October 27, 2020

Saturday Brunch, January 28, 2017

Hello, friends. Been a while. Chaplain Mike asked me to pinch hit for him this weekend. Ready to Ramb….? Wait…

Okay, so we’re brunching now. Fine. I like brunch. Who doesn’t like brunch? Let’s do this thing!

First on our plate: IT’S GROUNDHOG’S DAY!!! Well, almost. Definitely this week. And if you don’t love that movie you should probably stop reading now, sit in a corner, and think of how your life became such a mess. Because it is amazing. In fact, I think they should make a sequel to it, and then just re-release the original. This movie is such a classic that I’m taking the liberty to splice quotes from it onto pictures from last week’s inauguration. 

Oka, enough of that silliness. We have other silliness to get to.

Your dog likes Reggae. That was the conclusion of a Scottish study about the effects of different kinds of music on our canine friends. Now ya know, so throw some Marley on for the hounds today.

Pope Francis has called on the media to lighten up, and to quit harshing his mellow. Well, he didn’t say it quite that eloquently:

I am convinced that we have to break the vicious circle of anxiety and stem the spiral of fear resulting from a constant focus on ‘bad news’ . . . This has nothing to do with spreading misinformation that would ignore the tragedy of human suffering, nor is it about a naive optimism blind to the scandal of evil.”

Speaking of Francis: On Wednesday Arnold Schwarzenegger met Pope Francis (or, as he calls him, Pump Fracas) and tweeted “It was my great honor to meet His Holiness @Pontifex. I am a huge fan – a true leader for the Church & a steward for all of God’s creatures.”  Francis tweeted, “I couldn’t understand a word that guy said.”

The American Interest annually publishes their list of the Big 8: the most powerful nations in the world. They just published their updated list.

  1. USA
  2. China
  3. Japan
  4. Russia
  5. Germany
  6. India
  7. Iran
  8. Israel

Agree? Disagree?

Hey, have you heard? The New England Patriots are in the Superbowl again. Isn’t that special…

Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday, with La La Land taking the lead. Best actress nominations went to Emily Stone for “la La Land”, ” Natalie Portman for “Jackie,” and Hillary Clinton for smiling her way through the inauguration.

Best picture nominations are below. Did you see many of these? What’s your vote for the best movie you did happen to see last year?

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight

Well, that’s a relief. Japan takes its toilets very seriously. Maybe too seriously. You see, foreign tourists say they’re often unable to understand the control panels (yes, they have control panels) which operate features often not found on Western toilets (such as bidets and warm air drying). The Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association has helpfully agreed to unify the iconography used on the baffling control panels and gave us this wonderful picture:

The icons in the image above mean (from left to right) raise the lid, raise the seat, large flush, small flush, rear spray, bidet, dry, and stop. The (way too happy) executives hope the iconography becomes standard internationally, so look for it soon at your nearest Taco Bell (though they will need to add one for explosive diarrhea clean-up).

Some headlines from the Bablyon Bee:

There was a time when the Vatican did not think to highly of one Martin Luther. As he put it, “If I fart in Wittenberg they smell it in Rome”. Luther, deemed a heretic by Pope Leo X, was excommunicated by papal decree on Jan. 3, 1521, an edict that has never officially been rescinded. But times change. Last October Pope Francis delivered kind words about Luther’s impact on the church, saying the reformer “helped give greater centrality to sacred scripture in the Church’s life.” They even put a statue of him in the Vatican. Earlier this month a Vatican department issued a document referring to Luther as someone deserving recognition for being a “witness to the gospel.” And last week the Vatican announced an official 2017 stamp honoring the reformer.  Great work, my Tiberian friends. But can we talk about that statue? It’s kinda creepy, and looks like it is made out of melted crayons. 

A book is coming out next week that would make an excellent gift (hint, hint) for anyone who enjoys beauty and history. It is a collection and description of the most unique and famous chess sets ever made. Here are a few, with descriptions. You can see more about it here.

A Ivory Chinese set from the early 18th century. The pieces are depicted as rats, part of the Chinese zodiac. The eyes are pieces of ruby and amber.

An intricately carved ivory chess set, which has been called “the most incomparable chess set in the world”, created in China in the late 18th century.

An ivory and mother-of-pearl chess set created in South Asia. In 1712 it was gifted by the Emir of Bukhara to a Polish prince.

The late 18th-century amber chess set commissioned by Catherine the Great of Russia.

A 1905 Fabergé set, one of only two ever made by the company.

A John Company—the informal name for the East India Company—chess set, made in India c. 1830.

The king (left) and queen from Max Ernst’s surrealist chess set, 1944.

Poem of the week: Thou Hidden Love of God

Thou hidden love of God, whose height,
Whose depth unfathom’d no man knows,
I see from far thy beauteous light,
Inly I sigh for thy repose;
My heart is pain’d, nor can it be
At rest, till it finds rest in thee.

Thy secret voice invites me still,
The sweetness of thy yoke to prove:
And fain I would: but tho’ my will
Seem fix’d, yet wide my passions rove;
Yet hindrances strew all the way;
I aim at thee, yet from thee stray.

’Tis mercy all, that thou hast brought
My mind to seek her peace in thee;
Yet while I seek, but find thee not,
No peace my wand’ring soul shall see;
O when shall all my wand’rings end,
And all my steps to thee-ward tend!

Is there a thing beneath the sun
That strives with thee my heart to share?
Ah! tear it thence, and reign alone,
The Lord of ev’ry motion there;
Then shall my heart from earth be free,
When it hath found repose in thee.

