Friday, February 15, 2013


My friend Ben told me I needed more tension in my writing and thus I should write about monkeys. I'm still not sure I get what he means, but who knows, I'll try it.
I don't particularly care for monkeys, and never really have. Perhaps it's something about their similarities to humans yet differences. Or maybe because they don't look very soft. Little monkeys that are less brown and such are more tolerable to me. (I really don't pay much attention to all the different types of monkeys)
However, I also find monkeys a useful analogy for when I think things aren't going very well. For instance, when a place (such as the institution I currently am under) does things that seem as if all higher order thinking has been abandoned, I generally will say the place is run by monkeys. Monkeys have enough abilities to make things function, but lack the higher order thinking skills to decide that some things should perhaps be better organized or even thought through. This is not to say that I think the people working in such places are themselves monkeys and not humans, just that under everything else there must be monkeys. Maybe these monkeys only come out at night and hide under people's desks during the day. I'm not really sure how it works, but to me this is the only logical explanation when there are no logical explanations happening. (I'm a concrete rational thinker as long as we're in either a concrete or rational realm, but when we leave concrete I often go random)
So I also don't care for the monkey exhibits in zoos, nor do I care for stuffed monkeys or toy monkeys or monkey anything. I also abhor bananas, so I find this an appropriate connection. There is nothing good about a banana. Blech. æsj. (that's a fun Norwegian word I learned that means ick) Sometimes I wonder if there's some deep psychological tension or distress or disparity that leads me to my dislike of monkeys. Maybe I have some disconnect in my psyche about humanity and what it means to be human and thus a monkey triggers that. I dunno, I made all that up. But it could happen, I suppose.
I'm fairly certain I did not accomplish the goal or idea Ben had when he said I should write about monkeys, but the moral of this story is that a monkey (in any form, fashion, or state of being) is not a good gift for me and not really a way to try to make friends. Now you know. Take your monkeys elsewhere.
I do like the word monkey wrench though. Because that's a wrench, and I don't know what it has to do with monkeys. It rolls off the tongue nicely, and I like wrenches because they are useful.
Okay, Ben, how did I do? Totally off base?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

It sure ain't easy

Yesterday and today I was in a series of meetings that had to deal with some serious issues in an organization. The saddest part about all of it is that these things didn't have to happen, but through a series of factors they did. Because of some decisions that were not carefully made, because of oversights, and because of lacking skill sets and perhaps a bit of pride that didn't allow asking for help these things got out of hand. A few people kept sweeping things under the rug so that help was not found soon enough and now a whole lot more people, many who even tried to warn of impending disaster, or at least tried to raise issues are now going to suffer consequences that, to be frank, aren't fair. The saddest part, I think, is that, really, no one wins now. There will just be a lot of loss. This is not to say that the future beyond this hurt does not hold a lot of promise and potential, and a lot of things have been and are still being learned from this. Also, things like this happen more often than we'd like, and that too makes me sad. So I was glad to see the seriousness, the sadness, and the good work of the people at the meeting today, but I still wish we could all be more careful so that these things don't have to happen. Because they don't have to happen. This may forever be my plea to the world. Please, please think about what you are doing, and if you don't know, and it's something big, please ask someone. And may peace, mercy, and grace carry us through these hard times.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

musings on The X Files

I decided to write my Ethics paper about the X Files (specifically CSM) and Bonhoeffer. This meant I had to rewatch some episodes because it's been over a year since I've watched any. I also had some new revelations in some of the episodes where I realized some of the things that happened made more sense. I also decided that the aliens also watched the X Files and decided too many people knew about their plans for recolonization, which is why they decided not to come back on Dec. 22 after all.
Because I was specifically paying attention to character motive while I watched these episodes, I felt somewhat more involved with the characters, and never could decide if I felt sorry for CSM or just think he's slimy and twisted. He has sacrificed his entire life to his work on the Project, his work with the Syndicate, and his quest for power. He believes, really, in neither good nor evil but merely might and survival. The one that manipulates best wins, the one who plays the game best wins, and at the same time he is lonely and and somewhat of a coward. He knows so much more than most, and believes it is his responsibility to keep it that way. He may be right about most people not being equipped to handle all this information, but when highly classified information is maintained among the types that are typically drawn to such secrecy and seclusion, the blood trail is surely close behind (literally or figuratively).
Bonhoeffer struggled with some of these issues. He became privy to information that was not widely known, and he also had to face the responsibility that comes with that. The difference between Bonhoeffer and CSM is their allegiances and their trust in something greater than themselves. To CSM, there was no God, only aliens, and his highest allegiance was to his country and his survival. Bonhoeffer put his faith in Christ as his highest allegiance, and thus, in some ways, shares a role with Mulder in his attempts to expose the truth and change the course of history.
We don't all get put in a place where we learn things we have to deal with the way Bonhoeffer did, but we still make choices every day based on our highest ideals and what they represent. What do our choices convey about our deepest allegiances?