Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Peoples Opium.

12:14 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
Theater class was interesting today. My professor was laying down the riot act; you either vote, or forfeit rights to whine about the results. You are making a tacit consent. He then posited that America was in a decline of power; not a small recent trend in his mind, but one that is ongoing. He said that this election is important because it is a choice between continuing with the remedy envisioned by the democrat party, or taking a chance on a republican remedy. In his opinion this is a key election in deciding the fate of America, which he postulated without making a single comment that would tell you what party he supported. Deftly done.

Marx said that religion was the opium of the people. While I disagree with this in many respects, I believe he is not entirely removed from the truth. Optimism is the opium of the people. Optimism is often needed to dull the pain of difficult situations, but optimism is just a drug to keep you from fainting while dealing with the problem. The problem is with those who cling to the opium and refuse to acknowledge the seriousness of their problem.

Polls were taken during the class, and all libertarians believed the USA was in long term decline.
The same was almost true of republicans, with one dissenting. None of the democrats agreed that we were in decline. Some of the democrats were thoroughly displeased that anyone would suggest we are in decline.

There is a reason they got strident; they know their cure is not working and in the end all they can do is cry for more optimism. A patient read about a course of treatment that was done abroad. The experts claimed that it would restore his system to order; that it would not only clear up his current illnesses, but prevent him from future sickness and pain. There would, of course, be some pain, but it would be negligible when compared to the results. The man worked for years to try and be put on this regimen.

In the mean time, the patients who had already begun treatment were not getting better, but worsening. The doctors then started realizing they had made a mistake; they were killing the patients. Immediate action was taken to try and scale back the treatment, but it was met with resistance. The patients did not feel worse, and the treatment sounded so promising; they just needed more time and, naturally, more opium.

Even as the doctors abroad were retracting some of their claims about the treatment, our first patient demanded it all the louder. The doctors began to cave and started into the early stages of the treatment. His family tried to warn him about the news from across the ocean, but he insisted it was because the foreign patients had been too old; their health was already failing, but he was vital and strong. A short time into the treatment the convulsions from pain started to set in, but that did not change his mind; all he needed was more opium.

Democrats want so badly for this plan to work; it is the fulfillment of their dreams. It would mean a civilized society where men take care of each other. Our body is imperfect, and if this theoretical treatment works we would be nearing perfection. It isn't working. Our body is wracked with pain and the treatment doesn't work; it hasn't worked on those who have been taking it for years and it never will take in us either. They can't stand to face the fact that the perfection they desire is impossible, so they tell us to shut up, take our optimism, and wait and let the treatment take its course.

It is a pity that their elected treatment is a daily bleeding, with optimism to take out the sting of the knife.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Utility Team.

10:13 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
I have every intention of putting in a transfer application to the utility team at Penney's soon. I am already a noted useful, helpful, hardworking, commodity within the store, so it will be no sweat with Winston's recommendation. My reasons for wanting to switch are many, but I'll give you a taste of the main ones.

1) My managers know that I will take on about any task and not complain about it, because of this they come right to me with work, and do not go to whinier co-workers.
2) I get to deal with all of the hassles of the customers, without being in a position to pad any of the numbers that lead to raises. I work like a dog, am sometimes treated like a dog, but it doesn't show in their numbers.
3) I like the members of the utility team more than a lot of the men's people.
4) Next week I am scheduled for 27 hours. When I was hired I was promised that I would not work more than 20 hours during a school week. I have had to have this fixed 5 times now, and despite the fact they keep promising it will never happen again, it keeps happening. Utility will mean that I am only needed 12-20 hours a week.

I am good at what I do, and my managers are under pressure to keep the department preforming during a recession, but a deal is a deal and I hate being lied to. And I have now been lied to several times. I owe them nothing.

New Vegas

10:02 PM Posted by Patrick 3 comments
Dear Reader,

You may have noticed in the course of your acquaintances with me, but I am a total, shameless, geek. It is only with the utmost self control that I do not, this instant, rush out the door, drive to best buy, park on the curb, rush through the store, and procure Fallout: New Vegas. I have this love/hate relationship with post apocalyptic literature. I find it fascinating, but tend to scratch furrows in my face over the dystopian quality. The Fallout series combines excellent post-apocalyptic environs and stories, with a refreshing spritz of hope, and the ability to influence the world.

I get the same brand of satisfaction from civilization. You bring order from chaos--or vice versa--with civilization having a global perspective, and Fallout having a very personal, human, perspective.

I will wait until the game of the year edition comes out, but it is going to hurt.

Blasphemy

9:31 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
Douglass Preston and Lincoln Child write some fantastic word crack. Every time one of their books comes out I consume it with eager ferocity.

Blasphemy was a disappointment.

Douglass Preston is a good writer, but in this last solo effort he sacrificed his story telling to his agenda. I felt sorry for him. A solid fifth of the book was a strident defense of the big bang. The big bang, as my distinguished readers already know, depends on the theory that things happen without a cause. The big bang just happened; it is without causality. There can be no proof in the absence of cause, so this must be a frustrating position to hold. He spends long segments expounding on theory, which would be better titled hypothesis, since it comes in the absence of observation and evidence.

He also spends time showing what barbarians the christian evangelicals are. In the course of his book various christian groups take steps and perform lunacies that would never happen outside the imagination of a man who wants to blame them for the fact that the richest, most powerful, nation in the world has not yet established anything near an egalitarian utopia where science is the unquestioned rule of thumb.

He has, without his knowledge, touched on something. The story involves hysteria over a super-collider. It makes one reflect on the uneasiness over the Hadron. What did people get so worked up about? Last time I checked, the vast majority of Evangelicals pay lip service to the ideas that 1)God created the world and 2) He has already determined its end. That said, what was all the worry over the Hadron? Yes, the people who made it said they expected to recreate big bang conditions. Why did so many Evangelicals find that so alarming?

We men are weak and we are liars. Men doubt even as they confess. Many Christians were worried about the Hadron, not because it implied that some wicked scientists disbelieved God, but because they disbelieved him; they were worried that the scientists would be right. Men are weak, but, thanks be to God, for he is merciful and forgives our shortcomings.

Stridency exposes the weaknesses and imperfection of our faith, just as Preston shows his own weakness and fear in his. There is no element of the natural world that will stand as an argument against God or a rebuke of true faith, because the universe is his and he made it.

Like a Man.

8:55 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
I love the order of the divine service. I am yet to find any aspect of it that is arbitrary or accidental; it all has a purpose.

In his sermon on Sunday, His Excellency My Pastor made an important distinction. The Kingdom of God is not like a wedding feast; it is not to feasts that Christ compares His kingdom, but to men. The Kingdom of God is not like a feast, but like a man; The Man, Jesus Christ.

It is so easy to listen without comprehending, and it is only yesterday another--obvious--aspect of the brilliance of the liturgy became clear to me, with the help of Pastor's correction on perspective. The Divine Service is a feast--The Feast--in which the Kingdom of God comes to us in the form of a man; The Man. The Kingdom of God is perfect and to be perfect is to be like Our Lord. We cannot clothe ourselves for this occasion, so He clothes us in his own innocence. We are not, however, merely being prepped as guests, but as His own bride; that we might be joined to Him in His Flesh, complete, whole, and in union with The Kingdom of God. The Divine Service is the wedding feast in which we are joined to the Kingdom of God, through the Flesh and Blood of the Man, Jesus Christ.

It is not just that The Kingdom of God is opened to us by Our Lord, but that is comes to us in the person of Our Lord, who joined Himself to our humanity that we might be joined, in Him, to the Kingdom of God.

It is just a little thing, but I get great pleasure of these little things.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We Are No Different.

1:07 PM Posted by Patrick 1 comment
An item or service is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. The same is true of wage slaves.

The country is outraged by corporate greed and the incredible amounts of money made by CEOs and other high corporate officers. I am astounded too, but I am more astounded by the fact that people cannot understand why it happens.

Take Lebron James, if you know nothing about basketball, then the tens of millions that he makes are ridiculous. If, however, you do know basketball, then you already know the reason; he is the best and everyone wants him. The pay is competitive.

As for those who would argue that CEOs from companies that fail should have their pay confiscated, would they make the same argument for Kevin Garnett's stint in Minnesota? He was a constant MVP candidate and even won it one round and he made top dollar, but his team was still consistently at the bottom. Does a team failure mean that the star should never have been paid?

None of us could do the things that a CEO does. They have to be brilliant and charismatic, masters of grand scale business stratagem and relationships; they have to be creative, calm, and in control in exceedingly high stress environs; they have to be exceptional in a passel of areas where we wouldn't know where to begin and they have to keep it up for between 70-80 hours a week. You could not do what a CEO does anymore than you could do what Lebron James does; the same goes for me.

The board of directors of a company are always people with a firm vested interest in the company's success; they choose CEOs who they believe will increase the worth of their stock. And please, tell me, when was the last time you heard of a star player telling a team owner "no, don't pay me tens of millions of dollars, I don't really need that much."

Would you say no if someone offered you 20 million a year? Don't lie to me, and don't lie to yourself. We'd all take it, and we are really just jealous that we aren't the ones who get the offers.