November 29, 2004

Busted in concert

They're Spud's favorite band (he's six). I'm taking him to see them in Birmingham Wednesday night.

No, I can't quite believe it either.

November 26, 2004

No icon

Reading Naomi Klein - it's like listening to a child thinking out loud.

"Iconic images inspire love and hate, and so it is with the photograph of James Blake Miller ..."

"In truth, the image just feels iconic because it is so laughably derivative ..."

"But never mind that. For a country that just elected a wannabe Marlboro man as its president, Miller is an icon ..."

"On second thoughts, perhaps Miller does deserve to be elevated to the status of icon - not of the war in Iraq, but of the new era of supercharged American impunity."
Bless her.

Talking turkey

The day after

I didn't post yesterday; I was too busy eating, drinking and giving thanks. I hope you all had a good one. We sure did.

Though we did have a small crisis Thanksgiving morning when Mac came back from some last-minute shopping:

- What are these?
- They're cranberries.
- What did you buy them for?
- I was going to make cranberry sauce.
- You can't make cranberry sauce. No one makes cranberry sauce.

It comes in cans. With ridges!

At least it will next year.

November 24, 2004

Carnival time

Just so you know...

Interested-Participant is hosting Carnival of the Vanities this week, Carnival of the Capitalists is at SocialTwister and Boudicca's Voice has the latest Carnival of the Recipes.

Multicultural Bristol

From the Bristol Evening Post:
Muslims who have been arrested and held in a police cell in Bristol can now demand a copy of the Koran and a prayer mat. They will also be put in cells that have an Islamic symbol on the wall to guide them to pray facing Mecca.
According to Police Sergeant Jon Ames, the new culturally sensitive procedures will apply to "all faiths, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Hindu or Judaism - all of them."

He doesn't specifically mention Satanists but I presume they keep a goat on hand just in case.

Talking turkey

Thanksgiving 101

What's the difference between Pilgrims and Puritans?

As the Puritan impulse might be primarily associated with (though it actually preceded) Foxe's Book of Martyrs, so the "Pilgrim" ethos might be traced appropriately to Robert Browne's book, Reformation Without Tarrying for Anie, first published in 1580. Browne might be called a disillusioned Puritan. He shared the vision which informed Foxe's work, but after more than a decade of seeking revival within the English church, he came to the conclusion that it just wasn't going to happen. Browne "separated from" the English church and, with the like-minded Robert Harrison, started his own congregation in Norwich in 1581.

Thus was formed the "Separatist" movement, a movement which later produced suchleaders as John Smyth (whom some regard as the father of English Baptists), John Robinson, William Brewster, and William Bradford. The latter three were directly involved in that group of Separatists which, in 1608, left England for the Netherlands, and then later decided to emigrate to the New World, landing at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620.

Many (probably most) Puritans chose to remain within the English church working for reform, and it was from this group that a much larger group of emigrants left from England for New England in the late 1620's, establishing their colony at Massachusetts Bay.

The Boston and Plymouth colonies were distinct political and religious entities (at least until the English government combined them in the late 1680's) and, while relations between them were generally friendly, members of both groups were crystal clear on the differences between them.

"Puritans" wanted to remain as part of the English establishment, working for biblical reform from within. Even as they emigrated to New England, they affirmed their "Englishness" and saw the main purpose of their new colony as being that of a biblical witness, a "city on a hill" which would set an example of biblical righteousness in church and state for Old England and the entire world to see. As deeply committed covenant theologians, they emphasized especially strongly the corporate righteousness of their entire community before God.

"Pilgrims" wanted to achieve "reformation without tarrying," even if it meant separating from their church and their nation. While they continued to think of themselves as English, their emphasis was on their new political identity and spiritual identity. Because of their passionate commitment to the necessity of reformation immediate and without compromise, they emphasized especially strongly individual righteousness before God.
The good folk of Plymouth, England are holding a Thanksgiving Festival this weekend. Unfortunately, we won't be there; we'll be spending the weekend at the mall.

It's traditional.

November 23, 2004

Go punctuate

Lynn Truss ain't got nothing on this guy.

Photoblog Ukraine

Blog de Connard, an American expat blogging from Ukraine, has some pictures of the protests in Kiev.

November 20, 2004

Heathrow to Hell

Pootergeek has the in-flight safety briefing:
Good morning, chattels and infidels. On behalf of all of the team, welcome aboard this wide-bodied handcart from London Heathrow to Hell. Your flight has been the subject of a hostile, but successful, takeover bid by Intellectual Jihad.
Read on.

