Sunday, December 11, 2011

On Technology and Negative Newt (Among Other Things)

Well, it looks like the rest of the songs are vying for second place because "O Holy Night" just won't let up. Three versions of "O Holy Night" that you must have.
1. Mariah Carey - duh.
2. Tracy Chapman - it is acoustic and stripped down and beautiful.
3. Bing Crosby - He can sing the phonebook, as they say, and it would be beautiful.

And apparently I have 16 versions of this song on iTunes. Yikes. Some other good versions: Shelby Lynn, Puppini Sisters, Melissa McClelland. Versions I could do without: Glee and Chris Tomlin.

Either God and Tim Tebow have worked out a Tebowic covenant or Tebow sold his soul to the devil a la Damn Yankees. There is no other way to explain the craziness that has been these last eight games. He doesn't throw completions, half the time looks way out of place in the NFL, but then always manages to win games in heroic fashions. The end of that Bears game was pretty crazy (I could hear my upstairs neighbor pacing and stomping, and it didn't sound like happy pacing or stomping).

See, I know Bears fans are going to say, "Well, what about your Vikings? There's nothing to brag about there!" Yes, this is exactly the point. We're so bad that right now that losing is in our best interest, and the season has been out of reach for quite some time. You, on the other hand, should have been able to clinch a playoff spot with a bit of decent play, yet it's been choke-city. And how about those Minnesota Wild? First place, sixth straight on the road, 17 out of their last 21, and most points in the NHL. I have to say it's nice to have some good hockey in Minnesota. Also, the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) Bulldogs have a 14 game unbeaten streak going and are rated first in the country!

Remember when Newt Gingrich said he wasn't going to negative on Romney? Well, it didn't last long during the debate, but I did quite enjoy his zinger and how aghast Romney is (and the crowd for that matter) that Gingrich could possibly state what is obviously true. I have to admit that I kind of liked Gingrich for that 2.3 seconds. Then he kept talking...

So, after reading Infinite Jest, a sprawling, futuristic novel by now-deceased author David Foster Wallace about technological entertainment basically overtaking society, I think I've become convinced that I don't ever want a smart phone - something I've been mulling over for quite a while. I think there's something weird about always being in contact with people by several simultaneous forms of media (phone, text, email, chat, facebook), having all questions immediately answered at the touch of a button (now you don't have to wait for anything!), and boiling communication down to the lowest common denominator. Call me a luddite, but I don't want people to get a hold of me whenever they want by multiple forms of communication; I don't want to spend all my free time looking at a phone. Knowing myself, I would be much too tempted to play on my smart phone during any conversation/lecture/homily/meeting that I arbitrarily decide doesn't need my full attention. I think you miss out when you do this and have a hard time living in any kind of present reality. Plus, people's phone etiquette is already so terrible, this just adds to most people's rudeness (including my own). No, I think I'm better off with the dumb phone. Now I may have to find a carabiner and some rope because I'm up pretty high on this horse/soapbox. "On belay? Belay on!"

Only one more week of Advent. It kind of makes me sad that Advent is only four weeks, but c'est la calendrier liturgique. But you should all come to our Advent Lessons and Carols next Sunday night at 7 p.m. preceded by a potluck at 5:30. It's probably going to be my Advent highlight.


  1. I agree with the iphone..I have one and I turned off the setting so that it doesn't automatically show me when I have an email. Moral is I still get to CHECK my email, and decide when i want to check it meanwhile avoiding the annoying red dot that would otherwise show up on my home screen telling me there's a new email. ANyways, thats my way of avoiding the "Always in Contact" iphone.

  2. I'm debating now whether to get a smart phone, too. I'm especially turned off by it now that Luke has one, because he gets updates all day and night. It drives me nuts. I'm annoyed enough when I have a voicemail alert.

    On the other hand, you can only get so much information by texting google, and I find myself more and more often leaving home without the information I need (addresses, directions, etc), thinking I can get it while I'm on the road (realizing too late that it requires that I have a smart phone...) What a dilemma...