Sunday, April 25, 2010

Me and ZZ



Last Friday night, I attended a ZZTop concert. I offer up the same excuse as did Adam--it was my wife's idea. There are few people less likely to attend a rock concert than myself. I have not been to one since...well, actually I have never been to one. I guess I am just not much of a music person. And while several of their songs are clever, I was never interested enough to actually buy any of their music. In short, this is nothing that I would have ever, ever done on my own initiative. I would have been just fine, sitting at home with a good book.

My wife is much more of a music person than I am, and was enthused about seeing ZZTop's performance. The venue was a local auditorium known as "The Oil Palace" (how Texan is that?) Her enthusiasm aside, my wife is not exactly rock concert material, either. I suspect that she was the only woman there in pearls, wearing Merle Norman cosmetics. Also, as she is a absolute teetotaller, I was the one who was more in sync with the, ahem, festive nature of the crowd (and yes, you do meet the friendliest people in a beer line.) We both enjoyed ourselves--as much from people-watching, as from the music. And it's kind of like the opera--after you've done it once, you don't ever have to do it again.

A good friend of mine likes to lament the downward trajectory of our nation ever since LBJ, Vietnam and the 60s. I suspect this crowd would supply ample ammunition for his premise. But I thoroughly enjoyed this crowd--friendly, fun-loving and gregarious. There are worse things.

I do not like to be in a crush of people, so we waited until most had left the auditorium before we started to leave. The clean-up crew was already at work, sweeping the aisles clean of the hundreds of beer bottles laying about. They had their work cut out for them, as everything had to be spic-and-span for the next day's event. Our local tea-partiers--Grassroots America--We the People (GAWTP for short, and yes, they use that acronym themselves.) had a big rally planned at 4:30 Saturday. Then at 6, Governor Rick, local Rep. Leo "Birther" Berman, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert were expected to fire up the crowd in anticipation of the headliner, none other than Glenn Beck himself.

I would venture to guess that there was virtually zero overlap between the Friday night partiers and the Saturday night patriots. The GAWTPers were a well-scrubbed bunch decked out in red, white, and blue, fervently worshipping the Trinity of Freedom, Faith and Free-Enterprise, rared-up and ready to "take their country back." The coverage in the Sunday morning paper did not disappoint. Rep. Berman told the crowd that "Obama was God's punishment" on America. Glenn Beck challenged these latter-day Patriots to ask themselves some searching questions, such as : "Do you believe this is God's land?" and "Do you believe our Constitution was divinely inspired?" He reminded the 4,500 in attendance that "the American flag is a symbol of God's Freedom." In my little corner of the world, it is craziness such as this that passes for conventional wisdom.

I am afraid that as a nation, we are beyond saving. And as a culture...well, I think we are pretty much screwed, as well. But as John Lukacs has noted, living at the end of an age is not such a bad thing, if you are aware of it: So living during the decline of the West--and being much aware of it--is not at all that hopeless and terrible. If I have to go down with the ship, I think I will cast my lot with those Friday night rockers, rather than the Saturday night patriots.


64 comments:

Ranger said...

I like the line "latter-day patriots" I always get a kick out of one of the commercials often aired promoting the Glenn Beck radio program, where he bemoans the "scripture- twisting" of Rev. Wright.
I just wish we had term limits and am glad I can change my radio dial

Discourse said...

I never thought about this time being the end of an age.

Being one who loves history, you'd think I would have recognized the signs. Thanks for the lovely hours of thoughtful contemplation sure to follow.

John said...

According to Lukacs, we are already past the end of the age ("At the End of an Age," 2002.)

s-p said...

ZZ Top is one of my favorite acts. They're an icon of American culture IMO and everyone should see them once even if you don't like rock and roll. I'll hang with Billy Gibbons' crowd too, thank you.

Steve Hayes said...

I only recently heard of Glenn Beck. He sounds a bit like our Julius Malema.

jmgregory said...

Perhaps I'm simply young and naïve and prone to over-react, but your quotes from the Tea Party thing make me feel like we're heading into 1930's Germany. When Beck runs for president, it's time to head for the hills.