Gerhard Tersteegen, translated by John Wesley

Two of the nations top Divinity Schools, Duke and Vanderbuilt, have issued directives encouraging their faculty to use inclusive language when speaking of God. Duke’s guidelines are especially interesting:

  • The exclusive use of either masculine or feminine pronouns for God should be avoided
  • Metaphors showing God’s personal relationship with humans should be used, but need not be gendered:
    • “God is parent to us all”
  • God and Godself can be used as substitutes for he/she and him-/herself:
    • “After God created the world, God rested”
    • “God knew Godself to be great”
  • A variety of gender-specific metaphors can be used:
    •  “God is the father who welcomes his son, but she is also the woman for search for [sic] the lost coin”

I dunno. What do you think God Godself thinks of this?

To my Orthodox friends: Is this normal?

When inter-faith services go bad.  Earlier this month St Mary’s Episcopal in Glasgow decided to mark the feast of the Epiphany by inviting local Muslim worshipers to contribute to the service, which was aimed at improving relations between Christians and Muslims in Glasgow. They were invited to read a portion of the Koran. They did. It was the part about Jesus not being the son of God. That didn’t go over well. Police were called after members of the church received “hate-filled messages” from far-right extremists after the service. And the Queen’s Chaplain has resigned after he called on the church to apologize to Christians “suffering dreadful persecution at the hands of Muslims” and added that the denigration of Jesus in Christian worship would be called “blasphemy” by some. But don’t worry; the queen still has 32 more chaplains.

Questions of the Week:

Shout out to Mary Tyler Moore, who died this week. She was great in the Dick Van Dyke Show, and even better in her own. In fact, here is my list for best sitcoms of the 70’s. Yours?

  1. M*A*S*H
  2. All in the Family
  3. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  4. The Bob Newhart Show
  5. One Day at a Time (listed this high cuz I had a huge crush on Valerie Bertinelli)
  6. The Odd Couple
  7. Welcome Back, Kotter
  8. Happy days
  9. Sanford and Son
  10. Barney Miller

By the way, that list will stand up to the top ten sitcom list from any other decade, IMHO. I couldn’t even include Mork and Mindy, WKRP, Taxi, the Jeffersons, Laverne and Shirley, Maude and Three’s Company. I think the 70’s and sitcoms were made for each other.

So we end today with a classic clip from the Mary Tyler Moore Show:

End note, if you don’t mind: a little snark directed towards public figures is one thing now and then; but let’s keep Internet Monk an island of constructive engagement toward each other in the comments. There are a million comment sections on the web filled with arrogance and insult. Not too many with humility and charity. This is a community, not a battleground. Thanks.


  1. Your list of the 70s top sitcoms is fatally flawed.

    Where is Taxi?

  2. morning again
    darkness palpable
    open heart

  3. RIP, Mary Tyler Moore

    Love is All Around


  4. Danielson, Your list of favorite 70s sitcoms is spot on (Happy Days was good until Fonzie Jumped the Shark).

  5. 70s sitcoms were the best. So was 70s popular music. 70s had the best (and worst) of many things.

  6. Early 70’s…stove pipe pants with cuffs. Yeahman.

  7. Oh, that baptism looks like PTSD in the making; but I’m sure the un-anesthetized, circumcision (nonreligious in my case) many of us were subjected to as infants was far more so.

  8. Daniel, That first barrage of photos did my heart good, and made me LOL!

  9. Awesome chess sets – thank you! I have a beautiful lacquered set where the board folds in half and holds the pieces inside; my sister bought it for me in China. Apparently they have been producing beautiful chess sets for centuries.

    The average age of a Senior Pastor is ten years older than in 1992, and only one in seven is under 40. Problem?
    Nope. Young pastors are almost always a bad idea since the beginning. This is why Paul had to encourage Timothy.

    If Trump creates a Muslim registry, should Christians add their name in protest? Or could that be seen as apostasy?
    Why the heck would I add my name to a Muslim registry? I’m not one. And I don’t make decisions on the basis of if someone views it as apostasy. If this registry is a bad idea the solution is not a “protest”. It is to organize an impeachment of Trump, and if that fails, then to organize a civil war. People in power know this, which is why they like nothing better than for the poor powerless masses to “protest”.

    Should Christians facing extreme dangers and slaughter at the hands of Islamic radicals (such as the Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria) “buy a sword and defend themselves”, as a prominent Nigerian Bishop has urged them to do?
    I suppose someone somewhere sees this as a theological question. I don’t. You come at me or mine and I will slay you without mercy or remorse. If I’m in a bad mood I might hang your head from my lintel. Humans have made rather a sport of killing each other over the millennia, and I don’t really believe my actions will change that one way or the other. I don’t condone it and I won’t start it, but I will darn sure finish it.

    • It does seem as if intentional large scale social change for the good often involves violence. Even the non-violent protests organized by Gandhi and MLK only worked because the blood of the protestors was spilled in displays that caused national crises of conscience.

      • I don’t think protests like the ones organized by MLK would work in America today. I think the country today is incapable of the kind of crisis of conscience that leads to widespread intentional social change that comes from watching innocent protestors being brutalized by the government.

        • Especially if your side’s pet media outlets go on and on about how they “deserved what they got”.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          The power of the ’60s protests was that they sometimes were violent – protests are a threat – or they are meaningless. The purpose of a protest is to demonstrate to the PTB’s that there is a force they cannot control.

