Saturday, September 18, 2010

Call me Laertes…or Tiresias (I can’t decide)

I mentioned in the last post that the blog has been a little quiet due to travel and illness. But the travel included a seven day introductory field trip across California with the incoming UCD ecology graduate students (called the Odyssey, hence the post title). I kept an old-fashioned[1] journal during the trip (we did not have internet access). So over the course of the next week or two, I am going to turn it into a retrospective travel blog at:

This post was written while listening to The Mars Volta station on Pandora
[1] Of the moleskine variety

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Calling in Sick

I am calling in sick to my blog. Too much traveling and a multiple week illness have left me too spent to finish up any original content (though I got several new things started[1]). So I am phoning this one[2] in with a few links.

I preached at my brother’s church in Madison. It was a lot of fun and the mp3 is up. I wrapped up with my thoughts on what the movie Hurt Locker was actually about.

More YouTube fun at Twilight’s expense.

I have given a lot of thought to why Jon Stewart is considered the “Most Trusted Name in News” despite his propensity for unfair clips and obvious partisanship. I find this designation particularly interesting because I basically share the opinion despite the fact that I feel like he has a pretty good understanding of his rhetorical slight of hand. But I think this clip (starting at minute 7:00) gets at it:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Extremist Makeover - Homeland Edition
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Simply put…Jon is the only pundit I have heard say “You know what, I was wrong.” And I have heard him say it on multiple positions. This humanizes him and builds trust. I am more likely to trust someone who can be moved off a position by strong argument. It makes me feel like he is on a quest for understanding rather than a Beck or an Olbermann…a Rush Limbaugh or a Michael Moore…people who I seem to simply want to propogate an ideology. Now this may be a studied polemical trick like his slick cutting and his endearing self deprecation…but it almost certainly plays in why I trust him.[3]
[1] Including some surprising insights on climate change from the Environmental and Water Resources Institute conference.
[2] Get it? That is a pun with calling in sick. Yeah, that is about as funny as I am feeling right now.
[3] The second clip in this episode is also hilarious.