Saturday, May 01, 2004

Well, now we know I've seen too much of the Iraq war. Here is a really short story, not for the faint of heart.

Berk Onur
(English) Firm Honor
By Chris Halverson

“We’re badasses aren’t we Onur?”
Onur didn’t even break into a smile, just tapped the paint brush, slobbered and encrusted with white paint, against the bench, “Yeah Berk, we are. We really are.”
“What should we paint next?” Berk asked, touching his backwards green cap lightly, a white print from his hands, layered with chalk-like paint, remained upon the green.
“Hmmm,” Onur sighed and looked around him. The two children had painted rather furiously, white was splashed and slathered everywhere, on the house of Efet, his mother, upon Berk’s neon orange sandals, upon the sidewalk, upon the bench, upon his sandals, upon his pants, all over the place. Still, he thought what he had to show for it was worth it.
“Looks kind of funny, doesn’t it?” Berk was smiling now, swishing his stiff brush in the bucket of paint, his hand limp and his pointing finger and thumb barely grasping the paintbrush.
Onur slouched down further, running his left hand through his conservatively cut black hair. “We could paint it again.”
Berk looked at it. He leaned back and thought a bit. The vat of paint, the can as wide as his torso, sat there, yellow, red, and blue hidden with runlets of white paint. The paint was drying. He leaned down, and put the lid atop the can, popping it back down.
“Let’s let it dry,” Berk said.
“Look at it though,” he said, leaning forward, dropping the white brush, its stiff bristles stubbed themselves upon the ground, jittered to the right, and the whole brush fell.
“Do you think what we did was right, Onur?”
“It is art. Right?”
Berk thought about it for a moment, “Yes, it is art.”
Onur felt sly, and so he asked, “Why is it art?”
“Because,” Berk scurried under the table and picked up Onur’s brush, “Because… I don’t know. What makes art?”
“I asked you.”
“It is pretty. Something for others to look at?” he was unsure.
Onur nodded slowly, “and?”
“And… to think about.”
“Go on,” Onur prodded, tapping his sandals, soles splashed white with paint, excited, the side of his left leg rubbing against the side of Berk’s right.
“Art then. Art is the idea of… No, let me start again,” he was looking intently at it, and Onur’s leg was shaking like a shell shocked soldier, “Art is an object that makes a statement of how people feel, it captures the mood of a country, of a nation, of a spot in… in history.”
“Keep going,” he said, his mouth breaking into a broad grin as he looked at it, “It isn’t just influenced by people, it influences people.”
“Yes,” Berk said, “it takes what people feel out of them, and shows it to them in plain view. It riles them to deeds…” he faltered, looking away from it.
“It is taking out the heart of the people, and showing it to them. They view it, and see what influences them, what makes them move, what makes them breathe. And then, once they have seen that, they act!”
Berk was breathing fast, “They are fed the idea, by us, and in response,” his little boy smile grew big and distant eyes focused on it, “in response they act.”
“Yes, the idea and the deed.”
“Art prompts them to look into their hearts. There they see the message, they see their truth, finally something physical, are confronted by it, and therefore act.”
They put down their brushes, stretched their legs, and stood up.
“Art is action Berk. Art such as ours is a thing to be sung in the streets. White paint, white paint.”
“They will,” he was slow to say it, “They will drag things such as this through the streets. They will hoist it up and show the whole world our hearts.”
“Yes. The whole world. Our art shall be before the whole world.”
“And it shall quake.”
The two kids smiled, stepping closer to it.
“Maybe it needs a bit of a touch up,” he trotted over to the can and brought it back.
“No, put it back.”
Berk began to return the can, then Onur turned around and said, “Wait, maybe it does need a little touch up.”
He opened the American’s mouth, and dumped the white paint into it, and touched up the last of the camouflage with white.
If you lived in Europe in the late '80's/early 90's and see no other film this school term see Goodbye Lenin. It was great! Eric, my roommate from last year, and I saw it today. Er ist ser gut!
Lynne Cheney (VP's wife) is a pornographer, or there abouts. Check out Sisters.
This said, as a Wyomingite who is trying to get published, I should applaud Lynne. So, three cheers for Lynne.
Here is the doors lattest issue. Bush vs. Kerry, the spiritual battle. Or something like that.
A Dog named goose
In the definitive Luther biography by Martin Brecht, (Martin Luther: The Preserver of the Church, vol. 3, p. 22, first paragraph, we are told the name of Luther's dog: Tölpel. The name may mean something like "fool" or "goose" (as in "stupid like a goose"), but Luther was fond of his pet.

