Jim Huggins (jkhuggins) wrote,
Jim Huggins

Wednesday Hodgepodge: 16-20 March 2016

Yeah, I'm late.   I'm sure you're all surprised.  :)

The Wednesday Hodgepodge appears courtesy of From This Side of the Pond.

1. What do you think about luck?

I think he's a fine quarterback.   It's got to be hard to be the quarterback that follows Peyton Manning, and have to live with that unfair comparison.   Even amidst all of that, he's certainly one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

Oh, wait ... that's not what you meant?   :)

As a serious Christian, I don't like the connotations that surround the word "luck".   I believe that random chance will, randomly, result in occurrences that will seem favorable to an observer.   I believe that God sometimes chooses, of His own free will, to intervene in this world and create good things out of bad situations.   You might call those things "luck", I suppose.

But I object to any notion that people can, by their own actions, influence the laws of chance or the sovereignty of God in order to compel results in their favor.   It's unscientific, and it's idolatry.

2. Not counting your own backyard, what's a favorite green space in your town, city, or state?

As I've said any number of times ... my favorite space in Michigan is Cedar Campus in Cedarville, MI.   For decades, that place has been holy ground for me and my family.

3. How do you make your life more complex than it needs to be?

How don't I make things more complex?  :)

Mostly, it's because I feel guilty about the fact that, at this point in my life, I can't do everything that I want to do, or everything that's expected of me.   My life would be a lot simpler if I didn't inflict myself with guilt.

4. I read here the three places you should visit with friends. They are-New York City, Hawaii, and Amsterdam (rent a bike, walk along the canal, visit one of their world class museums). I felt the need to expound on that one. Moving on...Of the three places listed which would you most like to visit with friends? What's one place not on the list you think should be visited with friends?

With friends?   Probably Hawaii.  I'm discovering that as I get older, I'm less enamored with large busy cities.   I'm sure Hawaii is full of busy places, of course, because of its focus on tourism ... but I think I'd have a better chance of getting some time out in nature than with the other two.

What other place should be visited with friends?   Did I mention that Cedar Campus is holy ground?

5. What's the last live performance you saw? On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being best) how would you rate it?

Last month, I attended a performance at my daughter's high school of Much Ado About Nothing.   It was an interesting production.   The performance itself ... well, it was high school students, who are just learning their craft, and it's not fair to criticize high school students for not being Kenneth Branagh or Emma Thompson.   So I'll pass on the numerical rating.

The artistic direction, however, was fascinating, for a couple of reasons.

First of all, the director chose a steampunk theme ... which at least made the sets and costumes much more interesting than usual.  I know it's fashionable to take Shakespeare and put it in usual settings ... and I approve of the fashion when it works well.  And, here, it did work nicely.

But the most fascinating thing about the production was the portrayal of Claudio (the lead male actor).

The actor was in a wheelchair.   That worked reasonably well with the steampunk themes, and the cast made the wheelchair fit into the plot quite well.  (For example, when Don Pedro impersonates Claudio at the masquerade ball, Don Pedro uses Claudio's wheelchair to keep the impersonation intact.)   The actor appeared occasionally with forearm crutches to allow for moments on stage without the chair.

And then, during the curtain call, when Claudio and Hero came to stage center for their applause, the actor wheeled up, stood up, took his bow, and then walked off stage, without any physical aid whatsoever.   The actor had no physical disability, but had portrayed the disability faithfully throughout the performance as a part of the character.

It was a fascinating directoral choice.   And .... it worked.

6. March 14th is National Potato Chip Day. Are you a fan? Your favorite flavor? Besides potato, what's your favorite chip type of snack?

Potato chips are okay.   They're not my favorite food, because ... well, I'm overweight, and I shouldn't like them.   I tend more towards tortilla chips with salsa.

My favorite flavor?   If I'm just looking for taste, it's Pringles Sour Cream and Onion.   But the time I tend to eat potato chips these days is when driving on long trips, in which case I go for salt and vinegar.   It's not that I like the taste; I don't.   But the salt and vinegar is so overpoweringly sour that it helps to keep me awake.

7.What rule is most important in your home?

I'm not sure it's a "rule", but ... if I had to put words to it, it's "respond when someone asks a question".   We've had ordinary situations get a little out of control when someone was thinking about a response to a question for so long that the questioner thought they were being ignored.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Last week, before the NCAA Basketball Tournament began, the radio stations around town were all a-buzz with news of Mateen Cleaves, local college basketball hero who had a modest NBA career, being charged with sexual assault.   The details are sketchy as of yet, but according to the prosecution, the facts are these:

Cleaves (who I believe is married) met the woman and her boyfriend at a charity event.  He offered to give her a ride home, and instead he took her to a motel, where the assault allegedly took place.   He's proclaimed his innocence, but has deferred giving any explanation until the trial (as is his right).

Obviously, like any case of acquaintance rape, this is going to get messy --- publicly messy --- before it's all over.   The mess has already begun, in fact; while the crime allegedly took place in Genesee County (where I live and work), the case is being prosecuted by the Wayne County prosecutor, because the Genessee County prosecutor has an unspecified conflict of interest (reportedly, a business relationship with a potential witness).

But that's not where my thought lies.

As I've been listening to folks talking about this on the radio (aside: it's sometimes really painful to hear sports commentators talking about sexual ethics and legal issues!), one thought came to mind.

I'm an old-fashioned, conservative, religious prude.   And it's at times like this that I'm so happy that I am exactly that.

I can't begin to fathom what it's like for people in today's society who practice a looser sexual ethic.   You meet someone at a party; how in the world do you decide that you're going to be sexually intimate with them in a few hours?   How do you know that you have affirmative consent for that sexual intimacy?   Are they sober enough to consent?   Are they consenting because of some external pressure rather than true consent?   Are they lying to you?   How would you know?

And next weekend, when you go to a different party, how in the world do you answer all of those questions again with a completely different person?

My life is much simpler.

There's exactly one person in the entire world with whom I'm allowed to be sexually intimate.   It took me two and a half years to get her to say "yes" (or, technically, "I do").   I spent those years learning about all the different ways she says "yes" and "no", so that I would clearly recognize them once we were married.   I have incredible incentive to make sure that I get the signals right, because I have to wake up next to her the next morning, and the morning after that, and the morning after that --- and I will suffer the consequences in our relationship if I get it wrong.   I've learned that I can trust her, and she's learned that she can trust me.

And there's absolutely nobody else with whom I'm allowed to be sexually intimate.   Period.   I shouldn't come within half a mile of a motel room with a woman who isn't my wife, because absolutely nothing good can come from that.  

And I haven't even begun to talk about Christian theology.  Which I'll save for some other time, because that's not really the point of this "thought".

There are times being an old-fashioned, conservative, religious prude makes my life much, much easier.

  • An open letter to my colleagues in academia

    Dear colleagues, This week, I had three different students visit my office hours (or "student hours", as the trendy schools are calling them these…

  • Perseverance

    In sixth grade, I was a student in Mrs. Fitzpatrick's class at Harrison Elementary School in Inkster, MI. One day, substantially into the year, we…

  • I miss harmony.

    (Warning, long, self-indulgent, emo post. Read on at your own risk.) Several years ago, as my patient family will attest, I fell into a YouTube…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment