Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

4/27/10

No One is Praying for Anyone's Death

Does this Facebook group matter? Petition to remove facebook group praying for President Obama's death

Posters are ranging in their responses. Many are indignant. One person understands that freedom of speech allows this, though Facebook is free to do as they like in this regard.

Someone says it is a curse, not a prayer. In other words, it is meaningless.

Does God listen to prayers wishing death on someone? Or is this superstition?

Hate is involved, no question about it. The shape of hate might be couched in "I want what's best for my country," which roughly translates to, "And I personally want to see Obama die."

These are the same people with Obama dartboards. They might even be crying for a birth certificate, and name of his pet hamster. It is somewhat in response to the irresponsible twit who got this going, thinking it was funny (yes, they even used all CAPS): DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN

Me, I say:
The opposite of hate is not hate. This isn't really about how awful someone else is. It is easy for me to pontificate on a Facebook wall, but something altogether different to log off and pray. I didn't vote for President Obama, nor will I in 2012, but I need to pray for him, my freely elected leader.

Search Amazon.com for Barack Obama

4/23/10

Occasionally Funny and Lots of Fast-forwarding: A Bit of Fry and Laurie - Season One review

As is often the case with classic comedy duos, there are brilliant parts and drab, embarrassing parts. Similarly, there is the magnificent partner in the duo, and the adequate one. Such all is found here.

Hugh Laurie here is brilliant. He demonstrates a full range of comedic prowess, as well as true musical ability. The humor Stephen Fry would later be known for, as seen in Jeeves & Wooster has yet to mature, and too frequently relies on fumbling innuendo and outright bawdiness.

An extremely funny 'skitlet' is a verbal mix-up. Fry is a customer complaining of his soup, and Laurie is the waiter constantly confused thinking he is talking about his suit. On one hand, it is predictable. You know Laurie will not get it, and Fry will continue to insist his soup is wrong. However, it is how they get there that is hilarious. Finally, with no true end to the joke in sight, the stop, and ask for a caller to suggest closure. A caller (unheard, just named 'JD') naturally helps out with a dry, not particularly original finish, and Fry smiles and says to the audience, "Nice one, JD." Excellent timing by Fry.

More like that, and the DVD would be a fantastic example of British humor. Instead, though, we see too much of Fry's sexual self-indulgence, with jokes Benny Hill would have rejected.

A Bit of Fry and Laurie - Season One was not for me. More seasons followed, so they have their audience members. I am not among them.

Anthony Trendl
http://anthonytrendl.blogspot.com

4/6/10

Violent Freshness of Spring

(Listen here)

The rain here has been intense the last two days. Last night, it hit hard not long after I finished my run in the early evening. From my second storey bedroom window, it smelled of worms, fresh grass and the wet wood of my deck. The violent freshness of Spring is here.

Thunder and lightning came, and still is coming as I write. Thin streaks or gathered ribbons of hot electricity brightly spew thousands of degrees from sky to ground. Something on one ends burns.

I consider the economics of life with sobriety: how robins tear worms from their desperate squirm back underground to be ripped into lifeless shreds by newly hatched young, and how the most delicate, innocent bunnies wince in a futile death scream as red-tailed hawks and coyotes pierce their furred skin with talons, claws, teeth and beaks, and how yellowjacket wasps poison gentle, silent caterpillars, predigesting them through trophallaxis so that their own larvae might live. This often all goes unseen, but surrounds us here everyday in the Midwest. Whether city, suburb or rural dwellers, these creatures, like we humans, exchange life for life. Even the most timid lamb, like all ruminants, torrently chews away the once green life from grasses and flowers at dawn. As the sun rises, so does the aggression of life against life.

Spring's rage is mitigated by an equal measure of peace. Not all rain storms shake my windows. Nightly, I see a plump bunny calmly hop through my yard for no apparent reason, pausing periodically to examine the dew in the air. Daily, new leaves tremulously consider how far they will stretch and shadow the land. And in the evening, flowers will fold liked tucked-in children for a dreamy slumber.

Even as the rains themselves fall, the drops twitter upon the ground like the beat of the fastest snare drum or sizzling fireplace. This is not violent. This is a fierce peace, restful and refreshing.

A violent freshness? Yes, such is Spring, but also it brings repose and grace after a winter from which no kindness was wrought. For this, I am thankful.

Spring
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
(Gerard Manley Hopkins: The Major Works (Oxford Worlds Classics))
Nothing is so beautiful as spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

Pictures
Top: Lightning credit.
Bottom: View from My Door on a Rainy Night. © 2010 Anthony Trendl

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