In one Table Talk entry we read: When Luther’s puppy happened to be at the table, looked for a morsel from his master, and watched with open mouth and motionless eyes, he [Martin Luther] said, “Oh, if I could only pray the way this dog watches the meat! All his thoughts are concentrated on the piece of meat. Otherwise he has no thought, wish, or hope.” (AE 54:37)
This is really sentimental and cheesy, but check it out anyways.

You say: "It's impossible"
God says: All things are possible
(Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired"
God says: I will give you rest
(Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me"
God says: I love you
(John 3:16 & John 3:34)

You say: "I can't go on"
God says: My grace is sufficient
(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out"
God says: I will direct your steps
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: "I can't do it"
God says: You can do all things
(Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able"
God says: I am able
(II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it"
God says: It will be worth it
(Roman 8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself"
God says: I Forgive you
(I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage"
God says: I will supply all your needs
(Philippians 4:19)

You say: "I'm afraid"
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear
(II Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated"
God says: Cast all your cares on ME
(I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I don't have enough faith"
God says: I've given everyone a measure of faith
(Romans 12:3)

You say: "I'm not smart enough"
God says: I give you wisdom
(I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone"
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you
(Hebrews 13:5)

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Hey Hey. This is my good friend Sam right here in Eugene. He wants me to tell you he is a wacko right-winger. He is THE regular at D+D. Really good fellow.
Here are the newest D+D questions
The Questions
1. Why is God? What is God’s purpose?
2. Why do people die? What is the point if there is a resurrection? Why no auto-immortality?
3. Beyond us growing up in a western/semi-western culture what gives Christianity/Judaism the “edge”?
4. Can one see world events as fundamentally spiritual and not be considered a fundamentalist?
5. Can one be a Christian and not believe that God has a direct hand in everything?
6. What is the natural state of humans?
My parents sent me this. I thought it was pretty funny. Check it out.
It seems my Rumor about china planning to take over Iraq might be wrong. Per this Article. Still, if they do I will say I told you so.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Why don't we hear about stuff like this more often? I guess if Terrorist attacks don't involve the US or the Middle East they don't count.
Who:A roman soldier
What: 30,000 people dead
When: Passover 34-40ish CE
Where: The Temple in Jerusalem
Why:A single Roman guard exposed himself to a crowd of pilgrims on passover.
Just a thought, since we recently knocked down a mosque minaret.
"[W]hy should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen? . . . Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"
— Bush, Good Morning America, 3.18.03
Man. Too much politics and news, you guys might want to know what’s going on with me here in Eugene.
1. It is hot as all heck (well, it got to 80 yesterday). My room is like a little oven, and the worst part is that the central heating for the entire building is still going full blast, there is nothing individuals in the rooms can do about it. I’ve been sleeping in the buff with my windows open (thank goodness I’m on the 7th floor!). I’ve resorted to freezing evening showers before I got to bed. I guess it works.
2. I’m biking again! I’ve found a nice 30 minute bike path that takes me through some parks and by the river.
3. I’m the president of my fraternity’s class (meaning the three other guys who joined AEPi this term). I, the goy, am the president of a class of Jewish Fraternity boys. As they say one never knows what life is going to throw at them.
4. As I’m starting to write my synopsis for Faith and Grace, the book I’m trying to get published.
5. I need to start getting ready for my ELCA candidacy stuff that will start this summer.

That’s about it for now. I should get back to reading for Religious Studies.
This is pretty interesting. Perpetua and Felicitas. Check out 119, Perpetua becomes a man?
Rumor I've heard a Rumor that China has amassed tons (200,000 or so) of troops to go into Iraq. They may try some sort of UN mandate kind of thing. I have no link for this, if anyone can find specifics do tell. I've looked at the UN webpage, nothing.
Saddam's WMD's? Maybe.

Monday, April 26, 2004

You've seen it here first folks! Here is Iraq's new flag.
Here is a picture of Billy, one of my best friend from Wyoming. The woman across from him is his wife, Jessica Wade.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

The Truth about Politics.
Check out these shirts.
Well, this blog suggests one do the following:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
And here it is
“James. You are obsessed.” (okay, that was the 5-6th but who's counting)
-Faith and Grace Chris Halverson
Here is a prediction. Najaf is going to blow up. It is going to be really really ugly.
How did Moses know who his sibblings were? Wasn't he raised by Pharaoh? Hmmm... How did he find Aaron, Miriam? I'm sure there is some midrash about this somewhere.
Just something to keep you awake at night.