Unintentionally Political?

There’s just almost no way that everything isn’t political.  Right, Caulfield?

Frazz Fly(Frazz by Jef Mallett from gocomics.com)

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“Nothing’s Tougher”

Every year Caulfield puts together some kind of literary costume for Halloween.  He’s got lots of obvious options this year, of course.  And in this strip he acknowledges it.  Frazz has a great comeback.

Frazz Nothing TougherWhy dress up when all of life matches a particular story these days?

(Frazz by Jef Mallett from gocomics.com)

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Systems and Sunk Costs

There was a time that I regularly visited Seth Godin’s blog for some wisdom about the way the world works.  A few years ago I just kind of stopped, though I drop in once in a blue moon.  There have been two posts by Godin over the last few weeks that have stood out to me.

The first dropped back at the end of September.  “What Can We Say about Our Systems?” dropped at a time when many of us, I imagine the whole world over, were wondering about the systems we had invested in and the inability of those systems to make better sense of Our Current Moment.   After a brief list of situations and questions, Godin writes this about systems and “normal”:

In a crisis, there’s maximum attention. And in a crisis, we often discard any pretense of caring about systems and resilience and focus only on how to get back to normal. This is precisely why normal is what normal is, because we fight to get back to it.

And that’s a big part of how most of us feel most of the time: clawing back to normal with work and the movies and eating out (looking in the mirror here).

A few days ago, Godin also wrote about “sunk costs.”  Sunk costs is something that Alan Jacobs writes about in How to Think, which I read with some students each autumn.  Godin frames his thought with a tough situation:

Tomorrow is another opportunity.

There are thirty people over there who are just waiting for you to help connect them, lead them or make things better. But if you’re still defending the stuck project over here, the one you put so much into, you won’t be able to show up for them.

What do you do?  Again, I imagine a number of people feel this way these days.  And no easy answer exists, I think.  There are reasons that we’ve invested in things, even if they are stuck.  And yet . . .

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No Getting Out

The days are just packed this week.  The school days, that is.  While things are slowing down for me some temporarily with chapel, things are picking up in other areas.  Tomorrow I’m leading a faculty workshop with our elementary faculty.  Then, on Thursday, I do a version of the same with our middle school and high school faculties.  Most of it is laid out, there are just some variations for each group to work through.  The topic is the continuing integration of faith and learning.  Beyond that, though, it’s a grade-check week and a transition week between units.  That means there are lots of little loose ends as we move from one topic to the next.  So lots of spinning plates, and that’s just at work.

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Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been posting some of the remastered videos that are coming with the 20th anniversary of U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind.  They just released a cleaned up version of “Stuck in a Moment.”  It’s a great song.  And it’s always fun to get the sense of a music video as a time capsule.

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End-of-Month Double-Whammy

In all of the hubbub about the return of The Mandalorian to Disney+ this weekend, I almost missed the planned release of Truth Seekers on Amazon Prime.  The big draw, of course, is that it’s a Simon Pegg/Nick Frost series.  And while I’ve heard that Pegg plays a much smaller role than you’d hope for, Frost still does a good job owning the screen.  Here’s a trailer for the show from some time ago (which I, obviously, missed).

So even though regular TV is pretty slight for the time being, cable and streaming services are still putting out some good stuff.

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Sunday’s Best: To the Bone

Bill Amend goes from some seasonal/political humor in today’s FoxTrot.  Is that Jason wearing vampire teeth?!

FoxTrot Chilled to the Marrow(image from gocomics.com)

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“Rooftop to the Basement”

Twenty years on and I still feel there’s something deeply precious about this song.  Precious maybe isn’t the right word.  It captures something real and particular and fragile.  It’s a good marker and reminder for me.

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Song for the Week’s End

This video is a wonderful blend of some of my favorite musicians and a great song from the Psalms.

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“Then You’re in Trouble”

These days can wear you down in different ways, chipping away in places you don’t think much about until you notice a change in things.  Today was nice because I had a good, old-fashioned lesson with a socially-distanced room of students.  It was nice, having some of the natural back-and-forth of the classroom (mediated through masks, of course).  It was a nice balance to the meetings and conversations that service as brief and debrief for things.  I’m hopeful that tomorrow will have some good classroom moments, too.

Today I put the finishing touches on my last chapel message for a few weeks.  I’ve spent this year talking about cultivating friendship.  It’s been good for me, if only because it gives me opportunity to solidify some thoughts and ideas while trying to communicate them to others.  It was nice revisiting Lewis and O’Donovan and Fowl on the topic of friendship, too.

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Yesterday I posted a couple of classic Peanuts strips that I thought were a little deeper than the average three-panel comic.  Here’s another Peanuts strip and a classic Calvin and Hobbes.  Both are great with wordplay, ideas, and timing.  First, the Calvin and Hobbes:

Calvin FutileAnd then Lucy with another great response to Charlie Brown’s questioning.

Peanuts Trouble(images from gocomics.com)

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Shelling Philosophical Peanuts

A couple of “recent” classic Peanuts strips have been more philosophical than usual.  Granted, there’s almost always a tinge of kids asking deep questions, but there two are particularly resonate.  First up:

Peanuts Philosophy 1It’s always impressive when someone renders rain well in a comic or comic strip.  Plus there’s a bit of biblical affirmation involved, too.  And then:

Peanuts Philosophy 2Leave it to Lucy to volunteer.

(images from gocomics.com)

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