“Years ago I learned a very cool thing about Robin Williams, and I couldn’t watch a movie of his afterward without thinking of it. I never actually booked Robin Williams for an event, but I came close enough that his office sent over his rider. For those outside of the entertainment industry, a rider lists out an artist’s specific personal and technical needs for hosting them for an event, anything from bottled water and their green room to sound and lighting requirements. You can learn a lot about a person from their rider. This is where rocks bands list their requirement for green M&Ms (which is actually a surprisingly smart thing to do). This is also where a famous environmentalist requires a large gas-guzzling private jet to fly to the event city, but then requires an electric or hybrid car to take said environmentalist to the event venue when in view of the public.
When I got Robin Williams’ rider, I was very surprised by what I found. He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work. I never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that. I’m sure that on his own time and with his own money, he was working with these people in need, but he’d also decided to use his clout as an entertainer to make sure that production companies and event planners also learned the value of giving people a chance to work their way back. I wonder how many production companies continued the practice into their next non-Robin Williams project, as well as how many people got a chance at a job and the pride of earning an income, even temporarily, from his actions. He was a great multiplier of his impact. Let’s hope that impact lives on without him. Thanks, Robin Williams- not just for laughs, but also for a cool example.”—Brian Lord.org (via boysncroptops)
A bogus dichotomy between religion and equality has been set up, resulting in a succession of comparatively trivial new stories about receptionists being banned from wearing religious jewellery or nurses being suspended for offering to pray for patients’ recovery. Adopting the rhetoric of persecution on such matters obscures the very real persecution of Christians being killed or driven from their homes elsewhere in the globe.
Most of the world’s Christians are not engaged in stand-offs with intolerant secularists over such small matters. In the West, Christianity may have increasingly become embraced by the middle class and abandoned by the working class. But elsewhere the vast majority of Christians are poor, many of them struggling against antagonistic majority cultures, and have different priorities in life.
The paradox this produces is that, as Allen points out, the world’s Christians fall through the cracks of the left-right divide – they are too religious for liberals and too foreign for conservatives.
"According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular group with members in 38 states worldwide, 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians.
"The Centre for the Study of Global Christianity in the United States estimates that 100,000 Christians now die every year, targeted because of their faith – that is 11 every hour. The Pew Research Center says that hostility to religion reached a new high in 2012, when Christians faced some form of discrimination in 139 countries, almost three-quarters of the world’s nations."
The tumblr reblog and notification system is so bad for discourse.
There needs to be a distinction between showing your followers someone’s words and saying “hey followers, here’s what I think of this person”—versus speaking to them directly and saying “hey you, here’s what I think of you.”
Having no separation between commenting and blogging means that you can’t make a minor comment on something without it being a Pronouncement To All, and you can’t write about your reaction to something without it also acting as a direct letter to the original writer. (Well, you can do either, but the system doesn’t support it very well. Reblogging is clearly what you’re meant to do.) Any kind of extended back-and-forth discussion fills up dashes like it’s the Debate Of The Century. This isn’t more transparent or honest; it’s just more everything in your face all the time.
Xkit definitely helps, but still, I think this makes the whole atmosphere here more stressful. ”If you’re going to say it about me, say it to my face and in front of everyone” is an awfully fraught mode of discussion.
And apparently it’s not just awkward for the reblogger, but for the poster. Which. Um.
Tumblr could probably have a worse UI. For instance, it could include a strobe effect in the new post creation window all the time, and not just if you’re unlucky. But other than that idea, I am not able to think of very many ways to make it very much worse. It’s very nearly maximally terrible.
It really is, and they seem to put so much work into that at every level. See also: “Reblog this text post as a link.” And, for extra credit, the fact that “reblog as link” will nearly always cut out every single word of the text you were actually responding to.
"Women who don’t identify as feminist think _________."
