Saturday, April 30, 2005

My Tribute

So, I was walking home from the Blue Moon, the only coffee shop available in Hastings (that's fairly important--I'm in Hastings right now) today. I stopped at a video rental place, and, while I was there, I noticed someone familiar: ex-Husker quarterback Joe Dailey was here. Apparently, his girlfriend goes to Hastings College (and by the way, there is some speculation that he will transfer to Hastings College for that very reason--you heard it here first), so he frequents my hometown. As I was trying to determine if it was, in fact, him, he saw me staring a couple of times. I felt stupid, but mainly, I felt an overwhelming sense of pity for him. Poor kid, his failures have drawn the attention of the nation and the disgust of the Husker Nation. I know he was terrible, but I really felt sorry for him.

Suddenly, a song came to mind appropriate to Joe and his situation. So, allow me to post my tribute to Joe, courtesy of Derek (Disclaimer: Just remember that I'm an angry member of the Husker Nation, too.)

Nothing is Ever Enough
She's not real
She’s the spokes on a wheel
The way she moves
Will take you where you wanna go [Unless you want to go to a bowl game]

You're the one
That she steals from
But if not you
She’s gonna find somebody else [Who apparently will be Zac Taylor]

‘Cause nothing is ever enough
Nothing is ever enough
and you love her
But you know you got to leave her
She’s leaving you with
With no way out [I'd say that about sums up a fourth-string position]

And she's a jewel
In the nose of a fool [Well, we'll just see how Callhan pans out]
She’s beautiful
But she don't know who she is [West Coast? Option? A mix???]

And you're a wreck
Because you suspect
She’ll never be
Who she was years ago [Oh, wait, that's everyone who lives in Nebraska]

‘Cause nothing is ever enough
Nothing is ever enough
and you love her
But you know you got to leave her
She’s leaving you with
No way out
and you love her
You know you got to leave her
She’s leaving you with
With no way out

Maybe you don't see it
but she’s waiting everywhere you're gonna go
in the faces of the people
Who look at you like someone that they know [That's me!]

And you love her
But you know you got to leave her
She’s leaving you with
No way out
and you love her
But you know you got to leave her
She’s leaving you with
No way out [Enjoy being a Bronco, Joe!]

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I have lost all faith in the possibility of good Christian fiction this side of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. On the recommendation of a good friend (who shall remain nameless in order to protect the innocent), I read Ted Dekker's Thr3e. It certainly had its moments of brilliance and interest; however, I honestly wanted to quit reading the book with ten pages left--only my obsessive-compulsive tendencies kept me reading long enough to finish this trash.

First, the good. I'll grant that Dekker wrote a page-turner. The man can be a good writer. For example, the first sentence of the book made me want to cry: "The office had no windows, only electric lanterns to light the hundreds of spines standing in their cherry wood bookcases" (1). On the whole, though, the book was a downward spiral (reminiscent of a toilet flushing, come to think of it) of cliches of writing, plot, and material. Basically, if you have seen a certain existentialist movie (I'm not talking about I Heart Huckabees, but a different, more Kafka-esque movie which I will not reveal, because doing so would completely ruin Dekker's book, in case some of you still want to put yourself through the torture of reading it) and know anything about Sigmund Freud (not so much the sexual stuff, but his id, ego, and superego ideas), you have read this book. So disappointing.

How did C.S. Lewis write unapologetically Christian fiction that didn't completely suck? How did J.R.R. Tolkien write fiction that reeked of Christianity without having anything to do with it, all the while writing the best and most influential fantasy series known to literature? Is it because they made us think? Is it because they were good writers? Is it because they were literary geniuses? Is it all those things? I was very excited to read this book, because I've heard so many people say that Ted Dekker is the one bright light in the dark abyss of "Christian" fiction, which otherwise includes the Left Behind series and what I call "Christian girly-books"; if so, we're doomed.

Do we no longer have creative ideas? Do we no longer have good writers? Have the doctrines of Christianity become so dumbed-down and trite that they no longer inspire us to the beauty of truth?

So many questions; so few answers.


Friday, April 29, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

And for any other blogspot blog owners interested in this feature, check out Audioblogger.


"God's Grandeur"

THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

-- Gerard Manley Hopkins


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Out of this world

The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster

Awesome. Simply awesome.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Think You've Had a Bad Day?


(Be sure to watch the video.)


Mix Me!

As some of you know, I'm heading to England and France in about a week. And now I'm inviting you to come with me! Sort of.

Here's my request: a six song mix for listening to in either London or Paris. Either post a comment listing the songs, or email me (let me know via comment if you need my email address.) I'd prefer that you pick songs I already have, or are purchaseable via iTunes. Special preference also goes to people who explain why they picked the songs they did (i.e. "I listened to this track while riding the Paris Metro and it fit the mood well," etc.)

And maybe I'll pick a winner to get some wonderful prize (although I have a feeling that will be too difficult, given the quality of the mixes put together on the Minneapolis trip.) Of course, this requires people to participate, so if you can/want to, please do!

(If you absolutely have to, I'll accept (heh..."accept" if this is I'll have loads of entries) more than six songs, but try to keep it under ten.)

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The Pelagian Drinking Song

(also titled ‘Song of the Pelagian Heresy for the Strengthening of Men’s Backs and the very Robust Outthrusting of Doubtful Doctrine and the Uncertain Intellectual’)

Pelagius lived at Kardanoel
And taught a doctrine there
How whether you went to heaven or hell
It was your own affair;
How whether you found eternal joy
Or sank forever to burn,
It had nothing to do with the Church, my boy,
But was your own concern.

Oh, he didn't believe
In Adam and Eve
He put no faith therein!
His doubts began
With the Fall of Man
And he laughed at Original Sin.
With my row-ti-tow
He laughed at original sin.

Then came the bishop of old Auxerre
Germanus was his name
He tore great handfuls out of his hair
And he called Pelagius shame.
And with his stout Episcopal staff
So thoroughly whacked and banged
The heretics all, both short and tall --
They rather had been hanged.

Oh he whacked them hard, and he banged them long
Upon each and all occasions
Till they bellowed in chorus, loud and strong
Their orthodox persuasions.
With my row-ti-tow
Their orthodox persuasions.

Now the faith is old and the devil bold
Exceedingly bold indeed.
And the masses of doubt that are floating about
Would smother a mortal creed.
But we that sit in a sturdy youth
And still can drink strong ale
Let us put it away to infallible truth
Which always shall prevail.

And thank the Lord
For the temporal sword
And howling heretics too.
And all good things
Our Christendom brings
But especially barley brew!
With my row-ti-tow
Especially barley brew!

-- Hilaire Belloc

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Dr. Duncan on Leibniz:

"Chapter 12 was fairly straightforward...well, as straightforward as hylomorphic panpsychism can get."


Sunday, April 24, 2005

Thatched-Roof Cottages

This semester I've been writing a text-based computer game for my Arthurian Legend class. It's been quite a process, because I started out with no programming experience. After way too many hours, I have almost completed "Sir Galahad and the Quest for the Holy Grail: A Text-Based Adventure."

Let's have a look at a sample from the game:

You stand in the kitchen of Camelot. At the south end of the room, a large boar roasts on a spit over a fire enclosed by only a few stones on the floor. Streams of light pour through windows in the stone wall high above your head, landing on long table that's assumedly used for food preparation. The table is cluttered with plates, knives, and other various utensils.
At the north end of the room, a passage leads to the castle's armory. The great hall lies through the west passage.
Sitting on the table is a flagon.

>get flagon

>look at boar
A large boar, probably killed yesterday in the hunt. You look closely into his (mostly dried-up) eyes, trying to sympathize with his misfortune. However, the delicious smell of roasting pork prevents you from feeling TOO sorry for the thing.

>look at fire
As the flames heat the boar, juices drip into flames and sizzle.

>get boar
And how do you expect to that? It's a 150 lb boar, not a packet of peanuts.

>look at table
The table is a rough, wooden table strewn with various kitchen implements. Dirt, food, and dried blood and ale stain the table's surface and are ground into the nicks and cracks in the wood. The sanitation leaves something to be desired, in your opinion.

>get implements
You don't really want those. What are you going to do, use them as weapons? Besides the cook would kill you if he found you stealing his stuff.

Here's another sample (albeit a gorier one) from the game:

You follow the path to the east, and enter the hut.
Hermit's Hut.
You are in a small thatched-roof cottage. There are no windows, so it takes a few moments for your eyes to adjust. When they do, you notice that the hut is smaller than most of Camelot's bedrooms and there's no windows. The only real furniture in the room is a small table sitting in the center of the room, with a few books sitting on top of it. The floors are made of dirt and small pallet of hay sits in the corner, apparently serving as the hermit's bed. The whole place smells a bit like manure.
Out the door, to the west, lie the crossroads in front of Camelot.
You see a shovel here.
A very old man sits at the table in the middle of the room. You assume he's the hermit who owns the cottage.

>get shovel

>smite hermit with sword
With a quick blow, you strike down the hermit. He lays motionless on the ground. What have you done?!

