Archive for December, 2010

December 27, 2010

Become A Question To One Self

by thefulllidvmg

The religion I am accustomed to and grew up in, which has nuanced in different seasons, is Christianity. I didn’t care much for it as I went through my phase of Roman Catholicism. That most likely was due to it coinciding with my childhood where I didn’t care for much nor took much seriously.

As I came back to the Protestant church, for the first time in a sense, in my late high school years and then continued on this confusing journey into my college years, I met a lot of great people who welcomed me in, heard my questions, stood by me in my times of loneliness, and  found the girl who I would later marry.

I definitely went through philosophical phases in this ongoing journey. My times in college and with various girlfriends guided me in a conservative manner. I remember strongly disliking Barack Obama, Islam, and found myself reading from evangelical authors. It wasn’t until MJ and I started dating that I switched tracks and started to ask more questions, chose love over guised loathing of the “infidel”, and had MJ’s academic religious approach rub off on me.

For MJ and I’m sure others around me, there was a fear of me just being influenced by those around me and not making decisions for myself. I would be kidding myself to say I have not been influenced by MJ, just as she has been influenced by my political views on, for example, military spending. The difference between me now on this track compared to my college days is that my thoughts, views, and questions do not stay within the safe confines of post-19th Century Western Christianity.

The questions I ask, along with the thoughts that stream through my head, scare me. This all can in part be due to the influence of the inordinate amount of hardcore hip-hop music I dumped into my ears growing up. The questions, however, relate to life and often come because I am not fully sure about the answers I’ve heard or even the idea of having to have answer.

The good question comes up: Is Christianity the only religion that leads to heaven, God, and real life? Of course it does, goes the crowd, because Jesus is the way, truth, and life. I ask myself this: would the God of our whole universe only make himself known to His humanity through one religion? Is the author of the Gospel of John following the incarnation model of his Gospel when talking about Jesus being the way, truth, and life, therefore describing Jesus as the only God who has been sent by God into the world, into flesh, to live?

These questions, along with other academic questions surrounding religion, scare some of the people I started my journey with. These question breed uncertainty of the church, of Western Christianity’s (and the Bible’s) infallibleness, and can often take smear labels, depending on the topic, as heresy, social gospel, unpatriotic, unbiblical, or secular humanism. I have no fear of these labels. I may have a different definition of who God is than some, but that doesn’t stop me from pursuing this confusing life one small step at a time.

December 27, 2010

Movie Review: A Prophet

by thefulllidvmg

I forget how I heard about this movie, but I just got to watch it. A Prophet received four stars and is a French film. It is a story of a 19-year old inmate named Malik who serves a 6-year prison sentence and is forced to survive on the inside.

Malik, an Arab, comes to work for the Corsican mafia. As time progresses and respect is garnered, Malik moves up in rank. Its quite a watch to see such a young kid form into the mold of a gritty type of Euro/Asian crime character.

Many points in this movie are disturbing, eerie, graphic, or lewd. The first man Malik kills with a razor blade haunts him throughout the movie. His ghost joins him in his cell, scars and all showing just as in Beetlejuice, with his cigarettes smoke blowing out. As the movie progresses, Malik is able to go out on day leaves for “work”. His work is often jobs for his boss Cesar and is often dangerous, sometimes rewarding, and usually brings him back past his due time (this eventually lands him in the hole).

I wouldn’t give high recommendations for this movie unless you want to see a film of dark substance depicting life inside prison.

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December 27, 2010

Holiday Week

by thefulllidvmg

I hope you all are enjoying your holiday week. The few of you that I know read my blog on a day to day basis may be far from “home” or celebrate other holidays besides Christmas. I hope to see/talk to each of you soon.

Today is MJ and I’s last day in the valley. We will be heading back to our place for the night and then, depending on the snow storm situation, heading to Philadelphia. We have some great people we are looking forward to seeing.

December 25, 2010

Lens: Moments in 2010

by thefulllidvmg

Check out some amazing moments in sports captured by film as well as some metro shots. Also, don’t miss Obama’s time with the L.A. Lakers.

December 25, 2010

Not A Very Lame Duck

by thefulllidvmg

Consider how much Obama has made happen over the last month. One just hopes this bipartisan thing can keep rolling. Obama has shown his versatility, proving he isn’t some uber-liberal community organizer from Chicago set to take over Alinsky style but one who can bend, flex, and work a long game.

I am especially glad the 9/11 health measure bill was passed. I can understand the Republicans blocking it at first for fiscal reasons. Their initial stance will come off as strange, being that they are the unofficial “party for patriots” and they were more than willing to let millionaires and billionaires get off the hook for tax increases.  Republican wariness of big government handouts for fear of abuse in the payouts is understandable. However, check how the stimulus has worked out and how humanity has responded.

Moreover, we all give grace and reasonable doubt to pet projects and politicians who we agree with but somehow can be easier to doubt those we disagree with. That I believe is important for me to remember when I am thinking about this all.

