Ask Arthur Anything; then Ask Roger Anything

Arthur the AmeriNZ does his Ask Arthur Anything every year in the autumn. Wait, November is SPRING in New Zealand. I’m so confused.

Arthur’s a smart and interesting guy, and another old political science major to boot. So you can AAA. Then you can Ask Roger Anything. Heck, it can be the same questions; I’m not proud. (Note to Michael Rivest: that was a proper use of a semicolon.)

You can ask us both about our late parents. I already asked him about his favorite Republicans, and that’d be a fair question to ask of me. Ditto favorite composers (classical), artists (painters, sculptors, et al).

You can’t ask me about being a preacher’s kid, because I wasn’t one, but I can ask Arthur. Request that he explain the New Zealand parliamentary procedure, but my knowledge is extremely limited. Don’t ask him what it was like to grow up as a black kid in America.

I was thinking about this a LOT actually because of something I saw on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah the first week in December. Trevor went to South Africa to host an event honoring Nelson Mandela. He went back to the United States and developed laryngitis. So the correspondents spoke, sometimes saying they were Trevor, while Trevor sat beside them. The disconnect was very funny.

In case you’re new to this, you can AsK Roger ANYTHING. For reasons unknown, I must respond, usually within the month, to the best of my ability. I allow for obfuscation, but it’s not generally required.

As always, you can leave any of your questions, no matter how weird, in the comments section or on Facebook or Twitter; for the latter, my name is ersie. Always look for the duck. If you prefer to remain anonymous, that’s fine, but you need to SAY so. E-mail me at rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, or send me an IM on FB and note that you want to remain unmentioned; otherwise, I’ll assume you want to be cited.

Correcting v. convincing

Arthur@AmeriNZ noted his seventh Twitterversary this spring, which he Tweeted then posted it to Facebook and Google+. How terribly meta.

Then Facebook went and spoiled it all when someone said something stupid.

It was no one I knew—a friend of a friend—but it was such utter delusional nonsense that my jaw literally (yes, literally) dropped (remaining literally attached to my head, fortunately). It doesn’t matter who said what to whom about what; suffice it to say, the person’’s comment was factually wrong, silly, and… delusional.

It was an outrage! Errors needed to be corrected, truth and facts needed to be asserted! So, I did — nothing.

Time was, I would have jumped in to fight for truth and facts, but not today. Continue reading

U2, Bob Crewe, Fab Four, plus more

u2If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know I can have some strong opinions. But with the U2/Apple thing, I feel ambivalent. On one level, I’m oddly entertained by people freaking out over Apple’s forced iTunes download of U2’s new album, and wonder if it’s just a first world problem. I particularly loved how it ruined someone’s “carefully curated collection.” I’m impressed how well the secret was kept, with the release date of the next U2 album still unclear to the media as of last month.

Then there’s the Why U2? contingent epitomized by this quote Continue reading

August Rambling: Deep dark secrets

WD40
The Hook-Up Culture Is Getting 20-Somethings Nowhere. On the other hand, Casual Love.

How we get through life every day.
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July Rambling: Weird Al, and the moon walk

clock.numbers
Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. – George Orwell. To that end, Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations and Congratulations: It’s a corporation.

An answer to the child immigrant problem at the US-Mexican border? I note that the Biblical Jesus was a refugee, his parents fleeing Herod’s wrath. Yet so many people who profess to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ “are so uncaring and hateful about hungry children trying to get to a better, safer place to live.”

In the non-surprise category: Stand Your Ground Laws Lead To More Homicides, Don’t Deter Crime.

Misleading on Marriage: how gay marriage opponents twist history to suit their agenda.

Yiddish Professor Miriam Isaacs has dug in a previously unknown treasure of over a thousand unknowns Yiddish songs recorded of Holocaust survivors; text is in Swedish, but can be translated. Miriam was my old racquetball buddy decades ago.

The Creation Myth of 20th Century Fundamentalism by Jeff Sharlet, who I also knew long ago.

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe came out as gay. Arthur explains why it STILL matters. Also: I Can Be Christian, and Gay, and Live in Alabama.

Portraits of people in 7 days’ worth of their own garbage.
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The Return On Investment of leaving blog comments

brainWayne John wrote in June: “Well it’s been about 2 months since I’ve written my little ‘I’m back’ post, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about writing something here. I have, in fact, written a number of posts that I simply haven’t made public.”

Now he has a different, more monetary reason for some of the non-production. Still, many bloggers will relate to this:

There is one decision that I’m making though, and that is to stop being so damn hard on myself.

I haven’t posted anything because I have been striving for a level or quality that is simply not achievable on a consistent basis. With each post I write, I try to make it “Epic” or “value filled”, and while those are great marketing buzz words, I simply don’t have time to write a post of that nature each and every time.

I’m sure you don’t expect it either, so why have I been so damn stuck?

It’s all me. I strive for perfection. Add to that a healthy does of OCD and nothing gets done.

To some degree, that even happens to me, the guy who blogs day in, day out. I want every post to be “value filled.” Continue reading

Other than America; ending arguments

CHILDRENAROUNDTHEWORLDLisa of peripheral perceptions wonders:

I don’t know if you’ve answered this one, but I’d like to know in what city/country would you live if you could live anywhere else in the world. And why. 🙂

I don’t think I have. I did this with states – I came up with Vermont – but not countries.

Part of the problem is that I’m just lousy with languages, so it’d have to be a country where a lot of people speak English.

The default answer for a lot of Americans is Canada. Continue reading

PC, LGBT, 8-tracks, malls and dystopia

7.21.08 Blitt Obama.inddUthaclena, who I know in terrestrial life, asks:

Okay: at what point does Political Correctness become absurd? Do public facilities need to be sanitized of all things religious to insure separation of church and state? On Halloween can you only wear costumes of your own race/ethnicity/religion?

Okay. Here’s the thing; I don’t know what different people’s boiling points are, because I’m not them. For instance, it is the groups of Native Americans who have complained about the name of the Washington Redskins NFL team that makes me believe in the rightness of the complaint.
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Why the Hobby Lobby decision is bad for people of faith

FaithFlagsI’ve actually written my responses to all of you folks who participated in Ask Roger Anything this past round. And the rest of you people can STILL ASK.

But I’ve bumped my responses back a couple days to answer Arthur; I even postponed my answer to Arthur’s earlier question, so it’s his own fault. He wrote, in response to this post about the US Supreme Court case regarding a store chain, Hobby Lobby, providing contraceptive care:

I’d really like to see you expand on how YOU see this ruling as bad for people of faith. Do you see this case alone as being bad for religion and/or religious people, or is it the ideology behind it? In either case, what bad effects do you personally expect to see or fear may happen?

The answer is all of the above. Next! OK, I guess I’ll expand on this.
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Fans of Andy Warhol: ABC Wednesday, Round 15 is a comin’

abc15Seven years ago, Denise Nesbitt from England created ABC Wednesday. It was brilliant in its simplicity. People, literally from around the world, post an item – pictures, poems, essays – that in someway describe each letter of the alphabet, in turn. I’ve been participating since the letter K in Round 5, my Keating Five post.

Denise recruited a team of her followers to do some of the intro writing and visiting, which eventually included me, because doing it all was too exhausting. Two years ago – that long, already? Continue reading