Archive for April, 2004

I’m Back To Save The Universe

Saturday, April 24th, 2004

I spent last night doing the best stuff in the world. Firstly, fiancé and I cleaned the kitchen and cooked. By cooked of course, I mean she prepared the meal and I cheered her on with encouraging slogans. “No food till finished!” “Determined eating improves lives!” “That chilli be ill! I shall eat my fill!” and other slogans which I can’t share here because they could be exploited to work the proletariat into a feverous excitement that leads to revolution. Jamie Oliver would be crowned king.

Then the female housemate unit came home from work. She doesn’t really work because she is a PhD student but it is good to flatter these eggheads now and again. She finished a paper for a conference in Austria before arriving home so she was buoyant and carrying dessert. Result! We consumed the delicious chilli in huge American sized portions and then we got down to the busy task of wasting a Friday night on a personals site.

Admittedly, there was some funfair action and a little b-movie watching and even some renditions of Beatles songs but the night shall now be known as the OKCupid night.

It turns out that my fiancé is hot shit because she had a dozen responses to her silly little ad. My work of genius was ignored. She tried to reassure me by saying things like, “Guys are more desperate than girls, who are less likely to initiate contact in these things.” Seeing as all I am looking for is a penpal (how pathetic a sentence is this shaping up to be?) this advice takes on a distinctly size-doesn’t-matter tone.

There is something a little distressing about seeing people you recognise on the internet where you didn’t expect them. I know Ireland is a small place and I am willing to believe The Man when he says that Dublin is even smaller but we saw two people in our quick browse who we were aware existed before we found OKCupid. You go through the stages of recognition.

“Is that--”
“No, it can’t be. Her nose isn’t that big.”
“Wait! It is her. They are her initials and she is the only person who ever did that degree who knows that the internet exists.”

And then the fun is over and you all have to click on to another boring Irish girl’s personal. Go check this yourself. Search for Irish respondents. The guys are often hilarious. Their pictures are ridiculous, the tag-lines surreal and the content is side-splitting. Even if it isn’t, at least it is syntactically correct. Capitals are used appropriately and full-stops play their role with 100% dedication. Yet the girls all talk in some psuedo-txt-spk and trail sentences off and then out of nowhere ambush you with four exclamation points in a row.

I mean they are trying to attract attention. They can stick up a small photo but that can’t do them justice so it takes second place to the text you submit for your little ad thing. (I could have a go at their monotonous photos too- debs shots and webcams all round then folks? Grand.) Yet so many of them say things like,
”all my freinds say Im mad n spontaneous-- da 1st thing u notice about me is my loud voice, im alwayz drunk !!!”

First of all, this is total balls. You aren’t always drunk. You are an Irish student so statistically you are likely to binge drink once every fortnight, shit yourself on the way home and promise that you’ll never go to that weird nightclub again that won’t play Kylie. I didn’t notice your loud voice. I noticed your functional illiteracy. You are slowly teaching me through Pavlov methods to ignore all Irish girls. Once again readers, through the use of empirical evidence, I have proven the supremacy of Christian girls over non-Christian girls in Ireland. They may be a bit too naïve and they all dress as if fashion never existed but at least their moral alarms would go off if they tried to write “sentences” like that. ‘gTis a crime.

My level of alarm over my fiancé’s popularity with internet men is only lessened by the knowledge that these men don’t exist. I continue to discover great things about her many years into our “agreement” and I shall continue to share them with you, the non-existent web reader. Fiancé enjoys a specific kind of bread but housemates buy two different types. Her innovative solution to this morning time issue (everything is an issue in the morning) was to create a rhyme.

“Red and white my delight,
Green and brown make me frown.”

I found OKCupid from a link off of erstwhile. If I was a real blogger I would always reference my links but I am a selfish and secretive man and I want to keep the good parts of the internet for the cool people.

What does a cannibal call a phone book?
A menu.

Your Correspondent, With Homemade Jeers

TV Burnt A Hole In Everything I Love

Friday, April 23rd, 2004

I used to email everyone alot last year when I was a computer science student and lived at my computer and slept underneath my desk and ate nothing but baked beans which I heated over a little portable Bunsen burner that I smuggled into the lab and hid from the balding security men. Those were the days. I never realised that switching to “Humanities” would involve a painful transplantation to a world of contact with other people instead of computers, a drought of any good web links from my lecturers who it seems use the internet like they use a toothbrush- because society expects it of them and long stretches where I am expected to take notes in tutorials and lectures instead of just downloading the slides or the mp3. I’m telling you, the only thing that is keeping me going is the comforting feeling I get when a fellow student or a lecturer use a piece of many-syllabled jargon to justify their expensive and time consuming study of post-structuralism. In sociology and theology it is as it was in computer science. We don’t have patterns or trends, we have paradigms. That blasted word. Theology is life a safe and welcoming (but very frigidly chaste) bosom to a computer scientist because when in doubt, speak a foreign language. If the plebs are beginning to understand you, drop in a phrase of Latin or a Greek noun where the English would have sufficed. The real show-offs half speak in German if teaching about a theologian and in French if lecturing on a philosopher (or a dog).

Now, if you are my friend, you are lucky if I string together paragraphs. This is deplorable. I am meant to be developing all kinds of literacy skills that make you all jealous. I can analyse text like the bomb. Ain’t no mofo who can research archived material like me. I read Joyce for the sake of all that is God but not quite divine! I should be leaving emails in your inbox entirely written in streams of consciousness. If I were getting my money’s worth I would be making new words up like meta-structural-ortho-ontological theology. But instead I am worrying about whether I can write fairly about Protestants in Northern Ireland without letting my prejudices come out. That isn’t sociology damnit. Where is the blatant disregard for faulty assumptions? What about the conscious dismissal of conflicts of interest? Why can’t I do isogesis with a clearer conscience?

If I were really imbibing my graduate course I would haughtily and arrogantly assure you that “Programming, Science, Objectivity. I shall fly by these nets!” and not give a crap if you didn’t get the reference (even though Bloomsday is coming up). Instead I will finish up neatly with an observation anyone can appreciate and go read some fiction without criticising it from a lesbian-feminist-Marxist-Irish nationalist-Christian perspective.

On my way to work I have to pass by the YMCA and some genius has grafittied the wall. It reads:

“Fuck you. Be nice.”

Your Correspondent, Who Makes Your World Turn Round

Tonight We Can Be As One

Wednesday, April 21st, 2004

So just so I don’t forget this I want to turn the entry you are reading into a theological index card. I have too many things to write about at the moment on this space. There was the trip to Hungary and the conference in Dublin and my fiancé on the radio and my laptop breaking and the Ethiopian spiritual leader and maybe I’ll get around to that but not right now.

Now I want to tell you about September 28th 2003. On that fateful day I pulled strings so that my fiancé would be out dancing. Back then she wasn’t my fiancé see? I could still call her my girlfriend without people going “Ha ha, don’t you mean fiancé? Ha ha!”

I broke into her house with my spare keys (which isn’t actually breaking in at all) and began to prepare the most ambitious meal of my life. It was peppers with stuff in them and cream and salsa and it was very delicious and very stressful. There were flowers on the table, fresh lilies and candles and some delicious rosé wine the way she likes it. There was also some kick ass juice because we associate fruit juice with special occasions- fast food junkies that we are. Placed on her dinner mat was a happy meal with toy, for the first ever gift I gave her was in a McDonalds and was a Winnie The Pooh Happy Meal toy. Finally, there was a CD playing the most important songs that we have as a couple.

She came in. I got down on my knees, took the ring out of my pocket and asked her to marry me.

She said yes in amongst the tears of happiness that were turning her into a little girly girl at this, one of the most decisive moments of her life.

I invited her to join me for the rest of her days. I invited her to accept my offer of servanthood and loyalty. I invited her to stick with me through thick and thin.

And she said yes.

But I was reading Max Lucado recently and he made the point that Jesus is constantly waiting at people’s doors. He wants to be invited in. Read the Gospels. Jesus actually spent His life and God spends most of the Bible, inviting us into a relationship with Him.

Instead of responding like my fiancé did, with spontaneous and passionate tears of joy, we respond with apathy. Imagine how you would feel if you loved someone desperately and wanted to dedicate everything you had to them but every time you tried to talk to them about it they brushed you off? Imagine how wrong and awful a behaviour that would be?

Yet that is what we do with God. He breaks into our life and asks us to marry Him and we say, “Well, its not that I am opposed to marriage. I mean, marriage has been in my families for decades. My parents were married, my uncle is married-- even my best friend is married! But you see, I don’t think marriage is for me. Its very good for society Jesus. Marriage to you makes people better- I believe that. But maybe come back to me next week. Lets see, how does Thursday sound? Thursday morning we’ll make time to think this over. No wait, Thursday won’t be good. How about you ring me when you know that you are free and I’ll get back to you. No, no, I’m serious. I believe that marriage is very important for society and I can’t say that I’ve never been tempted by the security it offers people but right now I can’t commit. Sorry, there’s the phone. Let yourself out, will you--.?”

We don’t even give time to deliberate on the question. In the face of the most sincere invitation to love and to union we will ever receive, we push Him out and leave Him in the cold. We promise ourselves we’ll think about that later when we are not so busy and stressed but that never happens and so we never listen to His case even though He is always waiting to deliver it.

Your Correspondent, Who Can Close His Eyes and Make That Go Away

The Return and Its Anti-Climax.

Tuesday, April 20th, 2004

Just links for you. But the greatest links man has ever known!

The hilarity of the parody of Mel Gibson’s father is delicious and long lasting.

An atheist with a serious chip on his shoulders about Christians (including !) but very funny.

Spot a liar.

The best short journal in the world.

The Lying Bastards. (Trademark GW Bush’s Government 2000 – 2004).

And finally, the greatest colouring book ever. Or at least since the official A-Team one published in 1986.

-Your Correspondent, Meant To Be At The Gym.