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About mererdog

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  1. Yep. Also a rare example of a joke that is told almost exclusively in a classroom setting. The first time I heard it, my creative writing instructor was explaining why "It really happened" is not the same as "It sounds realistic." Part of his argument revolved around the whole "reading him his rights" thing. In real life, getting arrested doesn't work like it does in the movies, but the movie version has become so ingrained in our collective unconscious that a more realistic depiction just looks wrong, and keeps most people from following the plot....
  2. In case anyone didn't get the "blue brick" reference.
  3. All story-telling requires the use of an internal logic. While the characters and plot may make no sense in terms of the real world, they must make sense within the context of the story, or it creates those blue bricks that are impossible to see past. "Long works, in particular, require considerable formal organization, and so Dante relies on Aquinas and Catholic theology to structure his vision of the afterlife, just as Victor Hugo and Tolstoy embed powerful discourses about history inThe Hunchback of Notre Dame and War and Peace. Similarly, Yeats’s late poetry turns on the detailed cosmology he elaborates in A Visionwhile Robert Graves’s best love poems celebrate the somber mythos of The White Goddess: 'There is one story and one story only.' Sometimes the writers truly believe in these various systems, sometimes the systems merely serve as useful architectural blueprints to produce original and coherent works of art. Of course, what matters most is that the resulting novel or poem, through its use of such theoretical struts and joists, can somehow do an even better job than usual of, say, breaking our hearts." - Michael Dirda
  4. Does it follow as a necessary conclusion to what I said?
  5. No. I was answering a logic problem. Making excuses would require making a lot of value judgements that I am not making.
  6. An obvious answer is that humans change. A parent treats a child differently when it becomes an adult. Not because the parent is different, but because the child is. Make sense? A more commonly cited explanation is that God has been working a long term plan, and we have simply moved into a new phase of it.
  7. To legislislate religious education is to legislate religious practice. To credential religious education is to establish religious standards. These things are unconstitutional government acts in the US.
  8. The same differences of opinion about what is a real degree exist about what is a real ordination. The whole "the authority I recognise is the only real authority" notion is extremely prevalent....
  9. Funny thing about that... 1984 is chiefly about how control of information leads to control of people. The protagonist learns about the whole eternal war plan from The Book. We later learn that The Book was given to the protagonist by one of Big Brother's ubdercover agents. Is The Book really what it purports to be? Is the information within accurate, or just more Big Brother propaganda designed to root out and control traitors? In a world where all information has been controlled for so long, is there any way to know what is true, if you can't literally reach out and touch it?
  10. That is the primary belief of the ULC. If you do not agree, why are you here?
  11. I get you. Personally, I have strong opinions on the good or bad of it. I know I may be wrong, I may be right, or it may be one of those subjects where there is no real right or wrong. But I believe I am right, just the same. My conscience is a very loud voice. It may turn out to be the voice of some sort of a drunken idiot, but oh boy is it hard to ignore...
  12. Yep. And you don't get perpetual warfare without perpetual fear, because you can't sell bullets to people who don't think they need bullets. So the boogeyman is always under your bed and the barbarians are always at the gate. You shouldn't sleep because you dare not close your eyes. Eternal vigilance is a good thing, right?
  13. I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, it makes sense to rejoice anytime someone's suffering is lessened or someone's joy is increased. But it is dangerous to congratulate people for being less horrible than they used to be. "You used to rape every day, but now you only do it on the weekends! Great job!" Perfect is the enemy of good enough, and good enough is the enemy of better. So how do you motivate improvement?
  14. Because the War On Drugs involves actual combat. You know, armed groups attempting to kill one another. It isn't just a turn of phrase, it is a real war. At this point, casualty rates are probably higher than Vietnam, if we could add them all up.