Monthly Archives: March 2008

A neat story mined with patches of chloroform

In my review of the comic book, I forgot to mention how weird it was to get “thought bubbles” of text bubbling from Buffy’s head.

You virtually never had that in the TV show. Maybe one episode started with Buffy reading Jack London as a voice-over narration to events, but that was the exception. And you never had anything like Veronica Mars’ tough talking High School PI narrations (which I greatly miss, if anyone cares).

This is another way, in which, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Volume 1: The Long Way Home fails to really be “season eight” of the cancelled TV show.  Using thought bubbles is a sea change in how the story of the slayer gets told.  In the show there was dialog and there was the guess one could make from facial expressions in video.  And that was all.

Which brings me to One Thing Or Your Mother.  It is a genuinely entertaining story for any fan of the TV show, especially since it takes place back in Season Two and even adds a connection between the mayer and Principle Snyder.  I enjoyed it.

But my enjoyment was hampered by billions of paragraphs or successions of paragraphs which, yes I am not ashamed of puning,  painstakingly described every single detail of what the characters were thinking and feeling.  You never infer anything in the story.  It is almost a tract against empricism.  Or an ad absurdum argument that works in its favor.

I’m sure the author, Kirsten Beyer, is a talented writer. She demonstrated her skill in many ways.  No doubt she was writing according to her instructions.  But I found those constraints really irritating.

The quick obligatory recession post

I found enough coins to treat myself to some coffee across the intersection at Panera Bread Company.  When I reached the counter I saw a nice sign standing there with the Panera Bread company logo, colors, and 2008 copyright notice.  I tried to take a picture, but my phone’s camera isn’t good and I don’t know how to get the pictures to my computer anyway.  It basically said that they wanted to serve quality food at reasonable prices but that they wouldn’t buy inferior ingredients in order to keep prices down.   As a result, prices will be rising.  The price of wheat, the sign said, has increased 100% in the last few months (six, I think, but I’m not remembering clearly).

I tried to find some discussion of the sign in the blogosphere or on the company website, but no such luck.  However I did find a couple of stories that were related:

Not sure what to say about this.  Recently, I’ve found myself unable to buy a whole tank of gas.   It is not because I don’t have the money in my account (for now at least).  It is simply because some psychological point has been reaced and I just can’t stand to fill up the tank.

This might not do anything except force me to stop for gas more often.  But I suspect it will also make me think twice about unnecessary driving.

A brief personal statement about B. B. Warfield and inerrancy when I really need to be getting some work done

Warfield’s historical and theological analysis of Calvinism contains a great deal of fantasy (making the “immediacy” of the operations of the Spirit on the human soul the essence of calvinism, or claiming that there were two opposing theologies in Augustine–his soteriology and his ecclesiology at war with each other). Nevertheless, his Biblical studies on the New Testament teaching on the authority and infallibility of Scripture are as scholarly, astute, and as careful as any New Testament scholarship has ever been. Warfield in this area, is easily as skilled as N. T. Wright or any other contemporary scholar of repute that one might name.

It is possible that somewhere Warfield argued deductively from the nature of God (God does not err, therefore Scripture does not err). It has been awhile since I have devoured his works and I won’t swear he never does so. And I do no he spent much time showing how Scripture asserts that every part of Scripture is from God, which does come close (If Scripture errs, then God is the one who errs because he is the author). But his overwhelming line of argumentation is that Scripture contains a unified view of Scripture’s veracity which one must either accept or reject but not claim is missing.

And this line of argumentation is backed by copious evidence. Warfield was a god among men. I’m open to him making some major mistake in this area, but when such claims have been made, I have yet to find anyone who engages the real Warfield–who cares What B. B. Warfield Really Said, if you will. I am not saying he anwered every possible question. In the past few years N. T. Wright’s defense of Biblical authority as I’ve read it in different places (I’m not talking about his book devoted to the topic, which I’ve heard is rather bad, but haven’t read for myself yet) has helped me greatly and shown me ways in which I was naive. But Warfield’s work is still bedrock. He truly presented the faith to the modern world at a time when new challenges had arisen. He refined and improved upon the Protestant scholastic heritage.