        • Burro [Mule] says

          Anyone thinking about the possibility of an upsurge of political violence in the late 2010s need to read David Hines’ long meditation on a recently published book by Brian Burroughs, Days Of Rage, …The Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence. It is, um, unsettling. Here are some quotes to whet your appetites. NB It is long and harrowing read.

          “People have completely forgotten that in 1972 we had over nineteen hundred domestic bombings in the United States.”

          “Leftists have this weird thing about deifying criminals who can write.” NB – Hines self-describes as a leftist.

          “In the end, the Weather’s fugitives turned themselves in with little trouble. To give you an idea: Bill Ayers was scott-free. Cathy Wilkerson did a year. Bernardine Dohrn got three years probation and a $1500 fine. The radical lawyers, accessories to Weather’s bombings? Nada. Zip. Zero.”

          “Let’s not mince words: the United States of America is currently engaged in a cold Civil War.”

          “My point is: did you notice the Left and the Right use fundamentally different tactics? This is no accident. They’re different cultures. The Left and Right don’t just want different things. They also have different abilities, goals, resources, and senses of propriety.”

          “The truth: the Left is a lot more organized & prepared for violence than the Right is, and has the advantage of a mainstream more supportive of it. You think that’s unfair? Okay, well: imagine an abortion clinic bombing ring getting presidential clemency.”

          Read the whole thing. I also want to get Burroughs’ book.

          • “Okay, well: imagine an abortion clinic bombing ring getting presidential clemency.”

            Until two weeks ago, I would have agreed. Now, one does wonder…

            • Burro [Mule] says

              One of the reasons we have a ‘cold’ Civil War right now is that we have, in effect, two separate Overton windows.

              Trump didn’t widen the window, he cut it in two. Feature, not bug,I believe.

          • I think in this country, at this time and for the last fifty years, the Left is more organized and prepared for violent insurgence on the streets than the Right. It has partly to do with much extremist leftism being among university orbiting young people, who have plenty of relatively free time and no families or careers, fewer commitments to keep them off the streets, and a university centered culture friendly to their goals, if not their methods. If you’ve seen the video of the hooded anarchist punching Alt Right white nationalist Richard Spencer upside the head on inauguration day, you have seen a preview of how things would play out on the streets if this national division heats up. The violence of the Right has tended to be centered in governing institutions, made part of everyday life; the Left’s violence operates outside sanctioned institutions and the everyday.

            • This is why the Alt Right has tried so hard to appeal to the young. It’s had a little success, but nowhere near enough to counter the gangs of mostly white anarchists and leftist radicals who thronged the streets of Washington on inauguration day and created violent havoc in some parts of the city. Even a few anarchists can take a peaceful protest and turn it into a violent riot in a matter of moments. The radical Right in this country is not good a revolution; it’s too used to our history of institutions doing its bidding.

              • Burro [Mule] says

                More from Hines:

                But what happens if the Trump administration is a player? … I don’t think the Trump administration is going to be putting people in camps, or offering free helicopter rides. What the Trump admin [is more likely to do] do is use the full force of the federal government to take a chainsaw to Leftist Institutions’ funding and power. Which threat, of course, could spur radical Lefties to violence. (Remember: provoking your enemy to violence is a goal.)

                • True. If the institutions become radicalized right, then all bets are off. It seems like the institutions are headed that way right now.

              • Burro [Mule] says

                There is a bodybuilding club of some 30 active members at my daughter’s university. It is racially mixed but very Straight Edge, with deep contempt for rappers and hipsters and other “blue pill” types.

                Match, meet gasoline.

            • Burro [Mule] says

              More from Mr Hines:

              How does full-on streetfighting start in the United States of America? My guess is: pretty much like this.

              “What’s the penalty for kicking the living shit out of Leftist protestors?”

              “Oh, Jesus, we’d be demonized as Nazis.”

              “…what’ll they do if we don’t kick the living shit out of Leftist protestors?”

              “They’ll — hmmmmmmm….”

              • Whoever kicks the living shit out of whomever, it won’t be pretty if it comes. I dread that we as a country are already headed this way.

          • Randy Thompson says

            If we are indeed in the middle of a “cold civil war,” which I think is the case, then for me, the fundamental question is, where is God’s Kingdom in the middle of it, and what does that Kingdom look like, lived out in real life?

            A tentative beginning of an answer to my own question would be that it looks like. . .

            Gentleness and kindness for all without necessarily agreeing with them
            Listening to others and talking to them rather than talking at them
            Praying before talking
            Perseverance in praying before talking
            Repenting of not praying enough
            Cultivate relationships with neighbors who see things differently than you do. Odds are, I’ll have something to learn from them.
            Choose your battles wisely and carefully. Your opponent may get some other things right that you can agree on.

            Further suggestions??

          • Well that piece is delusional. 1. It’s very weird to talk about political violence in the 60s-70s and totally omit right-wing largely racial violence, also I’m not sure how shadow-boxing over events from 2 generations ago is helpful. 2. The overwhelming political divide in this country is between the old and the young, so I’m not sure how any sort-of national “divorce” would or could even be possible. 3. Pretending their is not much more right-wing than left-wing political violence right now is crazy, the scourge of left wing violence seems to be a single misdemeanor assault where an actual nazi got punched. 4. This whole fantasize about your political enemies in order to justify what violence you want to commit is a time-tested right-wing technique.

            • Uh, leftist speaking here, but those were leftist anarchists burning stuff in the streets of DC on inauguration day, and also in the protests right after the election. No?

