Tuesday, June 7, 2011

“FAMOUS DOGS OF THE CIVIL WAR” – Part 2 (Or, “DYLAN’S CHRISTIAN CONVERSION: A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE?”)

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Fate: …3. that which is inevitably predetermined; destiny: Death is our ineluctable fate. 4. a prophetic declaration of what must be: The oracle pronounced their fate.
~ Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary

Do we have free will? Or is everything foreordained by God? How can a God know our every decision in advance unless our decisions were Divinely preprogrammed? But how then could there be free will?

Or . . . is there another possibility?

There are a number of people who idolize the singer Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman) to such a degree that they are sometimes referred to as “Dylanologists”. These people analyze every lyric Dylan ever wrote, they read all the books about him, they contemplate his every burp, and they pretty much go through life asking, “What Would Dylan Do?”

That’s not me. I ain’t no Dylanologist, even though I admit to having a strange fascination with the man entirely because of his extraordinary songwriting talent and because, as I’ve often said, his music pretty much taught me how to think creatively.

In very early 1993, I got the idea to write some kind of a poem-like thing. I wanted to write a free-form, non-rhyming poem in which the title was considerably longer than the poem itself. I’m certainly not saying that the end result was good but I believe it was an original idea, and one I doubt seriously I would have ever imagined had I not learned to open up my mind to unique creative ideas as a result of listening to songs like “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” many years earlier.

The title of my poem-thing was:

BELIEVING THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT IT MIGHT NOT LIVE UP TO ITS WORLD RENOWNED REPUTATION, I AM UNWILLING TO PART WITH MY EXTREMELY HARD-EARNED AND DISMALLY MEAGER FUNDS IN ORDER TO PURCHASE THE TICKET REQUIRED TO GAIN ADMITTANCE TO THE CIRCUS THAT HAS COME TO TOWN.

And the poem itself went like this:

Life looks interesting
Passing by my window day and night
I’d join in
But it might be cold outside

Did that seem nonsensical? Actually, it really had a message to convey – regardless of whether or not it was conveyed effectively.

The “Circus” in the title is meant to represent life itself, and the subject of the poem is our reluctance to fully live life because we fear the pain we might experience while living “xtremely”. We fear spending our funds (i.e., investing our energy and taking chances) on a Circus (i.e., a life) that might ultimately hurt or disappoint us. So we just stay indoors and watch others live their lives while they pass by our "window", or across our TV screens, or in the pages of the books we read.

Not great poetry, obviously, but I did have something to say and believe I found a creative way of saying it, thanks in part to the music of Bob Dylan.

I don’t believe I would like Dylan on a personal level, but from time to time I do think about him and what he’s written. And I have thought about his conversion to Christianity in 1978. I think I may have an orginal idea about Dylan’s religious experience and if you’ll hang in here with me, you may find it raises some intriguing questions . . .

Here’s a bit of background info borrowed from the “Slow Train Coming” Wikipedia page:

Dylan was in good spirits, according to his own account. "I was doing fine. I had come a long way in just the year we were on the road [in 1978]." This would change on November 17th in San Diego, California. As Clinton Heylin reports, "the show itself was proving to be very physically demanding, but then, he perhaps reasoned, he'd played a gig in Montreal a month earlier with a temperature of 105."


"Towards the end of the show someone out in the crowd...knew I wasn't feeling too well," recalled Dylan in a 1979 interview. "I think they could see that. And they threw a silver cross on the stage. Now usually I don't pick things up in front of the stage. Once in a while I do. Sometimes I don't. But I looked down at that cross. I said, 'I gotta pick that up.' So I picked up the cross and I put it in my pocket...And I brought it backstage and I brought it with me to the next town, which was out in Arizona...I was feeling even worse than I'd felt when I was in San Diego. I said, 'Well, I need something tonight.' I didn't know what it was. I was used to all kinds of things. I said, 'I need something tonight that I didn't have before.' And I looked in my pocket and I had this cross."


Dylan believed he had experienced a vision of Christ in his Tucson hotel room. "Jesus did appear to me as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords," he'd later say. "There was a presence in the room that couldn't have been anybody but Jesus...Jesus put his hand on me. It was a physical thing. I felt it. I felt it all over me. I felt my whole body tremble. The glory of the Lord knocked me down and picked me up."
. . .

"[Dylan's] conversion wasn't one of those things that happens when an alcoholic goes to Alcoholics Anonymous," David Mansfield, one of Dylan's band members and fellow-born-again Christian, would later say. "The simplest explanation is that he had a very profound experience which answered certain lifelong issues for him."

In 1965, on the heels of his “Bringing It All Back Home” album release, but prior to the recording of the “Highway 61 Revisited” album – which was released later that same year – Bob Dylan played a series of late April/early May concerts in England. That tour was famously preserved in the legendary D.A. Pennebaker film “Don’t Look Back”.

There is one portion of that documentary that I find exceedingly intriguing: Dylan is being interviewd by a throng of journalists. At one point, a young female carries on a brief, whispered, semi-secret conversation with Bob Dylan. In the DVD set’s accompanying booklet she is referred to simply as “Girl Reporter”, but to be more specific, she was in fact Maureen Cleave of the ‘London Evening Standard’.

Here’s what was said in 1965, followed by a video showing the actual exchange:

Girl Reporter: [Leans over and whispers to Dylan.] “Do you ever read the Bible?”
Bob Dylan: “What about the Bible?”

Girl Reporter: “Do you ever read the Bible?”
Bob Dylan: “Um . . .  no.”

Girl Reporter: “Have you read it?”
Bob Dylan: “Have I ever? I’ve glanced through it…”

Girl Reporter: “Because you see, a lot of the things you say…”
Bob Dylan: “I’ve glanced through it. I haven’t read it.”

And that’s how the conversation ended because Dylan seemed uneager to follow that line of questioning and he turned his attention to other matters in the room.

Here’s the video of that exchange:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxUXd8wt3ng

Remember now, this was prior to the recording of songs like “Highway 61 Revisited” which begins with the lines, “Oh God said to Abraham, ‘Kill me a son’. Abe says, ‘Man, you must be puttin’ me on’” and other songs with clear Biblical references. It was also 13 years prior to Dylan’s conversion to Christianity.

Granted there were allusions to The Bible in earlier songs, such as “Gates Of Eden” etc., but in my opinion, it was fairly perceptive of “Girl Reporter” Maureen Cleave to have discerned the religious thread that could be found woven into many of Dylan’s earliest songs. And it also begs the question, did she somehow instinctively suspect that times they were a-changin’ for Bob Dylan in some sort of spiritual sense?






















