GRAFO: Chasing Hay, and Sundry Other Pursuits

WritingI wrote my first story when I was six years old. Except, that may be a lie. It’s possible that I wrote something before, but I can’t remember and, if I did, the lack of either a physical or mental record of its existence means that, for all practical purposes, it never existed. That’s incredibly humbling, is it not? Think of the vast multitudes of people who’ve lived, learned, loved, built, discovered, wept, rejoiced, and died about whom no memory remains. People often forget that history is the story of people, and not just of the neurotic, sociopathic, and idiosyncratic figures who sit enthroned in the human memory of history with a disproportionate amount of the credit for shaping its direction. In some small way, I can understand a little why some people invest so much time into achieving things to warrant people remembering them beyond death. In some cultures, more than one concept of death exists, with the final being, for some, the saddest of all: the moment when no one remains to remember you. Continue reading

What a Trendy Video Says (and Doesn’t Say) About Religion

As of 5 p.m. this afternoon, 22 of my Facebook friends had shared this video on their walls–or, I’m pretty sure it’s timelines now, but whatever. It was uploaded to YouTube two days ago and already has almost 2.5 million views. This is unfortunate, because it demonstrates the degree to which the word “religion” has become a pejorative and used to describe what could be most accurately billed as “legalism.” Furthermore, it highlights the ambiguity associated with “religion” when that word is tossed around by Christians (usually non-denominationals) who claim to be up on Jesus but low on “religion.” As the British would say, that’s bollocks, and I’m about to tell you why. Continue reading