Fred on TV

The inimitable Fred Reed writes: The lobotomy box is all ads, with a sprinkle of stupid shows for people with the IQ of an avocado. Yes, I’ve heard the sheepish shuck-and-jive toe-dance about “But Fred, there are SOME good things – the History Channel and Discovery.” Yeah: Sharks, Nazis, and pyramids. The absolute minimum necessary so that people who can’t be alone with themselves will gawp at singing deodorant applicators.

I’m with Fred on this. I’d much rather read a book, play a game, surf or even write than watch TV – NFL excluded.

Nietzsche and the Marshwiggle

A nice irony is this: Whereas Christianity (and Judaism) can give atheists a dignified place within their own theory of religious liberty, it seems quite difficult for atheists such as Dawkins to assign religious people any place in their own theory other than the loony bin. For Jews and Christians, freedom is so dear to the Creator that He allows free human beings to turn away from him, to reject the granting even of His existence, and to scorn Him and His works. In their refusal of His friendship, He vindicates His love of liberty. Thus, atheists too give witness to His glory.

By contrast, Dawkins in his apoplexy can find no place for believing Jews and Christians except delusion. He thinks of atheism as a place of honor and of religion as a disease; teaching of the latter, a crime; teaching of the former, a way of light, knowledge, and truth.

There is a further irony. Time and again in history, reason has proved to be inadequate to its own defense. Most people most of the time live by passion, sentiment, custom, emotion — many such guides influence them — but few live purely by reason. Even famous philosophers of very high scientific standards have insisted that they did not choose their wives or guide their loves by scientific reason. Reason is but a thin sliver to build a civilization upon.

And the situation is far worse than that. The scientist qua scientist typically writes that the universe was formed by chance. At this starting point, then, there is a fundamental irrationality at the heart of science. There is a superstructure of towering reasonings, but based upon an absurdity — in the strict sense, an utter absence of discernible reason, a surd at the root of the matter. The thorough cultivation of science alone as a philosophy of life, therefore, normally ends as Nietzsche sadly announced, that, in our civilization, it already had: in nihilism.– Michael Novak, NRO

Novak pinpoints the base irrationality of atheism, the foundation upon which others are thereby constructed. To pretend that reason rules where it manifestly does not, to fly under a moral flag that is not – and in most cases cannot be – reached by reason, these are mere quotidian irrationalities. Perhaps some dim awareness of this self-delusion accounts for the rage of so many atheists when confronted by the ironic reality of their lives. They say they laugh, even as their foam-flecked lips spew curses.

It does not bother me in the least that many call me a fool or an idiot for my faith. But then, I believe in the biggest absurdity of all; that an all-powerful Creator God would deign to become Man, that He might save His creation from itself. Embrace the rational nihilism of the Void if you choose, as for me, like the Marshwiggle, I will hold to the fairy tale.

We’ll have none of that around here

The plaintiff’s bar wants to keep religious people off the jury, because they believe in personal responsibility. Won’t they be in for a surprise, when those legions of highly ethical atheists pop up and throw their nefarious plans to win massive damage awards into disarray.

Somehow, this reminds me of how the courts go into panic mode whenever anyone within a five-mile radius of the courtroom utters the words “jury nullification”.

Isn’t it interesting how the most corrupt institutions in the USA – the courts and Wall Street – always rely on abstract theoretical arguments to justify their existence, while daily behaving in a manner that almost precisely contradicts their justifications.

On Ents and Elves

LV points out: “The Ents were really dissed, being presented as whiney sniveling cowardly appeasers, where in the book, they were mightily disturbed, but merely slow to anger and action. Not being hasty is not being French.”

It’s true, having them get “tricked” by Merry was rather lame, but I don’t think Jackson had the time to show their slow rise to anger. I think LV is being too harsh, here. Jackson kept the essence of their nature intact, and furthermore, I submit that any clumsiness here must be forgiven by the awesome and overpowering attack on Isengard. He really surpassed my expectations there.

To be honest, I never much liked the Ents anyhow. I’m definitely a Rohan guy. Space Bunny is an Aragorn fan, and I understand the teenyboppers quite like Legolas, but I think that one starry-eyed female writer is correct in saying that Eomer is unfairly overlooked. After Faramir, he was my second favorite character in the books; unlike Faramir, the films did him justice.

As much as I like Cate Blanchett as an actress, I wasn’t terribly fond of her as Galadrial. She was adequate, but she wasn’t as ethereal and overpoweringly beautiful as my mind’s eye pictured. I can’t think of an actress I would have preferred, though. I also thought it was interesting how the elven armor was definitely influenced by the Ulthuan High Elves of Warhammer. The process goes full circle.

