Ah, the ways of the Wiki world. When last I reported, Pandeism was in trouble from one or more anonymous attackers (for who can tell how many anonymous people are really one anonymous person) seeking to bring it down. The result? This is quite rich. The page has been split into two separate pages. One of these is all about "Pandeism," defined as "a doctrine that combines aspects of pantheism and deism. It holds that the creator of the universe actually became the universe, and so ceased to exist as a separate and conscious entity." The lack of capitalization both for names of other theological theories and for things such as Creator and Universe is apparently as per Wikipedia constraints.

But despite the thorough referencing of this definition, which hinges upon the essential phrase, "the creator of the universe actually became the universe," the article is bereft of a great many sources which discuss the Creator of our Universe becoming our Universe. Why? Because the solution to the non-problem initially identified is to create a second article with only these sources, titled "God becomes the Universe." Yes, really.

And so now they have two articles covering the same ground by different names. A stripped-down Pandeism article which is restricted by fiat decree to only references which use the word "Pandeism" to describe and define this theory (retaining just North of two dozen such references), and this other separate article which is restricted to only references which describe the Creator of our Universe wholly becoming our Universe, with its own two dozen or so references to this proposition. Interestingly, the editors in intently polishing the former article down to a skeletal nub removed a number of references actually discussing Pandeism by name. These were removed on the snap-made determination that these additional references were repetitive, or because this editor or that simply didn't like them. On the claim that nothing is added thereby, a 1904 reference opining that Matthew Arnold was not a Pandeist (but instead a Positivist) was stricken. And so was a much more recent interview with documentarian Bruce Parry, wherein he reveals that he himself is a Pandeist (albeit one verging on Atheism). And so was a 2004 article from The Christian Republic removed, apparently because it say behind a paywall].

And as to that second article, it retains only scant mention of "Pandeism" (although it is noted up front with the deflated observation that "Historically, some have used the term Pandeism, which combines aspects of Pantheism and Deism, to refer to such a theology," though the page offers no other name for such a proposition which has ever been used by anybody, leaving the impression that the only name to use (or, at least, the best one) is that one from which all such references have been stripped.

Such is (Wiki) life.


I was recently reading the node on keeping your data from the FBI; the node is closed to new posts, but my thought was that the simplest thing would be to simply start calling the FBI (and other law enforcement/spy agencies) ten or twelve times per day, insisting that your household produce has been communicating vital information to you (make sure the descriptions are always odd but never violent -- "my broccoli has informed me that I must ONLY buy generic potato chips!! the cauliflower has instructed me to put the spoons in the drawer head first -- HEAD FIRST!!"); then, label everything in your computer as "instructions from broccoli"; "instructions from carrots"; etc., and begin each document by writing how the vegetable in question has informed you of this or that. Make 40,000 such documents. Every snoop will write you off as a nut not worth looking further into, and your data will be safe, masked in plain site by the internalized preface, "according to the nutjob...."


Node auditing proceeds at a reeeeasonable pace:

passport is on page 8 of 27
Pseudo_Intellectual is on page 4 of 31
Segnbora-t is on page 4 of 34
And pukesick is on page 4 of 29.

In the queueueu: avalyn; BookReader.

Blessings, all!!

Fred Rogers took the stage in 1997 to accept a lifetime achievement award for his work in television.

And here, in a nutshell, was the crux of his speech, which he bracketed with a brief introduction and a humble thank you to his supporters.

" All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, 10 seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are, those who have cared about you and wanted what was best for you in life. 10 seconds of silence. I’ll watch the time."

Imagine, for a moment, how much time he was allotted to do the speech. By an analysis of the text, this - both the intro to the silence and the thanks aferwards - was the bulk of the words he spoke. And that moment of silence, ten seconds, took up just over one tenth out of the minute and a half that he spoke. Ten seconds that could have been devoted to transmitting a message, plugging a project, thanking someone personally. But Fred used that time to get everyone in the audience, both in the auditorium in which it was shot and the wider audience at home - to reflect and give thanks.

