January 1, 2015

At the Deflated Christmas Café...


... just because you're not all puffed up...


... doesn't mean you need to pool up in a blobby mass on the front lawn.


Jason said...

It's not even Epiphany yet!!!

Anonymous said...

In the new year I resolve to not be surprised or fret about the fact that some people are motivated to action for reasons that would not motivate me. Some just want attention and a mention of any kind in history books. Some want drama to swirl around them. Some just want to fight.

Many of these people say things that mimic sound logic and good advice. Their actions show something else.

Some of these people are toddlers, some are agitators, some are celebrities, some are journalists, some are commentators, and some are world leaders. They often find a patron with money to support them. The patrons often share their worldview, or at least enjoy being patrons of someone in the news. Having money and good sense do not always correlate positively.

I plan on saving a lot of time reading the news since every day since it much of it can be summed up in these points:

--Journalists work very hard to make the world sound like an alarming place. Somehow society thinks this is an important skill. I would avoid a personal acquaintance who only saw the gloomy side of every event.

-- Every day someone somewhere hurts or kills someone they know or don't know for a reason that most people see as crazy. Sometimes they are punished, sometimes not.

--The economy is fragile and can crash. It sometimes does.

--Civilized society is fragile and can become uncivilized. It sometimes does.

--Weather changes, sometimes very quickly. Usually the weather is pretty similar to what happens every year at this time. The weather in the north and south of this country are often very different even though it is the same day in both places. That does not seem to be the governing characteristic for weather.

--Strong sports teams usually win, but not always.

--Celebrities often need rehab to learn to act like normal people. It is a surprise to celebrity reporters every time.

--Suicide is surprisingly popular.

Big Mike said...

Somebody in Madison left their hose outdoors in December? I bring mine indoors before we have our first hard freeze.

traditionalguy said...

In the old English customs the 12 Christmas day's ended January 5th.

The Ohio State fans at the playoff game tonight seem surprised that their team is losing. That's what you get from affirmative action promotions.

Meade said...

Yeah, losing 21-20 at the half. Wow, what a catch. And throw.

But I'll bet TCU would've given Oregon a better fight than FSU did.

Meade said...

Heckuva shift in mo'.

Gahrie said...

As long as the SEC is losing, I'm happy.

Gahrie said...

Well, that puts the Wisconsin/OSU game in a slightly better light....

Did the SEC win any bowl games this year?

Gahrie said...

Go Ducks

rhhardin said...

I have a slight preference for Ohio State losing so I don't have to hear about them.

rhhardin said...

I thought OSU was banned from football anyway, for some rule infraction or other.

But they keep turning up.

Big Mike said...

New Years Day was a good day for the Big Ten.

rhhardin said...

Pre-Christmas Santa code violation

Saint Croix said...

I really want to comment on the Episcopalian thread, but it's second page now, so I'll throw it up here, under "Deflated Christmas."

The Episcopal church is my church, and Althouse's former church. And Bishop Spong's church. Since I am in Christian mode I will try to refrain from calling Bishop Spong a jackass. My mom likes Bishop Spong. She's got several of his books. I think Spong might be going to hell, actually, which is another un-Christian thought.

On the Episcopal thread, damikesc says...

...well, Episcopalian. Next best thing to being an atheist.

The Episcopal church produced me, and Ann Althouse, and Bishop Spong. I'm a devout (if often irreverent) Christian, Althouse is a very-respectful non-Christian, and Bishop Spong is a minion of Satan. Theologically speaking, that's a pretty big tent. You might ask how we all get along under such a big tent. Well, we're really polite.

Linda says

Jesus! I'm an Episcopalian, do most people think they are the next best thing to an atheist?

It might not have occurred to Linda that uttering a blasphemy in your first sentence might not be the best starting point for a rousing defense of the Episcopal church. On the other hand, maybe her one word sentence ("Jesus!") was a passionate prayer to the son of God. You might say that Episcopalians are not known for our passionate out loud prayers to the son of God. But we are known for having a lot of lawyers, so don't start an argument with us.

My Bible study is like lawyers-r-us. It's a frickin' legal seminar on how to interpret the word of Christ. I think it's rather brilliant fun.

I don't know how many Episcopalians are lawyers, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was a fairly high percentage. Yes, yes, lawyers have money, are known for arguing, and are thought by many to be on the path to hell. "Woe to you lawyers also!" said Jesus, which you think would be scary stuff. If you really want to have fun, go to an Episcopalian Bible study while we discuss Jesus' thoughts on lawyers, or rich people. That's a rockin' Sunday morning right there.

The great Unknown says...

the Episcopalian Church is a far-left arm of the Democrats.

That would be an absurd thing to say in North Carolina! My church is fiscally conservative and socially liberal, or pretty much the opposite of the Catholic church. A political analysis of the Episcopal church is boring and useless, I think. My church is resolutely non-political. Whenever I bring up abortion, I always keep it theological. "We are babies before God!"

Anyway, I see my church, the Episcopal church, as a sanctuary, as a peaceful place where the focus is on love, as opposed to righteousness. People might not get that about the Episcopal church, because it's very formal. That's the thing that jumps out at you, all the kneeling and standing and sitting and kneeling and standing and sitting. It is not true that our sermons are theologically empty and we just show up for the exercise! We are very rigorous and formalist. We eat the bread and drink the wine, too.

