Thursday, December 11, 2008

Extra Post: The Sanctity of Marriage

While researching the previous entry, I came across a lovely, but unattributed list of proposed additional constitutional amendments to further pull marriage into alignment with the Bible. (Scroll down to Brutus' 12/10/2008 post here.) After a bit of sleuthing, I found the original author. (Hooray, Google!) Below is an excerpt from the Alex Frantz's blog Public Nuisance, August 18, 2008. If you copy this, please do credit the original author, as I do so loathe plagiarism:

So here, in support of the Prayer Team's admirable goals, is a proposed Constitutional Amendment codifying marriage entirely on biblical principles:
1 Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women.1 Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives.2

2 A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed.3 Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden.4

3 Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce.5

4 If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law.6

1: Gen. 29, 17 - 28; II Sam. 3, 2 - 5.
2: II Sam. 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21
3: Deut. 22, 13 - 21
4: Gen 24:3; Num 25 1 - 9; Ezra 9:12; Neh. 10:30
5: Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9
6: Gen. 38 6 - 10; Deut 25 5 - 10


(Note: I desperately want to fix the Biblical punctuation in the footnotes, but that kind of goes against the whole notion of "quoting," I suppose.)

"Terrorism" Is The New "Hitler"

For the past few decades it has been well accepted that a debate has reached a pathetic low when one party equates the other to Hitler. This is known as Godwin's Law, and the consensus is that, once "Hitler" has been invoked, the party that used the epithet has effectively surrendered the debate.

Since 2001, though, the new boogieman is "terrorists."

"...then the terrorists have already won."

"...that's just what the terrorists want."

Earlier this week Pat Boone (yes that Pat Boone) dropped this gem on World Net Daily, equating California Proposition 8 protests to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai two weeks ago: "...there is a real, unbroken line between the jihadist savagery in Mumbai and the hedonistic, irresponsible, blindly selfish goals and tactics of our homegrown sexual jihadists."

So, can we just call this debate over already?

It's tempting to give Pat Boone the benefit of the doubt and conclude that he's only comparing the violent protesters to terrorists (and yeah, protesters who physically harass an old lady certainly warrant that comparison), but he really is painting the entire protest movement with the same brush. Why else would he castigate Brad-freakin'-Pitt for donating money to the Human Rights Campaign?

Today's writing totals:
Blog: 202 words
Novel: 0 words (sorry about that)
DAILY TOTAL: 202 words

DECEMBER RUNNING TOTAL: 6,471/15,500 words

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bad Robot

My dear friend, the beautiful but deadly android known only as "cs10", sent me a link to the Writing Gifts section of Shakespeare's Den.

cs10 and I have long enjoyed congenial debates on the nature of evil. I sit in her lair and drink weak tea while she rinses the viscera out of her extensible talons. We are particularly interested in determining which actions constitute "evil", and which are merely "wicked." Our consensus is that wickedness is when one acts in a manner that is considered morally wrong but which does not directly harm others. Evil, on the other hand, is when harming others is pretty much the whole point. cs10 falls on one side of the divide, and I on the other.

This is why her email missive is so morally intriguing. On the surface it seems like a harmless act, perhaps even considerate. However, things are rarely so simple in her coiled chrome cortex, and any doubts as to her intentions were dispelled when her email ended in the villainous laugh: "muah ha ha!"

But is her message evil? Tempting me to disenfranchise my family and instead spend all of my Christmas savings on quill pens, sealing wax, and Jane Austen action figures... well that's certainly wicked, but it doesn't actually harm anyone. At worst I might be tempted to pickpocket, but I'm not likely to kill anyone. Even if I did go on a mad killing spree (and I doubt my knees are up for that), all of that blood would be on my hands, not hers.

Perhaps cs10 has decided to slip over to my side of the divide... to try a lighter shade of darkness. Wouldn't that be a delightful lesson for the holiday? At this magical time of year, even a blood-drunk, murderous android can set aside her arsenal of field surgery tools and embrace the common values that unite the disparate forms of life on this planet.

Erm... no. She just sent me a follow up email explaining that what she meant by her previous message was that she has killed my family, and that I may now spend my Christmas funds however I see fit.

Her early Christmas gift to me.

Oh, and she attached pictures. How thoughtful.

Well, at least that clarifies things.

Today's writing totals:
Blog: 372 words
Novel: 500 words (actual text of the actual novel... none of that planning crap)
DAILY TOTAL: 872 words

DECEMBER RUNNING TOTAL: 5,844/15,500 words

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Circus Ponies

Another writing tool that I have found really useful is Circus Ponies' Notebook. It is, in essence, a digital version of a paper notebook, and it is remarkably fun and intuitive to use. You can write in it. You can draw in it. You can stick things to the pages. More importantly CP's Notebook builds an easily searched table of contents as you go. Furthermore, unlike a paper notebook, you can make backup copies so that you're not completely fucked when you leave your life's work propped under the table at Starbuck's.

The way this relates to novel-writing is that novel-writing is a very messy business. With CP Notebook you can keep all the bits and pieces in one location. The notebook for my novel has all my research notes (including hyperlinks and pictures), as well as separate sections for character summaries, plot summaries, and an idea journal. It's all very transparent and "just works" in a very Mac-like fashion.

Today's writing totals:
Blog: 163 words
Journal: 568 words (memoir & character notes)
DAILY TOTAL: 731 words

DECEMBER RUNNING TOTAL: 4,487/15,500 words