Sunday, November 23, 2008


Death by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.
We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Kiss Series, The Movie Spoiler Edition: Penelope

It's very difficult for a kiss involving James McAvoy to be anything other than incredible and steamy. No psychological analysis for this one. It was just amazingly choreographed, written, and executed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kiss Series, The Movie Spoiler Edition: Anywhere But Here

What makes this scene so memorable isn't the fact that this is some great, deep emotional, teenage romance. It's a quirky and sweet and fairly sad since it's always clear that he's more entranced by her than she ever will be by him. But the look of need in Natalie's face when they finally kiss...the way her vulnerability shines through this cool veneer she's attempted to erect just shows how young they really are. And they'll go on to their separate lives, fall in love with other people, but at this moment...

And apologies for the shitty quality of the clip. It's the only one I could find.

Mmmm...Gay Soup Wrestling

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Me and the Constitution Party

This is a letter I sent to a friend recently about the Constitution Party. Note that a lot of my political thinking has been influenced by Jim Wallis.:

So, I wanted to finally explain my issues with the Constitution Party. I finally had a chance to look into them again to make sure I was basing my opinion on the facts and not on any preconceived notions and it really just comes down to me disagreeing with their approach to certain issues. Here's a list I'll try to keep short.

  1. The Constitution - The strongest point of this party is adherence to the Constitution. I totally agree that we get in danger when we outright ignore or possibly even worse, try to reinterpret the Constitution to suit our needs. However, the party is also strongly touting it's Biblical influence. I find it dangerous that they hold the Constitution so highly. It's like they want it both ways: they want to be a Christian party but don't want the government to specifically address our Christian calling. We have to be good Christians unless it steps on the toes of the Constitution. Also, yes, our country was founded by Christians...but our country was founded by Christians who were also notorious for persecuting others.
  2. Immigration - The party supports limitations on immigration that I can't support. I think we should open our arms to anyone seeking refuge (as long as they don't provide an imminent threat to our safety). Strict immigration laws do not make that possible. I can understand the immigration view that opposes mine...but I think this country's history of xenophobia has to end because we were all immigrants at some point!
  3. Environment - They are global warming detractors. You know how I feel about that.
  4. The Role of Government - A lot of these issues can be summed up in our difference of opinion on the role of the US Government in the world and in the lives of its people. I strongly believe in the right to privacy, the right to property, the right to be left alone, etc. But I also can't support a party who wants to take money out of the hands of the poor and say, "Hey, churches, you deal with it!" If the churches had been doing their job in protecting the poor and widows, we wouldn't need welfare. This party focuses too much on lessening the power of the federal government. (This was one of the big issues that led to the Civil War: The South wanted the state governments to hold more power, while the Union was pro-federal government.) I believe that too much state power leads to an even bigger break down in the cohesion of our country. I also believe that as a strong, wealthy country, it is our obligation to be involved in foreign affairs. I don't think we've currently been doing it correctly...but to say that the government should maintain a separatist attitude and that charity should be left to the charities is a highly naive and dangerous assertion on their part. If I am a Christian and a politician and I assert that my Christian morals influence my policy making, then I believe that means that I should support policies that protect and help every single person on this planet. The party touts that it is important to protect Americans and American interests (only)...

Clarification: I am not saying that the US Government should assert any sort of moral authority over anyone or tell anyone how he or she should live or tell any nation how it should govern (except in instances in which that nation's peoples are suffering). The US Government does not speak for God.

But quotes that expound on my opinions:

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is a nation approaching spiritual bankruptcy." -Martin Luther King, Jr

"[U]ntil all the children who died from hunger on September 11 are as important to us as those who died on terrorist attacks, we will not be safe or secure." -Jim Wallis

That quote and following quote all related to this idea that as long as our neighbor is not safe, we are not safe. I am also using both to highlight my views on a separatist government that focuses only on defense and trade and does not get involved in other foreign issues or concerns.

"[D]istance can no longer decide who is our neighbor. We can't choose our neighbors anymore. We can't choose the benefits of globalization without some of the responsibilities, and we should remind ourselves that 'love thy neighbor' is not advice: it is a command."

While I agree that the US has too much become a sort of global police, I don't think withdrawing from the UN or NATO is going to change that. I think that this role is change when we stop trying to control the UN and NATO. We can be involved in the rest of the world without trying to rule the rest of the world. Unfortunately, like it or not, we are the most powerful nation in the world and that comes with responsibility to our global neighbors. Unless they are safe, then the money and property this party is so desperately trying to hold on to will also never be safe.

Obviously, at the end of the day, I respect your views and opinions on these matters. A lot of times politics is just a differing view on how to solve the same problem. I guess now I've stated my disagreement with their problem-solving method.

The Blame Game

On November 4, 2008, it was announced that Barack Obama had been elected the new president of the United States. Despite being a rather tepid supporter when compared to his large, rabid following, I still cried tears of joy at the announcement. I cried, not because I see him as a Messiah in the midst of our country's dark days, but because he is, symbolically at least, a light. I do not know whether he will be able to take the giant strides we all hope he will in getting this country back on the right track economically, socially, and globally...but I hope he does. I do not know if the country's morale will survive if his term is not "successful," but I hope we never have to find out.

At the end though, I cried, because now I can look at my little nephew and say, truly, "You can be whatever you want to be." I cried because it seems that maybe, hopefully, we can end this age of scapegoating and entitlement. Regardless of the past, regardless of circumstance, there comes a time when every person, of every race has to pull him or herself up by his or her own bootstraps. And there comes a time when we must lift our neighbors up too.

It's amazing, because you find a sense of entitlement amongst the wealthy and the poor, amongst all of the races. The wealthy feel entitled, well, because they are wealthy. The poor feel entitled, because they are oppressed. You know what? Now I feel free to say, "Get to work!" It's time to stop worrying about what we're "entitled" to. It's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. The time for pointing fingers is not now...because finger pointing will not allow us to succeed and move forward, individually or collectively.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sushi Gaming

Despite having very little free time, I find myself often distracted by, a website devoted to free, online flash games. I've posted one of my favorites below for your amusement.