Wednesday, August 31, 2011

He thinks he's going to heaven!

So, earlier I was scanning over Facebook posts and this one jumped out at me (cut and pasted as written):
I think it's amazing that the people who claim to be atheist have so many books on their FB to try to disprove christianity! It really only need ONE book... the BIBLE! Sounds to me like you're still searching, There is always hope., I'll pray for you this night!
 My first thought was to make a smart ass comment, like "My bad, I forgot to take those down!" or "I don't have any books on my FB book that are trying to disprove Christianity, but I'm still pretty certain there's no God. LOL!" Then, I was like fuck it, I don't want to get involved in an endless back and forth with the Christian god vs no Christian god thing, especially with someone I went to high school with. Plus, people are free to post whatever they like on their FB page, I do it all the time. However, I am curious about religious people's need to pray for other people - people in need, people who have died, people who are atheists, world peace, etc. I'm not really sure what they think is going to be accomplished by prayer? If prayer is the basis of someone's faith or an expression of it, then they must be pretty damn disappointed most of the time.

I'm reminded of these bits from Mark Twain's satirical masterpiece Letters From Earth: 
This is a strange place, and extraordinary place, and interesting. There is nothing resembling it at home. The people are all insane, the other animals are all insane, the earth is insane, Nature itself is insane. Man is a marvelous curiosity. When he is at his very very best he is a sort of low grade nickel-plated angel; at is worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm. Yet he blandly and in all sincerity calls himself the "noblest work of God." This is the truth I am telling you. And this is not a new idea with him, he has talked it through all the ages, and believed it. Believed it, and found nobody among all his race to laugh at it.

Moreover -- if I may put another strain upon you -- he thinks he is the Creator's pet. He believes the Creator is proud of him; he even believes the Creator loves him; has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes, and watch over him and keep him out of trouble. He prays to Him, and thinks He listens. Isn't it a quaint idea? Fills his prayers with crude and bald and florid flatteries of Him, and thinks He sits and purrs over these extravagancies and enjoys them. He prays for help, and favor, and protection, every day; and does it with hopefulness and confidence, too, although no prayer of his has ever been answered. The daily affront, the daily defeat, do not discourage him, he goes on praying just the same. There is something almost fine about this perseverance. I must put one more strain upon you: he thinks he is going to heaven!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


So, I was reading through this particular post: Infinity Hurts Your Brain, Ctd - The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Beast and this man's thoughts struck a chord with me. Speaking of his 6 y/o:

Earlier this summer, after he had brought up the idea to me (regarding the stars and the size of the universe) and we discussed it as far as he might be able to understand, he became, over the following weeks increasingly withdrawn. Finally, one evening, out of the blue he told me that sometimes he "just wanted to die."
It reminded me of a conversation I had with my dad a few years before he died. He said that the enormity of the Universe terrified him, and that was why he ultimately believed in God. I thought it was probably the most frank and honest thing I had ever heard him say on the topic. He and I debated belief vs non-belief most of my adult life - we enjoyed those debates. We might have raised our voices and sounded angry, but it was never personal. While we both completely disagreed with each other, we had nothing but mutual respect for one another. Reading the words, "just wanted to die" made me remember the despair I saw on my father's face during that conversation, which more or less was about infinity. I remember telling him that my reaction was the complete opposite. The enormity of the Universe was why I could let go of the concept of God and be in awe of the state between being and nothingness. I think in that moment we came to an understanding of each other unlike before, and I'm almost certain we never debated the topic of God ever again.

A few weeks ago, I went to see the movie The Tree of Life. I think it is Terrance Malick's masterpiece, though I disagree with the movie's ultimate message; rather, what I interpret to be the that message. One thing I can say for certain, my dad would have loved that film. If he was still alive, we would be debating its meanings till the cows come home...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Why rugby is the best sport on the planet:

I hate violence, especially stupid sports related violence. But, in this case, there's something really hot about seeing big beefy rugby guys beating the shit out of each other...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Third Year Anniversary

So, today is our third year anniversary of being in Australia. I know this last year will fly by – the last year of anything always seems to. It’s bitter sweet. On the one hand I want to get this coming year over with as soon as possible knowing we are going to be moving back to San Francisco, and on the other I want it to stretch out forever because there’s still so much I want to see and do. We’ve done almost no traveling around Australia, which is embarrassing. We had always thought we would wait until friends or family came to visit, but that window of opportunity is quickly closing and we can no longer use them as an excuse. I think I need to start planning a trip…

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Australian Collar Bomb Suspect Apprehended in KY: NFW

For anyone who isn't familiar, there was a teenage girl in Sydney who was found in the middle of the street of her suburb with a bomb strapped around her neck on 3 August. The bomb ended up not being real. Authorities have been searching for the culprit. The story has been all over the news, with good reason of course. This morning it was announced they had caught a suspect in Louisville, KY. I was like, huh?!? I orginally misunderstood, I thought the suspect was American, but he is actually Australian. The story is already weird enough, this just happens to hurl it into the 'no fucking way' category.

Here's one of the earliest reports this morning from channel 7 in Sydney: 

And a report from channel 11 in Louisville:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's disgusting.

I've felt like shit all week, I've had some type of cold/sinus infection thingy. But, it's finally on the wane. Wow, the London riots. I've intended to write some thoughts down, but keep coming back to this quote by Virginia Postrel on Google+:

I'm decidedly put off by the way people of every political persuasion seem to be positively relishing the riots in the U.K. and spinning them to advance their personal political agendas. It's disgusting.

Emphasis mine. When I read those words, a light went off - she had expressed exactly what I had been thinking, but for whatever reason had been unable to say. I've been flabbergasted by the way that so many people have taken an apologists approach to this thing. I've pretty much had to bite my tongue all week on social networking sites...

...and now this report on the topic from 10 NEWS in Australia:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bears, Cowboys, Minotaurs, and Republicans

A series that humorously explores certain aspects of gay culture and a select group of American conservative politicians. Check it out!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Context for Nine and Forty-Two

I shot the above video this past weekend on our train ride to visit some friends. It's made with the iPhone 4 and edited with the apps CinemaFXV and ReelDirector. There are no scene changes, just one continuous tracking shot. After I converted the video to black and white and increased the exposure levels, I thought this needs a track by Philip Glass to complete it. I know, not very original. I mean, Glass's music set to motion is a no-brainer, but hey, it works every fucking time. So, I went into the iTunes store and starting searching. Between the years 1987 - 1997, I listened to Glass's music almost exclusively on a daily basis. I drove my friends either away or insane. Looking back, it's funny that had to go searching for a piece of music by him. I looked for tracks first by length, then by style (I wanted something playful, but with a full orchestra sound). I settled on a piece called Religion from the Naqoyqatsi soundtrack. I haven't seen the film, but have seen the other two movies in the trilogy. The length of the track is about 9 mins and 01 secs, but my original video was over 12 mins. So, I decided to cut the video instead of boring the viewer with another 3-4 mins of video in silence - and I didn't want to use a second track. Using a piece of music that focuses on rhythm really allows for some amazing fortuitous moments; rather, some very satisfying and unintentional match ups between the music and what is taking place on film. I've always thought my work functions best when the intentional elements are tempered by chance (I know, very art school speak). Twenty years ago I fantasied about collaborating with Philip Glass. And even though he has no idea, I guess I can check that one off of my list now.