And now we’ve arrived at my original observation. Well, I seriously doubt it’s too original; some of the Dylanologists must have noticed this before, but I have never seen or heard it mentioned anywhere:

In 1978, Bob Dylan had his religious experience and converted to Christianity. The following year he released his first album of Christian music titled “SLOW TRAIN COMING”. I believe it’s almost a given that the train symbol is meant to express the idea that the “Second Coming” of Jesus Christ is just up around the bend. And Christ may be coming “slowly”, but He’s also coming with the unstoppable force and power of a train. It may have also been a reference to the “Gospel train” in the traditional spiritual “If I Got My Ticket”.

But awhile back I was reading through the liner notes that Dylan wrote for his 1965 album “Highway 61 Revisited”. The notes are just some crazy, seemingly nonsensical story and I think a person would have to be flying on the magic peyote carpet of many colors to make heads or tails out of it. However, something he referred to three different times in those liner notes (3 = Father, Son & Holy Spirit?) really knocked me on the noggin. Remember now, this was 1965 – 13 years before Dylan’s Christian conversion and the release of the “Slow Train Coming” album!

The story begins like this:
“On the slow train time does not interfere…

Not long later we encounter this:
“…she points to the slow train & prays for rain and for time to interfere -”

And toward the end we encounter this:
“the songs on this specific record are not so much songs but rather exercises in tonal breath control… the subject matter – tho meaningless as it is – has something to do with the beautiful strangers… the beautiful strangers, Vivaldi’s green jacket & the holy slow train”.

“The holy slow train”? What was Dylan referring to in '65? Did he himself even know? When he recorded his first Christian album 13 years later, “Slow Train Coming”, did he even remember his reference to a “holy slow train” in his “Highway 61 Revisited” album liner notes? It seems to me that something hard to explain was at work throughout Dylan’s professional life. I sense that perhaps there was something more than meets the eye - something occurring behind the scenes - in all of this.

Was Bob Dylan’s conversion to Christianity merely a simple twist of fate? Did he really have a choice? Was it decreed by God that Dylan embrace God’s Son even before Robert Allen Zimmerman was born in Duluth, Minnesota on May 24, 1941?

In the final installment of this series, I will take a brief look at Biblical prophecy and propose a theory I developed years ago which might explain how it is possible for all of us to have absolute free will while it’s simultaneously possible for God to know in advance very precisely every decision we will make.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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44 comments:

Sheboyganboy 6 said...

I am not a Dylan person by any means, but this was a very interesting bb to me. I was aware of his conversion, but this was all new material.

Your scrutiny and connection of the liner notes and later events make for a pretty good case.

Looking forward to part three.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

MR. SHEBOYGANBOY SIX ~
Thanks, Brotherman!

>>...Your scrutiny and connection of the liner notes and later events make for a pretty good case.

Sometimes I do a little thinking when I'm not sleeping or passed out. Or drinking.

Yeah, I know that's an unproductive activity which I really ought to give up. "Thinking", I mean.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

OhJessie said...

LOL Mr. McCarthy.

"So we just stay indoors and watch others live their lives while they pass by our "window", or across our TV screens, or in the pages of the books we read."

Aw, I suppose, but you know, there's something to be said for sittin' here watching the wheels go round and round...I really love to watch them roll.

"it was fairly perceptive of “Girl Reporter” Maureen Cleave to have discerned the religious thread that could be found woven into many of Dylan’s earliest songs"

I understand, but didn't most children of his age go to Sunday school? Most kids were biblically literate because of it, at least in the sense of knowing many of the basic stories (the same is not true today, and it's scary thinking of what that means for the future). I'm just saying it's not much of a stretch to hear that he knew about Abraham and Isaac, and whatever other standards he referred to. It's milk.

The conversion is interesting. I'm thinking, though, of Peter, who saw the risen, glorified Christ in person, but was told, "We have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you would do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."

Continued...

OhJessie said...

In other words, scripture interprets experience.

There's the road to Emmaus, where Jesus opened up the scriptures to the 2 lonely disciples. Their hearts burned in them, but more importantly Moses and the Prophets were opened to them. The more sure word.

There's Paul, who was caught up to the third heaven but forbidden to even speak of what he saw. The experience didn't give him extra credibility; that's gained through searching the scriptures like the Bereans.

Now all this is not to say an experience is false, so don't imply that. It is to remind us to ground ourselves when thinking about such things. I do hope he was grounded; don't know much about the man. (I'm thinking you're going to get there.)

The Second Coming aspect is very interesting, I don't know much about him regarding that either. Looking forward to it.

But the whole point was free will versus predestination? RU kidding me? LOL - you sure go for the gusto. Leave it to you to pick something that's been debated for thousands of years. Arminian versus what, Calvinist? Jeez, I don't always remember all the words. Ok, I don't think I have the strength for this one right now. Can we maybe say I'm not Arminian and I'm not a 5-point Calvinist? If it's supralapsarian versus infralapsarian, I tend towards supra or maybe even sub (haha! I remembered the words!) but I also don't fight over it. I may state my case, but even that isn't...jeez, it's not...definitive? See, after much thought metaphysically I lean towards God's full sovereignty but us having free agency because of the added aspect of TIME, within which God isn't limited. It's our freedom, this time thing. Yet not one of us can control the big things - you can't choose to be born or the circumstances of your birth, you may be able to kill yourself but you can not draw breath an extra day beyond when your life is finally taken from you. So our free will is rather overrated. I'd say "free agency". And God using and arranging circumstances is Providence (quite rarely a miracle).

Or you could do what J. Vernon McGee did, and say "BOTH free will and sovereignty exist, and I can't explain it, but they do." As the years go by I'm tempted to leave it there most times rather than debate people who are clearly Christians and feel differently than me. If they exhibit fruits of scripture, knowing the word, I know whose they are, so why argue about that particular thing? (Some people do try to argue it, not just state their understanding of it.)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

JESSIE ~
HUH?
WHA-?!


Oh, wait, I know what you're doing, and I can do that too, ya know:

There shall in that time be rumors of things going astray... uhm... and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia-work base, that has an attachment. At that time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer, and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before, about eight o'clock.

See? Anyone can do it, even me.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

POSTSCRIPT:
>>..."Ok, I don't think I have the strength for this one right now."

Me neither.

But if you had said one more word... just ONE more word! - why, I woulda hauled off and-- Yeah, just ONE more word! Then you'da seen! One more, just ONE more!

OhJessie said...

Aww, what did I say? I didn't even bring UP the raffia.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

JESSIE ~
>>..."I didn't even bring UP the raffia."

And that's another thing!...
you go off all talkin' 'bout prophecy and free will and Calvinists and Hobbes-esque doctrine an' all that and you never once even mention the raffia. You got some nerve, Sister! Don't you think YOU shoulda been the one to bring up the raffia? It was YOUR obligation, not mine! Why are you always ignoring the Raffiaites?... I mean, when you're not persecuting them, that is.

Well, we'll let it pass this time, but bear it in mind lest I taunt you a second time!

By the way...

