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Posts tagged "religion"

Apr 20, 2014
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Shel Silverstein’s “The Twenty Commandments”

Found in Different Dances, his book of “adult” cartoons.

jkottke:

From God’s Twitter account, a new set of ten commandments:

1 Laugh.
2 Read.
3 Say please.
4 Floss.
5 Doubt.
6 Exercise.
7 Learn.
8 Don’t hate.
9 Cut the bullshit.
10 Chill.

See also: George Carlin on the 10 commandments (“Having ten commandments was really a marketing decision!”)

Shel Silverstein’s “The Twenty Commandments”

Found in Different Dances, his book of “adult” cartoons.

jkottke:

From God’s Twitter account, a new set of ten commandments:

1 Laugh.
2 Read.
3 Say please.
4 Floss.
5 Doubt.
6 Exercise.
7 Learn.
8 Don’t hate.
9 Cut the bullshit.
10 Chill.

See also: George Carlin on the 10 commandments (“Having ten commandments was really a marketing decision!”)

Feb 26, 2014
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Paul Weller Interviews Curtis Mayfield

Paul Weller interviewing his hero, the late Curtis Mayfield, most likely before Mayfield’s gig at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz club in the Soho area of London on 31st July 1988.

This is a nice little interview. (Puzzled about the Weller connection? The Jam covered Mayfield’s “Move On Up.”)

I like what Mayfield says here about depth:

I like to go in depth as to where I know without a doubt that those who receive me understand me. I know they breathe, I know they cry, I know they’re hurt, I know they love, I know they hate. They have all these different feelings. When you speak in terms of depth rather than ride along the shallow surfaces, they can only give you one true reaction as to what you’re talking about.

What a beautiful man.

Sep 11, 2013
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Mary Karr’s recommended reading on prayer and practice

I’ve been meditating every day and I’ve always been interested in prayer, so when Mary Karr tweeted, “I started praying every day and my life got better. [It’s] a personal practice,” I asked her if she had any good book recommendations on the subject. She was good enough to give me a list, which I wanted to share here with links (for my own reference, more than anything):

Oh, she also had a film recommendation: Into Great Silence

Here’s a great interview with Karr talking about prayer, poetry, and her faith.

If you’re unfamiliar with Karr’s work, do seek out Lit and her other books.  

Filed under: religion

Aug 07, 2013
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In the world to come, I’m not going to be asked why I wasn’t like Moses, I’m going to be asked why I wasn’t like Zusya.
Rabbi Zusya (via)

Apr 03, 2013
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Dec 13, 2012
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On not sucking mid-career and a batch of good Chris Rock interviews

These days I find myself drawn to reading the thoughts of people who are mid-career—not at the end of their careers, and not at the beginning, but in the middle, because I feel like that’s the period where you really have to keep up your stamina, keep chugging, keep working. You’re not necessarily hungry anymore — you might have a nice house, nice wife, couple of kids, a decent fan base, etc. People are over the excitement about your rise, and people aren’t splicing together the kiss-ass retrospective clip reels, either. Your best work may be behind you, may be in front of you, but you just don’t know. (Maybe this is always true.) I do this because, being not at starting line, but a few meters down the track, I’m just looking in awe at these people who keep running the marathon without burning out. (Not sure why my lazy, non-runner ass is using a running metaphor, but hey…)

Chris Rock strikes me as a mid-career guy who has his shit together, and whenever he has an interview published, I try to read it.

Judd Apatow interviewed him for the Vanity Fair comedy issue:

Was it more fun when you first started? If so, what the fuck are we supposed to do now?

Yes, it was more fun. First of all, you had three goals: (1) To get good at comedy. (2) To make money from comedy. And (3) to get laid from comedy. What do we do now? Well, people seem to think we’re good. We have money. We’re married, so the whole working to get laid thing is over. Sad to say, but we work now to maintain our lifestyles, to not suck, and to avoid Celebrity Apprentice.

In his Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross, he talked about hanging out with his grandfather preacher:

I used to watch him write his sermons. He writes his sermons pretty much the same way I write my act. He would never write the exact sermon. He’d always write the bullet points, whatever would hit him, and he would write it when he was driving. And I probably come up with half of my standup when I’m driving…His preaching, it’s weird, it’s not a lot different than my style on stage…

When you grow up with a preacher, it’s almost like- it’s like seeing a magician stuff the rabbit in his side jacket. Like, I knew all the tricks… I don’t think he thought of it as tricks, but every job becomes a job, and you figure out shortcuts and you figure out, you know, ways around things…

A good sermon’s always great… these guys, they’re always - they have this task of coming up with a new - with new material every week. I like how a preacher can talk about one thing for an hour and 10 minutes. I keep trying to figure out how I can do that in stand-up. So, how I can, like, OK, how can I just be funny about, you know, jealousy? You know, a preacher will pick a topic and they’ll run with it for the whole sermon, like, and, you know, take you on a ride talking about literally one thing. And I just love that style. So I’m always - I’ve always been trying to figure out how do I do that in stand-up.

In this NYTimes Q&A, he talks about the itch to get back into comedy clubs (“I haven’t done any dirty work in a while”), but the near-impossible task of “workshopping” in the digital era:

When you’re workshopping it, a lot of stuff is bumpy and awkward. Especially when you’re working on the edge, you’re going to offend. A guy like Tosh, he’s at the Laugh Factory. He’s making no money. He’s essentially in the gym. You’re mad at Ray Leonard because he’s not in shape, in the gym? That’s what the gym’s for. The sad thing, with all this taping and stuff, no one’s going to do stand-up. And every big stand-up I talk to says: “How do I work out new material? Where can you go, if I have a half an idea and then it’s on the Internet next week?” Just look at some of my material. You can’t imagine how rough it was and how unfunny and how sexist or racist it might have seemed. “Niggas vs. Black People” probably took me six months to get that thing right. You know how racist that thing was a week in? That’s not to be seen by anybody.

Filed under: Chris Rock

Nov 18, 2012
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Alain de Botton, Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion


  The most boring and unproductive question one can ask of any religion is whether or not it is true…


I was fully prepared to hate this book. I’d never read a de Botton book before, but Mark Larson gave it a thumbs up, and not a whole lot makes me seek out a book like a good review from Mark.

The genesis of the book was de Botton’s thought, “there might be a way to engage with religion without having to subscribe to its supernatural content,” which isn’t, of course, a new thought at all — Thomas Jefferson cut the parts out of The Bible he didn’t like and kept the rest.


  Early Christianity was itself highly adept at appropriating the good ideas of others, aggressively subsuming countless pagan practices which modern atheists now tend to avoid in the mistaken belief that they are indelibly Christian… The premise of this book is that it must be possible to remain a committed atheist and nevertheless find religions sporadically useful, interesting and consoling – and be curious as to the possibilities of importing certain of their ideas and practices into the secular realm.


There are tons of downright goofy ideas in the book, and there were several times where I thought, “Isn’t it just easier to, you know, actual be Catholic?” but what I like is the very simple idea that you don’t have to agree with or believe in something in order to find something valuable and worth stealing in it. Again, go read Mark’s review.

Filed under: my reading year 2012

Alain de Botton, Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion

The most boring and unproductive question one can ask of any religion is whether or not it is true…

I was fully prepared to hate this book. I’d never read a de Botton book before, but Mark Larson gave it a thumbs up, and not a whole lot makes me seek out a book like a good review from Mark.

The genesis of the book was de Botton’s thought, “there might be a way to engage with religion without having to subscribe to its supernatural content,” which isn’t, of course, a new thought at all — Thomas Jefferson cut the parts out of The Bible he didn’t like and kept the rest.

Early Christianity was itself highly adept at appropriating the good ideas of others, aggressively subsuming countless pagan practices which modern atheists now tend to avoid in the mistaken belief that they are indelibly Christian… The premise of this book is that it must be possible to remain a committed atheist and nevertheless find religions sporadically useful, interesting and consoling – and be curious as to the possibilities of importing certain of their ideas and practices into the secular realm.