It's amazing how many old friends I see on sites like Facebook who are otherwise kind, Christian folks calling for violence and death upon Obama. How do we not see what's happening? I can try to have civil conversations with people and gently point out the inconsistencies there, but I'm rather pessimistic about turning the tide against the FOX News juggernaut.

Perhaps you could point me to some of Lukacs work on how living at the end of an age is not such a bad thing...

Apophatically Speaking said...

I would suppose the answer would hinge upon how exactly one defines a nation, but truly, can a nation even be saved??

I find the whole notion so loaded, so contrived and worn out, at least in the current political/religious milieu.

I once heard Fr. Seraphim Rose took his young entourage to see ZZ Top in order to, "feed the middle part of the soul." Or was that Shakespeare?

John said...

JM,
I see the same thing here. Anything Lukacs writes is worth a read, but start with the volume I referenced.

Apo,
That was sloppy wording on my part. I guess I was addressing, and dismissing, our popular self-image as Americans--our supposed "exceptionalism."

Fr. Seraphim Rose at a ZZTop concert. Really? That is interesting. I actually enjoyed the concert quite a bit.

Milton T. Burton said...

Obama is God's punishment on America? Strange. We elect a prudent, calm, and COMPETENT man after eight years of slogans, cheers, and frat-rat imbecilities and we are being punished for it?

Leo Berman is an idiot.

Samn! said...

What proportion of Glen Beck's audience do you reckon pick up on the Mormonism underlying his rhetoric? It's scary to think just how many non-Mormons probably also believe that this is "God's land" and that the Constitution was divinely inspired..............

Anonymous said...
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John said...

Samn,
As far as I can determine around here, his comments raised no eyebrows among his faithful. From my experience, few people think through the ramifications of sayings such as this. His sentiments mirror the accepted conventional wisdom of this region, where Southern Baptist thought predominates. Most would be shocked to learn that he is articulating the Mormon line.

Apophatically Speaking said...

John/Samn!,

How in particular does the Mormon perspective differ from the conservative Protestant? It is mostly a political take on things, not specifically theological, no?

Samn! said...

At least as I understand it, Mormons believe that the American continent is the promised land in some sense, and they really try to sacralize American geography- the Garden of Eden is in Missouri, for example. Likewise, it's a very widespread Mormon theologoumenon that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were divinely inspired. What Mormonism lacks in a coherent doctrine of God, it really does make up for in a robust political theology........

Apophatically Speaking said...

Samn!,

Practically speaking I do not think the differences are substantial; they are convenient bedfellows in this regard. Both Manifest Destiny and American Exceptionalism predate the advent of Mormonism. It runs deep in the Protestant right. Hence the silence.

America is God's land....so is Belgium, North Korea, Kenya and every other country in the world.....

John said...

Apo,
The way I see the difference is that with the Protestant Right there is a vague, underlying presupposition that often goes no further than this: America is rich, powerful and prosperous; consequently, we are obviously "blessed" by God. To many, this is just a given, something that is manifestly true. I think all of us here agree that this is bunk, and certainly the root source of our foreign debacles. With the Mormons, it is as Samn! says, a much more articulated political theology. But for right now, they are, as you say, convenient bedfellows.

What I say about this "God's land" business is yes, but in the same sense that Ecuador, Estonia and Ethiopia are.

The Ochlophobist said...

As I recall there have been Mormon prophets/elders who have been given a "testimony" in which it was stated (I don't think any "testimony" directly had to do with it, but that the matter came up as a side issue within "testimonies" dealing with other matters) that the U.S. founding documents were divinely inspired both in a manner that many Christians believe that the existence of the Roman empire at the time of Christ was divinely appointed at the most felicitous time for the coming of our Lord, and also in the sense that they reflect God's intention for human political order. These texts were inspired by God to serve as texts which would protect the emergence of the Latter Day Saints, etc., as the story goes. They do not think that the texts are scriptural, per se, simply that God divinely inspired them in order to serve the Mormon church, and that the political order revealed in those texts in the order that God has revealed, through the confirmation of the testimony of the latter day prophets/elders, to be the way God wants human affairs run. We have to remember that for Mormons there is a hell of a lot of revelation out there. All sorts of "testimonies" and "witnesses" and what have you are taken as a direct revelation from God.

