‘If we all hold hands and very quietly shout’

“That’s an impressive chunk of change, but please note: It’s probably not a good idea to try this on a smaller scale.”

“Perhaps the strangest assumption in both movies is not only that the Hill Valley Telegraph would exhibit such odd news judgment, but that it would also nevertheless continue to publish in print well into 2015.”

“Sometimes it’s hard to talk about the past, but talking is better than forgetting.”

“PBS premieres The Abolitionists, a three-part series, on Tuesday (Jan. 8).”

(Thank you, James McGrath.)

“Classics saved. That’s what I’m calling the line.” (via Bob B.)

“Know that if you have an ‘unspoken prayer request,’ people are going to assume porn.”

“It was a time when beer bottles were more likely to be embossed than labeled and the ribbons were likely added at great cost to Pabst.”

“A Massachusetts man has been charged with driving under the influence after he drove his car on to the lawn of the Wilson House, one-time home of Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson.”

“I just find myself wondering when I see someone fall for an urban legend like this, why they believe it.”

“There had never really been a deficit in their love. The deficit was in their acceptance. These were two separate things.”

“I have, already, spent too much of my life preparing for violence.”

“Clives Stapes Lewis had some really bad arguments against pacifism.”

“Evil is not a corrective from God to teach us a lesson. To believe so is to worship a devil.”

If that’s his baby, he needs help.”

“In the Bible, ‘salvation’ is a multi-use word, but it doesn’t mean escaping this world to get to heaven.”

These stories were not intended for children, and attempting to make them kid-friendly stretches them beyond meaning and relevance, even coherence.”

“It’s easier to answer for 30-year-olds than 3-year-olds in some ways.”

“Christmas is more than a celebration of a newborn, it is the celebration of the very exegesis of God.”

“Nearly 900 manuscripts are now online because of a partnership between the Israel Antiquities Authority and Google.”

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  • So I saw Grumpy Cat first, then saw the title of the post, then saw that there was a video linked, and thought, “Grumpy Cat and Nick Cave!”

    Okay, I’ll actually read the post now.

  • Carstonio

    As much as I support Anderson’s condemnations of rape culture, she seems awfully sure that her god does not will that people suffer. The only basis for this that she offers is that it would be monstrous of such a god to have that will. It would be too easy for a believer in theistic patriarchy to argue against her stance on theistic grounds, and the argument could devolve into “Yes, God does” and “No, God doesn’t.” Even if rape and rape culture were the will of a god, these would still be monstrous.

  • I just want to ask how you “quietly shout”. Is it like a stage whisper?

    Anything with Grumpy Cat is worth reading.
    >^. .^<

  • “Unspoken prayer request” = porn?

    Whatever happened to just assuming it’s a private matter?

    This tendency of people to speculate that anything kept quite private must be something considered socially bad and not just something someone wants kept private is a little bothersome. I get that it’s the human thing to be curious about other people and to even let one’s speculation run rampant about other people, but letting your speculation drive perceptions of other people when it could prove detrimental to them is not right.

    The other practices being condemned are more valid, I think, such as the calling-out of malicious-gossip-as-prayer, etc.

  • Cathy W

    Detroit also uses lime-treated municipal sewage sludge for fertilizing farm fields – but due to the various business arrangements involved, if anyone is making money from it, it’s a middleman somewhere, and possibly the farmer. It’s more environmmentally friendly than burning the sludge, though, which is the alternative at this point.

    As far as doing it on a smaller scale – there are some sewer utilities that sell “Class A Biosolids” – sewage sludge, highly processed to kill pathogens and certified low in heavy metals, PCBs, and other industrial pollutants – to home gardeners under various trade names. Some of the people who use this stuff swear by it. Struvite, a phosphorus compound that can be used as fertilizer, can also be recovered from wastewater. Dumping your own waste into your compost bin, though, probably really is asking for trouble.

  • Debbie Notkin

    I wanted to make sure you saw this, which is the most amazing story of Christian forgiveness (I am not a Christian) I have ever seen. 

  • RtRDH

    Fred, thank you for linking to my post on C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters and pacifism. It goes appreciated.

  • Münchner Kindl


    “Perhaps the strangest assumption in both movies is not only that the Hill Valley Telegraph would exhibit such odd news judgment, but that it would also nevertheless continue to publish in print well into 2015.”

    I don’t see a problem with the newspaper  headlines at all: aside from that one headline about Nixon vetoing a bill, all are local. If Hill Valley is a small town with people interested mainly in local affairs, then local affiars, no matter how small, will get headlines, and national/ international news (presumably from agencies) will get smaller print, but still first page.

