It’s Just Greek to Me

May 9th, 2014 by Toby T

When I read I pronounce things in my head. I don’t know the Greek alphabet. You might be as perplexed as God seemed when I made those two statements to her, but I assure you they actually are related.

Recently I’ve been reading things that toss in a Greek letter or two. Science articles and computer articles. They didn’t actually need Greek letters but they wanted a place holder for something, which really means they wanted to talk about something, but they didn’t want to have to give that something a real name. They pluck a glyph from the Greeks and call it a day.

Now I understand that it can be hard to come up with good names for things, and I can even kind of forgive the scientists who are using foreign letters because they want to stick their “thing” into equations, but hey, Einstein managed to stick to the Roman alphabet for his most famous equation, I think that much like Einstein every scientist can aspire to be.

Anyway, when I’m reading along and I come across a Greek letter, there’s this skip in my head. There’s a blank space where the name of the letter should go, because I don’t know what the name of the letter is. There’s still a thought connected to it, but it’s not a “verbal” thought. And for somebody that’s as hung up on words as I am, that’s a little unnerving. It’s sort of the mental equivalent of that stain on the movie screen, where somebody threw their drink, that makes you aware of the mechanics of projection whenever the action crosses over it. It takes me out of the moment.

The same thing happens when I’m reading a bad science fiction story and the author deliberately gives the aliens names that are unpronounceable. Perhaps the authors are thinking it’s a way to make their readers uncomfortable and they think that breaking people out of their comfort zones is what serious art is supposed to do. Well I’ve got news for them, it’s not uncomfortable, it’s just annoying and annoying is not art.

If you enjoy reading unscriptured, remember to tell your friends!

Seeds Upon the Wind

May 2nd, 2014 by Toby T

So Spring is in full force, at least where I live. That means eighty, even ninety, degree highs; trees and bushes that seem to want trimming almost every week; and lawns that cry out to be mowed.

And the bane of the urban lawn, dandelions, are popping up near constantly.

God seems to think that dandelions get a bad rap. They have beautiful yellow flowers. Every part of the plant is edible and some parts are also used in herbal medicines, not to mention dandelion wine. They’re puffy seed clusters are beautiful in their own right and are the stuff on which wishes are made.

So why do we hate them on our lawns?

I think it just comes down to the fact that it’s work to keep them away. Purging them from our lawns shows that we conform, and not just that we conform but that we care enough about conforming to work at it. Still, even knowing that, I went ahead and plucked them from my yard. God seemed both disappointed and amused.

Call Me Fish Meal

April 25th, 2014 by Toby T

I went to see the new Disney movie “Bears” this week. The next day, for lunch, I made sure I went to someplace where I could order salmon, though unlike the stars of the movie, I got mine cooked.

God says it was a very Pavlovian response. I say I was just looking for some thematic unity in my week.

Gods on Film

April 18th, 2014 by Toby T

I went to the movies this week, like I do very nearly every week. The thing that kind of surprised me this time was that in my local multiplex there were three different Christian movies playing. There was “Son of God,” yet another film depicting the life of Christ, “Noah,” which is more of a straight fantasy than a Biblical study, and “Heaven is Real,” which appears to be trying to convince us of its own title.

I know it’s almost Easter, but still this seemed a little heavy handed. So of course I asked God what was up.

He told me that it’s just the latest salvo in the war on Christianity in this country, we’re oppressing them by making them have to choose which pro-Christ film to go see. I mean we all know how much staunch Christians hate having to think for themselves.

For God and Country

April 4th, 2014 by Toby T

God was complaining to me about how many countries seem to think that he’s specifically on their side. It’s bad enough that every religion, and especially the splinters of religions, is sure that they have the one true answer about who God is, what God likes and doesn’t like, and what God expects us to do or not do, but to have whole countries thinking that God will save them from their own stupidity is apparently beyond all reason.

Myself, I think he had rather more emotional reasons for his complaints than logical ones, I think it’s just that God hates flags.

Book It

March 28th, 2014 by Toby T

The message from God this week is pretty simple: If the posts you see in your Facebook news feed don’t make you appalled at how horrible humanity is and also amazed at how wonderful humanity is, you probably need to adjust your list of friends.

Hot Water

March 21st, 2014 by Toby T

While I was eating my corned beef and cabbage this week I remarked to God that there wasn’t a lot of things that I cook by boiling. There’s corned beef, there’s pasta, and then there’s… well nothing else.

So she asked, me what about chili, and I had to give her that. I mean I don’t really boil chili, I just simmer it, but then, I really only simmer the corned beef too. And she asked me about soup, but I wasn’t willing to concede that one. I haven’t made soup myself since I was a kid and I don’t count heating something up out of a can as cooking.

But I do like soup. Maybe I’ll have to revise my cooking habits. Even if it does lead to God acting all smug around me.