Category Archives: Thursday posts

The emperor’s new clothes: False prophecy in the news

Here is my first audition file.  The sound quality and performance aren’t the best, but I’ve chosen to post it anyway given the weight of the subject matter.

I need to show that I can speak off the cuff about current events, and an opportunity to do so came in the controversy over recent tweets by Maria Chappelle-Nadal.

A transcript appears below.

Continue reading The emperor’s new clothes: False prophecy in the news

Problems everyone should have

Everyone has problems; always have, always will.

But some problems are better (more desirable) than others.

I have some of the best problems in the world.  Everyone should have such problems.  They’d be so much better off.

For example, this man shows up every time I look in the mirror, and I’m absolutely hating on him.  He’s so good-looking, I can’t stand it.  I’m jealous.

Originally posted 2014-12-31.

“Jackie” and The Rolling Stone

Bookmarks:
U-Va. students challenge Rolling Stone account of alleged sexual assaultTV experts who aren’tFox news affiliate distorts coverageVast dogfighting ring in Baltimore, Baltimore County broken upMonkey heroically rescues its friendPhylicia Barnes update
Continue reading “Jackie” and The Rolling Stone

A place to begin

John 9:1-3:

1As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”

The disciples want to place blame. Their posture can be referred to as fault-finding, judgment and condemnation. Jesus calls attention to the opportunity to heal, to do good, to make a beginning.

Continue reading A place to begin

“Son”

I don’t like Elder Conrad.

At the shelter, they compel us to attend chapel every night. A different group presents each night, following a monthly rotation. Elder Conrad and his group come the second Sunday of each month. In nigh on four years, he’s never said a single thing I felt merited attention.

There is one exception.
Continue reading “Son”

Counting my blessings

Here is a short list of things I can be grateful for.

A clean sheet every night*
A clean pillow case every night*
A blanket every night*
A pillow every night*
A hot shower every night
Clean clothes available every day
A good supper every night
Financial resources: At this time, anything I want, I can get.
(Anything I can’t get, I don’t want.)
Moral support from my family, my friends and my church.  A ton of people are pulling for me, hoping for my prosperity.
The best problems in the world. (See next Wednesday’s post.)

*(To my knowledge, no other shelter in Baltimore City provides these things. If you don’t bring your own, you sleep on a bare mat. A change in that situation is something to earnestly hope for.)

Originally posted Christmas Eve 2014.

The inevitability of evil

Sooner or later, it had to happen.

Sunday, about 14:00, I had just bought my second coffee at McDonald’s.  I put it on my table and, as they require me to do, took all my things with me to go out and smoke.

Related:  Does McDonald’s discriminate against the homeless?

Outside, I took one more shot at trying to understand how evil — negativity, conflict — happens.

There are those who say that evil is necessary because without it, humans would never be able to appreciate joy.  I have never found this believable.
Continue reading The inevitability of evil

Status report: A snapshot of my life right now

On Tuesday 12/02, my therapist asked for a thumbnail summary of my overall situation.

I said, “I have goals, I’m taking concrete steps toward those goals, and I have a ton of hope.”

I know no way to account for this but the exact scenario I set forth in “Chaos overwhelms the poor:” I pay attention only to the concrete here-and-how, and to what I myself can do.  (Related:  Here – Now – Can.)  From the farthest reach of my right fingertip to my right, to the farthest reach of my left fingertip to my left: within that range lies all my responsibility, everything that I can control.  Here, the world appears orderly.  Here, I can order and manage my affairs.  Here I have power.  I can act effectively.  I can easily find hope.

A ton of hope.
Continue reading Status report: A snapshot of my life right now