to continue with yesterday's post

So, apparently this whole "Can we say Christmas" thing isn't going to die quick... and I thought the following article (linked to in Christianity Today's blog) was pretty hilarious.

In Merry (Deleted) , Tom Purcell says

"The point is, in our efforts not to offend any particular group of folks, we're generating larger offenses that affect all of us."
"Such as?"
"Such as the Orwellian use of language we are spawning. Saying 'happy holidays' is one thing, but some nuts are now refusing to call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree. They're calling it a winter celebration tree. Others are forbidding the use of Santa Claus at public places because Santa evolved from a European folk tale based on Saint Nicholas."
"Hey, it's a free country."
"Yes, and free countries thrive when their citizens think clearly, when words are clear and concise and things mean what they really mean. When language gets murky and clouded, thinking does, too. Murky thinking doesn't bode well for any democracy."
"Look, I'm busy and need to do some winter solstice season celebration shopping. You got anything else to say?"
"Just one. Merry Christmas."

Since I couldn't say it any better myself, there you have it.


You've got to be kidding

So, I was flipping by ABC right at the end of their "Nightly News" broadcast. They were talking about whether the government could call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree. The reporter mentioned the "two reindeer rule." The thing was, he didn't seem to be joking. And I thought... what? Two reindeer?

So, I did some research. The best synopsis I found was probably this one: University of Missouri-Kansas City's Doug Linder presents "Exploring Constitutional Law." Turns out, it's totally legit... a public Christmas display is constitutional only if there is a balance of secular and religious symbols. So, you got your manger scene? Make sure you have Rudolph's blinking nose nearby.

I guess what blows my mind is that even people who hate Christianity have to acknowledge the place that it has in the history of civilization. I will grant that some bad things have been done in the name of Christianity, but a lot of incredibly good things have happened in the name of Christianity too. Do we now have to throw out the heritage entirely in order to serve special interest groups desires?

Two reindeer... who knew.

Also, Zach from saved by the bell is joining the cast of Commander in Cheif... how crazy is that?

It's all right, cause I'm saved by the bell...

Maybe they could bring principal Belding on the show, too.


Another one bites the dust

171 - 133... And they're down for the count. Whoo Hoo! Now all I have to say is, lets give Stephen Harper a chance!

watching history happen

now playing: Global News' coverage of a no-confidence vote in the Liberal Government

Here's a link to a canada.com story about the soon expected fall of the Canadian government.

A brief primer for my American friends... in Canada, elections are called either when the sitting Prime Minister wants one or when the government cannot get a majority of parliament to support them. About 7 months ago (I think) the conservatives and the Bloc Quebecois tried to defeat the government's budget. The liberals managed to win by a couple of votes after a high ranking conservative crossed the floor (for a cabinet seat, mind you... and the poor guy she dumped). This time around, the semi-socialists party is bonding together with the conservative party and the separatists to defeat the liberal government. This is political intrigue at its highest point. It's exciting. Particularly if you dislike the sitting government.

Anyway, it's pretty fun. It's not like this is the first time it's ever happened, but it's the first time I've ever been able to watch it. And, I'm loving it. So, Paul Martin, I salute the end of your tenure as Prime Minister, and gosh... I hope I won't be seeing you again.

This is interesting stuff. Primarily, it's interesting because I get to watch Stephen Harper, Jack Layton, and Gille Duceppe team together to turf the liberal government.


C.S. Lewis is my favourite rockstar?

Now playing: random Christmas songs; yep, it's that time of year!

I spent the weekend at a reader's conference (that had a built-in mini writer's conference). The theme was, unsurprisingly, The Chronicles of Narnia. I got to hear Gene E. Veith of World Magazine and Michael Coren of CFRB and CTS talk about Lewis, the Chronicles of Narnia, and about why Lewis, and the upcoming movies based on his childrens' series, can and do provide such an incredible opportunity for western culture and Christianity to intersect.

In the same vein, then, I thought I'd point you at this Christianity Today article titled "C.S. Lewis Superstar." It's a good mini-biography of Lewis and provides a good explanation of why he was/is such an effective communicator to those who have little-to-no interest in Christianity.


pedestrians first

Now playing: Vikings at Giants. 2nd quarter. Blazing headache. Dad has one too... must be an atmospheric thing. Or a coincidence. Nah.

Belleville is an interesting little town -- It's not at all well conceived and isn't helped by the fact that a river runs through it. But, there are a lot of pedestrians walking around Belleville, and I think that's a good thing. I mean, who doesn't want to live in a city that is relatively safe for kids to walk around in? However, drivers tend to be dangerous. I mostly realized this when I clued in to the fact that I tend to drive a little quicker than ideal through residential areas. You start to realize that soccer moms give really great dirty looks.

So, yesterday I made a point of slowing down for pedestrians, and chilling out on the gas pedal in residential areas. You know, it didn't consume a lot of time (ten seconds isn't going to kill anyone), and people were able to cross roads and smiled at me even when I stopped to let them pass.

Moral of the story: don't mess with soccer moms. And, make life safe for pedestrians.


gross-out tactics

Now playing: some v show... my brother hid the remote, so I can't even change it no matter how hard I try. Well, i guess I could get up and go change it at the tv, but really... it's easier to just complain.

Okay, so I work with kids on thursday nights. It's a neat opportunity. These are not church kids, and it's an interesting dynamic. But, I was reminded tonight of something that I guess I had forgotten. When kids are, say, ten to thirteen years old, they impress each other by saying the grossest things possible. You know, maybe it doesn't stop at thirteen... I guess it kind of just morphs from there into worse, more subtle gross stuff. It's really kind of shocking. Someone needs to tell them that they're in fifth grade and that they need to enjoy it while they can. You know, there's even a lesson there for all of us.


story flow

recently playing: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

I was watching The Two Towers today. As I watched it, I thought about the fact that I like The Empire Strikes Back better than I like A New Hope or Return of the Jedi. I realized that I like The Two Towers best of The Lord of the Rings.

I started contemplating why that might be, and I think it's truly because the tension builds to the highest point during the second movie. At the end of Empire Strikes Back, there is very little hope for Luke and friends. It's hard to see how things are going to work out. I think I remember hearing George Lucas describe his story arc as "In ANH, you introduce the characters; in ESB, you get them into the worst possible situation; and in ROJ, you get them out of it." At the end of Two Towers, granted there is a victory, but the victory pales in comparison to the war about to begin. And Frodo and Sam get away from Faramir, but they've been held up royally. (Aside: Tolkien actually did a better job than Peter Jackson in creating a cliff hanger... At the end of the book, Frodo's KO'd from a spider bite IIRC... just awesome. If you didn't have book three, you'd just lose your sanity. /aside)

So, my conclusion is that readers, or at least myself as a reader, like tension. They like it when the characters they like are challenged and put into stressful situations. Maybe that'll help me be a better writer. Or maybe it'll just help me to find more books that I like.