December 25, 2010

Batman Hoodie

by thefulllidvmg

A neat gift idea?

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December 25, 2010

Dancing Santa

by thefulllidvmg

We may all need a good dance and shake after all the holiday eating.

December 25, 2010

Song of the Day

by thefulllidvmg

Fitz and the Tantrums – Money Grabber

December 25, 2010

A Christmas Post

by thefulllidvmg

This year’s Christmas is different from any of my previous 23 Christmases. I am spending the holiday with MJ’s family in the valley. It is beautiful, as always, to look out the big windows and see the rolling mountains. It was nice to see some snow come down today, open a few presents in front of the lit up tree, give MJ a ‘first Christmas together’ ornament, and now just enjoy the laziness of the day with family.

I am going through my Google Reader so expect some Christmas/holiday posts over the next few days. I have been working through some of my inner self this past week and I hope that it all is reflected in my tone and in what I post from here on out.

December 25, 2010

Christmas Decorating To The Extreme

by thefulllidvmg

Buzzfeed has a top 25.

December 23, 2010

‘Obamacare’ as a Pejorative Term

by thefulllidvmg

It seems that the term Obamacare, in either open or guised ways, is used as a pejorative term. Why does it irk me when the term Obamacare is used?  I feel it is a non-neutral / condescending term that, yes, polarizes the conversation. Again, a great question is this: has the term Obamacare ever been used without a sneer? As the reader cited says, Obamacare is almost used by some media outlets as a slur:

Just about the as often as “conservatives” say “liberal” and mean something nice, do they say “Obamacare” and mean something non-judgemental.

Another great example of what happens with the term Obamacare:

Google the term “Obamacare.” The first result is a Wikipedia page mentioning its pejorative connotation. The second result? “The Truth About Obamacare.” The third? A YouTube video of a group that doesn’t like the law. The fourth? “20 Ways Obamacare will take away our freedoms.” Why is it pejorative? It is used pejoratively.

Try also Google Image searching Obamacare.

I may be too sensitive, I suppose. I am one for open conversations. If a term such as Obamacare is used, I want to know if it is used with pejorative motives. I am all for talking out the issue of health care in America, but the widespread usage of Obamacare jump starts conversations in a polarized direction.

In the end, I might as well inspect the words I use or let roam through my head.

December 23, 2010

Political Cartoon of the Day

by thefulllidvmg

H/T: Tony Auth

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December 22, 2010

Dan Choi Responds to DADT Repeal

by thefulllidvmg
December 22, 2010

Shaq Leads An Orchestra

by thefulllidvmg

Shaquille O’Neal, in Black Tie and Tails, Makes His Conducting Debut Leading the Boston Pops Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus in “Sleigh Ride”, as Part of a Holiday Pops Concert, Monday, December 20, 8P.M., at Boston’s Symphony Hall.

December 21, 2010

Christians in Texas Execute Santa

by thefulllidvmg

I mostly agree with these guys when they are sentencing Santa. The only issue I have is that Jesus was not born in December. Does that not embrace another lie? I had to chuckle when they said  that they don’t embrace violence after which shooting Santa point blank in the face.

December 21, 2010

Political Cartoon of the Day

by thefulllidvmg

Say that Sarah Palin runs for president in 2012. Even though that possibility is slim, in my opinion, she would almost guarantee the GOP slim voting support from independents/moderates, democrats, and Latinos.

H/T: Tony Auth

December 21, 2010

Weekend Football

by thefulllidvmg

Here are some clips of classic football from this past weekend.

Above: Lance Moore, on my fantasy team, makes a crazy end zone TD catch.

Above: Dan Connolly, a 313lb offensive lineman, returns a punt for 71 yards and almost brings it into touchdown land.

And finally, DeSean Jackson is the man.

December 20, 2010

The Tea Party vs. The Methodist Church

by thefulllidvmg

Judson Phillips, the founder of the Tea Party Nations, blasts the Methodist church for supporting the DREAM act, as well as other completely outrageous ideas such as supporting economic justice, opposing the unfunded war in Iraq, and fighting global poverty. This is when patriotism goes too hysterical?

December 20, 2010

Transitions

by thefulllidvmg

2010 is winding down. In this short year, MJ and I have moved into a townhouse, got married, started grad school, quit a job, quit grad school, packed up and moved, almost moved to a farm, started a new job (x2), and are going to move again this week. We plan on having this move be our last for a long while. It is only going to be 10 minutes away from where we live now.

With all that said, my few days teaching this week, packing, and moving will cut down my blog time quite a bit. Look out for a new contributor to the blog: Andy Hill.

As for me, I am trying to work through my bitterness towards the religious right, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and those who flaunt their white priveledge. I am being serious when I say this all; this all goes beyond my anger and affects my marriage, moods, and life. Those three I need to protect.

December 20, 2010

The Immigration Process

by thefulllidvmg

Seeing is believing. Click on the above image to see the full view. For more explanation, click here.

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