              • So at an all day protest involving hundreds of thousands of people across the country, and the only person seriously injured was someone shot by a fascist in Seattle. Meanwhile, cursory check of my phone, oh look another mosque was torched today.

                • I had heard about the Seattle shooting the day of, but at that point the spin made it seem like one of those protesting against Yiannopoulis (sic) was the shooter. Not so, I see.

            • Burro [Mule] says

              Uh, Falangist here, but perusing the right-wing violence committed nationally confirms rather than contradicts one of Hines’ salient points: Left-wing violence, when it comes, will be organized and purposeful. Right-wing violence will be distributed and random, committed by individual actors.

              Young vs old is not as significant as urban vs rural, I believe. Here in rural Georgia,I could find no small number of idle youth temperamentally and ideologically predisposed to torching a mosque or a gay bar, put they aren’t particularly woke enough to see themselves as part of a larger movement. Maybe if my friend Vladimir Vladimirovich could pony up the rubles,we could put together a nice little Young America organization, complete with uniforms by Rick Owens, but then, it would be mostly snitches and FBI agents. They would be the perfect perps.

              I don’t think you can classify racially motivated violence, which has been with us since Jamestown, as ideologically motivated, except opportunistically.

              • Well I’m not shocked that you openly describe yourself as a fascist mule, and yes white supremacy is an ideology that has been with us since Jamestown.

          • Patrick Kyle says

            ““The truth: the Left is a lot more organized & prepared for violence than the Right is” Uh yeah… that’s why they own most of the guns. Also why many of them participate in ‘Tactical training’ (think gun fighting and small unit tactics) with ex members of US and British Special forces. The ‘Right’ has a better grasp of what this violence means, that’s why they are very reticent to use it. God help us if the right decides to retaliate or ‘match’ the violence on the left. People will die.

            • Patrick Kyle says

              I have also seen the ‘Lists’ being compiled of Leftist operatives, progressive corporate executives, Progressive academics, and politicians at a State and local level that are viewed as traitors. This does not bode well.

              • Wait. Are you saying that leftists have compiled lists of other leftists they consider to be ideologically impure?

                • Patrick Kyle says

                  I was imprecise. It is the right owning the guns, getting the training and making lists..

            • I thought it was right wing militia groups that trained in these tactics, not anarchists and socialists. Where do you come by this information?

            • A scan of the web shows no evidence that the Left has a gun culture approaching anything like the Right’s, never mind trained militias. I must’ve misunderstood your comment. And the articles I read indicate that Leftists are very aware that their names are on enemies lists drawn up by the Right.

              And another mosque was indeed torched today in America. Who knows, perhaps it was done in celebration of those executive orders prohibiting immigration from many Muslim countries (although none in which our President has business interests, such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia).

          • May I recommend the book, “The Righteous Mind, Why Good People are divided by Politics and Religion” by Jonathan Haidt.

            He is a psychology professor who studies morals. He has some very interesting observations about the moral foundations of the left, right and libertarian. One study that he did was to ask different groups to answer the questions as if they were the opposite of what they believed. The moderates and conservatives were fairly successful as answering as liberals, but the liberals failed to answer as conservatives or moderates did.

          • I read that when Rod Dreher posted it. It underestimates rightwing violence in this country. Perlstein wrote a history of that era and says people have simply forgotten how much rightwing violence there was then. And if Trump had lost, I think you’d see plenty of rightwingers threatening armed revolt.

            Also, in the US, the bulk of the rightwing violence is carried out by the government. Jim Crow was rightwing violence– apartheid really. Blacks were thrown into prison and forced to work in chain gangs.

            • Blacks were lynched. There are photos from the Jim Crow era of crowds of white people having picnics while a black man hangs in a noose in the background. Jim Crow was definitely right wing violence. Less than a hundred years ago.

    • You come at me or mine and I will slay you without mercy or remorse. If I’m in a bad mood I might hang your head from my lintel.

      Lol. Okay, Mr. Kurtz (see Joseph Conrad’s short novel, Heart of Darkness, for explanatory context).

    • Brianthegrandad says

      Hear! Hear! Or however that cheer is spelled! To all your points.

    • Christiane says

      “If Trump creates a Muslim registry, should Christians add their name in protest? Or could that be seen as apostasy?”

      YES!!!! (Pope Francis would be proud.)

      the thing is that people have to begin ‘standing with’ those who are being persecuted, or in the end, their turn will come and who will be left to stand with them?

      some Jewish Wisdom:
      ” If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?”

      my own prediction is that IF and WHEN Trump does the dirty on our Muslim American citizens, Jews and Catholics and Orthodox and Lutherans and Episcopalians and Methodists and mainline Christian faithful WILL come and stand beside them to protect our fellow Americans. You won’t see a ‘fudamentalist evangelical’ in the lot though. But you may find that there ARE evangelical people with more heart and soul than even they realized, that when their faith WAS tested, it came down on the side of the Golden Rule and they stood up for those in our country who were endangered regardless of ‘labels’. I’m counting on it. I’ve never been more certain of my faith than now, or more certain that it calls me to stand with my Muslim neighbors against evil and ‘crazy’. May God have mercy.

      • I love this answer, you said everything I’m feeling very eloquently Christiane, thank you.

      • Yes, Christiane. Stand with, suffer with, identify with. The politics of the Incarnation.

        • Christiane says

          “Stand with, suffer with, identify with. The politics of the Incarnation.”

