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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I watched a 1994 episode of The X-Files today. Really watched it, and I discovered summat.
I really miss the paranoia of the Nineties.
The Cold War was over, but Bad Things were happening. Weird Bad Things. Art Bell
was in his heyday. Saucers , mutilations, earth changes;
the overarching feeling that Something Strange Is Going On, and The Government Is Probably Behind It All.

On top of it all, I was mildly insane at the time: undiagnosed clinical depression, with a soupcon of manic sprinkled on, so it was all really weird. When I watched the X-files and Millennium on telly,
I had some difficulty distinguishing their storylines from REALITY, not in a hallucinatory way, but in the hair on the back of the neck, out of the corner of your eye sort.

In the not-so-new normal, where the enemy is robe-clad, bearded, and is a Member of the Religion of Peace and Love, things are just too in-your-face. No subtlety, no mystery.

At least I have 24.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Miyazaki, anime, and....like that.

Walt Disney provided entertainment to the masses, a distraction from the everyday, whether during the Depression, World War II, the Cold War, or the angst of the VietNam era.

Hayao Miyazaki, provides a Call back to Japan's cultural and spiritual roots, and takes us along for the ride. His winsome back-looking to a simple, family centred Japan is genuine, and the gorgeous, lush backgrounds make one want to live in the movie. I don't find his tendency to "re-use" faces to be a problem. It is rather like finding a favorite actor in yet another keen role.
So many of his female characters bring out my Daddy streak. I just want to hug them. The sweetness of his stories is never treacly, and when I find myself with a tear in my eye, I don't feel as though I have been cheaply manipulated, like Disney or Spielberg's movies seem. Miyazaki-san touches me. Disney and Spielberg push my buttons.

Now, I may depart from some of my reader, but I do not have problems with the "spirituality" of Miyazaki's films. C.S. Lewis posited that a culture's myths and folklore are imperfect reflexions of the Real. The English preacher Derek Prince echoed this in his belief that the giants of Genesis 6 are the basis for the Greek Titan myths. The Biblical testimony of there being myriads of angels (one teacher suggests 100 trillion, based upon numbers in the Book of Revelation) makes me think that there must be more going on in the Heavens than an Eternal Hymn Sing. If we have guardian angels (Matthew 18:10), and nations are overseen by angels
(Daniel10:1-21), I wonder if perhaps there is spiritual oversight of the realm of nature, and the concept of benign forest spirits, or even soot sprites, may be an imperfect picture of Reality. I am not being an animist or a pantheist. I'm just thinking.

If I found a Totoro in my wood, I would not worship it. I would politely bow, and thank God for His wonders.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Anime!

We have been reveling in the work of Hayao Miyazaki, each Thursday night on TCM.
One can almost overlook the Tedster's madness, since he provided the venue for such a treat.
My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa, The Cat Returns, all such wonderful masterpieces! He is so far beyond Disney in story and art. That Miyazaki-san is very conservative endears him even more to me. He wistfully calls Japan back to gentler tradition and honor.

To continue to open an earlier vein, as much as I detest Sci-Fi conventions now, with all their attendant loutishness and boorish behavior, to that precise degree I adore and enjoy enjoy anime conventions and fans. And the stars, as well.

First: the stars. Voice actors, not faces. They are eminently approachable. The SF-con Guests tend to be....Removed and Above It All. Papal, really. You may See them at the assigned Times, and they will Allow you to approach and hand them documents on which they Affix their Imprimatur (often, for coin..."When the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs."), whereupon you are Ushered Away. You may not afterward Go Out and Hoist One with them. They are ushered back to Whence They Came. Later you may hear them speak, often sharing whimsical anecdotes detailing the Stupidity of their Fans, and how the Show was Not that Great, Really. Inspirational.

Not so with the stars of anime...You may SPEAK to them, shake 'em by the hand. They will often buy(!) YOUR wares in the dealer's room, and when you GIVE 'em something in your most up-sucking way, just because you appreciate their work, they appreciate it.

I consider Scott McNeil a buddy...he may consider me a nuisance, but he bears it well. We are on "Sees you, points and grins broadly" terms at cons. This little con, PersaCon
is more like a family reunion, where Guests and attendees can just enjoy! Voice actors really appreciate being appreciated. The artists, likewise. Manga (Japanese comics) and anime artists will often draw summat Just For You...sometimes for coin, sometimes just 'cos!

A HUGE difference with the anime crowd is that they are polite! The con-goers not only like those Japanese cartoons, they also absorb the manners of the culture! Some may be "just for show", but at the very bottom of it all, aren't MOST manners like that? Not hypocrisy, but the surface lubrication that enables us to get along with each other without snarling and biting.I mean, not even Martha Stewart is "It's a good thing" ALL the time. These kids put on their manners, and treat one another- and me- in a more courtly fashion than, say, the average SF con-goer of similar age.

The cosplaying that the fans do is very cool, and oh-so-varied. C'mon people...hasn't Star Wars been DONE TO DEATH? The variety of anime series provides a massive kaleidoscopic palette from which to paint costume masterpieces. You may have three "Eds" from Cowboy Bebop at a con, done with varying degrees of excellence, but you ALSO have half-a-jillion other characters being cosplayed as well. Many beautifully.

More later...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Well, here's my turn at being petulant.
I spent literally all day yesterday (Wednesday) wrestling.
There was an incursion of gnosticism on Vox's blog, and several of us stood for the Faith Once Delivered, some more, ummmm, sedately than others, but all capably. My beef is that whereas we supply objective "thus saith the Lord" Scriptural proofs, and do so politely, the opposition provides "I feel" subjectivism, and then often resort to the passive-aggressive "You poor benighted thing...your dogma blinds you to My Sublime Truth:


"the rest was the usual that one expects to see when dealing with Dogmatic Religious zealots. Free will.... God's greatest gift... I respect all for that... I voiced my opinions, they voiced their's.....you can lead a horse to water........ many have come before, many will come later, all receive the same, including the one we call Christ. They wait for him to come but just as before I doubt they would even recognize him or accept him. Human pride and arrogance is a powerful sin."

(Arrogance=Not taking my word for it)

The objective versus the subjective: God has His ways vs. whatever Feels Good or Seems Right.
The eternal tension.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is death.
I'm sorry, but if an angel rides up to me on a green bicycle, I am gonna ask to see some ID.
Bottom line: I am called to teach the truth. Each Christian is. You share 'til no-one listens anymore. Then you stop 'til the next time.
Besides, when someone quotes Borges, the discussion is over! ;^)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

There has recently been a thread on Vox's wherein the Course in Miracles was discussed a bit.
This is curious. A couple of atheist professors suddenly begin channeling new messages from Jesus.

They are selling their revelations for a tidy sum.

I teach the original Gospel of Jesus for free.

Curious.

The subjective terrifies me....

The subjective terrifies me.
Anything can happen.
Monsters can come out from under your bed.
Atheist professors can channel Jesus.
God can put the kibosh on a city with a hurricane.

The tyranny of the subjective horrifies me.
I have nothing to go by.
I must figure phenomena out for myself.
Why do plants grow NOW, and not grow THEN?
Why does the Moon disappear into limitless darkness each month?
What must I do for it to come back?
Can I do anything to bring it back?
Why am I happy?
Why am I sad?
Will the Sun rise tomorrow?
Can I do anything to insure its rising?
Will the Dark ever go away?

Behold the rule of the subjective, the experiential. It is harsh. It is scary. It is incomprehensible, especially when my feelings become entwined with natural process, that I do not recognise as process. The World just...HAPPENS to me.

Many religions have arisen from man's attempts to suss out the subjective. Ancient worshippers of Baal and Ashtoreth figured out that if they coupled for their gods, the gods would get turned on, and do the same, thus bringing fertility to the land. Thus was born the first lay ministries.

Enter Yahweh, or Jehovah, as the German theologians dubbed Him. He didn't wait for folks to figure Him out. He was proactive, was Yahweh. He revealed Himself by speaking rationally.
Not oogah-boogah, but "Come let us reason together...". He let it be known what he wanted of the world that He made. He gave us an objective yardstick, a plumbline, as it were, against which to measure. Alas we are measured and found wanting. How can I appease this Deity?
No problem, he set up a plan whereby ultimately we can be like Him, redeemed from our bad selves through His Son Jesus the Messiah.

God, in providing the Objective, freed us from the tyranny of the Subjective.
Katrina, and Ariel Sharon's stroke?
God's not tryin' to tell us Jack...

"God, who at different times and in different manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;" Hebrews 1:1-2

"God has in these last days spoken to us by his Son." The Gospel of Jesus is how God speaks to us today. Not by smite buttons or plagues, but by His Son. We are free, baby!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Happy Birthday, my love!

The Dread Dormomoo, my sweet, is @&(* this day.
The varklets took her and us all to Mikawa, the wonderful Japanese restaurant in Huntsville tonight. We had a tatami room and everything! Mikawa is NOT a "hibachi circus" restaurant.
I sometimes think that the culinary clowns that places like Shogun or Benihana employ must grind their teeth at the baka gaijin they must entertain by debasing the art of Japanese cooking to the level of a Happy Meal, and would rather douse the customers with vodka, rather than the grill, and then set them alight.

A grand time was had, and she was given a lovely set of placemats as a birthday present by the manager, who prizes us highly, and treats us royally. The waitress, a sweet lass, tripped, and anointed my shoulder with green tea at the beginning of the meal. Hot green tea. Thankfully, it was not as hot as it really should have been, so all my shoulder got was soggy and warm. She was dreadfully sorry, and then the manager found out. We instantly had another server, a waiter. This was not our choice, and we did what we could to downplay the incident. It was no problem, merely a gaffe amongst friends. I grew concerned that I might find her head on a pike outside when we left, but no, she was OK. The manager, M***, was almost frantic at the time, and even brought some lovely beef, egg and miso soup to try.
Mikawa, in Huntsville, AL. Oishii!
We all had sushi, red dragon (tuna), black dragon (unagi, freshwater eel) Philadelphia roll, and a Rainbow roll, as we had such a gay time. In the classic sense. We shared grilled squid, various lovely tempura (this place has the GREATEST tempura. It is very light and not-oily.) and teriyaki, beef and chicken. And miso soup. Such miso we had!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We love our Dormomoo!

Monday, January 23, 2006

I picked this up from a blog link:

"I grew up the only child of two academics, a feminist English professor and a moral philosopher."

This is the saddest sentence ever written.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

ChattaCon Report.

Oh, boy! Science fiction fandom is getting older and crabbier.
Science fiction fandom is getting younger and jerkier!

We got back from Chattanooga a little while ago. The trip over all was fun. The business was less than stellar.
Of course, a small dealers room with three big t-shirt vendors-disparate though they be- results in major dollar dilution. The venue was great, though. The Chattanooga Choo-Choo complex was our playground.

I have come to understand why I dislike SF cons after twenty-six years of being a huckster...AHEM...dealer. It is a known quality of SF fandom that it has by-and-large rejected religion (shoot, the Christian faith...any New-age / Old occult "alternative spirituality" is embraced, or at least smiled upon indulgently) and self-consciously revels in its release from outmoded morality. This has resulted in a toxic smugness
with which I have no patience, a tony agnosticism which seeks no truth, as there is none to seek. The cultural niceties of politesse can easily be done away, as they only obfuscate "honest relationships".

So, one can always count upon a sound sleep being interrupted by people shouting outside your window, slamming doors, and yelling in the hall of your hotel. Always. As well as lording their intellect over you and your merchandise by "fixing" the sayings on your t-shirts. (Read
The Aardvark's Illustrated Guide to Not Being An Obnoxious Customer)

I mean, these folks are the intelligentsia, the Brain Trust, the elite. They have cast from themselves the oppressive shackles of "religion". What should prevent them from indulging in rapine, pillaging, and the burning of the benighted meeting-houses of the deluded? They are free of moral stricture, and are free to do as they will!