For anyone who may care, that is what I think. And for anyone else, I’m sorry to have posted another theological post. I have a review of a Buffy novel coming ups soon. So all is not lost.

Not the best PR statement

In order to provide the entire Westminster community with a more complete understanding of the Board’s decision and to offer an opportunity for questions and dialogue, the Chairman and Secretary of the Board will join the President on campus for a special chapel on Tuesday, April 1 at 10:30 am.

If you are dealing with a tough issue, don’t give too much irony to the other side. Or am I the only one who started chuckling about April Fools Day when first reading this?

Awakening (#1 of Chasing Yesterday)

I can’t vouch for all of the writer’s other series–just in case anyone searches Amazon or uses some other search engine (I’ve decided to stop using Google as a verb). I’m also hoping the next two books in the trilogy don’t do anything to make me regret this recommendation. With those caveats in mind: I really enjoyed this book.

If you want to read, or let your kids read (but you shouldn’t let them have all the fun) a scifi, conspiracy, paranoid novella, I think Awakening will serve you well. It has a little of the typical melodramatic over-writing that I think plagues YA publishing (and maybe even sells–how harshly can I criticize immature writing for the less mature?), but not much. And the story/mystery is quite engaging.

The story is about J.D., a roughly fourteen-year-old Jane Doe found at the site of an explosion who wakes up in the hospital without any memory. I can’t say too much more because I don’t want to print any spoilers.

Since I write a lot about Christianity on this blog, I suppose I should point out that I’m not claiming anything in that regard for this story. Just that it was a fun read and I want to read the sequels to find out what happens next. If you’re considering this for your child, my advice is to read it first and make your own decision. Authority figures don’t come off too well in this book, but of course, that’s what makes a story especially scary–when those who should be trustworthy and are supposed to care for you are not and do not.

In any case, the last Christian “novel” I looked at in a store had discussion questions included. God save us!

One of my favorite political books is coming back into print–actually, my only favorite for American politics

A few blurbs:

“When I was deciding whether or not to run for President as a Republican, I re-read Justin Raimondo’s Reclaiming the American Right and it gave me hope—that the anti-interventionist, pro-liberty Old Right, which had once dominated the party, could and would rise again. Here is living history: the story of an intellectual and political tradition that my campaign invokved and reawakened. This prescient book, written in 1993, could not be more relevant today.” — RON PAUL, Ten Term U.S. Congressman (TX) and 2008 Presidential Candidate

“Richly researched, brilliantly written, passionately argued. . . . A veritable Iliad of the American Right.”—Patrick J. Buchanan, political commentator, syndicated columnist, and author

Book Description
In recent years a number of conservatives have wondered where the Right went wrong. One persuasive answer is provided by Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement. Justin Raimondo’s captivating narrative is the story of how the non-interventionist Old Right—which included half-forgotten giants and prophets such as Sen. Robert A. Taft, Garet Garrett, and Col. Robert McCormick—was supplanted in influence by a Right that made its peace with bigger government at home and “perpetual war for perpetual peace” abroad. First published in 1993, Reclaiming the American Right is today as timely as ever.

The latest volume in ISI Books’ Background series, this edition includes a new introduction by Georgetown political scientist George W. Carey, Patrick J. Buchanan’s introduction to the second edition, and new critical essays on the text by Scott Richert, executive editor of Chronicles, and David Gordon, senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Public order doesn’t require the punishment of aggressors; it only requires the punishment of people who demand public order

Judging by school records, at least one official seems to think Billy contributes to the trouble that swirls around him.

This is totally predictable.  Just like everyone knows about homosexual rape in prison and doesn’t care, everyone knows that typically school officials are going to want to silence the complainer rather than actually manning up and dealing with aggressors in the school system.  The squeaky wheel is always considered the problem.  I see it acknowledged in literature and TV shows and movies all the time.