          Yes, Robert. I think Bonhoeffer said it best:
          ““” We now know that we have been taken up and borne in the humanity of Jesus, and therefore that new nature we now enjoy means that we too must bear the sins and sorrows of others. The incarnate lord makes his followers the brothers and sisters of all humanity. The “philanthropy” of God (Titus 3:4) revealed in the Incarnation is the ground of Christian love toward all on earth that bear the name of human. The form of Christ incarnate makes the Church into the body of Christ. All the sorrows of humanity falls upon that form, and only through that form can they be borne. The earthly form of Christ is the form that died on the cross. The image of God is the image of Christ crucified. It is to this image that the life of the disciples must be conformed: in other words, they must be conformed to his death (Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:4). The Christian life is a life of crucifixion.”
          Dietrich Bonhoeffer

          may God help us to bear the sorrows of our neighbors whose humanity was also taken up into the Incarnation . . . . . through Christ, we are called to be WITH them in their time of trial

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        You won’t see a ‘fudamentalist evangelical’ in the lot though.

        Because Christians for TRUMP has reached the 80/20 Groupthink threshold (81% according to the post-election turnout analyses).

        Once consensus within a group — any group — reaches 80%, Groupthink locks in, the 80% agreement becomes the One True Way, and the 20% are Purged By Any Means Necessary.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      The average age of a Senior Pastor is ten years older than in 1992, and only one in seven is under 40. Problem?
      Nope. Young pastors are almost always a bad idea since the beginning. This is why Paul had to encourage Timothy.

      Unless you’re More Calvinist than Calvin. Wartburg Watch is full of accounts of Young Restless and Really Truly REFORMED Calvinjugend Lead Pastors. Usually in their twenties and True Believers on fire for Correct REFORMED Doctrine — more Calvinist than Calvin.

      I’ve said over and over again that sixty years ago they would have been Young Communists instead of Young Calvinists.

  10. Great ramblerunch Daniel!!

  11. Richard Hershberger says

    The concern over the Muslim registry and apostasy is an impressive example of how legalism goes hand in hand with spectacularly Missing The Point.

    I wonder if anyone has ever heard the (apocryphal) story of the King of Denmark wearing a yellow star during the Nazi occupation and concluded that he obviously wasn’t a real Christian.

    • I’ve never heard anyone come that conclusion.

      I didn’t know that was an apocryphal story. That’s disappointing.

    • We legalists tend to pretty literal, stick to the letter of the law types. Once you start dragging the “(S)pirit of the law” into consideration, it’s a lot harder to maintain the illusion of self-righteousness.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > legalism goes hand in hand with spectacularly Missing The Point.


  12. Richard Hershberger says

    70s sitcoms: They are interesting to go back and watch today. How well they hold up varies wildly. I find MASH unwatchable. it embodies the worst of 70s liberalism. Hawkeye is loathsome: an abusive bully whose treatment of women is appalling. At the same time, he is insufferably preachy. The irony is that I was a faithful viewer, back in the day, when my politics were far more conservative than they are today.

    I have recently watched some Mary Tyler Moore. While clearly of its era, it holds up pretty well. It was an interesting transitional period. There is an episode where Mary finds out that she is earning less than her predecessor. She goes to Lou demanding an explanation, and he replies “Because you are a woman.” This was early enough that the boss could say something like this (though i suspect that Lou was pretty retro even then) but equal pay was an issue that was being discussed (as it still is).

    My guess is that Bob Newhart would also hold up well. Newhart and Moore were both brilliant comic actors. Barney Miller also probably holds up. It suspect All in the Family would be painfully dated. One Day at a Time? Not actually a good show, even at the time, but it is fair point about Valerie Bertinelli.

    • >> back in the day, when my politics were far more conservative than they are today.

      Richard, I didn’t watch TV in the 70’s but I did attend some John Birch meetings, which were hosted by an upper middle class couple in an upper middle class house with similar participants. I still find it interesting, even amazing, that they were welcoming and cordial to me with hair halfway down my back and wearing Levis. I remember them as being rational people with no hint of rabidity, and there was much truth in their studies, but I came to recognize an underlying spirit of fear in the writings, a major lesson which I am still using today.

      • Randy Thompson says

        A highly relevant quote from David Brook’s op-ed column in yesterday’s NY Times: “A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a shortcut to meet it.” (J.R.R. Tolkien)

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      I loved Mash. It contains all the best of 70’s Liberalism.


    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      Late last night the news of another great actor passing away came through: John Hurt. While he played in many great movies (Alien, Elephant Man, the Harry Potters), I will remember him most for the role of the “War Doctor” in the 50th Anniversary episode of Dr Who.

      In his honour: https://youtu.be/yDYSiERa50s

    • Daniel Jepsen says

      “My guess is that Bob Newhart would also hold up well. Newhart and Moore were both brilliant comic actors. Barney Miller also probably holds up. It suspect All in the Family would be painfully dated. One Day at a Time? Not actually a good show, even at the time, but it is fair point about Valerie Bertinelli.”

      Agreed. I still joke to my wife that I might leave her for Valerie.

    • I find MASH unwatchable. it embodies the worst of 70s liberalism. Hawkeye is loathsome: an abusive bully whose treatment of women is appalling. At the same time, he is insufferably preachy.

      I couldn’t stand Alan Alda because of that and my loathing extends to this day!

    • ” I find MASH unwatchable…”

      The contradictory characteristics you see in Alan Alda, however, perfectly embody the 70’s ethos. It was a mixed-up head trip of a time.