Now if you see Saint Annie
Please tell her thanks a lot
I cannot move
My fingers are all in a knot
I don’t have the strength
To get up and take another shot
And my best friend, my doctor
Won’t even say what it is I’ve got

~ Bob Dylan
from "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues"

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

POSTSCRIPT:
Incidentally, I've just been riffing and yankin' yer chain as a way of avoiding discussing this topic too deeply. Like you (and also Bob Dylan) said, "I don't have the strength..."

So, I just started going off and letting my mind wander where it will, culminating in a combination of Monty Python "Life Of Brian" and Jackie Mason's "The World According To Me" Broadway show ("just one more word!...") which - I don't care what anyone says - is still the funniest stand-up comedy routine I ever saw.

I figured I oughta come clean about my sources and explain myself lest you decide never to comment on my blogs again. Because then I'd REALLY be up Carp Creek without a yodel!

OhJessie said...

Haha!! Brilliant. And I LOVE Jackie Mason - absolutely LOVE him. He's got a great channel on youtube - The Ultimate Jew. Funny and yet willing to tackle the tough political stuff, what an amazing man.

No worry, I don't mind having my chain yanked and yanking back, and not everything has to be so sober-minded every second anyway. Laughter is a balm. Just don't fart in my general direction, that's the anti-Raffianite's job. (I'm really going to call myself that from now on; it's perfect.) We're both bound to find lots of side avenues in this - being anti-establishment yet Christians as well - it's fertile ground for those kinds of things, don't you think? I'm interested in your take on all of it, it doesn't have to be my take (hell, if two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary, right?) In the meantime while the serious ideas percolate, we enjoy. Works for me.

DiscConnected said...

I just wanted to make sure you knew I caught this little lyrical sampling....


>Was Bob Dylan’s conversion to >Christianity merely a simple >twist of fate?

Remember that Bobby Z was schooled during a time when they actually spoke about things like God and other topics banned by the First Amendment (or at least banned by the yokels who are too dumb to understand the first amendment), so these references do not come as a shocker to me.

Proof of a Christian destiny...maybe, maybe not. But an interesting thought.

Remember-thinking never did nobody no good, but drinkin' makes everything look better. Until you pass out. And the everything is dark.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

DISCDUDE ~
Oh, I know there's no way that wordplay would’ve gotten by YOU. Heck, even the marginal Dylan fans are expected (by me) to catch it.

And I agree with you: I ain't sayin' I've offered proof of anything; I'm just sayin'...

But I do find that reference to a "Holy Slow Train" in his "Highway 61" album notes very interesting. At the same time, the title of his first Christian album may have been a deliberate reference to the liner notes but… he wasn’t a Christian and wasn’t even religious at the time of “Highway 61”, and I question if he even remembered mentioning a “slow train” in those liner notes 13 years later, when he was putting together that first Christian album.

Just a little food for thought, that’s all.

~ D-FensDogg
‘Loyal American Underground’

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

JESSIE ~
Oh! I remember seeing “The Ultimate Jew” mentioned by you. I just didn’t know who it was. PLEASE send me a link. Gotta have it!

I’ve heard a lot of people say that they dislike Jackie Mason (he’s to comedy fans what the Eagles are to Rock fans), but I think most people who say negative things are mostly referring to roles he’s played in movies and not necessarily to his stand-up comedy material.

I saw his guest spot on the old Smothers Brother’s Comedy Hour once, and he was a riot. NOBODY insults audience members better’n Jackie Mason does! He makes Don Rickles look like a wee little piker. And Jackie’s Broadway show was just one great laugh after another…

Music is more important than sex. You, mister, don’t you think music is more important than sex? I mean, for a man your age? … I used to think music was more important than sex. I did. But then I noticed that if I don’t go to a concert for a long time it doesn’t bother me.

WHA!-HA!-HA!

If you don’t think that’s funny, you’d better not go to college!

Anybody who doesn’t think Jackie Mason is funny has no sense of humor (meaning they’re probably a Feminist).

>>…it's fertile ground for those kinds of things, don't you think?

I do think. (Therefore I yam?)

>>…hell, if two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary, right?

That’s a great line. I’ve seen you use it a couple of times. In fact, I quoted it to DiscConnected a week or two ago. You invent it? If not, where’d you get it from? (I’d just like to know who I’m ripping off when I begin using it regularly while claiming to be the creator of it.)

~ D-FensDogg
‘Loyal American Underground’

OhJessie said...

Jackie Mason - voila - http://www.youtube.com/user/TheUltimateJew He had some ancient concert footage up (on Bing Crosby's show?), but it isn't there now. But you never know what he's gonna post. And I'd definitely put him in a different class than Rickles. No offense to Don, they're just a different league.

The line about two people agreeing on everything was stated to me in private about 12 years ago, by a wiser person than myself. At least, he was wiser then than I was - hopefully I have caught up over the years. We both used to write pieces for a now-defunct site; his concerning mainly gun rights, education, the state of children in the modern world, and certain other conservative topics. If I ever run into him again, he will be glad to see that bits of his wisdom are still passed around and used, though I suspect he didn't make it up either. He didn't claim to have made it up; I didn't ask.

An elegant poster, from a more civilized age.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

SHREDDER ~
Thanks much for the Jackie Mason URL! I'm gonna add it to my sidebar link list.

And I'm gonna add that saying about two identical people making one of them unnecessary to my list of favorite quotations. I'll attribute it to that ancient Greek philosopher Anonymous.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Peter said...

Stephen, Slow Train Coming is one of favorite Dylan albums.

I watched John Wayne in True Grit and The Shootist recently. I enjoyed them both, especially the former. His performance in The Shootist is graceful and understated.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Howdy, PETER ~
What's up, my man?

I gotta say, you materialize and dematerialize on my blog almost as quickly as does my friend OL' WP, aka "Mr. Breeze 2". I guess that makes you Mr. Breeze 3. (The original Mr. Breeze was a guy I knew in the 1970s and '80s.)

>>...Slow Train Coming is one of favorite Dylan albums.

One of my very favorites as well; I like every song but one. I've not heard all of Dylan's albums, but a good many of them, and if I were to rate the ones I know in order of preference, it would be "Bringing It All Back Home" head and shoulders above all others, with "Slow Train Coming" or "Blood On The Tracks" second. I suppose it would depend upon my mood at the time. If I want to get fired up and spiritually uplifted, I'd go with "Slow Train"; if I just want to cry a tear in my beer and reflect on romantic relationships that didn't go according to plan, then obviously my choice is "Blood..."

So, as a big fan of "Slow Train", does that mean then that you're a Christian of one stripe or another?

>>...I watched John Wayne in True Grit and The Shootist recently. I enjoyed them both, especially the former. His performance in The Shootist is graceful and understated.

Yep, yep, my thoughts as well. "True Grit" is my very favorite Duke movie, but "The Shootist" follows not far behind. And you chose the perfect words to describe his performance in that last one: graceful and understated.

