Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saturday & Sundry Shorter Religions


"What are TL;DRs for some religions?"

(TL;DR = too long;did not read.)

I guess, really, the questioner was asking: what are shorter definitions/explanations of some religions. But what do I know ? In acronym-laden cyberland much is taken for granted!

Barry Goldberg's great answer (and I trust he will not object to my borrowing it):

Barry Goldberg, Born Jewish, Raised Mormon, Discovered Philosophy and Became Atheist.[With a VERY large grain of salt and tongue firmly planted in cheek] ----

Judaism: People hate us because we’re God’s chosen people, and what God apparently chose us for is to be hated by everybody else.

Catholicism: God sacrificed Himself to Himself to appease Himself in order to save us from Himself.

Islam: We are the Religion of Peace™ and we will totally kill anybody who says otherwise.

Sikhism: We wear turbans and carry ceremonial swords and no, we are not Muslims!

Hinduism: Don’t eat meat; that cow could be your great-grandfather.

Buddhism: We’re a religion, but we don’t believe in God. Psyche!

Mormonism: “As Man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.”

Born Again Christians: “I know because I know because I know. Oh — and everybody else is going to burn in hell forever and ever!”

Jehovah’s Witnesses: We may believe some crazy stuff and be annoying as all get out, but at least we’re not as bad as Scientologists!

Universal Unitarianism: We don’t actually believe anything in particular, but we love to dress the part.

[Bonus joke: What do you get if you cross a Jehovah’s Witness with a Universal Unitarian? Somebody who knocks on your door for no particular reason.]

Even more!

Lutherans: We’re just like Catholics, except grumpier.

Anglican/Church of England
: We’re just like Catholics, except we can get divorced.

Episcopalians: We’re just like the Church of England, but without the posh accent.

Wicca: We recently decided to call ourselves witches and now claim the right to define what the word “witch” has meant throughout all of recorded history.

Shakers: We enforce celibacy for everybody. And now there’s only two of us left. Seriously. I am not making this up.

Satanists: Baby-eating practitioners of the dark arts, or just a parody religion to poke fun at Christianity? We’ll never tell! BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

: OK, we really are just a parody religion to poke fun at Christianity. All hail the Spaghetti Monster, praise be His Noodly Appendages, Ramen!

Zoroastrianism: You know that cool music at the beginning of “2001: A Space Odyssey” called Also Sprach Zarathustra? That’s us, Baby!

Scientology: Trillions of years ago the evil galactic overlord Xenu flew a bunch of aliens to earth in Boeing 747s and blew them up with hydrogen bombs inside volcanoes and… Never mind, just give us all your money!

Young Earth Creationism
: Our minds are made up, don’t confuse us with the facts!

And finally…

Atheism: “We’re not a religion, damn it!”

Friday, September 22, 2017

Arty Farty Friday ~ 3 Female Painters born 22 September

A trio of female artists born this day, in different eras - here they are with an example of the work of each:

Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe (22 September 1762 – 17 January 1850) was a British artist and diarist in colonial Canada. She was the wife of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada.

Below: Niagara Falls, Ontario by Elizabeth Simcoe, summer 1792.

Alma Woodsey Thomas (September 22, 1891 – February 24, 1978) was an African-American Expressionist painter and art educator. She lived and worked primarily in Washington, D.C. and the Washington Post described her as a force in the Washington Color School. The Wall Street Journal describes her as a previously "underappreciated artist" who is more recently recognized for her "exuberant" works, noteworthy for their pattern, rhythm and color.

Lillian Chestney (September 22, 1913 – August 6, 2000) was an American illustrator and painter. She studied in New York City and illustrated children's books, comic books (during the Golden Age of Comic Books), and magazine and book covers at a time when few women held artist positions in the industry.

Oh!... Remembering also, today is ~

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hand-held Earth

This week I'm continually being reminded of things. The image below was pulled from my over-filled memory banks after reading my weekly forecast, commencing 21 September 2017, by one of my favourite astrologers,
Rob Brezsny of Free Will Astrology.
Snips from THIS:
"The brain is wider than the sky," wrote Emily Dickinson. "The brain is deeper than the sea." I hope you cultivate a vivid awareness of those truths in the coming days, Aquarius...............

