Short Shrifts 3        Recent

                            or, The Autocrat of the Algonquin Table

So here goes page three

Of these Short Shrifts.

Short on length each may be,

But for depth you wade through drifts!

 

• If you are a black you don’t want to be patronized.  If you are Black and Decker, you do.

• It’s not for nothing a girl is likened to a kitten — always pouncing on you or fleeing from you.  Nor a guy a pussycat.   I’m kidding again.

• If my moral fortitude had been half as powerful as my work compulsions I’d have been some kind of moral giant of a saint and already translated.  As it happened all my will power went into compulsions.

• They warned me life would be tough, but I had no idea it would be so confusing.

• As an old physician myself, I have always feared growing old and falling into the clutches of my colleagues (bless them).  But now my colleagues are in the clutches of the HMOs, and I shall fall into the clutches of clutches.

• After a bad meal at a local restaurant, I will simply say: win salmon lose some.  Bad pun too. Send it back.

• Now, which would you prefer?  Seriously.  The stock market to crash or your computer?

• The human mind arrives at only nonsense or nowhere.  Only God can take you somewhere.

• Confucius say; I type.

• There’s a certain transcendently glorious expression a woman assumes all too rarely —  only when in love, gazing upon her newborn, or under a mudpack.    I was kidding!  Kidding!

• Cultures are proliferating — now there are military and corporate cultures, even Mickey Mouse culture — but cultured culture is in retreat.

• Nowadays it seems everybody comes from a proud culture, but the proudest culture of all is the culture that is proud of not having any at all.

• The day they refer to rock and roll culture, there will be a hole in the triteness layer.

• Cultures, yes.  But we also have all those "communities": the "gay community," the "tax-paying community," the "rock and roll community," the "Christian," "secular," "academic," "homeless" communities.  Are they also "cultures"?  Me, I'm intractably of the "tax-paying community" but not of the "tax-paying culture."

• Can the homeless community also be the homeless culture, though devoid of culture?

• But perhaps the most imposing community or culture is the culture community.

• Puns don't kill people, pun control does.

• Today’s bible verse is Mt 22:30. “In the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”   I’ll admit that that one has me worried, for quite a few reasons.  Mainly — will there be no females, just angels?  Oh, say not so!  To me the female is the single most fantastic, exquisite, lovable creation in all creation.  Devoutly do I hope I’m not mis-extrapolating from the two clauses of that sentence.  I wasn’t kidding.

• If you can't lick 'em, join 'em.  It would seem that, having been abjectly defeated in our war on poverty -- poverty won it! -- our society has embraced the lifestyle, culture, even drug-habits of the victor.

• Now this is odd: on one hand people decry laws against the use of marijuana because laws against something simply make people want the stuff more.  But the same people demand laws against racial bigotry.

• This week‘s hollowest prayer of thanks for Our Freedoms and Values (I didn’t make this up): “When I see a movie like that I feel so grateful to be an American and being free to go to that kind of movie and then have a cup of coffee.“[Sic]

• I may not have all the answers but I sure have the questions straight.

• Even the church puts too little faith in God and too much in Consultants.

• Our church is faith-based -- and the bases are loaded.

• As it happens, we are watching, in silence, a NatGeo nature TV documentary of a pack of wolves and a reindeer. "The reindeer weighs 700 pounds and can pack lethal wallop," whispers the narrator. "But the wolves have numbers on their side."  They also have, I mutter, NatGeo on their side.  The outcome was never in doubt.

• Studies coming out of the confines of the closet look to show that for the most part terrorists coming to the table at the end of the day religious liberty abuse is a nonissue and all options for global awareness and dialog are on the table, subject to review by the IRS.  Secretary of State Kerry, breaking silence and speaking out against Global Warming abuse, warned that diversity in picking up the tab is an emergent normative among sensitive 21st century nations passionate for social justice [sic, en collage].

• Here’s Postmodernism in court taking the oath.  Raise your right hand: do you whimsically swear to tell the whole truth (snort snort) and nothing but the truth (snort snort)? It's got them rolling in the isles.  Order in the court! Order in the court!

• "What is truth?"  Forever that has been the philosopher's dearest question, device, and shtick.  Whether in toga or jeans, at the forum or award gala, philosophers have always gone around tossing off that question, like Bugs Bunny going “What’s up doc?” Alas! Postmodernism has just yanked the magic rug out from under philosophy’s feet, snatched philosophy’s smartphone apps and all, and run the headline shtick out of town.

