Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Google thinks I'm gay...and another thing

This is an unposted post from a few years back.
Google thinks I'm gay...
As an experiment for a play I was working on I set up google ads on my site. I was curious to see how it worked. Bizarelly, google thinks I'm gay. It has for some time.
Above my posts there's a little ad. Mostly for church stuff, once for simulated cat pee (?) and recently for gay related items. This would make sense to me tomorrow, when the google crawlers will have found the word gay within the copy, but I don't know what other sign I'm giving off that makes google think I'm gay. That's now what I'm writing about...just curious.
The other thing...
Some time ago I was involved in what CNN called a tragedy. They pointed cameras at me and my friends. The facts of the story were pretty simple--unpredictable, senseless, crappy thing (in this case a Tornado that killed people in Cincy. The story became a story about hope because we made that happen...we deliberately and methodically stayed "on message" because if people are going to point a camera at you it makes sense to leverage the redemptive potential. It became a story of hope...but it wasn't one.
Sad things, particularly ugly, violent, senseless sad things like shootings or storms become something of a national rorschach onto which we can project our own hopes or fears. This is why the VT shooting was about community, or unity, or courage, or hope, or madness, or gun control, or liberalism, or faith, or the goodness of God, or the absence of God, or existential despair, or Korean americans, depending on where we're standing.
What I struggle with is that none of this is REAL. A wack job went crazy and the walls were ripped away from our hearts. This is fine and natural, but it becomes dangerous when we project MEANING onto something senseless. Something's just suck

Monday, April 23, 2007

I'm like a grandma...

Inasmuch as I heard myself say "Oh Dear" the other day.
Not in an ironic way.
My natural reaction to a non-calamitous but troublesome development was "Oh Dear."
When did I become a guy who says "Oh Dear."
Is this the gateway drug for other Grandma sayings?
Will I begin saying "Good heavens" referring to young people as sweetie as I pinch their cheeks and offer them flapjacks as they sit-a-spell, their fannies squeaking on my plastic encased-vaguely gross smelling davenport!
Perhaps I should make old friends (not lifelong...actual old people.)
Oh dear.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Steve Fuller wrote this:
I really wish someone at NBC would have just thrown away the video Cho Seung-Hui made. I wish he would have been forgotten - instead, he will become someone we will never forget. And because of this, I fear others like him have been encouraged to duplicate his heinous crime.

Luckily, we will also have copycat heroes - men and women like Liviu Librescu, a 76 year-old Holocaust survivor who barricaded himself against his classroom door while students escaped through open windows. Librescu was killed by Cho, but every single student survived because of his courage.

May each of us live every day of our lives with that kind of courage

Monday, April 16, 2007

I'm Not Complaining...But

I'm taking two minutes to vent.
Every parent in the world who has ever complained about playing time for their kid begins like this:
"I'm not usually one to complain (false) and I'm not even really complaining now (false) I'm just trying to understand (false) why little Billy isn't playing even though he works so hard (false) and is always at home practicing (false) and really should have a chance to play."

If you're a parent, don't do that. Say this:
Coach, I really love my kid and I think you're missing something. He's a bit behind but more experience will help him. What can we as parents do to help him get better, and are there any ways you can get him on the field to build more comfort and field IQ?"
The latter is honest and proactive, the former is just annoying.

Very few coaches are holding a grudge, and almost every coach rewards hard work with playing time. I wasn't good at football, but literally played every position but quarterback and tight end (tall positions) in High School because coaches wanted to put me on the field.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Something is Missing

Our creative team is working on a supplement to an upcoming Sermon series: Something's Missing. The point of the series is this:
“We are the wealthiest, best resourced nation in the history of the world, our freaking pets are fat. We’ve got books on how to be rich, thin, successful, have great kids, great jobs, great sex, and great big bank accounts. These books are best sellers. Yet most Americans will say they have a profound sense that at the end of the day something’s missing. From there we'll identify some possible causes of this longing for the transcendent.

With this in mind I'm riffing on the sermon topic.
The last time I can really remember feeling like something important was missing from my life was a long business trip away from Shann. I did the same stuff I would, but was somehow less than...
I felt like Mega-Man when he was blinking.
It sucked.

Sometimes I dream that my dad's still alive and able to give me advice...mostly on work but also on other things. My subconscious, I suppose, is responding to something that my waking mind avoids. I can't say that I feel adrift, but there are definitely times when I wish there was more guidance and someone built into my corner.

The weird thing is that I have built in hope. This is why for me the idea of trying to do work, marriage, sex, friendship, or really anything...without God...would be a heavy existential burden.

That's why I care deeply that God responds directly to the missing pieces of our life.

Since I'm supposed to help teach a lesson responding to "Something is missing" I'd love the thoughts of others on this topic...
When have you experienced something missing in your life. Define the qualitative experince.
What fundamental rules do you go by for work, friendship, sex, personal finance, etc.?
If you think Christianity is crap (or misguided) what is your source for hope. I don't need a lame straw man--there are lots of smart people who I dearly love who don't find hope in God--where do you find it?

I'd love to hear input on this.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cynicism and Orthodoxy

G.K. Chesterton Wrote:
I venture to say that what is bad in the candid friend is simply that he is not candid. He is keeping something back -- his own gloomy pleasure in saying unpleasant things. He has a secret desire to hurt, not merely to help. This is certainly, I think, what makes a certain sort of anti-patriot irritating to healthy citizens. I do not speak (of course) of the anti-patriotism which only irritates feverish stockbrokers and gushing actresses; that is only patriotism speaking plainly. A man who says that no patriot should attack the Boer War until it is over is not worth answering intelligently; he is saying that no good son should warn his mother off a cliff until she has fallen over it. But there is an anti-patriot who honestly angers honest men, and the explanation of him is, I think, what I have suggested: he is the uncandid candid friend; the man who says, "I am sorry to say we are ruined," and is not sorry at all. And he may be said, without rhetoric, to be a traitor; for he is using that ugly knowledge which was allowed him to strengthen the army, to discourage people from joining it. Because he is allowed to be pessimistic as a military adviser he is being pessimistic as a recruiting sergeant. Just in the same way the pessimist (who is the cosmic anti-patriot) uses the freedom that life allows to her counsellors to lure away the people from her flag. Granted that he states only facts, it is still essential to know what are his emotions, what is his motive. It may be that twelve hundred men in Tottenham are down with smallpox; but we want to know whether this is stated by some great philosopher who wants to curse the gods, or only by some common clergyman who wants to help the men.

He's smart.