Monday, January 23

Print Magazine Zen

I was reading the most recent Atlantic Monthly the other day, happily perusing an article about the "so-called culture wars" in America. The article deals with religion, culture, values, mass media, consumerism, etc, and it had a bunch of whimsical cartoon illustrations to complement its points and ideas. Here is a scan of one of them. Study the image closely.

Interesting. Yes, clever, okay, I'm sure you get it. So, flipping a few pages over, I saw this actual paid advertisement that was just too good to be true.

Remember, this is from the same magazine.




Click on the image to read the ad copy.

Tuesday, January 3

Random Christian theology

My long-suffering wife and I were talking theology on the walk to the china store on the weekend, kickstarted by OBA's meditation on the difference between "Good vs Evil" and "Enlightenment vs not being enlightened". Apparently Christian theological orthodoxy falls somewhere in the middle of those two: Good exists, but Evil doesn't. Evil is the name for "absence of Good" that's more convenient than that three-word scare-quoted thing.

That's certainly not the way I'd thought it worked.

I still think there's a difference between lack-of-benevolence and malevolence; my wife agrees, but doesn't think it applies to the spiritual realm. She argues that humans have free will, so we can will evil as well as failing to will good, and those are different; angels and devils, on the other hand, don't have free will. They do what they do because they are what they are, more like animals than people. And those things are Good to the extent that they participate in the glorification of God. Even when they're inimical to humans, as the actions of devils presumably are.

Weird, hunh? Angels and devils, more alike to each other -- and to animals -- than to us. I wonder if I believe.

Sunday, January 1

Meme of Four

As oz describes:

four jobs I've had: Documentation developer, sysadmin, maintenance coder, IT Monkey

four movies I could watch over and over: There aren't four. The best I can come up with is the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which I have enjoyed watching back-to-back-to-back in its extended form (though the 12 hour sitting is a bit exhausting!) and Primer (which requires multiple viewings to make sense.)

four places I've lived: Toronto, Lausanne, Yellowknife, Cambridge Bay

four TV shows I love to watch: Firefly, Whose Line Is It Anyway (british version), West Wing (seasons 1-4 only), and I'm told I'll love Battlestar Galactica, when I get around to watching it.

four places I've been on vacation: Spain (mediterranean coast, for my honeymoon; wouldn't go back), Niagara-on-the-Lake (for my anniversaries; definitely going back), Jasper (in Alberta, at the base of the Marmot Basin ski resort; a wonderful place to ski), Nelson (in the interior of BC -- very pretty town with great people, better coffee, and even better accomodations Chez Little Brother).

four websites I visit daily: Look to your right. Slashdot and Boingboing get visited more than once a day, and I browse my RSS subscriptions at least four times a day.

four of my favourite foods: fresh homemade pasta, french toast, steak frites, what's in front of me at the dinner table

four places I'd rather be: working for a company that didn't actively resist organizational change as much as it does, skiing in BC, living the life of Riley in a Tuscan villa while independently wealthy, on the Paris/London/New York jet set.

four books I've read more than once: Bradbury's collected short stories, Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross.