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

STORY ARCS: Coming Full Circle in 2012, Part II

The view from my apartment on Capitol Hill. The Supreme Court and Capitol are just beyond those buildings.

The view from my apartment on Capitol Hill. The Supreme Court and Capitol are just beyond those buildings.

This is Part II of a two-part post. To read Part I, click here.

In many ways, my escape from ORU in spring of 2011 turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory. Over Fall Break in 2010, I had gone on a university-led educational trip to Washington, D.C., which included a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol by noted pseudo-historian David Barton, a tour of Fox News’ D.C. bureau facilitated by Kelly Wright, and, of course, a visit to the Family Research Council. Don’t get me wrong, it was interesting. I’ll never forget standing with Barton in the middle of Statuary Hall awkwardly singing “God Bless America,” or seeing Charles Krauthammer whisk by in his wheelchair at Fox en route to pontificate for Special Report, or meeting Juan Williams a few days before he got fired from NPR. It’s just that the irony of it being called an “educational” trip didn’t dawn on me until some time later.

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DEPARTMENT OF NON-APOLOGIES: An Open Letter to the Satirically-Impaired

Oh, Randal…

Yes, I know I just yesterday said I might be on an extended leave of absence from blogging. So sue me. It’s just that a fairly innocuous conversation I had with someone this morning convinced me I might need to address a potential issue. Just note, however, that I find this type of writing incredibly condescending to my readers and I have no intention of making it a regularity. This is primarily intended for the people who have a hard time catching on.

A lot of my writing/tweeting is satirical in nature. I might have grown up in southeast Oklahoma, but it is not a culture into which I neatly fit and for a variety of reasons. I enjoy city-life and am cosmopolitan at heart and I like poking fun at rednecks and the provincially-minded. I am a progressive liberal and I like to gibe at conservatives and the religious right. I am an ardent supporter of gay rights and I deride the flimsy logic of those who oppose them. I am a recovering Charismatic and I like to highlight the idiosyncrasies of the Charismatic/Pentecostal strains of Christianity. I oppose the politicization of the Christian faith in any form and go out of my way to point out the logical inconsistencies and blundering failures of those engaged in the politicizing. None of this is a secret. All of that said, I do not now, nor have I ever considered myself “superior” to any of these groups of people. No, not one.

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