Zeus’ Lament

I speak in dreams with Hercules my successor for the shepherdess seethes when I sit with him and share laughter she won’t see in him is my scent my shades and my shadow in him my breath my pain and my passion how long to the day I sip with him octaves of my resurrection how long to the night I take him back to the caves of qalabazi I sit on my mountain my lightning sizzled from my tears my beard melting like steel I have felled Titans and Poseidon but cannot fight those who don’t feel I will therefore seek him in the future as samurais seek the past as gods seek Olympus as a father seeks his boy because I am Hercules and Hercules he is I.

Punjabi Flamenco

I love Flamenco. I have written about the intersection between Indo-Pak kathak dancing with Flamenco before, called Fire-Dance. That was one of the biggest youtube hits on this blog (but the video is no longer available).

Check out this Punjabi guitarist merging Flamenco guitar with a popular Indian song. Bollywood freaks will recognize the song as the immensely popular, and haunting, song from the film Bombay which was about Hindu-Muslim riots and featured such a cute little actress. I am putting the youtube cuz of the dancing.

If you’re in the mood for vocals, you should go on Latafat Ali Khan’s Myspace page and listen to the first song. What will men give to one another, it is God who is the giver. My killer is my judge, will He rule in my favor? It’s quite beautiful.

Second one is nice as well. If you break my heart, you will regret it, when my memory haunts you, what will you do?

Obama Is Nietzschean

For many years, the United States has been suffering from political nihilism — disbelief in its institutions.

I have seen political nihilism in various Muslim countries around the world. It manifests itself as a form of futility, the feeling that one cannot recover from what is ailing the people.

Two common results occur. The people either find escape from themselves by embracing the mundane or they lash out in frustration against others. In Muslim countries, the mundane is an unhealthy obsession with the arcane points of Islamic jurisprudence, and the frustration is directed towards America, Israel and women. In the American context, the mundane is an unhealthy obsession with meaningless celebrities, and frustration is directed towards Iraq, Iran and women.

How are we to clamber out of our psychological doldrums? What is the best way to push back against our political nihilism?

Science Question

Take a pen and squeeze the ink into a glass of water. The ink will fall and then the water will ripple and the ink will disperse into the water.

It is my understanding that the laws of motion govern this event.

a) is that true?

b) if so, how come the laws of motion — or whatever laws govern this event — prevent this event from occurring backwards? In other words, why can’t the ink come back out of the water and go into the pen?

Update: Omar asks in the comments whether I ask this question due to “creationist idiocy.”

Response: I suspect that I ask this question because of creationist idiocy, but I don’t know enough science to even know if that’s why I ask.

I was at the bookstore and just randomly I saw a book called Something Something Sacred by some guy named Something Kauffman.

It was a book about ‘Complexity Theory.’ I have never heard of this. At first blush it sounded like code for creationism but I actually read a bit of the book — which is where I picked up this example — and the guy said that he didn’t believe in God (at least not in the traditional Abrahamic sense). He went on to say that God was creativity, or something along those lines.

In many ways, it was very similar to the Bergsonian arguments that Iqbal made in his Reconstruction. However, being that it was packaged different — Complexity Theory — and the guy wasn’t a believer, it made me wonder if perhaps there was some area of science that I hadn’t heard of yet that was worth investigating.

Also, one of the other reasons I didn’t just dismiss him as a creationist was because he posited that studies had shown that some molecules were self-generating and self-replicating — which obviously goes against the creationist approach to science.

I never got to figuring out what Complexity Theory meant because I had the better sense of not purchasing the book. From what I gathered in the introduction, their view is that the problem with science is “reductionism” — which is just one approach of doing science. The idea of taking a universal and deriving a particular from it (which is Aristotelian), they argue, is not the only approach to science.

Radical egalitarianism

I was filling in for the Grade 3/4 Lutheran Sunday School teacher today. The lesson was on work and had the kids reading through the entirety of Luke chapter 10. I hadn’t planned to spend any time on “it would be more bearable that day for Sodom“, but the kid stumbled on the word and then they wondered what it meant so I briefly ran through the demise of Sodom when one of the boys said, “I heard about a town in Saskatchewan that was covered by an avalanche.” Aside from the fact that Saskatchewan is as flat as a pancake, I didn’t want them to get the idea that any old act of God was divine retribution so I told them of the story of the ELCA convention.

Without troubling them with the gory political details, I included the part where the weather forecast was clear, that it didn’t harm anything but the conference area, the dangling cross and the coincidental timing of the vote “where they were making decisions that weren’t in the Bible”. A light-hearted grade 3 version if ever there was one.

“Now sometimes a tornado is just a tornado,” I said.

Their eyes got wide. “Yeah, but that’s really, really weird!” they said.

“What do you suppose the church people did?” I said.

“I bet they changed their minds as quick as could be!!” They answered.

“No,” I said. “They continued on and made the decisions anyway that same afternoon.”

“You’re kidding.” they said.

“No.” I said.

Then we continued on in chapter 10.

redeeming singleness, by Barry Danylak

I read a book.
And tonight, I post.

That it was forwarded by John Piper was the only thing that convinced me to purchase the book, redeeming singleness:  How the storyline of Scripture affirms the single life.

It isn’t so much I needed his endorsement but I suspected it would be a deeper book than those which offer prayer suggestions for how to weather the dreadful purgatory of being unmarried. And it wasn’t.  Thank goodness.  Danylak gives a great explanation of the ancient covenants which shape the Christian faith and are largely unobserved in today’s churches. Some thoughts:
 1. The ancient Jewish culture cast shame over being childless because it was through children that your name was carried on through to future generations.  Carrying on your name was huge in old time Jewish culture.
 2.Jesus fulfilled the covenants and in so doing, ensured names were carried on to future generations through acknowledgment by God.  written in the book of life, so to speak.
 3.Kings in ancient days were served by eunuchs who dedicated themselves to a childless state as a sign of complete loyalty and servant-hood to the king.
 4.Jesus Christ died childless. A most loyal servant to The King.

And yet, attend any protestant, evangelical wingding alone and the sympathy cards arrive in your mail box in 3 to 5 days. Is being unmarried purgatory?

As the Apostle Paul puts it, marriage is fine.  So is non-marriage. Dedicated to God, free of family distractions and ready for service at a moment’s notice.

And freely able to accept dinner invitations at the neighbour’s anytime, anywhere.