Although I like the Rooster Cogburn character best, I've always contended that the Duke actually saved his best acting performance for last. There is such nuance to his J.B. Books character; you can really feel his weariness and the humanity of a dying gunfighter who wants to go out with his dignity intact.

I also believe it's one the silver screen's most "naturalistic" performances. He is just so entirely believable and you hardly ever catch him "acting". I've been known to say that anyone who thinks John Wayne wasn't a "real" actor needs to find a way to explain away his performance in "The Shootist".

Hey, Peter, I have a question for ya: I'm just wondering, have you ever been to the U.S.? Or, more specifically, to Los Angeles?

Glad to see you pop in here again! I sometimes wonder: Whatever happened to Peter? Which way did he go? Which way did he go? He was here just a day ago and now he's gone again... with the breeze.
;o)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Peter said...

Yes indeed, Stephen "Bringing it All Back Home" is a great album. One of my favorite songs is on that album. It's "Love Minus Zero/No Limit", a really beautiful love song.
You ask if I am a Christian of one stripe or another. The answer would be yes. But, as you know, it is all too easy to call oneself a Christian. As always in life, the real deal is to be able to walk the talk. Walking the talk is the challenge.
No, Stephen, I have never been the the the U.S. Barack Obama visited Ireland some weeks ago.
Adiós hasta mañana from Mr. Breeze 3. Perhaps grace is as light as the breeze....

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 1 Of 2:

MR. BREEZE 3 (aka PETER) ~
You're still here?
How unusual.
;o)

Yep, it's easy to say one is a Christian, but let someone REALLY attempt to live those principles and see how difficult it is - at least in "this world" anyway.

I don't claim to be a Christian because I can't live up to it, and plus, I hold too many beliefs that are anathema to the Christian church anyway.

The only song on "Bringing It all Back Home" that I don't really dig a lot is "Gates Of Eden". "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" is certainly a good one.

My favorite, however, is "It's Alright, Ma". Brother, sit down some day with a piece of paper and a pencil and numerically write out the rhyming structure of that one - it's freakin' amazing! Not before or since has anyone written a song with a rhyming structure like that!

And that’s even before one begins to appreciate what Dylan says in the song! Really, in my opinion, it’s the most remarkable lyrics ever penned.

>>…My love winks, she does not bother
She knows too much to argue or to judge


Speaking of judges, I was forced to spend the day (one of my two days off from work) at the Superior Court in downtown Phoenix, as a member of the jury pool. I got some reading done, but what a drag.

I did get questioned about one case, but I said the magic words (under oath, and I spoke truthfully, too) and heard the words I longed to hear: “Thank you, Juror number eight, but you are excused. You may go home”. Sweeter words were never spoken.

Now, still speaking of Dylan, and knowing you’re a Western movie fan, let me tell ya something I think is interesting:

In 1971, when I was very young (like 11 or 12), my favorite TV show at that time was a Western called “Alias Smith And Jones”. It only ran a few seasons, and one of the principal characters – in fact, the show’s best, most charismatic actor – Pete Duel, committed suicide at the end of the second season or shortly after the start of the third season.

Over the decades, I kind of forgot about the show. My friend DiscConnected recently told me he purchased all 3 seasons on DVD and I borrowed them from him.

Because I am a huge Western movie fan, I have often been asked what is my favorite TV Western. I had always responded that I don’t especially like any TV Westerns.

So, when I borrowed “Alias Smith And Jones” from my friend, I could scarcely remember anything about the show (two reformed outlaws are trying to go straight in order to gain a pardon from the governor), and I expected I would watch 3 or 4 episodes and return it to him.

WRONG!!!

Continued Below...

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 2 Of 2:

I am now 100% convinced that this was the greatest TV Western ever made! One hour episodes that were clearly inspired by the movie “Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid”, but the concept and the scripts are brilliant! The blonde actor was good although he could have been replaced, but Pete Duel just lights up the TV screen, and it’s no wonder the show was cancelled shortly after he committed sucide and the producers attempted to replace him; he was IRREPLACEABLE!

And I can promise you this much: In 1971, when that was my favorite TV show as an 11 or 12 year old, I was digging it only because it was a Western. The storylines are fabulous, containing multiple plot twists, and I know I wasn’t able to mentally follow these stories when I was that young.

If you’re not familiar with the show, see if you can obtain some episodes. Best TV Western EVER, and nothing else even comes close! The episodes can be funny, serious, convoluted, but are ALWAYS intelligently conceived and totally entertaining. And they had some great guest stars, too.

A week or so ago, I caught what seems to have been a clever, anachronistic reference to a Bob Dylan lyric in one episode. I mentioned it in the comment section of one of DiscConnected’s blogs HERE.

I asked you if you had ever been to the U.S./LOS ANGELES for a reason, and if you reply to this comment, I’ll tell ya why… but I’m all written out for now.

By the way, your age is hard to figure. How old you be?

~ D-FensDogg
‘Loyal American Underground’

Peter said...

Stephen, I fully agree with you apropos Dylan's "It's Alright, Ma". Amazing rhyming structure, and yes indeed, the words are a brilliant commentary on the realities of life. As a matter of fact I was just listening, before I had read your message, to a great live recording of the song. I'm a great listener to song lyrics. Some people just go for the music. Not me. I love the words too.

You chose perhaps my favorite lines from Love Minus Zero:
"My love winks, she does not bother
She knows too much to argue or to judge".

Haven't seen “Alias Smith And Jones”. I can see you like redemption stories.

Speaking of juries, have you seen "Twelve Angry Men"? It's a great film.

How old do you think I be? Am starting to sound like a character from Moby Dick....

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

3-PETE ~
I can’t believe it. Dern near EVERYTHING can now be found at the YouTube website. Hopefully you are not restricted from viewing this, what with being in Ireland an’ all:

I found the (90-minute?) “ALIAS SMITH AND JONES” pilot episode posted in installments at YouTube. HERE is the first 10-minute segment of the pilot. At the end, you should find links to the following portions.

I’m sure you will dig this, even though some of the subsequent episodes are even more entertaining than the pilot.

I’ll reply to the rest of your post soon.

~ D-FensDogg
‘Loyal American Underdog’

OhJessie said...

I think the best Western was Kung Fu. Pilot and season 1, anyway. Of course it's the only Western I've ever been able to sit through.

Anathema to whom, I'm still hoping to learn. As to living up to it...yeah, who can. The ones I meet who can seemingly live up to it have no sense of humor or perspective. And always with arrogances. Only thing I claim to have studied and have sufficient knowledge of is biblical doctrine. But that's not something you scream at people or shred on - it's something you (well, I) state and leave alone unless someone acts like an asshole. And usually only if someone either asks or starts giving their own interpretation that I have reason to know is not correct hermeneutically. See what I did? I didn't let it lie.

