Monday, November 27, 2006


Tonight at 8pm Central Standard Time on NBC--HEROES. It's an origins episode. Watch it. There's a reason this show is the most-watched and highest-rated new show of the season. Peter Petrelli saved the cheerleader, so did he save the world?

Friday, November 24, 2006


A few weeks ago I was watching a public showing of the movie Cinderella Man. There were a couple of older women sitting behind me. Paul Giamatti is a supporting actor in the film portraying Jim Braddock’s (Russell Crowe) manager, Joe Gould. There was one moment in the movie when Giamatti was on screen and I heard the ladies behind me say, “…and his hair is parted. It looks so nice. Men just don’t part their hair anymore. It’s a shame, they look more handsome that way.” Upon hearing this, I thought to myself, “I used to.”

I used to part my hair, but for the last couple of years I haven’t. About three years ago when I went back to school I got a totally different haircut than I had ever had before. It was partly because I wanted to try something different and partly because my usual barber was unavailable. I wasn’t able to part my hair with the new do, and I guess that’s when I pretty much stopped parting my hair.
Anyway, the comment those ladies made got me thinking. I liked parting my hair, even if I was the object of ridicule from time to time. It got me thinking about a lot of things about myself. It kind of all ties in with the Baby Blues comic above. I’ve tried very hard to live a temperant life. I know that I’m not of this world, but I am in this world. However, there are just some things I’ve had to accept about myself. Tattoos, cell phones, piercings, etc. just aren’t for me (though I did thought about getting a tattoo for almost a year and almost got this one and I’ll probably end up getting a cell phone eventually when I can afford it) and I think I’m going to start parting my hair again. I’ve had to accept that I’m just an old-fashioned guy living at the edge of this post-modern world.
P.S. This post didn't turn out as though-provoking, humorous, or even as intriguing as I wanted it to. Why can't my words say what I want them to say anymore?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thinking About Heroes

I saw the movie STRANGER THAN FICTION today. It was very unusual. It's a comedy and by that I mean that it's a comedy as opposed to being the only other thing it could be; a tragedy. There are some funny parts, but it's not slapstick. The plot is very surreal. It made me think and I enjoyed it.

One of the things it made me think about is heroes. I've been thinking about heroes and the nature of a hero and what it means to be a hero a lot lately (I'm working on a more formal essay about heroes that will probably be by next published column which I'll post here, too). Traditionally, in most great stories from BEOWULF to Gilgamesh to many Biblical stories to THE LORD OF THE RINGS to KING KONG to Batman, a hero is someone who does something extraordinary at great danger to themselves in order to save someone else. Usually, a hero doesn't get the woman he loves (or if they're female they don't get the man they love) or they die and the greatest of heroes give up both the girl and their lives. I've always argued that in order to truly be a hero, the guy would either loose the woman he loved or end up loosing his life. Part of the reason for this is that to truly be a hero a person must experience great suffering and the loss of love or the loss of one's life are usually considered the two greatest sacrifices that can be afflicted upon a person. Sidekicks are the ones who can both get the girl and not get killed. Because of some thoughts that a certain television show airing on Monday nights on NBC has caused me to be thinking and now the movie, STRANGER THAN FICTION, I'm beginning to think that maybe that isn't the case.

I don't know exactly why I've become so preoccupied with this subject lately, but it's something I've found myself wrestling with in my head. I'm curious as to what other people think. So, What do you think? To truly be a hero does one have to sacrifice love or lose his life? Or can one be a hero and still get the girl and not loose his life?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Aching in Autumn

When I was a child my favorite season of the year was autumn. Though the season itself doesn’t officially begin until the end of September, autumn really begins on the first day of school. For many students, this is a day of dread and doom. To them it means the end of summer and the start of another nine months of learning. For me the first day of school was a day of delight. I was always excited about learning. I couldn’t wait to hear the stories of what my friends had did during the summer. I was eager to discover the new things that would present themselves to the absorption of my young mind. Occasionally, we would have a new student in our class and that was exciting, too, because I liked meeting people and making new friends.

Of course, school wasn’t the only reason that autumn used to be my favorite season. Besides the new school year and new friends, there were also all the other changes the season brought. There was a drop in the humidity and heat of those terrible St. Louis summer days. The leaves on the trees changed colors and made the Earth a more vivid place before the white pasting of winter covered the land. There were hayrides and bonfires filled with hot dogs and marshmallows and silly harmless practical jokes. Later there came pumpkins and a night of dressing up going door to door begging for candy. Back then, autumn was a time of new beginnings.

Years later the season that I once loved so much and was my favorite season of the year has become my least favorite. I still love watching the leaves change color and the cooler weather is often appreciated. I still see beauty around me and as I look and observe these changes around me, I thank God for the creation He has made and given to us. However, though I still have my innocence and am often naïve, those things have been tempered by wisdom and slightly by experience. The season that I once looked forward to for all the wonderful things it brought has been tainted to me by pain, suffering, heartache, and loneliness. I see joy and try to take it in, but instead find I am inhaling fumes of longing tinted with a twinge of despair.

I have no idea of when this change in my favorite season took place. It is true that I’ve experienced great heartache during autumn the past few years, but I had started disliking the season years before that. I’ve searched and wrestled with why I feel this way and I cannot find an answer. I first discovered this dislike about six years ago, but it might have happened a few years before that. I don’t really know. What I do know is that now as the weather cools and the leaves change color, there is also an aching in my heart that comes with it.

As the Spin Spins.

The top story in today's St. Louis Post Dispatch was entitled "Keeping a wary eye: Pitfalls abound". The article was about how new voting machines, heavy absentee voting, and new election laws might cause a different outcome in next week elections than expected. Since the middle of the summer I have had it pounded in my head my the television and newspapers that this November is going to be a landside victory for Democrats and that they will re-gain control of both houses of Congress. Now, I am starting to hear and read these stories about concerns over new voting machines, procedures, and absentee voting. Why is that?

To be honest, I try to avoid politics. That's not to say I'm not aware of what goes on or that I don't know who major elected officials are. I tend to lean toward the Republican side of things, though when it comes to big business and things like helping the poor I find myself agreeing with the Democrat side. I'm registered as a Republican, but that's only because in Illinois in order to vote in a primary election you have to declare a party and rather than not have any choice as a declared Independent, I chose to be registered as a Republican. I've voted for candidates on both sides. I try to vote for a person, not a party. If we really examine things, there isn't a whole lot separating most political candidates one from the other anyway. However, there is a lot in each party's platform that separates them from each other. But I digress.

I was reading this article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and I wondered why it was such an important story? The Post-Dispatch tends to lean heavily toward the Democrat side of things and it occurred to me that maybe they are worried and are already in the process of trying to cover their behinds. I don't believe that either one of the last two Presidential elections were rigged, but I know there are many staunch Democrats who believe that they were: hanging chads caused lost votes in Florida and the voting in Ohio was rigged. I don't believe that. It's way too large of a conspiracy theory and even though I know government officials are often corrupt I don't think a conspiracy of that size would work. But, if you do believe such things are possible and if you've claimed that's happened the last two Presidential elections, even though you think you're party is going to win big this election, what's to stop you from already sewing the seeds of discord? That's why I think the Post had this story as it's cover story. They must be worried for some reason.