Friday, June 27, 2008

Weekend Linky-Love

Some things for your Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stuff That "Stuff White People Like" Didn't Like

One of the websites I go to for a chuckle is "Stuff White People Like."

(Related, but Unrelated: Also check out "Stuff Christians Like," written by the hilarious Prodigal Jon. A Christianity-themed version, but even more self-aware.)

If you haven't checked SWPL out yet, you really really nead to. Go right now, or the rest of this won't make sense.

...Back yet? Yeah? Okay, so you can pick up on the tone of humor. It's like a field guide of the cultural habits of white people (more specifically, a certain kind of white person, one of the upper-class East Coast yuppie liberal variety).

Well, the site's author, Christian Lander, recently held a contest. Six hundred seventy-five entries were sent in, and five were chosen.

Mine was not. *Insert sour grapes here*

So, since the whole great big blog world that reads Christian's site will miss out on it, I'm going to share this with the half-dozen or so of you who read my humble little outpost in this corner of the internets. Hope you like it.


Stuff White People Like: "Making Unnecessary Craft Items"

Making unnecessary craft items is a favorite pastime of white people. This is especially true for white people too advanced to shop at Urban Outfitters (vintage-turned-mainstream!), who insist that their kitchen curtains stenciled with brown quail are the Cutest. Thing. Ever! Unnecessary craft projects may range from knitting (scarves, caps, even shirts, regardless of local climate) to various painting or small-construction projects. From barrels of 1-inch buttons to tabletop decoupage, this hobby has become a mandatory component of the white person lifestyle—as a way to "stay connected to my art," if nothing else.

White People's Unnecessary Craft Projects may include some of the following design elements:
--the colors orange/rust, brown, pea-green, and/or yellow
--sponge-painted designs
--printed/patterned fabrics
--junk items from second-hand shops
--stylized wildlife of the domesticated variety (nothing aggressive)
--patterns (e.g. geometric shapes)
--clever in-jokes, slogans, or non sequiturs (printed using stencils/sponge-painting)

This emphasis on homemade craftsmanship shouldn't be surprising to the cultural observer. Since all essential supplies can now be purchased easily online or at the local fair-trade shop, these home-based crafts have become the only feasible outlet for the white person's creative juices. The creative energy that our foreparents poured into opening up the West and building up the national infrastructure is now being funneled into Obama t-shirt designs and ironic faux-vintage housewares.

Understanding this need will aid your communicating with white people about their unnecessary craft projects. Remember, hand-crafted items, like vintage tee-shirts, are a point of white person pride. Asking about the turtle-stenciled bookends will give the owner/creator an opening to impress you with their creativity. Further, the idea of making rather than buying something helps white people feel they aren't contributing to their consumerist culture (no matter what they paid for the designer fabric or hard-to-find accessories). This is especially true if a junk item was restored as part of the project. When applicable, be sure to remark on the earth-friendliness of their re-use of materials. This will ensure you receive an unnecessary craft item as a future birthday or holiday gift.

Link of the Day!

I may have some linky love later on today, but for right now, bask in the hope-y glow of this amazing website.

Send Barack Your Baby

[h-t: Kinsey]

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Today's Reality Check

And Jesus answered them, "See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray." (Matt. 24:4-5)

I've never been much for end-times prophecy, but things like this get my attention.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday Linky Love

50 minutes until the scheduled Blogger outage--can I make it in time??? We'll find out!
  • Shotgun!
  • A fascinating tell-all article by the daughter of world-renowned feminist author Alice Walker on the negative effect of her mother's ideology on her upbringing.
  • I'm not doing this, but many conservative voters are planning on send a message to the Republican party by their absence. I appreciate the feeling, but the cost is too great.
  • This is amazing to me. Follow the links to experience some of the tragic and inspiring stories of the China earthquake aftermath...through comics strips. Such incredible depths of emotion conveyed with just three colors.
  • I never thought I'd link to something on the Huffington Post, but I really need to share this. For you folks who are really into environmentalism, that's cool and all. Good for you. But people like THIS [language warning] are the reason that people like me avoid and sometimes mock you. Seriously, if a stranger ran up and started screaming at me, I'd feel the need to defend myself.
  • The folks across the pond have put together the perfect home library. How many of the 11o titles do you have? (I have read and/or own 30. I'm not too worried.)
  • NatureNews explains why it hurts to sell your things. (Brain chemistry, apparently. Did you expect anything less from Nature News?)
  • Clearly the above problem is not an issue for Dave Bruno, who tries to live with no more than 100 thing(s) in his possession.
  • On the other hand, I have more than 100 DVDs, let alone total owned items. I'm looking at maybe building a smaller version of this for my CDs/VHS/DVD collection. Maybe a modified version for books too. We'll see.
  • I've always known Denny's is the hippest hangout in town, but apparently this is just now starting to become general knowledge.
  • From the world of sports: Definition of bad sportsmanship? Intentionally beaning the umpire in the FACE(mask).
  • This new Brad Pitt movie looks bizarre. But interesting.
  • Two hilarious short stories related to how the Internet touches our lives: one involving would-be time-travelling assassins, the other involving superheroes' text messages.
  • And finally, a duo of Youtube musical links: The amazingly good and the awesomely bad.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cool Video Wednesday

A clip of the Sweeney Todd production I saw last weekend (shown here is the Broadway cast--three of the supporting actors in this ensemble were in the show I saw):

Best. Tony Acceptance speech. EVER.

And a clip of the show that Lin wrote:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hello Again, Hello

Poor sad blog. Feels like I've been neglecting you, hasn't it?