Thus, they choose to shout, slam, and yell in the hallways.


Such is beyond my limited capacity for reason.


Addendum-

I met Bruce Bethke and his wife (he is The Original Cyberpunk).
He is a brick. Very nice guy, and is not to be included in the above
diatribe. AND he liked our offerings as they were, thank you very much!
My largest regret this weekend is that I had no time to sit and enjoy some manner of beverage with him, so as to solve all problems in the Blog-o-Verse.










Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Aardvark has arriven!
He arrove yesterday, he thinks.

Sorry, I LOVE playing with words, using the General Rules of English to fiddle with the strays, the non-conformists.
Teach becomes taught.
Preach should become praught.

Anyway, I have arrived. How so?
A.M.Siriano has linked to my site. Not just a little clickable citation in the margin, no sir.
He is featuring my blog right on his page.

Thanks, A.M.
I'm blessed to be included.
Dear Varksters, I must awa' for the weekend.
I'm going to ChattaCon with Ian McLeod and Loen.

We'll hang out with Bruce Bethke, enjoy some Killian's Red, maybe some Shiner Bock, and fix everything that's wrong in the Blog-o-verse.

No, Fix Number One is NOT deleting the Plumbline.
>Jack Benny voice<
Don't be fresh!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Jack Abramoff, show us the way!

We have a real opportunity here. I heard on Rusty Humphreys
this weekend that a Democrat leader said that he "didn't know of ONE Democrat (in the Senate) that had taken money" from Abramoff, the uber-lobbyist. There isn't one. There are forty-five, according to Rusty.
Figure in the number of Republicans so tainted, and you will have a majority in the Senate who are-or will be-revealed as having accepted bribes.

This is an unprecedented opportunity to wipe the Senate clean and start over, if we can gin up the will and outrage so to do.

Let it be said that it began here.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Dread Dormomoo speaks...


We were talking, the Momoovark and I, and as usual a pearl of wisdom graciously fell from her lips (this does happen quite often, and we must pick them up instanter, lest someone slip on one and hurt himself).

For all who are like-freakin OUT about Alito and Co. stealing the Most Important Thing In The World from the women of Amerika, think on this:

It doesn't matter WHO the majority party is, nor who inhabits the Ovoid Orifice, nor even the teeter-totter makeup of the Supremes. Not a bit does it matter. Roe v. Wade is the Law of the Land, if not de jure, then certainly de facto. Abortion on Demand is set in stone, more firmly than Judge Moore's Tablets. Unless the Son of God splits the sky, and slays the malefactors, the "doctors", then that's all she wrote.

WHY, pray tell, would we even countenance such a proclamation? Because it is in the Federal Government's best interest that it be so. Think of all the poor benighted women, the real estate agents, the investment advisors, the middle-and-upper management chicas, the tenured feminist studies professors,
who would likely be in the home, raising little ones, and NOT paying gobs of withholding taxes, if abortion was not available at one's whim. Worse, if they were NOT married, then they might be on the dole, buying Chee-tos, bologna, and Wonder bread with their EBT cards, not merely being non-producers, but entrenched takers from the system.

Now Vox and crew can likely trot out numbers to give the lie to our little exercise here, but that won't matter, either, because from the FedGov point of view, it WOULD be a loss, just as trimming a percentage of increase is spun as a net loss.

Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, moderate, "independent", it matters not a whit.
The purpose of government is to perpetuate itself. It will brook no interference.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

I'm just grumpy.



I write on the substantive...
I write on the whimsical...

I write on pop-culture...

On things spiritual...

On the sacred, and the profane.

I need feedback, lest I think it is all for nought.
Lemme know SOMETHING, please.

