Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rebelling Against The Rebellion

"It was certainly Robbie [Robertson] whose vision determined the nature of Big Pink's cover. Keen to make a visual statement that would set [The Band] apart from the incendiary, post-Flower Power mood of 1968, he hit on the idea of Landy's photographing the band together with their families up in Ontario. 'We were rebelling against the rebellion,' he says. 'If everybody was going east, then we were going west. It wasn't like we even discussed it, there was this kind of ingrained thing from us all along. It was an instinct to separate ourselves from the pack.' For Robbie, the spectacle of Jim Morrison...was not shocking but merely faddish. Nor was he prepared to jump on any anti-American bandwagon. 'I never ran around with flags on my car or anything, but I think that America has given me the opportunity to do something I was very appreciative of.' Like so many immigrants, this outsider was far more reactionary than the angry sons and daughters of the establishment of the time. In a year when the time was right for violent revolution, The Band was about to release the oddly plaintive, explicitly conservative 'Tears of Rage'."

From Across the Great Divide: The Band And America by Barney Hoskyns, p165

(By the way, here's the photo that appeared on the album and proved to be a revolutionary statement of non-revolution, consciously associating themselves with what the masses were distancing themselves from)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday's Words


mlade - young
pisati - write
misliti - think


bahnhof - train station
danken - to thank
lieben - to love


alto - tall
pobre - poor
oeste - west


rotund - plump and rounded
augar - to predict from signs

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

10 Quotes Worth Considering

"Focus is a matter of deciding what things you're not going to do." -- John Carmack

"It's hard enough to find an error in your code when you're looking for it; it's even harder when you've assumed your code is error-free." -- Steve McConnell

"Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one's government is not necessarily to secure freedom." -- Friedrich Hayek

"Facts per se can neither prove nor refute anything. Everything is decided by the interpretation and explanation of the facts, by the ideas and the theories." -- Ludwig Von Mises

"For all the saber-rattling conservatives can do when it comes to fighting backward nations with high-tech weaponry, when it comes to an issue that might require actual courage from them, they are to use a military term, AWOL." -- Douglas Wilson

"It is becoming more and more obvious, that it is not starvation, not microbes, not cancer but man himself who is mankind's greatest danger" -- Carl Jung

"Those who do not have swords may still die upon them." -- J.R. Tolkien

"Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot sundae." -- Kurt Vonnegut

"Being right too soon is socially unacceptable. " -- Robert A. Heinlein

"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius" -- Sherlock Holmes

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Prota Matija Nenadovic On Death

"As an oak-tree of many years, which lightnings and tempests have not brought to the ground, begins of itself to wither and to lose branch after branch, and declines even nearer to its end, so, my dear children, I also, whom the guns and the sabres of the enemy have happily passed by, and whom mortal illnesses have spared, now feel that my body, according to the eternal laws of nature, grows daily weaker and approaches even closer to the grave."

Quote from "The Memoirs of Prota Matija Nenadovic", edited and translated from the Serbian by Lovett F. Edwards. Oxford At The Clarendon press, 1969.

100 Authors (You Ought to Read)

In no particular order. Also, the appearance of an author on this list doesn't mean I necessarily condone all their ideas. Some of these authors should be read with caution, and all of them read with a critical eye and a good dose of discernment.

1. Francis Schaeffer
2. O.S. Guinness
3. Mark Twain
4. John Bunyan
5. William Shakespeare
6. Leo Tolstoy
7. Ayn Rand
8. Kurt Vonnegut
9. Douglas Wilson
10. P.G. Wodhouse
11. G.K. Chesterton
12. Robert A. Heinlein
13. Fyodor Dostoevsky
14. Bill Bryson
15. Greg Bahnsen
16. Cornelius Van Til
17. Jane Austen
18. Henry David Thoreau
19. Richard Baxter
20. Augustine
21. John Calvin
22. Daniel Defoe
23. James White
24. Arthur Conan Doyle
25. Elisabeth Elliot
26. Joshua Harris
27. Milton Friedman
28. Murray Rothbard
29. Douglas Groothuis
30. Aldous Huxley
31. Donald Knuth
32. Jack Kerouac
33. John Macarthur
34. Alister McGrath
35. Ludwig Von Mises
36. Leon Morris
37. John Stott
38. William Mounce
39. Ian Murray
40. John Piper
41. William Mitchell Ramsey
42. Bertrant Russell
43. Edith Schaeffer
44. Rafael Sabatini
45, Dr. Seuss
46. I.F. Stone
47. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
48. R.C. Sproul
49. Geerhardus Vos
50. C.H. Spurgeon
51. Samuel Waldron
52. H.G. Wells
53. R.J. Rushdoony
54. Sigmund Freud
55. Harold Bloom
56. Albert Martin
57. Frederic Bastiat
58. Ayaan Hirsi Ali
59. Francis Bacon
60. Mikhail Bulgakov
61. Nathan Wilson
62. Jim Rogers
63. Bram Stoker
64. Rudyard Kipling
65. Alan Jacobs
66. Peter Leithart
67. Eric S. Raymond
68. Plato
69. Gordon Korman
70. Robert Lord
71. Jack Hodgins
72. Johnathan Edwards
73. Jerome Tuccille
74. John Murray
75. Stewart Tendler
76. Robert Stone
77. J Gresham Machen
78. Ishmael Beah
79. John Owen
80. Gordon H. Clark
81. Albert Camus
82. R. B. Kuiper
83. Herbert Zim
84. George Grossmith
85. J. I. Packer
86. Fritz Molden
87. Rene Descartes
88. Sun Tzu
89. John Blanchard
90. Jon Steinbeck
91. Ray Bradbury
92. Immanuel Kant
93. Ian Wilson
94. George Orwell
95. Jim West
96. Alan Watts
97. Adrian Conan Doyle
98. Gracia Burnham
99. Ravi Zacharias
100. Jerry Bridges

