Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jason Live Blogs the 2008 Democratic Natl. Convention

Thoughts on Chris Mathews:

I'm just wondering who made the decision to allow Chris Mathews to drink copiously before going on the air. Please do not misunderstand, I am not disagreeing with this decision, but you've got to admit that it's risky. I think it will pay off in the end, so I think the producer need not shy away from the limelight—your ratings shall rise and so will your standing in the MSNBC newsroom.

Mathews is making bizarre non-sequitar, incoherent jokes to no one in particular—Keith Olberman is sitting beside him, but it's not clear that Mathews is interacting with him. He's giggling like a school boy and the act is very charming, very bilious. We all know the idea of television-news is an oxymoron and a logical impossibility; I think that MSNBC is simply running that out to its inevitable existential conclusion.

Dick Morris, Intellectual SuperTitan:

Dick Morris is running his gums over there on the venerable Fox network, and he's saying that Hilary Clinton really wants Barack Obama to lose this November (which may or may not be true). She wants him to lose so she can run in 2012 against McCain. She wants him to lose so bad, in fact, that in her speech she is going to urge her party to unite, and all rally around Obama in a show of unmitigated solidarity. But why in the world would she do that, Dick (please don't take that offensively, sir), if she wants Obama to lose? It's simple, he says: She wants to do so well, and support Obama so much that she makes Joe Biden look bad. And after her speech tonight the Democrats will slap their collective forehead and say, "What was Obama thinking, clearly he should have picked her for VP." And then naturally, of course, his campaign will got down in flames, probably by the end of the week. That's a beautiful peice of self-evident logic. It's right up there with such time honored ideas as "Two wrongs make a right," "If we want peace we should get rid of all our weapons," and "Wisdom is overrated." Absolutely, Dick. The way to ensure a run for herself in 2012 is to do everything she can to make sure Obama gets elected in November. Clearly anyone who doesn't recognize that does not deserve to live.

On Signs and Placards:

One Obama sign reads: "Barack Obama: For a Strong Middle Class." Well thank you. I want to apologize, I didn't realize that it was important to emphasize the slightly specific and painfully obvious on 12X24 placards. I think in that case Mccain needs to get cracking on his ObvioPlacs, and I have a few suggestions: "McCain: For Freedom for Americans" "McCain: For Food in Everyone's Refrigerators," "McCain: For Decent Cars if People Can Afford them."

My LOL Moment:

The Democrats put together an inspirational videography of Hillary Clinton. So far so good. They took little bits of interviews in which people have talked about her, which is you know, cool. And then they played a snippet of an interview with Bill Clinton, and the words that went on the screen to indicate who he was: "Hillary's Husband." Are you kidding? If this is what feminism is, the need to introduce the former leader of the free world as "Hillary's Husband," then you will unfortunately have to count me out. But it is unfortunate; I had a lot to give.

We Dodged a Bullet:

Would we really want someone who has their finger on the button who had the judgment to choose a bright orange pants suit for the biggest speech of her career? Exactly. Yes, it could have been worse, it could have been banana yellow, but good God, what a mistake.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Writers Block: or, What Would Ricky Roma do?

(By the way, this stupid website won't let me link things in the title, so here is your link to find out all about Ricky Roma.)

Well, I'm blocked. I find myself here frequently (invariably), it's just that I really notice it when there is actually something that I have to accomplish. I always finish the things that I have to, but it's as if my mind won't allow me anymore time than I need to get the job done. When things are like that then there isn't much I can do, except maybe to try and jog myself. So I went spelunking over my 200 plus pages of random meanderings that have accumulated over the past six years, and I thought I'd share some highlights. Current commentary, if any, follows in italics:

"When I said I Loved You I meant It Hypothetically,
And Other Short Musings By Jason Dean"

"Title: Inordinately Mexican"

"The DesLongchamp, an award: develop a description, prizes, and give them away every year."

"…and that will be available in ten days or two weeks, whichever comes first."

"Your new thing is to always say “and a half” at the end of your age. It’s funny."

