Monday, October 09, 2006


Today was another great bonus golf day. When it gets to be October, the weather can get rather chilly and wet. But today it was warm and sunny, not a cloud to be seen. I had my best round of the year today, an 88. On the back nine, we were about to tee off on 13, when we heard a commotion on the 12th green. One of our lady members had just made a hole-in-one. So we had a free drink to look forward to when we reached the clubhouse. Although it was a Monday, it was also the Columbus day holiday, so the bar was open. Unfortunately the Long Trail keg was empty, sad to say, so we had to make do with Corona.

One of the foursome again today was Fr. Tony. I told you about him in this previous post. After a couple of beers, I'm afraid my tongue got a little loose and I "outed" myself as a political blogger. Something about Tony makes you want to confess, I guess. Hope he's still speaking to me after reading my rants....

Friday, October 06, 2006

Local maxima and minima in religion's decline

Over at EvolutionBlog, Jason posted this interesting entry today, in response to a piece in the NY Times about teenagers leaving evangelical churches in supposedly large numbers (we can only hope!).

I left the following comment.
I think that in general, in the long view, it's abundantly clear that civilization is becoming less religious. If we look back 100 years, 500 years, we see that the prevailing wisdom always tends toward fact over superstition.

However, along this long historical decline there have been local maxima and minima. Certain religious movements gain favor and adherents for (relatively) short periods of time. I think the current swell of Christian fundies and evangelicals is basically a reaction to the experimental excesses of the Sixties, which, and I speak from experience here, were a reaction to the stifling conformity of the Fifties. It is also, I think, a long-wave backlash to the civil rights movement. Lyndon Johnson, upon securing the passage of the Civil Right Act, told the then young Hubert Humphrey something to the effect of, "Son, I believe I have just given the South to the Republicans for my lifetime, and perhaps yours." How true. I think the rise of Muslim fundamentalism is similar in nature. In many ways I think it reflects a panic that American culture is inundating and submerging traditional Middle Eastern (not necessarily Muslim) culture.

So I suppose I'm saying, "don't worry, it won't rain forever". However, when the river's at your doorstep, it's hard not be worried.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What flaming hypocrites...

Let's all raise a glass to Rep. Mark Foley for showing the nation what flaming hypocrites the Republicans and the right-wingers are. They rail against gay and lesbian people and at the same time are soliciting same-sex teen-age pages.

Damn y'all, could it GET any more obvious? It's hypocrisy at its finest.

If this isn't enough to get the bastards thrown out, I don't know what is.

I can't wait to see how they try to turn this around...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Vlogging and blogging vs. Old Media

Check out this entry on AmandaAcrossAmerica. Ed Cone is interviewed about the effect of blogging at a local level. Excellent piece, Amanda!

Ed’s comments on local blogging bring home the major difference that I see with blogging vs. Old Media.

“This time it’s personal!”

Individuals talking to individuals is how opinions get changed, action gets started and movements get created. It’s the personal connection aspect of blogs and particularly vlogs that make them so powerful.

The other really significant aspect of blogging and vlogging is exactly what OldMedia castigates it for. It’s NOT objective. Personal media require the reader or viewer to engage their brain and critical capabilities to decide, “Does this person know what they’re talking about?” “Are they persuasive, do their words have the ring of truth, or are they just blowing smoke?”

Gee, vlogs make people think. What a concept!