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


Friday, March 07, 2003  

Taking The Sting Out Of The Grave Department: Irene Q. offers some observations on the apparent fear many of us -- those of us who should know that "to die is gain" -- have regarding death.

Intellectually we know that Death is a defeated enemy, yet we still seem to be fighting desperately against it all the time. We still don't want to die - ironic, considering that Christ calls us to do so, to die to our sinful, selfish desires and live for Him instead.

Holding onto life in this world has, for me at least, parallels with grasping for control: I want to be in charge, to have a say in what happens to me, and I don't want to give that up.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 11:02 AM
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Thursday, March 06, 2003  

Moral Dilemma Department: Now this just isn't very nice at all. Does that mean I'm naughty because it made my laugh out loud?

Well, let he who has never laughed at "How do you keep a lawyer from drowning? Take your foot off his head" cast the first stone.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 4:13 PM
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I'm Glad He's Not My Senator Department: Best Of The Web Today notes how Senator Tom Daschle of South (not North) Dakota imitates a fish on the riverbank:

" 'Mr. Estrada holds positions that are extreme in their nature, that are ultra-far-right in terms of judicial interpretation,' said Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle."--Bloomberg News dispatch, March 6

"Daschle said he's confident that Democrats can continue to block action until the White House provides memos from Estrada's service in the Justice Department that would show his legal views."--same dispatch

So, you know what his positions are, but you want him to show what his positions are? (Like I said, I'm glad he's not my senator. At the same time, the two we do have aren't much to brag about.)

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 2:44 PM
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Beyond The Fringe Of The Fringe Department: On further reflection, I've decided that calling Mary Grierson stupid was wrong of me. She goes beyond garden variety stupidity to kookdom. It's a pity that The Kooks Museum is no longer being maintained, but at least it's still available for viewing in a freeze-dried state. (Caution is required before examining some of the exhibits. For example, The Universal Panacea looks like it's written in English, but has thus far resisted all attemts to comprehend it. Don't blame me if you collapse into a fit of the giggles.)

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:06 AM
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Wednesday, March 05, 2003  

Plumbing The Depths Of Stupidity Department: You can't make this stuff up folks. From Reuters: "A New Zealand woman said on Wednesday she was willing to be crucified by President Bush if he pledges not to attack Iraq."

Here's the deal: It appears that this poor woman believes that the only reason Bush is threatening war with Iraq is that he wants to create world chaos. The woman, Mary Grierson, said this: "Can he follow through with this aim of creating more chaos in the world if he had to do it just to one person himself?"

Reuters calls this a "novel expression of protest." "Novel" is not the word I would use to describe this. To borrow a phrase Jonah Goldberg coined recently (here, in case you're curious), it is one of the most bone-bendingly stupid things I've ever heard of. I thought that spelling out "Peace" or "No War" with nude bodies was stupid, but this is an order of magnitude beyond that. Mary, dear, if you're reading, try to wrap your brain around this thought: If George Bush wanted to create more chaos in the world, he'd do it someplace where there isn't already more than enough chaos to go around. The middle east is not that place. He'd attack New Zealand, or Canada, or maybe he'd declare war on Fargo (things are generally not too chaotic around here).

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 2:19 PM
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The Real Deal Department: Because America is an nation deeply steeped in religious tradition (G.K. Chesterton said America is "a nation with the soul of a church"), many politicians have been accused of adopting the trappings of religious faith in order to win support. Paul Kengor says that is not the case with President Bush.

When, in the 2000 presidential debates, he used phrases like "born again" to describe himself, and said things such as Jesus Christ is the political philosopher or thinker he most admired "because he changed my heart," those who knew him were not surprised. He committed to something higher and charted a new direction for his life and career.

We live in a cynical age where a politician's expression of faith is eyed skeptically. In Bush's case, however, it is not an exaggeration to say that his faith became his compass.
You don't have to agree with his policies. (I have a number of policy bones to pick with the Bush administration.) But you have to ignore a lot of evidence to say he uses expressions of religious faith cynically.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:20 AM
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Tuesday, March 04, 2003  

Facts Of Life Department: Over at The Door Magazine, Matthew Porter tells about having "The Talk" with his son. No, not that "Talk." This one is a bit different, but just as important: it's about safe sects.

I meant to have "The Talk" years ago, but it was never the right time. To be perfectly honest, I was waiting for him to broach the subject with the typical, child-like question "Where do heresies come from?"

The part where he asks his son if he has protection is good, but when the son mentions the Missionary Position, I just about sprayed coffee on the monitor.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:05 AM
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It Was So Cold Department: Bene Diction is getting a bit tired of the cold weather Canada has been experiencing. Here in Fargo we've been plunging into the sub-zero region quite a bit as well, so I know what they're going through. Stop by and offer Bene and the rest of the Bloggers of the Great White North some warm thoughts.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:13 AM
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From The Comics Department: Today's Zits features Jeremy talking to his mother about cloning:

Jeremy: What's the deal with cloning?
Mom: Well, as I understand it, scientists are trying to find a way to create human life differently than the natural way. It's a fascinating idea.
Jeremy: Only adults consider it progress when the fun part of something is eliminated.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:46 AM
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