08 June 2006

...and Good Luck.

This evening I watched "Good Night, and Good Luck"--for those of you unfamiliar or out of country, this is a film treating the topics of McCarthyism and news ethics in the person of Edward R. Murrow, primarily. I cannot claim any awesome skill as a film critic (and I often marvel at how our nation seems peopled with simply millions upon millions of self-proclaimed media experts), so I shall only say that I very much enjoyed this movie and felt somewhat stirred by it.

Allow me to preface with the fact that I have spent the past several days researching and composing an essay on the pernicious influence of pornography, and the research alone left me quite frustrated (no pun intended). To hear the makers of pornographic media describe their liberty and their pure motivation of pleasing the demands of a hungry public, made me sick and angry together. Callous. Vile. Aberrant. Pitiful. Such are these men and (somehow this seems even more abhorrent) women. So much about this $57 billion per annum industry grieves my soul that I probably have not lines nor heart enough to type it here. I fear for the men and women involved in these videos or photographs, knowing how they abuse their Maker's image in it, and how there shall be accountability for us all. None shall be judged more harshly for this wickedness or that; it is enough to be judged, and that should make a hearty man tremble. I think too of Jesus' words regarding the person who causes a child of God to sin, and I think how right Edwards was--it is indeed a terrible thing.

It is right to attack wickedness with true words and the authority God gives to men who speak truth. So I shall simply say that the film this evening encouraged me of the power in strong words, ideas, and morality. We ought still be an effrontery to wicked men. We ought not shy away from terms such as "good" or "evil," exchanging them for shallow, bland ideas. Speak clearly, demand justice and honor, be bold. And let us prove ourselves good men and women.

03 June 2006

A Poem from the Pool-Side


cigarette stubs twisted, broken
all purpose burned away
lying in a box of sand
on display
eight and twenty
scalded and worn
kissed a dozen times
before being cast aside
every kiss drawing more away
dragging out
the breath of life
one lies dead and half-buried


A note on the poem: Sitting out by the community waters in a chaise lounge, I noticed beside me a small sand-box within which many wasted fags (in the British sense) lay mangled, broken, and abused. I began versing my observations of these victims of addiction (as you see the notes above), then came across the idea of their being kissed to death partway through the verse and concluded with that thought. There is more in this: I realised that as I am now 28 years old, perhaps I had written about myself and not that number of spent cigarettes, perhaps my heart through kisses is now spent, half-buried, both dead and alive...or perhaps this is not truly me, but is someone reading this. God, teach our hearts to love.

Further note: The structure of this poem involved more staggering of the lines (to a purpose), which I tried to accomplish using tabs while typing--but apparently Blogspot didn't like that idea and pushed everything to one side...ah well...

02 June 2006

I Talk of Dreams...

I awoke from some interesting dreams this morning--strange, too, since I had thought with a purpose last night about the fact that the human brain does much of its concrete learning while the person sleeps, taking knowledge gained right before bedtime and converting it into lasting memories while you and I slumber peacefully away (smile). So right before bed I thought on a number of interesting things PBS and the news had discovered for me.

My dreams weren't about any of those subjects, however. Instead, in my dream I was walking about what I knew to be a small Christian middle school where I was considering teaching eighth grade language arts. Apparently, I was playing hooky from wherever I had been assigned to teach with WhyKnow so that I might check out this possible alternate job. I spent some time with students in one classroom, and then, as they all went into a very deep auditorium (almost like a great well), I stepped outside the building debating whether I should take this job, whether I should call WhyKnow, and so on. I remember taking out my cell phone. I also remember thinking how, in visiting the students at this school (although they were very nice, as were the teachers I'd met), I would prefer to stick to my guns with the abstinence program rather than get back into teaching literature. In my dream decision-making, I debated the drop in salary such a move might mean, but also considered the fact that there may be fewer people able and equipped to teach literature than those able to teach the abstinence stuff, and how I might not squander any talents by going back to it...

In all, I awoke with clarity and sobriety. I hadn't received any confirmation about staying with the abstinence program this year, but this seems closer to it than anything else I've had (smile).

P.S. Oh, and in the dream the Lord also reminded me to fill out my mileage reports this afternoon, for the many schools I drove to in the past few months. Will it be too late for reimbursement? Who knows. Only it seemed something God gave me to do, so I shall.