Words

Life

Duplex

by Andrea Elizabeth

I am having a lot of trouble reading these days. Books are usually so negatively focused. What if my wildest fears happened? I wonder how many authors could be diagnosed as paranoid. I’m already paranoid enough. Of course Stephen King is a master at it. I’m dabbling at The Shining on ibooks and 11-22-63 on audible mainly because King is such a good psychologist ,and he also believes in the spiritual world. He has said that his monsters are actually his alcoholism. And maybe that’s why I gravitate towards him, he fears himself above all. The dad in the Shining turns out to be the monster, so it is confusing to believe that he loves his kid so much, but with provocation can turn on him so. To have him go so far toward evil – I’m not that far in the book but I remember the movie, which I know is different – is almost like a betrayal of onesself. Unless you identify with the kid and the dad is your vice, whatever that is. It’s interesting that the vices initially bring good experiences.

Crime and Punishment tried to meticulously explain how a nice guy that you can identify with turns into a murderer. I confess I had a little break in my suspension of disbelief at the transition. Murder and promiscuity are so abhorrent that I couldn’t see how characters I identify with can turn that corner. But alcohol and food addiction are much more palatable, shall we say. And a temper flare makes it easier than premeditation. I don’t think an identifiable character can premeditatedly commit murder. There has to be something off with him that makes him other. Suicide? Maybe in a frenzy, but not cool, calm and collected.

Carol in Walking Dead is the closest to an identifiable character calmly killing, but I think her world was so lost that something in her broke and she is not firing on all cylinders even though she’s pretty functional and loyal to the group.

I discovered Duplex Saturday and think it is a brilliant exposee of how normal, nice, identifiable people can be driven. It’s hillarious. See it with Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore, directed by Danny DeVito on Netflix streaming.

Culture vs. patriotism, nationalism, and racism

by Andrea Elizabeth

Racism is the belief that people’s looks can make them less human than other people’s looks. They would claim that this is deduced from past consistent experience with people who look like that.

Nationalism is similar, but is based more on where someone is from than their looks.

Patriotism is similiar, but is based more on governmental ideals than geography.

Culture is the actual product of a geographical society. Culture does not have the baggage of superficial, taken for granted judgments. It may include those societal judgments, but it calls them local judgments rather than holy judgments. “Westerners think this and easterners think that”, for example. A person is left to consider and be enriched by various cultural offerings rather than prosecuting them.

Universalist!, you say? I think God can be found anywhere in the universe, and so can Satan.

 

uniformitarianism

by Andrea Elizabeth

Charles Lyell

“was, along with the earlier John Playfair, the major advocate of James Hutton‘s idea of uniformitarianism, that the earth was shaped entirely by slow-moving forces still    in operation today, acting over a very long period of time. This was in contrast to catastrophism, a geologic idea of abrupt changes, which had been adapted in England        to support belief in Noah’s flood. Describing the importance of uniformitarianism on contemporary geology, Lyell wrote,

Never was there a doctrine more calculated to foster indolence, and to blunt the keen edge of curiosity, than this assumption of the discordance between the former and the existing causes of change… The student was taught to despond from the first. Geology, it was affirmed, could never arise to the rank of an exact science… [With catastrophism] we see the ancient spirit of speculation revived, and a desire manifestly shown to cut, rather than patiently untie, the Gordian Knot.-Sir Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, 1854 edition, p.196; quoted by Stephen Jay Gould.[16]” (wikipedia)

But there were catastrophes that changed things quicker than normal erosion. There was the age of meteors, volcanoes, tropics, ice and floods, if not just The Flood. But it took a long time to make all the limestone in Texas. Not just 5000 years, IMO. It seems also that plates have shifted more dramatically in times past.

home sweet home

by Andrea Elizabeth

Punchline with Tom Hanks and Sally Field is a blast from 1988. We believed in our heterosexual racist liberated narcissism. And there is a smart, if not as funny as they thought it was, way to do it. But Tom Hanks is still brilliant and Sally Field still gets you lost in the moment. White culture was brilliant if unnatural. And I guess that’s why I’m sad the Confederate flag has been hijacked to represent racism and not a culture that is home. I am at home in the south and not in the north. It is a different place. You don’t have to be racist to love it, but I think you have to be a self-hating person to want it desecrated. And since I don’t believe in total depravity, I think they’re wrong to hate where they come from. And I’m also a quarter German and don’t think I have to disavow that just because of one guy who hijacked a few nations.

Ambivalence

by Andrea Elizabeth

 

a poem in blank verse with no feet

camping in a  camper

cutting out carbohydrates, caffeine and alcohol while binging on avocados

silently, how silently she speaks

joyful sorrow

aggressive pacifism, not passive aggressiveness

choose her

reading Kierkegaard at an Indian reservation

ending on an odd

 

Why I like Big Bend

by Andrea Elizabeth

Usually I’m prone to greener places. Perhaps it is my stage of life that has brought me to appreciate the stark beauty of Big Bend.

“That portion of the earth’s surface known as the Big Bend has often been described as a geologist’s paradise. In part this is due to the sparse vegetation of the region, which allows the various strata to be easily observed and studied. It is also due to the complex geologic history of the area, presenting a challenge to students and researchers from all over the world.