 •  Half the quest for wisdom is asking the right questions.  "What is truth?"  Ooops! Wrong question.

• “There is no truth,” is Postmodernism’s present truth.  Christ begs to differ: “I am the truth.”

• In the process of crucifying Christ, Pilate turned and murmured, “What is truth?” He was looking right at it.  Anyway, Pilate never waited for an answer.  That’s been pretty much the classical approach.  The truth is, philosophy never cared much for truth anyway.

• Christ proclaimed “The truth shall set you free” (John 8:32, KJV).  Postmodernism, having crucified truth, proclaims, “Rejoice, dude, you’re liberated!”

• Whudaya mean, water water everywhere, not a drop to drink? That’s all I see all day – even at church – water bottles, everywhere, whipped out of tight-fitting jeans and pin-striped vests, and chug-a-lug chug-a-lug chug chug, gulp gulp.

• God is the Rock whence gushes the water of life.  Now it's all bottled.  But youth seem thirstier for it than the fresh-from-the-Rock kind.

• Muenster cheese with hummus is a combination whose time has come. Not your grandfather’s peanut butter and jelly. Nor your wife’s yogurt.

• Welfare is for all seasons.  In bad times when poverty abounds it’s a moral emergency.  In good times when surplus abounds it’s a moral imperative.

• Saw a menu the other day offering comfort food for overeaters.

• In this nation, the temple of Universal Tolerance is never quite finished, and in election years simply collapses.  It’s one of those inflatable temples.

• To strike back is usually to strike out.

• Blessed are the programmable for they shall not crash.

• “Gird up thy loins” is not an advertisement for an hernia support.

• When a little girl is just starting to eat she seems to enjoy smearing her Gerber’s spinach puree all over her face as much as getting it into her mouth.  In middle age it’s back on her face again, same all natural ingredients, just as green, just as happily applied, only out of more expensive bottles.   Kidding!

• Flattery should mean something.  Does that make sense?

• As a generous God gives sunshine to all, so should we bestow cheering words to all.  But flattery?

• It’s OK when your opponent is rattled.  Not your car.

• When somebody says, “everybody knows…” is he saying everybody’s trite?

• It seems easier to sell your soul to the devil than to give it to God.

• From the hoary old story plots it seems people are willing to sell their souls to the devil for talents only God can give.

• He who sells his soul to the devil is no entrepreneur.

• As an investor, kind of wish they weren’t called “brokers.”

• If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, corruption is in the eye of the politician.

• When kids outgrow Halloween do they give up the ghost?

• All I have to say is, I’m speechless.

• To gesticulate or articulate, that is the question.

• If you ski, you probably don’t want a level playing field.

• Christ warned that in the last days there would be wars and rumors of wars.  As if ordinary ones weren’t enough, we have Class Wars, a Culture Wars, War on Drugs, War on Terrorism, War on Poverty, War on Women, War by Women, War on Science, Bloomberg's War on Big Sodas, War on Litter, War against Hate, Price Wars. Phony wars, rigged wars, they're the worst kind.

• The election is rigged  and already won when the rig leaks oil in the Caribbean.

• Turns out WWIII is happening.  It’s a culture war.  Sure like to draft-dodge this one.  Escape to Canada won't work.

• Add all the ads in the world together and you don’t get one good adage.

• To rig an oil well or an election — which is worse?  To some activists it’s a tough call.

• The test of a genuine, sincere, true, Christian apology (or apologetics) is whether it’s intended as the last word.

• The very society that junks everything old suddenly exalts and reveres the old Native American Culture, while trashing and reviling the culture of the Founding Fathers.   A bit of discrimination going on there.

• Beneficial innovation is not mindlessly going where no man has ever been and nobody in his right mind would want to be, but going where many good men have already gone, and venturing just a bit further.

• To venture just for the hell of it where no man has been before, is to follow a rutted path winding up where the upholstery is worn through, and the hangover is pretty familiar too.

• When a downtrodden and now transformed culture, once valiant warriors, resorts to entertaining tourists, just who is being exploited?  The entertainers and re-enactors, or the tourists thinking they are experiencing the old culture?   I'd say the tourists, and it serves them right.

• But my premise is maybe wrong.  Being an entertainer can’t be exploitation, neither for the entertainer nor of the entertained, not in our advanced culture.  It’s The American Dream.  The old war-dancer is on the same level as Lady Gaga, if not higher.  Only in America.

• And the Hollywood-based Western civilization has evolved such technologically advanced entertainment that is so gross, so bloody, so perverted, that native societies are embarrassed.  Adding insult, Hollywood claims it’s homage to the primitive.

• Even if they still wear their ancient native costume and revere ancient spirits, if they sit around watching TV and surfing the Web all day, their culture has vanished beyond preservation.

• And I don’t care if you don’t like this, but I think that the surest sign of degeneration of a culture is when it refuses to see any culture as degenerated, except the conservative, of course.

• This just in: Gloria Steinem has agreed to consider a settlement of her class action suit demanding sexual equality of metabolism, anatomy, and adornment. Males will be allowed to retain bigger muscles in exchange for females retaining bigger earrings and nose-rings.  Ms. Steinem stresses that said settlement is tentative and the ratios of allotment are subject to change at whim.

• Once upon a time the useless nobility and idle rich were the most honored in the land.  They have been beheaded or riddled, in France and Russia literally, and just as effectively demoted in the UK and USA. Now celebrities are even more honored than nobility ever was.  I see this as the playing out of Christ‘s parable (Luke 11:26) of the house swept clean of one devil but then occupied by seven worse than the first.

•  Toleration allows other opinions but doesn’t submit to them.   Submitting would be beyond toleration.

• The modern worship of progress still fascinates me.  As I have seen it, progress too often is going in circles, and the only novel thing you encounter is your rear end.

• Studies show that celebrities are the synthetic, toxic ingredients of the organically grown society.

• All natural ingredients aren't the same as grass roots.

• With a clearer conscience and murkier discrimination, society can more easily muster compassion and welfare checks for “the homeless” than the besotted.  God makes no such distinction.

• Frankly, I’m confused.  When an addict “abuses” heroin and the Bank of America “abuses” the public, is it really the same?

• God save the King!  If He won’t, the media will.  If He will, the media won’t.

• Once there was something called “the divine right of kings.”  Now it’s the divine right of celebrities.

• Once there was something called "the divine right of kings."  Now Obama exercises it as waivers to his Obamacare.

• If you trod the beaten path you won’t beat the pack.

• Remember, my son, get off your duff but not your rocker.

• He told me where he was coming from and I told him where he could go.

• Eccl. 11:1 “Cast thy bread upon the waters: and it shalt return unto thee after many days,” banded with a GPS device by some naturalist.

• Eccl. 11:1 “Cast thy bread upon the waters: and it shalt return unto thee after many days,” with notice of your new credit card and pre-approved credit.

• So let’s make a toast: When you cast your bread upon the waters of life, may it return unto thee as a peanut butter and jellyfish sandwich.

• Our society must trivialize or fictionalize.

• Even when I can’t see that God is leading events, I can sense Him walking with me.

• There are food groups and then there are food groupies.

• Power always corrupts absolutely, whether held by the few over the many or the many over the few.  Power is no respecter of persons either.

• on one hand we are urged to discover our true selves, on the other, to have a makeover, probably because of what we discover when we discover ourselves.

• That cat of ours, that face — hard to say whether it’s more scared or scary.

• Does a promise need a premise?

• If you are the type that offers blessing at restaurants, even if surreptitiously, do you include the part about “and bless the hands that prepared?

• One man’s eternal truth is another’s triteness.

• Politicians’ positions are wholly generated by public opinion, which is wholly orchestrated by politicians.

• When Reagan wasn’t being belittled for deficient brains he was faulted for excessive imagination.

• We have a lady vet for our cat.  We call her our cat check girl.

• Seems most people are as courageously tenacious in their hold to trendiness, even delusion, as Saints to more noble causes.  Courage is a terrible thing to waste.

• To the liberal, where a tax law doesn’t require taxation, it’s a loophole.

• A liberal is all for the loophole-free “safety net.”

• The media has taken to gushing over serial killers for their Dreams.  Capitalists have greeds.

• I had my share of experience as an administrator in medicine, dealing with all the many agencies that accredit hospitals and residency training programs.  The survey teams wanted to know our goals, never our Dreams.  But we weren’t training serial killers.  Or journalists.

• Even the USSR or Red China never had “Five-year Dreams.”

• Employment interviews pretty routinely ask where you see yourself in five years.  Never in five hundred…

• If you always land on your feet, you’re probably pretty flat-footed.

• And on the twelfth day of Christmas I gave my true love a spray of tulips and turnips. Kidding!

• So which is best?  Being the object of envy or contempt?  Only normal people ask that question, not celebrities.

• If you can’t say something good about somebody, say something that sounds good.

• The idea that the Bible clarifies every last thing is unbiblical.

• For a millennium or so appropriated by the church, Christmas was originally pagan, and is being returned, slightly used, to the original owners.

• The way it worked out this year, our church presented its annual Christmas choir program of beloved, reverent old Christmas carols while the weekly youth rock rehearsal was blasting across the hall.  Silent Night?

• And now for today’s “Little Known Origins Of Well Known Slogans”: It was a dark moment in the War of 1812.  All day the troops had been driven back from the fort, back and back, back, back.  The courageous general, however, rallied them with this cry: “Recharge the batteries!”

• Of Bible students, there are two groups: those who can cite only the text and those who know the context.

• Those who like to cite authority can be divided into two groups: those citing Scripture and those citing Shakespeare.

• The only star trek men have ever taken to where no man had been before was when the three followed the Star of Bethlehem.

• Meanwhile, back in Jerusalem, ahem, mayhem.  Mankind isn’t always very.

• If you beat around the bush you'll only get hey fever.

• People who throw stones will not be allowed on the Sea of Glass.

• Aphorisms and apéritifs alike are distilled spirits, bringing only headiness.

• Nothing is more anticlimax than having to explain an aphorism, especially if you thought it up.  Ben Franklin's are intelligble and don't need explaining.  Well, yes they do -- to our zapping texting generation.

• From the mouths of great historic characters come great historic speeches. I'm so old I remember FDR's "Day of Infamy," Churchill's "Blood sweat and tears," and JFK's "Ask not."  But for this era's greatest to come from the same couple, husband and wife, Bill and Hillary, and spontaneously, unwittingly, not from their speechwriters, that itself is a Guinness-Google-buster! "...as I define it" (Bill); "What does it matter!" (Hillary, about Monica?).

• November 2012, The President informs Americans: "You didn't make that!"  But I did!  I'm a do-it-yourselfer, I made it myself.  Ask my wife.  She had to put up with it.

• "You didn't make that."  Oh Yes I did, I'm a do-it-yourselfer.  Well, a uTube did show me how.

• Cook-in.  Cook-out.  Cook-off.  Cook up.  Laugh at, laugh down, laugh up, laugh off, Laugh-in.  Aren't prepositions marvelous?

• But this political-correctness business has me confused.  I understand the DOJ or ACLU or EPA or somebody is suing some big baseball team about its color, the Redsocks or Redskins, socks, skins, just can't keep it straight.  I'm red-faced.

 • How do Catholics pay tithe and offerings online?  By Papal Paypal.

• What does it mean when our intelligence is artificial, our phones and politics are smart, our reality virtual, our truths relative, our news spun, our regulations waiverable, our marriages gay?

Drudge headline of the day: "Fewer Americans Than Ever Trust Govt..." But more than ever are dependent on Govt.  But that's more than trust God or depend on Him.

• You get there either on the backs of slaves or on the shoulders of scientists, or is it on the shoulders of slaves and backs of scientists?  Anyway you stepped on my toes.

• To declare the whole Bible allegorical is to cripple it, emasculate it, render it pointless, essentially to chuck it.  To recognize in its sentences figures of speech or poetic turns does not dismiss or kiss off the whole thing, but enhances and clarifies the point being made, not infrequently a doctrine. rendering the Bible indispensable.  And even more of a joy to read.

• "if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." Matthew 5:29.  Pure poetry all the way but I sure get the point.

• November 2013.  We were promised two things: You will get to keep the health insurance and doctor you have and like, and, you will not get to keep the government you have and like.  Well, 1 out of 2 isn't bad.

 

 

• B. Obama will go down in history for informing America that "You didn't make that, the govt did!"  But his Republican rival, M. Romney, could be even more famous for that.  You didn't make that Staples store in the mall, Bane Capital did.  Romney and franchises may be even more guilty than the government for the disappearance of individual ma-and-pa stores.

• If I were so inclined,

   I'd paint a big protest sign,

   "Is Franchise

   Free enterprise?"

• Go to any mall.  Big Franchise is what you see before Big Oil or Big Government.  Down with Big Franchise!

• The ma-and-pa store can grow only in the neighborhood, not in the mall.  Only big franchise blossoms in the mall.

• "You didn't make that."  Well, make the most of it.