*pulls out bazooka*
Women who don’t identify as feminist think “feminist” is not an accurate and useful label to use to describe their positions on issues pertaining to gender, whether because they believe in complementarianism, because they believe in some other non-egalitarian philosophy, because they want to distance themselves from the kind of people who claim or are associated with the label, or because they disagree with feminism’s methods or habit of throwing certain kinds of people under the bus. Or some other reason.
You know, same as anyone else who doesn’t identify as feminist.
It isn’t hard at all to end up running into people whose approach to a given ideology or ideal is toxic enough that you think it’s horrible.
I care a lot less whether people use the word “feminist” to describe themselves than I care how they actually treat other people.
Similarly, I like to talk about “social justice”, but I am absolutely aware that a lot of the people who use those words mean something horrific by them, so if someone tells me they’re really hostile to “social justice”, first thing I usually do is ask for examples. Usually I find out that they hate the terrifying abuses, and just want everyone to be safe and have their rights respected.
Just wanted to throw out that I recently revamped my commissions page. So, y’know, reblog to help me out if you want!
If you don’t know me, I make yarn stuff like:
(And I updated my about me page if you care about that)
And friendly reminder that I’m still trying to change the world by making schools teach more than just white people stuff, but I need your testimonials and experience to do it. And you can win free stuff if you help me!
There’s an irony in parents’ flawed perceptions, and their very real consequences: at the same time parents significantly limit the freedom and autonomy of their kids, they also want their kids to “think for themselves” and be independent. The same parents that won’t let their child out of their sight want her to be independent, make her own decisions, and think for herself. Parents value autonomy and independence, but they’re reluctant and frightened to give much of it.
It’s not that parents are unaware of this contradiction. They observe a “real culture for overprotecting kids,” as one mother put it, and many weren’t entirely comfortable with it, but most felt powerless to do anything about it.
Parents are bothered by the changing nature of childhood—they feel it was “better” to have more freedom and independence; they think their children are missing out on important formative experiences. But very few parents can even imagine giving their own children that freedom. Ironically, parents today both lament a world gone by and actively participate in the construction of a new world of constant monitoring and control.
okay maybe but this isn’t a good example of the Oxford comma at all - my understanding is that the Oxford comma demarcates a list of items rather than adjectives.
if you’re into rules, this is the deal with adjectives, broadly speaking:
you can use a comma between multiple adjectives which are qualitative: “the tall, handsome, competent woman”. Tallness, handsomeness, and competence are all qualities which one can possess to a greater or lesser degree: you can be taller, or more handsome, than somebody else, even if they are also somewhat tall and handsome to begin with.
you probably wouldn’t use a comma between multiple adjectives which are classifying, or absolute: “the dead Scottish socialist politician”. Except in extreme circumstances, you are either dead or you aren’t, Scottish or you aren’t, etc.
note that you generally wouldn’t use “and” between any of these classifying adjectives unless you’re trying for a particular effect, which i think is what’s happening with “cold, dead, and lifeless” here. “cold” is a qualitative adjective, “dead” and “lifeless” are absolute (…arguably).
normally it might sound odd to include the ‘and’ here - it would sound wrong to say “I put the plump, Caucasian and severed hand in the bag”, after all, unless you were aiming for a particular kind of emphasis - but it’s being used for a rhetorical effect, to build the rhythm of the sentence to a climax.
however, the pseudo-Oxford comma is a potential problem for the following reason:
"my cold, dead and lifeless hands" implies some number of hands which are cold, dead and lifeless.
"my cold, dead, and lifeless hands" reads something like "my oldest, youngest, and medium-sized children" or "my red, blue, and yellow pencils". the cumulative effect is to imply that you have multiple sets of hands: some are cold, some are dead, some are lifeless, and all of them are clinging on tenaciously to the Oxford comma
which actually is pretty boss you know what i’m not going to argue with that
(this is all explained a bit more clearly in the Oxford style guide, if you’re interested, though it’s only one potential way of doing things. don’t feel like you have to stick to this or any style guide. i’m mostly an advocate of knowing the rules so you can break them in funny ways.)
Some people seemed to be misunderstanding me, so let me expand and clarify.
The key issue here arises from the title of Carl Trueman’s article: “A Church for Exiles.” Trueman’s argument grows out of his first sentence: “We live in a time of exile.” Now, I am not sure that we do: I’d like to bring back Daniel the Prophet and ask him what he thinks. (And that’s a serious, not a snarky, comment.) But for the sake of argument let’s grant the claim. We — by which Trueman means “those of us … who hold to traditional Christian beliefs” — live in exile. What is the proper response to exile?
It seems to me that the proper response would be for us to look earnestly for every possible way to draw together, to make common cause, to pray together, to build one another up, and especially, if possible, to share the Eucharist.
It seems to Carl Trueman that the proper response is to explain how his Christian tradition is better than all the other Christian traditions: “Of this I am convinced: Reformed Christianity is best equipped to help us in our exile.” Then follows a long list of traits that make Reformed Christianity superior. For instance:
“We do not draw our strength primarily from an institution, but instead from a simple, practical pedagogy of worship: the Bible, expounded week by week in the proclamation of the Word and taught from generation to generation by way of catechisms and devotions around the family dinner table.”
“In the church service, the minister reads the Decalogue and brings words of judgment down on God’s people, reminding them of their death in Adam. He leads them in a corporate confession of sin and then reads words from Scripture, pointing toward the promise in Christ of comfort, forgiveness, and the final resurrection to come. Fall, death, forgiveness, resurrection: The basic elements of the Christian message find concise and precise expression in Reformed liturgical practice.”
“Robust confidence of our life in Christ lies at the heart of what it means to be a Reformed Protestant…. We know who we are. We belong to Christ.”
I wasn’t aware that only Reformed Christians know that they belong to Christ, or trace in their liturgies the arc from Fall to Resurrection, or proclaim and study the Word of God. But Trueman seems to think that these riches are to be found only in his tradition.
Yet … he can’t think that, can he? He must know perfectly well that none of these traits is unique to the Reformed tradition, that instead they are shared by many varieties of Christianity all over the world. But in that case, why list them as Reformed distinctives, evidence of the superiority of the Reformed Way?
And — to return to my earlier point — why seek to emphasize what’s distinctive about any one tradition now, if, as Trueman believes, “those of us … who hold to traditional Christian beliefs” are all entering a period of exile, and entering it together? Is that really a time to be saying “Here are all the things we Reformed people do better than the rest of you”?
There’s a saying in Alcoholics Anonymous, one that struck David Foster Wallace, who was always the smartest guy in the room, especially forcefully: Your best thinking got you here. Well, if we Christians are going into exile, our best theology and worship and practice got us here. This is not a time for boasting about how much better my way is than yours. This is a time for all of us to say, Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on all of of sinners.
We should all own our share of responsibility for this situation, and not succumb to the prideful delusion that if all the other Christians just did things our way everything would be fine. It’s time for us to say to our fellow Christians, not “Here’s what I have to teach you,” but rather, “What can we all — what must we all — learn from one another?” If even going into exile can’t teach us to pursue a common wisdom, forged in collective prayer and shared penitence, I don’t know what ever will.
Here are three elements we often see in town names:
If a town ends in “-by”, it was originally a farmstead or a small village where some of the Viking invaders settled. The first part of the name sometimes referred to the person who owned the farm - Grimsby was “Grim’s village”. Derby was “a village where deer were found”. The word “by” still means “town” in Danish.
If a town ends in “-ing”, it tells us about the people who lived there. Reading means “The people of Reada”, in other words “Reada’s family or tribe”. We don’t know who Reada was, but his name means “red one”, so he probably had red hair.
If a town ends in “-caster” or “-chester”, it was originally a Roman fort or town. The word comes from a Latin words “castra”, meaning a camp or fortification. The first part of the name is usually the name of the locality where the fort was built. So Lancaster, for example, is “the Roman fort on the River Lune”.
A Little Book of Language by David Crystal, page 173. (via linguaphilioist)