Wednesday, December 19, 2007
1. When I go to work, I park my car at a lot several blocks away and take a shuttle bus to my building. Recently at the bus stop, I overheard a woman claiming matter-of-factly over a cell phone that "The Holy Spirit was talking to me." Nah. That was just the wind of superstition howling at the last few flames of the Enlightenment.
2. Have you ever noticed that self-sacrifice is the ideal of altruism, and yet it is not called "human self-sacrifice"? That would be redundant, but it would also be a helpful reminder of what we are being asked to do. Put this another way, why is it that human sacrifice is always wrong -- unless the victim commits the act himself? But these are all things that if we thought about them too much, we might not do the dirty work ourselves....
3. My brothers are very funny. Once, one of them out of the blue asked the other, "You know what's good about cat meat?" The other had no answer. So the first one continued, "It's free."
4. Ann Coulter, when she attempts to pretend that there is no such thing as a "religious right", will sometimes cite hit counts from Lexis-Nexis searches for "religious right" in left-wing media reports. I wonder what a similar search of "secular left" among her own writings (or those of other conservatives) would yield. As I have pointed out here before, "secular" and "leftist" do not mean the same thing, but conservatives are working overtime to make you think they do.
5. As a child, I knew adults who would say things like "It done tumped over," meaning "It fell over." These are the same type of people who will refer to a suit -- any suit -- as a "monkey suit".
6. I never claimed I wasn't weird! Two of my favorite smells are diesel exhaust and dead skunk. I got both the morning before Thanksgiving when I took the tram downtown to pick up our rental car.
7. There is a difference between collecting for charity and attempting to expand the welfare state. Having said that, I still have to suppress a mild urge to laugh any time I hear Salvation Army bells around the holidays because they immediately remind me of Ayn Rand's phrase "the leper's bell of an approaching looter".
8. Is it just me or isn't it inexcusable in this age of high technology that when someone like me from a ten-digit dialing area slips up and forgets the "1" before a long distance call, he gets several rings preceding an ear-splitting tone and an annoying message about how to dial long distance? Why not a voice mail stating that the call is long distance followed by the option to cancel or continue? Would that really be so hard to do?
9. Help! My head may soon explode if I don't figure out a snappy comeback to all the Christers out there who substitute religious hectoring for common courtesy. Particularly annoying are people who say, "Have a blessed day," instead of something like, "Have a good day." I might be able to pull off "Have a blast, too, man!" if I were a hippie, but I'm not. Any ideas? I don't particularly care what they choose to believe. It's the rudeness I want to make clear. [Update: On further thought, this really applies only to a few exceptional instances for reasons Kyle Haight brings up.]
Today: (1) Several minor corrections and edits. (2) Added a note to end of Item 9.