Saturday, September 10, 2005

Extra-Crispy PP Comment Bucket

While putting together a summary of various views on Paul's usage of "I" in Romans 7, I'll put out some "lazy-man" commentary and such on matters of slightly less cosmic significance. This will scratch the blogging itch, we hope.

(1) It might be charged that no real new ground is being broken in the Romans miniseries. And this charge is surely true. It is actually [like most of blogging] a selfish exercise. I find that [for whatever reason] I can read something, but, an hour later, I'm unable to summarize it. But, if I write things out, the material sticks. Hence, there is a twofold motivation: scratch the blogging itch and make the material stick. I suppose there's a third motivation: I've wanted to write a semi-scholarly commentary for a long time. But, such a commentary, if done carefully, would take up the space of a large book, not to mention that the time commitment would be overwhelming. I'm still recovering [that could be too melodramatic a word] from the book I wrote earlier --- a book that led to a weight gain and other health nasties.

(2) I went to an Assembly of God high school. [There's a lot of comic fodder that could be explored.] Our dress code was by today's standards laughably uptight and conservative. Hair had to be above the ears, and it had to be short. Now this was the mid-1980's, so short hair was already in vogue. Jewelry on the girls had to be conservative --- nothing dangly or gaudy. No smooching in the hallway, and you'll commit the sin against the Holy Ghost if you smoke in the bathroom. Only homosexuals and pirates and bikers wore earrings if they were male, or so it seemed.

What now do I see today with college students? First, it seems that most of them have tattoos. The males have them wherever, though the pattern I see the most is the chain-link-or-barbed-wire-around-the-upper-arm look. The females have them all over as well, at least for those parts I can see. The guys often have earrings and piercings, and the gals wear lord-knows-how-many studs or earrings.

The fashion should be noticed as well. Quite often the female students wear these low-cut pants that look designed to push their hip-chubb up, causing it to spill over as if they have a middle-aged-male's beer gut. I'll bypass the haggard bellbottoms and retro-70's clothing in the interests of space.

Apparently --- and for me this is the kicker --- all this stuff is considered to be sexy. That is, the pierced and tattooed college girl with the pants-induced pooch-tummy is "hot" or whatever.

Now I have no moral problems with tattoos or piercings --- if I were to get a gothic-font "PP" etched by some former biker named Killer onto my 26" pythons [that's a Hulk Hogan reference], it wouldn't be a sin, and, even if it were a sin, there are far more important sins upon which to fixate. But, at the same time, the techincal term I use for piercings and tattoos is "icky." It's all icky. Icky icky icky. When on the university campus, whether lecturing and putting students to sleep, or whether roaming around the coffeehouse, it is as if I'm the last unpierced and untattooed man alive.

Now I somewhat know how Charlton Heston's character in "The Omega Man" felt. [Oooo, nice 70's reference.]

(3) Speaking of Charlton Heston, I've wanted to [upon receiving my lunch at the university coffeehouse] drop to my knees and scream The Steak Burrito Combo Plate is PEEEEOPLLLLLE in a tribute to Soylent Green. Don't think I'm not being serious here. It would be one of the all-time great "dare" stunts.

(4) I'm waiting to see conservative Republican Evangelicals hop on the Giuliani bandwagon as they adopt their battered housewife pose caused by their marriage to the Republican Party and act as if he is somehow an objectively good thing. Oh, but he's not Hillary Clinton. I suppose that in and of itself is an objectively good thing.

Let's be straight here: you vote for the Democrats, you get Big Government. You vote for the Republicans, you get Big Government. Much of the Republican party at the national level doesn't even have the pretense of limited government anymore.

Also, if you point out that the Republican Party is itself a willing participant and enabler of the steadily-growing Nanny State, be prepared to have a thick skin as braindead Republican apologists brand you a "paleoconservative" or an "anarchist" or whatever little hate-label happens to be fashionable. Liberty = anarchy, and you're simply better off with other people spending your money and making decisions for you. Deal with it, drone.

(5) I don't know why people associate pipe organ music with somber funeral music or cheesy B-grade horror movies. The pipe organ is truly the king of instruments. And, I contend that it is the most difficult Western musical instrument to play, for the obvious reason of coordinating the pedal work with the keyboard work.

For myself, I was a piano sort-of prodigy, trying out [but falling a bit short] of the youth symphony in my city [and this was a pretty good-sized city]. In graduate school, I fell in love with Baroque keyboard music and had a good fling with harpischord studies. I learned proper harpsichord technique [it isn't the same as playing the piano] and eventually had a very large repertoire of Bach. At one point, I knew all of Book 1 and a good chunk of Book 2 of The Well-Tempered Clavier.

But then I made the arrogant mistake of thinking that it would be a mere matter of time before mastering the pipe organ. After months, I could play a few Bach hymns and such, but the great three- and four-voice fugues are inaccessible today. The level of coordination demanded having an independent left hand and an independent right hand and at least one independent foot rather blows me away still.

(6) Feeling old: Apparently, XBOX will be obsolete in a year or two. This makes me feel the same way I did in a Calculus III lecture a few years back when I made an Atari 2600 reference and the undergraduates didn't seem to have any idea of what I was speaking.

(7) Feeling old, part II: I can remember when it wasn't the case that everybody was yabbering on their cell phones. People drive while yakking into them, cell phones ring during my lectures, people ahead of me in line jaw into them. When we take a 10-minute break in class, it seems that most everybody grabs their cellphone and starts yakking.

"Ah, Tattoo, here comes the PP."

"Ooooooo boss! What is his fantasy?"

"He has a fantasy of ripping cell phones out of the hands of people, and then doing to them what that Gallagher guy does to a watermelon."

"Oooooo boss! I like dat fantasy!"

"Yes Tattoo, it has a certain appeal, much like the Corinthian leather seats in the Chrysler Cordoba .... hold on, my cell phone is ringing... Hello? Hello?"

"Oooooo Boss? Boss? Boss? ..... He always do dis to me!"


Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

No comments? What about the crappy Windows Paint job on the KFC bucket? What about the photo of Ricardo Montalban and Tattoo? The Gallagher reference? The 80's Hulkster reference? I'm not saying this post is on par with Paul's epistle to the Romans, but, it is darn close.

Saturday, September 10, 2005 9:33:00 PM  
Blogger centuri0n said...

What I have to say this:

For making that comic cover, you have to recruit a friend and do the Heston stunt on video and either send the video to me or post it on the internet via your blog.

That's a cmall price to pay, doncha think?

Sunday, September 11, 2005 5:38:00 AM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

I guess that's a fair exchange, Frank.

What I've also wanted to do as a Heston tribute is to go to the Statue of Liberty, and, upon seeing it, drop to my knees while pounding the ground with my fists yelling: "You finally did it, you bastards! You finally did it! You dropped the big one! Damn you.....damn you all to hell!" Problem is, this performance art was already done in a Simpsons episode some years ago, much to my chagrin. Even worse, the copyright check has yet to roll in.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 12:54:00 PM  

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