. Their actions -- charitable actions, sacrificial actions, and reasonable moral judgments, such as objecting to others' behavior -- betray them. They don't believe life is truly and ultimately meaningless.
In Wilson's case, it's his own verbiage that provides the kiss on the cheek. First, there's "The Creation..." Then he speaks of how biology will lead us to "the meaning of life."
He says Nature has a "deeply fulfilling beneficence", and we can encounter this when we go about restoring Eden. We humans have "fallen" and engaged in a "betrayal of nature". In short, he subscribes to ultimate meanings, without subscribing to any basis for them. He yearns for the Kingdom, but tries to ignore any royalty beyond ourselves. We're just simply to believe that nature is beneficent, that untimely extinctions are tragic, that there's something truly Wrong about destroying nature, and that Wilson's, or anyone's, reasoning should mean something.
But he surely knows that a world without transcendence is without something we can call "the meaning of life." The fascinating lesson about the human conscience is that a brilliant man like Wilson can't allow himself to say it.
Wilson grew up a Southern Baptist church, and says he answered an "altar call" as a boy. One wonders: Maybe if someone had explained to him the Gospel according to Jesus, that of the Kingdom-being-restored, Wilson's yearning --and hope -- might be at home.
Say what you want: Dude sold 70 million books. 70. Million.
So if you get a chance to talk to Jerry Jenkins, you take it, even if you haven't read the Left Behind books. You ask the obvious.
How do I write a story?
He says there are two steps. You think of an interesting character, and then you sit down and write about stuff happening to him. That's it, partner. And that's three steps, really, if you count the sitting down part.
You just invent a guy, and start makin' stuff up.
It's that simple, he says. Of course, I don't do it, because it frightens me. I'm afraid my story will be stupid. I'm also afraid I'll be handcuffed, mentally, by the imagined expectations of my imaginary audience of friends, peers, and intellectual heroes.
"That's what the first quarter-million words are for," he said. "Then, once you get them out of your head -- your friends, your mom, your critics -- you can actually sit down and write."
A quarter-million words! That's enough to take Rachel Ray through an entire half-hour show. It's daunting. But I want to try this make-it-up-as-you-go-along thing. Respect the series or not, accept its theology or no (I don't) -- people turn the pages. Jenkins says he enjoys Stephen King, and that's how Stephen does it.
I'd like to try, but I just...I don't know. Truth is, as I've told Carolyn a few times, I don't enjoy writing, but I enjoy having written.
Imagine my artistic rapture when he responded to my, "Jerry, you're constantly churning this stuff out. You must love writing, right?"
"No. I don't enjoy writing. What I enjoy is having written."
1. There is no such thing as "evil". To use the term, or make similar moral denunciations, demonstrates a lack of nuance, and what the French call a "simplisme" that belies the importance of myriad contextual considerations in evaluating human moral behavior.
I put some of my radio show clips on a myspace page. This, after I swore I'd never have a myspace page. But it's just for this.
It's www.myspace.com/branthansen, and then you click on the "Some Show Promos" thing. It's not a best of, it's a mish-mash of recorded bits for promos.
Warning: It's ten minutes long. If you can listen to all of it, you will emerge drooling, with a limp. But it's for friends and family who've been wondering what it is I do for a living.
There's also some original music on there, and -- less painful -- I threw a couple of "classic" Farewell to Juliet tunes on there, too. I'll issue the usual disclaimers regarding my original "From Without": I know my vocals aren't that great, production lacking, etc.
I wrote it with junior high in mind. Carolyn, my wife, adds a nice female vocal.
Jeff Elbel would love it if you would support us/him with a purchase from the FtJ library. (Kinda cool: the lead singer-guy from Catherine Wheel makes an appearance on "Thermostat".)
Carolyn and I saw this sticker yesterday, advocating for Cheney/Satan in 2008.
Or, maybe not. Maybe it's being facetious, advocating for anyone who runs against Cheney, because Cheney is going to choose a very evil running mate, the driver thinks.
Maybe. Or maybe it means Cheney is Satan. But that doesn't make any sense, since you can't be on a presidential ticket with yourself. So at least we know they're not saying that.
Probably what it means is that the driver will vote for Cheney, even if he's running with Satan, since he expects the nominated Democrat to be so evil, he'd rather vote for a Cheney/Satan duo. "Cheney, with anyone, would be better than your guys," he's saying. I don't support that sort of thinking, but I don't want to talk politics.
Wait -- it's probably saying that Cheney and Satan are politically aligned, and that they're going to vote for that alignment. Or they're not joking that they're politically aligned, but are joking that they're going to vote for Cheney, who, as a Satanist, would likely choose to run with -- surprise! -- Satan.
Maybe there's no facetiousness, and there's like, a guy last-named Satan in office somewhere who's legit. A guy named Patrick Satan plays hockey, for instance.
Maybe it's a reference Van Halen fans would get! -- the whole running-with-the-devil thing. But probably not, for the very reason that it's too thinly-veiled as a joke, and the payoff is limited. I wrote the whole "running-with-the-devil" thing, and I'm not really laughing about it that much. It seems like a long way to go for an insider-wink at fellow Van Halen fans.
Anyway, I like bumper stickers that make me stop and think.
Because there's nothing more fun than forcing people to look at your own photo albums, here's an online version.
I can't force you to look at it. I can't even force myself to think you'd want to. But here it is.
Oh, the places you'll go!