Try this visualization exercise: Picture yourself bigger than the planet Earth, holding it tenderly in your hands".
The image that brought to mind is one I originally found on a notice board in a gallery or museum, years ago, while on our travels - we took a photograph of it then; later I found it online, and discovered that it was written by Joe Miller for a children's book, illustrated by Wilson McLean.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"No Man is an................"

From a book titled Pools of Lodging for the Moon by David K. Reynolds, PhD, a modern parable. I used this some seven years ago; recent inundations in Houston, Florida, the Islands and India brought it to mind again. Now I read that another severe hurricane threatens Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, before they've even had a chance to recover from the last one.

A repeat airing:
Water World

Once upon a fragile time people lived on the surface of a huge body of water. They walked on a thin film that covered the water's great depths. Sometimes the surface tension weakened in spots and someone began to sink. Those around the sinking person risked breaching the surface tension in order to rescue him or her. It was the custom. Such self-sacrifice was necessary in that world. When the rescuers were in danger they, too, could expect help.

Sometimes the tear in the surface film spread, there were whole chains of people lending a hand to their fellows. In that risky world it was good to know that supporting hands were ready to help when needed.

Nearby, another group of people lived on a small island. They were proud that each of them walked by the individual's own strength with no help or support from others. In other ways they were a very bright people. Yet because of their pride they were confined to their island. And they knew a chilly loneliness that their water-borne cousins never felt.

One of the part-truths in American culture is the part-myth of the self-made individual. That notion has both stimulated us and limited us. The other side of that truth is that we are all dependent on others for our successes and for our moment-by-moment existence.

My politically slanted brain read that tale as an analogy for socialism and conservatism/capitalism. Others might read it differently...if so it would be interesting to hear about it.

Comments from 2010 - summarised:
Astrology Unboxed/Fabienne said:
I saw it more in terms of religion. Catholics versus Protestants. Catholics putting more emphasis on the family, group and individuality is subordinated to the needs of the family, society and state. for example, it is still common for a women to live with her parents until she gets married even tough she has a career and could afford to live by herself.
On the other hand, protestants put emphasis on individual rights and children need to be independent as soon as possible. For example, if you are 18, you have to leave the house.
Having had the experience of both types of society emphasis, I can see the benefits from both. Although I must say that the emphasis on group does seems to provide more support, warmth and gregariousness. Individual rights, from my experience, leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. Great for developing your individuality and assertiveness. Not so great for companionship.

Gian Paul responded...Astrology Unboxed/Fabienne: In an ideal, harmonious world family should be what you say, no matter of what religion. The cradle which prepares for empathy, love and understanding. But these days, considering the great number of divorced parents, tough educational curriculum (money, money) and general impossibility to believe in "authorities", young people must feel quite lost to whatever wind or fashion/fad is blowing.

Twilight said...Gian Paul ~ Agreed, it's a different world. Family and culture has changed a lot in the last 3 decades. I think that, in the USA for example, there was more feeling of the first Water World example of wanting everyone to have assistance when needed than there is now....FDR's way was getting there, but the path got lost somewhere.

R J Adams said...I agree with you, Twilight, though on reading the piece my mind immediately saw America as the island:
"They were proud that each of them walked by the individual's own strength with no help or support from others. In other ways they were a very bright people. Yet because of their pride they were confined to their island. And they knew a chilly loneliness that their water-borne cousins never felt."

Most Americans never leave their 'island', unless it's to vacation in Mexico or Canada. Much of the rest of the world is united, but because of its pride, America stands alone; an 'island', indeed.

Twilight said...RJ Adams ~~~ Yes, that is what the author had in mind too, according to his last lines - that the USA is akin to an island society, in spite of its size. The book was published in 1989 by the way. Politically, the US has never been a haven of social reform for long, there have been a few tries to get onto that road, or into a more Water World scenario, but always eventually attempts have been assassination, persuasion, bribery, whatever.

Wisewebwoman said ...No (wo)man is an island indeed. What a marvellous book, T, you discover such interesting titles! Any more nuggets in this?

Twilight replied... There are more, yes. Maybe I'll return to it sometime - don't want to get into bother re copyright though. I think it'll be okay to use a couple of examples, as this is a not-for-profit blog.

