Dispatches from Outland
A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants. Copyright © 2003 Roy M. Jacobsen.

Saturday, April 27, 2002  

Permalinks from Heaven
And thanks also to Ben Domenech for the permalink. I'm hitting the Big Time, now!

Which reminds me of a song. (Truth be told, almost everything reminds me of a song. But that's another story...) So as a bonus, here's your Song of the Day:
Big Time/Big Deal, by Daniel Amos.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:43 PM

Heh! I've been googled with the keywords "Lewis Carrol" and "sexual abuse." C'mon guys, I don't run that kind of site!

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:23 PM

Spare a link for a starving blogger, guvner?
Welcome to visitors from News for Christians, and thank you to Jason for the permalink!

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:08 PM

Friday, April 26, 2002  

Haven't done a Song of the Day for a bit, so here's one:
Oh Life (There Must Be More) by the Alan Parsons Project.

(This one has always struck me as an "Ecclesiastes" sort of song..."

Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man. -- Ecclesiastes 12:13

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 3:30 PM

Susanna Cornet discusses "Repentance, Redemption and the Catholic Church", and makes a connection between the current scandal, and the case of Karla Faye Tucker. No, she doesn't think the offenders in the priesthood should be executed, but she does discuss the question of the consequences of our actions, and how repentance on the part of the offender and forgiveness by the one offended does or doesn't change those consequences.

Forgiveness, while it has implications in this life, is about eternity. Some behaviors are so damaging to others in this life that even someone who is repentant can rightly be kept from having the opportunity again. One example is when one person in a marriage is sexually unfaithful; the other person may forgive, in a spiritual sense, when the unfaithful partner is truly sorry, but that doesn’t mean the trust in the relationship can be regained. Giving forgiveness doesn’t obligate the innocent partner to take the unfaithful partner back. Neither does it prevent reconciliation; only the injured can make that determination.

Good stuff. Go read it. She's getting a spot on my list of daily reads.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 1:31 PM

This just in: Harry and Louise are big fat liars.

Thinking about this situation, I just can help remembering how similar bald-faced lies were -- and are -- told by pro-aborts. One of the most famous is how the numbers of women who died because of so-called “back alley” abortions was grossly (and knowingly) inflated by pro-abortionists prior to the Roe v. Wade decision. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws, revealed this in his book Aborting America:

How many [maternal] deaths were we talking about when abortion was illegal? In N.A.R.A.L. ... when we spoke of [statistics] it was always ‘5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year.’ I confess that I knew the figures were totally false, and I suppose the others did too if they stopped to think of it. But in the ‘morality’ of our revolution, it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of the way to correct it with honest statistics?

It was, in short, a useful lie, in that it helped sway public opinion.

And now, some (though not all) of the pro-cloning/pro-ESC crowd is resorting to exactly the same tactics: lying and obfuscation. The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 1:23 PM

The House of Sod That's the phrase James Lileks has coined for the current rulers of "Saudi" Arabia. Has a nice ring to it.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:44 AM

"There are some things whose evil should be so obvious that no debate is necessary." Matt Kaufman talks about Judith Levine's book, Harmful to Minors.

Far from being a new thing, there has long been a movement in academia to destigmatize, and ultimately legitimize sex with children.

"But will it really come to that?" It most certainly can, if we hesitate to express our outrage. Kaufman writes:

We modern folk hesitate to display that sort of disgust, for fear we’ll be considered “judgmental.” But we’d better recognize something: If the pro-pedophilia crowd can simply get recognized as a legitimate side in a debate — sharing podiums with opponents, haggling over the fine points of scientific studies, gradually accustoming people to the idea that some types of pedophilia aren’t really so bad — then they’re well on their way to achieving their goal. As Newshouse News Service writer Mark O’Keefe summarizes their view, “it may be only a matter of time before modern society accepts adult-child sex, just as it has learned to accept premarital sex and homosexual sex.”

That’s a sobering comparison for anyone who complacently assumes society will never reach the point of tolerating pedophilia. It’s also an important reminder of where the roots of the threat really lie.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:33 AM

Thursday, April 25, 2002  

Kevin Holtsberry takes a dim view of a book that purports to answer the question "What would Jesus eat?" Lore Fitzgerald Sjöberg already took a stab at that question over at the Brunching Shuttlecocks.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:55 PM

Mark looked at Steven Den Beste's take on the the cardinals' statement. (Great googlymoogly, that's a slew of links.) My gut told me that Den Beste had it right, but I wanted the perspective of someone within the Catholic Church who's opinion I highly respect.

That lovely word, "notorious" -- as in "The American church leaders said they would recommend a special process to defrock any priest who has become 'notorious and is guilty of the serial, predatory sexual abuse of minors.' " -- appears to leave things exactly where they've been right up to now: If you can keep it out of the press, you're OK. Good move, guys.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:47 PM

Greetings to visitors from Junk Yard Blog, and thanks to Bryan for the kind mention. (Not only does he like Mark Heard, Larry Norman, Bruce Cockburn, AND Daniel Amos, he's read Frederick Buechner (pronounced Beekner). The man has Taste with a capital T!

One or two bits of correction: Neither I or my wife are professors. "The Professor" and "The Other Professor" are characters from a Lewis Carrol story (and that's where Outland is, too). I consider myself to be more of a "Mister Sir" type. Also, my wife hasn't started blogging yet. The blame for this thing lies entirely on my shoulders.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:55 AM

USS Clueless has a comment on the policy announced by the US cardinals meeting with the pope. Den Beste focuses on the word "notorious":

That word notorious is the key. What this means is that if the local bishop can somehow keep cases of abuse quiet, then the priest in question gets to stay in the Church. But if it hits the newspapers, then he's out on his ear.

Err. I'm not sure that's quite what it means, but I'd sure like to hear what someone like Mark Shea has to say about it. How about it, Mark?

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:49 AM

(LILEKS) James Lileks is in fine form (as usual). And this is the stuff he does for free, just for the love of crafting words into something of power and beauty.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:52 AM

Who's Editing the World? John Fischer asks this question over at Breakpoint. He notes that there's a couple of companies that "clean up" videos for the squeamish.

A new Utah-based video company edits popular Hollywood films for concerned viewers. CleanFlicks sells already edited versions of many bestselling videos, but it will also clean up any movie you send for $12. That’s $12 to eliminate nudity, violence, and bad language from your video monitor. Highly violent movies like Gladiator and The Patriot cost even more, up to $17 an edit. And now, according to a Christianity Today report, another studio will soon release movies with scenes digitally doctored instead of cut. Kate Winslet is no longer topless in Titanic, bullet wounds disappear in The Matrix, and swords, reminiscent of biblical ploughshares, have been beat into Star Warsian light beams in The Princess Bride.

My very first thought was "You've got to be kidding." As Fischer points out, "Take the bad language out of a bad movie and you still have a bad movie."

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 6:57 AM

Wednesday, April 24, 2002  

OK, I've known for quite a while that Muslims in some countries can face the death penalty if they convert to any other religion, such as Christianity. (And they're on our case about human rights?) Well get this: a judge in Nigeria is threatening a couple of men with the death penalty for converting to Christianity, even though the men themselves claim they were never Muslims in the first place.

The story is over on Ananova.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:41 PM

"Ruh-roh, Reorge!" Mark Shea has a blog! Consider yourself warned: he's an evangelical turned Papist. But he's a good guy, nonetheless.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:33 PM

My brother, who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, sends the following observation:

Note that the two baseball teams targeted for elimination by Bud Selig are atop their respective divisions.

Maybe Ranger's fans could request the same and attain similar results.

Meanwhile Seleg's Brewers are wallowing at 7 and 13. They've already fired their manager. Contract them!!!!

The problem with the Twins is they can't fire the owner. The problem with the Expos is they can't fire their stadium (and they compete half of the season with Hockey Playoffs).

Baseball, you gotta love it!!!

I have to wonder if baseball needs a salary cap. I mean, it seems to have helped keep football from being dominated by a few powerhouse teams.

Ah, well. Lex clavatoris designati rescindenda est.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:43 AM

Martin Roth (from MartinRothOnline.com) sent me a very nice note about his new blog, and asking me a few questions about how I got my start blogging, etc. I though I'd take the liberty to post my reply here:

Thanks for the note. I'm sorry for the delay in responding; work has been frightfully busy of late (which has kept me from doing much on MY blog! Oh, the humanity!).

I like your blog, and I also very much like your article idea.

I first started publishing on the web because I was attracted to the fact that I didn't have to go through the usual gatekeepers of the publishing world. The grunt work involved in keeping a website updated did slow me down, although some of the free tools do a reasonably good job. (I had a Geocities page a few years ago, but it basically died of inertia.)

What I like about the concept of blogging is the ability to quickly and easily gather various threads (news articles, opinion pieces, reference info, whatever else) and point readers to them, adding your own commentary. It's interesting how some corners of the "blogosphere" have morphed into a sort of "Usenet, Version 2" (without the hierarchies of alt., news., sci., etc.).

I really started blogging back in November of last year. I saw it as a way to breath new life into what I called "Roy's Reading Room" (which still lives in archival form over at http://home.att.net/~roy.and.paula.jacobsen/roys.htm). I wanted to talk about books, culture, politics, and life, exploring how my ever-growing faith influences my views, and attempting to answer the question "How then shall we live?" "Roy's Reading Room" became "Rants, Ruminations and Ramblings" became "Dispatches from Outland" (http://outland.blogspot.com), which is still trying to figure out what it is. (Much like it's creator.)

How much traffic do I get? I don't know, (I haven't installed a counter) but I don't think I get much. ("Build it and they will come" is one of the big lies of our time.) Admittedly, I haven't put much effort into promotion, the fault is my own. But how does one promote a blog? I'm open for pointers on that area.

I don't see "Dispatches" as an evangelical tool, nor is it intended to preach to the choir. I hope that any Christian who stumbles across it would find it interesting/informative/thought-provoking. I also hope that Christians would find it the same, and that it might also plant some seeds. In short, I see it as an extension of myself: I'm just trying to follow Christ, encouraging my fellow travelers, and trying to help the lost find the path.

Blogs I enjoy (in no particular order, and not necessarily "Christian"):
The Bleat - James Lileks
Blithering Idiot
The Ben File
Ideas Etc.
Louder Fenn
Junk Yard Blog
The Corner
Unremitting Verse

...and of course...


I know I'm missing some.

By the way, how did you happen to find my site?

Roy Jacobsen

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:17 AM

Another winner over at Unremitting Verse.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:11 AM

Monday, April 22, 2002  

I've been wondering about this very question. Now I know.

which "monty python and the holy grail" character are you?

this quiz was made by colleen

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:03 AM
support outland!