Archive for the ‘“Memes”’ Category

It seems to be an article of faith among many today that we are all members of specific generations.  That is, since I was born in 1984 I am a “Millenial” (which sounds like someone who lives in a cave and thinks the local town mayor is the Anti-Christ, but anyway).  As a Millenial, I supposedly like to “celebrate diversity,” I “make my own rules,” I “assume technology” and soforth.  Other “generations” are known for various things, both good and bad (many liberals praise the generation that was young in the sixties, while many conservatives praise the generation that was young in the forties).  Thus, we all have our characteristics mostly determined for us due to the time we were born.

Does this sound like astrology or divination to anyone else?  Now, I don’t think these distinctions have any power in themselves, but the degree to which people adopt them is really frightening.  Reasonable, scientific people who consider themselves above superstition will find themselves gladly signing on to the idea that they act the way they act because of the year they were born.  I am mystified by the appeal of such a thing: why would one wish to behave in the same way others of his generation behave?  Especially, I must add, when people claim that “challenging the rules” or something of that nature is characteristic of their generation.  If that’s true, challenge the rules and act differently!  Don’t be a slave to your generation!


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A Meme

Well, since Fr. Richsteig tagged “anyone who loves Jesus” I guess I have to answer this meme.

1. Do you wear a name tag at work? No.
2. What kind of car do you drive? A Volkswagen Jetta
3. What do you order when you go to Taco Bell? A cheesy bean burrito without the cheese.
4. Have you ever had a garage sale? I participated in one held by my parents when I was younger.
5. What color is your iPod? Black
6. What kind of dog do you have? None.
7. What’s for dinner tonight? I don’t know yet.
8. What is the last alcoholic beverage you had? Wine.
9. Stupidest thing you ever did with your cell phone? Dropped it in the toilet.
10. Last time you were sick? A couple weeks ago.
11. How long is your hair? Short.
12. Are you happy right now? Yes.
13. What did you say last? Yeah, Macs are just better. (regarding why Mac laptops use a magnetic power cord).
14. Who came over last? Catherine and her parents.
15. Do you drink beer? No.
16. Have your brothers or sisters ever told you that you were adopted? No.
17. What is your favorite key chain on your keys? A shamrock given to me for my baptism and confirmation.
18. What did you get for graduation? Money for a still-to-come trip to Ireland.
19. Whats in your pocket? Nothing.
20. Who introduced you to Dane Cook? I don’t know Dane Cook.  No one has ever introduced me to him.
21. Has someone ever made you a Build-A-Bear? Yes, Catherine did.
22. What DVD is in your DVD player? Zodiac (a film about the Zodiac Killer, not an introduction to Astrology.)
23. What’s something fun you did today? Get books from the library.
24. Who is/was the principal of your high school? Mr. Russell for two years and Mr. Costanzo for two years.
25. Has your house ever been TP’d? Yes.  I don’t know who did it though.  Maybe friends of my sister.
26.What do you think of when you hear the word “meow”? Cats.
27. What are you listening to right now? The sound of my computer.
28. Drinking? Nothing.
29. What is your favorite aisle at Wal-Mart? I would never enter a Wal-Mart.
30. When is your mom’s birthday? February 7.
31. When is your birthday? October 10.
32. What’s the area code for your cell phone? 559
33. Where did you buy the shirt you’re wearing now? I got it for my birthday.
34. Is there anything hanging from your rear view mirror? A Fresno State Parking Pass.
35. How many states in the US have you been to? 9.
36. What kind of milk do you drink? None.  I don’t like milk.
37. What are you going to do after this? Read.
38. Who was the last person you went shopping with? Catherine and her brother.
39. What is your favorite fruit? This one takes a lot of thinking…I like so many kinds.  Right now I think its oranges.
40. What about your favorite dessert? Apple pie.
41. What is something you need to go shopping for? An iMac.  I definitely need to shop for and purchase one :-).
42. Do you have the same name as one of your relatives? The same middle and last name, but not my first name.
43. What kind of car does one of your siblings drive? Ford Mustang.
44. Do you like pickles? PI-CKLES! Pickles are gross! Pickles are gross, gross, gross, gross, gross, gross, gross! (to be sung to the tune of the themesong to the American version of The Office)
45. How about olives? Yes I love them.
46. What is your favorite kind of gum? Orbit.
47. What is your favorite kind of juice? Orange.
48. Do you have any tan lines? No.
49. What hospital were you born in? Kaiser Hospital, Santa Clara.

