And Another Thing…

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Stepping in it – Updated

Have you ever made a seemingly innocuous comment that still managed to offend people? I may have done that Thursday night in class. This summer I am taking Group Therapy. As part of the course, we have groups during class time and then journal about the experience afterward.  This was our 4th meeting and the group seems to be gelling. Its a diverse crew, as most of my classes have been.

The discussion tonight turned to life in and around Washington D.C. with most of the participants saying that they would rather live somewhere else. One member said that she and her husband chose to move here from rural New England where they grew up in order to experience some diversity (apparently, rural New England is pretty white). Someone mentioned something about the Pacific Northwest, and having lived there I pointed out that the Northwest is pretty white in its own right. I told them how when I moved out there I realized after about a week that I had not seen any ethnicity other than whites and a few Asians, so I asked a long-time resident, “Are there any black people in the Northwest?”

This was not a value judgment or criticism, just an observation as to how different the environment of the Northwest was for me. However, some of the group members appeared uncomfortable after I made my remark. Shortly after, we ran out of time so there was no real follow-up to my comment. This leaves me wondering: Did I step in it? Was I out of line somehow? Was I wrong to use the expression “black people” instead of African-American? Afterwards I asked my classmate and friend Sean (who as it happens, is black) if anything I said was offensive, and he said no.

Update:

It all turned out to be nothing in the end. The next time we had class nobody said anything about or treated me any differently. I was worried over nothing (which, as Christine will attest, is a bad habit of mine). Regardless, thanks for your feedback.

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Sometimes, I wish that I was a reporter…

…so that I would get to write stuff like this:
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It Doesn’t Get Any Worse Than This

Those familiar with the blogosphere in churches of Christ are probably aware of the untimely death on Wednesday of John Robert Dobbs, the only son of John and Maggie Dobbs. For those who are just now finding out, please lift the Dobbs family in prayer. John Robert’s memorial was on Friday in Pascagoula, MS, and he was laid to rest on Saturday in Ruleville, MS.

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Joke of the Day

How many performance artists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

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A year gone before I knew it

It is hard to believe that Christine and I were married a year ago today.  Truth be told, I still can’t believe that she said “yes” when I proposed and that she showed up at the altar without being dragged.

That\'s me on the right, with She Who Tolerates Me

Chris often says that she is looking forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary. I hope that she brings the kids; they can help her dig me up.  I don’t know how much time we are going to have together, but I am looking forward to all of it.  Marrying her was the smartest thing I have ever done.  Happy anniversary, sweetheart.

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Resist this

Proving once again my truism that small people fight small battles, a group billing itself as “The Resistance” is protesting Starbucks’ current use of it’s original logo.

Retro

Now, the retro logo looks to me like a topless pregnant woman hoisting two giant (or Venti, in Starbucks speak) coconut shrimp. In fact, it reminds me of a recurring dream I used to have when I was single…but I digress. The head of the Resistance insists that:

“[The logo] has a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute,” Mark Dice, founder of the group, said in a news release. “Need I say more? It’s extremely poor taste, and the company might as well call themselves Slutbucks.”

First of all, anybody in America who calls themselves “The Resistance” deserves an open-handed pimp slap. Resistance, in its proper context, is used for people who oppose fascist regimes at great risk to life and limb. Kids, having an unpopular opinion does not automatically make you a rebel or a hero. Can we all handle this?

Secondly, what are they resisting? A logo? Wow, way to take a stand there, Bonhoeffer.

Personally, I can think of a lot of other things that merit “resistance” if we use the term like they are.

  • Starbucks prices, and those ubiquitous clowns who spend their entire day at Starbucks writing the next great American novel on their laptops.
  • Geico, for continuing with those stupid Caveman ads long after the not-that-funny-to-begin-with joke has run its course.
  • The price of gas
  • Michael Bay movies
  • Country radio
  • Fat, hairy people in speedos
  • The word “awesome”

You get the picture. What about you, gentle reader? What do you think merits “resistance” in our popular culture?

 

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If you are interested in increasing service in the community…

…check out Hands and Feet

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One of the many things I love about my wife…

…she doesn’t make me watch chick flicks or chick TV.  In fact, she doesn’t even seem to like them.  I feel compelled to share this because when I peruse the web, I am seeing a rising tide of anxiety over the soon-to-be-released film version of Sex and the City, the popular HBO show that went off of the air in 2004.  Men all over the country seem to be terrified that their significant others are going to drag them kicking and screaming into the theatre on opening night.  In fact, Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass is offering pass cards for men to use to get out of seeing it.

But not me. In fact, Christine is looking forward more to The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and The Incredible Hulk.  It’s a good life, kids, if you find the right woman.

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The Hardest Way

I have previously written about my own struggles with faith at length. Last week I put it to you all out there as to what you would say to somebody who asked some tough, legitimate questions about issues that affected his/her faith. Much appreciation to everyone who responded.

I am still meeting with my friend as time allows to discuss faith issues, and I am pleased to report that she has been responsive.  Credit goes more to her openness than to my skills (cough cough) as an apologist. No, a bright light has not shone upon her causing her to fall to her knees and shout, “You’re right! How did I miss this?”, but she is receptive and willing to consider what I throw out there.

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Dr. Sunshine Strikes Again

For my Research Methods class, our last assignment was to present the findings of our respective projects to staff at the agency where the projects were conducted. The due date was Friday. My team and I made our presentation on Tuesday. I then drove to campus with a letter signed by one of the supervisors, dropped it in Sunshine’s mailbox in the main office, then e-mailed her to tell her that it was waiting for her.

She e-mailed me on Friday and asked if I had an e-mail and/or something on agency stationary, in essence, calling me a liar. I didn’t check my e-mail on Friday until 4 in the afternoon. I called the agency and fortunately got somebody who was willing to take care of this. I will be so glad when that woman is out of my life.

 

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