Friday, November 14, 2008

Chicken Rights? Yes! Human Rights? Not So Much...

California's controversial "Proposition 8" to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California has received scads of news coverage. (No links. Google it yourself, you lazy bastard.) Although votes on Proposition 8 are still being tallied, the consensus is that Proposition 8 has passed.

Somewhat lost in partisan noise was "Proposition 2", which passed overwhelmingly and which was not covered by CNN. Proposition 2 (to be enacted in 2015), makes it illegal to confine calves, hens, or pigs in a manner that prevents them from lying down, standing up, extending their limbs, or turning freely around.

Proposition 2 and 8 both received almost the exact same number of "yes" votes—6.26 million for Proposition 2 and 6.16 million for Proposition 8. Now the similarity in those numbers is almost certainly coincidental, but it's fun to speculate that all of the people who voted to add legal protections for certain animals also voted to strip legal protections from certain humans. That sort of jives with my stereotype that all that sunny weather has addled the average Californian mind just a bit. Or maybe that's just bitterness on my part, given the 7 months of winter we endure up here. (And, mind you, I'm not opposed to the animal rights thing... I actually wouldn't have learned of Proposition 2 if it weren't for our subscription to Veg News.)

Interestingly, Governator Schwarzenegger is now encouraging gay activists to fight the constitutional amendment in court. That's a really... um... interesting statement coming from the guy who twice vetoed legislation to legalize same-sex marriages formally.

Tomorrow I'll be taking part in the national protest against Proposition 8. I'll let you know how that goes.

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Today's writing totals:
Novel: 102 words
Blog: 272 words
DAILY TOTAL: 374 words


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blasphemy, Blas-for-you

In reading Pistis Sophia, one can't help but notice that crucifixion, death, and resurrection has had some deleterious effects on Jesus' cognitive functions. Compared to the pithiness of the canonical gospels, now the guy rambles. No wonder it took eleven years to make his point.

(An interesting observation... although yesterday's post is currently titled "Pistis Off", the URL is based on it's original title: "Poop of the Gods." I'll let y'all ponder the meaning and significance of the original title.)

I need to write eighteen more words to make it to five hundred today. This will do it.

Today's writing totals:
Novel: nada
Blog: 98 words
Journal: 402 words (actual creative writing)
DAILY TOTAL: 500 words


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pistis Off

Pistis Sophia is a gnostic gospel recording a lecture that Jesus gave to his disciples about eleven years after he died. Yeah... it turns out that all of the years following Jesus around while he was alive just earned them a Masters thesis. To get the full-on "doctor of divinity" required another decade. Oy-vay! I thought my eight-year dissertation project was interminable.

Today's writing totals:
Novel: 575 words (gnostic research summaries)
Blog: 66 words
Future blog: 72 words
DAILY TOTAL: 713 words


Monday, November 10, 2008


You can now post comments to the blog anonymously. Huzzah!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gno Means Know

I am currently studying the gnostic texts of G.R.S. Mead as background for my novel, specifically his massive summary, Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, and his translation of Pistis Sophia (from Latin, rather than from Coptic). I'm taking copious notes, and it's tempting to just regurgitate them onto this blog, but seriously, folks, you're better off reading the stuff yourself, or, barring that, just read Wikipedia.

It's also tempting to write my personal thoughts about the significance of these texts.

Instead, I am going to write about the dangers of outsourcing one’s brain.

A few weeks ago one of our maple trees dropped a limb and snapped our phone line. Although the phone company replaced the line relatively quickly, our Internet connection has never been the same. Today has been especially bad with slow download speeds and frequent connection breaks. It drove home the fact that I have become so accustomed to searching the Internet for information, that I am almost at a loss without. This has got me wondering about how much I really know. Not just in the existential sense (great big universe... frail human mind... insert sophomoric college bull session here). I mean how much of the stuff that I think I know, is actually just stuff that I know how to look up. I have always disdained memorization in favor of reasoning—Why memorize an equation that I can look up, when the real issue is knowing how to solve a problem by using that equation? I am beginning to suspect that my viewpoint has been cripplingly narrow. Specifically, what happens when I can't look up the equation? Isn’t it absurd to say that I know how to solve the problem in that situation when, in fact, I can’t?

Today's writing totals:
Novel: 231 words (gnostic research summaries)
Blog: 299 words
DAILY TOTAL: 530 words