Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Body...Politic

"My position is, unless we are caring as much for the vulnerable outside the womb as inside the womb, we're not carrying out the full message of Jesus. ... They began to think this might threaten their base or evaporate some of their support, and they said they just couldn't go there."

This is a quote by Rev. Joel Hunter. He was going to be president of the Christian Coalition but resigned after realizing he would be unable to broaden the organization's focus to include issues such as poverty and the environment. (Source: The Washington Post).
I'm cheering for Joel Hunter.
This is beautiful.
I'm a marginal Christian. I do my best, but I fail more than I succeed. I don't speak from a position of moral authority, but I do love the voice that the church can be. If the body of Christ were to pursue the moral values he seemed so passionate about in his earthly teaching and healing ministry it would be earth shaking and beautiful.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I am so proud of my wife.
Her school opened the Diary of Anne Frank tonight.
It was absolutely beautiful. I felt more human.
If you can come, do.

Studio 60, Championship Lacrosse, and Bad Leadership (alternative title: The Limitation of Talent)

Every Monday night I catch up on paper work and flip to Studio 60. I'm like the Joads without the quest, but with the same milky dissapointment.
No. Not at all. What a horrid analogy.
The whole show does what I just did--bend over backwards to try to showcase some trite literary or cultural knowledge without actually saying or doing anything. Any story, to actually be a story requires conflict, and motion, and action. Each scene requires a drive shaft. Lit crit wonks can go nine rounds on the elements of style, but the bottom line is that if you say something it should actually say something. People watch verbs.
In addition to the rancor with which it blows what pisses me off about Studio 60 is that it has some potential to be awesome. There is an unbelievable level of talent and a writer who I truly believe has a once-in-a-generation mind for narrative and style. It then proceeds to piss that potential down its leg. It's fine merlot used to cook spam.
My JV lacrosse team was dissapointing last night. They didn't hustle. They are not displaying skill. They are not displaying unity. I was ashamed and expect much more.
At heart the team and the show had the same problem.
Champions do the stuff that doesn't take talent. In writing that's defining a broad vision, working on character development, creating scenes that are cohesive and have a drive shaft, and editing until the prose is what it needs to be. In lacrosse that's hustle, and skill development, and film study, and discipline.
In High School they find kids with nice hair who can spell and they call them leaders. They then define leadership as the ability to paint broad vision. That's part of it, but it's not what makes leaders fail or succeed. Teams of any kind win when they get people to buy in to the stuff that doesn't take talent.
I failed at that a little bit the other day. That was bad leadership.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


In addition to being referenced in Cantonese on Wayne's World Kierkegaard was brilliant.
He wrote, "The comes affliction to awaken the dreamer."
I don't understand that but it feels important.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A book about wine

I once read a small book about wine.
It was something like they sell at the bookstore below the Playboy and Maxim and Better Homes and Gardens on the rack--above The Economist.

The book told me the definition of words and places like Merlot and sommelier and which kind of corkscrew to buy.
I bought it because it let me say that I knew the definition of Merlot and sommelier; I bought it to give advice on the corkscrew that was tested
10,000 times with no fail.

I don't care very much about the book. It's useful. What I really care about is that wine is delicious, and I use a Wal Mart cork screw and drink wine with my wife and she looks pretty and laughs softly and mispronounces Riesling (or maybe I do in my head).

The reason the books facts are interesting to me is because they are excerpts of the experience. My mentor used to say that what mattered was propositional truth (2 + 2; Romans 8:31; Newton's 2nd Law of Thermodynamics; how to execute the West Coast offense) and that experiential truth was less valid. I think maybe he was wrong. The thing that stirs my heart to fight or love or work or pray is experiential truth.

On another note--check out http://stevenfuller.blogspot.com
He wrote a thing about vulnerability (A Public Life) that I think rocks.
For people who read my blog first, disregard the comment I post to him. I'm over the moon about this guy's potential as a thinker and I hold him to an unfairly high standard. Read what he has to say.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


A girl I don't know wrote this.
Good job girl I don't know.
Christians I know are fitting too much into one or the other broad categories:
Annoyingly introspective and vocal.
Annoyingly shallow in their thinking.
Emerson wrote that education was the end of life.
I respectfully disagree--the end of education is life.
We ponder and navel gaze as if the truths that we hold to be the source of life are a mere philosophy.

Today I had about twenty high school kids in my house keeping Kosher. Really.
Shann's doing the Diary of Anne Frank for her play and as a way to build unity she had the kids over for a Kosher meal. I'd never cooked Kosher before--it's kind of like Cooking Taboo, "Make a cake but you can't use any of these ingredients." The other interesting thing is that built into the meal was a reminder of shared creed, conduct, traditions, and memories. It reminded me in a bizarre way of talking to anyone's grandma in her kitchen. She talks about her vegetables, or how she's got an aloe bush for that burn on your hand, or about how it it hurts her to cross stitch, or how she still gets with her friends (widows) and shares wine and coffee and plays cards and laughs until too late. Their words tie directly to tactile human experience. They are haptic and theirs is a haptic spirituality.