Monday, February 28, 2011

Committing American Cultural Blasphemy - Turning Off The TV

Can be purchased here at Amazon.

A scandalous thought for the last post of the month.  Turning off the TV forever

I have just finished Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander which presents this radical idea, and I gotta tell you, it's one of the greatest books I have read in a long time. I have long believed that television is one of the key culprits in the demise of humanity and this book confirmed these beliefs and then some.  Television distorts reality, screws around with your brain and can quite easily become a means of thought control.  Scary stuff.

Here's a brief but very interesting synopsis of the conclusions found here.  The link will take you to the Orthodox Christian Information Center, but the book itself is non-religious and written by a man born into the Jewish faith.

In my own personal musings I often wondered if people's unhappiness and general discontent with their daily lives was based on their comparisons on what television would have them believe a "happy" life really is.  Real life is mundane, television life is not.  It cannot be or you wouldn't watch.  The sole job of advertisers is to sell you products, to make you believe that what you don't possess is the real reason you are unhappy. And, for whatever reason, we believe it.  We have created a nightmare of a society based on consumerism and the constant arousal of a flickering television that jumps from one scene to the next creating what Mander calls "Artificial Unusualness".  It's madness!  Sheer absurdity!   It is impossible to emulate the life advertisers and television programmers present to us as reality.  I personally know of marriages that have fallen apart because either one or both spouses lived in this fantasy world and held insane expectations of what their lives "should be" which was never based on reality.  Like I said, life is mundane, it does not move at the speed of television.  We go through long periods of routine, something that television will not portray.  I believe that routine is not bad, but actually ideal.  If I am not focusing on material acquisitions or whether or not "my needs" are being met at every waking moment I can focus on other people, which surprise, surprise, is one of the primary messages of the Gospel of Christ.  Sounds like television may be a type of Antichrist.  Food for thought for sure.    

So, as we are rapidly approaching Great Lent in the Orthodox Christian Church (one week from today to be exact!), maybe a 7 week kibosh on television watching is in order. Do you think you could do it?  Or at least cut back?  I know I will.  I think I may have mentioned it before in another post, but I would rather live in reality than delusion. It should be obvious that television is a source of delusion that implants false ideas that we passively accept whether we realize it or not.

Read the book. Do it for yourself, your children, for the sake of the human race. 

Wow, that was one hell of a rant...see you in March!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

*News Flash* Science Exam at Last Judgment CANCELED!

The Little Colorado River - Greer, AZ

This second post will continue with my love of the natural world and take head on the debate



It is the opinion of this blog that if there was ever a complete waste of time, it is this argument.  We are here in 2011. What is the point of arguing over whether the earth is just several thousands of years old or millions of years old and evolved over time?  Especially if you are a Christian...

Have ALL the hungry and thirsty been taken care of?
Have ALL naked been clothed?
Have ALL the strangers been given a place to stay?
Have ALL the sick and those in prison been visited?

If you answered "no" to any of the above questions, then perhaps your (and my) spare time would be better spent elsewhere instead of arguing the age of the earth et al, especially if your full time job is not one of scientist. (See Matthew 25:31-46)   Just to be safe, I did a keyword search at and I could not locate anywhere that there was going to be a science exam at the Last Judgment.  Phew!  Like I don't have other things to worry about...

Seriously though, I don't think answering one way or another proves or disproves the existence of God which seems to be the real end result people seek.  I'm not saying we should ignore the natural sciences or not delve into the mysteries of the universe.  We should! It's awesome!  How amazing is it to look out into the skies on a dark starry night and feel so small and humbled and ponder infinity? Or to feel a rushing stream through your fingers and think about the wonder of water?!  I do believe that God is the creator of everything visible and invisible, but how He worked out the details, I have no definitive answer.  In my 4+ decades on this planet I have found that "I don't know" is an honest response therefore perfectly acceptable.    

At any rate, I would like to direct your attention to a very good podcast series by Fr. Thomas Hopko about Charles Darwin.  If you think Darwin is a cad then this isn't for you.  Some of the podcasts (there are 17 in this series) focus on Darwin's life, some of them talk about natural science and the Bible, and some of them go a little off topic and meander into other areas.   The series is available on iTunes, under Ancient Faith Radio, Speaking the Truth in Love or at  To make it easy for you here's a link to first one:

Darwin and Christianity - Part 1

Hope you like it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Antarctica - A Really Cool Place (pun intended)

February's posts will be unofficially filed under "Things That Trina Finds Interesting". It's my birthday this month, so humor me...

First up, Antarctica!

A few months back I stumbled upon the really fascinating documentary Encounters at the End of the World.  This Werner Herzog doc profiles the lives and studies of the people at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica.  Here's the short trailer just to give you an idea.


It's a brilliant film containing insanely crazy footage of extraordinary human beings and God's unbelievably magnificent creation.   When I finished watching the film, I immediately watched it again. 

Did you know that there is a frozen sturgeon at the mathematically precise true South Pole?  Get it?  A frozen fish supporting the entire world?  Fish = Jesus. (The Greek anagram for 'Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior' spells fish in Greek) To me this was completely symbolic of Jesus Christ supporting the whole planet. For the record, that's a connection I made, not the filmmakers.   This doc was not about God, although several of the people interviewed certainly had spiritual *thoughts* about their environment.  For me though, I tend to see God in everything.

As a warning, you may not agree with some of the conclusions drawn by the scientists.  Not a big deal really.  I loved this doc mostly for the human element...the searching and the contemplating.  Human beings are so complex and full of wonder.  I will never fully understand why most people waste their lives in pursuit of "same-ness".  

I'll close this post with another clip from the documentary.  It is a brief interview with a construction worker and it gives you an idea of the sort of person that would choose to live and work in such an inhospitable  environment.  As this gentleman explains it, he "fell in love with the world."