Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Food and Drink

I have never cut myself. I've never used knife or razor or anything else to hurt my body. That's not to say that doing so hasn't been... attractive or tempting every once in awhile. Instead, I argue with myself try to think of something else. Usually after a few minutes the urge is gone. Sometimes I hit myself in the face or slap myself. Not hard enough to really hurt or leave a bruise but enough to distract myself, to wake myself up and at the same time appease the urge to hurt.

I do remember one day where that (cutting) was all I could think about. I remember thinking, "You know you want it. You know it will feel so good. So good." I saw it in my mind, going home and making just a small surface cut in my upper thigh. I wanted to so bad, but I didn't. I don't because I know-I know-that once I start it would be nearly impossible for me to stop, and I don't like that. I hate it, not having self-discipline, not being in control. It's like food.

I've been trying to resist it for most of my physically adult life and that hasn't worked so well. I remember reading "On Writing" by Stephen King and he was talking about his feelings now being a recovering alcoholic. He said something like he still looks at people who are drinking wine or some other alcoholic beverage and don't finish their glass and in his head he's saying "What the fuck's the matter with you?!? Finish your drink!" even though he can't/won't do the same anymore. I feel the same about food. How on earth do people not overeat? What in them says, "I have more room for food but I'm not going to eat anymore." What do they have that I don't that says having dessert once or twice a week isn't totally impossible and that even undesirable? To be completely honest I look at them and marvel. Why? How? I don't get it. Even as a Christian, who is supposed to have the Spirit of God living inside of me, I don't get it. And a part of me can't help but look and that and that it is so pathetic.

Romans 7
But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This week in Modern Philosophy

Proverbs 25:2 (ESV)

It is the glory of God to conceal things,
but the glory of kings is to search things out.

My moden philosophy class has definitely been challeging some of my veiws of existence. My beliefs about God and who we are related to Him remain the same (biblical), and I'm not really worried that I'll be persuaded differently, but there are so many things that aren't explained in the Scripture and that are important and helpful (or maybe just interesting) to "seek out".

Obviously, one of the major topics in the class is the relationship between the body and the mind, and it's interesting to compare my own previously held thoughts to those of philosophers before me.When I was younger, I was always taught that we consisted of three parts; the body, the soul, and the spirit. The soul consisted of the mind, will, and emotions, and the spirit is the part of us that is dead before Christ, and comes alive when we are saved and communicates with God.

I'll have to do a word study myself, but off-hand I want to say that the Bible is not as clear on the matter, other than to say that the mind/soul/spirit (the something that makes you that isn't the body) exists that that is what is saved and redeemed when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, and that is what survives the death of the body. As to the nature of its existence, that is one of the things that God has concealed and that we are to search out, as long as we keep the most important things most important.

Why Superman Will Always Suck...

A little discussion some friends and I are having, based on this article:


BK FEATURE: Why Superman Will Always Suck

Article by Anthony Burch


It almost goes without saying, but if your hero cannot possibly be killed in any instance which does not somehow involve an incredibly rare space-rock, then you've got one boring-ass hero. It's sort of like watching Neo fight all the agent Smiths in The Matrix Reloaded: we know our hero can't possibly die, and he doesn't act like he's in any danger whatsoever, so the entire fight is a foregone conclusion and the audience becomes bored out of their skulls.

I mean, yeah – we obviously go into most superhero stories more or less positive that the hero won't die, but they still entertain us because the hero doesn't know that. Spidey is always scared, even if only a little, that one of the Green Goblin's pumpkin bombs will be the end of him; Daredevil is fully aware that a well-placed projectile from Bullseye could kill him. As a result, these characters act with restraint and forethought; since Superman knows nothing bad can happen to him no matter what, he acts with no such subtlety. He flies headlong into every conflict, fists thrust forward, because he knows he's in no immediate danger. Thus, we know he's in no immediate danger, and we get bored out of our fucking skulls.

Moral absolutism

Superman sez: all criminals are bad. All lawbreakers deserve punishment. If Superman were in charge of the DEA, roughly 70% of college students across the country would be serving time in prison right now.

Superman has no values of his own, so he's content to just uphold the values of the ruling class; this prevents him from becoming a dangerous vigilante a la Frank Castle, but it also means he has no legitimate opinions of his own where crime is concerned. In Paul Dini's storybook series on DC superheroes, Batman had to deal with gangland violence, Wonder Woman fights terrorism, and Superman tries to end world hunger. This is no accident – Superman is way too morally simplistic to deal with complex things like the "wars" on drugs or terror. In Batman: War on Crime, Bats comes up against a young boy holding a gun on him. Batman, understanding the complexity of crime and the reasons for its existence, talks the kid into dropping the gun and giving up a life of violence.

Superman would probably just use his heat-vision to melt the gun, then put the kid in prison where he'd become a hard-bitten thug who'd murder somebody a few months after getting out.

Truth, justice, and the Kryptonian way

While Superman represents and upholds the values of right-wing America, he never really earned the right to do so. The dude's a foreigner who took it upon himself to act as mankind's savior when, generally, mankind shouldn't need him (note, of course, that a significant number of the catastrophes which assault Metropolis on a weekly basis are initiated with the intent of fighting Superman – if Supes wasn't around, a lot of the criminal bullshit wouldn't be, either).

In the movie Superman Returns, Lois Lane writes an article explaining why mankind doesn't need Superman because we should be able to take care of ourselves, and the presence of an omnipotent superhero basically takes all responsibility off the human race and turns us into a bunch of helpless sheep, powerless to do anything but scream for help from our savior in times of crisis. She eventually decides this viewpoint is incorrect if only because she wants to bone Superman so badly, but the argument remains relevant no matter what.

Really, what lessons do the Superman comics teach? It says that mankind is full of dull, pointless weaklings and evildoers who can only be stopped by a white ubermensch from another planet, who didn't work a day in his life in order to achieve his powers. Yeah, you could say he's a symbol of "hope," but not hope in human nature – hope in an all-powerful alien who saves the world daily so you don't have to get off your butt and act like a moral person. What sort of message is that?

Powers given <>

What's the virtue in acting like a badass hero if you were born with the ability to be a badass hero? What's more impressive: the football player who trains for years and years just to play one game of pro football, or the guy who was born with innate athletic talent?

The answer is obvious, of course – powers earned are infinitely more impressive than intrinsic superpowers. Even though many superheroes do not "choose" their powers – from Spider-Man to Green Lantern, it's usually just happy accident that these normal schlubs get turned into superheroes – it's still a hell of a boring cop-out to simply be born with the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. It's just not terribly impressive, and requires zero effort. If Superman is capable of catching bullets with his teeth mere moments after landing on Earth, isn't that a lot more boring than Bruce Wayne training for years and years, and using most of his fortune, to become Batman?

Hell, for that matter:

Batman > Superman

Batman had a much more tragic childhood (watching your parents die is infinitely worse than hearing your biological parents died without ever having met them), his crimefighting style is based more on intelligence and planning that Superman's brute force, and he's actually kicked the living shit out of Superman at least twice. Batman exhibits more moral maturity than Superman: Superman always upholds the status quo, but in Year One Batman goes on a crusade against Gotham's corrupt elite. Batman is a detective, a scientist, a master of disguise, and a martial arts expert; Superman is a burly asshole in a red cape with big muscles.

And it's not even a matter of Batman being a necessarily darker character than Superman, at least where it really counts. Both characters steadfastly refuse to kill their enemies under any circumstances; it's just a hell of a lot harder for Batman, which makes his attitude toward mercy all the more admirable. It's no problem at all for Superman to fly into the air holding a criminal by the scruff of their neck as their bullets bounce off him, but Batman has to disarm his baddies, then incapacitate them, then give them to the police, all while avoiding their knives and gunfire and explosives. It's five times harder for Batman to do anything which Superman takes for granted on a daily basis, yet he often does it a hell of a lot better.

And let's not forget The Dark Knight Returns, wherein Batman brilliantly beat Clark Kent almost to death (pausing only to fake his own) by using a mixture of planning and ingenuity that even Lex Luthor isn't really capable of. Even if we were to judge superhero quality solely by who could beat who in a fight, then Batman still wins, hands down.

To fix these problems is to turn him into another superhero altogether

I used to be okay with Superman, if only because I believed that, one day, a writer might come along and turn Superman into a complex, three-dimensional being with flaws. A superhero with legitimate, kryptonite-unrelated weaknesses. A superhero who, every once in a while, actually loses.

Then I read the above strip from Dinosaur Comics and realized the futility of it all.

Superman represents hope and indefatigable strength, and any attempt to complicate these issues would no longer make him Superman. By definition, Superman has to be boring and morally absolute because if he isn't, he ain't Superman. I mean, in Kingdom Come he's momentarily called to task for getting angry at the UN and threatening to kill the world leaders for killing Captain Marvel, but he's talked down from doing anything irrational within, like, two pages of initially getting the idea to fuck up the United Nations. Heck, Superman's arc in Kingdom Come isn't even anything deeper than "America has forgotten me and I them, and we need to restore faith in one another." Wow – real interesting. While you're doing that, Batman will be over in the corner, contemplating suicide.


Friend 1: Comic book philosophy, oi love it. I tend to agree
with most of it. This is what gets me with
smallville, it tries to make clark a 3d charachter and
it just ends up in cliche. I think the only way to
make superman real is to put him in a society where
everyone has superpowers equal to his own so that he
has to navigate in another way. I don't know what
that other way is, i haven't thought that much about
it but it wouldn't make a exciting comic.

Me (Antoinette): I think the reason that Superman remains popular is b/c he reveals the truth of human nature, subconscious though it may be. Other super heroes are deceptive b/c, like the writer said, they cause us to hope in human nature, though eventually it is revealed that human nature can only go so far. Consider Batman. Yes he's overcome a lot of his limitations as a crime fighter so far as becoming the best among superhumans, but the tragedy of his parents' death still haunts him and he can't seem to make his interpersonal relationships work b/c of it. And even with all his skill as a crime fighter he still can't stop each and every crime from happening, and some wonder whether his theatrical/dramatic/vigilante approach to exacting justice is what has actually created some of the criminals he fights, most notably The Joker. In the end all his great deeds are meaningless, because he and everyone around him is still broken. Perhaps it could be said that his righteousness is as filthy rags?

Monday, June 2, 2008


So my sister is trying to plan for her wedding, if only her fiance can settle on a date.
But this is giving me wedding fever, even though to be honest I have don't have a fiance and no prospects in sight. This is what I've come up with:

hair=fresh cut teeny weeny afro:
Instead of being attached to the back of the head, the veil would be draped over the head so that the head is at the center of the veil and the veil covers the face and front of the body:

kiyonna wedding dress
the bouquet:

shoes from anthropologie: