wednesday 2002-10-02 0603 last modified 2002-10-02 0610
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I still don't like television, but I managed to catch a good fraction from The Civil War series by Ken Burns. I think I'll buy it some time. I'd been really wanting to buy an Abraham Lincoln biography, and watching Burns' series was the final factor in making that purchase. Television can be redeeming when it informs and instructs (Food TV!), but most of it is just commercial or drivel.

"Use phyllo dough, which you buy and you do not try to make yourself. Only if you live in Mesopotamia - or something, I don't know - would you be able to, and then you'd be doing it for your entire life" - one of the two fat ladies on Two Fat Ladies. Do you wonder why they call themselves that when they go through what looks to be at least one pound of butter per recipe?

I took up running yesterday. Except I'm so out of shape that I couldn't quite make a mile. Not only that, but my lower half is sore. Cze says it's because part of the run I took is uphill. But does that explain why my ankles, calves, quads, hamstrings, and butt are all sore? I think the total lack of true running for the past seven years has taken its toll. And I used to have such a good vertical, too.

Speaking of commercials, I saw one for Jaguar today. "I will own a Jaguar," four white people arrogantly declare to the camera, one eventually shown hugging the hood of his vehicle. That's just too much truth in advertising. Is there really a stereotype that Jag owners are rich, snooty, cardigan-wearing, wire-frame glasses-equipped, and all white? I don't know, it's hard to tell when the manufacturer makes its commercials specifically for that set of people. It's like an Aryan upper class boys club, with one girl thrown in for fair representation. Jaguar is now on my list of crappy companies, together with Microsoft, Martha Stewart Omnimedia, and the Hollywood Cartel. You go ahead and make it absolutely clear that rich people are the only ones who matter.

How do you communicate with people who don't listen? I mean, the most enticing option is to bring out the clue stick and knock some sense into their heads. But some of them wear firearms and badges, so you can't really do that without mortal risk and some terrific misunderstandings. Most MIT employees are jerks. Why on earth did I have to go and become one? I hope I don't turn into the freaks I've met over the past four years. It's like being incomprehensibly rude or incompetent is a required medical precondition for employment. Some people slip through the cracks, like the occasional professor, TA, LCS HR rep, LCS secretary, or CopyTech meister. They must have faked their physicals. Yes, many things about MIT made me rather unhappy today. The job was fine, it's nice being back in a familiar setting with good people. It's everything else that stank.

But I guess anger can be a rather poor way to be an ambassador of Christ in this world. True, anger can be the right thing sometimes, like when the downtrodden are disrespected even further (cough Jaguar cough). Letting the petty things and sometimes the not-so-petty things go, meditating on ultimate forgiveness, remembering that people are still people and God's own creation, refusing to dwell on their and my hurt and hoping for their healing - maybe that's the better way.

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