Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Random Access Nightmares...

I spent a fair amount of Sunday playing Dead Space II. If you aren't familiar with it already, it's a video game of the "survival horror" variety, with a science fiction setting. So, basically, take the scary elements of every outer-space horror movie you've ever send, stir them up in a hydroponic vat, add extra blood, and then bake them all together into a video game. It's all there: ancient alien artifacts of uncertain purpose and origin, madness, isolation, horrible monsters, dark corridors, uncertain lighting, unreliable equipment, uncertain allies...

So I really wasn't surprised to find myself having nightmares Sunday night. I mean, that was pretty much what I'd signed up for, right? What I hadn't expected was for the necromorphs to sometimes be the Flood (from the Halo games). The flood are in some ways similar to necromorphs, but in other ways very different: they use weapons, and they have recognizable goals and tactics. So the dream drifted from fighting-in-scary-corridors to fighting-scary-things-in-something-more-like-open-battle to -- of all things -- some of the battle scenes from Advent Rising, an even older game which also happens to be set in outer space with hostile alien enemies.

Seriously, how did my brain get from being hunted in the corridors of a space colony to a beach invasion culminating in a pitched battle outside an ancient alien fortress?

...Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Short Horror Film: Thresher

Sorry, nothing written for this morning. But when you get home from work, you should watch this:

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Homosexuality and the Bible

These are just some (probably incoherent) thoughts on the Christian view of homosexuality, in relation to the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality.

Does the Bible say that homosexuality is a sin? A lot of people read it that way, certainly. There are other, more nuanced readings that suggest that the "clobber verses" (Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1, Jude 1:7 in the New Testament) are considerably less certain and/or more ambiguous than English translations make them appear. There's a decent case to be made that what the Bible condemns doesn't really have anything to do with our modern conception of homosexuality at all. Social conservatives, however, tend to dismiss those arguments as products of sinful people trying to make the Bible say what we want it to say, rather than what it clearly says. So, for the sake of argument, let's assume that those verses do refer to homosexuality, and the Bible does condemn it.

That's still not a massive condemnation. I mean, yeah, there are some strong words in there (it's hard to see "abomination" as a term of gentle reproof) but even if those verses all mean what socially-conservative Christians say they mean, the Bible overall just doesn't pay much attention to homosexuality. You have to go hunting to find those clobber verses, and they're generally included as part of other discussions rather than topics unto themselves. As something that Thou Shalt Not do, homosexuality doesn't even make God's Top Ten list. Compare that with the topic of, say, usury, or divorce, and you'll find that the Bible addresses those issues much more directly and much more comprehensively.

Yet, as a general thing, I don't see Christians threatening to set themselves on fire if divorced people are given the right to (re-)marry, or calling for civil disobedience if we don't make it illegal for banks to lend money at interest. Even those incredibly predatory payday lending places, which are just about exactly the sort of usury condemned in the Bible, aren't what you'd call a popular topic for Sunday sermons.

And then, of course, there's Romans 13:1-7. I mention this one specifically in relation to the Supreme Court decision:
1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." Ezekiel 16:49

Friday, June 26, 2015

Just watch...

It's awesome. In both senses of the word.
The march of marriage equality

Watch marriage equality come to all 50 states. Read about it here: http://bit.ly/1LtTaeD

Posted by Vox on Friday, June 26, 2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Music: Cheap Flights

Beautiful Wife has taken both boys up to visit her sister's family in Ohio. It's Secondborn's first time on an airplane. So, in honor of their journey...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Apparently I want popcorn.

I'm working on my laptop in the living room while Secondborn plays Lego Star Wars II (The Original Trilogy!) on the Playstation 2. (We're retro like that.) Firstborn enters the room.

Firstborn: "I want popcorn."

Me: "You want popcorn. Secondborn, do you want popcorn?"

Secondborn: "I want popcorn."

Me: "Secondborn wants popcorn. Do I want popcorn?"

Firstborn: "I want popcorn."

Me: (pointing at myself for emphasis) "Do I want popcorn?"

Firstborn: "Yes." He approaches me and raises one hand in a sweeping motion in front of my eyes. "You want the popcorn. You... want... the popcorn."

Me: "I want popcorn. I will make the popcorn."

Firstborn: "No, you're supposed to say it slowly. Like, 'I... will make... the popcorn...'"

Me: "I'm supposed... to say... it slowly... I... will make... the popcorn..."

It's not my fault. He hypnotized me. Good popcorn, though.