• Christians love a man not for his outer features but for what he is inside, his inner self, what he’s made of, which is why we cherish straw men above all others.

• Web headline outrage of the day: “Federal Cuts Threaten Live Taps At Military Funerals; Recordings May Be Used...”   So?  Beyonce lip-synced the Inaguration Star-Spangled Oh Say Can You See?  Liturgical lip sync and canned rock bands have been part of our church’s worship scene for years.  The UK health is eliminating live doctor visits and going to Skype.  I'll settle for canned taps at my graveside.

• I'm so old I remember WWII and the posters warning us that loose lips sync the ship."

• "Get a life!" is a favored toss line among celebrity types nowadays.  Works best if lip-synced.

• God has promised us life eternal.  Hollywood eternally offers virtual life – “get a virtual life!”  Is virtual life eternally sustainable?

• Climate change, gender change.  Man claims he does both, not God, and then decides that changing the climate will destroy us and changing genders liberates us.  Is that true, any part of it?  But what is truth?  Man’s answer: the God part isn’t.  There he goes again.

• When either a man or a woman is written about nowadays, the historically accurate pronouns, he and she, are not allowed.  He or she or he/she or he-she or heshe, or some such, is required.  That never seemed to work -- until now when his or her gender is always changing, and historical pronouns wouldn't work anyway.

• Now that I think about it, why go to all the trouble to switch genders, all that surgical extirpation and implantation and hormonal hassle and legal document hassle-hassle and insurance coverage hassle?  You call that progress?  Why not just get castrated and be done with it?

• What God creates He has a right to regulate.  What man creates (well, causes anyway), he must regulate.  Is that how it works?

• You didn't make it, the government did -- so the government gets to regulate it.

• You didn't make it -- so you don't own it.

• God created man and then imposed guilt upon mankind. They're saying that; I'm not so sure.  But modern man liberated himself from God and guilt -- hoooray! -- until -- horrors! -- man himself created Global Warming and Hate Crimes, bringing guilt crashing back upon himself.

• As an old doc I just can’t figure it.  The several kinds of congenital sex chromosomal disorders produce, sometimes along with cardiac and skeletal deformities, confused and mixed secondary sex characteristics – considered pathological and tragic, and deserving of massive surgical efforts to straighten out and massive government reparations.  But a properly chromosomed, normally contoured individual takes it upon himself to change his gender, merely his secondary sex characteristics, not his chromosomes, and that’s laudable, enlightened self-understandings, and worth massive government support.

• I'm so old I remember the Mary Tyler Moore Show, the episode in which Ted Baxter goes off "to find himself," and Mr. Grant shoots back, "In Cleveland?"  Now Mr. Grant could say, "by a sex change?"  In Cleveland, of course.

• Postmodernism insists nothing is absolute -- even your gender.  Forget your chromosomes.  Lots of luck.

• OK, so a man is born lusting after another man, that's the way he's born, gets married to one, and discovers he was born lusting to be a woman after all, and becomes one.  Listen in again for our next episode when we hear.... what the hell will we hear?

• Recently (December 2015) we've been hearing dire warnings about the end of the planet being nigh, through Global Warming, warnings delivered, fittingly I'd say, for the first time in history not by prophets or even scientists but by politicians, with suddenly the most beatific looks on their faces.  Well, I'm a Seventh-day Adventist and I grew up hearing warnings of the end of the world.  That part isn't new.  What is new, is that the new warnings are not based on, or even remotely related to, never saw, actually fly in the face of, the Scriptures and Revelation.

• As I, an old SDA, see it, the new rash of direst possible warnings that the end of the world is nigh, are themselves a sign that the end of the world is nigh, and that's scriptural.

• The end of the world is upon us -- no later than the end of the century -- but fear not, salvation is available.  Though globalization.  Through man.  Through God? Thanks for the laugh -- these are terrible times and we needed that.

• Yo know the end of the world is at hand when the idea of God saving it is whimsy rather than reality.  But to me personally the idea of man --  this particular cast of characters anyway -- saving the planet, rather than God, is what is whimsical.  But facing the end of the world, is whimsy of any source really what we need?

• Monday, December 14, 2015: drudge-of-the-day: "The New Reality: Escape to Virtual World...." [sic].  As we were saying...

• Monday, January 18, 2016: Where global multidiversity most confusingly impacts me is on tech-support lines and I'm talking to India, Romania, Botswana, and only Nat Geo knows where all, they're all speaking English and I can understand a syllable of it.

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Wesley Kime