Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Case for Optimism

How are we doing, I mean, as humans?

...Because from where I sit, it doesn't look that good.

  • Brokenness: Broken families, broken hearts, broken lives. Many people in this world will never begin to experience what love is.
  • Corruption: Just take a look at Mexico, where anyone with the cojones to stand up to the drug trade ends up six feet under.
  • Ignorance: That the Newark public school system could inspire Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million gift should be evidence enough.
  • Rhetoric: Glenn Beck. Jesse Jackson. Lady Gaga.
  • Rhetoric listeners: The rhetoric offends enough by itself. But when I learn that my beautiful grandparents watch FoxNews, witness the black community's failure to recognize the overwhelming bullsh*t of its leaders, or wonder why a celebrity's opinion can make headline news, I cringe. And a little hope dies inside.
I'm like Ironhide in Transformers. That's him, pretty studly.
  • Ironhide: "Why are we fighting to save the humans? They're a primitive and violent race."
I get tired I wonder if I should even bother to try and change the world.


But maybe I should take a more historical perspective.
  • Optimus Prime: "They're a young species. They have much to learn. But I've seen goodness in them."
We are a young species, and to look back over the last 50,000 years is to see a lot of war and violence; suffering and apathy. But look again and observe a steady progression from darkness into light.

We have formed society. Cooperation has begun to overwhelm conflict as the means of overcoming difficulty. Education has begun to dispel ignorance and its resulting technologies have improved our quality of life. And although these types of progress have marked human progress from the start, never before have they been so widespread.

Since 1970 the percentage of the world's population with access to clean water has increased from 30% to upwards of 85%. Free elections are no longer a luxury, but an expectation. "For the first time in human history all people are convinced that the benefits of culture ought to be and actually can be extended to everyone" (GS).

Cause for optimism abounds.


But how to ensure further progress?

It falls to the leaders and thinkers of the age to discover and protect those principles and underpinnings of society that, in the midst of change and evolution, steadfastly bind humankind to itself. Failure in this regard will leave us slaves to our creations.

Success, well success would just rock :).

Special thanks to Mike Toohey for his ongoing friendship and his contribution to this article. Cited material: Gaudium et Spes: Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. The Vatican, 1965.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Catholic Church is in Turmoil

And God is a Grandma...

Behold, I am always with you, until the end of time. - Jesus

The Catholic Church reminds me of an old grandmother's old house. Paint peels from the siding, the front porch sags dangerously, the floors creak, and the roof leaks. An assortment of characters help take care of the place. Some are kind. Some are funny. Some are sick. Some are mean.

From the outside, I'll always ask, "Why does Grandma live in a house like this?," but once inside her warmth and love overwhelm my doubts.

Anytime I want to visit she opens her door and invites me in. She feeds me delicious cookies and lends an ear to my problems. Her wisdom means more to me than that of any other. She radiates peace and joy. She tells me what's really important in life.

Still, when I have to go, I often find myself wondering: "Is Grandma there because the house is still standing, or maybe the house is standing because Grandma is still there?..."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Big fucking deal...

There, I said it.

Is it really so scandalous that Vice President Biden did too?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscars Tonight!

The Best Picture will doubtlessly go to the film that most closely matches this uber-trailer.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shamu: son of Rambo

So, a killer whale killed somebody. Big surprise there I guess...

No, that's not the news. The news is that the Orlando Sentinel has taken the death of the trainer as a sign that orcas should not be kept in tanks.

Possible correct conclusion. Horrible logic.

This is clearly a sign that trainers do not belong in orca tanks.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Death Knells of Democracy: Mayor Goodman

Rejecting the President

The President will be in Las Vegas Thursday and Friday of this week but the mayor has refused to see him.

In continued backlash to comments Mr. Obama made about "blow[ing] a bunch of cash in Vegas," Mayor Oscar Goodman (Independent) has stated that "I've got other things to do quite frankly for my constituents here in Las Vegas [than meet with the President]".

Power to the mayor, seriously. Mr. Goodman's job title says "Mayor of Las Vegas" not "Sycophant to the President".

Monday, February 15, 2010

Death Knells of Democracy: Senator Bayh

Quitting the Senate

Today two-term Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) announced that he will not seek re-election in November.

Among his comments:
    For some time, I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should. There is too much partisanship and not enough progress -- too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem-solving. Even at a time of enormous challenge, the peoples' business is not being done...
    To put it in words most people can understand: ...I do not love Congress.
    I am constantly reminded that if Washington, D.C., could be more like Indiana, Washington would be a better place.
Define the state of democracy if elected officials can't even stand the stench in Washington.