Merry Christmas Charlie Brown

We watched that tonight as a family, and during Linus’ explanation of the meaning of Christmas, I couldn’t help but reflect how the cartoon is a snapshot of a time that appears to be disappearing, with an open religiosity that is as out of place as the notion of aluminum Christmas trees. One wonders how long it will be before that bit will have to be cut before network censors refuse to broadcast it lest it “offend” someone.

But that is neither here nor there. For unto us a child is given, and if the gates of Hell cannot prevail against him, neither will a passing fad of political correctness. Glory to the Newborn King.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

On giving

I used to very much dislike being importuned by beggars. I’d usually just ignore them, after all, the chance that they were scamming money for drugs and alcohol was not so much a possibility as a probability given the realities of “homelessness” in America.

It eventually occurred to me, however, that this sort of judgment was not for me to make. Jesus tells us to behave towards the least of our brothers as if they were him, which inherently assumes that they are NOT him and therefore fallible and prone to doing the wrong thing with whatever we happen to give them. The parable of the stewards shows that God will hold them accountable for their actions, and we are responsible solely for our own.

To give when one is asked is not compassion nor is it anything to be commended. It is simply obedience to the will of our Lord. Consider that the next time you encounter a shabby old man with his palm outstretched.

Fred on newspapers

the greatest weakness of the American press is moral. Our media are relentlessly, grindingly, hermetically controlled or, as we say, politically correct. Everyone with the brains of an aspirin tablet is aware of it. Newspaper do not so much report the news as avoid it. The taboos are endless and rigid. What reporters know, they do not write; what they write, they do not believe. We all understand exactly what the media can say, can’t say, and will say. Sheer dishonesty rubs shoulders with poor content.

This inability to address the truth, however uncomfortable, is what is leading the media reality further and further away from the easily observable reality. This is why the commentary aspect of the mainstream media is simply growing more and more irrelevant.

The structural aspects of the media will continue to be useful, but more and more it will come to resemble the AP newswire, with superblogs replacing the individual papers themselves. This will, I think, be a good thing. If nothing else, it will return some level of variety that has been lost to the print world the last twenty years.

Week 16 picks

Last week: 12-4. Overall: 147-75. Fantasy: 8-6-1 (lost first round)

W-Pittsburgh Steelers over Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills over San Francisco 49ers

W-Cincinnati Bengals over New York Giants

L-Jacksonville Jaguars over Houston Texans

Dallas Cowboys over Washington Redskins

Carolina Panthers over Tampa Bay Buccaneers

W-Detroit Lions over Chicago Bears

New England Patriots over New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles over St. Louis Rams

Seattle Seahawks over Arizona Cardinals

W-Kansas City Chiefs over Oakland Raiders

L-Atlanta Falcons over New Orleans Saints

Miami Dolphins over Cleveland Browns

W-Indianapolis Colts over San Diego Chargers

L-Tennessee Titans over Denver Broncos

L-Minnesota Vikings over Green Bay Packers

This is a tough week, one of those where I wouldn’t be suprised to go 8-8 or 12-4. But Vox Funk is holding off the White Buffalo by five points and clinging to tenth place in the picks league so we need a decent performance. The fantasy loss last week in the first round of the playoffs was a tough one, especially since I outscored the two teams playing in the other game. But I was always a very long shot against this year’s two powerhouses, which face off this weekend for the championship.