Month: December 2019

Christmas

“He rules the world with truth and grace.” —Isaac Watts ++ “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” —Charles Dickens ++ “The Incarnation…illuminates and orders all other phenomena, explains both our laughter and our logic, our fear of the dead and our knowledge that it is somehow good to die, and which at one stroke covers what multitudes of separate theories will hardly cover for us if this is rejected.” —C.S. Lewis ++ “Regarding not the day, let us give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son… If it be possible to honor Christ in the giving of gifts, I cannot see how while the gift, giver and recipient are all in the spirit of the world… [B]ut we have a Christ gift the entire year.” —Charles Spurgeon ++ “Holiday and Holy Day, Christmas is more than a yule log, holly or tree. It is more than natural good cheer and the giving of gifts. Christmas is even more than the feast of the home and of children, the feast of love and friendship. It is more than all of these together. Christmas is Christ, the Christ of justice and charity, of freedom and peace.” —Francis Cardinal Spellman ++ “The place that the shepherds found was not an academy or an abstract republic; it was not a place of myths allegorized or dissected or explained away. It was a place of dreams come true.” —G.K. Chesterton… Read the rest

A guy bought his wife a beautiful diamond ring for Christmas.

After hearing about this extravagant gift, a friend of his said, “I thought she wanted one of those sporty four-wheel-drive vehicles.”

“She did,” he replied. “But where was I going to find a fake Jeep?”… Read the rest

Friday

IMG_3150Brews You Can Use

Bless the Varidesk.

Bless work.

Bless gin.

Bless Jim Lowe.

Allow me to tie that all together.

I’ve previously pointed out that if, all is play, even work becomes play. Play occurs in that crucial EXISTENTIAL GAP, that area between subject-object where a person thrives.

Shift to Thursday night. Christmas looming. Work piling. The little kids’ high school band concert preparing . . . about 300 yards from my law firm’s back door. I have to attend, but Marie will text me when it’s about to begin so I can work to the very last second (squeezing that last billable minute out of the day).

My Varidesk standing tall. And a half gallon of Bombay Sapphire gin sitting in the back of my office.

A perfect storm, of sorts. I started pouring, stood/danced at my Varidesk, cranked 1950s music, and danced/drank/worked/played for 90 minutes, really getting into Jim Lowe’s “Green Door” when it came on.

I’m no saint, but I practice what I preach . . . at least when alcohol is involved.

I hope everyone’s holidays are going as well as mine. God bless. … Read the rest

Thursday

The Flies

Sartre’s play, The Flies, dramatizes the Greek legend of Orestes, a man who murders his mother and her husband. Normally, a person in Orestes’ situation would quake as he awaited divine punishment, but not Orestes. He rises above such fear, shouting at Jupiter: “I am neither master nor slave. I am my own freedom! Hardly hadst though created me when I already ceased to be thy own!” Orestes realizes that he merely exists, with no laws implanted in or overseeing him. He can accordingly do whatever he wants. Intense freedom is his. Any reminders of the moral laws that he might experience, those pricks of conscience, are nothing more than annoying flies. Swat the flies, Sartre says, and man regains his total freedom.

Now, I reject Sartre’s existentialism. It is logically inconsistent because it tells us to reject all criteria in the name of choosing one’s own criteria. It also rejects all goodness and virtue. But there’s something there. Something true and good. The importance of existing, first and foremost, is a good premise. This theme starts to emerge, in a good way, in the work of Camus, Sartre’s one-time disciple.… Read the rest

Cancel Netflix

https://twitter.com/hashtag/boycottnetflix?lang=en

I’m not a big boycott guy, but Netflix has simply crossed the line too many times. And now a gay Jesus. And it’s Christmas.

I ain’t gonna judge you if you don’t cancel, but: you can’t deprive yourself of a little entertainment, especially when there’s more programming than you could ever watch already, to stand with Our Savior during the Season? Think of it as a small Christmas gift back to Him. … Read the rest

Monday

More Sartre

So what did Sartre say? Basically, he simply denied that we have any natural traits (i.e., essences, characteristics). Instead of such essences, Sartre said, we have existence, and that’s it. Our essences don’t really exist. At best, they have a secondary reality because we first exist, then select our essences. In his words: “[M]an first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world—and defines himself afterwards.”

As a corollary, Sartre said there are no immutable rules of behavior that a man ought to follow because rules of behavior stem from our natural traits. Even intellectuals who reject God or disregard Him in their theories always posit some immutable characteristics and pull rules of behavior from them—for example, “man is a social animal, and therefore he should act civilly toward others, not kill, not seduce other men’s wives, nor otherwise hurt others.” Sartre, on the other hand, rejected any immutable characteristics, and therefore rejected the idea that there are any truths that emanate from those characteristics. There is only one truth, he said: The stark naked fact of existence.

A logical reaction to this type of reasoning is despair. If there is no truth, there is no reason to act whatsoever. All actions—and potential actions, plans, aspirations, and dreams—become pointless, along with one’s entire life (reference the stranger, Mersault). But Sartre didn’t stop with despair. He used his existentialism to teach a new form of radical freedom: If there is no way you should act, he said, then act however you want. Make your own essences. … Read the rest