Epistemic Mirrors

I’m sorry, but we can’t love eternal, evergreen Truth and “like” Salon. Or Fox News, HuffPo, NYT or NPR etc. Best to see oneself as an observer of such fare and not a consumer of it.

In fact, we can’t love Truth and trust ANY people who sell information– often cloaked as entertainment– purely for profit.(NPR hosts do it for love, sure, but they have to keep the BMW payments current.)

Playing with the Truth is the devil’s only real power; he can’t create a single thing. I don’t think he turns away from such an effective and long-proven weapon against the human soul. I think he makes it fun! with lists! and memes of outrageous! tragic! righteous! heroic! exclusive! and mostly, a/musing.

We naturally tend to heap our “likes” on the cultural information that reinforces our self-image– especially if it makes us feel morally fit. If we’re honest, it’s more real-time comforting to us than God’s divine assurances of our loveliness and acceptance in Christ’s atonement, because that was so five minutes ago.

Every “like,” “share,” and “comment”; every click of the mouse, is reinforcing to ourselves who we are. Every selfie is our attempt to convey who we are, and if we are honest, we know we are “selling it” to our best advantage. And we think folks who get paid to do such things are above “selling it” to us for their best advantage? Do you know who they are when they’re not selling ideas to you? Do you care?

Look, we don’t have movies because we want a calm and contented world-view, we want escape. And we have made-up “reality” shows because we want to experience otherness… CHANGE. We positively ache for newness every morning but we substitute it with mere news: who died, who offended, who sang, who is our new champion of the moment? It’s in our DNA. It’s a powerful and attractive force.

But we don’t seek the newness of God’s mercy. Nor the joy of His Truth, or the beauty of His creation– a force that wants to awaken us to CREATE instead of CONSUME. God’s in the creation business and your spirit, if you’re a Christian, is hungry for it. The enemy is in the distortion business and your human soul is satisfied with the empty calories of it. You’re soaking in it even now, in this stew-pot of likes and shares and selfies.

The layers of editors, salespeople, CEOs, managers, accountants and crony politicians behind everything we consume in the big publications, newscasts, and commercials is more than we can know– so we choose not to. We shut down our brains where we most need to employ them. But it’s our duty, if we love Truth above our cultural preferences and intellectual conceits, to be skeptical of the dietitians of our information consumption.

To be in the world and not of it, we must step away and observe it without consuming it. Let’s make sure we’re not existing in a hall of epistemic mirrors, enthralled to the selfie we find there.

I Owe You This

So, I’m now in my fourth week of Learning Curve. I’d be pissed if I wasn’t so happy to have a job with a steep learning curve. You have to understand how underutilized I feel if I’m not being stretched like some canvas over a new frame. This job has that. And it’s fun, too. I get to form trusting relationships with folks who are leaving town. How great is that?! I get to use my charm and my brains and travel all over– I mean ALL over — my area of South Carolina.

I also get a good boss. She’s scrappy and A-type and older than I am, but she’s got vision for growth for a previously struggling company and she’s single-handedly turned it around. But I’m nothing if not a steel hone for strong personalities. I’m there to help her get her sense of proportion back. She’s been pushing hard, all alone, for a while so she’s wary of letting go of even the smallest task. So I gotta play her a bit. And she has a bad habit of feeling entitled to hammer every nail she sees. And we’re all nails. I just happen to be standing in a rock-hard knot. Not going down, not getting bent, but making sure her hand hurts every time she tries the hammer technique. We’d hate each other but we’re too much alike, so we’ve decided to like each other. It’s working. She’s a really good person.

Easter and Lent were such a wonderful respite and refueling that I just can’t get too wrapped up in politics. For now. I just Tweet my best bon mots and feel exhausted by the effort.

Anyway, the J.R. and I are neck-deep in work, church stuff and some mission travel. Just not by boat.

The boat. Ah, well. Let’s just say that hope is still deferred, but we’re so busy that we haven’t had time to worry much. Still seeking out a long block for the Crusader engine and a mechanic who needs the work. Gobsmacking in this economy, really. But it’s still in Florida and we’re still hoping to finish buying her an bringing her to Charleston. Soon. I see fishing in my future. Tired of the cold, too!

If you are the praying type, please keep our little family in your prayers. The Pepper Dog is still happy and vibrant, just blind and deaf now. Son and DIL are thriving– he just got a hefty raise and promotion– but they long for a child, and I have a pretty dire need to be a grandmama. Plus, the J.R. and I have two mission trips in the next six weeks. Any small supplications for safety and health for all of us would be appreciated.

I realize as I write this that I miss you guys. I miss commenting on your posts and just relaxing with you, or ranting with you. I’m not done writing, but I’m not sure where my heart is leading me to write at this time. Thanks for sticking around. I’m away until next Tuesday. More then.

How we do “Winter” here in the South

Not pictured: The Saturday mid-morning Mai Tai in my hand.

It’s all we can do to keep our flip-flops from melting before we finally feel warm enough to take our sweaters off.

Later, the Jolly Roger and I will go sailing. Just to show Winter who’s boss. Bring it.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: DONUTS! A local church from the ‘burbs just dropped off emergency food at our door. That’s how cold it is! It must have gone down to about 42 degrees last night. Brutal conditions here, I know. But I wish they could ship the sugar oysters up to Staten Island.

Fire Ants and Other Poisonous Bastiges

The recent deluge has displaced all the fire ants that were apparently quite content to remain underground with the moles, slugs, flatworms and other critters. They are everywhere. At home, I got several bites on my foot while clearing some water runoff areas. There must’ve been an ant on every leaf, blade of mown grass, or twig that was floating. I hope most of them ended up in the turtle pond around the block from here.

Yesterday at work I got several more ant bites just trying to bring in the recycle bins from the sidewalk. I wasn’t there for thirty seconds. But they were all crazy like they’d been on bath salts or something, biting and devouring as they went about looking for dry ground.

Fire ant. Actual size.

Today, when I went to the mailbox at the curb, a whole refugee camp, replete with eggs, was set up in there. I opened it up, got the mail and noticed them scurrying about. I slapped the mail a few times and bashed the mailbox a few times to let them know they need to secure other quarters.

Tonight I notice all kinds of lovely pustules on my poor foot, which, like Obama’s weird re-election blister metaphor, must be lanced for relief. And I do hope for that, Mr. Obama– relief– not your re-election. But like all nasty poisons, these blisters will leave a scar that’ll take a while to heal. Bastiges! All of youse!

Blogging: Dissecting the Body.

Most bloggers are dying out pretty fast, but not to worry, Suzette has come to the rescue of the blogosphere.  

In her continuing efforts to rescue the world from bad fashion icons, suburban gastronomic ennui, and banal hotel rooms, Suzette has once again proven her creds as an instructor of the clueless.  She’s a medical educator at heart, providing a solid, CSI-like autopsy on a sacrificial entrant: a post in the very prime of its strength, vivisected and labeled for future instruction to the clueless.  It’s feckin’ brilliant.

I only wish she’d been here sooner.

It takes a special person to tell you you’re not. . . and make you glad for it.

This is the Conservative subversion! Long have we waited for Conservatism to get busy doing the work of conserving itself. And it’s going on right in the very nest of Proggie vipers! And now it’s forever on video. And now it’s spreading like a healing virus to the rest of the graduating class of ’12!

Kids get it. And apparently like it when they aren’t being conned, lied to, and condescended to for profit:

h/t to Gerard.