Not all field geologists, however, refer to the Big Bend as a paradise. For some, this land of twisted, tortured rock is a nightmare. The abundance, diversity and complexity of visible rock outcrops is staggering, especially to first-time observers. From 500 million year old rocks at Persimmon Gap to modern-day windblown sand dunes at Boquillas Canyon, geologic formations in Big Bend demonstrate amazingly diverse depositional styles over a vast interval of time. For most of us, time is measured by the passing of days, years and generations.” Learn more of the fascinating geological history here.

I identify with some of the above description. For some, Orthodoxy quickly erodes our flimsy facades and layers by cutting off the comforts that fed them, leaving some pretty twisted, tortured nightmares exposed and to be dealt with. This is why one is really not supposed to say The Jesus Prayer too often too soon. But some of us impulsive dramatics can’t help diving in, and then those strong enough to keep it up have to be willing to accept the consequences. To prepare, they say bring plenty of water with you to Big Bend. Maybe I should have been re-baptized.

Efficiency quandries and louis ck

by Andrea Elizabeth

oka first world problems

1. Is it a failure of technology when there are still soap bubbles on the sideview mirror after a carwash, and you use the free vacuum hose to suck them off?

2. Have we made too many work-saving machines when you also resort to a machine to work out?

3. Have we created too much time on our hands if we can research, satirize, or read reports on the origin of the term, “first world problems“?

The above exerpts Louis C.K. which reminds me of his season ending “controversial” monologue on SNL a couple of weeks ago. Controversial because no one in authority wants to really say if it crossed the line in trying to understand child molesters’ motivation. I’ve been monitoring the feedback and all the major media says is ‘some say it did and some say it didn’t’. I ususally don’t make it through the monologues or even any of the skits I happen to channel flip onto anymore. They’re all about desensitizing people to shocking sexual behavior. Why didn’t anyone complain earlier in the year when a skit lady said “it sounds like a baby having sex”? Today everything is justified by how good things feel. Except when someone else feels bad, then the way to fix that is to desensitize them and seduce them into feeling good.

But I think there is a discussion to be had in understanding criminals while we’re still calling them that. How do people get to the point of taking pleasure in bad things? It’s probably too late because nowadays we can’t even agree on what is a bad thing. But even for the conservative evangelicals who are sure what badness is, there are some perspective deficiencies (see Josh Duggar discussions).

Being molested as a child, and I bet many molesters were, destroys your innocence and makes you too focused on sex, not only then but throughout your life. Childhood is a time to think about other things instead. It turns sex into the elephant in every room when there are other ways of relating that molested children have no clue about. It can become your relationship language that others can seem to read even if you don’t know you’re speaking it. Since it has formed you, disengaging from it either makes you mute or makes you have to adopt a foreign way of acting that never feels comfortable or genuine. How would you have acted if it had never happened? The answer lies behind a closed door that maybe death will unlock.

a stitch in time

by Andrea Elizabeth

One of the chief things I respect and practically live by is efficiency. This is why I went to a one year LVN nursing school. Then when the insurance companies took control of healthcare away from the doctors, they demanded hospitals employ RN’s instead. So I went to a 2 year transition program at the nearest community, then jr., college. Additionally, small loans are more efficient than big loans or even saving while renting. Sewing machines are more efficient than hand sewing, but I don’t want to completely sacrifice decoration for utility. Machine antique reproductions are also more efficient and pleasing than minimalist machine or hand work. In other words, I think there’s a way an efficient poor person can quickly have it all.

What this mindset breeds, among other things, is impatience. If your brain is used to looking for the quickest and most scenic route, then traffic jams, floods, and impractical, wasteful people can really cramp your style. You also quit reading whole books because wikipedia and movies give you enough information to get the gist with the added bonus of a nice soundtrack, and attractive people and scenery all in two hours. Why get bogged down in tedious details? I admit I prefer The Jesus Prayer as it’s got everything in one sentence. And why not just say Lord have mercy? Four very rhythmic beats that aren’t as clumsy as the full version. Four Gospodi Pomiloys can also take up only four beats if you’re fast enough. And it sounds cool.

All this makes one able to do more things in less time. And we do have limited time. The other side of the fence says it’s better to not get as much done, or do things better, with peace instead of stressful accomplishment. There’s a time to do and not to do. What has helped me recently to work through my impatience and frustration with boggers is realizing that efficiency can become a god and to quit sacrificing my peace to it.

 

Stage fright

by Andrea Elizabeth

you know you believe in the Great Cloud of Witnesses when praying feels more like public speaking.

there is a choice

by Andrea Elizabeth

As far as I can tell, David B. Hart is saying that when all delusions are stripped away, everyone will eventually will to be united to God who is good. People who don’t choose him now do not see him as good and pursue other things they think are good. Goodness is the telos of everything. Maybe hell is being stripped of your delusions and still not wanting God, maybe because of the surrender involved.

If I remember right, Napoleon in Lewis’ Great Divorce was self-satisfied and kept moving away from God. Is this because God allowed him to keep his delusion? Was his happiness even a delusion?

I prefer either of these possibilities of hell to DBH’s inevitable universalism, because it still seems forced despite his rationalizations.

I also don’t relate to his desire for everyone to get along. It feels almost like communism to me where people are not allowed to think differently and find it important. He levels everything too violently and there seems some deep unhappiness at the root of it.

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