Methinks I see an heav'nly host Of angels on the wing Methinks I hear their cheerful notes So merrily they sing:
Let all your fears be banish'd hence, Glad tidings I proclaim, For there's a Saviour born today, And Jesus is his name.
Lay down your crooks and quit your flocks, To Bethlehem repair; And let your wand'ring steps be squar'd By yonder shining star.
Seek not in courts or palaces, Nor royal curtains draw; But search the stable, see your God Extended on the straw.
Then learn from hence, ye rural Swains, The Meekness of your God, Who left the boundless Realms of Joy To Ransom you with blood.
The Master of the Inn refus'd A more commodious Place; Ungenerous Soul of Savage Mould, And destitute of Grace.
Exult ye oxen, low for joy, Ye tenants of the stall, Pay your obeisance, on your knees Unanimously fall.
The royal guest you entertain Is not of common birth, But second to the great I Am; The God of heav'n and earth.
Then suddenly a heav'nly host Around the shepherds throng, Exulting in the threefold God And thus address their song. To God the Father, Christ the Son, And Holy Ghost ador'd; The First and Last, the Last and First, Eternal praise afford.
"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge," said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."
"Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.
"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
"And the Union workhouses?" demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"
"They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."
"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" said Scrooge.
"Both very busy, sir."
"Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course," said Scrooge. "I'm very glad to hear it."
"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude," returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. WhatshallIputyoudownfor?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child really loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
"I suppose you are Real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.
"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."
Kalle Lasn's intriguing article on "rewilding the cultural environment" in volume 69 was filled with good information and insight, however it certainly leaves the reader at a critical impasse.
Lasn's got his heart in the fight, but the problem is he's in the wrong fight. A "battle for the mind" will not work. That's the same path that unsuccessful leaders throughout history have sought to promote their causes. Causes are most successfully promoted through either brute force (eg. Roman empire) or changed hearts on a massive scale (eg. the rise of Christianity, somewhat ironically at the time of Roman rule). Changing your mind might motivate you in some way, but changing your heart shifts the values of your life.
Being "not quite of this earth" (ref. First World Facismo, same volume) is exactly what should most motivate us to hold it in the highest of care. Say you're driving your new car and get in a minor accident. Sucks, but insurance will cover it, no biggie. Now say the same thing happens when your driving your friend's new car. Different feeling. The idea is that when you are entrusted with something, it gains a certain weightier value. Same goes for our planet - it doesn't belong to us.
Over-valuation of the planet earth for its own intrinsic qualities, rather than seeing it as a gift, given to us to be cared for and returned, leaves one at a dead end. True motivation for caring for something at a level that will bring meaningful change comes from love for someone outside of your own existence. Anything less - even love for the planet itself - is just selfish ambition to have a better place to exist in, while the self is here, or at best the hope of a self's progeny being guaranteed a better existence (which is really just self-perpetuation, not love).
I really, really love your magazine and where its going, although I'm probably about the furthest thing from your typical reader. I work for a massive global business consulting firm, and I happen to be an executive in my company's consumer products group. With a focus on Retail. I support the global war on terror if it means my children will have a safer world to live in, even if we got it off to a shitty, corporately driven start. I loathe the culture of shop, shop, shop, me, me, me, that we live in, and I'm an enthusiastic environmentalist. I'm a deeply reformed Presbyterian.
But you seem to promote a balanced and open attitude towards these many of these vital issues, and that's key. I hope that much of what you're pushing for you someday see. And, true to my consulting nature - I'm just trying to help you do it better, faster, more efficiently. See it as the gift it really is - then change will come.
Right so I used to have this blog I used to write on. Once upon a time.
So what's up?
Last week was Chicago M-W and then off to Orlando for my operating group's management conference. Which was basically state of the operating group during the day and o.p.e.n. b.a.r. during the night. I'm old and sleep deprived and so I was in bed by 2 or 3am after plenty of drinks both W and Tr nights, and both following mornings I awoke to voicemails/text msgs from my higher ups threatening to fire me if I didn't show face at the bar RIGHT NOW (which happened to be 3 or 4 in the morning). I'm getting to the point that I can't party at the industry level anymore.
Maybe it was just their one time to let loose. I can hope.
Saturday was errands and working on today's lesson, and then that evening was the wonderful, the epic, the ever-blissful Cooke Christmas Party. Met lots of great new people and saw lots of old friends I don't keep up with like I should. I stayed later than I should have and of course missed out on my one chance at 8 hours of straight sleep for the past/next week or two.
And then it was today and church and youth group and home and laundry and football and pack and football and...blog and go to bed. I have to be on my way to the airport in roughly six hours, joy. Oh and caught up on some of the drawing for Christmas presents. Haven't really drawn seriously in quite a bit, and it feels good to be doing so again.
Its Chicago, fly back to NYC, drive to Boston, back to NYC, back to Chicago, home for Christmas (a very white one), DFW for New Years where K-train is getting all married up on the Eve, back to Chicago, then back to my own bed sometime in early Jan. So I'll have tonight and perhaps two other nights between now and then in said bed, which is where I'm going now.
Bleak hope to blog something of some substance before Christmas. Doubtful.
Oh and happy December. 10 days late, for cry-yi-yi.
So I've been watching parts of Brokeback Mountain lately as its on HBO every night I'm in the hotel. Not the gross part(s?) but enough to get a picture. They are two great actors after all and its clear to see that these parts will probably be career high points for both of them.
Anyway, I still of course consider homosexuality to be a perversion of God's natural order, but one thing I realized watching some of this is that I regularly watch movies where people break plenty of the ten commandments. And this movie was more about breaking a law that isn't even expressly mentioned there. Kind of puts things in perspective, even if its a gay one.
Meanwhile one of the DVD's I've had tossed in my work bag to get watched again sometime soon is Seven.
I'm not saying one is better or worse than the other so much as ruminating on how we tend to focus on certain things - perhaps ones that we don't struggle with so much - and look down on them from our vantage point of 'lesser evils.'
Staying at the nice Westin in town for a couple of days, they have a lap pool which is just freaking great, as I can't run. I don't think I blogged it yet, but I was up to 8 miles a day by the time I left for Greece, and shortly thereafter, whereupon I decided to either get a hairline fracture in my upper femur or tear some kind of deep muscle tear in my upper thigh (the ilioipsofacto or something like that - only smart people know all those Latin names for leg muscles). So, yeah.
Here until Wednesday and then its off to Orlando for a management conference with the execs in my operating group, so that should be good networking times.
And, disaster struck last week. I lost not only my favorite belt - black, worn almost everywhere I've ever been, durable, enduring...just the perfect belt. I'm still hoping the hotel from last week might have found it. Bleak hope.
Hat, on the other hand, is a simply unmitigated nightmare. Hat has been with me just as long if not longer, and its even more perfect for my noggin than belt was for my waist. I've actually worried from time to time about losing it, and on my trip back home this weekend, I lost it at some point. I'll check the lost and founds for the rental car place, but I'm pretty sure hat has left me for good.
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"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."