Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln Coming Back to Disneyland

Text of the speech Lincoln gives:

The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.

What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence? It is not our frowning embattlements, our bristling sea coasts. These are not our reliance against tyranny. Our reliance is in the love of liberty, which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.

At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some trans-Atlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined could not, by force, take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, [that] if it ever reach us, it must spring [from] amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we [ourselves must] be [the] author[s] and finisher[s]. As a nation of free men, we must live through all time[s], or die by suicide.

Let reverence for the [law] be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in primers, [in] spelling-books, and almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay of all sexes and tongues and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly [at] its altars.

[And] let us strive to deserve, as far as mortals may, the continued care of Divine Providence, trusting that, in future national emergencies, He will not fail to provide us the instruments of safety and security.

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I Like Clouds

Yeah. Like the title says.

It's probably my favorite part of the airplane ride--the part where you're up over the clouds, the sky pure blue, the clouds pure white and airy like brushing across the down of a swan.

For me, it puts life in perspective.

And having clouds put life in perspective reminds me of this quote from The Screwtape Letters.

The Screwtape Letters is a book C.S. Lewis (The Narnia guy) wrote about this demon named Screwtape who's trying to teach his nephew Wormwood how to tempt a certain human. It takes place during the second world war.

In this section, Screwtape's trying to help Wormwood see how to make the human believe that anything he thinks shows him there's real significance to life is just fantasy. He says:

. . . there is a sort of attack on the emotions which can still be tried.

It turns on making him feel, when first he sees human remains plastered on a wall, that this is "what the world is really like" and that all his religion has been a fantasy.

You will notice that we have got them completely fogged about the meaning of the word "real"'. They tell each other, of some great spiritual experience, "All that really happened was that you heard some music in a lighted building"; here "Real" means the bare physical facts, separated from the other elements in the experience they actually had. On the other hand, they will also say "It's all very well discussing that high dive as you sit here in an armchair, but wait till you get up there and see what it's really like": here "real" is being used in the opposite sense to mean, not the physical facts (which they know already while discussing the matter in armchairs) but the emotional effect those facts will have on a human consciousness. Either application of the word could be defended; but our business is to keep the two going at once so that the emotional value of the word "real" can be placed now on one side of the account, now on the other, as it happens to suit us.

The general rule which we have now pretty well established among them is that in all experiences which can make them happier or better only the physical facts are "Real" while the spiritual elements are "subjective"; in all experiences which can discourage or corrupt them the spiritual elements are the main reality and to ignore them is to be an escapist. Thus in birth the blood and pain are "real", the rejoicing a mere subjective point of view; in death, the terror and ugliness reveal what death "really means". The hatefulness of a hated person is "real"—in hatred you see men as they are, you are disillusioned; but the loveliness of a loved person is merely a subjective haze concealing a "real" core of sexual appetite or economic association. Wars and poverty are "really" horrible; peace and plenty are mere physical facts about which men happen to have certain sentiments.

The creatures are always accusing one another of wanting "to eat the cake and have it"; but thanks to our labours they are more often in the predicament of paying for the cake and not eating it.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Everything is Amazing, and Nobody's Happy

Saturday, January 31, 2009

If You Watch The Super Bowl, Do Me A Favor

Okay, so pretty much everybody in North America is going to be watching the Super Bowl tomorrow. And of course, it's the one show where, in 2009, nobody is going to fast forward through the commercials.

So I want everybody's opinion on one spot: the G.I.Joe ad.

The new G.I.Joe movie is coming out this year, and this weekend is the first time they've released any moving pictures from the movie. It's just a 30 second spot, but if you watch the Super Bowl, and you see it, let me know what you think.

Even if you don't know anything about G.I.Joe--in fact, that's even better. I'm curious what everybody, fan or not, thinks about this one.

If you're not going to watch the Super Bowl, it's already online here. But I'm figuring by this time tomorrow most of America will have seen it, so I'm just asking you to say what you thought of what already flashed before your eyes.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Is Ancient Art Like Special Effects?

Last night, my oldest daughter and I did a Daddy/Daughter date and went to the art museum at Cal State San Bernardino. They had a great display called Excavating Egypt, which I guess isn't their normal Egypt display, but was a lot of fun.

Among the things we saw was this mummy mask:

And it made me wonder.

See, this thing is even more cross-eyed in real life. And one eye bulges out farther than the other.

So it makes me wonder--do you think they noticed it? Do you think they thought this thing was beautiful, or do you think they were going, "Thanks, man. You gave my Mom's mummy mask a lazy bug eye?"

I think about special effects from the early 80's. Now, they seem really bad. But at the time, you didn't get so worked up about it. They were special effects, and that's what we all understood special effects looked like at the time.

Was it that way for these things? Did people just know that the eyes came out a little wonky sometimes, and they didn't really think it was that big a deal, or did this guy just get jipped?

Either way, Daddy/Daughter dates are still a good time.