OhJessie said...

I didn't mention that I recognize when I'm wrong, as well. Not long ago I had a point, I thought, regarding Adam and Eve, but someone asked an excellent question and led me to go back and take a better look, that it had been a while and I've learned since then. Yes, I was wrong, and when you're wrong (ok, when I am) I say "Well, I learned something today. That was an excellent question."

See, I don't have teeth lol. Teeth are reserved for fools.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

McAnti-Raffianite ~
Until recently rediscovering "ALIAS SMITH AND JONES", I would have agreed with you that Kung Fu was TV’s best Western. I loved it as a kid and I have on my bookshelves a copy of “The Kung Fu Book Of Caine” by Herbie Pilato.

“Be neither brave nor afraid,
but at Peace”.
~ Master Kan

Unfortunately, shortly after the first season, the show just got too weird for me. When he got to battling dragons in his mind and stuffs like that, I lost interest. But for a very short time, it was a cool show.

Even as a kid, I appreciated the nuggets of wisdom almost as much as I did the fight scenes – which one could usually count on seeing two of per episode: one short, minor fight, and one longer, major fight.

>> . . . Anathema to whom, I'm still hoping to learn.

Anathema to pretty much all of mainstream Christianity.

Mark Twain wrote: “Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform”.

I rarely find myself on the side of the majority in almost anything, and the same applies to my beliefs about Jesus, according to how The Spirit interprets The Word of God to me.

It’s never that I set out to be an iconoclast, it just seems to happen naturally, while I am being entirely intellectually honest with myself.

I do believe in traditional Christian/Western morality, but that’s probably where my siding with the majority ends.

The standard, mainstream, “orthodox” Christian doctrine that we have today has remained unchallenged for so long because the same interpretation of Scripture is passed on from generation to generation by seminary after seminary. But just because something has become generally accepted as the standard does not, as I know you know, necessarily make it the truth.

Most Americans believe that 9/11 was perpetrated solely by a group of Islamic nuts, too, but that is found to be patently false when one begins to objectively examine the evidence in an intellectually honest manner.

Most Americans believe there are two main political parties in this country, representing two very different ideologies, and these two parties are at war with one another. A good hard look at the evidence does not support that concept.

Likewise, I believe that many passages from The Bible itself do not support some of our “orthodox”, commonly held Christian doctrine.

For example: I am not a Trinitarian. And I had dismissed the generally agreed upon idea about the Trinity even before – YEARS BEFORE – I read the book “ONE GOD & ONE LORD: Reconsidering The Cornerstone Of The Christian Faith” by Schoenheit, Graeser and Lynn.

There are some verses in The Bible that lead me to believe that PRIOR TO THE RESURRECTION, Jesus was able to materialize and dematerialize at will.

In the weeks ahead, my friend, I hope to post here at “Stuffs” a brief look at some Bible passages that have led me to strongly suspect that when Jesus was here, it wasn’t the first time He had walked this Earth. While it’s not a set-in-stone belief of mine, I do think there is ample Biblical reason to consider the possibility that Jesus had lived at least one life prior on this earth (and perhaps even many prior lifetimes) before coming to us in the form of The Christ.

In other words, I think it’s quite possible that the “Second Coming” will more likely be perhaps as much as the “Thirty-Third” or “Thirty-Fourth” Coming. Well, something along those lines anyway.

Feel free to check back on this blog in the future, and we can discuss it a bit if you’d like to, after I get it composed and posted.

Shredder, I’m now curious… if you don’t mind, what, in a nutshell, was the question pertaining to Adam and Eve that you referred to?

~ D-FensDogg
‘Loyal American Underground’

OhJessie said...

One thing I love about the DVD set of Season 1 is "The Tao of Caine" documentary section. Fascinating. And yes, I too watched it as a kid and loved it. There are definite reasons the show sucked after the first season, not the least of which that Carradine did NOT want to do it anymore. The documentary goes into it.

Ah, very interesting, thank you. One part I like is that we're both turning to scripture for answers and not to a so-called convention. Which right off puts us as having something (else) essential in common.

Ok, the Adam and Eve question - the bible says sin entered the world through one man and one man was the er...the cure?...for sin and death. So when feminists go all wonk-eyed about how misogynistic the bible is and how they just blame everything on Eve, my Agent Orange starts acting up. I somehow had it in mind that the fact that sin entered the world through Adam as meaning that Eve was deceived, not deliberately sinning, and that that mitigated her guilt somehow. The other person asked, very politely, if there were some justification for that, that he hadn't noticed anywhere that being deceived ameliorated one's guilt in a matter, so could I elaborate. Well instead of elaborating, I took a closer look and it would certainly seem that although Eve was deceived, that didn't make her innocent. She still knew she wasn't supposed to do it, even if she didn't understand why. I went back and said I believed he was correct and he started apologizing for himself and I said please don't because I'd far rather know if I'm wrong about something, and that it had been a terrific question. It's not hard to talk to people like that, who are humble, though they probably shouldn't apologize when they're right lol. I'm sure I never do.

I'll be looking forward to your posts, in particular right now why someone would believe Jesus could *not* materialize or dematerialize if he chose to do so. I always rather thought the sovereign god of the universe could do whatever he darn well pleased. For example when the storm came over the boat and the disciples woke him up in a panic. What was cool was how he was just like annoyed by the whole thing - like you woke me up for THAT? Fine! Storm, shut up. There, you happy now?

By the way regarding appearance (which is not an issue except it's interesting), I generally assume he looked...Jewish. Semitic. Not Hamitic (African.) But recently I was reading something and looking at the heiroglyphs in Egypt at the time when he and his family were hiding out there, and they said hiding there would have been impossible for a lighter-skinned, non-black-featured family. (The characteristic of certain nose types and lips as well as a bronze skin color seem to be what the heiroglyphs and sarcophagi indicate were common.) That they would not have been able to hide out among people where they stood out like a sore thumb. Just something to think about. The depictions of a blue-eyed Jesus don't bother me, regardless of accuracy (I don't think we're really supposed to worry about it too much) and I would note that David is described as blond with blue eyes - certainly an uncommon characteristic among the Hebrews, but far from impossible (light can come out of darker, but darker can't really come out of lighter, genetically.)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

JESSIE ~
You seem to have a healthy attitude when it comes to spiritual guestions. And I'm with you: coming to know the Truth is all that's important to me. Naturally, someone cannot study The Bible diligently without developing some ideas about it; some ideas that perhaps are in accord with generally accepted doctrine, and some that might not be in agreement with the overall consensus.

But I don't need to be correct all the time (and who ever is?). If I'm holding any false beliefs and someone can prove that to me, or can sway my view on a matter, I will be grateful to them for the correction, and not unreasonably arguing against them simply because I can't stand the thought of me having held a false belief. I've held plenty of them in my life, and the shock of finding I can be wrong at times wore off long ago.

