Monday, February 22, 2010

After the Weekend Update

Random news: My cholesterol dropped 70 points, from 272 to 197. Not bad for 23 days of taking the Pravastatin. (I also take 4 garlic tablets, 2 fish oil and 2 flaxseed oil tablets a day and drastically cut meat in my diet, and walked faithfully even when it was 22 degrees outside!).

It is 30 degrees warmer tonight than it was a week ago. That's the weather around here for you.

An interviewee on NPR yesterday (Alford, I think) had done research on aging and wisdom. He studied much older people and what they had learned. He gave five characteristics of wisdom rather than a definition (a method I always prefer; definitions are usually just more words).
reciprocity (do unto others . . .)
discretion (knowing when not to do, not to act)
doubt (not about religious belief, but an absence of certainty about life, an understanding that things don't go as one expects and won't)
detachment (from physical things and from one's plans--man proposes, God disposes)
social consciousness - it's about the bigger picture

I thought that was interesting; most of his subjects were nonbelievers but some were. Some of this resembles biblical wisdom but some seems more world-weariness, which has the scent of God's wisdom but is not the real thing. God's wisdom begins with getting one's position in the universe right (it's called "fearing God"). Detachment is involved, as are discretion, reciprocity, and social consciousness--but those come along only after the "place in the universe" part is straightened out.

I am taking a course at church called "Transforming Discipleship" which is about how to disciple people on a triad, intense, intentional basis. It is challenging, and something I have an interest in but don't know if any one else would. I am convinced we are all way, way too busy for unnecessary reasons.

I spent two days with academics at the conference. It was a good conference and I already used some of the ideas today. Some academics--you just want to slap 'em. The worst are the feminists. In a pretty decent presentation on media realism (the point of which was that the Today Show just trumped up a story from nothing and brought in their "experts" to confirm that this nothing was something), a well-educated, white, middle-class, young woman, about thirty, started up with how we women are oppressed, and that we participate in our own oppression. Oh, please. I sat next to her at dinner and complimented her program, but I knew if I tried to gently challenge her on this oppression nonsense she would think I was from another planet.

Feminists, listen up: if you want to see oppressed women, go to Thailand and see the brothels with ten-year-olds. Go to Congo and see the multiply-raped women hanging on to existence. Go to Haiti and see a woman trying to deal with five kids in a tent on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Lay off the pretentious drivel about women being oppressed unless you are going to do something about the really oppressed women on the planet, those who are oppressed by lies and sin and war and hunger. I AM NOT OPPRESSED (and I'm not in denial, either).

However, I do believe women sabotage themselves; i.e., they knowingly do really stupid stuff and then whine about it.

My resolution to stay away from Fox News is paying off. I have more time and my attitude is better already. I keep in mind, though, that it is a preparation for the celebration of the cross and resurrection more than anything else. Just giving something up without a goal or replacement is a pretty vague strategy.

I like film noir. I especially like Sunset Boulevard. I know, I know. Nothing particularly noble in it; it's just great filmmaking, and I can appreciate any great art even if I don't like it. I appreciate Faulkner even though I don't much read him. Anyway, Sunset Boulevard cracks me up while it gives me the chills at the same time. That's pretty good.

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