Archive for the 'words' Category


on the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today President Bush offered his thoughts on how Americans can honor the
memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But he missed the point.

“Our fellow citizens have got to understand that by loving a neighbor like you’d like to be loved yourself, by reaching out to someone who hurts, by just simply living a life of kindness and compassion, you can make America a better place and fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King,” Bush said at a library named for the slain civil rights leader. (AP)

I don’t want to knock the ideas of kindness and compassion, but to reduce King’s message to this is to cheapen it. King himself said, “Pity may represent little more than the impersonal concern which prompts the mailing of a check, but true sympathy is the personal concern which demands the giving of one’s soul.” King promoted not mere compassion, but justice. Simply trying to be nice to people, without recognizing and working to fix the systemic issues which place them in need, is like putting a bandage on a tumor.

Bush said that King’s holiday offers a chance to “renew our deep desire for America to be a land of promise for everybody, a land of justice, and a land of opportunity.” He said it should be a “day on” of volunteering – not a day off – and encouraged people to do community service year-round. (AP)

Now this sounds a bit more like something I can agree with. Our country is still in need of justice, as I am reminded when I hear of the struggles of recent immigrants or when I pass by the homeless here in Seattle, and yes, we should all get involved in making that happen. But let’s not stop with loving our neighbors; we are called beyond that.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven… For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?

— Jesus (Matt. 5:43-46)

What does this say regarding the situation in Iraq?

Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Not just kindness and compassion here, but also toward our nation’s enemies is needed in order to “make America a better place and fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King.”

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mr. President, may we share that belief.



on Christmas at the Glicks (episode 1: Boggle)



on Strange Doings from Five+ Years Ago

This afternoon I was feeling lethargic and mildly grumpy, so I took the three-pronged attack of:

  1. listening to Verdi’s requiem,
  2. browsing old files on my computer for remnants of that period when I had time for doing really random weird stuff, and
  3. browsing the internet looking for cool things to do in the future.

Fortunately these seemed to work well to cheer me up. In addition, I discovered (in point #2 above) a list of anagrams for ‘Mennonite Church USA’ (the U.S. national Mennonite body) which I had generated some time ago, and now wish to share. Here are the ones I had selected as at least mildly interesting, amusing, or apt:

Mennonite Church USA:

Non-human ethics cure.
Uncertain hum chosen.
Churches meant union.
Concur, minus heathen.
Humans cheer unction.
Heathen unicorn scum.
Hectic non-human ruse.
Meanest church union.
One church unites man.
I’m a church not unseen.
A church unites no men.
I am one unsent church.
Hence much unison art.
Hence human ructions.
Ouch! An inherent scum.
Cue the harmonic nuns.
Church met sane union.
Shun humane concerti.
Some uncertain hunch.
Ouch! Recent human sin.
Ouch! Human sin center.
Nice humans, once hurt.
No mute, insane church.
Her nice humans count.
Church outs inane men.
Much runs in the ocean.
Nominee as nut church.
Hush! A minute concern.

And, my personal favorite:
Ruinous cat henchmen.



on Bad Puns

Don’t spend too much time around me unless you are prepared to listen to some pretty disgusting puns. I can’t really help it; I get it from both the Glicks and the Weavers.

From my comments on a friend’s blog post:

[Meryl tells us she just won 155 Bach CDs.]
“Wow, that???s enough to fill a whole Bachs.”
[Meryl expresses doubt over her desire for that many CDs from one composer.]
“I suppose if you don???t want them, you could always give them Bach.”
“You could put some of them in a time capsule. Then it would be Bach to the Future.”
[Abby accuses me of being our high school choir director, a serial punster*, posing as me]
“You can make accusations, Abby, but you???ll never get me to come out from Haydn.”

And from an IM chat this evening:

Me: What’s the midterm problem this year?
Naf: So there’s this spring and a mass and they go into this bar…
Naf: Sounds like a bad physics joke, doesn’t it.
(later)
Naf: Yeah, there’s the spring, a mass, and a driver.
Me: I guess that would be the designated driver…

You have been warned. And yes, I confess I spent 10 minutes this afternoon trying to come up with a pun on “Rachmaninoff.”

*awaiting further pun-ishment, no doubt



on Antonyms That Sound Alike

I was just trying to think of the word “impetus” … but for several minutes all I could come up with was “impotence.”