There is a brake company in the Dallas area that runs radio commercials featuring a very concerned and extraordinarily helpful employee explaining why a female caller needs to get her car in right away to save money and to be sure she is safe. They are even willing to stay later to make sure her car is safe. Impressed, she asks the question, “why do you do it?” And then the jingle singers let us know why. Because they really do care. That ad is for Just Brakes and I have no reason to doubt that they really do care. Someone asked me the other day a similar question about my almost daily blogs. “Why do you write a blog everyday?” The tone was incredulous. Why do you do it? Since I don’t have jingle singers I will have to write out my answer to a question that proved more complex than it seemed at first blush.
This is a dangerous post. I must begin with a disclaimer that I have now lived in Texas for 26 years. I love Texas and the people of the Lone Star state. Please remember that disclaimer as I confess that I understand what General Philip Henry Sheridan said about Texas after the Civil War. Sheridan remarked that “if I owned Hell and Texas I would rent out Texas and live in Hell”. Because he criticized Texas and was also a Yankee (the Texas version of a Samaritan) I am pretty sure that most Texans are sure he is now residing in Hell. But let us extend a moment of grace and consider that perhaps Sheridan offered his comments during the month of August. I suspect that in pre A/C days I might have said the same thing. This summer has been miserable in North Texas. August in Texas is our payback for mocking our Northern friends during February.
Busted! You always hope that your sins will fly under the radar. But you cannot hide forever. Yesterday I laughed out loud when I found a reference to my recent blog about Mel Gibson at anti-itch meditation. Blogger Jeff Weddle posted an excerpt from my blog and had this summation.
The guy is great with words (even though he puts an apostrophe in a possessive ‘its’) and makes excellent points.
I opened the email box this morning and I was reminded that youngest son Brett fell straight down from the Burchett family tree. In his message was a link to a new poster from a company called Despair, Inc. This group of lovable cynics parodies the motivational poster companies. Brett sent me this to start my day.
Of course I then spent thirty minutes that I will never get back looking at all of the “Demotivating” downers from this company. Would you like to join me in a half-empty tour of abject despair? Of course you would because you have nothing better to do (just getting you warmed up).
Warning: This blog may attempt real or attempted humor. Any reader who has allergic reactions to sarcasm, cyncism, and irony should proceed at their own risk.
I subscribe to a magazine called The Week. It is an excellent weekly summary of news both useful and weird. Here is a sampling of the “news” from the most recent issue.
- The Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics announced the first pill to combat stupidity. The drug has been shown to improve the attentiveness and short-term memory of flies and mice.
I remember seeing trailers a few years ago for a horror movie called “What Lies Beneath”. I am not a fan of that genre of films so I did not see the movie. But for some reason that title popped into my mind as I heard the developing saga of Mel Gibson. I wonder if Mel Gibson fully understood the ugly sin that was lurking beneath until alcohol unleashed the horror of his bigotry and exposed it to the light of scrutiny? I wonder what lies beneath the surface of my tidy little Christian exterior? Is there something hiding deep in my soul that is just as ugly and ungodly? Writer Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News wrote an insightful and soul provoking piece this past weekend entitled “Mel isn’t the only sinner“. I have excerpted some highlights. My observations are italicized.
I’m deeply concerned about the rise of global anti-Semitism, and found my fellow Christian’s drunken remarks appalling. And as someone who loved The Passion of the Christ and defended it in print and online against accusations of anti-Semitism, I felt intensely embarrassed, even betrayed, by Mr. Gibson’s Jew-bashing rant. When news of his anti-Semitic diatribe broke, I hurried to my Beliefnet.com blog to join in the piling-on.
My grandparents said that the younger generation was going to hell in a handbasket. My parents said the same thing about my generation, the self-absorbed Baby Boomers. Now I observe the youth culture and my first impulse is exactly the same as my grandparents and parents. But I am not taking the bait. I am blessed to know too many awesome young men and women to believe this generation is worse than any other. But I do concede that this group of young adults face cultural challenges that even my Woodstock generation did not.