November 17, 2004

A policeman’s blog

A British bobby recounts his experiences with the Newtown Police, or, as he prefers to call it, “the 5th Battalion of the Newtown Regiment of the People’s Motorised Bureaucracy."

November 14, 2004

Some hope

David Aaronovitch, writing in the Guardian, on the prospects for peace in the Middle East:
All may be well if Arafat is replaced in elections by some 'moderate' Palestinian who - somehow - manages to rise above all pressures, dangers and his own inherent powerlessness, to discover the ability to destroy or marginalise Hamas in places where he has no forces, constructs the capacity that even Britain doesn't have to prevent every act of terrorism by absolutely any of his citizens, and to deliver a democratic, peaceful Palestinian entity out of mile after mile of rubble and resentment.
Some hope.

November 13, 2004

Septic tanks

Monica, blogging at An American in London, discovers the joys of Cockney rhyming slang.

November 12, 2004

Peres on Arafat

From Timesonline: Shimon Peres on Arafat:
His declared policies were courageous, but he did not carry them out. He did not turn his back on terrorism and hate. He failed the hopes of many people, and lost his credibility with those who could have done most to help his cause. Arafat kept alive for the Palestinian people dreams and hopes that had no place in this world. He did not open the way for the painful, but necessary, process that every person and nation must go through, of leaving behind dreams of grandeur that bring nothing but misery, and learning to live, love and prosper in this world.

November 07, 2004

Random quote

The marines that I have had wounded over the past five months have been attacked by a faceless enemy. But the enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He lives in Falluja. And we're going to destroy him.
Lt Col Gareth F Brandl, 1/8 Marines

Random picture

Pardon my French

Attention mes braves! Le Dissident Frogman est retourné.

Pourquoi restez-vous ici? Allez-vous voir!

Philosophy in a hurry

Squashed Philosophers brings you:
The books which defined the way The West thinks now. Condensed and abridged to keep the substance, the style and the quotes, but ditching all that irritating verbiage.
Link via: The Ministry of Information.

Stolen dreams

I wondered how long it would be before this grubby little meme reared its ugly head:
Using a variety of criminal methods that they have perfected over the past four years, the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney-Karl Rove syndicate stole another election, and extended their illegal occupation of the White House. Experienced, informed and unblinking observers were not fooled by any aspect of this utterly predictable goose-step towards full dictatorship.
Susanna over at Cut on the Bias points to more of the same.

The politics of contempt

Kelley at Suburban Blight asks the question:
Is it so hard to give a modicum of respect to those who vote in a way that you don't understand? Is it so difficult to just believe that your political opposite is wrong, rather than that they're gun-totin', knuckle-draggin', homo-hatin', bible-thumpin' trailer-park Betties? I keep hearing about Bush's "policies of hate" from his detractors...paired with vituperative death-wishes for those who voted for him.
Norm Geras takes up the theme:
A tour of left and liberal blogs allowed you to pick up the same style of language: 'idiots', 'ignorant', 'self-deceiving', 'dumb' and 'fools'. This is the payoff of the chimp theme and of the venom and hatred with which it has come to be invested. If 58 million people or more vote for an evident moron, what else can they be themselves than morons? The partisans of this talk all take it for granted, of course, that they are the folk with the interests and values of democracy at heart. But their contempt for their fellow citizens or (as the case may be) the citizens of another democracy, and that one of the world's greatest, tells its own story.

November 05, 2004

Death watch

The Guardian reports on another ratings-chaser from Channel 4.
Channel 4, no stranger to challenging broadcasting taboos, is about to cross another televisual rubicon by filming the decomposition of a human body.
Nothing new there, NBC have been doing it since 1983.

Thought for the day

Your friends' children are not necessarily your children's friends.

November 02, 2004

LePore law

From yesterday’s Palm Beach Post:
A widely published investigative journalist was tackled, punched and arrested Sunday afternoon by a Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy who tried to confiscate his camera outside the elections supervisor's headquarters.

About 600 people were standing in line waiting to vote early when James S. Henry was charged with disorderly conduct for taking photos of waiting voters about 3:30 p.m. outside the main elections office on Military Trail near West Palm Beach.

A sheriff's spokesman and a county attorney later said the deputy was enforcing a newly enacted rule from Elections Supervisor Theresa LePore prohibiting reporters from interviewing or photographing voters lined up outside the polls.
Howard Simon, from the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, asks the same question I had when I read the report:
"Where did Theresa LePore get the authority to criminalize activities protected by the First Amendment?"
Anyone out there know the answer to that one?