Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Birth Certificate

So it has finally happened. President Barack Obama has finally released an official copy of his birth certificate. And here is his reason:

"We do not have time for silliness."

Truer words were never spoken.

Dear Republicans: Please nominate Donald Trump as your presidential candidate next year. And tell him to select Michelle Bachman as his running mate. I can't think of a better way to ensure that your party takes a 50-state beating.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Maundy Wednesday??

So, the latest bombshell dropped on Christianity is that The Last Supper actually happened on the Wednesday before Good Friday.

Apparently, Jesus, who was Jewish (Try to find the argument against that), practiced his faith according to an older calendar that recognized that the festival of Passover (Yes, the last supper was a Passover dinner--look it up!) as happening on the Wednesday of the Jewish Holy week, rather than Thursday, as has been long recognized in the Christian and Jewish faith alike.

My question is this: Who gives a flying f*&^?!

The date of the Last Supper really isn't all that important, don't you think?

What counts most for those of us who are practicing Christians is that on the Friday after the Last Supper, Jesus allowed himself to be painfully tortured and killed, so that we might all be redeemed from our lives of sin. All that was asked of us in return was that we try to follow his example of selfless sacrifice as best as we could. It's not something that many of us succeed at doing, but we can only try our best to do so.

For me, the whole timeline of the life and death of Jesus is a little farfetched. How on earth is it possible that a man can be welcomed into a major city as a savior on one Sunday, and then, less than a week later, be condemned as a traitor to the ruling government, one to be put to death in less than a day? And how is it that someone who was quietly spreading as many controversial ideas as he did came to the attention of the authorities of the day as quickly as is stated in the scripture? Remember that this happened about 2000 years before the creation of the internet and CNN.

I think it is far more likely that Jesus taught his ideas for weeks, months, or even years before he was put to death. And he was executed for spreading unpopular beliefs among the subjects of the government in power. As have been many others throughout history.

Regardless, I find my belief in Jesus comforting. It does not matter to me whether he was killed 2 days after his last supper or 2 years after it. The mere fact that there was a man willing to sacrifice himself in the hope that he could save others makes me believe that our species is destined to be greater than what we have become. Our history is filled with stories of those who willingly gave their lives to save others.

I hope that never stops happening.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Upstairs Downstairs

When I was a young boy (yes, I was young once), I can remember my mother excitedly tuning in to every weekly episode of the series Upstairs Downstairs that was broadcast on our local PBS station every week.

When the original series aired, I was far too young to really understand what it was all about. I had a vague idea that it was about people that existed in two different worlds: The privileged people who lived the high life "upstairs", and the poor folks who worked "downstairs" to ensure that the lives of the people "upstairs" were not disrupted.

I don't pretend to understand the appeal of this show to my mother, but I can make an educated guess: My mom was never rich by any stretch of the imagination. She grew up in a small rural town, on a working small farm. She was one of the first children in her family to go to college and get a degree. In other words, she worked very hard to exceed all expectations.

She used her degree to become a school teacher; to enrich young lives. It was a career she continued throughout her working life. When she first stopped working to raise me and my sister, she went back to teaching after she first left the profession. It was a career she continued until her cancer forced her to retire.

Perhaps coincidentally, the time she took off from her career was right around the time the first episode of Upstairs Downstairs aired in the U.S. And even if she had to watch it on a tiny Black & White TV (look it up, sparky!) with a fuzzy signal, she had to have appreciated how important it was to see how much the lower class people made sure the upper class depended on them.

Perhaps not. Maybe she was just a fan of well-written, quality television shows (a rarity in this day and age).

At any rate, a sequel to U-D is going to air this Sunday in the U.S. I plan on tuning it to watch it. In honor of my mom, if for no other reason.

God save the Queen!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

An Economics Lesson

These are $15.99 Ohio State steel reusable water bottles (sorry about the poor picture quality):

This is a $3.00 steel reusable water bottle, bought at a local Grocery Store:

This is a sheet of Ohio State vinyl stickers, costing $1.99:

This is now an Ohio State steel reusable water bottle. Total cost: $4.99:

Take that!