Tag Archive: star trek


Sometimes two sides of a vociferous argument can both be right.

A silly [but true] example could be someone from Americaland arguing that mayonnaise is horrible [i have lived here for three years and am still to find one i find overly edible]

Whereas, having tasted South African mayo, and especially the no name brand big jar version, i might argue that mayonnaise is incredible.

We would both be telling the truth in terms of our understanding of the word ‘mayonnaise’ simply because our practical and experiential understanding of the word is so completely different.

That is an inconsequential and silly example though as it is purely subjective on my part in terms of my feelings towards mayonnaise.

But hopefully it still conveys the message of the idea that two people might have a completely opposing and contradictory sounding argument that might still be completely true to each individual based on their understanding of the words being used to make the point

THE WORDS ARE IMPORTANT

I have had two very frustrating [multiple] conversations recently with people arguing so strongly against me on some issue, while clearly having a very different understanding of the meaning/concept we were arguing about.

[And by “Conversations” I, of course, mean Facebook comment stream back-and-forths. Eye-roll!]

At times it felt somewhat like me saying, “I am a huge fan of Star Wars” and the protagonist responding with, “No, Star Trek is useless!”

Your point MAY OR MAY NOT be completely valid, but your opinion is completely unhelpful in this conversation where we are talking about completely different things [oh and if a Trekkie hears you assuming it’s the same as Star Wars they will beat. your. ass. up.]

EXAMPLE ONE: GOD AND THE CHURCH

A fine example of this comes up again and again with christianity and God and church-related things which is why so many followers of Jesus continually look for new names for themselves [christian, no believer, no follower, no child of God… etc] because sometimes we don’t identify with the people using the same name.

I touched on that in this post which looked at the idea of ‘The God you don’t believe in is not the same God i believe in.’ 

The extreme, and easy, example to use as reference in this is the Westboro Baptist i hesitate to call them church, but you know the ones whose website is GodHatesFags.com and who celebrate when soldiers die and who picket, well just about everything it seems.

When i meet someone who says ‘I don’t believe in God’ and i ask why and she says, ‘Oh because look at Westboro Baptist church and all the stuff they do. If that is the God you believe in, I don’t want to have anything to do with that.’ Well my response to her is , ‘What a coincidence. Me neither. I don’t want to have anything to do with a God that is characterised by hate and celebration of people doomed to hell.’

And it happens with church as well – i do love the broader definition of church being the people of God doing the things of God and seeing in His Kingdom on earth. But there are many church congregations and leaders that do things that make me want to step away and distance myself and when people say they don’t believe in church, there are a lot of times when i hear them on that.

Which is why i always challenge people to study Jesus – if you go face to face with Jesus and walk away disappointed and uninterested then that is a totally different story from you walking away from someone else’s depiction of God or someone’s [or a group of someones] depiction of the church.

FURTHER EXAMPLES

RAPE CULTURE – i take a closer look at the idea and issue of ‘Rape Culture’ and what you can do to make a difference.

WHITE PRIVILEGEi take a closer look at the idea and issues related to ‘White Privilege’ and invite your engagement.

Women across the world and people affected by apartheid in South Africa [and other places of course] have been deeply affected and possibly the best thing we can do, or at least one of the first things, is to listen and try to understand so we can have any hope of moving forwards. But so many people seem to trip over the ideas that these terms can conjure up and so instead of sensitivity and listening and vulnerability and empathy, we are faced with defensiveness and reaction and blame and walls and a complete lack of listening.

Sometimes we really need to lace up another man’s boots and get the feel of them, before we can formulate any kind of helpful response at all.

Do you have the smallest bit of space in you to be able to listen to what is being said BEFORE you form your opinion and response?

Do you have the capacity to try and hear the entirety of an argument or story, even if it contains words or phrases that make you uncomfortable or want to react or lash out or defend?

As the person who is not the person who is/was marginalised, do you honestly believe that you can legitimately tell them how they feel or what they’ve been through? Or refuse any longer to give them a chance to do the speaking and telling us how it was/is and might be…

 

umbrellas and colourAnother week means another round-up of the blog posts that inhabited my other blog, ‘The Weekly Mash [and Peace!]’ and the chance to catch up with any of them you may have missed out on:

Monday was a combination of funny mixed with satire in the area of social justice as we got to see a video of the non-profit organisation whose mission is to get a blender into the hand of every African.

Tuesday was a combination of articles that caught my attention with the highlight probably being well-known Star Trek and X-Men actor Patrick Stewart demonstrating strong sensitivity and connection at a meeting as he reaches out to a victim of domestic abuse.

Wednesday is a lot better than it sounds as we watched a video clip of a woman with a nail in her forehead – also a bit of a satirical piece and some really good relationship advice in the area of when to listen and when to speak. 

This week finished powerfully and full of challenge as Thursday revisited the old cartoon strip I saw years ago of two men trying to figure out why God doesn’t get more involved  in the affairs of the world and an idea of what His response might be.

Friday took a look at the craziness of people who call themselves ‘Christian’ and give a satisfying answer to that old kid’s quandary of “Oh yeah? Well if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”

 

[For last week’s round-up which included inspirational runners, the big gas man, Nachtmusik and slow kissing, click here]

 

it is here less

so it’s finally over

i remember when it was announced that south africa would be hosting the soccer world cup and countdowns of four years or more and then 300 days and finally a few weeks and then it was tomorrow…

we missed a large portion of the group games due to being on a namibia namrocking trip but we got to watch the opening ceremony and game in a restaurant called amazink in kayamandi township [where i used to live before i got married] with a completely diverse crowd with such spirit and life which was a complete vibe

we missed south africa/uruguay (namibia) but got back in time to watch a heartbreakingly close SA/french game which at half time looked headed towards the 4-0 we needed to progress – then my buddy dunc took me to watch netherlands/cameroon live at the cape town stadium, after watching slovakia take italy out at a packed quay 4 complete with orange saturated vibe in the afternoon before the game

and then tbV, Reegs, Muscle-John and myself did the fan walk which was a complete crazy exciting buzz (yes, and vibe|) and watched netherlands take out uruguay at on broadway

and finally back to amazink for the final with some okes from enGAGE for what i thort was a pretty awful game of soccer and reffing (and the third worst one i watched after france/uruguay and brazil/portugal) and afterwards really thort they should have given the cup to germany or just maybe kept it til the next cup – way too much acting on both sides, some questionable reffing decisions (netherlands missed out on two corners at least) and yellow carding and apart from a few exciting moments and a decent goal from spain, a pretty boring affair after some really quality games leading up to it

south africa proved we can host and did an incredible job which i think the whole world is pretty much agreed on

and so far no sounds of the feared xenophobia so hoping and praying that the hoping and praying has paid off – so much good in terms of unity, bringing people together and nation spirit has happened it would be tragic to lose that now

so well done south africa – brilliant job and bafana bafana you did us proud (agonising equalising goal from mexico on that first nite)

but, having enjoyed it quite a lot, and enjoyed hanging with people, i am relieved and ready for it to be done now

too much worship not directed at or near God – too much focus away from the things in life that count – way too much distraction

“it’s life Jim, but not as we know it” [dr bones, star trek]

aaaaaand….break.

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