Adulting

It is trendy these days to admonish millennials into better practice of what is being termed “adulting.”  Basic skills such as cooking, shopping, laundry, auto maintenance, and the like are being neglected.  As a result, a generation is going off to college unable to boil an egg or sew a button.

The cry goes out from far and wide to bring back home economics classes, shop classes, and financial literacy classes.  Get our schools to empower our children so they will have a chance of coping in a world that will soon try to eat them alive.

 

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Nerds

It is said that the word “nerd” originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the cool kids who somehow managed to find their way to and into MIT characterized the uncool kids as knurds.  Knurd, you will note, is drunk spelled backward.  Therefore it was trendy to be drunk, whereas it was the sign of ultimate and irreversible squaredom to study, achieve, graduate with honors, and get a job.

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Unfunny

Amy Schumer’s recently released comedy special on Netflix is, by all accounts, (and pardon the reference to her recent film, which I carefully avoided) a trainwreck.  Early comments and ratings give it one star out of five.  That’s pretty bad, even by Netflix original programming standards. 

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Flocking

A few more words about my experience with the (alleged) flock of eagles.  Birds of prey do not typically flock.  There is little reason.  They do not need to fend off predators.  They compete with one another over food sources.  And while some bald eagles migrate short distances, those in Florida do not; that eliminates the need for the aerodynamic advantage enjoyed by ducks and geese.

And yet bald eagles are frequently seen in large numbers. 

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For Dale and Annette, but especially for Zachary, Jonathan and Matthew

Once upon a time, there lived a young man in a faraway place; although Aggies like us inevitably want to call such characters Rock, we'll call him Jake.

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Like

"Like," for most English-speaking humans, means like.  I say that to clarify for those who may not be acquainted with the nuances of social media.  When you “like” your wife’s cooking, it may simply mean that you don’t want to eat Cheerios for dinner tomorrow night.  When you “like” your child’s latest painting, it may say speak more to your relationship with the child than it does the child’s artistic talent.  But usually, like means like.  And that’s especially true if, as with social media, you provide no context.

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Price

A show I dearly love is coming to town, and I checked to see if the $98 ticket price was perhaps a misprint.  Turns out it’s not only accurate, it’s moderate.  Much higher prices for tickets are available.  And much, much higher ticket prices are posted for other live events later in the year.

       Perhaps some of you have a spare $200 lying around ...

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Scale

The gym at Canada’s Carleton University has removed its scale.  Some participants called it “triggering.”  Seeing disappointing numbers appear day after day could lead people to be discouraged about their weight.  I figured that’s why they were in the gym in the first place.  But whatever.

        Instead of yammering some more about political correctness, instead I would like to inject a bit of reality into the concept of measurements, ...

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Actors

So Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, the famed and celebrated Bonnie and Clyde themselves, capped off the Oscars ceremony by announcing the wrong winner in the Best Picture category — surely a greater theft than any perpetrated by their real-life bank-robbing counterparts.  And yet my biggest takeaway from the biggest television fiasco since Nipplegate at Super Bowl XXVIII is … I don’t care.

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Player

The legendary country music star Glen Campbell once toured and recorded with the Beach Boys.  (It’s possible some of our young folks don’t recognize the name of either of those acts.  Parents, do your job!)  Campbell, a legendary guitar picker, likes to say he played bass for the band, but he wasn’t a “bass player.”  I heard him liken the concept to ordinary people in the casinos.  They may be playing blackjack, but they aren’t black jack players. 

 

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Judgment

I preached a sermon Sunday in which I mentioned how discouraged I am over people’s obsession with sports, how completely irrational and destructive behavior is permitted and even bragged about because of “team loyalty.”  Just an hour or two later, in a (probably) unrelated incident, Mark Wahlberg walked out on his beloved Patriots at the Super Bowl (they were behind 28-12 at the time) and began receiving an unceasing stream of vitriol from other fans.   

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Unfriend

It used to be that the ultimate enticement was, “I’ll be your friend.”  Granted, a 6-year-old mind has a limited grasp on the “friend” concept.  But it was a good thing; I got that much.  And when the cool kid offered friendship in exchange for putting him on the same dodgeball team as the other cool kid, well, you have to seriously consider an offer like that.

Today, thanks to social media, there is the "unfriend."

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Movies

I have been preaching some sermons lately about the lessons we can take from the movies — combating real-world monsters, the difference between “sci” and “fi,” that sort of thing.  It’s basically a naked attempt to grab the attention of young people with a spiritual message that, in the absence of sparkly vampires and talking turtles, they might ignore.  Future sermons are likely to include lessons on the vigilante mentality (action movies), the false allure of “love at first sight” (romances), and the willingness to take a stand for principle (westerns).  Y’all come.

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Elk

Have you seen the one in which a man is being attacked by a bull elk?  The man is trying desperately to keep a tree between himself and the massive beast.  Every once in a while the elk would bellow angrily.  (Who knew a big deer, essentially, could sound so mean?)  The man, wisely, did not choose to run in those moments; no doubt the elk would have run him down easily.

 

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The Parable of the Rock Climber

She’s barely holding on.  She is losing feeling in her fingertips.  She became convinced a while back that starting this climb was a mistake in the first place, but by then she had no choice; it was continue upward or fall to certain death.  So she continued upward, on a journey she had already decided she could not finish. 

And then she stopped to take a rest.  It was never a long-term plan.  She just wanted to do anything but climb.  ...

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Year

The deaths of George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds this week seemed to set off yet another wave of complaints — not that we would be robbed of their respective talents (the word being used generously in the case of Mr. Michael), bur rather that 2016 was going to go down in history that much faster as the worst year in the history of … whatever.

How realistic is that? ...

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