Friday, January 13, 2006

















I've been wallowing in nostalgia, and I really don't understand something.
Why is it so chic to hate Space Angel and Clutch Cargo?

I have been watching a DVD and a VHS tape of episodes, and I am amazed at how GOOD they were, especially for WHAT they were: cheap kids TV fodder.

Clutch Cargo was a pre-"Raiders" globe-trotting adventurer who flew a 1929 Bellanca C-27A Airbus. His kid pal Spinner, with his dachsund Paddlefoot, accompanied Clutch in his feats of derring-do.

Space Angel was a 50s-style space opera with amazing, gorgeous SF art by Alex Toth.
Click on the image on his site to go to the next image.

The trippy thing about these series -besides the ummmmm...minimalist animation, is the
Synchro-Vox process whereby the voice actors' mouths were superimposed on their character's faces. It was accurately done, by and large, and added some dramatic touches, what with being able to bite one's lip in concern.

The art was done by hugely talented comics illustrators, and looks great- especially Space Angel.
Neat stuff, in an unusual niche.

Clutch Cargo is available on Amazon.

I'm hoping for SPACE ANGEL next.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

If it has to say "processed cheese food", then it must not be.

I have been voting since 1975.
I have been a Christian since at LEAST 1971.

This establishes a pattern. I have ALWAYS voted for "the Christian candidate". (Yes, that means that I voted for Jimmuh Carter. If there was a Purgatory, I would spend time there...)
Yes, I have always voted for the "Christian" candidate.
I have always been bitten on the bum because of it.
Mr. Peanut: High ideals from a loathsome leftist >CHOMP<


I voted for Guy Hunt, the Primitive Baptist preacher and former Amwayite (for Alabama Governor). I got Mortimer Snerd >CHOMP<


I voted for Bob Riley, the horsie-riding gubernatorial candidate, who promised no new taxes, and promptly sought a 2 billion dollar tax rise >CHOMP<


I voted for W.


Now I am faced with this.

I know that charity/agape love in 1 Cor.13 says "Bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things." But come ON!
The issue is not one of people being Christian. My problem lies in discerning The True Believer from the persons who cynically trade upon the moniker for political gain.

The old saying is "once bitten, twice shy".
By this time I'm positively skittish!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

AFA redux

It's The End Of The World As We Know It.


Again.


NBC's The Book of Daniel premiered last Friday, and was reru....ummm, encored on Saturday.
I was surprised when the sun rose on Sunday. The premise is laughable, the fact that NBC thinks it to be Christian family fare is moreso. Now, the call-in chat shows are bubbling with the ferment of Righteous Indignation. Write to NBC!!! BOYCOTT THE SPONSORS!!! ELECT JAMES DOBSON KING!!!!



Here's my question, to any and all of the writers, phoners, boycotters, and waggers of Indignation's boney finger:

  • When's the last time you had a Bible study with someone?
  • Have you ever led someone to Christ, and had them rocket out of the waters of baptism clean, new, their eyes ashine with Joy Unspeakable?
  • Have you invited your coworker, neighbor or friend to church?
  • Have you counseled a troubled acquaintance from the wisdom of God's Word?
  • Do you pray for your friends?
  • Do you pray for the heads of networks, for whom Jesus also was crucified, dead, and buried, and arose again from the dead?



Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."


Bringing people to Christ. Making disciples of the nations.
THAT, friends, will be the end of the world as we know it.
Here is a bit of a turn-off for me.

No, this really ticks me off to no end. And please note, anger is not the same as HATE. Clear?

I may disagree with another person's beliefs-such is fair because "A" and "not-A" cannot both be true. I may be drawn into discussion or debate with those who are willing. I do not pound people with a ten-pound King James. I believe that what I believe is largely true and correct, otherwise what's the point? I earnestly TRY to be correct, and when I communicate, I do my best to "speak the Truth in love", as that intolerant hater the Apostle Paul taught to do.

What really cheeses me is when people who believe differently from me, or who believe not at all, get all smug and superior over my(or anyone's) being a believer, when I do not cop an attitude at them at all.

