Patrol will be taking a brief break to kick off the summer and prepare for a few changes coming our way in the next few months. For the next couple of weeks, I will be traveling to England and Syria for a much-needed break from everything American. (Watch my blog for occasional updates.) In the meantime, we hope you’ll get out and enjoy the sun, and we’ll be back on the air in late June. Thanks for reading—have a great summer!
It's like the fairy tale gone wrong: the King (LeBron James) leads his team (the Cavaliers) and his people (the beloved city of Cleveland) to the best record in the Eastern Conference. Then he sweeps through the first two series in the playoffs winning almost every game by double digits. But it's all a cruel, twisted tragedy if his Cavs don't make it to the NBA Finals.
Well things aren't looking so glamorous in never never land right now. The Cavs are down 3-1 to the Orlando Magic and facing elimination tonight. They've lost 11 out of the last 15 to Orlando and they can't seem to come up with an answer for Howard, Lewis, or Turkoglu. If the Cavs lose tonight, the city of Cleveland as we know it may never be the same. NY papers are already predicting LeBron to NY in 2010. It's not looking good for the already love-starved fans of Cleveland. And it's not to the fault of LeBron. He's averaged around 40 points a game in the series so far, and if it wasn't for his season-saving shot. The Cavs would have been swept right out of the playoffs already.
We open source art, encyclopedias and Twitter tees.. Why not God? In Search Magazine, Sam Kean writes about "open source religion." It's one of those things you finally read about and realize should be far less surprising than it actually is.
Open-source religion is an amalgamation of two ways of thinking about the world. The first is religion, a common set of practices, rituals, and beliefs. It’s as old as the hills, one of the most enduring traits of humankind. The “open source” component is new, an unforeseen consequence of the Internet revolution of the 1990s. It’s a reference to open-source computer code, code that anyone is allowed to rewrite, add to, or delete. …
Adherents of open-source religion note that tradition can calcify into dogma, and if there’s one common trait to people who practice open-source religion, it’s distaste for dogma. Some open-source believers want to found entirely new religions, and some merely want to reinvigorate a mainstream faith. All want to change people’s perceptions of religion from something that’s handed down to them, something they receive, and make religion something people do. All religions evolve, of course, but the tinkering inherent to open-source religions can benefit founders and followers alike, Webster says. “When you share what you learn, you learn better,” he notes, “and the content evolves that much more efficiently.”
In other words, Vote on the virgin birth! Include user input as to whether Jesus is God! Interestingly, the idea seems far less provocative in practice. It doesn't seem to have led to many actual, doctrinal changes yet. People seem to (shockingly!) like ritual and tradition, and practice a religion because they, well, hold to its core beliefs.
The premise is flawed. Think about it.
More weirdly cryptic emails from Derek Webb, this time informing that the conflict with INO is "very real" and "not just about one word" (so we discovered) and that he's "backed into a corner." There's nothing really to say about this other than WTF, so here you go:
this is turning into a bigger deal than we expected. as a result, we're having to temporarily _pull everything online down (can't explain now). and to be on the s_afe side, i'm going to pe_rsonally go offline while we sort this out. i re_ally shouldn't use my twitter account for now either so _don't expect any updates there.
make no m_istake, our trouble with the label over content i_s very real, and not as simple as one word; we're back_ed into a corner. but we have applied all of our creative resources to th_is, working furiou_sly to create something that we believe not only subverts any leg_al issues but should also be a _pretty wild ride.
so this will be the l_ast email for a while. we'll t_ry to lea_k information via a new tw_itter account, @ssyndrome. you're o_n your own so start payin_g attention. i'l_l see you _on the o_ther side-
I just found out I live in the least free state in America, according to a George Mason University study that ranked freedom in the 50 United States.
The researchers rated fiscal policy (spending and taxation), regulatory policy (labor and health insurance, eminent domain, tort, land and environmental regulations), and paternalism (alcohol, tobacco, gambling, gun control, education regulations) in each state. New Hampshire, Colorado, and South Dakota ranked first in freedom, while New York came in dead last.
I usually think of freedom as an abstract ideal. It’s counterintuitive to think of freedom as something tangible and quantifiable, so it made me wonder whether I feel less free, or if my freedom is so elusive and easily lost that I haven’t noticed it’s gone.
Well, I’m not paying federal income taxes this year, but I am paying New York income tax. The cost of public transportation is going up, from $2 a ride to $2.25. We had a $17.7 billion 2009-2010 budget gap, the largest in state history, a gap I will pay for if I stick around. I already pay 8.75 percent in sales tax, and the mayor wants to increase that to 8.875 percent. And everything is more expensive before the sales tax, from iced coffee to fingernail clippers.
I don’t always think of the source of these high costs, but some of it is due to the onerous regulations the GMU researchers measure. When I am not the businessman dealing with business regulations, I think I’m free. But his loss of freedom affects my economic freedom.
Good morning and happy TV finale week! As the shows head off to their summer homes and the graduates to their parents’ basements to wait out the recession, our thoughts of nice spring things and vacations can officially begin. It’s a media-heavy Monday update this week because New York Times columnists have been being naughty, and icy, famous editors have come out in public to thaw. But stick around for the happy video at the end!
Maureen Dowd’s Sunday column plagiarized a paragraph from a post on Talking Points Memo about the timeline of torture and Iraq. The Times has issued a correction online, and, in an email to the Huffington Post, Dowd admitted that the “line” came from a conversation with a friend, who she didn’t know had taken it from TPM. But that hardly explains how the TPM writer’s entire paragraph appeared word-for-word in her column without attribution. Whatever happened here, MoDo definitely has it coming.
Also in acidic female journalist news, Vogue editrix Anna Wintour posed for 60 Minutes last night and explained, in her rarely-heard half-British, half-American accent, why she wears her sunglasses (“they’re armor”) and why she might, in fact, be a bitch (“if requiring excellence makes me a bitch, perhaps I am.”)
Pakistan is loading up on nuclear weapons faster than we can blink (shite!), and yet, incredibly, someone in the government—or a lot of someones—were considering giving them “billions” in military aid. What on earth is going on here?
The country survived graduation weekend without any major incidents: the President spoke at Notre Dame, where he talked about abortion and kind of admitted the divisions over it are irreconcilable. And wearing a metallic red cap and gown, Bristol Palin walked across the stage at Wasilla High School and collected her diploma. She finished with a 3.497 grade-point average. No word on Levi.
Speaking of abortion, the weekend news was filled with disclosures of conservatives’ no-longer-so-secret plans to block the President’s potential Supreme Court nominees. Gay marriage, several Republican senators said, has replaced abortion as the “flash point” of the confirmation hearings, and they plan to use the spectacle to encourage donations and unite the party.
23-year-old Alexander Rybak, universally and awkwardly described as a “boyish, fiddle-wielding Norwegian singer,” won Eurovision, the world’s biggest song competition held in Moscow on Saturday. A colossal event famous for its dramatic performances, stunts and pyrotechnics, was Eurovision was briefly visited by gay-rights protesters before Moscow police rounded them up. Rybak’s song “Fairytale,” which he performed while fiddling and dancing, took the top honor.
A first look at this week’s magazines: New York’s cover story, by the always-amazing Sam Anderson, is a defense of distraction; The New Yorker has looks into Justice John Roberts’ stealthy judicial activism and an item on Todd Palin’s awkwardness; Newsweek debuts its new format with an exclusive interview with President Obama; the Weekly Standard profiles former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who’s now running to be the next Republican governor of California.
Finally, we’re to the good part: this morning’s start-your-day video, a collaboration of Andrew Bird, comic book artist Chris Ware, and This American Life: the animated musical adventure of Quimby the Mouse and his strange pet … head.
This blog's idle speculation that Derek Webb's new album might be held up by the s-word seems to have gotten around to pretty much everywhere. And from what we've been able to gather from a couple of people who have heard live versions of the song, it criticizes Christian treatment of gays and does, in fact, include the word "shit." Problem is, we haven't heard it ourselves, so unfortunately no lyrics are around to be quoted. (Yet.) If you happen to recall the lyrics of the song or have a recorded copy of it, send it to us ASAP.
Most of the response on the interwebs has been supportive (see the excessive number of comments on our last post) of whatever Derek he decides to do, even if it's putting "shit" on a Christian record. Several of you made the astute point that it's hardly heroic to present yourself as a martyr over swear words when you're on a Christian label, because you, um, kind of know they're not going to go for that. It'd also be rather childish to make a scene just to get the freedom to curse. But most of us give Derek more credit than that; while a little less self-seriousness might be good here, I think the subject matter of this song is serious enough to be called "important," even if he does say so himself.
- No public Twitter messages.
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