Archives for category: Imperfect Sense

Speaking out and speaking right seems to be the underlying theme in today's Seattle Times.

Browsing the 10-inch thick Sunday edition, I saw several truly engaging pieces, one of which struck a chord in me that resonates with all that I believe in the power of words. Especially racially charged ones.

Fortunately, there's an online version.

I could not help but wonder what will happen 50 years in the future when one is allowed to say anything one wishes, using whatever language one sees fit to use, abusing honourable concepts such as 'freedom of speech' and blaming it on evolution and/or popular culture.

And then there's this piece. And this.

What in Pete's name is going on with people?

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (John 20:19-29).

That is one verse that is harder and harder to live by these days.

Being one of the gullible, dim and sadly wayward Christians – if I can still claim that affiliation not having gone to church or picked up the bible in more than 18 years – who thought the Da Vinci Code was one of the most intriguing works of fiction ever written about my faith, this is exactly why I still think the book is worth a read.

Excerpting…

In fact, Brown's conspiracy theories can be portals to knowledge. Before "The Da Vinci Code," the general public had little interest in the legitimate historic actors and events Brown mangles and misconstrues, including the Council of Nicea in 325 and medieval phenomena such as the Priory of Sion, the Knights Templar and quests for the Holy Grail. Numerous books and Web sites about them have been produced since the novel's publication in 2003. Just as Brown captures readers by convincing them they're hearing a dangerous truth, these works are especially exciting as they reveal the truth Brown won't tell us.

Nevertheless, truth is a complicated matter. Although unacquainted with facts, "The Da Vinci Code" has become a phenomenon because it encompasses so many larger truths…

At a time when most writers confront "small" ideas — often an individual's search for self-understanding — Brown's book satisfies our hunger for big ideas. At play is nothing less than the greatest story ever told.

Perhaps what is so scary to the faithful, is if the Da Vinci Code will drive the 20 million or so dim-witted half-Christians who have bought and read the book to apostasy. The irony is while we believe this book and movie to be nothing more than silly fiction, we are still afraid of its impact that we have congregated by the millions to protest against it.

Love it or hate it, it raises one important question: Is it so wrong to question what we think we know about Jesus, God, His word and the church, even if it is prompted by popular culture? Is our faith so shaky that it will not withstand worldwide scrutiny?

At best, the book makes Christians strong in their belief stronger.

At worst, it will prompt those of us in doubt to search harder for the truth.

Thing is, those of us who find it hard to believe but still do even when we have not seen, are protecting our right to WANT to see. Blind faith isn't the only kind of faith worth having.

Or is it?

Okay so I just got the news about Chris.

Although I'm also tired of the whole rocker thing after last season's Constantine  and the whole INXS shindig, I honestly also thought Daughtry will sail through to the top. What a shocker, eh?

Now there's no clear winner. Only Elliott is left in my top four list which I made at the beginning of the season. And as much as I like Hicks for his goofy persona, he isn't as marketable as McPhee.

Or is he?

I'm officially stumped. Plus you never know what American mobile phone owners and American Idol fans will vote for in the end. I mean, c'mon. Outing both Paris Bennett and Chris Daughtry really shows you the musical leanings of the demographic's majority.

I sure as hell am not going to spend $$ voting now that the two best Idols are gone. Sorry, my (husband's) money is only for real talents!

It is reading reports such as this, that makes me feel blessed.

Sad, but blessed.

I don't know how it feels to want to hurt myself physically. Of course, I hope I never will. I guess this is the blessing I speak of, not coming to a point where the only way to deal with pain, is more pain.

Not a lot of people in Malaysia – people close to me included – think about depression, much less take the effort and time to understand or accept it. It is a frou-frou non-ailment to us. It isn't physical, like cancer or leukemia, and therefore it cannot exist. It cannot be healed, and most of the time, it cannot kill, and therefore it is paltry.

And when it does manifest itself physically through deeds such of suicide or murder, we shake our heads at it, dismissing it as a random act by a crazy person who is already beyond help.

Thing is, people get depressed all the time, and not know it. It is not so much as suspecting that one is depressed and then refusing to take control of the situation before it gets worse, than just going through episodes of semi-conscious sadnes. You know you feel crappy but think it will pass, and before you know it, you can't remember the last time you smiled or laughed.