Well, while I'm not "back" in any sense, here's something to tide you over until I have time to drop some linky love on ya: from the brain of Dave, thoughts mostly unfiltered. Basically here's what I've been mulling over or thinking about lately.

[Warning: Reflective. Reader beware.]

1. I worry about my folks. My dad still doesn't have a job, though he has a really good lead on one, and his second interview went well today. But the job will require a lot of travel, and I'm worried that, now that my parents have come through this difficult financial period with their marriage miraculously being as strong as ever, somehow that will be weakened or at least attacked by being apart half the time. After 28 years of being together, I should have more faith in them to weather these storms, but I'm still worried. Some of you have dealt with broken families, and I've tried to walk with you and support you through that. Though I have no reason to worry, I'm afraid of it nonetheless.

2. Last night, laying in bed, I imagined telling someone exactly how I felt about them, just completely unloading, and I felt a wave of relief after I was done venting to the darkness. But I know it was an illusion. Those emotions are still unexpressed, the tension is still there, and I can't make it go away. No, I really can't.

3. I miss being a poet. ("Being a poet" sounds so pretentious.) How about this, I miss writing poetry. I miss feeling creative. And I know I have the keys to fixing that, as simply as just doing it again, but something's missing. And there are other things pressing in to demand my attention right now.

4. There are moments when you come to your senses and realize that there are some things that are just completely out of balance in your life. This is one of those moments for me.

5. I'm teaching through the book of James at church, and so far it's been one of the most challenging teaching experiences I've had. When you teach the Bible, I think you take the full-force of the hit first, before you deliver it to anyone else. In His sovreignty, God always allows me to prepare the lesson/sermon I need to hear most that week. So far, we've talked about faith in hard times, and recognizing temptation as the lie that God isn't enough. Next on the bill: faith without works is dead and useless, and having "true religion" means caring for the orphan and widow, and keeping yourself unstained by the world. I should've worn my steel-toed booties for this one.

6. In the last few years, my great downfall continues to be a lack of self control. I've gotten soft. I have no discipline. And now it's making it difficult to do the things in my life that should be automatic. Instead of being a meat-eater, I'm finding that, in certain areas, I'm still a milk-baby. And while I recognize that I can't do in me what the Spirit must do in me, I have to repeat James' admonition: faith without works is dead. Faith in the sanctifying work of the Spirit without the willingness to follow His lead in the daily gruntwork of holiness, is dead.

7. I didn't get very much done today, and I really need to. I've had a hard time concentrating at work. I'll chase after every possible distraction, and it's frustrating. This is not the kind of worker I want to be. Not the type of person. I feel lousy about this. But today I stared at my inbox and felt overwhelmed. I shouldn't. There's nothing here I'm not fully capable of accomplishing. But I still felt overwhelmed.

8. I think the fact that I haven't gotten completely silly about a girl I've become attracted to, and am able to recognize that key differences in our personal beliefs and goals would make it difficult if not impossible to pursue a future together, is a big step forward for me. Of course, the big step forward has taken place entirely in my head and without her knowledge, so I don't know if it really counts as personal growth. It may just be more of my trademark overthinking.

9. I have so many important things to figure out, plan, and carry out in the next 6 weeks, that I want to crawl under the covers, put my pillow over my head, and hide from the world for a month or two. I'm pretty sure this is the opposite of manhood.

10. If I had a time machine, I'd go back to fall of 1998, find PastDave at the OBU cafeteria, slap the extra bowl of Golden Grahams and the glass of chocolate milk off his tray, and say, "Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD, you stupid bastard." Then I'd punch PastDave in the stomach. Some guys lament that they reached 250 lbs. I wish I could get back to that. That's my pie-in-the-sky dream weight. The prospect of losing the extra weight I've been carrying seems so incredibly daunting. It's tempting to give up, give in, and be an overeater. I find myself starting to, and I have to claw back from the gorge.

In general, right now I just feel like I've made so many mistakes already, so many stupid choices that I can't undo. I should have stayed in shape. Gotten better grades. Started writing sooner and more consistently. Gone out with this girl instead of that one. All of these regrets, all of these things I can't change. But it's narcissism, right, to obsess about this. Instead of staring down into the pool to bask in my own beauty, I'm tempted to look back and count all the ways I've screwed up over the years. Yet I know, and I cling to the knowledge, that it wasn't all a wash. That God used it and good came out of it. And I try to move on.

I'm not depressed, I'm just frustrated. I know better. I should have done better. But done-bun can't be undone. So all that's left is to make the best of things.

I just hate that, at 27, I already feel like I have to "make the best of things."

Time to go. Turn off the light on your way out, if you don't mind.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"What's up with the hostility, Joe?"

So yeah, we left the blog on a down note last time. Sorry about that.

Quick update: Work's busy, and we're switching over email programs which means i have to figure out where half of my email files disappeared to. Fun.

Other stuff in my life: meh. S'cool. Dad has a follow-up interview with the company he's been talking to, so God willing, that will turn into a job soon. Very soon. Like in the next week, soon.

I'm fine. Church is fine. Everything else is pretty fine.

But I am busy, so i'm gonna be offline for a while. I'll try to drop some linky love later in the week.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Double Standard?

Help me out, folks:

Is this

more or less offensive than


Or this?

Or this? Or this? Or this? Or these?

If it's just as offensive, why do the overwhelming majority of the latter go on unimpeded while the former is shut down almost immediately?

Doesn't that seem just a bit...what's the word... hypocritical?

Either assassination art is "acceptable dissent" or it's not.

(My vote is "not," but then again, I'm a free-speech-hating Rethuglican fascist warmonger, so what do I know.)

[h-t: Michelle Malkin, who's been keeping the links for these "art" pieces, and who posted on this first.]