Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dryer Lent (Seasonal Musing)

Mardi Gras has ended. Mourning photo:

Single. Black. Tear.

No poems or prose or plugs today, just a barely creative sneeze musing on how it is time to be repentant, to give things up and to give things out, because it is officially Lent.

(Lent: Christianity's second chance at all your failed New Years Resolutions!)

Regardless of spiritual or religious leanings, giving and giving up both seem worthy of musing. Is God okay with me giving up grudges instead of TV or beer? I assume as much:

for Lent the one good Catholic I know is parting ways with alcohol
except for wine, which we agree is good for him

which made me think of heavy things, like charred memories, I'd like to part ways with too
except for those with funny parts, which we agree are good for everyone

now that we can laugh at them

Protestants do not repent the same way during holy days
but as a good non-Catholic I can at the very least

and relenting is the best way to give and give up
and take something at the same time


  1. Thirty-nine days (not counting the Sundays) until Easter. ;o) I don't watch the tube anyway, so that's not relenting for me.

  2. I never thought that faith should be about giving up (especially on who you are); I practice a different Lenten preparation. I do something - something of substance, something of Faith. As any good ex-Catholic would do I fight with what I was taught about God. Life is about living. Easter is about renewal, rebirth & life.

    I like to say bah to all of those people who think that they get some kind of spiritual overhaul during Lent because they go out for a fish fry on Fridays or they keep good on not eating chocolate for 40 days. BAH!

    I'm impressed with your Lenten musings. Giving up on grudges, keeping the wine & laughter. You go on a live! I love it!

    And the picture is stunning. Brava!

  3. Agnostic eh? Hey now...the Bible gave us unicorns. I mean if it's written, it has to be true, right? Unicorns are real dammit!

  4. I choose to go the other way with a procclaimed Absurdist, I will take on ANOTHER vice for the period of lent. So, in addition to drinking like a fish as usual, I will smoke like a chimnney as well. cheers!

  5. Had a friend at work who claimed he was going to give up extra-marital sex for Lent. Practice, practice, practice.

  6. @melanie It is true that repentance should be far more than fish fries and abstaining from chocolate. Giving up a luxury is not the same as making a sacrifice.

    @Michael Jesus rode a unicorn on palm sunday, right? Did I remember that passage correctly?

    @ Schirling--finally, someone who takes religion deadly serious!

    @ Mr. Cachet.....of course you're the one with that friend. I wouldn't expect, or want, it any other way.

  7. I definitely disagree with scientism and religion. By that I mean, I believe you can't explain and rationalize everything through cognition and science. I also believe man-made rituals and doctrines made for a group of people simply cannot coincide with an individual's spirituality (especially since institutions lead to very avaricious gains).

    I really get chills down my spine when people mock the whole "I'm not religious, I'm spiritual/a person of faith" and dismiss it as a fad. I won't lie, people jump the bandwagon on a lot of spiritual and intellectual issues. But I seriously am a person of spirituality because I don't believe in God. I KNOW God exists (yes I quoted Carl Jung). As my mentor once said, I don't mean it in the "phallic God existing in a cloudy heaven" sense. I mean it in that there are abstractions existing in the world, things we can never understand and only hope to decipher. I know there is something divine. The fact that something as beautiful and inconceivably systematic and unfathomable (yes I'm using a paradox) as nature exists is just beyond any human years.

    With that being said, i don't believe there is a point in having Lent or celebrating other pagan (not having negative implications) traditions we enmesh with religion. It's a non-authentic outlet which promotes the idea that it's all about "giving, taking, acquiring." In other words, it reinforces the idea that quantity is better than quality. At least pre-Christian pagan traditions tried to reverentially emulate (while simultaneously making attempts at understanding) natural phenomena through creative and archetypal outlets.

  8. For Lent last year I decided to go on a crash Atkins diet and give up all carbs. This meant, of course, abstaining from my favorite indulgence: pasta. The first few days were easy enough, but after a week my insatiable desire for Tortellini, Rigatoni, and (most of all) Spaghetti was becoming nearly more than I could bear! I was reaching my breaking point. Just when I thought I could stand the strain no more, the heavens opened before me and a bright light shone down, enveloping me in a sea of luminescence. I heard a voice say to me, "Because you have not given into temptation and have followed my tenets, I will reward you greatly all the days of your life. Only this, trust in me and do not question. For I am The Flying Spaghetti Monster and I have witnessed the faith you have shown by not eating any Spaghetti O's or Chef Boyardee. For truly I tell you, just as you have done to the least of these so you have done to me". And with that The Lord ascended back to heaven, leaving me to ponder my faith. From that moment on, I knew that the one true religion was that of The Flying Spaghetti Monster. Let my words ring true! Let them ring loud! All those who seek shall find, and all those who put their faith in these immutable truths I now speak will become my brothers and sisters in the Pastafarian faith.

  9. Ah, Lent.

    That lovely time of the year when the 'true believers' are cranky as hell!


  10. I Give Up! I just GIVE UP...

  11. jesus rode a unicorn and a goldfish leaves lincoln logs in your sock drawer. hallelujah...oh wait, we can't say that word during lent.

  12. Love the musing; hmmm what is the healthiest thing to give up; grudges or chocolate... well I know the answer to that one!

    And loving the head dress too. And the photo is brilliant. :)

  13. I try to give up negativity every day...and it gets easier all the time. Derision doesn't increase my joy, but finding the good things in everything does. Ritual is good for those who find joy in it. One of my favourite quotes is from a movie "Tuesdays with Maury". Simply..."Forgive everybody everything." That way you are free to enjoy your trip in this wonderland.

  14. I don't know which is worse: that I stopped participating in Lent so early or that I stopped participating in Lent because of Nacho Libre.

    Sometimes I look around and wish that a force more powerful than Lent existed to inspire people to do better. And by better I mean do more than refrain from chocolate for roughly a month and ten days.

  15. My lenten period started in 1985 when I gave up believing in fairy tales. I decided that humanism was a far more rational and ethical way to live and have still maintained my abstinence from the idea of a 'higher power'.
    Wow, that was really serious wasn't it? Hmmm...I tend to do this when I don't know how to respond to a great piece of writing....I think I'm gonna follow you young lady

  16. i like the way you think.It makes me think!

  17. I've always managed to avoid lent by being a bad person.

    Maybe this year I'll give something up. Let me know if you have any suggestions because everything sounds too good to lose.

  18. ok i love u and this blog and please dnt hate me, but why the heck do u have to do the whole lent thing if you arent even taking it seriously. like it's not by force to do lent(especially non-catholics) so if u'r going to do it, be godly about it :/
    i love ur blog though,lol..dnt be mad at me :)

  19. Hi, this is my first time commenting here. I find your blog interesting and thought I'd give my perspective on the certain issues mentioned.

    (1) Giving up the things you like

    I believe this should be an essential part of any religion. I mean, as far as I know, no holy books from any Abrahamic faith would tell its followers: "You can do whatever you want to.", lol.

    As for me, I am a Muslim and my religion is Islam. The way we see the world is, since God was the one who created us, it means that only He has the right to dictate to us what's right and what's wrong.

    Now, certain laws that are dictated maybe something that we don't want to hear. But that's the whole point, though - once you've established that you owe God your gratitude, and acknowledge the fact that He's in charge, then it's irrelevant whether the things He tells you to do or not do goes against your personal whims or not.

    In fact, the thing about God is that, for the majority of people, they don't have a problem with accepting God as their Creator. What they have a problem with is accepting God as their Master, their Legislator, etc.

    (2) Repentance

    Allow me to simplify repentance in case it seems like an alien spiritual concept for some people: It's really just about saying sorry to God, haha.

    Unlike Christians, Muslims do not believe in the original sin, i.e. that everyone was born in sin. Rather, we believe that everyone was born innocent and free of sin.

    When do we fall into sin however, it is mandatory for us to repent. The way to do a sincere repentance is basically to have guilt and to feel bad for what you did, say sorry, and make a commitment to not repeat that sin again.

    And if you slip into a different or the same sin again later in life, it doesn't matter, just do the same thing - just repent and improve yourself as a person.

    So since everyone was originally born innocent, it means that everyone would be accountable for their own sin, and the concept of inherited sin has no basis at all.

    (3) Salvation

    This is sort of a tangent, but I felt I had to mention it.

    You see, Christianity's concept of salvation is weird. Because Adam's sin was to take from the apple, right? But as a result, the WHOLE of humanity was blamed for a sin they didn't even commit?

    It's like I have an apple garden, and a boy stole an apple from me. But instead of punishing him, I chase him down, his sons down, his grandsons down for the rest of my life.

    Now, as irrational as that sounds, let's go further - Jesus dies on the cross for your sins.

    So... in order to make up for a sin that we didn't even commit, God slaughters an innocent man?

    But anyways, the unfortunate psychology of most religions is that they set up these intermediaries between them and God (Jesus, hindu idols, Jews being the "special race", etc.) because they don't want to accept responsibility for their own sins.