The first second or two had a small reaction, which died immediately. Fred had asked, not commanded. And yet - awed by the sheer force of his presence and what he was doing, the crowd instantly fell silent. The entire space shared ten seconds together.

If nothing else, think of the cost of that ten seconds. The lights, the cameramen, the director, the support staff, the rent, the bandwidth. And this was what he chose to devote a tithe of his time on stage to make happen.

This is how he broke that silence.

"Whomever you’ve been thinking about, how pleased they must be to know the difference you feel they’ve made. You know they’re kind of people television does well to offer our world."

Fred Rogers has been parodied. He's the kind of children's entertainer that people discard and leave behind when adolescence beckons and you notice a little less his calm, serene demeanor and his acceptance, unconditionally - of who you were. You notice the sweaters his mom made, his slightly "dorky" habit of having inside and outside shoes, ones which were extraordinarily unfashionable to boot. It's not the kind of television show that an adult can get stoned to and watch while eating a bowl of cereal on a lazy Saturday morning. No hyperkinetic host, no hyperactive smash cuts, no bright colors or emotive muppets. The puppets in the Make Believe sections of his show - ones which took place in a comfortingly familiar land - had faces which didn't move, and were extremely old school.

But apart from some accusations that him teaching acceptance of everyone has led to a noncompetitive, apathetic and narcissistic new generation, or a very quickly disproved rumor that he was an ex-sniper with armfuls of tattoos - few people could ever find anything bad to say about the man.

And you couldn't. His demeanor and what he chose to show and not show with the public broadcasting airtime he was given wasn't an act. xkcd provided a transcript here of a fight he had with his wife on set, which was just about the model of how you'd ever choose to disagree with anyone. You can't even remotely call it a fight in any sense of the word. He truly lived and truly believed every aspect of what he brought to the airwaves. When he had a disabled child on the show, it wasn't to score points or get funding from the ADA or check off something in a list of required political correctness - in fact, when he saw that child again as an adult, his joy was so overwhelming (and contagious) that he eschewed the stairs to the stage and literally climbed on to it to hug him.

If there's a Heaven, there's no doubt that Fred Rogers is there. When cancer struck him, he never made an obvious fuss and wound down his life with a grace and quiet dignity that very, very few people could ever demonstrate. Normally we would say courage in terms of these sorts of actions, but in Fred Rogers' case, it's more like wisdom.

He tried throughout his life, and by God, he succeeded - in making children primarily but everyone in general feel wanted, feel special. There was no way in which he couldn't help a child that he didn't follow, from narrating the actions of feeding his fish every day after - upon hearing that a little blind girl was in tears because she worried about whether the fish were being fed (he did it as a matter of course without always narrating it) to presenting specials during times of war or hitting on other issues of concern that would come up in the lives of his very extended family. I say "by God" because though he never mentioned religion or God on his show, he drew not only on his secular knowledge of child psychology and television, but on his life as an ordained Presbyterian minister to make a difference on this planet.

We see so many negative examples of Christianity, and the positive ones are so few and far between. But seeing him, on a night which was to celebrate him and his achievements, using it in a truly Christian gesture of humility and grace and thanksgiving to give back, even then - is heartwarming. If you watch the speech here, you'll see there's not a single dry eye in the house.

Thank you, Fred McFeely Rogers, not only for being a fantastic human being and a wonderful example to emulate, but for the very resonant and far-reaching power behind everything you've done in your celebrated career and even more celebrated life. Thank you for being the best visible example of someone you can point to and say "as a person of faith, this is what I want to emulate." I can't always picture Jesus, but I can certainly picture you.

Rest in peace. I loved you then, I love you even more, now.

-a pair of cocktails-


1) -sleeping on the sidewalk-

1/3 tall glass hudson's bay scotch

7/12 tall glass coke

splash of sloe gin on top

serve over ice.


2) -debasement-

1/2 glass kinky vodka licquer

1/2 glass newcastle brown ale

serve over ice.

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