There are tons of downright goofy ideas in the book, and there were several times where I thought, “Isn’t it just easier to, you know, actual be Catholic?” but what I like is the very simple idea that you don’t have to agree with or believe in something in order to find something valuable and worth stealing in it. Again, go read Mark’s review.

Filed under: my reading year 2012

Jun 05, 2012
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Dec 12, 2011
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President Thomas Jefferson’s edited Bible

bobulate:

Stripping out the Gospel miracles and inconsistencies to demonstrate parts he found interesting, Thomas Jefferson created a book representing his own views:

Making good on a promise to a friend to summarize his views on Christianity, Thomas Jefferson set to work with scissors, snipping out every miracle and inconsistency he could find in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. 

Then, relying on a cut-and-paste technique, he reassembled the excerpts into what he believed was a more coherent narrative and pasted them onto blank paper — alongside translations in French, Greek and Latin.

Of the practice, he says:



“I have performed the operation for my own use,” he continued, “by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter, which is evidently his and which is as easily distinguished as diamonds in a dunghill.”

Renamed by Jefferson “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazereth,” the book was just called  the “Jefferson Bible” by friends. From the cut-and-paste physicality to the reframing that revealed in public a new coherence of thought, looks like rather physical and more early evidence of the practice of remixing.


Yes, the Jefferson Bible FTW! And TJ wasn’t the only one who expressed the urge to pick out “diamonds in a dunghill.” Leo Tolstoy made his own The Gospel In Brief, and had this to say:


  When, at the age of fifty, I first began to study the Gospels seriously, I found in them the spirit that animates all who are truly alive. But along with the flow of that pure, life-giving water, I perceived much mire and slime mingled with it; and this had prevented me from seeing the true, pure water. i found that, along with the lofty teaching of Jesus, there are teachings bound up which are repugnant and contrary to it. I thus felt myself in the position of a man to whom a sack of garbage is given, who, after long struggle and wearisome labor, discovers among the garbage a number of infinitely previous pearls.”


Stephen Mitchell also took up the task in The Gospel According to Jesus, taking out the magical deeds and leaving only Jesus’ teachings. (The resulting gospel is only 25 pages long.)

I wrote about the Jefferson Bible in Newspaper Blackout.

President Thomas Jefferson’s edited Bible

bobulate:

Stripping out the Gospel miracles and inconsistencies to demonstrate parts he found interesting, Thomas Jefferson created a book representing his own views:

Making good on a promise to a friend to summarize his views on Christianity, Thomas Jefferson set to work with scissors, snipping out every miracle and inconsistency he could find in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Then, relying on a cut-and-paste technique, he reassembled the excerpts into what he believed was a more coherent narrative and pasted them onto blank paper — alongside translations in French, Greek and Latin.

Of the practice, he says:

“I have performed the operation for my own use,” he continued, “by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter, which is evidently his and which is as easily distinguished as diamonds in a dunghill.”

Renamed by Jefferson “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazereth,” the book was just called the “Jefferson Bible” by friends. From the cut-and-paste physicality to the reframing that revealed in public a new coherence of thought, looks like rather physical and more early evidence of the practice of remixing.

Yes, the Jefferson Bible FTW! And TJ wasn’t the only one who expressed the urge to pick out “diamonds in a dunghill.” Leo Tolstoy made his own The Gospel In Brief, and had this to say:

When, at the age of fifty, I first began to study the Gospels seriously, I found in them the spirit that animates all who are truly alive. But along with the flow of that pure, life-giving water, I perceived much mire and slime mingled with it; and this had prevented me from seeing the true, pure water. i found that, along with the lofty teaching of Jesus, there are teachings bound up which are repugnant and contrary to it. I thus felt myself in the position of a man to whom a sack of garbage is given, who, after long struggle and wearisome labor, discovers among the garbage a number of infinitely previous pearls.”

Stephen Mitchell also took up the task in The Gospel According to Jesus, taking out the magical deeds and leaving only Jesus’ teachings. (The resulting gospel is only 25 pages long.)

I wrote about the Jefferson Bible in Newspaper Blackout.

Aug 19, 2011
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