      BTW, did you know that the MTM Show, All in the Family, and MASH were back to back on the Saturday night lineup back in the day. And they were followed by the Carol Burnett Show. Folks, that’s entertainment, or at least it was.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Except for the 1975-76 season, which was All Cop Shows, All The Time.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Though I do have a M*A*S*H-related personal story.

        Around the time the show was airing, I was working Data Processing at my first shop; the HQ of the IHOP restaurant chain. And the top management there was straight out of Dilbert.

        This was before cubicle farms, so at one point I ended up sharing a two-man office with another young guy (a Rocky Horror Picture Show fan) with the same first name as mine. Since we had a total of four guys with the same name in the department, we had to use aliases.
        * I was “Hawkeye”, because I get sarcastic under stress.
        * The other guy in the office was “Trapper” or “Bee Jay” depending on his mood.
        * We dubbed our two-man office “The Swamp”. (And Frank was obviously running the post.)
        * We even did up a sign “THE SWAMP – I*H*O*P 4077th” on our door, but our boss made us take it down.

      • Richard Hershberger says

        Hawkeye understood that people matter, which put him above a lot of the other characters. But he hadn’t quite figured out that women are people.

        • Exactly. The 70’s, like I said. I do think, however, that Hawkeye was in a learning curve, and that there were many episodes where he showed the utmost respect to his women colleagues, powerful sex drive notwithstanding.

          On another note, please don’t anyone try and take Father Mulcahy away from me!

          • Richard Hershberger says

            I hope this doesn’t spoil your day, but you did hear that William Christopher died? it was last December 31, making him the final casualty of the annus horribilis.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            On another note, please don’t anyone try and take Father Mulcahy away from me!

            Though they never used his original nickname of “Dago Red”.

      • Burro [Mule] says

        M*A*S*H could be hilarious at times,though. there wasthe episode where Hawkeye and Radar were in Radar’s tent when the North Koreans began shelling them.

        Radar: Who’s shooting at us?

        Hawkeye: I suppose, the enemy.

        Radar: Why would Supply be shooting at us?

      • Heather Angus says

        Yes, it was wonderful. Our family all sat down on Saturday night to watch it.

      • Patriciamc says

        The Carol Burnett Show is among the best of the best.

  13. Good to see you this Saturday, Daniel. I rate your production three LOL’s, sorely needed. Is Mule in that video of the Orthodox baptism in Georgia? Sorry I can’t comment on your list of TV shows, I was living out in the woods in Oregon with no electricity during the 70’s, which was more or less a comment on its own at the time. I learnt a new word today, “inly”, which I intend to use, thank you. Good luck on your island of constructive engagement. That has as much chance as does discovering an ancient extraterrestrial settlement buried under the ice in Antarctica. Anything is possible.

    • Burro [Mule] says

      I think that was Georgia the country, not Georgia the state, and no, Orthodox baptisms are not generally so dramatic. I reported on one in my nearly moribund blog.

      Children are immersed three times in the Russian and Antiochian churches, once in the Greek. The only adult baptism I’ve ever witnessed in that of my son, and he was poured in the Greek church, albeit with a bucket instead of a cup. He got thoroughly wet.

      • We have a giant rubbermaid tub for adults, doesn’t look very fancy, but gets the immersioin job done if you’re not disabled. =)

  14. 1) I always wondered what would happen when iMonk ran out of Nash Rambler pictures to post each week.

    2) Now I have to watch Groundhog Day again, thanks for that. I had a teacher in high school (think early 1990’s) whose life was profoundly changed by that movie. He had the movie poster on the wall in his classroom and at least once every couple of weeks would wander off into a tangent and preach a short sermon about making every day count. Of course his geometry students didn’t mind because it kept him from teaching the last 10 or 15 minutes of class.

    3) Tom Brady is leading the Patriots, once again, to yet another Super Bowl. If Vince Lombardi were alive today he’d be trying to win the Tom Brady trophy. I don’t know if I would call myself a Falcons fan but they’re the home team where I live and anytime they advance to the playoffs I get excited by proxy. Down here we’re hoping against all odds the Dirty Birds RISE UP!

    • As much as I can’t stand the Patriots, I think I might end up having to root for them simply because I might go crazy if I have to turn around and see that stupid “RISE UP!!!!” everywhere. And it’s not like there are 5 other “bird” teams (Ravens, Eagles, Falcons, Cardinals, Seahawks) as it is. The Falcons haven’t even won the SB yet I’m already getting annoyed by it.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says
  15. Dan Crawford says

    Re: Luther’s statue in the Vatican

    Let’s face it: On occasion, Martin could be real creepy and when he opened his mouth, he melted crayons.

    • Indeed he could! Having been raised Lutheran, I can tell you that at least back in the 60s & 70s, any of the bad parts of Luther were parts that were not mentioned. Even when I was much older and discovered his anti-Semitic side, it was always glossed over.
      So, I found the raging red color of the statue a bit humorous as though the Vatican was honoring him and getting a little poke in at the same time.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says


      • Or perhaps red because of the 100,000 or so who reportedly died as a result of the violence that was spawned by people using the Reformation as a reason to revolt against the Church.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Only 100,000?
          I understand the Reformation Wars and their aftershocks were a century-long bloodbath across most of Europe that today would have qualified as a World War.