>> . . . in particular right now why someone would believe Jesus could *not* materialize or dematerialize if he chose to do so. I always rather thought the sovereign god of the universe could do whatever he darn well pleased.

Mmmm... Well, some Christians will argue against that simply because the materializing and dematerializing is not explicitly spelled out.

But I say IT IS in Scripture, but rather alluded to, rather indicated "between the lines" so to speak.

For example: John 8:59. Jesus is about to be stoned to death. He is standing there and a group of angry Jews, stones in hand, stands there before Him. But Jesus "hid Himself"..."going through the midst of them, and so passed by."

How does one "hide" while simultaneously walking through the "midst" of a group of people standing right there, preparing to throw stones?

There are a couple of other verses that seem to indicate very odd "now you see Him, now you don't" situations.

But, one place wherein we differ, is that I don't really view Jesus as "the sovereign God of the universe". I believe He is the first born "Son" of the sovereign God of the universe. (As I said, I am not a Trinitarian. Thus I view God and Jesus as two related but individual identities.)

Also, remember Mark 6:5&6. In His hometown of Nazareth, it says that Jesus "could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief."

Now how could the sovereign God of the universe be hindered from performing miracles solely due to a lack of faith in Him on the part of His own people?

Things like that indicate to me that Jesus was not the sovereign God of the universe, but even more importantly, it illustrates just how crucial our own faith is in our relationship with the Lord Jesus.

At any rate, 'nough-a dat. I ain't prepared to go around opening cans of worms, 'cause I ain't got no fishin' pole. Ha!

But thanks for answering the questions about Adam and Eve. Interesting. And I think it's great that you contemplate these "stuffs" so deeply.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

BREEZE 3-PETE ~
When it comes to song lyrics, I give ‘em a good deal of thought also. If there’s gonna be words, they might as well be good ones – clever, funny, intriguing, thoughtful… something worth listening to.

There are a number of pretty good lyricists out there (Warren Zevon; Bob Seger; Jim Croce; early Rickie Lee Jones, and so on), but in my opinion there are three songwriters who, lyrically speaking, are in a class by themselves: Dylan, Todd Snider, and Tom Waits (but Tom from the beginnig through 1982’s “One From The Heart” only).

I copied those lyrics from Dylan’s own website, BobDylan.com, and I gotta confess that I’ve been mishearing that one line all these years. I thought it was:

She knows too much to argue with the judge.

>> . . . Speaking of juries, have you seen "Twelve Angry Men"? It's a great film.

Yup. Saw it a long time ago.

>> . . . How old do you think I be?

Ah, the ol’ ‘Answering A Question With A Question’ trick, eh? I like it.

Well, it’s hard to say because you seem to have a young person’s enthusiasm for movies, and yet you’ve seen a lot of the classics (including old Westerns), and you’ve read some of the old classic works of fiction, too. I can’t imagine too many young people have read Ulysses and Moby Dick.

So, I’ll guess that you’re older than 30 but probably not as ancient as 50. Therefore, I’ll split the difference and add two more years to it: 42.

How close am I?

The reason I asked you if you’d been to the U.S./LOS ANGELES is because I have an idea for my blog that I’ve become very enthused about. After I put together the 3rd and final part of this Dylan thang, I’m planning to post a kind of tribute to or celebration of the city where I was born and raised – L.A. It’s tentatively titled “MY HOMEMEGALOPOLIS: The City Of Lost Angels In The Mental State Of Hotel California”. Well, something like that anyway.

I live in Phoenix, Airheadzona, now and hate it here. Recently something got me thinking about all the places I miss in my hometown, and that gave me the idea to create a big photo/video gallery of Los Angeles landmarks – some well known and others more personal to me.

Anyway, I’ve barely begun collecting photos for it, but I’m having fun so far, just thinking about what to include. So, I was going to say that you might want to check back here. I hope to have this project put together and posted in a week or two. Hopefully it will turn out kinda cool.

Yak Later, Brother.

~ D-FensDogg
‘Loyal American Underground’

OhJessie said...

"How does one "hide" while simultaneously walking through the "midst" of a group of people standing right there, preparing to throw stones?"

Infinite improbability field.

"There are a couple of other verses that seem to indicate very odd "now you see Him, now you don't" situations."

Yep.

"But, one place wherein we differ, is that I don't really view Jesus as "the sovereign God of the universe". I believe He is the first born "Son" of the sovereign God of the universe. (As I said, I am not a Trinitarian. Thus I view God and Jesus as two related but individual identities.)"

I sort of forgot to mention another aspect regarding disagreement on these matters - I never underestimate the person I'm talking with. In other words, anything I could say on that matter in particular, I'm pretty much assuming you've already read and looked into (if you were a leftist or a kneejerk conservative I would not make that assumption). That we have the same data and came to different conclusions. In that case yet again there's really no point in me going on and on about it, see? I would end up with the very pointed "I Am" that had the pharisees in such a tailspin (a pleasant thought heh). Doesn't mean I don't want to hear how you came across your belief on the matter.

"Now how could the sovereign God of the universe be hindered from performing miracles solely due to a lack of faith in Him on the part of His own people?"

Without going into my own reasons, I will say I understand, but am also gravely sickened by the way the likes of Benny Hinn and other charlatans use that principle to terrorize their followers and lift themselves up to the position of God. No, of course I've never seen you do such things, so don't get that idea.

"At any rate, 'nough-a dat. I ain't prepared to go around opening cans of worms, 'cause I ain't got no fishin' pole. Ha!"

You went up carp creek without a yodel OR a fishing pole? Tsk tsk.

"But thanks for answering the questions about Adam and Eve. Interesting. And I think it's great that you contemplate these "stuffs" so deeply."

Oh heck, yeah, and the same goes for me regarding you.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

McSHREDDER ~
>> . . . In other words, anything I could say on that matter in particular, I'm pretty much assuming you've already read and looked into

Yes, I think that's probably a safe assumption.

>> . . . I would end up with the very pointed "I Am" that had the pharisees in such a tailspin

Yeah, I get you. But I definitely wind up with unconventional interpretations sometimes - arrived at in a personally intellectually honest manner - occasionally even in opposition to some of the most basic, cherished "orthodox" views.

Add to that the fact that I believe the New Testament translated from the ancient Aramaic, rather than from the Greek, gives us the most accurate reading of the teachings of Christ and His Apostles - and some of the meanings ARE drastically different from the Greek (not to mention unrecognized idioms of the Aramaic language that alter understanding) - and I'm certainly left with an unorthodox understanding of some of the essential Christian principles.

I'm sure, too, that you have also considered this from my "alternative" view, but if you want to dig exceedingly deep into the anti-Trinitarian view (if you haven't already), I do recommend that book I previously mentioned: "One God & One Lord".

I read it long after I had already arrived at an anti-Trinitarian position, but I found most of my reasons very well articulated in that TOME (yes, big, long, heavy book). Surprisingly, there was even one or two items I felt the authors had overlooked and which they could have strengthened their argument with, but overall, it does an excellent job of stating in detail the real problems with the Trinitarian view.

>> . . . Doesn't mean I don't want to hear how you came across your belief on the matter.

I used to really enjoy religious/spiritual discussions. And it's not that I no longer do, but that I've had so many of them over the decades that the freshness is gone, and every discussion is kinda like deja vu all over again.

I certainly WOULD NOT mind discussing any of these things with YOU because you have a mature, healthy attitude, and we would never end up in any kind of heated exchange. But... I'm just trying to get some blog bit ideas composed so I can... move on. And any time I spent involved in very, very lengthy spiritual discussion - no matter how enjoyable and stimulating - would have me thinking: I could be using this time to write my remaining blog bits.

And I suspect you and I could discuss this great stuffs extensively. At least until the cows came home blue in the face. Ha!

>> . . . Without going into my own reasons, I will say I understand, but am also gravely sickened by the way the likes of Benny Hinn and other charlatans...

I get ya. But then again, I could say there are huge differences between PERMANENT, genuine faith healings in the name of Jesus, and TEMPORARY, emotionally-overwrought "hope healings".

But I think it's also important to remember that our Lord did say that the things He did, we could do and more, because He was going to His and our Father.

>> . . . You went up carp creek without a yodel OR a fishing pole? Tsk tsk.

Ha!-Ha! Guilty as charged.

I like how you remembered my earlier comment and were able to bring it back again... WITH additions. Yer pretty darn sharp, ain'tcha?

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

OhJessie said...

That's no problem, Mr. McCarthy - as I did mention elsewhere it wasn't an intention to pry anyway; whatever you put up is fine with me. And it's hard to believe you're not going to be doing this, but we all have to move on. I just hope it won't mean we lose all touch; you're not like most people.

About the phony healings, yes - they are always vague (Hinn deliberately has his people keep anyone who's genuinely sick in any visible way at the back and never brought up front) things like back pain or tumors you can't see, etc. Going to a doctor to confirm a Hinn healing is showing lack of faith and causes you to immediately LOSE the healing, so of course the doctor finds the cancer back again. Which has nothing whatever to do with Jesus' healings, the apostle's healings, or God healings in general. At any rate I'm agreeing with you if that wasn't clear lol.

Hehe - I wouldn't forget a funny line, sir.

OhJessie said...

Oh, also I understand you don't hold orthodox views - some of mine are what could be considered orthodox, but many people don't know what that means anymore (not you, others.) So I end up disagreeing with modern Christians on lots of things, so see, it's still subversive.

I don't think the NT was in Aramaic as the written language was accepted as the proper language for writing. And when writing for posterity to gentiles, such as at the day of Pentecost (who had many languages) it makes sense that the more universal Greek written language was employed. Considering the variety of people he wrote to, I find it safe enough to look to Greek translations. I think it's interesting to note, too, that when Jesus was calling "Eli Eli Lama sabach thani!" many of the people didn't understand what he was saying, literally. He spoke in Aramaic, certainly, and many didn't understand it. So you get the people wondering if he's calling Elijah, etc. But I had a friend with an Aramaic translation; I looked up many things at the time to see how they stacked up - it was interesting. Don't get me started on the Latin Vulgate, though. People are still saying nutty stuff because of that.

Don't tell me, though - people use the "Let us create man in our image" to prove a trinity? Even though it could be the royal "we"? Yeah, I won't do that. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 1 Of 2:

McSHREDDER ~
Oh, I didn’t feel you were prying at all. Ask any questions, that’s fine. I might not always believe I have the time to give the full, unexpurgated answers, but you know me - I yak at length generally, so even my Reader’s Digest answers are likely to be mo’ info than you’d a-be wanting.

>> . . . but we all have to move on.

True. But we don’t all have to moveon.org.

>> . . . I just hope it won't mean we lose all touch;

No reason we should lose touch, just because my train has pulled up to the station.

>> . . . you're not like most people.

Ha! Thanks! You mean… “I’m Different”?

When I was in my early 20s, I used to do a lot of drinking with my old buddy Pooh, often lying about in his pad and listening to his records (LPs – Licorice Pizzas). That’s where I first got turned on to Tom Waits and his “Small Change” album.

Another one Poohregard turned me on to during our many drinking sessions was “Trouble In Paradise”. My favorite song on that album was easily THIS ONE.

I hate that The Lord’s Name is taken in vain, but . . . Gosh! Even the way it’s done, with the background singers (one of them being Linda Ronstadt) singing it in the “toned-down, G-rated” manner is just too funny!

That’s still one of the most humorous songs ever, in my book.

They sing a little song for the people;
And they sing a little song for me.


Such sweet, simple, happy arrogance. I love that song! I can’t believe I never bought that album.

>> . . . About the phony healings, yes - they are always vague (Hinn deliberately has his people keep anyone who's genuinely sick in any visible way at the back and never brought up front)

Did you ever see the Steve Martin movie “Leap Of Faith”? Great, great musical soundtrack (which I own), and I actually like the movie pretty well too – even though you can see all the strings and the levers being pulled and you know the recipe of the formula. In spite of all that, I’ve still watched the movie three times.

Martin is like a Hinn character. A phony, flashy, pseudo faith-healing con-man… but then he meets a pretty woman with a seriously handicapped brother and… well, you know. But it’s still a movie I enjoy.

>> . . . Oh, also I understand you don't hold orthodox views - some of mine are what could be considered orthodox, but many people don't know what that means anymore (not you, others.) So I end up disagreeing with modern Christians on lots of things, so see, it's still subversive.

Well, as long as you’re subversive in some ways, it’z all good. Ha!

Your Christian views are obviously more mainstream than mine, but your strong anti-Feminist view (to mention but one) keeps you well on the non-mainstream side of life. Nuttin’ to worry about – you’re plenty rebellious enough to suit me.

Continued Below...

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 2 Of 2:

>> . . . I don't think the NT was in Aramaic as the written language was accepted as the proper language for writing. And when writing for posterity to gentiles, such as at the day of Pentecost (who had many languages) it makes sense that the more universal Greek written language was employed.

I don’t deny that what you say is logical. It’s a reasonable argument, to be sure. But logic notwithstanding, there are a number of very intriguing reasons to believe that, regardless of the intelligence upholding that position, it’s not the way it was done.

But I know you’ll agree with me that the truly important thing is that each person try to live those principles found in whichever version of the New Testament he or she prefers.

Here is one old book review of mine that you might find worth a look: LINK. That’s merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to defending my position on the original written language of most (if not all) of the New Testament being Aramaic. I could expand greatly upon that beginning, but that’ll do, or else I’ll never get these planned blog bits written.

