We’re used to every sort of villain in movies: monsters of all types and descriptions, along with a plethora of serial killers, ghosts, pirates, vampires, gangsters, aliens, … It’s a lengthy, legendary list.
But the (seemingly) most benign Bad Guys ever were brought to the screen by Alfred Hitchcock in The Birds.
Although Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, and Suzanne Pleshette all ostensibly star in this movie, to me the REAL stars will always be the title characters themselves: the birds, …and the unearthly sense of disquiet (or sheer fright) that they elicit.
Think about it. We see our avian friends constantly, all day long: at work, at home, and everywhere in between. That’s because the current human population of the United States is about 320 million, a number which pales in comparison to the estimated 10-20 billion birds with whom we are co-residents, and the 200-400 billion birds which exist worldwide.
We’re totally, utterly outnumbered. And yet we aren’t concerned, because birds aren’t dangerous.
…But what if they were???
“…In all my years I ain’t never heard, seen nor smelled an issue that was so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about. Hell yeah! I’m for debating anything…”
– (Stephen Hopkins, ‘1776‘)
Once upon a time, the art of debate was viewed as one of the most laudable aspects of American Society. It’s part of our national fabric, and our country was conceived almost solely as a result of prolonged and heated debate. Debate teams have been a constant in schools for ages, and the ability to winningly articulate one’s ideas is as central to our national identity as freedom itself. We even created our Congress as two parts with debate expressly in mind, with the Senate being the chamber where differing points of view could be thoroughly discussed by each state’s most esteemed intellects.
But today, the accepted virtue of Free Debate now seems hopelessly anachronistic.
(via Mark Hemingway at The Weekly Standard) – “…On his blog this morning, Roger Pielke Jr. at the University of Colorado, a respected climate scientist, reveals that he was one of seven academics being investigated by Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources.
And the good professor’s supposed crime, which is suddenly in need of Congressional inquiry? Take a wild guess:
Was trading stories from our youth with a buddy of mine the other day, and this one made us both chuckle.
My first job out of college was managing a car rental agency. The hours were long, but money was decent, plus I had my pick of any car in the fleet for my personal use.
However, it was a high-stress and highly frenetic job. We had the largest fleet in the district, and days could get pretty crazy. As a result, I was usually a bit desperate to make sure everything got done, but would occasionally forget who was supposed to have done what.
So on a typical day as I ran back into the building, I saw my assistant (and to this day, one of my dearest friends) Robert, going over a rental agreement with an elderly couple.
Lost among current concerns over the White House’s foreign policy “successes” is an issue much closer to home: the Affordable Care Act and its deleterious effect on our healthcare system, our economy and our nation’s psyche.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not seeing the term “Obamacare” used as much as I once did. Of course, that’s likely due to journalists’ desire to shield Obamacare’s namesake from news like this, from Investors Business Daily:
“…Forty-six percent of Americans now describe health costs as a “hardship,” up from 36% in 2013…”
A “hardship”, you say? Almost HALF of the country?
Frankly, we didn’t intend that the first post after our lengthy hiatus would be a humorous one. But last week’s Brian Williams kerfuffle inspired a good friend of ours, and these are simply too good not to share.
The following 16 images are courtesy of the talented-yet-slightly-warped mind of Tom Dowlin, who can be reached at his Facebook page (facebook.com/tom.dowlin) or by email (email@example.com).
And if you can come up with other ideas for “Where ELSE was Brian Williams?“, …or ANY graphic arts projects…, please feel free to drop him a line.
Prolonged silence on a blog connotes life change–positive or disastrous–or simply loss of interest in maintaining a presence. I (GBL) implied, in my last couple of posts, and further explained in comments, that my husband and I were in the midst of crisis. My brother, JTR, happened to experience a huge (and wonderful) job change at around the same time.
Just to update you: our granddaughter, about whom I have written several times, is back with us. There are still tensions and uncertainties, about which I cannot write here. If you are a pray-er, we would appreciate prayers. But we are overjoyed to have our girl back where she belongs.
Meanwhile, JTR is busily loving his job and his wife and his sons…and not in that particular order, I’m sure! Will we ever get back to this blog? I honestly don’t know. But we wanted to at least say, “Hi! Happy New Year! We’re not dead.”
For what it’s worth!
How have YOU all been?
Most of us a familiar with the “five stages of grief,” as outlined by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. One step is ‘bargaining’–an understandable though illogical attempt to control the situation by cutting a last-minute deal, usually with God.
Peter Jones, over at Kuyperian Commentary, explores the way our prayer and other devotional acts at all times, not just at a time of grief, are intertwined with God’s blessings. Is there actually a cause and effect? If so, can we manipulate God by our actions? Continue reading