It is SO easy to make a religious strawman like: "It's dangerous to poke fun at other's religion, because they can stone you, or burn you at the stake..." when you are in the presence of fellow agnostics. How very BRAVE. Especially when I have not "smugged at" you.

Do you get it? You imagine that we hate you, when you are the one being hateful.
When all we want to do is love you, and introduce you to Love Himself.
Not to religion.
Not to rules.
Just to Love. Himself.

Monday, January 09, 2006


















JamieR, this one's for you!

I have no convenient way at present to privately showcase a design for an individual, so bear with me, people.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

















Here is the tentative logo for the webcast.

Let me know what you think.
"All the kvetching about government intrusion THIS, and high taxation THAT...

What to DO about it?"
Domain Name
usda.govUnited States Government)
IP Address
199.158.161.# (USDA Office of Operations)
199.158.161.183
ISP
USDA Office of Operations
Location
Continent : North America
Country : US
State : Colorado
City : Fort Collins
Lat/Long : 40.5876, -105.3243

Now, I'm not a black helicopter guy, and the visitor is probably one of the regular and rather neat denizens of Vox Day's blog site, but I found the coincidence amusing.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Aardvark presents a new feature to this corner of the Blog-o-verse.
That's right: A tip jar, to the right at the top.
If you have any inclination to encourage the efforts here, and help effect upgrades, well and good.
Your emolument will be hugely appreciated, and little of it will be spent on pizza.

How did I come to add this?
Hi, Doug! He gave me some really positive feedback, and wondered that I did not have a donation thingie. Honestly, it had never crossed my mind, but the idea of it seemed worthwhile.
I am not planting an ob on you (The Great Explosion by Eric Frank Russell), but giving opportunity.

As your presence grants me opportunity to write for you.
Thanks.
I'll be here.

The Aardvark Posted by Picasa

Here is our logo for Aardvark Tees.
www.aardvarktees.com

Isn't he sweet?

Friday, January 06, 2006

I must bow to superior technology. Lileks does it. Shoot, Ian McLeod does it.
I have Goldwave, and Audacity.

Gimme a week.
Raadio Aardvark is on the way.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

As Twain wrote of Smiley in the "Jumping Frog" tale:
"He was the maddest man."
No moreso than this Aardvark.
The West Virginia mining accident with its subsequent deaths and ridiculous reportage has got me in a froth, a veritable lather.
How in bonny blue blazes do you invert the numbers from 12 dead / 1 survivor to
1 dead / 12 survivors? We watched with JOY the news that most had been found alive; crowed online our praise to God, and then this morning...
Well, this is the last straw for me. I grieve for the families of the lost, whose emotions were whipsawed so savagely be the media reports, as well as by the company spokesmen (I am making an assumption, here. Where did the newsies get their info?). But I am done with the Alpha-Bits
news-makers. Even and especially FOX. They know better, and c'mon, quit letting Geraldo off his leash.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Here's the thing that REALLY burns my bum:

Busybodies.

A certain type of busybody. Someone close to me was involved in an auto accident-brakes locked in the rain, and he rear-ended a car. The skid marks tell the tale: he was not following too closely, nor traveling at excessive speed. The issue was turned over to the insurance companies to handle.
Well and good.

Enter the BUSYBODY.
Some wrecker-chaser insinuated himself into the situation, and has instigated a lawsuit.
A TRIAL LAWYER has involved himself in an occurance with which he was not involved, ostensibly to "help the VIC-tims get money".
The TRUTH of the matter is this:
He is a BUSYBODY, a nosy-parker, a meddler, and he is trying to profit from an incident in which HE WAS NEVER INVOLVED. He is causing the Someone Close To Me no end of angst and grief.

The apostle Peter enjoined Christians : "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." (1 Peter 4:15)

Bottom line: You mess with God's kids, you mess with GOD, and He's been in the Vengeance biz a lot longer than any of us.

When you least expect it...expect it.