Political primaries are intended to be a “survival of the fittest” ordeal. If you have the stamina, popular support and financial backing to win state contests and accumulate delegates, presumably you would make a worthy nominee. As far as such things go, it’s probably as good a process as any, and better than most. There…
Mark 5:25-43 tells the story of how Jesus healed the daughter of the leader of the synagogue, a man named Jairus. The people had already pronounced her dead by the time Jesus arrived, but that did not stop the Lord. He told her to rise up, and she did. The text describes the people as being “completely astonished” — a reaction that astonishes none of us. We would be astonished as well.
The healing itself is remarkable on its own, of course. However, I have always found it interesting that Jesus asked specifically that she be given something to eat immediately afterward.
It seems to me that “cultural appropriation” only becomes problematical if the “culture” being appropriated is associated generally with people of color. (White, by the way, is a color. The Crayola people say so, anyway. And the pale orange-peach tone that accurately defines the skin of this “white person” is a color, too. But I digress.)
My beloved Texas A&M University puts on an annual two-day barbecue seminar. “Camp Brisket” shows a fortunate few dozen participants the finer points of trimming, preparing and serving the best barbecue in the world. And here I am in Pensacola, Florida, drooling, surrounded by well-intentioned but sadly ignorant folks who think “good barbecue” used to oink.
The word “trending” has gone through an interesting metamorphosis in the social media generation. Used to be, something was “trending up” or “trending down,” depending on whether one was discussing (respectively) butter or margarine, cauliflower or broccoli rabe.
Now things are just “trending.” It is as though the quality of an item or topic is irrelevant; all that matters is that people are talking about it. It’s the new version of “no publicity is bad publicity,” I guess.
One of my Facebook “friends” (actually a complete stranger to me — social media makes for odd relationships) posted the following last week: “Don’t you dare tell me who I can call my brothers and sisters in Christ! That is way above your pay grade!”
I was tempted to respond, “Is it above yours?”
Alton Brown, my favorite foodie, has a real attitude about what he calls “unitaskers” — that is, kitchen implements that serve only one function. Strawberry slicers, rice cookers, countertop rotisseries, basically anything sold on late-night television — scrap them all. The only unitasker you should have in your kitchen, he says, is a fire extinguisher.
It is the exception to the unitasker rule that I would like to address here.
As I left the house this morning, I saw a strange thing. I saw steam rising up from the roof of two houses across the street from me. Nowhere else. Now, I remember enough about high school chemistry to know steam is water in gaseous form; it is normal on hot afternoons after a rain for steam to come up from the asphalt as the heat of the surface essentially boils the water that hits it. But this was morning time — warm, but not unbearably hot. And it was just the two houses, as far as I could tell. (I’m virtually certain the houses were not on fire, in case you were wondering. The thought did cross my mind, though.)
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.