    It's just like at work. If you're good friends with the manager, then even if you're slacking off, you'd hope that the manager would put in a good word for you in front of the Boss.

    But for Muslims, we don't have that so-called manager. And we don't have a straight ticket to Heaven either - we have to keep a balance between hope and fear. We hope for God's mercy, but at the same time we fear His punishment.

    We will fall short and commit sins, but the solution was already given - just repent, and then try to improve yourself as a person after that.

    So yeah, that's our concept of Salvation.


    Anyways, keep up the good work. :)

  20. Wow this is cool! Thanks for reminding me on Mardi Gras

  21. Libya Solutions

    1 - United Nations: discussion (part) 'democracy' with 'country' (including 2 points - found: Consensus in the 'country')
    + Protesters' about 2 / 3 - The country people '(anti-government) -> governments' innovation completely. " Approximately 1 / 3 'country people' -> compromise 'response'.

    + The 'leader' country: tenure (and vote 'trend': two times a term.)

    2 - (Outside) no intervention (internal):
    conflict 'protest' - 4 elements:

    + Authorities 'response' 'rights' (people).

    + Review: 'water quantity' 'against government' (Libya. ..) - how to resolve 'demanding' people.

    + 'Government' is not 'resolutions'' Security Council United Nations' (votes' absolute ') and' leader 'is not' banned movement. "

    + The 'link in the region' 'not opposed' (ie the Arab League, ASEAN, Africa ...).

    3 - Apply 'military intervention' (external) - based on:

    + Article 7 - The United Nations Charter

    + A country (outside) no intervention. Number of coordinated water (shown: part - many 'people' World).

    4 - Make 'intervention measures' 'outside' 'purpose':

    + Prevent conflict (violence): 'government' and 'people - oppose'.

    + Response: 'government solutions' and (require) 'protesters'.

    + Intervention (external): 'solution' and stop (escalation) 'conflict' and 'faction' (in water).

    + 'Required' 'the government' (is): Negotiation - meet 'the people' -> stop 'intervention' (population: the decision).

    5 - The 'intervention' ('outside' or 'water' 'participation'):

    + Response: desire 'majority, World - purpose (' on ') (Section 4).

    + Do not 'responsible' build 'new government' (citizens 'decision').

    + The (problem) 'conflict' Left: the 'UN' 'coordination' in every country and region.

    United Nations implement 5 'elements' (above) is:

    - Avoid (condition - in Libya), the protesters 'conflict' (assert basic 'human'). 'Government' apply 'the protesters' armed -> create 'force' rebel: repression.

    - Avoid: the wrong intervention (external) as 'constraints' (factors '4 '- Section 2) and ('4 Factors' section 4).

    - The solution (on the) 'did not happen Civil War' (by 'community' is not 'recognized' and 'isolation'.
    Government (will) meet the 'right people' and (will) 'no fear' 'protests'.

    Human civilization: to know - the unified 'solution' (above) -> is not 'civil war'.

  22. commentary 1:

    Struggle with (the) 'Islamist ideology' and 'terrorist organizations' success in the Middle East - the countries in the region' striving democracy. "

    1 - (when) The 'Middle East' achieve 'democracy' is:

    + Benefits and Life (People's) response.

    + People: 'participation' (good) in the 'government' (vote, requires' policy'...).

    + State: from 'people's' ownership and the 'power' properly executed.


    People to participate in nation building (good) is 'to develop' (country) decided by the people themselves ('developing country': the level of 'intellectual', the 'satisfaction'.

    The 'benefits' with 'the people'. "

    2 - Prevent 'extremist Islamic ideology':

    + 'State' 'power' the right (not focused) and not 'some individuals'' spending power '(Reason: selective progressive and democratic' elections.)

    The extremist Islamic ideology 'difficult' propaganda 'established: the State' Taliban style '.. By, 'Islamist ideology' applicable State 'Taliban model, the' accumulation of power '(' rule ') and' forced 'people (women lower benefits, lifestyle' draconian ' ...).

    + If 'sabotage': action 'life' (each 'people').

    Government that 'the people' 'participation' at: the 'political apathy', with the 'opposition' policy. Meanwhile, 'the extremist Islamic organizations' (such as the AlQaeda organization'...): break 'the State' which 'people' less 'consensus'. 'Life' 'meet' so bad ... 'people' is not a strong fight.

    'Terrorism' is: a / against 'the government' that people 'support' 'vote'; b / terrorism where 'public' as against 'the place to do business' (individual) people (life response: the 'public place' associated lifestyles life does not meet: the 'people' working poor and unemployed, so less' presence'...). Thus, 'rights' to people (a, b) they (will) fight 'keep well'.

    + Social Democracy: 'People' 'progress' (do not get dragged 'extremist Islamic ideology').

    Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Iraq, Bahrain ... striving democracy (good): prevent 'the extremist Islamic organizations. "

    Democracy (good) 'each country' shall not 'affect - the dominant' countries: Russia, U.S., China, Iran and other countries ... 'good contact'.

  23. Solution Libya (next -> Resolution No. 1973 of the Security Council of the United Nations)

    (3/23/2011, me and Development Programme UNDP United Nations; Le Thanh Duc 39 - 'Ngu Hai' - Vinh City)

    'Coalition' 'Resolution 1973 of the United Nations' conflict and prevent violence against civilians.

    Strategy (continued):

    1 - 'coalition' - used (only) 'aircraft - the type monitored' supervision Libya.

    a / - if 'Gadhafi government troops' use 'weapons' (heavy), such as tanks, artillery ... 'Allied forces' use 'jet' and 'missile': destruction.

    b / - If: (repeat) occur 'conflicts - the Civil War' -> catastrophic 'ordinary people':

    (When) a 'city' (or where): (continued) fighting took place -> 'coalition forces' use (group' infantry) 'landing': 'measures' to prevent (stop - both sides) - > then taking the (campaign)

    Campaign (each place): (can) a day, a few days ... (optional) 'need time' (infantry) are present (there). Finished campaigns: withdrawal - 'instant' (group of soldiers) from Libya (the ground).

    c / - 'infantry groups' implementation 'campaign' - to mobilize (from):

    + Warships; or

    + Countries' (near) to 'garrison' (temporary). When 'Mr. Gadhafi' 'resigned acceptance' -> 'troops' (where) retreat - 'instant' (end).

    2 - The United Nations shall:

    a / - Implementation: 'work' (humanitarian) with people.

    b / - Promotion (all - the forces, factions ...) ceasefire. Negotiations 'establishment' 'Libyan authorities' new.

    'Libyan government forces' (old) are allowed to 'join', 'son' of 'Mr. Gadhafi' allowed 'to participate' ('government of national reconciliation' new).

  24. 3 - 'Mr. Gadhafi' not 'involved' 'new government', because:

    a / - (number of) 'the protesters' - 'object' many (previously).

    b / - Army 'Mr. Gadhafi' used 'mercenaries' lot. Country by the military people (consensus 'participation' - protection).

    c / - 'Mr. Gadhafi' leaders 'long', not the 'trend' 'human progress', lack of 'democracy'. Countries China, Russia, Venezuela ... (also) did not support - 'leaders' 'holding power' for many years and did not vote.

    d / - 'Mr. Gadhafi' no 'response' interests' (most of) the people (protesters: life).
    'Mr. Gadhafi' must go and the 'private property' (property right). The 'other assets': the 'people of Libya' - reconstruction using 'country'.

    4 - With time, if:

    - 'Mr. Gadhafi' not resign.

    - 'Conflict - hinder': 'the new government set up' - 'disaster' the people '.

    - Preventing 'the protesters' or 'oppose' (method).

    Will: use the 'super-talented soldiers' arrest Mr. Gadhafi. Reason 'arrest' 'Mr. Gadhafi': 'International Court of Justice' will (then) to investigate: 'Mr. Gadhafi' attack 'protesters'.

    (When) - start 'Mr. Gadhafi', will:

    - 'New government' and 'the people': the decision; or

    - The countries with the United Nations perspective, 'Mr. Gadhafi' 'yes or no' exile.

    5 - 'democracy' - the executable (right), will:

    The people of Libya - receptive: 'method' produce 'progress' and 'operating state' ('election'). Unlike 'old regime' - 'mode' poor production; income people - divided by 'oil' (mostly). People required: good labor rights.

    Democracy: The 'resource' is fine - not the 'dominant' (to: management and procurement; transparency). At that time, Russia, America, China, France ... not 'influence'.

    EU: production methods, management of social progress -> Libya cooperation: transfer of 'technology'. Geographic locations: Libya near Europe -> exchange efficiency.

    'Gadhafi personally' threat reduction 'security - peace' in Europe: the European People's struggling (to prevent threats).

    UN: discussion (all countries) - 5 points (as above) -> execute 'peace and human progress', 'Libya happy people'.