Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Latest on the Site, and other tidbits has been tidying up lately -- a lot of pain-in-the-butt little tweaks that add up to a lot. For instance, further refinement in the subject index means you can either scroll through the index to see what interests you, or look for a particular topic alphabetically and see what's there. It can be really fun to use! If it needs further refinements, please pass the idea along to me (in comments to this blog entry).

I hear that in an upcoming leg, the Amazing Race folks couldn't do what they had arranged to do, so they had to make a new stop 'on the fly'. Also, that on an upcoming leg, someone(s) got really far behind the leader - a half-day or more, which is a logistical nightmare. I wonder how they'll edit around those troubles.

Still pondering the apparent clash between the freedom to claim one's own spiritual identity and being spiritually honest with the rest of us. During this 'Jesus tomb' stuff, I read someone well up in the Methodist ranks saying that he doesn't believe in Christ's actual resurrection. Yet this person still acts in the name of an organization whose core belief is rooted firmly in precisely that resurrection, as a living reality not just a symbol. If what he said really is his settled conviction (and not just an expression of doubt or wondering), I think he ought to leave the Methodist church and admit what he really is, a Unitarian Universalist, Religious Scientist, or some other such group. Because the stated belief puts the lie to his stated identity. I can deal with people more honestly when they are being what they really are. I can respect that even when I disagree with them. But there's no respecting a lie.

Later, 'gator. (Oops... shouldn't say that during the NCAAs....)

Friday, March 09, 2007

David Wilcox, and the headache

Went to see David Wilcox tonight at the Boulton Center in Bay Shore NY. Great show, funny as ever, and his songs still strike that special spot. A bit too much time tuning the guitar, but that was fine, for the kind of show he did. It gave him a chance to do what he does second-best -- tell a story. (That's second only to singing that story.) It was a bit disappointing to see the place a little over half-full, he deserves better than that. But then again, he strikes me as someone who really would love doing it for just a handful.

I hope Wilcox didn't think I was bored. I wasn't -- I was just down. I had a sour stomach and an even sourer disposition. Eating the cost of a ticket has a very bad taste. What hurts much more is why : getting stood up. After all these years and all those turndowns, it still hurts like hell. And while Wilcox's show gave me some smiles, it also reminded me of what I miss. You see, he sings of hope and love, especially about love that grows when all you can expect of it is to die. I can't get it to even begin. I want to be the wonder in a woman's life, the one who gets her heart to blossom. There have even been specific women whom I most wanted to light up. But the story of my life is being not just dumped, but being dumped on my head. Hence, a persistent headache.

I'll gladly take the headaches that come with love.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Amazing Race

A guilty pleasure every Sunday night, on CBS. This time, it's the All-Stars.

I had been wondering where I had seen Joyce (of Uchenna & Joyce, one of the better all-star teams) before. Then, I was going by a TV that had Star Trek : Next Generation playing. There she was, on the bridge, in navigation. Checking up on the fan sites, it turns out she was on quite a few of them, labeled as having a 'bit part', but a bit less 'bit' than most; even had a character name, Ensign Gates. Quite attractive back then, and to some extent still is. I wonder if the folks at Stony Brook's ICON convention know about this? The question then is : if she can help navigate a starship to a far-away galaxy, it can't be all that much of a challenge to navigate a Chilean back road, could it? :)

I for one am going to miss David & Mary (aka Kentucky). She can be an angel in some ways, a harsh nag in others, but somehow both of them are more like real people I know than most of the others (TV actresses, beauty queens, in the previous edition an ESPY-winning triathlete, etc.). And they are both growing. But they also aren't very good at the Race, which is why it was okay for them to be eliminated.

I'm hoping for Oswald & Danny, but expecting Eric & Danielle.

audio devotionals for Lent

There are now 3 audio devotionals for Lent : Third Sunday in Lent, Fourth Midweek, and Fifth Sunday. The sound quality is good, especially for using a computer's built-in mic. (I guess I'm learning how to fix overmod.) Give 'em a listen, and spread the word.

(Oh -- don't forget the written versions, Midweek and Sunday each week, for example Third Midweek of Lent.)

Friday, March 02, 2007

More on Mariamne and the Jesus Tomb

I was just reading some more about Jesus' time, to see the plausibility of the Jesus Tomb claim. More weakness in the Mariam(e)ne/Magdalene connection. Guess where I found some Mariamnes? In Herod's family. Several, in fact. The Herodian Miriams usually used the extended Greek form, which makes sense, given their longtime affectation for Greek culture. They, of course, would insist on a Greek or even Roman inscription on their box, while many other Jews (especially the rural ones, like Miriam of Migdal was) would insist on Hebrew or Aramaic in the face of the foreign occupiers.

Maybe I should make a cable TV special showing how these ossuaries are a Herodian link to Jesus? Nah. They're not ornate enough. These sort of burial ground ossuaries (bone boxes) were for the well-to-do landowners, merchants, and top officials, not the poor, the artisan, or the farmer. However, this was still way too simple to be a Herod.

The passage that identifies Mariamne in Acts of Philip reads thusly (in modern language):
  • "Then the time came for the Savior to split the apostles up, and each went out to the area he was sent. It fell to Philip to go to the land of the Greeks. He thought it to be difficult, and wept. Then Mariamne his sister (the one who readied the bread and salt at the breaking of bread - though it was Martha that worked hard to serve it to the multitudes) saw this, and went to Jesus and said, ' Lord, see how much anguish this is causing for my brother?' "
Mariamne, Philip's sister and defender. This is not Miriam of Migdal. I don't know enough about the ins and outs of gnostic literature to know if this is intended to connect Philip with Lazarus' family through Mary and Martha. No such link is made in the New Testament, or in church history. But it is definitely not Mary Magdalene. The Gospel of Mary apparently does make this connection, but it is even weirder and even later than Acts of Philip. And all of the earlier gnostic books use the same name for Mary Magdalene as the New Testament and church tradition.

The more I sift through this particular Jacobovici claim, the the more impossible it becomes. (Just as it was for the DaVinci Code's Magdalene claims.) And it would be hard to come up with a way to link Jesus of Nazareth to the Jesus of the bone box without such a link to Mary Magdalene, since we don't have a known sample of Jesus of Nazareth's DNA to compare to. (Knowing Jacobovici, he'll come up with something.) The whole thing is starting to have an abundance of Colbert's 'truthiness' -- some people really really want it to be true, want it to at least feel true.