Wisewebwoman, in 2010, quoted from John Donne - I thank them both for today's post title.

No Man is an Island by John Donne (1572-1631)

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Music Monday ~ Shape-wise

Looking for someone musical to feature today I came upon Benjamin Franklin White (September 20, 1800 – December 5, 1879). He was a "shape note singing master", and compiler of the shape note tune book known as The Sacred Harp. He was born near Cross Keys in Union County, South Carolina, the twelfth child of Robert and Mildred White.

Alright then...but what are shape notes?

Climbing onto my learning curve once more: Encyclopedia Britannica reveals that:
Shape-note singing, a musical practice and tradition of social singing from music books printed in shape notes. Shape notes are a variant system of Western musical notation whereby the note heads are printed in distinct shapes to indicate their scale degree and solmization syllable (fa, sol, la, etc.). Since 1801 shape notes have been associated with American sacred music, specifically with singing schools, with musical conventions, and with all-day gatherings known as “singings.” Denounced by critics as uncouth, the simplified notation has persisted in the rural South, where it continues to form the basis of strong traditions of church and community singing.

The solmization system used in shape-note singing can be traced to Guido d’Arezzo, an 11th-century Italian monk who assigned the syllables ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la to the six-note series—or hexachord—that corresponds to what are now recognized as the first six degrees of the major scale. Use of these syllables helped singers keep track of their place within a melody, especially when sight-reading. In 16th-century England, singers discovered they could operate effectively with only four syllables (mi, fa, sol, and la). English colonists carried the four-syllable system to North America. Meanwhile, on the European continent, the hexachord was expanded to seven syllables, one for each note in the major scale (in Italy, do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, and si). The seven-syllable system ultimately prevailed during the 19th century in England and America. Shape notation has been adapted to both the four-note fasola and the seven-note doremi system.

I'm probably being extremely dense now but, immediately, I don't understand the benefit of this system. Trying again, there's more HERE.

So...well, I'm enlightened - kind of. This is an interesting and historic musical sidelight.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday and Sundries

We're currently re-watching the 1970s TV mini-series Centennial, via a DVD set. I never tire of this story - often think that it was my love of Centennial, and another mini-series and novel, Lonesome Dove, which set my mind on the right track for my move across the Atlantic, and at a late stage of life. I still wake up surprised some mornings, to find myself smack-dab on the Chisholm Trail! That cattle trail is not the exact one featured in a chapter of Centennial - but it's comparable.

On this viewing of the TV adaptation of James A. Michener's epic novel - we're two-thirds through the series, as I type this - what I've noticed most is how, though passage of time has brought massive changes in lifestyle, especially in the 21st century, in deeper aspects nothing much has changed. The pattern of killing, retribution killing, then killing again, remains. Much of today's killing is done far away from the USA in the Middle East; retribution occasionally occurs here at home as well as directly, abroad. It's as though this nation, born in blood, is fated to live on in blood. There were some good men then (fictional in this case, but actual also), there are good men now, but never enough - then or now.

My 2008 archived post on Centennial is HERE.

Husband's new blog/website Cabinet Card Photographers has taken him many long hours of research work, which he has enjoyed and pronounced addictive.

Fall foliage Prediction Map -

It's interactive - could come in useful for leaf-peepers.

by Carl Sandburg

Among the mountains I wandered and saw blue haze and red crag and was amazed;

On the beach where the long push under the endless tide maneuvers, I stood silent;

Under the stars on the prairie watching the Dipper slant over the horizon’s grass, I was full of thoughts.

Great men, pageants of war and labor, soldiers and workers, mothers lifting their children—these all I touched, and felt the solemn thrill of them.

And then one day I got a true look at the Poor, millions of the Poor, patient and toiling; more patient than crags, tides, and stars; innumerable, patient as the darkness of night—and all broken, humble ruins of nations.

If an infinite number of rednecks
fired an infinite number of shotguns
at an infinite number of road signs,
they'd eventually recreate
the complete works of Shakespeare
in Braille.
Ann and the Bullet Holes
 I discovered the truth of it when on vacation, meeting  Himself, in 2003.

Wot - no astrology?
This Twitter offering, from #Rejected Horoscopes, might be good for a titter: