October 10, 2006

Twitchy McElbow

Damn you Tim McGuire!
There I was at a meeting at my son's school last night. Dressed nicely, listening to the 3d grade math teacher tell about the latest pedagogical tricks which actually make a lot of sense. And then out of nowhere I can't stop thinking about beaning Twitchy McElbow in the forehead with an apple. Suppress a grin. Clear my throat. Eyes watering. I had to laugh, there was no other way out of it. Trying to make my cheeks stop smiling only made the giggles worse. I confirmed everything that the doctor's wife from Stockholm thinks about me.
Notes from the meeting: The school hired a translator for the veiled mother who doesn't speak Swedish. I complained that they give the same portion of food to every child-- first grade girls and fifth grade boys. Last year in the second grade they learned the creation story from Genesis and about the big bang, and the formation of the solar system and planet, volcanos, dinosaurs. This year they will go through the ice, stone, bronze and iron ages, including the vikings.


At October 11, 2006 5:14 PM , Anonymous Tim said...

Thanks Matt,
It made my day that I made you laugh

At October 12, 2006 12:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, now I'm getting it. At first, I admit I didn't really understand what blogging was for, but if it's for telling Tim McGuire stories, I've got a few... How 'bout the time Tim got attacked while pissing on someone's lawn, or the 'bark like a dog' story?

Papa T

However, I'm not letting you off the hook on this Bible stuff. Can't you see the creationism being taught to your children is the exact problem with clinging to this book. What about hanging onto the book of Gilgamesh or something like that?

Papa T

At October 12, 2006 1:41 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Dear Papa T,

Your argument for why I should throw out this book, my lack of vision, isn't selling any tickets. I see the fact that they have taught my son both the Genesis version and the Big Bang version as a strength. I'd wager two volumes of Tim McGuire stories that you won't find a second grade class in a public school in the US that has had either as a part of the curriculum. Don't tell me that sticking our kids' heads into the sand is the answer. I'm getting tired of this debate that science and religion can't coexist-- culturally science rests on the pillars of religion. Universities have their roots in the monastic tradition. There have been some good debates that have strengthened both and neither would be a living tradition if they didn't evolve with time. I have an aversion to the idiotic polarized science vs. religion debate in the US today. Both sides need to grow up. As usual it does not help matters that virtually all of the media attention goes to the extremists.

I expect school to teach my son how to divide using both long division and through simplification by removing common factors. Someday they will teach him about God, Karl Marx and Adam Smith and it will be up to him to decide how to live his life-- to take his ship into deep waters he is going to need ballast. Ain't nothing wrong with knowing who Adam and Eve and the snake are. There is an ancient concept of God and there is a modern one.

You seem to think you have me on a hook and if you weren't anonymous we might be able to share some stories about you too. If you were to start your own blog you could begin by presenting some arguments as to why it would be a good idea to follow some old dead king from Mesopotamia. I'd give it a read.

And, back to the climate debate, we are living in a new geological era, the anthropocene. Humanity is the most important factor determining climate and e.g. species distributions. It is time for us to live up to the responsibility implicit in our position. We have dominion over the earth, locally and globally. I do believe that gives us an ethical duty to take care of it.

At October 14, 2006 7:15 AM , Anonymous Papa Twister said...

Sorry... sincerely. I didn't mean to offend you. And sorry to Tim. I misunderstood the blog entry. Quite frankly, I don't understand blogs in general. Tim McGuire is a great guy, and I especially don't understand his blog.

As far as my realitive anonymity is concerned, and I say relative, because most people who know me, know that I sometimes go by Papa Twister. Anonymous or not, there are already stories about me on your blog. That's how I found Long Burn in the first place. My business partner told me that I had to start paying more attention to the internet, so the first thing I did was to Google myself. I have never Googled myself before. Guess where I found myself... looking at a picture of George W. Bush.

As far as the Bible is concerned, all I'm saying is that if you declare that someone has a Biblical commitment, you better be prepared to face your Biblical commitments. I actually found the entire entry to be knee jerk.

On the other hand, I have found your entries on energy to be quite informitive, and I believe that your insights on energy usuage are the strength of your blog.

Religion vs. Science... Not my thing. I actually find them to be very similar.

As far as what a blog is, who it's being written for, etc.... I don't know. I'm very confused, but I do know, that it's out there for anyone in the universe who has access to the internet to read.

At October 16, 2006 6:37 AM , Anonymous Tim said...

I'd like to know the "bark like a dog" story papa twister is refering to.

There's only one that comes to mind: Early one morning I was in my hedged-in front yard with my two-year old, entertaining her by making animal noises. I was barking like a dog and happened to look up to see a female jogger giving me a very dirty look.

At October 17, 2006 10:01 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Well Papa T, I'm glad you like some of what I write and I have some sympathy for your people in glass houses argument. For what its worth, I try to live up to my committments, Biblical and otherwise, and I'm no saint. As Clint said, kid, we've all got it coming. Politics and religion are always touchy subjects. I had a hard time figuring out what your point was and at one time the message seemed to be that the Bible is so hopelessly antiquated and self-contradictory so we should leave it alone, and I don't agree. I think we should be reading it and discussing. One point I'd like to make is that if we don't do something about global warming, there are going to be serious consequences. The President has been all hat and no cattle when it comes to the environment (really, not even that much hat) and its no secret that he claims to represent Christian values.
Long Burn is my own little corner of cyberspace and I want to keep it in reasonable order so my mom feels welcome when she stops by so I'd appreciate everyone's help in keeping stories about pissing on strangers lawns to a minimum.

At October 18, 2006 9:02 PM , Blogger rigtenzin said...

I work with Primate Brow Flash (in the same office) and just today suggested that I'd like to throw an apple at him, not for any good reason -- just fun.

He had a good story to go with that about shooting fruit from a giant slingshot.

At October 19, 2006 12:55 AM , Anonymous Papa Twister said...

Re: Bark Like a Dog... consider it a fictional paroxysm like 'Squeal Like a Pig'. However, Tim's story was pretty good.

At October 19, 2006 3:07 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

I can remember Tim howling like a monkey, swimming like an otter on a fine summer day, twisting like a mongoose and drinking like a hole in the ground (but not all at the same time), but I've never seen him bark like a dog or squeal like a pig, not that he hasn't had opportunities. I've never seen him throw fruit either although once he beaned a guy onstage with a powder donut from the 25th row.

At October 19, 2006 3:13 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Love to hear the slingshot story!?

At October 21, 2006 12:51 AM , Blogger Papa Twister said...

Okay, Matt... So I did it. My mission to learn about blogging and the internet continues. Your welcome to come to my blog now. I still don't know what I'm doing. Do you know who I am yet?


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