Now I will sit back and wait for people to point out the glaring ommisions!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Weekend Tidbits

  • This cartoon by Mr. Fish at Harper's Magazine sums up the climate of recent U.S. Politics well.
  • A new book is out soon. It is from a debate between Douglas Wilson and Christopher Hitchens on the question "Is Christianity Good for the World?".
  • I've used craigslist before, and there are bizare things listed on there, but I've never imaged it would be used in murder-for-hire

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Review of "Letters of Francis Schaeffer"

Letters of Francis Schaeffer by Lane T. Dennis

Normally I don't enjoy books of letters. For instance, I've read a book with letters from D. Martyn Lloyd Jones. Though I greatly respect that man and his ministry, and the letters certainly didn't diminish my respect for him, the letters made for banal reading. But this book is quite different. The letters are compelling and rich with content, not just run-of-the-mill correspondence. Schaeffer answers people in thoughtful, penetrating, and sometimes quite controversial ways. The overall theme is "Spiritual Reality".

Part One is "The Reawakening of Spiritual Reality'. These letters deal mainly with the controversies of Presbyterianism in the 1950's and Schaeffer's growing disenchantment with much of the "separated movement". Schaeffer's own personal crises is also brought up in some of these letters.

Part Two is "Spiritual Reality in Daily Living". Here we find letters to people, mainly former L'Abri students, who are struggling with sin, psychological problems, spiritual growth, health issues, the meaning of life, etc.

Part Three is "Spiritual Reality in Marriage, Family, and Sexual Relations". Here, as the title implies, the letters focus on marriage, relationships, family, and sex.

I'm impressed with these letters and throughout them you will find great "take home" tidbits (although some of them may seem quite familiar to you if you've read more than a couple of Schaeffer's books). Some of the letters are dated to the times they were written in, but that is to be fully expected in a book of letters. I've also learned a lot from his method of corresponding, and I feel I'm better equipped to respond to different situations myself. For these and many other reasons, I highly suggest that you check out this book! I don't necessarily agree with every single thing Schaeffer said, but then again, if I did that would be scary! I found the letters helpful, challenging, and found I could agree with the vast majority of what he says.

I do have one complaint. The book is filled with Schaeffer's apologies for not writing in a timely manner. It gets tedious after a while. I realize they are a genuine part of his correspondence and removing them would make the letters choppy and incomplete. But, still, they slow down the reader. Understandably, Schaeffer was a very busy man. Sometimes I wonder how he was able to manage this extensive correspondence! He lived from 1912 to 1984. He wrote over 20 books. He directed films. He ran L'Abri, a very busy ministry in Switzerland. He toured Europe and America. He had cancer. He had children with health concerns. But thank God he wrote these letters (both for the sake of those to whom they were addressed and for the sake of the people who read them now). And thank you, Lane T. Dennis, for editing such a great book!

(And thank you Ian for lending me this book!)


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Is Throwing Away A CD Legal?

In a binge of craziness, the Universal Music Group is arguing that music reviewers, radio stations, and DJs who throw away promo CDs are breaking the law! They actually believe that this qualifies as "an unauthorized distribution" that violates copyright law.

The actual quote is as follows:

"Alternatively, Augusto testified that 'a common way to dispose of them' is to give unsold promotional CD away, or he may throw them away. SUF 34. Both are unauthorized distributions."

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Great Minds Buy The Same Books?

LibraryThing has an excellent feature called "Legacy Libraries". It is a project in which people index the libraries of dead historical figures, where the contents of such libraries are known. You can then compare your library with theirs.

Here are some examples of overlap:

I share 6 books with John Adams.
I share 32 books with Walker Percy.
I share 9 books with Thomas Jefferson.
I share 37 books with Ernest Hemingway.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday Links Fest!

  • Watch out for what is installed on your computer!! Key logging root kits are generating 18 million a quarter!
  • It looks like Peter Hitchens is taking on his brother Christopher
  • Abraham Piper posted 6 reasons why a pastor should blog (HT: Challies)
  • Bob Margolis has an article on John McCain's belligerent foreign policy
  • C.J. Maheny has interviewed Sinclair Ferguson
  • The cold war seems to be continuing. George Bush is pushing for the expansion of NATO to face the threat of Russia. Sounds familiar?