        • The Peasants’ War was both more and less. More because they weren’t using the Reformation as an excuse. They were truly driven by theology. Less because the war could be seen as the natural consequence of the conditions to which the peasants were submitted. As evidence, the gemainden of upper rural hesse did not participate in the Peasants’ War. It is a bit difficult for us to grasp because we are so used to the separation of church and state.

      • Having been raised Catholic, we never heard anything about the Albigensian Crusade, or Medieval antisemitism, or etc. Many a prelate from former ages would warrant a red statue of their own, but no one would recognize them.

  16. MelissatheRagamuffin says

    I asked my priest about that baptism video. He said, “Everyone does it differently.” That is not how my priest does it. Though as I pointed out to some others commenting on the video not one of those babies is a new born. They’re all at least several months old. It looks weird because it’s a baptism but I don’t think it’s any worse than playing airplane with a child that age or tossing up in the air and catching them. The second baby in the video looks like he’d say “Again!” if he could. You can also see clearly with the second baby he doesn’t put their heads all the way under. He’s just getting the tops wet.

    • Brianthegrandad says

      A pastor friend lightheartedly posted that video, with the caption to the effect, ‘not something im considering including in future baptisms’. Wow, the reaction! From pointing to it as evidence that credo-baptism is the only way, to cries of shaken baby syndrome, to call dhr to report abuse, people were incensed. I merely pointed out that it looked like an Orthodox baptism to me. And that I had played with my kids rougher than that.

  17. Adam Tauno Williams says

    > The average age of a Senior Pastor is ten years older than in 1992, and only one in seven
    > is under 40. Problem?

    Someone’s problem is someone’s opportunity.

    > If Trump creates a Muslim registry, should Christians add their name in protest?
    > Or could that be seen as apostasy?

    Some will, I probably will. The purpose of such is to drive up administrative costs/overhead. I have been involved in a few campaigns to pour garbage data into public and corporate databases – it works often enough.

    (such as the Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria) “buy a sword and defend themselves”, as a
    > prominent Nigerian Bishop has urged them to do?

    That is a decision of conscience each needs to make for themselves.

  18. flatrocker says

    Thanks Daniel.
    In just four words, you have reminded us what a unique and enlightening site this is.


    ’nuff said

  19. Great ramblings, Daniel. Godself knows, we need to laugh.

  20. Gotta keep millennials out of the pastorate.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      From my coffee shop experiences there are a lot of Millennial pastors-in-traonsing. Then they encounter what those jobs pay, the crappy benefit packages, vs. the cost of living in the neighborhoods. Alot end up doing something else.

      • My church has been in pastoral search mode for almost a year. When a particular candidate looks promising and gets an interview they ALWAYS “consult ” their “financial advisor” and then, consequently, turn us down because cost of living is too high compared to what the church can pay.

        It appears that “The Ministry” is nothing more than a job. The “Call of God” is subject to how much it pays.

        Our previous pastor’s wife worked full time so that his church income was a supplement, not a prime source.

        And on a side note, the candidates wives are, invariably, stay at home moms because of their commitment to family! Ironic, eh? That the very values the evangelical types are promoting are the very things that are preventing ministers from taking our offers? It appears we need a tent maker who preaches in his spare time. Or is it a preacher who makes tents in his spare time? Whatever…

        • As it has always been, though. This is nothing new. Hence why religious leaders were often so well off in villages and communities.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          > It appears that “The Ministry” is nothing more than a job.

          I believe this is healthy. Protestant clergy desperately needs **real** professionalization; more than the patina provided by wearing a tie and attending conferences.

          A church is hiring a Pastor – not his wife, not his children. And it is not healthy that he be the communities charity case. A professional arrangement is more honest, and professionalization does not preclude commitment or genuine concern.

        • Oscar,
          While preachers can definitely succumb to the sin of greed and thinking they need more than they really do, if a you are a minister who has a family, the unfortunate fact is you have to consider money. I wish it wasn’t so. Bi-vocational is certainly one way to make it work when the church can’t pay enough, but the the people of the church need to realize the pastor isn’t available a lot and they need to pick up the slack. As for their commitment to family, well, a lot of ministers have put their families last and it has never worked out to well, so it’s a good thing they have made that commitment.

          • Richard Hershberger says

            Or, to put it another way, Oscar is describing a church that can’t afford a full-time pastor. Wishing that you could find someone to work full time for part time wages is not a search strategy. There are various ways that churches can have a part time pastor. Generally this involves his holding a second job. This might be at WalMart or it might be another, nearby church in a similar situation.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Wishing that you could find someone to work full time for part time wages is not a search strategy.

              It is for a LOT of non-Megas.

  21. I actually think the thing that’d surprise a non-Orthodox person about our baptismal service the most is how long they are. A baptism of just a single person takes almost an hour!

    • Burro [Mule] says

      But additional baptisms don’t add to the length of the service. Once you get to the actual dunking, it’s over pretty quickly.

  22. Half a thought.

    You ever notice how what David did with Bathsheba and her husband is never called a crime? Probably sets a dangerous precedent that a king or leader can commit crimes, so better to call them sins or transgressions.

    Taken much larger, isn’t that what breaking a Ten Commandment really is? a crime against the laws and rules of Israel? If that’s the case, I feel reasonably confident to say that myself, you, anyone alive really…has never broken any of the Ten Commandments. We’re not Israelites living in Canaan (assuming this is all a true historical narrative), we haven’t signed any pact or made any agreement, and as Christians we believe Jesus fulfilled (finished) the Law. None of us have ever committed a crime against Israel, we are not bound by their laws nor by their punishments.

