April 28th, 2005


Some people ain't got no fetchin's up

I've noticed that there are some real squirrels on-line. I try to not get tangled up with them. You know, the people just trying to start an argument, the holier-than-thou types, and the obviously over-sensitive. Sometimes, though, I stumble into an exchange that leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

The christianity community is the most active (and most interesting) of the communities I belong to. But there are some folks there who try my patience. I was talking to my wife about this, and she helped me realize it may be a generational thing.

When I am posting exchanges with people, I always assume that I am "in public." On somebody's individual LJ, we may be "alone," but we cannot be too intimate, because other people barge in and out frequently. That's OK. It's sort of like talking in somebody's living room. Other people may come tromping through. Your conversation -- and your manners -- have to fit such an occasion. You don't talk confidences -- and you always remember you're in somebody else's personal space. I can be a bit freer on MY LJ; after all, that's my "home." But even so, it's not my prayer closet, and there are things I don't tell just anybody who drops in for a visit.

LJ Communities are a little different. These aren't as open as, say, the mall. I mean, people choose to come into these places, as opposed to those places. But they're still sort of like large rooms within the whole convention center. Lots of things are going on, lots of conversations being shared. Being loud, or abrasive, or throwing a fit, is not "done" (or shouldn't be). I'm always on my best behavior when I'm in a Community, because anybody/everybody may read what I write. Don't want this to degenerate into a brawl. Don't want to "start" anything. Tomfoolery is fine, in a like-minded group: but not trashing the place (or the other patrons).

So, I wonder: do I have these inhibitions because I am visualizing an old-fashioned face-to-face encounter? Do the younger folks on-line NOT "see" things this way? How DO people imagine themselves in their relationships with the people they may only know through their nommes-de-plume?*

We wonders, aye, we wonders.

*Note to French-speakers: did I do that right?

Lord, I apologize . . .

N.B. Phred sent me these. I'm not really responsible. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

Did you hear about the two blondes who froze to death in a drive-in movie? They went to see "Closed for the Winter."

Did you hear about the near-tragedy at the mall? There was a power outage, and twelve blondes were stuck on the escalators for four hours.

A blonde was driving home after a game and got caught in a really bad hailstorm. Her car was covered with dents, so the next day she took it to a repair shop. The shop owner saw that she was a blonde, so he decided to have some fun. He told her just to go home and blow into the tail pipe really hard, and all the dents would pop out. So, the blonde went home, got down on her hands and knees and started blowing into her tailpipe. Nothing happened. So she blew a little harder, and still nothing happened. Her roommate, another blonde, came home and said, "What are you doing?" The first blonde told her how the repairman had instructed her to blow into the tail pipe in order to get all the dents to pop out. The roommate rolled her eyes and said, "Uh, like HELLO! You need to roll up the windows first."

A blonde went to an eye doctor to have her eyes checked for glasses. The doctor directed her to read various letters with the left eye while covering the right eye. The blonde was so mixed up on which eye was which, that the eye doctor, in disgust, took a paper lunch bag, cut a hole to see through, covered up the appropriate eye and asked her to read the letters. As he did so, he noticed the blonde had tears streaming down her face. "Look," said the doctor, "there's no need to get emotional about getting glasses." "I know," agreed the blonde, "But I kind of had my heart set on wire frames."

A blonde was shopping at a Target Store and came across a silver thermos. She was quite fascinated by it, so she picked it up and brought it over to the clerk to ask what it was. The clerk said, "Why, that's a thermos.....it keeps some things hot and some things cold." "Wow," said the blonde, "that's amazing.....I'm going to buy it!" So she bought the thermos and took it to work the next day. Her boss saw it on her desk. "What's that," he asked? "Why, that's a thermos.....it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold," she replied. Her boss inquired, "What do you have in it?" The blond replied, "Two Popsicles, and some coffee".


A girl was visiting her blond friend who had acquired two new dogs, and asked her what their names were. The blonde responded by saying that one was named Rolex and one was named Timex. Her friend said, "Whoever heard of someone naming dogs like that?" "HellOOOooo," answered the blond. "They're watch dogs!"

No viable alternative

C.S. Lewis wrote a poem called "A Cliche Came Out of Its Cage" about paganism. In it, he showed that a real return to paganism (as opposed to faux Christianity) might be a good thing. But those who flippantly talked about it weren't serious. (See below the cut for the text of his poem.)

I notice an awful lot of people who find it cool to be "pagans" these days. They're all so post-Christian and tolerant and mystical and, and . . . cool. In fact, they're everything you could want religion to be, except . . . real. They're not authentic.

Their paganism is a silly construct of all-the-stuff-we-like-without-any-of-that-sin-business-that-Xtny-is-always-so-on-about. They have no clue what real paganism -- Norse, Greek, Celtic, whatever -- was really about. I'm a devotee of what C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien called "Northernness." But the Asatru followers are just kidding themselves. So are the Wiccans. They have constructed a religious pastiche that never was, and say they are returning to the ancient faith.

What a load of codswallop.

I tell people that my ancestors had a perfectly good religion, which mainly consisted of painting themselves blue, running naked through the woods, and slaughtering horses to their gods. But they gave up that religion to follow Christ. And he's all I'm really interested in.

If I would not give him up to go back to my ancestral religion, which my ancestors really believed in, I sure wouldn't give him up for one of these crazy hodge-podges that nobody ever really believed in.

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