20 October 2012

I Might Have a Variety of Complexes.

I'm a little bit strange.

People who know me a little bit will nod in agreement with this statement, while those who know me better than that will break out into guffaws of mirth.

scary
That is a preface to the following:

There are pictures hung upon nearly every wall of my home. The only places bereft of artwork are my bedroom and the bathroom (but the bathroom has an unnecessarily large mirror, so I'm not sure if it counts).

Part of my brain thinks the pictures are great, as in, You have Picasso and Dali prints on your walls, woman! That's so cool! The other, larger, parts of me are made extremely claustrophobic. I feel vaguely persecuted, seeing as there are so damn many of them and only one of me. They stare down at me from their perches on the walls, watching me, judging me when I neglect to comb my hair and mocking me when my chest breaks out in yet another round of acne.

pretty and un-scary

But the pictures stay up. Mostly because they're not mine and I didn't put them there, and partly because they were put up by people far better cultured and with much better taste than I. I'm really just not that into decoration, and I have no sense of visual aestheticism. Left to my own devices, if I were to hang anything on the walls, it would probably be something more along the lines of Franz Liszt's Liebestraum enlarged to about 20"x30" and left unframed.

I look at accidentals the way most girls seem to look at sequins. Impractical and kind of itchy, but--ooh!--sparkly!

I have dealt with the intimidation provided by my current decorations by going up to each one systematically and nudging it just a little-bitty amount so that it hangs a touch crooked. Not one is left unprecariously straight.

'Cause I've gotta show the pictures who's boss.

Irene

10 October 2012

I Hate Hipsters

After yesterday's incredibly nerdy post, I'm going to be slightly shallow today.

Do you know what I hate? I hate hipsters.

The reasons why are nearly endless.

  • Dorky hair.
  • Skinny jeans (and, heaven forbid, jeggings).
  • The stupid mustache meme. God knows I love a good mustache, but how the hell does sticking them on everything make it 'ironic'?
  • The overuse of the term 'ironic'. Get a dictionary, you fools, and learn what the word means.
  • Too busy not-conforming to realize that setting out to be a non-conformist is exactly the same as conforming.
  • The name-dropping of bands no one has ever heard of (being underground usually just means most people have the good sense not to listen to them).
  • Endless narcissism.
  • The fact that the social movement exists proves that it's failing. Now THAT'S ironic.
So, a message to all the hipsters out there:
Stop living off of mom and dad, get a real job, and realize that in the real world you will have to wear real shoes.
Thank you.
 

09 October 2012

on the power of formatting

I have before me three versions of the KJV Bible. All are formatted in different ways.

The first is in verse format:

Psalm 2

1. Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
3. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
4. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the brethren for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9. Thou shalt breath them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
10. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

This the way we're probably used to seeing scripture.

The second bible is set up so that every chapter is one big long paragraph (verses are marked with teensy little numbers within the paragraph but I don't know how/if blogger does that so I'm skipping them):

Psalm 2

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their hands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the brethren for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt breath them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

This is usually the way I quote scripture on this blog. It's a little cluttered, but it's usually done more for the sake of conserving space than to be aesthetically pleasing.

The third bible is a single-column paragraph bible. This means that verses are marked with tiny numbers like in bible #2 but for the most part everything is laid out just like any other book. If you could not read English and were simply thumbing through the pages, you wouldn't know that this book was any different from other 1900-page books. This makes scripture easy to read, because it's arranged in the narrative form we know how to follow. Single-column paragraph format is my favorite of all bible formats.

Another glorious thing about paragraph format is that passages in verse--like the psalms--are actually written as verse (crazy notion, no?):

Psalm 2

Why do the heathen rage,
and the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take council together,
against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
'Let us break their bands asunder,
and cast away their cords from us'.
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:
the Lord shall have them in derision.
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath,
and vex them in his displeasure.
'Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion'.

I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me,
'Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thy inheritance,
and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron.
thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.'

Be wise now therefore, O ye kings:
be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry,
and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

See how it's all poem-like? That's how it's supposed to be.

~

And, just for fun, here's a different translation of the same psalm. This is from the NKJV--not a translation of which I'm very fond:

Psalm 2

1. Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?
2. The kings of the earth set themselves , and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
3. "Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us."
4. He who sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall hold them in derision.
5. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure:
6. "Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion."
7. "I will declare the decree: the Lord has said to Me, You are My Son, today I have begotten you.
8. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. 
9. You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'"
10. Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth.
11. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

Destruction. Ick. But an interesting comparison.

That is all.


01 October 2012

Reflections on: Repentance

I'm using this picture because it's bright and yellow and it's now October, when that color abounds. I have not read and can therefore neither endorse nor disagree with the post or site from which it originated.

We use the imagery of the U-turn a lot when we talk about repentance. That's either brilliant or troubling, depending on how you look at it.

While in my childhood I had a long, long period of confusion about U-turn signs. I assumed, in my literal mind, that a U-turn sign implied the necessity to turn around. Not that it was an optional thing available in certain times and places, but that whenever the sign appeared it was mandatory you turn your little car around and drive the other direction.

This was especially confusing to me because I saw these signs on the road often while traveling around town with my mother, and she never turned around at those places. Ever. Until I was almost eight years old I thought my mother was a major traffic violator because she didn't follow the road signs. Every time she'd pass a U-turn sign and keep on driving straight down the road I would discretely look around for a police car, hoping that no one had witnessed her blatant violation of (what I thought was) the law.

I don't know why I didn't just ask her about it, but whatever.

This is why the idea of correlating a U-turn sign with repentance intrigues me.

Certainly there are things which necessitate immediate confession, restitution, desertion, and absolution (repentance, in a nutshell). I would consider these things to be any offense that affects people other than the actor--betrayal, violence, theft, far-reaching falsehoods, gossip, and the like.

Then there are the things that could be classified as 'victimless sins'. These are things the require a more personal interpretation and depend heavily on levels of knowledge and realms of belief. Uncharitable thought, masturbation, destructively low self esteem, use of profanity, ingestion of certain substances (whether that's heroin or marijuana or Everclear or coffee or fast food or factory-raised animals or GMO vegetables), consensual sex between adults who have not promised fidelity elsewhere, etc [my personal thoughts on which of the above are actually sins that need repentance: probably, no, yes, no, depends, and depends-but-probably-not-usually]. Arguments can be made about whether any of these things are truly victimless, but that gets into all sorts of skeezy sophistry I'm not interested in entertaining.

I like the U-turn analogy for things like this. There are certain times when it is possible and permitted to repent of these things. But there are also certain times when dwelling on any of these things and seeking to repent of them might be self-destructive (like maybe your focus should be elsewhere, focused on staying on the road perhaps). But even when the opportunity presents itself, it's optional. You can turn around, see if heading the opposite direction will take you somewhere better, but if you think holding the route will be okay enough or you want to be headed in that direction--that's okay too.

Thoughts?

Irene