Dec 052017

I probably said I wasn’t going to talk about this anymore. I’m sure I believed it when I did. Now I’m differing with myself.

Here’s how I initially started this post:

I’m certain I have more friends and acquaintances who are not talking about Doug Jones and Roy Moore than I do who are.

But wow, does it ever seem like the ones who are have nothing else to say right now. And I think way too many of those are forgetting that thinking, reasonable people shall find

But I went to Facebook after that, where I was going to write a capsule status on the topic. Instead, my post wound up over there.

I have reproduced it here for your convenience.

I mixed it up on Usenet newsgroups for 14 years, and I was proud of the fact that I didn’t use a killfile. I thought killfiles were crutches of cowardice, employed mostly by the undisciplined.

I carried that logic into Facebook for a long time, refusing to unfollow anyone. But it doesn’t really apply, because there were two big differences back then. First, on Usenet, there was a tacit understanding that if you said something, you were ready to defend it. And second, though we would argue for literally weeks, we did so mostly respectfully.

Now you can draw your own conclusions about why I led with that, but I’ll say this next: some of you are acting so damned ugly about this stupid election that I literally cringe when I read what you write.

There are thinking, reasonable people who are going to vote for Doug Jones. There are thinking, reasonable people who are going to vote for Roy Moore. And there are thinking, reasonable people who are going to do neither. There is a path through each option, and you have friends, neighbors, colleagues, schoolmates, churchmates, and relatives who aren’t going to choose yours.

That does not make them bad people. It makes them people who have reached a different conclusion from the one you have reached.

Furthermore, despite what too many of you have apparently conditioned yourselves to think, western civilization does not hang in the balance on December 12. Whatever happens, life will go on. And life going on shall include continuing to interact with our friends, neighbors, colleagues, schoolmates, churchmates, and relatives.

That will be harder if you’ve accused them of, oh, complicity in infanticide or pedophilia, say, or if you’ve questioned their intelligence or faith.

An informed citizenry should pay attention to what its government does. But there isn’t a single thing that happens in that fetid cesspool inside I-495 that is important enough to cost us personal relationships. If you believe otherwise, it is my view that you might could use a recalibration.

Guess what? We’re all still going to be here December 13. And guess what else? We’re all still gon’ be ‘posed to be lovin’ one another.

 Posted by at 11:52 pm
Dec 042017

“But Alabama didn’t even win its own division!”

– Thousands of whiners, 2011 2017

After Auburn lost the SEC championship game, I was so sure Alabama wouldn’t make it that I didn’t much think about it. Now that they’re in, of course I’m delighted.

Urban Meyer didn’t have much to say about it. How can he? His team also went to the CFP last year without winning its conference. He’s muzzled by circumstance. That’s OK. He’ll have more time to hunt down that cameraman. And I may or may not be imagining Urban Meyer as Elmer Fudd right now.

Some Auburn fans, predictably, defined their position relative to Alabama. (Not all Auburn fans do this, but way too many do.) “Well, we lost the game, but at least we probably screwed Alabama too,” went the logic. It’s a small, petty way to look at things, and one that some significant percentage of the Auburn fan base never seems to get over.

This won’t be boring. Alabama is the only team to make the playoff every year since its inception, and this is the third year in a row they’ll play Clemson (though this time in a semifinal). I had some lingering doubt about Dabo Swinney, but I don’t anymore. He’s the real deal.

The winner will play either Oklahoma or Georgia for the title. Clemson and Oklahoma would be a revenge tour for the Tide, so that’s fun to think about. An Alabama-Georgia title game would be satisfying in a different way.

I’m pleased Alabama has four weeks to heal.

 Posted by at 3:30 pm
Dec 022017

Ever since I had the otherworldly club sandwich at AM Booth’s Lumberyard, I’ve been thinking about a sort of “all-star” list for local restaurant offerings.

I mean, the items that would go on this list are so good that you have a really hard time a) ordering anything else on that restaurant’s menu; and even possibly b) ordering a similar item at a different restaurant. So it would be a pretty short list.

I’ve had that club sandwich maybe half a dozen times, and I’m going to have it again this week. That’s something that will distinguish this list, if I do it. Consistency will be important. That sandwich will start the list, and right off I can think of three other items at other restaurants that I’ll have in reserve.

What do you think of this idea? Is this a feature you would enjoy?

 Posted by at 11:50 pm
Nov 302017
  • There are not-so-far-fetched scenarios that will probably put Alabama in the playoff. I’m fine with whatever happens. I was castigated earlier this year for suggesting that Alabama was missing the X-factor this season, but I still don’t think it’s such a silly view.
  • You know how if you drink 2%, 1%, or skim milk long enough you become accustomed to it and you don’t miss whole milk anymore? The same thing has happened to me with natural peanut butter. Give it a shot sometime. In my experience, Smucker’s is the tastiest. To deal with the oil separation, set the jar on its side a few minutes before you want to use it. Then you can stick a knife all the way to the bottom and stir it up much more easily.
  • Life is too short for cheap playing cards. A decent plastic deck is about double the cost of a paper deck, but it will last ten times as long, and it’s so much more pleasant to use. (This is an excellent example of just a few more dollars actually increasing the quality of your life.)
  • Warren Zevon has begun popping up on one of my Pandora stations. I didn’t appreciate him while he was here. As I begin my exploration, I’m finding his music engaging, occasionally dark, and frequently hilarious. (Turns out “Werewolves of London,” the only song most of us can name, is an accurate capsule.) I think he must have been a fun guy to have dinner with.
  • Lea came home with some eggnog-flavored Little Debbie cakes this week. They got mixed reviews, but I’m OK with the concept. Eggnog kind of tiptoes into ancillary products a bit here and there, but it’s never going to be the ubiquitous menace that is pumpkin spice.
  • Two weeks to Star Wars.
  • We’re keeping the perfect temperatures through early next week, and then it will be wintertime. Enjoy these few days.
 Posted by at 10:34 am
Nov 282017

So how long has the two-Joseph nativity scene been a thing? It’s all over my Twitter, so I’m presuming it’s a relatively recent development.

(A thoroughly obnoxious relatively recent development.)

When I saw it, first I thought “hey, this post will write itself.” Then I thought “no, that would call more attention to it, which is exactly what they want.” Finally, I pivoted back to “I want to add what I have to say to its Google footprint.”

This is an excellent example of antagonism, not progress. It’s an inaccurate depiction, saying nothing productive. It’s only meaningful as a finger in the eye of those whose religious sensibilities it offends.

(Of which I am not one.) I’m definitely offended, but not on a religious basis. I’m offended simply because this is the exact opposite of promoting understanding.

I have friends all over the political spectrum. Most of the time I can understand their views, even when I don’t agree with them. And I know plenty of fine Christian people who don’t share my views on homosexuality. I’ve written to them, sometimes specifically. I think of them when I see this mocking display, and how it feeds and reinforces all of their worst beliefs about gay people. I imagine the potential for persuading them, however meager it may be. And then, I imagine it withering.

I think the people who put this up, and the people who celebrate it, are no better than the shrieking, Bible-thumping, fire-and-brimstone Christians who seemingly delight in informing gay people of their ultimate fates. And I believe they are just as unhelpful.

Freedom of expression? Oh, absolutely. I wouldn’t dream of calling for its removal. But if you think it’s a nifty thing to do, don’t you say one damned thing to me about intolerance.

 Posted by at 11:05 pm is using WP-Gravatar