 Now that you know these secrets, I tag anyone who wants to answer.  I mean, Fr. Richsteig has already tagged all Christians, so I’m just expanding it to non-Christians I guess.

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My Very First Meme!

Fr. Daren Zehnle has tagged me with a “meme” about books. I don’t like the word “meme”, but these internet memes seem to have little to do with the evolutionary concept of a meme, so I don’t dislike them. And furthermore, it must be a violation of some canon law to refuse a meme request from a priest. Anyway, my answers aren’t a comprehensive list but should show something of my opinions about various books. Furthermore, I won’t post links to the books on Amazon…if you’re interested in the book, find the version you want from the store you wish to support.
Three works of non-fiction everyone should read:

The Confessions by St. Augustine. This is an absolutely wonderful book, and I believe that everyone who is interested in how to live a Christian life should read it. It is really the story of a troubled man with many problems who manages to become a saint. If he can do it, we can too.

The Framework of a Christian State by Fr. E. Cahill, S.J. This book was written in the 1930s, but does an excellent job at anticipating and discussing the social and political problems we are experiencing today. I do not agree with everything in the book, but certainly a great deal of it is still useful and good today.

Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton. This is somewhat of a cliche answer I suppose, as so many people love it. However, I found it quite interesting: the arguments for orthodoxy are given in a clear, plain-spoken, and somewhat confused manner. Reading it is sort of like meeting someone for the first time, and quickly realizing how much you agree with him.

Three works of fiction everyone should read:

The Silmarilion by J.R.R. Tolkien. This is such an intricate and beautiful set of stories. Reading it, to me, was an experience of having the pagan myths I loved as a child reconciled with a truly Christian worldview, in a way that does not compromise either. In short, it is a great new mythology. And besides, Fr. Zehnle already took The Lord of the Rings so I had to come up with something new.

Lost in the Cosmos by Walker Percy. I’m not sure whether to call this fiction or non-fiction. It is certainly applicable to our society, and what’s more it gives the reader so many fascinating ideas that it is well worth reading.

The Metamorphoses by Ovid. These are somewhat silly poems, and center frequently on sexual themes. However, the reason for my interest in them is that they are a wonderful collection of ancient myths, usually in the forms we are used to. They are cleverly written and reflect a great deal of what was good and what was bad in pre-Christian Roman society.

Three authors everyone should read:

J.R.R. Tolkien. Of course. Everyone absolutely should read Tolkien. I myself have read Lord of the Rings four times, and I am working on my fifth (reading it with Catherine, who has never read it before.) Tolkien’s works were what got me interested in Catholicism in the first place.

G.K. Chesterton. He’s funny, prophetic, poetic, and a great writer. Everything from “Lepanto” to the Fr. Brown stories posess their own kind of beauty and greatness. I have not read a quarter of what I should read of his works.

Walker Percy. Another author I haven’t read as much of as I would like. I can’t quite figure him out, either, but every time I read something of his I find myself thinking about various points and getting new ideas, so I think that is a good thing.

Three books no one should read:

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. It’s an awful book for “Young Adults” or whatever the age category is called. I was forced to read it in sixth grade, and it was absolutely miserable. I highly recommend not reading it and not forcing your children or students to do so.

Cognition by Margaret Matlin. This is the book for a Cognitive Psychology class I am taking. In fact, I am using that book to symbolize all psychology textbooks, which are almost always dreadfully boring and un-informative.

Women’s Lives: A Topical Approach by Claire Etaugh and Judith Bridges.  Essentially a celebration of everything that is wrong with the world.  This was used as a textbook for a “Women’s Studies” class I had to take at Santa Clara University, and is a truly loathsome book.

Well, now that I have completed the meme myself, I must inflict it upon others.  I would tag Jeff Culbreath, but he just said he doesn’t want to have to make a list of books.  So, I tag Felix Randal, Chris at Domine Non Sum Dignus, and of course Mr. Culbreath if he is interested in doing it.

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