Thursday, August 16, 2012

Birthday Games, Weddings and Other Stuff I Don't Get...

OK, this post is going to run the gamut... I know not what you will make of it. Let's see, shall we?

First, today was my birthday, so let's just get that out of the way. Went to work, did a killer workout with my trainer Markshane in the afternoon, and then had dinner with the family at a nearby restaurant. Then I updated my blog. OK, that last part, at this point, is more of a prediction, since who knows? I did just start writing it, you know! I may not finish this!

Anyway, highlights of the day include trying to answer everybody that wished me happy birthday on Facebook, and trying yet again, in vain, to beat Bob at Words With Friends. I've probably played him a dozen times so far, and have yet to even come close to beating him. Which is odd, because word games are my thing, and everyone else I've played I have beaten soundly. Took me a few games to beat Havah, but the rest of the time, I have little trouble, winning 95% of the time... except with Bob. I know he thinks I suck at the game! I have my excuses, of course, but still...

Anyway, that's moot.

Bottom line, it was a low-key uneventful birthday, which was just fine this year - as opposed to the last two years, where my birthday was a huge deal to me. This year, meh.

Time to break all this text up with a funny video... NOTE: You will likely not watch all 30 minutes of this video, I know. Still, a few minutes will be enough, I won't be offended...

Reggie Watts is my kind of weird. He's smart, quirky, amusing, and crazy talented, in a way that I not only will never be, but would never even think to be.

OK, next...

In 2 days, my Eldest Daughter and her husband will be having their wedding ceremony. Yes, you remember right, they are, in fact, already married. They tied the knot in front of a justice of the peace back in June. But they also wanted to have a ceremony, with a dress and brides maids, and food and (most importantly, to Eldest) a chance to take professional wedding photos. So we've dressed up the back yard at my mother's house, and we're having about 35 people -- close family from both sides, and a few closest friends -- up Saturday evening. Mother-In-Law flew out this week, so she can be there. Anyway, when I get a few pics, I'll post them here.

Funny Picture time...


OK, so the last post I made, I proposed a theological conundrum about Christians saying "that should have been me" on the cross, and the idea of being "born condemned". I appreciate the feedback I got, and still hunger for more, if you're up for it. The conversation slid into "faith vs works", which is always a fun topic for me, though I'm not sure it really dealt with the topic to hand. I was trying to understand the logic behind the two concepts I mentioned in the first sentence of this paragraph. I'm not quite content with the fallback response of "God moves in mysterious ways, His ways are above our ways, we aren't supposed to understand, just believe." Don't get me wrong, nobody said that in the comments, but militating against that was one of the reasons I went ahead and wrote the post in the first place. I feel like the traditional understanding of the gospel may be missing a few pieces. I'd like to think the gospel is something we're supposed to understand and be able to explain... "born condemned" doesn't make sense to me...

Another video for you. Saw this one on Bits and Pieces today. This guy does food reviews from the inside of his car. In this episode, he reviews a burger/fries from Five Guys Burgers near his house.

I enjoy characters like that. I'll check out some of his other vids, for sure.

I've started working out with my trainer Markshane again, which is awesome. Yes, it makes me feel vain. I like to feel strong and healthy, and that soreness I feel for a day or two after a good workout makes me feel strong and healthy. I'm combining it with modifying my diet (a la the Four Hour Body "Slow Carb" diet by Tim Ferriss) and I feel great. What can I say? The workout regimen we've embarked upon is supposed to add muscle weight quickly, but only really works if one consumes enough protein. So far so good. I'll be the Incredible Hulk before I know it! OK, fine, I'll still be a lumbering white nerd, but one that is in somewhat better shape.

And now, the blog post takes a weird turn... I'm going to talk briefly about Hitler and the Holocaust.

Here's what's odd... I know the last thing you want to read about is Hitler/The Holocaust, but I *really* want to talk about it. If I talk about it briefly, to spare you discomfort, I run the risk of over-simplifying it and incurring your annoyance. If I talk in too much detail, I will lose your interest, if I haven't already. Let me try in one short paragraph, to explain why I want to talk about it, and summarize what I want to say. Bear with me.

I've read books, watched documentaries, and contemplated the Holocaust since high school, and for the life of me, I could never, never, NEVER understand how on EARTH so many people could be convinced to do something so unfathomably horrible. I mean, it boggles my mind and so thoroughly saddens me that it defies my ability to describe it. I could never put it together. The best I could come up with was that Hitler was simply an evil man possessed of an off-the-charts ability to convince people that he was worth following, ideologically, even if it destroyed them and the whole country of Germany in the process, and resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of people. It did NOT make sense.

So much for one paragraph...

So I watched a 6-part BBC documentary on the history of Auschwitz, hoping to glean new insights, but was left feeling the same thing: unbearable sadness and a renewed realization that I still could see no logic in how or why it happened. And then I watched a German-made documentary from 1989 called The Architecture of Doom and was shocked to have all of the pieces fall into place. I get it now. I've had bits and pieces of it arranged in my brain, like an unsolvable jigsaw on a table, since high school -- and the pieces all flew into place. That's the ONLY reason I'm bringing it up here, now, in this odd blog post. The feeling of epiphany was almost overwhelming - it really rocked me. So much so, I'm still pondering it, days later, and have watched the 2-hour documentary again twice since. I had no idea it would be so important for me to understand something that huge, that has eluded my understanding for so many years.

And it is unnerving. Not because I agree with him now - just the opposite. But I suppose in the same way you might understand the mind of an abusive spouse, an adulterer, a pedophile, a serial killer, any person that finds it acceptable to behave in a way that is thoroughly repulsive... to get a clear glimpse into the mindset that would find that behavior acceptable... and to see the strange logic to it... unnerving is an understatement.

Perhaps the most powerful photograph ever taken. On the back was handwritten "the last jew in Vinnitsa"...

How can this happen? I think I get it now. And it scares me. And to try and summarize it here could only be received as trivialization. I won't do it. If you have NetFlix and the subject interests you, and you have the stomach, and are ok with subtitles, The Architecture of Doom is on Watch Instantly. There are also thorough reviews of the doc available, if you want to read before watching.

OK, so I told you this post would run the gamut. I didn't even cover everything I wanted to cover - but that last topic wrung me out, like I knew it would.

If you read this far, thank you for your patience. Perhaps my goofiness will kick in again soon.

Dave the Somber


Anonymous said...

I love the hamburger I'm seriously craving some fries and I can't get any! :(((

And the baby/ice cream photo made me guffaw. Don't you just love that word?

I'm curious about the Holocaust post, but honestly don't have the heart to sit through that documentary right now. I also don't have NetFlix, so that kind of decides it for me. But I'm glad you had your epiphany ~ they matter.


Drydoryssus said...

Happy Birthday Dave!

Saw the BBC documentary too.
The particular mindset that caused all that resides deep in the human soul. Born by insecurity and fueled by harsh times, it takes less than a Hitler to awaken it.
We're never too far from finding ourselves in such a photo as the above, in either group.
And that's what's truly frightening.

Anonymous said...

I think it's self preservation. Protecting ourselves, our money, our family, and our stuff.

The only way not to become part of something so heinous is to die to our self-will. Otherwise we'll start by making small concessions here, a few more there, and the next thing we know, we're the cooked frog in the pot of boiling water.