Apophatically Speaking said...

I don't see this much different than the "westward motion of the blessing of God" held by prots, i.e. the alleged movement of God's favor towards the west as time progressed. It stopped on our continent of course.

It may not be a formal revelation as such, but it is held as gospel nonetheless.

Milton T. Burton said...

There are many Protestants who realize that our prosperity is the result of a relatively unpopulated continent abounding in natural resources that was settled, developed, and exploited by a people who inherited the habit of freedom of mind from their British ancestors. I know because I am one of them. There is no reason to drag God into the equation other than to note that he either decrees or allows whatever comes to pass. We get in trouble when we begin to think that God has so blessed us because we somehow have earned his favorable attentions.

tagskie said...

Nice blog you got here... Just droppin' by to say hi! http://www.arts-and-entertainment.info

Apophatically Speaking said...

Milton,

That's right, there's no reason to, for sure. But millions sadly do and trouble we beget.

You refer to God's decree and allowing of whatever comes to pass - Orthodox Christians do not hold to such a view of things. Quite dangerous ground in fact.

But that's for another post and another place, I suppose.

Ranger said...

"Manifest Destiny got the Best of Me"
I would tend to bet that most of the exceptionalism, manifest destiny, etc. has always had its source in politics, and not from a protestant theological view. No doubt they are entertwined, but manifest destiny, 54'40' or fight, etc. are originally political slogans.
Certainly people did not see the suffering of the native tribes in America, like we can see suffering today, but seriously, any use of protestant theology to support their mass displacement did not have a "christian" source, but a political. If it has a theological source, it would be in the deism/free-masonry prevelant among the founding fathers and many of our presidents. The idea of God as a clockmaker has a lot more to do with social darwinism, and very little to do with the bible.
I think it is just unfortunate, that Christians in America have bought the slogans of a very unchristian theology.

The Ochlophobist said...

Apo,

I don't know.

When one reads religious leaders at the time of the American Revolution and during times of early American expansionism, one could easily find many quotes in which the religious leader states unequivocally that the American ordo is divinely appointed and that this is God's promised land for true believers, etc.

That said, I come from a long, long line of nonconformist low/freechurchmen, and I can say that at the heart of the nonconformist - low church American tradition the approach to America is utilitarian. Yes, at the big Southern Baptist church here in Memphis there are American flags everywhere, and, literally, their biggest feast day is the fourth of July, which they celebrate in the most disgustingly nationalist manner possible. But Southern Baptists have long since given up on any real relationship to the traditional freechurch tradition. The freechurches I knew as a kid, particularly those that came out of Welsh chapel traditions, would never have a national flag in the sanctuary or on the property. They preached thankfulness for what we had in America, but there was a general distrust of power. In the freechurches around why my friends live in the MO ozarks, there is widespread distrust of the U.S. government, and a sort of demythologizing going on, from the accounts I here there is more and more an emphasis on the Christian not having any substantial allegiances to the state.

You have to keep in mind that in the freechurch and anabaptist traditions, the Church is to has nothing to do with the state, and it is nearly always either stated outright or inferred that the nature of the Church is, on some level, at fundamental odds with the nature of the state. So any time a state says, constitutionally or otherwise, that the state has no business trying to coerce the Church, freechurchmen are going to assert that this is in keeping with divine law, because their own theology asserts that Church and state must be entirely separated.

The Ochlophobist said...