"It's all in the mind," Lokes would say. That is true, and that's exactly why depression is so hard to manage. If we could all command our brains to think properly so that we can act properly, the world would be a much better place. And if we know we cannot always tell our thoughts not to misbehave, why do we find it so hard to accept that they can very well run wild one day?

The day we figure out what makes us tick (or rather the bombs in us tick), we just need to take better care of ourselves, both physically and mentally.

"I'm not crazy," said a friend of mine whom I thought could use a few sessions on the couch.

"Well, not yet," I'd told her.

Another interesting Digg I dug.

This makes me think about three things.

First is literacy. Believe it or not, literacy rates in the US have changed little. What is our literacy rate in Malaysia? Still, more and more people will read one day, especially since emphasis on education has been strong everywhere in the last few decades. The generations born on and after 1990 are hitting blogging age (the youngest are 16 this year), and we will see the blog explosion continue to ripple through. What will a child of 16 years do today, if he doesn't read or write? 11 years still seems insufficient to me.

Second is separating the REAL reporting from the bad. Citizen journalism is on the rise, MSM is on the decline and/or looking to 'supplement' reporters with bloggers. This results in:

– more bloggers, good AND bad
– less jobs for reporters/writers/journalists – MSM becomes even more discriminating of who they hire.
– maybe rise in more jobs for fact-checkers and editors?

Which leads me to my third point: The rapidly declining worth of a Mass. Comm. / Journalism degree. Good luck to all who are still taking it. Might as well change your course.

And start your own blog.

…Jesus might've walked on ice instead of water.

And the parting of the Red Sea was actually the result of strong winds instead of having been separated by the very hand of God Himself as commanded by Moses.

As a Christian, I have NO doubt that these scientific explanations can be true. Does it make me less of a Christian? Not at all.

I believe these miracles happened. If strong winds were to part the Red Sea today, and ocean water froze hard enough to be walked on, we would still call them miracles.

Well, some would call it global warming.

A rose, by any other name.

Finding a scientific explanation for a biblical miracle doesn't take away the miraculousness of the event. In fact, you might even find God if you drill down to the molecular level of every living being and every miraculous – and everyday – occurence.

And that is faith.

It is EXACTLY things like this that make me ashamed of being a Chinese.

And this.

And this.

And this.

It's one thing to sell fake handbags to willing buyers.

And quite another to sell fake milk powder to unknowing mothers.

And now chemically created eggs.

What other people in the world openly commit so many of such crimes, without remorse and without restraint, all in the pursuit of wealth?

When will we ever learn?

We, human beings of the 21st century, are finding it harder and harder to restrain ourselves. 

And what with things like blogs where all and sundry can read about what we do or think, the temptation of having one's voice resonate across the universe is just too darn difficult to resist.

Last weekend, the indefatigable Scoble got lynched by the Let Blogging be Free! mob for suggesting that all bloggers who link to non-credible media like The Register be derided

I cannot help but notice: 

  1. Australia’s Smarthouse, which is said to be untrustworthy, publishes a story about 60% Windows Vista’s code having to be rewritten, and people jump on the hate wagon ever so readily
  2. Microsoft’s famous corp blogger bitches about people who link to these sites and he ALSO gets mobbed

It’s like watching gazelle sweeping one way and then another. 

Or coyotes, rather. 

No doubt, Scoble might’ve over-reacted but the question he seems to ask is valid: Whatever happened to finding out the truth, and people's better sense of judgment when deciding to give (or not give) their support to a certain issue, even if it's just a link? It's not just that everyone's always so ready to deride Microsoft or Apple or Google simply because they're mega-gajillionaires. It's also because when they see something 'scoopalicious' and just jump on it because of the traffic it will bring to their blogs.

Never mind editorial truthfulness. What happened to plain INTEGRITY?

It’s as though everyone’s so intent on their right to free speech that they’ve forgotten that sometimes, it’s better to just keep quiet.

No, cannot. Must. Blog. Must. Grab. Traffic!!

Is NOT blogging about something you think might be iffy censorship? I call it good old-fashioned self-restraint, which is the mark of any mature, sensible person.

The Chinese have a saying: If you don't say anything, nobody will say you're mute. So the real challenge isn't in blogging intelligently.

It's in keeping mum.

Shutting up now!

Ps. For something truly ridiculous, read this.