Saturday, March 24, 2007


I have 60 books tagged as "commentary" at LibraryThing.

They're all my dad's.

I found that a number had notecards or other bookmarks at points discussing the proper role of women within the church.

Has anyone else even tried reconstructing a person from his or her library? Silly me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Biblically Sleep Deprived

I think, one day, I'm going to write an entire Bible commentary -- but only while I'm massively sleep deprived and have no real filter going. It'll be great, filled with comments like: but this was before God didn't like Solomon. You know, it's not until later that Solomon started liking the ladies more than he liked God.

Or: I can just see Jesus the first time he appears to the apostles after the resurrection. "Stupid, stupid, boys! Listen to the girls the next time I send them to tell you something!"

But for right now, my biology major roommate just shakes her head and goes back to studying birds.

Categorical data

I've been wanting to write a post for a while on the problematic nature of labels, such as gay and straight, masculine and feminine, theist and atheist, republican and democrat, etc. But I was browsing through the archives of Peterson Toscano's wonderful blog and found this post that says anything I would want to say but far better than I would have said it.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Lights in Memphis

I keep thinking that, one day, Memphis might actually get some positive coverage in national media that doesn't pertain in one way or another to Elvis. But then I remember that Memphis fails at getting positive coverage in the local media.

The New York Times ran an article today about our current Ford scandal with Memphis, Light, Gas, and Water extending $16,000 dollars to Edmund Ford. You can't cut off a Ford's lights here in Memphis. I'd be surprised. Except I'm not. It's Memphis. Moreover, it's people.

This specific scandal is emblematic of a flaw that Memphis possesses in abundance, but a flaw I hardly think is limited to Memphis. The rich use their wealth and influence to protect themselves while ignoring the need around them. This quote from the Times article sums it up.
“I think it is a travesty of the public utility system in the city,” said Ron Johnson, who works with low-income students in the city’s school system. “Memphis is a town in which the poverty rate is high, and you have individuals who could truly benefit from help. And yet you have politicians benefiting on the backs of poor people, and it’s just wrong.”
It's particularly obvious in Memphis because there is so much poverty juxtaposed with ostentatious displays of wealth. One of the first things a visitor sees entering the city from the east is Bellevue Baptist's crosses and their obnoxious billboards -- God alone only knows how much was spent on those that could have gone to ameliorate the vast amounts of suffering in this city. But the poor masses of Memphis won't be able to contribute to Bellevue's capital in way the upper middle class white folk drawn in billboards will be able to. MLGW's President gets more from currying favor from the Ford family than he could by breaking up 16,000 dollars worth of credit among several poor families.