Misc notes – Christmas Eve

The following is a pile of things from my notebook without a home.

“The science of constructing a commonwealth, or renovating it, or reforming it, is not to be taught a priori.” -Edmund Burke

Good stuff here, as usual, from Amy Hoy:

Sometimes I think we smartypantses walk around expecting to be given a delicious cookie by The Universe as reward for thinking deep thoughts and soaring above the teeming masses on fluffy intellectual wings.

There’s no point in deep thinking, though, if it isn’t its own reward, if it isn’t helping us & those we love to be happier.

My thoughts at a recent mandatory Human Resources meeting/presentation:

No questions pending from the audience doesn’t mean the teacher was successful. It may mean the material was so ridiculous or mystifying that nobody even knows how to begin talking about it.


Why on earth does everyone have the word “executive” in their job title now? I smell language rot of the same sort that happened to “awesome”.

A question I have with regards to a phrase I still here in sermons a lot:

Is “what God designed you to be” simply hindered by our stupidity? What kind of nonsense is this? Is the creator so easily thwarted?

I’m listening to Loreena McKennit’s A Midwinter Night’s Dream a lot again this Christmas. Why? Partially because I can’t bring myself to work through the gigantic new Sufjan Stevens Christmas album and partially because I don’t want to buy the new Tracey Thorn Christmas album without listening to it first and none of the services I use seem to have it yet. Oh well.

Four more posts until 1000. Can it hit it before the end of the year? No problemo!

An absolutely fantastic example here from Taliesin, now calling himself TimothyOne on the differences between formality and spontaneity and why we need both. (The context is Christian worship, but it works for a lot of other things too.)

It’s not either-or.  It never is.  It’s not that spontaneous is authentic while planned is fake.  It is simply both, in their sequence.

Consider a man who arranges an elaborate marriage proposal, complete with memorized recitation, and kneeling, and holding of her hand as if it were the jewel of the raj.   He is not less authentic for all his planning; indeed, to the degree he searches precedent to adopt what others have done, he shows her how much she means to him.  And she will love him more for his trouble and formality.

But of she leaps across his papers to stop the recitation with a kiss, the man who can’t drop the outline and re-write the rite (I think the rubric now says “kiss”) – well, he’s a fool.  And if she doesn’t leap, she is obtuse.  If she doesn’t ruin the rite, she wasn’t worth writing it for, and if there is no rite, he does not deserve her.