Is anyone else exhausted after the rush of the holiday season? I feel as drained as my parents’ stock of batteries was when I got a Sega Game Gear one year for Christmas.
It took a few months of daily communication requiring translation software for me to notice the similarity. The software — Google Translate, a product called DeepL, and Apple\’s translator (which does to languages what its maps did a few years ago to geography) — seems to be close to accurate much of the time. Sometimes that is good enough. Often it isn\’t. The mistranslations are so serious so often that one learns to ask the correspondent to rephrase the sentence. With luck the realization comes before much damage is done, and war is averted.
Most people love to revisit certain stories at Christmastime. In fact, my friend Dennis E. Powell revisits a beloved Christmas story of his in this week’s the View from Mudsock Heights column, which struck me as I had been thinking a great deal about revisited stories this week thanks to what had occupied my time ahead of Christmas. We need to hear stories told and told again; they give meaning and shape how we understand life.
Sweat dripped into his eyes. He felt his breathing quicken as the enemy forces crested the ridge to the south, moving inexorably toward him. The sword in his hand felt ponderous. He gripped it so tightly his knuckles went numb, as he willed himself to focus on the thrill of battle over the heaviness of fear. Could he wield his weapon, when the time came? Would it be enough? Would his training be enough?
It was beautiful. It was sweet-smelling. It was deadly. For quite some time, I had ignored lovely, white-flowered vine that had begun to entwine its way around my backyard fence. Gardening has never been a hobby of mine. In contrast to my mother —- who has been known to happily steward anything from ferns to palm trees, bringing them tenderly back from the brink of death and into lush contentment —- my thumbs have always been decidedly mahogany.
He who sits upon the throne in Revelation has a patent complaint against current events on Earth. “Behold, I make all things new” is how it’s put in Revelation 21:5. There’s another way of looking at it. The notoriously non-revelatory Karl Marx noted that history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. As with most everything else (we have no reason to doubt that he spelled his name correctly), Marx was wrong in the particulars, though the general idea, that history repeats itself, has evidence in its support.
Jason and Tim zip back to the podcast-o-sphere with Episode 2 of Zippy the Wonder Snail. On the docket today: the upcoming “College Bowl” TV show revival academic and the state of the Liberal Arts; suicide and meaning in Star Trek and the necessity of Jesus’s Cross.
Tim and Jason zip through segments on the Gospel of John, Taylor Swift’s “Folklore,” Non-Fungible Tokens and the need for a return to blogging.
Last week it fell to me to help assemble a piece of exercise equipment. There was no brand name or country of origin specified, but the enclosed documentation suggested that it was written in a distant land or else by an associate professor of one of the social sciences. In that once put together the thing actually worked, I’ll assume the former.