>> . . . Don't tell me, though - people use the "Let us create man in our image" to prove a trinity? Even though it could be the royal "we"? Yeah, I won't do that. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.

I don’t take a strong position on that one. I think there are a few different, potentially valid ways of interpreting that. Certainly that’s not one of the more convincing verses that Trinitarians turn to when trying to convince heathens like me that I’m wrong. They have more potent arrows in their quivers, and I know ‘em better’n they do. I already know ALL of the arguments I will face before the debate even begins.

~ D-FensDogg
‘Loyal American Underground’

OhJessie said...

I quite liked Leap of Faith too, even if I was annoyed with it. After all, it's the Hinn types (and there are many) who lead to those characters, not the rest of us. Lucas Haas is a pretty good actor; I've seen his stuff since he was a little boy. Actually that preacher character was closer to a Popoff, what with the secret microphone and so forth. Hinn doesn't need them, his act is a little different.

I mean to take another look at the Aramaic translation, since I've changed an awful lot since I last saw it.

As to the debate you're more than ready for (but not, I would think, eager) it sure isn't my intention to go there lol. Too much! I'd just end up cribbing from carm.org or something and that wouldn't be nice.

I'm happy I didn't sound prying - that's also not nice and I try not to do it. Also, I hope I'm allowed to be sad you're quitting this. It's still too short, no matter how long it's been.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

McJESSIE ~
Isn't it cool how one can put "Mc" in front of ANYTHING and it always seems to work?
[:- )

Lucas Haas? Was he the young handicapped kid in 'Leap Of Faith'?

Yeah, those characters are both peddling the faith healing impression to the masses but employing different techniques.

Yes, you're right, I could debate it but would rather not. I mostly save my "debating energy" strictly for the anti-McCarthy crowd these days. And I don't even find the opportunity to mix it up with them either anymore.

I'm fine with a person studying whichever Bible they prefer; I'm not at all interested in trying to change people's minds about Bibles, reincarnation, soul-preexistence, or any of the other non-mainstream ideas I hold. God will sort it all out in the end. And at 51 years old, I've become "debate fatigued".

I'd never heard of carm.org. Some Christian/religious information resource site I gather?

As far as quittin' the bloggin', well - I'm serious about it but I've been saying it for so long now and yet it hasn't happened yet... so who knows.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

OhJessie said...

Yeah, I'm fairly debate fatigued myself. I'm not tired of shredding stuff, because that's just fun, but am not interested in debating and defending every point I make with the peanut gallery. Anyone who doesn't like it can do what everyone else does - don't read it LOL You know, you want someone who already "gets it" or who merely expresses disagreement with a particular and leaves it at that.

carm is an apologetics site that examines various theological points. Once in a while I look at something there, if it's a doctrine I'm not too familiar with. But getting into a lazy debate is worse than never bringing up the subject at all, unless the person you're debating is an idiot, which you aren't. And idiots don't usually require me looking anything up anyway LOL

I just recently read something anti McCarthy (and yes, Mc is a great prefix!) but can never remember anymore where I see these things. But I always think of you now when I do see them :) So there's that.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

McSHREDDER ~
>> . . . unless the person you're debating is an idiot, which you aren't.

I'm not an idiot?
You mean "50,000,000 Liberals Are Wrong"?

>> . . . And idiots don't usually require me looking anything up anyway LOL

Ha! Yeah, those are the real easy ones, when I can debate and win right off the top of my head without even having to pull any reference materials at all from my bookshelves.

Those are almost no fun at all because they're just TOO easy.

The most memorable victories are those where one overwhelms the opponent with dates, quotes, statistics, and a variety of verifiable facts. ...Or, better yet, when one is just "Ann-spired" and invents several great demoralizing, personal zingers and the Leftist leaves the room shaking and in tears.

I was always shooting for inducing in my opponent the same effect: Much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

You know, going for the big C.B. DeMille Biblical special effect.

Ha! I sound horrible, don't I? (And don'tcha love that?)

>> . . . I just recently read something anti McCarthy ... but can never remember anymore where I see these things. But I always think of you now when I do see them.

It would be the crowning moment of my career as a debater if I could best an anti-McCarthy Commie JUST ONCE. Just once is all I ask.

Er... "Just once MORE", I mean.
[:- )

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

OhJessie said...

Yeah I was gonna say, you already did that, buddy :D But sure, once more is always nice - tossing out a well-aimed dart at the old feminists once in a while is fun too.

"Ha! I sound horrible, don't I? (And don'tcha love that?)"

You know I do. I'm the Shredder, right?

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

SHREDDER ~
Yep, for sure, yer "the Shredder". Mean 'n' nasty (and right, too!) Gotta love those people who can really fight for what is right.

Hey, you gonna participate in THIS BLOGFEST?

I've already put my list (10 books instead of 5) together, and I will be posting it tomorrow. I would really love to see which books YOU would name. Give it some thought, eh, Shredder? Thanks!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

OhJessie said...

Oh my. Well sure. I signed up. Wednesday, right? I have NO IDEA how the hell I'm supposed to pick 5 books out of 8 million. Or to give a synopsis of any of them in a sentence. LOL!

Guess we'll find out. Dam, I can't even narrow Stephen King books down to five. And holy crap what about CS Lewis? There are at least 8 I love to death. Then you have the entire fiction genre, nonfiction (books on homeschooling and government and economics), apologetics, Russian fiction (Tolstoy, Dostoevsky) and. Oh why did you find this thing? :D Great, I'll be wracking my brains.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

McSHREDDER ~
I didn't "find" this thing! That sonofabitch Arlee Bird at ‘Tossing It Out’ tossed it out to me, and now I’m in the same damned boat you are!

Yes, Wednesday or TODAY (Tuesday). Wednesday is the last day a person can participate. I intend to compose my list and post it later today.

Believe me, I know whatchamean. So many books - such a short list. However, the blog host suggested five books, but said that as many as ten is acceptable. So, feel free to expand to ten – that’s damn sure what I’m a-gonna do.

I’ve actually selected my ten titles already and – boy-oh-boy – but don’t I have an eclectic group of books. My book list might actually be even more eclectic than my “15 Desert Island Music Albums” list was.

I genuinely look forward to seeing which 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 books you choose.

Yak Soon, My Friend.

~ D-FensDogg
‘Loyal American Underground’

OhJessie said...

LOL - oh, I see what you're about - spread the misery! Hehe. Ok, my dear man, I will get right on it. And I'm not going to look at my bookshelves.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

JESSIE ~
Well, as the old saying goes: "Misery loves company."

I miscalculated, and won't get my list posted until sometime tomorrow. Oh well, that just gives me another day to enjoy the misery.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

OhJessie said...

Haha! I'm done!! I won't pimp it, but I took it in a direction most familiar to me so it wasn't as hard as I thought. Enjoy :)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

On my way to see what JESSIE made...

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'