i have converted

i'm now on wordpress. i will probably not write on this blogger anymore.

you can find my new blog (with all my old posts) at


and yes... she may post every now and again (but who knows?)

class today

we were talking about the super-rich, the elite of society in my sociology class today. wasps, as they were once called, "white anglo saxon protestants." they are those who've not only struck it rich, but also have the "class" to pull it off.

there was some serious judgement in the class about these people, about how they're so isolated in their bubbles and they probably don't take the time to see the "other" and get to know them for who they are. they're primarily disconnected from everyone else, so they have a tainted view of reality.

i thought this was incredibly true, but i wasn't going to let it just apply to them. most every american would define themselves as middle class. it's a term so convoluted, i'm not even sure if i'm middle class anymore. now the middle class is just as homogenous as the elite of society are. they stay in their little bubble as well, if they're not trying to move up.

but isn't it hypocritical to say that the elite are stuck in a bubble when we are too? they have no capacity to move up much more (although they would argue the opposite) and would never dream of moving down. we strive for the same thing. the "american dream." it's never enough. we can never get enough. but in all of this, we think it's bad to descend the ladder.

i brought up shane claiborne in the class, and his friends at the simple way and the potter house. i talked about meeting with him and talking with him and his friend chris this past summer, and how incredible it was that they decided to give up "the dream" to hang out with the poorest of the poor in america and serve them.

NO ONE SEEMED TO CARE. this is a sociology class. people are supposed to care. sociology for me is not just an academic pursuit, it requires us to get our hands dirty... especially since we're encountering some nitty-gritty stuff.

we continued our talk about social closure and examples of exclusion within society. some examples of exclusion were:
- private property ownership (most prominent)
- credentialism, e.g. "diploma disease"
- inheritance

we talked about how these things are institutional and interactional. they happen both on a personal level and on a structural level. they happen when we interact with our peers and when our classes interact.

someone brought up the question: "how would it be possible to live outside of all this?"

i raised my hand and said it's a choice. the professor kind of brushed my answer off to the side by saying that we don't actually get to determine much about our lives, etc. (sociologically, this is true) and how in our american culture, we typically play the choice card far too much. but i wasn't having it. the class talked a little bit more about it and i had to disagree.

"i'm sorry, but i really disagree with that. it's not true. we have a choice."

i explained that i can choose to continue chasing wealth and a better lifestyle, but i don't have to. that ultimately IS up to me. i brought up shane again. i brought up the fact that when we live in community, we dispel exclusion. when we include others, we dispel exclusion.

now that i've been ruminating on it a little more, i've been able to condense it down to it's most simple form:

we can choose to love. love is a choice! it may be easier for some people. it may come more naturally for some, and more learned for others. but it's our choice whether or not we choose to love. we can give to all the charities in the world, we can start the greatest movement in the world, we can die for our cause, but if we don't have love, we have nothing. without love, we have nothing.

as a christian, i look to the beginning of all things and realise they were good. i see now that God's creation is marred. we are built with the image of God -who is love- inside us, we are capable of choosing to love, but so often, we'll choose not too. but at least -like my pastor says- we've fallen from somewhere. when we see something that once worked well and now doesn't, we are made aware that it can be made well. it can return to how it originally was.

and so the word was made flesh and dwelt among us. and it was incredible! he taught us how to live, with love unlike any other, because he is God, and was able to live perfectly. his name is jesus. he came to reconcile all things. he'll come again one day to restore all things. we are invited to participate in that restoration now... he's shown us it's possible. he laid his very life down so it would be possible. so many things were accomplished through the death of the Christ... but they were made even more complete in his resurrection. death was defeated. debts were paid. and so, we join with him in fixing a broken world, at least until he comes back and finishes the job.

there's so much we're capable of. it's insane. but we limit ourselves so much... i see evidence of it all the time in my sociology classes. "that seems like a good idea, but it isn't possible." or we don't even try to ask the questions with difficult answers. we read all our theories and stories, we read about how to be more politically correct and have a proper view of the poor, but when's the last time we hung out with poor people. do we use it as bragging rights, maybe to boost our community service or volunteer hours, or do we do it because we love people and we want to see change happen in the world around us?

today's class was so concerned with the elite and changing the system. every great social movement has started from the bottom. in fact, it starts (usually) with the people that have the potential to make up the largest part of the population if they join together. aka: middle class. what if the middle class woke up and realised one day that it's not about the 9-5? that there's something better...

what if we were able to wrap our hearts and minds around the fact that change doesn't come from constantine, but it comes from us washing each others' feet. what if we actually obeyed, and decided to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and we loved our neighbour as ourselves. then we'd see some difference!

thanks for reading. :)


i've been on a long line of video posts recently. but i've been finding some different stuff recently...

on writing

ray bradbury

on kanye west

on entry 27 of my 99things blog i talked a little bit about going on a road trip and the idea i had about how music might be obtained and listened to. i'd like to talk more about this concept.

the road trip would rest its shoulders primarily on the premise of borrowed music. we would start off the trip with a cd borrowed from one of our friends. during the course of listening to the cd, however long we may choose to have it in play, we would write about things transpired on the trip. we would send the contents of that writing back to the person along with the cd they let us borrow. we would then find a new cd. this process would continue through the entirety of the trip. it could be a lot of fun.

let's eat

i don't really understand this phrase:

save a cow, eat a vegetarian

other than the fact that it makes for an easy bumper sticker since the words are so easily defined and recognizable, there isn't much logic behind it.

in our culture, the best way we can defend animals from those who would normally eat them is to keep them as pets. when people see that they are intelligent and relational - they make good pets - they will be less likely to eat them. in fact, the more human we perceive something to be, the less likely we are to kill it or eat it. the whole process of keeping something as a pet increases its humanness.

we give them names.
we nurture them as toddlers.
we make them dinner.
sometimes we have their friends over for dinner.
we give them baths.
we trim their nails.
we buy them gifts, and not only on holidays.
we take them to the doctor.
we talk to them.
we spend time with them.
we grow old with them.
they become our companions.

we even ask questions like, "do dogs go to heaven?" i rarely hear the question asked about factory farmed cows or chickens...

eventually i'll have a convincing ethical argument for vegetarianism. it'll probably shoulder itself on the question, "why don't we eat our pets?"


tonight is fourty degrees, but it feels warm and beautiful. the snow is finally melting away, and i hear word that there's more to come tomorrow night into wednesday. getting around on campus is difficult in the snow, but the romantic side of me says it's worth it. we'll see if it can win the practical side over.

i made three bean soup with adrienne a few nights ago. it's delicious and garlicky. when we first made it, i felt like it had too much broth, but now after a few days, it's thickened up a bit, and it's probably some of the best soup i've ever had. i think i'll make more at some point.

since the snow has melted i can do my laundry. i'm currently in the process. from my kitchen window i heard voices, and when i saw three people on the frozen pond in my front yard, i made a funny face at them then stepped outside. three kids, from taller to very short were playing. they laughed and called me mister. i told them i didn't own the pond, and if they were careful they could play on it as much as they wanted to.

on saturday, joe went out with lauren. his car was in the driveway when i got home late that night, so i assumed he was in bed sleeping. when i woke up the next morning early early, i was as quiet as possible, locked the doors, and drove to church for practice. i got back late that night too, and the car was in the driveway. i woke up this morning, quickly wondered why joe's shower didn't wake me up like it does on most mondays, got ready and went outside the house to start up my car. joe's was still in the driveway. "that's odd," i thought. he has class before me on mondays. i checked his room. no joe. i checked the garage. no joe. hmph... i wonder where my housemate is. i had to get to class, so i left, and in the process of the day, i forgot joe was missing. somewhere in the middle i remembered, so i texted his girlfriend. "hey, where's my roommate?"

he forgot his keys in the house when they went out.

what's the kicker though?

the front door has been unlocked the whole time!


i haven't posted in awhile

goffman works because no one actually "is" anything. they are only playing roles. this is where i believe macintyre's claim falls short. if there actually were such a thing as doctor or teacher, rather than a performance in the first place, than macintyre would be dead on to say that masquerading reality would actually be possible. people are successful in their roles only up to the level that they are successful in performing them.

while the confidence man may be able to trick people into thinking he is a doctor, he is not a as successful a doctor, even if he were to complete his tasks with greater efficiency, as the man who went through medical school. the difference is that they man who went through medical school and took all the socially correct avenues towards becoming a doctor puts on a much better performance than the one who fakes everything, even if the man faking everything is able to convince everyone, including himself.

in theatre, a performer must step into the role she is playing. she must live it with every breath in order that when the day comes, she may convince the argument that she is not an actress, but rather the person she is playing. this is the same for the doctor. a person must live their life as a doctor in every way until they finally come to the point where they have to convince the audience that they are indeed a doctor. even after obtaining the appropriate credentials, the performance is still necessary.

please tell me you've seen this...

my birthday song

this song was number one on the charts on my birthday.


forever young

if they don't play this at my wedding, i'll be disappointed
everyone's out crabbing, or something. what i know is they went off to the lighthouse to get mussels and they'll be using them to catch crabs. in light of their decision, i've decided to stay here. something about having a whole bucketful dumped on my back when i was younger created an irrational fear. the part it being an irrational fear is the fact that it never actually happened. it was a dream. so i'm staying at the house because i don't like crabs.


it's been fun being here. were staying with mikes parents.

today we went on. day trip, we drove to Carmel with my patents to visit some beautiful spots overlooking the ocean. we went to a village there and got the best salt pretzel I've ever had. it tasted like it was baked with sweetbread. were going on another daytrip tomorrow.

I guess we weresupposed to go to a mountain house, but they got FIVE feet of snow. guess that plan died. it's fun to bop around on short trips either way.

I've gotten a little homesick being here, mostly because I enjoy having my own space, and I miss some friends. it's been great being able to be with adrienne so much, its such a special time for us.

anyways, hope all is well with you all.



i'm engaged. so is adrienne. if i ever find him, i'll kill him.

i said that yesterday...

now there's about 16 broken mirrors and my hand is bleeding.

at a protest

this protest sign caught my attention.

ecclesiates 10:19
A feast is made for laughter,
and wine makes life merry,
but money is the answer for everything.

i'm famous

or infamous. whichever you prefer. but onto the original intent of this message. i love it in television shows when i spot an actor wearing clothes i own, or clothes from gap... cuz they're one in the same. anywho, check it out ya'll.

domo domo


i haven't done a lot of posting on this blog because i've been doing a lot of writing for my other blog recently.

the semester is coming to a close... i still have a lot of stuff to do, and procrastination is oh so sweet.

life in technicolor ii

the video may or may not go down in the future, but youtube search it or buy the album. i'm really digging it... it's great without the lyrics, but i enjoy having something to sing along with. :)

civil religion

i wrote this essay in the beginning of november about american civil religion. there's a lot more i could expound on... and probably will in the future, but for now, i think it's a decent base. the first paragraph is about an illustration we had to write something "sensibly sociological" about.

The illustration from PostSecret, which reads: “I pretend to be religious because I want my life to have meaning,” speaks volumes to living within the nomos, the need to feel meaningful ongoingness in the face of meaninglessness, and externalization. There is also a corollary statement: “I pretend my life has meaning because I want to be religious,” which should also be considered because it speaks of the human-conceived cosmos as something that requires alienation in order for theodicy to offer explanation of the cosmos, which serves as a guardian against anomy, and promotes world maintenance to sustain the nomos.

Bellah places significance on the locations Kennedy chooses to reference God in his speech: in the two opening paragraphs and in the closing paragraph, which he argues provides “a sort of frame for more concrete remarks that form the middle part of the speech.” The references are found in many presidential pronouncements. Because they are not usually found in the draft stages, it is safe to assume they are added later, thereby bringing to the forefront that it is not part of the president’s agenda to push private religious belief, but rather demonstrates the saturation of civil religion.

Entering into Berger’s shade under The Sacred Canopy, one senses that there is a need for meaningful ongoingness in the face of meaninglessness. In response, Bellah states, “Though the will of the people as expressed in the majority vote is carefully institutionalized as the operative source of political authority, it is deprived of an ultimate significance. The will of the people is not itself the criterion of right and wrong. There is a higher criterion in terms of which this will can be judged; it is possible that the people may be wrong. The president’s obligation extends to the higher criterion.” (Emphasis added) The will of the masses is deprived of ultimate significance and it is the president’s duty to point to a higher criterion of significance. Uniquely, the presidential role provides allegory for theodicy: “the dimension of political life as recognized by Kennedy not only provides a grounding for the rights of man that makes any form of political absolutism illegitimate, it also provides a transcendent goal for the political process.” (Emphasis added)

The sacred text of the cosmos, the Declaration of Independence, is the fuel of presidential theodicy, witnessed through Jefferson: “All the political sentiments I entertain have been drawn, so far as I have been able to draw them, from the sentiments which originated in and were given to the world from this Hall. I have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.” In fact, Bellah points out that the declaration mentions God four times: first, “’Laws of nature and of Nature’s God’ that entitle any people to be independent.” Second, “all men ‘are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights.’ Here Jefferson is locating the fundamental legitimacy of the new nation in a conception of ‘higher law’ that is itself based on both classical natural law and biblical religion.” He goes on to talk about the constitution saying that God will both “protect the divine Providence,” and judge the world for its actions. More accurately, the Declaration of Independence is theodicy, and the president is a physical embodiment of that theodicy. A theodicy with feet.

Starting with the president as the theodicy with feet, other parts of the metaphor must naturally follow, namely, the cosmos and the nomos. The nomos of civil religion consists of individuals who, while they may participate to a small extent in the exercise of government, they are very much a part of every day civilian life, influenced by governmental changes. The government in civil religion plays the part of a “sub”-cosmos. While they recognize that there is a higher authority governing them, Kennedy referenced in his speech, they operate as a sub-cosmos underneath the greater cosmos.

Take for example, the cosmos-given rituals of the nomos: Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Independence Day. The annual practice of these rituals gives light to the ongoingness of the nomos. When disaster strikes, these rituals say planted as beacons of hope that everything will go back to the way it should be. The most interesting note to point out about these rituals is that they were created, just as the seats of power in government. The individuals of the nomos collectively forget what they had created, and exist to provide function for. These rituals work because of alienation.

Civil religion is a religion, not because of the beliefs and rituals contained within it, but rather because it fits into the explanation of what religion does: it provides comfort in the face of shattering events through world maintenance.