Where to start

RS asks: Would you consider Tolkien to have been a Christian?

I really dislike answering this sort of question. It does not fall to me, or any other man, to judge another man’s soul. However, we can certainly say that JRR Tolkien was a devout Catholic, considered himself to be a Christian, was instrumental in leading CS Lewis to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, and wrote a literary masterpiece that is rife with Christian references, analogies and metaphor.

In other words, if he was not a Christian, I don’t know who is. And if we judge Tolkien by his fruits, as we are instructed, there can be very little doubt as to the nature of the tree. In other words, yes.

By this same metric, I very much doubt that Adolf Hitler was a Christian, his sometime public protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. His blasphemous attempts to usurp the role of Jesus Christ would alone appear to rule him out as an antichrist, not to mention the small matter of his massive body count and notorious hatred for God’s Chosen. But the truth is, we do not know the truth of what was in either man’s heart at the end.

It is possible to imagine that Hitler repented of his sins in the Berlin bunker. In near-total ignorance of his life, it is possible to imagine that Tolkien secretly abjured Jesus Christ and embraced Belial. But both possibilities, especially the latter, are so uncharacteristic of what we know as to be monstrously absurd, in my opinion, and not worth the breath required to discuss them. For my part, I hope to one day leave as bold a Christian testimony behind as did Mr. Tolkien.

Sharpening the blades… with a smile

JM writes about a friend at a certain university who was assigned to write an essay on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After writing one supporting the Israeli side, her professor refused to grade it and told her to rewrite it – either supporting the Palestinians or writing objectively – in order to receive a grade.

What do you say I give this professor a jingle? As my brother used to say, I FEEL a jacuzzi coming on!

We need more of these?

Now they’ve cloned white-tailed deer. Why? We don’t have enough? While I don’t have anything against hunting, I’ve never quite understood the allure of driving three hours north and freezing your rear end off sitting in a tree in the north woods in order to wait for a glimpse of the very same animal that is in your backyard, en masse, every single night. I remember one evening when my Dad and brothers had left to go hunt, and two hours later, I barely managed to avoid running over three deer less than fifty yards from the house with the truck. And no, we did not live in the country.

I have to say, as much as it still boggles my mind that Man has developed cloning technology in my lifetime, I’m a little disappointed with the results. I hope someone is building a secret army of clones somewhere or something, because the reality is really falling far short of all the science fiction I’ve read. Where’s my laser pistol? Where’s my lightsabre? The real globalist conspiracy has to be the most boring conspiracy ever – what lousy excuse for a conspiracy to take over the world has a web site announcing their intentions? A web site, by the way, they don’t bother to update.

And if you’re going to clone something, clone Morgan Fairchild. Can’t have too many of those.

I’m not sure how I feel about cloning. I don’t know enough to have an opinion on it, although from what little I understand, I can’t support either the destruction of conceived but unused people or the use of clones for harvesting or study purposes. My technophilic instincts tend to war against my ethics here, to a certain extent.

That’s what I’m talking about!

According to Len Pasquarelli: It hasn’t yet been officially announced, but the starting quarterbacks for the Pro Bowl will be Steve McNair (of Tennessee) and Daunte Culpepper (Minnesota).

Good onya Daunte! This only goes to show why fans should not be voting for All-Star games – or at least that their votes should not be taken as a serious indicator of a player’s skill. In keeping with this season’s Black Quarterback Watch, here’s yesterday’s results:

Culpepper: 20/29 260 yds 69% 8.97 avg 3 TD 1 INT 117.0 rating

D. McNabb: 17/27 238 yds 63% 8.81 avg 1 TD 2 INT 72.8 rating

The ESPN fans, as I mentioned before, favored McNabb over Culpepper as the starter by 51 percentage points. Ludicrous. Week 16 actually wasn’t a bad game statistically for McNabb. But as usual, the Eagles weren’t in the game because of him, they were in it because of Brian Westbrook’s punt return – although the defense was no help at all. McNabb even made a very nice play in the pocket to avoid what looked like a certain sack, then seemed to overthrow Chad Lewis but the TE managed to go up and get it for a vital 4th-quarter first down on third-and-long. But that last INT that gave the game away was pretty bad. Not exactly the crunch-time performance that is supposed to excuse his “misleadingly” average stats.

Okay, but overrated. That’s my verdict. Still. And yes, I’ll continue hammering this into the ground for the rest of the season. It’s football. This is what we do. If anyone wants a long-winded rant on how Two-Minute Tommy Kramer was a better quarterback when he was drinking, I can deliver that too. My theory is that his balance was off without the beer in one hand.