Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Quick Hits 37 (paca)

1) One magic trick that became the most disappointing when I learned how it was done was a David Blaine magic trick from a TV special a few years back. This was when he still did magic tricks instead of hung himself in ice blocks and whatever else he's up to nowadays. The trick as it was in the special was the simplest imaginable. He'd walk up to a stranger and then have them pick a number from 1 to 100. Then he'd guess, and wow! he seemed to get it right! It was really very cool. But supposedly there are two steps to performing the trick: a) people apparently just like to choose the number 37 a lot. I do this myself. And so the magician knows to guess 37, and he's right more than 1 in 100 times. The annoying part is b) because it's on TV, you just edit out all the misses. Part b) is what's so disappointing about it.

2) I'm 95% sure I'm going to head back over to my own pacatrue blog again. This blog has been almost entirely my contributions for a long time, and I might just as well admit it. I will yell when or if I make this step.

3) Many of you probably already know about the Salon Blogging the Bible blog. I've never read it myself, but I like the idea. The author is just reading the Bible and giving his thoughts as he goes. I am seriously thinking about Blogging C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. I've read it several times and it seems worthwhile to do. I'm also thinking of it as something of a writing exercise. First, my plan is to write it as a public blog. This blog started just as a way to keep my family and friends up to date on my life. It's modified from that somewhat. My mother and sister are indeed regular readers, but most of you are either the llama's friends or increasingly people I've met through writing blogs. Regardless, however, it remains idiosyncratic, and its purpose is simply to talk about my life with people who are interested. The Mere Christianity blog would be written for the public at large and would only be about that book. The other part of the writing exercise is to see if I can develop a moderately engaging essay style. I write serious things periodically, and I write comic things perioidically. Can I combine the two, so that thoughts about the Trinity can make you chuckle? I don't know, but I might see if I can do it.

4) A couple thoughts about the whole radio host Don Imus being fired for calling the Rutger's women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos". I am not wise enough to know what the just fall-out was. Perhaps firing was exactly right, perhaps too much. The political conversation has turned lately however to be about why Imus would be fired for calling people hos when it's all over commercial radio, specifically with a lot of rap music. So the thoughts: 1) Just because someone else is also acting like a jerk, it doesn't give you a pass. If Jack is beating up on his little brother and his mother gets mad at him for it, it doesn't make it OK if Jack just yells, "But George was hitting him just this morning too!" If the mother always punishes Jack and never George then it might make the mother unjust or hypocritical, but it doesn't lessen Jack's sin. b) This is the more interesting one to me. Yes, yes, yes Don Imus should be held to a higher standard than rap musicians. Don Imus is in a different game than a comedian or a musician. Yes, comedians and musicians and artists can have political and social influence, but it is nothing like the Imus radio show, which is specifically about politics and society and what's right and wrong. He is not some guy just trying to make a hit record. When the Vice President of the United States wants to get his message out about Iran, he doesn't go and make a record with Ludacris or 50 cent. He goes on the Imus show. Imus cannot be expected to be taken seriously as a news source for millions of people and then not be expected to behave better than a guy making a hip-hop album. There is nothing inconsistent in holding people who help form the opinions of many of those in power, from local grass roots activists to congressmen to the vice-president of the U.S., to higher standards than we hold a comedian who comes on HBO at midnight. This is NOT to say that perhaps we shouldn't be holding musicians and comedians to higher standards over all. If we hold saints to a level 10, then maybe we think Imus is a 5, and musicans should be a 4, not the current 2. But the standards are and should be different. Imus has chosen to be a political entertainer, and therefore he should be held to higher political standards. A final caveat. None of this means that Imus or anyone else should be censored by the government, which is a violation of freedom of speech right. But the constitutional protection of free speech does not prevent customers and advertizers from getting upset, or the speaker suffering private consequences for that speech.

1 comment:

Sammy Jankis said...

If you switch back, make sure to let us know so that we can follow.

And Llama, where are you dude? And when you coming home?