>look at hermit
He's a bloody mess. He won't be healing knights any longer.

>dig dirt with shovel
You begin digging. Soon you unearth a small box of Cracker Jacks. Good job. You've slain a hermit and destroyed his cottage all for a box of Cracker Jacks.

>get box

>look at box
It's empty. There's not even a prize in it.

So those are some examples from the game. Yes, it takes quite a bit of imagination to enjoy, but it's been quite fun writing it.

If anyone is interested in playing it, let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me. I can post a link to download a TADS (the language its written in) interpreter and I can email you the game file when I get it completely polished within the next week.

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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Finals iMix

So, I'm working on my philosophy paper, and I thought I'd put together a study mix. It's cheap ($5) so I thought some of you might be interested. (Note: You need iTunes to open this link.)

Finals Mix


Tuesday, April 12, 2005



(No, Jacob. It's not that animation.)


DWebb plays ISTUD and SMASGF (and some CC) in MN

I posted some pictures from our roadtrip to the Derek Webb concert in Minneapolis.

Have a look.

Also, here's the setlist, to the best of my recollection. Those of you who went, help me out if you can:

The Times They Are A'Changin (Dylan cover)
Now I Want A Broken Heart
Saint and Sinner
Can't Lose You
Somewhere North
Rich Young Ruler
*Talk on Blood and Water Ministries*
Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb? (Guthrie cover)
Ballad in Plain Red
Wedding Dress
Lover Pt. 2
I Repent

Edit: And now I'm kicking myself because I just found out that The Decemberists played a show Saturday night in downtown Minneapolis. We were there, and we missed it.

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Friday, April 08, 2005

The big 2-1

I wanted to post this sooner, but Blogger was having troubles. Anyway, thanks to everyone who was able to attend my birthday party last night. For those of you who were not able, I recited a poem that I wrote yesterday before drinking my first adult beverage. I think that it's a lot better to hear it read aloud, but here it is:

Ode to Alcohol

In the year of our Lord, two-thousand five,
On the seventh of April, a man came alive.
Where once stood a child of foolish disposition
Now stands an adult yet knowing not stupidity's remission.
After all, we must ask ourselves, 'Who's kidding whom?'--
Any fool can see that wisdom is not yet in full bloom.

Why does the law confer rights at an age chosen so arbitrarily,
Without which most people could still get along quite merrily?
And what is the qualitative difference between cigarettes and wine,
That forces the young to do without the latter for a longer period of time?
But Scripture commands that to authorities we must submit,
Unless these authorities make decrees contrary to God's holy writ.

And so, to my 21st birthday have I waited,
To partake of precious alcohol with breath so bated.
And you, dear friends, shall be witnesses of the blessed event:
This being on the morrow of a long season of Lent.
So anticipation is growing; the time is nigh
Where I, with them good ol' boys, can at last drink whiskey and rye.

But we must keep in mind on this, a most somber occasion,
The dangers of drink, lest we fall into temptation.
For I am as depraved as any man or woman here,
My sinful flesh not operating above addiction to beer.
Thus I implore you, friends and colleagues here gathered today,
To help protect me hereafter from what could become alcohol's evil sway.

Yet it must be noted that drinking, in itself, is not wrong,
As long as it be relegated to where it belongs.
But enough of this doggerel, silliness, and play;
The time is arrived to wrap up this poem straightaway.
Besides, in writing this I've grown quite tired of having to think.
So, without further ado, would somebody please pass me a drink?

Jacob D. Gerber (b. 1984)

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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Restroom Soteriology

I got nothin'. I just thought this post would look cool next to the other one.


Restroom Sociology

This morning I walked into the restroom in the library. I saw another student standing in front of the mirrors in a shirt and tie. As I proceeded to walk by him, I heard him start talking. Thinking he was addressing me, I turned and looked. He wasn't looking at me, but was looking at himself in the mirror, so I figured he must be talking to one of his friends in the stalls. Weird, but nothing I haven't done. (Heck, I've thrown things at friends in the stalls *cough*jacob*cough*) As I proceeded to do the usual restroom activities, he continued talking. I soon realized that he wasn't addressing anyone in particular, except himself in the mirror. I listened closer:

"We need to greet the new day and take advantage of our times. We are called to leadership," etc.

It soon dawned on me that he was practicing his speech in the mirror of the public restroom. A few people came in, and I watched as they went through the same process of staring with confusion, looking around, and finally coming to a realization of what this guy was doing. How quaint, I thought, and went to class.

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Friday, April 01, 2005

Reformed Baptist?

Originally uploaded by ahansen54.