My church, Christ Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, has a sanctuary where people still wear suits. And we have a relaxed service in the all-Saints hall with a rock band that does U2 covers. And we have a hell-raising Bible study. And, so far, anyway, we have not invited Bishop Spong to speak, which is a good thing because so help me Lord I want to punch him in the eye.

Lem said...

A doctor says Cancer is the way to go.

MadisonMan said...

Somebody in Madison left their hose outdoors in December?

My exact reaction also!


Old RPM Daddy said...

Yesterday, my youngest daughter packed away the ornaments, and I disassembled the tree. That's the way it works at our house; the tree goes up on Thanksgiving Day, and goes down New Year's Day. Fortunately, there weren't any outdoor ornaments to deflate.

Laslo Spatula said...

Looks like a crime scene. They tried to get away but weren't fast enough.

Helter Skelter in 2015, people.

I am Laslo.

Ann Althouse said...

"The Episcopal church produced me, and Ann Althouse, and Bishop Spong. I'm a devout (if often irreverent) Christian, Althouse is a very-respectful non-Christian, and Bishop Spong is a minion of Satan."

I don't think "produced" is the right verb for me.

My mother came from a very strong Methodist tradition -- with ministers in the line (and going back to the Puritans, including Cotton Mather).

My father's parents line was Pennsylvania Dutch and Moravian, and when they came to Delaware, for reasons I don't know, they attended Presbyterian church. As a child, I attended Presbyterian church and was very influenced and inspired by it.

My father switched us to an Episcopal church when he was befriended by the vicar of a new church that was opening a couple blocks from our house. I never found the Episcopal church to have the spiritual quality that I knew in the Presbyterian church, but the aesthetics of the service were excellent, and I was confirmed in the Episcopal church, so I continued to attend Episcopal churches as I lived in other places. Invariably, they lacked the spiritual dimension that I had found as a child at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Once as an adult, I attended a Presbyterian church. I forget where. It was immediately apparent to me that it had the quality that I remembered experiencing as a child. I held that against the Episcopal church.

Also, when I actually sought personal support from the Episcopal church I attended, I had a minister who made an appointment and then didn't show up and who did not return a phone call.

So... the Episcopal church played a part in my experience with religion, but I don't consider myself a "product" of it.

MadisonMan said...

I was brought up Episcopalian. Dad was an Episcopalian because his parents -- not church-goers themselves -- encouraged him to go to Church and the Episcopal Church was closest to their house.

Then they moved, so when his younger sisters faced the same choice, they went Presbyterian because that church was now closer. But Dad stayed with the Episcopal Church.

Midwesterners are very practical.

Mom's parents were also Episcopalian, and that Church was closest to Mom's childhood home too.

Scott said...

I'm an Episcopalian and I think it's a weird church. They say that Episcopal theology is a three-legged stool of Scripture, reason, and tradition. But the reason and tradition legs are constantly arguing about which leg should be longer.

Episcopal churches I've attended have run the gamut from smells-and-bells traditionalists to Black nationalists to Native Americans with the Pipe on the altar to babbling arm-flapping fundies. The church I belong to in New Jersey has been in continuous operation since 1769, when it was given a royal charter from the British government. Now, it's struggling to survive; and we can't hire a full-time rector.

The Episcopal church as a whole is dying, and the debate is whether it's because we're not traditional enough or because it's too pliant to the latest religious fads. In my view, if churches were more like A.A. meetings, they could make a better case for being relevant in a family's life.

Drew W said...

Those inflatable Christmas decorations (from Santa and his reindeer all the way to Christmas Snoopy in a biplane), better stay inflated, otherwise they just look like giant, discarded Christmas condoms.

kjbe said...

I was also confirmed Episcpalian (baptized at 11 yo). Mom was Catholic, having attended parochial schools through middle school. Dad was Presbyterian.

I never found the Episcpal church to be spiritually enlightening, but like you, found the aesthetics to my liking. Today, I'm a member of a nearby UCC church, which, when I found at a time of deep personal pain, was very supportive.

In my view, if churches were more like A.A. meetings, they could make a better case for being relevant in a family's life.

Scott, I absolutely agree.

Scott said...

Hi Mrs. E!

How could an Episcopal Holy Eucharist be more like an A.A. meeting?

1. Sit in a circle. (Not all A.A. meetings do this, but I like the ones that do.) The Rector leads the service, but s/he dresses more like the parishoners do. Readings are distributed among the congregation. The Rector reads the Gospel and performs other duties required by tradition.

2. The Rector provides a sermon that follows the Lectionary (see here); after which members of the congregation can share their own insights. This kind of sharing could give a Rector a deeper knowledge of the congregation's needs and concerns.

tim in vermont said...

The actress who played Ellie Mae on the Beverly Hillbillies just died. I wish I hadn't looked a the picture of her old trying to look young. Seems to me when somebody dies, they should take the best pictures from that person's whole life.

tim in vermont said...

Cotton Mather!

The new Puritans are the global warming types, "Sinners in the Hands of and Angry Gaia!"