"I want to unzip my chest with a knife
and let the words of my heart bleed onto the page.
I cant get them from my heart to my head,
so I’ll place a direct line." Could you be any more dramatic and feebly angst ridden? It's still kind of a cool image though, I guess.

"The other day I had to laugh out loud when I thought of how silly it is that Clark Kent just has to put on glasses and a suit and act like a loser and no one knows that he is Superman."

"Mad at the government because of my dad. Explore that."

"Why do I find it funny to be an asshole? These are the hard questions that I need to ask myself."

"I wonder what the most petty reason for suicide has ever been? I’ll have to ask God when I get there."

"For some reason at some point this phrase occurred to me, monkey bliss."

"I pretended to be a gimp to see if people would give me money. That seems like such the typical American reaction: throw money at an unfixable problem."

"Write a letter someday that is almost all a p.s."

"What about hot and cold water in the same pipe? It would completely revolutionize plumbing and halve their actual job."

"Enshrine your ignorance, defend it. People want to be poets, and appear deep, and that’s pathetic."

"Essay of pretentious mini-essays:
I called Kinko’s to ask if they could make a copy of myself..."

"You know what I’m sick of hearing? “In this day and age...” This has to be the most frequently accessed phrase by the public at large and has therefore been rendered meaningless. Behold, we sit on the ground floor of an empire of language, and instead of traversing the floors in an ever increasing abundance of articulation, we are content to feast on garbage and dross."

"You think that’s funny? I’ve read funnier lines on headstones."

"Having a talk show means never having to say you’re sorry."

"When you finally publish your book, note that it is a pre-posthumous release."

All of that and still a little blocked. I think it's a little better, though. I mean, it's not like the bar is too high or anything.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

And Now, A Serious Blog

I have decided to allow myself to be serious, from time to sparing time, here at We Need The Eggs. I hope you'll forgive me. But I wanted to bounce some theological ideas off you, some stuff that I've been kicking around lately.

I've been meticulously examining my beliefs about violence, both committing certain acts of violence as a Christian, as well as wars being waged by secular governments. I have always essentially been for these things, at least in the right set of circumstances. But I was listening to a preacher, Greg Boyd, and he has some ideas that are very different than mine. He says that he could never be in the military, because he couldn't take orders that he personally disagreed with from a superior, but he doesn't specifically condemn all war (to my knowledge). He says that if a Christian police officer were called on to take a criminal's life, he shouldn't think that he did a "good" thing that glorified God. I am incredibly uncomfortable with that; it runs entirely contrary to the Christian lens that I view the world through, and it smacks of a peculiar dualism: Can there by morally neutral acts of large consequence? Can you take a man's life without glorifying God nor sinning? Did that action simply float off into limbo, and God just won't bring it up when you stand before Him to receive your judgment? But if I'm honest, I have to consider the fact that I could be wrong. First of all, he's got quite a few years on me, he's a pastor, and he's got a damn P.H.D. God save me from being a stereotype, the 20-something who's got it all figured out. He would say that Jesus called us to love our enemies, so to him that means no killin'. I think I can love Hitler in that agape way that Jesus called us to, but I also love the Jew, the retard and the gay that Hitler wanted to eradicate, so what of that? Some people speak of Dietrich Bonhoeffer as if he was in some quasi-sinful and at the very least shaky territory because his Christian organization was actively working to plant a bomb in Hitler's pillow—I see no contradiction in terms, that is faith in action. And I know that is horrifying to some Christians, and I am horrified by the very real possibility that God could be shaking his proverbial head at these sorely misguided words.

And I am equally mystified because I am filled with feelings of such righteous joy and satisfaction when I hear of one of the world's worst terrorists getting blown to many, many indistinguishable pieces. My joy is even multiplied by the fact that while he was sipping fruit juice at a Muslim mixer in Syria, an Israeli secret service agent was replacing the headrest in his SUV with one loaded with explosives. I read that, am filled with joy and want to rise up and praise Jesus for justice, but am I only heaping judgment on my head? This guy was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent people. But he was assassinated (murdered?) in violation of God knows how many international laws; he was never given a trial or presented with any evidence with which to defend himself against. it would be very easy for me to condemn that and say that it's wrong, but, even knowing laws were broken, I don't feel that it was the wrong thing to do. I'm trying to deal with the world as it is, and I refuse to frown upon violence because world peace is the ultimate good. I don't disagree with that, world peace would be the ultimate good (in a fallen world), it is also an ultimate impossibility. So is it somehow noble to herald and pray for idealistic and logical impossibilities? Who does that help? Yes I know that Jesus said turn the other cheek—does that equally apply to nations that Christians have chosen to be headed by a secular institutional government? Does it apply equally to American and Israeli secret service agents in service to their kingdom on earth?

There is one other one that's been bugging me. In the 1300's the black plague visited its horrors upon Europe. The infection moved quickly, and often when it was discovered the non-infected family members would flee the home and leave the infected ones to die on their own. And often times it was only members of clergy who would stay to tend to the dying, knowing they were sacrificing themselves to show Christ's love to strangers. Christians reflect on that with pride. I can't stop myself from being baffled. The people were going to die, why choose suicide? I know that we're called to sacrifice, sometimes even to the point of death, but within certain parameters, right? Should we follow suicides off of their cliffs so we can identify with them on the way down? If there is one person in a home with an airborne illness that will die within a day, should a faithful Christian enter the home so the victim has a hand to hold and is able to die with some measure of dignity? I know that's not rosy and inspiring, but how much should we let cold hard reality play into the commandments of God?

Part of the problem is that I am an unmitigated pragmatist. I constantly run hypotheticals through my mind. In one of them, for whatever reason, I'm in a locked elevator with one other person. There is a man with a gun on the other side of the door who is going to kill one of us, but we get to choose which one. Now, it is Christianity 101 to say that I should lay down my life for the other person. That is a no-brainer. But where my mind always goes, what I constantly envision, is that we both sit there, cross-legged, and have a calm, rational discussion in which we both discourse in disinterested fashion on which one of us will contribute more to society.

I probably need to dispense with some of that pragmatism. Jesus was not a realistic or very rational person. He said if you wanted to gain your life then you had to give it up. He said that if someone was stealing your shirt you should give him your jacket as well. He said we should count others' needs more highly than we count our own. He said there wasn't anything much better that we can do than lay our life down for our friends. These things are not reasonable; that was exactly his point.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Looking Out For The Little Guy

The Pienman Newswire Presents:
A Look At Oddities in America

The is the first in an interminable series that will take a look at some of the more strange phenomenons that the United States has offered the world. This week’s subject is the term “Little People.”

Just how did we end up with this awful and awkward term? The picture is fuzzy, and the details are sordid, but The Pienman Newswire has, over the years, began to piece together the story of what happened.

The Midgets Association of America got together for their annual meeting sometime in the early 90's. As Midgets tend to be depressed people, so it was that the board of directors were drunk for the duration of the conference. Unfortunately, Little People drunken board meetings are no different than big people drunken board meetings. A number of ridiculous proclamations were made ("Midgets are superior because they are closer to the earth" was passed 9-4), empty promises were issued, and a lot of self-loathing short jokes were told as the weekend pressed on. At one point the president of the association swaggered forth in drunken confidence and suggested that they rename themselves Little People. The room ripped up in laughter, and a joke-vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously and all the midgets went to bed. But the one sober midget, Fergatroid, went down to the concierge and had him fax a copy of the minutes to all major media outlets, and even registered the new term with the United States trademark office.

The reaction from Mainstream America was understandable. Of course they thought the term was repugnant, but they didn’t want to question the newly dubbed Little People. They felt midgets were already marginalized enough, so they took them seriously. So by the time the president of the midgets woke up on Sunday morning the New York Times was trumpeting on their front page the new name designation.

Of course the midgets weren't happy, but they had so much pride that they couldn’t bring themselves to take it back. The perception is that they're short, not retarded, and the idea of having to admit to taking a joke-vote and actually recording it in their official minutes was too much to answer for. That is why every time you greet a dwarf or midget as a "Little Person," they get that bitter-sweet grimace on their face. They are happy that they have the ability to change the American lexicon, they just wish they wouldn't have wasted it in a haze of drunken tomfoolery.