- cont'd -

In a sense this is like the Mormons. But for those freechurchmen who are still freechurcmen, the place and time of America is not in any way soteriologically significant in the manner it is for Mormons. Mormon believe that the garden of eden was in MO, they believe that Christ will return to both Israel and Independence, MO, which they consider to be Zion. The angel revealed the fullness of the faith to the prophet Joseph in NY, and their most sacred sites are in America. It is not just manifest destiny going on here. In many respects one can find plenty of examples in both Byzantium and Tsarist Russia of a spirit akin to American manifest destiny - indeed there are still Orthodox monks on Athos who believe that an Orthodox empire needs to be restored on earth to fight the antichrist before Christ comes, and plenty of Orthodox through the ages have believed that it was God's will for whatever Orthodox empire they were in to expand and prosper. What the Mormons have seems to be closer to hardcore Russophilia, where you have a people who believe that their nation will be the salvific medium through which the whole world will be saved.

I grant you, there was a period of about 40 years when in the post WWII Evangelical missions movement you heard people say that American Evangelical Christianity would be the vehicle through which the whole world heard about Christ, which would facilitate the second coming, but virtually no one in American Evangelical missions circles believes that today (South Korea sends out more missionaries than the U.S. now) and even when that was at its height there was still a sense that this was providential, but that the particular country was rather inconsequential, just like the particular person involved in missions is inconsequential, what matters is that God will do what he will do with whomever he will do it with. That is different from hardcore Russophilia or the Mormon conception of the soteriological significance of America.

Also, the notion that God either "decrees or allows whatever comes to pass" which Milton mentions above is a perfectly Orthodox notion, taken at face value. The differences arise when we consider what we mean by "allow" with regard to God's intent, etc. When an infant is kidnapped and sold as a sex slave, the Orthodox understanding of God's "allowing" that to happen would be articulated differently than most, but not all, Protestant understandings.

The Ochlophobist said...

Forgive the errors above, there is a 'why' which should be a 'where' and a 'here' which should be a 'hear' etc.

Busy morning.

Apophatically Speaking said...

I never made the case that all prots hold to this view. I maintain that a very large, substantial portion of them do, however. I spent 25 years of my adult life on the prot right, in various traditions.

As to God "decrees or allows whatever comes to pass": the original comment was made in context of this subject matter which, especially at face value, it most definitely would need to be qualified. Indeed we would articulate it differently, because it is understood differently.

I suppose I could make this into a post on my blog so as not to hijack John's space here.

Milton T. Burton said...

Either God allows whatever comes to pass, or it happens contrary to his ability to control events. This is an either-or proposition. Has nothing to do with either Orthodoxy or Protestantism; it is merely physics and logic.

An event is about to happen, and I have four possible positions in relation to it:

1. I caused it to happen.

2. I did not cause it to happen but want it to happen so I will not interfere.

3. I don't want it to happen and could change it, but for reasons of my own I will not interfere.

4. I don't want it to happen and I will intercede to keep it from happening.

I suppose a fifth is possible---indifference, but I can't see God as being indifferent.

And personally, I don't think it is "dangerous ground" to contemplate any idea.

Milton T. Burton said...

I agree, Ranger. What is the Orthodox position on Freemasonry?

Milton T. Burton said...

Excellent post, Ochlophobist. You are right on the money with the older version of the freechurch tradition.

Milton T. Burton said...

"The only thing wrong with Christianity is that too few people have ever really tried it." --- William Faulkner

As for the Christian Right's notions of making (of keeping) this country a "Christian nation," the most obvious way to do that would be from the ground up. That is by all the Christians actually behaving like Christians in their daily activities. However, that is complicated and time consuming, so they seek to short circuit the process through the imposition of "Christian" law.

By the same token, there could be a little give and take on the part of the clabberhead left. The Decalogue is a part of western cultural history. Even an educated atheist should have not trouble seeing and admitting this. Therefore, its being posted on the wall of an Alabama courthouse is hardly the imposition of a state religion as forbidden by the Bill of Rights. Such lawsuits are much ado about nothing, if you ask me. They amount to a sort of Talmudizing of our civic life.

Ranger said...