    Taken even further…seems pretty simple for a 1st century Palestinian Jew living under an Occupation to never break any of the Laws or commit any of the crimes of the State. And even simpler to convince others he’s never broken any of them. So, a “sinless” man died to save the lives of a mob and country that was about to be wiped out by an occupying power for insurrection; he bought them a few decades at least.

    Again, these are just thoughts, but it seems a lot of things are a house of cards if you even give them half a thought outside of the well worn grooves.

  23. Of those shows you listed, it is amazing how many appeared on the same network, the same night. All might be considered “classics”:

    “When people talk about Saturday night TV, the discussion almost always comes back to CBS’ lineup in the early- to mid-’70s, when as many as five classics shared the same evening. From 1972 to 1975, All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show and The Carol Burnett Show were Saturday neighbors, with M*A*S*H in the lineup for the 1973 season. All in the Family was TV’s top-rated show during those years, with Moore’s sitcom often in the top 10.”- USA Today

    • Burro [Mule] says

      After 1975, ABC grabbed the crown.

      • And then NBC in the 80’s/90’s with its Thurs night lineup(s).

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Was that the time when the Three Networks were called “The Ghost of Freddie Silverman’s Past, The Ghost of Freddie Silverman’s Present, and The Ghost of Freddie Silverman’s Future”?

        Who was programming director for all Three Networks one right after the other. Said to have the attention span of a toddler with ADD; the only way to hold his attention for more than a couple seconds was Bouncing Boobage in the face. This was said to explain Charlie’s Angels and the resultant “Jiggle Television”.

  24. Klasie Kraalogies says

    I think I have a commebt stuck in moderation? YouTube link?

  25. Burro [Mule] says
  26. Burro [Mule] says
  27. Randy Thompson says

    The Chinese rat chess set reminded me of a book I gave my [adult] son for Christmas (among other things, I should be quick to add): “Crap Taxidermy.” The rat heads on the chess pieces provided the memory linkage.

    • That Other Jean says

      I did wonder for a moment whether those were mummified rats’ heads. I was relieved to find they were ivory. I’d still love to have a copy of that chess set, though.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Note: It’s a FURRY chess set.

  28. Regional politicians and business leaders speak of pursuing jobs that clean energy may create, rather than pressing the need to rein in carbon emissions. A science teacher at a community college — whose deeply religious students sometimes express doubts about the trustworthiness of science that contradicts biblical teachings — speaks to his class about the positives of scientific discovery (electricity) in order to ease into more contentious subjects (global warming).

    Sigh. I know I lived in this for close to 30 years, but now…what ‘biblical teachings’ does science contradict? Or is this just code for interpretations and conservative politics.


    • Burro [Mule] says

      I don’t think the problem concerning Clean Energy or climate change is ideological, and more than I am convinced that all pro-choice proponents have done the philosophical heavy lifting and are convinced that a human life is not extinguished in abortion.

      Reining in [ give yourself 30 Innernet points for using the right homonym ] Carbon Emissions means, in essence, to Stop Doing Things. We cannot at this point have a national conversation on just what Things we have to Stop Doing.

      • Burro [Mule] says

        **any more than I am convinced

      • Richard Hershberger says

        “more than I am convinced that all pro-choice proponents have done the philosophical heavy lifting and are convinced that a human life is not extinguished in abortion.”

        Do you believe that all pro-life proponents have done the heavy lifting and are convinced that zygotes are fully human lives?

        If so, I am curious about the event(s) and arguments that convinced them, considering how (for Protestants) suddenly the switch came from celebrating Roe v. Wade as a victory for religious liberty to decrying it as legalizing mass slaughter of innocents.

        • Burro [Mule] says

          The lifting is very heavy, and goes places I can’t easily follow, although I did read Dr. Tribe’s book before making up my mind.

          It’s easier for me to resort to sloganizing.

  29. How can Mr. Trump compare to Mr. Obama of whom they said when he was elected,

    “Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.
    The unusual thing is, true Lightworkers almost never appear on such a brutal, spiritually demeaning stage as national politics. This is why Obama is so rare. And this why he is so often compared to Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., to those leaders in our culture whose stirring vibrations still resonate throughout our short history..”

    Not only that, Mr. Obama had been president for exactly 14 days when the voting was closed and he was given the Nobel Peace Prize.

    It would appear to make a difference if you are a Democrat or a Republican in terms of journalistic or liberal religious support. Mr. Obama was lauded before his pen ever touched paper. But behind all the superficials:
    [ great voice, great pants crease, slender/handsome and non-white ] He was just another Chicago politician.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      The unusual thing is, true Lightworkers almost never appear on such a brutal, spiritually demeaning stage as national politics. This is why Obama is so rare. And this why he is so often compared to Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., to those leaders in our culture whose stirring vibrations still resonate throughout our short history..”

      Is “Lightworker” anything like “Indigo Child”, a Spiritually-Evolved Ascended Master incarnated?

      (I’m from SoCal, Woo-Woo Capital of the country. This sounds like something out of Shirley Mac Laine in her heyday.)

      Not only that, Mr. Obama had been president for exactly 14 days when the voting was closed and he was given the Nobel Peace Prize.

      It was called the “F U Dubya Bush!” Peace Prize.

  30. My favorite memories of Mary Tyler Moore are of the times when she and Dick VanDyke danced together on “The Dick VanDyke Show.” Completely awesome!


  31. Patriciamc says

    Another good Christian parody site is Lark News.