“If a Bishop of the Church is a Freemason then every priest had better be a Mason in his Diocese, for otherwise it may follow that a Jew, an Infidel, an Atheist etc. or the lowest saloon keeper, or house of ill fame manager, as a member, would have more influence as a Mason with the Masonic Bishop than the priest who was not a member of the Order.”
-Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine
taken from www.orthodoxhistory.org
There are rules in at least some autocephalous churches against ordaining free masons. It is more a question of loyalty, then theology, though i'm pretty sure they would lose that litmus test also.

Milton T. Burton said...

Thank you, Ranger. In other words it is frowned upon but not actually forbidden.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that because Bush was such an abysmal leader many people are praising Obama simply because he is not Bush. I think the Beck crowd is a bit out there but I think it is also silly to suggest that they are an indication that we are witnessing the decline of the West. Bush has given this country a lot of debt but Obama has just been digging the hole even deeper. My understanding of the tea party movement, and it is very limited so please correct me if I'm wrong, is that they are interested in making an effort to shrink the power of the federal government and I don't really see how that is a bad thing. I've only followed politics for the last ten years or so and so only have knowledge of of the Bush and Obama years but it seems to me that both parties are indications of the decline of the west. I mean Bush got us into an unnecessary war and Obama worked tirelessly to push through a health care bill that does not really address the underling problems in the health care system. I'm also not sure why it is a bad thing for people to want to change how out government is being run. I'm not suggesting that their rhetoric isn't flawed but perhaps the idea of change, and I mean real change that I don't think either Obama or the tea partiers truly give us, is a good idea. Also the West may no longer be the location of the ideas embodied in the phrase "the West" but rather just move to a none western location or perhaps be rediscovered some time in the future. Both Rome and Greece fell but their ideas have never been completely lost only revised and rediscovered many years latter in different places maybe someday people will get it right with enough trial and error.

Apophatically Speaking said...

Milton,

Here's some more info on it:
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/masonry.aspx

Milton T. Burton said...

Thanks, Speaker.

Milton T. Burton said...

Anonymous, people will never "get it right." But as to our immediate situation, consider this: we amount to 3.5% of the world's population and have 25% of the worlds incarcerates; not only that, but in pure numbers we have more people locked up than China which is a dictatorship with four times our population; 50% of American marriages end in divorce; we have the highest rates of teen pregnancy and teen STDs in the first world; every years we spend 50% of the ENTIRE WORLD'S military dollar; congress is completely controlled by special interests; and if that isn't enough, it's getting harder and harder to find a decent chicken fried steak dinner.

Something is wrong. Dreadfully wrong. As a grandfather, I don't give two farthings if some part of the world a thousand years hence is somehow "reborn" using western values. I want my offspring to have a decent world and country in the upcoming decades in which to enjoy their lives and fulfill their potentials.

Anonymous said...

As I've been told the age of children having a better life than their parents is over and as a young adult that is a little depressing. However I don't think a doom and gloom outlook for the rest of my life is good so I choose to see the glass as half full. I agree there is something dreadfully wrong, but I also think that young people can still enjoy their lives and fulfill their potentials. There are more road blocks but it makes success much more satisfying because of the struggle.

s-p said...

Anon 5:30am, I don't see glasses half full or empty, I tend to think "that glass is too big for that amount of water." :)

Kirk said...

Milton wrote, "Anonymous, people will never "get it right." But as to our immediate situation, consider this: we amount to 3.5% of the world's population and have 25% of the worlds incarcerates; not only that, but in pure numbers we have more people locked up than China which is a dictatorship with four times our population; 50% of American marriages end in divorce; we have the highest rates of teen pregnancy and teen STDs in the first world; every years we spend 50% of the ENTIRE WORLD'S military dollar; congress is completely controlled by special interests; and if that isn't enough, it's getting harder and harder to find a decent chicken fried steak dinner."

Milton, I LOVE YOU, MAN! :)

Milton T. Burton said...

Anonymous, I said nothing about my grandchildren having a better life than their parents in material terms. I said I wanted them to have a good life and be able to fulfill their potentials. By this I meant a SATISFYING life, by which I meant a life free of both arbitrary state coercion and widespread brigandage. We resemble the late Roman Empire in the west in so many ways---breakdown of the social fabric, run-amok government, lack of civic morality in our leaders, uncontrollable borders and I could go on and on...

Milton T. Burton said...

Thank you, Kirk.

Kirk said...

The problem I see has to do with the emerging extremism that we see on both sides of the aisle. I place much of the blame on FauxNews, their half-truths and demagoguery. We have a flawed two-party system where the candidates of each party are selected by the extremists on either side. Hence, there are no sane people from the center in charge in this country.

The tea party movement is a symptom of the larger problem. Their simplest stated motivation is to oppose the tax and spend government we have come to know and loathe. If that were all there were to it, this would be a good movement. Unfortunately, the tea party movement is being highjacked by extremists from the right who have varying motives. Many of the tea partiers have an affinity for this ... woman (to be nice) ... Sarah Palin. Ms. Palin, like our local governor Goodhair, has all of the populist credentials. They know that words have power and they dangle ideas in front of the crowd like Milkbones to a pack of dogs. But the crowds have been duped: they are being played like a fiddle. These politicians have no intention of carrying out the forms of government programs they so adamantly promote. No, the pols are in the pocket of the ones who hold the power (i.e., pursestrings) that will keep them in power. That is, big business and special interests.

No folks, the tide is turning. We are all in big trouble. Not sure there is much we can do about it at this point.... What was it Clayton Williams said about rain?

Milton T. Burton said...

Kirk, I have been wondering lately if we would not be better off with a multi-party system like they have in most of the European countries. Then there would have to be compromise. I really live in fear when either party in this country gets a majority in both houses and then elects a president.

Milton T. Burton said...

Speaker, I enjoyed the piece on Orthodoxy and Freemasonry. Thanks for going to the trouble.

Apophatically Speaking said...

Milton,

Not the least bit of trouble.

There's more reading on this at www.monachos.net and do a search for "masonry"

BTW, I am working on a post with some reflections on freewill, theodicy, Providence and such.

Milton T. Burton said...

Excellent. I look forward to it.

Milton T. Burton said...

My church absolutely forbids membership in the Masonic Lodge. For good reason. Part of the ritual work is surely blasphemous from a Christian standpoint.

Milton T. Burton said...

In the third degree, the candidate, impersonating Hirum Abiff, the supposed architect of Solomon's Temple, is raised from the dead bu Solomon using the Master Mason's password and "The strong grip of the Lion of Judah."

The significance of a ritual in which a mortal man raises someone from the dead should jar any Christian.

And there are other reasons.

Kirk said...

Too bad the Woodmen of the World have all but disappeared. ;)

Curiouser said...

I'm new to your blog and just stopped by to see if your experience at the Oil Palace included bathrooms without running water.

Glenn Beck told his 4.30.10 tv audience a strange tale (during a completely strange conversation with Sarah Palin) of how a health inspector showed up at 10pm the night of the ZZ Top concert to check on the water situation. Finding that the water valves had been turned off for two days, the inspector told the venue's owner he would have to close down for the weekend. It sounded like Beck's mind turned this situation into a liberal conspiracy to thwart his appearance the following day.

Anyway, your post and the related comments were a delight. I'm smarter for my visit here and off to find more about John Lukacs. Thank you!

If anyone is interested in the video or transcript of Beck's tale, I saw it at palingates.blogspot.com.

Apophatically Speaking said...

Milton,

FWIW, I have posted a conversation starter on Providence and Freewill at my blog. All are welcome to chime in and take a shot at yours truly.

John said...

Curiouser,
I went to your link for the Beck/Palin transcript. Wow, that is one of the most bizarre things I have ever read. Beck intimates that liberals were trying to sabotage his Tyler, TX appearance by shutting down the auditorium for code violations. If Tyler has any liberals, to speak of, they have to be bussed-in from out of town. The city is the absolute epicenter for the most reactionary region of the reddest state in the nation. Both our state and U.S. representatives are unabashed birthers. City council positions are supposedly non-partisan, but one candidate just got "outed" for having voted in the 2008 Democratic primary. They would have suffered less damage to their campaign had it been a sex scandal. A recent (and typical) letter to the editor stated that “this nation was founded by God to demonstrate to the rest of the world what Christian people look like,” and, if that was not enough: “Christian citizens of this great nation could, through the multiplication of wealth under free market capitalism, do all that Jesus sent us into the world to do...” To suggest that anybody here, in any official capacity, would try to stop Beck's appearance is laugh out loud funny. The owners of the convention hall are a well-known, and, shall we say, "colorful" local family. The fact that there might be actual code violations, perhaps of long-standing, would surprise no one around here.

Thanks again for stopping by.

John said...

Apo,

I look forward to the discussion on freewill and providence on your blog.

On this particular subject, here's an anecdote about Milton that he shouldn't mind me telling:

(This during my former life as a restorationist Protestant) My brother-in-law invited Milton to our church one day. One of our earnest young members went up to Milton, and out of the blue, immediately began to confront him about his belief in predestination.

Earnest young man: "I hear you believe in predestination."

Milton: "Yes, I do."

Earnest young man: "I don't believe in that."

Milton: "That's because you were predestined not to."

Milton T. Burton said...

It went on past that. He asked me then what I thought about John 3:26. I replied that what I thought about it was precisely what I had been predestined to think about it---nothing more and nothing less. And on and on...

Milton T. Burton said...

In reference to Tyler's politics as the most backward, let us not leave Lubbock out of the running. Lubbock is perhaps the only town on earth whose median I.Q. is actually lowered by the presence of a university.

Milton T. Burton said...

Well, well, well... I notice that our own Governor Goodhair is blaming the recent oil spill on the Deity, having recently pronounced it an "Act of God." I myself have not received such a personal communication from On High, but then I am not governor. Nor am I particularly goodhaird, either.

Apophatically Speaking said...

There are a few things to consider.

My understanding is that Gov. Perry speculated and said it may have been an act of God.

"The governor's staff says Perry was not insisting that an "act of God" caused the spill. (He later said that he suspects a "mechanical failure" is the cause.) Perry aides say that he was simply making the point that it is too early to blame BP PLC, which leased the rig that was drilling the well."

It must also be pointed out that an "act of God" is frequently used in a legal sense, not necessarily denoting a literal act of God but rather an event for which no one is responsible.

Nevertheless, it certainly is possible that it is a true act of God, no? A case of simple physics and logic, or so it would seem to me.

Perhaps we are all overreacting. I know I certainly am.

Kirk said...

Milton, Milton, Milton! I expected better from you than to disparage the town of my raising: Lubbock, Texas. Tsk, tsk! I can't wait to hear your view of the city of my birth: Colorado Springs. What say you?

Milton T. Burton said...

Colorado Springs?

Spring, sprang, sprung.
Go, went, gone.
Do, did, done.

And, tha, tha, that's all folks!!!

Milton T. Burton said...

As a birth Texan with a lifetime of observing our native politicos in their natural habitat, let me translate Governor Perry's "Act of God" statement for you. What he was saying is, "Since I am a lackey of Bog Oil and corporate America I must do everything in my power to deflect blame from B.P. and Halliburton even at risk of my immortal soul, which, being an Aggie, I may not have anyway."

Apophatically Speaking said...

Ok I see you have a firm, unbiased grip on things...

Word verification word....forki

ROFLOL

Curiouser said...

John - I can't imagine what it would be like to live in your 'little corner of the world'. Your description of Tyler shows Beck to be even more deluded than I thought.

Thanks for your response and for your fascinating blog. Here's hoping our nation isn't as screwed as it seems.

John said...

(inside joke to Kirk)

From what I hear, Colorado Springs is a nice place to visit, but you certainly wouldn't want to live there.

Kirk said...

Interesting timing--

"Water Shut Off At Oil Palace, Graduation Ceremonies To Be Held Saturday"

http://www.tylerpaper.com/article/20100604/NEWS08/100609960