    As for the Nixon headline, I can easily presume that this bill affects Hill Valley in some major way and has therefore been covered in extensive detail during all the progress through the two chambers. So when the end result is in, the bill is no longer referred to by name.

  • mud man

    People who think their own waste products are too gross to deal with are not going to do well long-term. Also, they don’t understand where “food” come from. And yes, it is possible to take care of matters at home when you don’t live in an apartment building: there’s composting toilets, and you can pee directly on the plants, excellent nitrogen. Urine doesn’t even smell bad if you put it directly into the ground instead of keeping it in a big tank.

  • EllieMurasaki

    you can pee directly on the plants

    Only if the neighbors don’t catch you at it.

  • I don’t know why, but I found that inordinately funny and nearly made my tea go down the wrong way. :P

  • “quietly shout” is what happens in the middle of the crescendo section of the Isley Brothers song.

  • It’s worth noting that the advice with composting toilets is of course to use the compost on orchards or ornamentals rather than on annuals because of the (relatively minor) risk of contamination…

  • Dan Audy

    Thanks for sharing that Ta-Nehisi Coates piece.  It articulates an idea I’ve had floating around in all the gun violence discussions lately but hadn’t been quite able to coalesce. 

  • ReverendRef

    Thinking back a couple of posts about the nurses who refuse vaccines based on “deeply held religious beliefs” and the urban legend story about the onion saving the farmer’s family from the flu . . . Maybe those nurses would feel better if we just let them string a clove of garlic around their neck.  I’ve heard that wards off all sorts of evil spirits and diseases.

  • Jurgan

    “That’s an impressive chunk of change, but please note: It’s probably not a good idea to try this on a smaller scale.”  Huh, Victor Hugo was right.

  • hidden_urchin

    Maybe those nurses would feel better if we just let them string a clove of garlic around their neck.

    With the added benefit of telling every patient who exactly to avoid.

  • vsm

    I think No More Shall We Part is one of Cave’s best albums, but I don’t get the point of that song, unless it’s really just about making fun of small-town America. In that case, I don’t get the point of putting it on the album instead of a B side or something, because compared to everything else on the record, it’s kind of a cheap target.

  • Fred, thanks for the mention. I didn’t know what had happened at first when I looked at my blog stats this morning.

    And RtRDH, I appreciated your post on CS Lewis and pacifism. I read Screwtape Letters when I was in high school, and what he wrote about pacifism bothered me, but I could not articulate why.

  • From The TNC link, struck me very hard when I read it the other day.

    “I’m pretty clear that I am going to die one day. That moment will not be of my choosing, and it almost certainly will not be too my liking. But death happens.”

      I think the refusal to accept exactly this is a very big part of gun culture or any general movement to demonize The Other and march out with torches against the Satanic baby killers.  I think most people who live long enough will eventually come to at least a grudging acceptance of death. (Or at least are able to imagine eventually growing bored at age 100000 or so.)   It’s the capriciousness of death that few of us are ever able to tolerate.  That’s why there’s a part of us that likes it when we are physically threatened by some one else.  Or rather, there’s a part of us that likes it when death comes in a tangible form that can be fought away with sufficient courage and wants to believe that this is the form death normally takes.  We want our own deaths to be subject to our own ‘toughness’ and force of will. 

    Of course gun culture is also heavily motivated by the erosion of White Male privilege, which I think only compliments the point I’m trying to make here.  I can see how the denial of implicitly promised social power can lead to an exaggerated sense of vulnerability over being part of the mass instead of above it, a withdrawal into the self that leads to an obsession with perfect control over oneself and demand for invincibility.

    *  Nick Cave is unfailingly magnificient; also the same age as my mother.  

  • If the person who commented with the Blogger handle Evan on the flu urban legend item is a commenter here (said he came from here, but could be a lurker), would you mind if I quote essentially your entire comment elsewhere, i.e. on Facebook?

  • The post An Irregular Chip Off the Old Block reminded me of this article that circulated about fifteen years ago among pedatric rehab peeps:

  • Rae

    From my experience, when women said they had an “unspoken prayer request” it almost universally seemed to be interpreted as either “my reproductive system isn’t working right” or “one of my close friends had a miscarriage.”

  • Baby_Raptor

    “Very quietly shout”


  • AnonaMiss

    Song and album recommendation: Silent Shout, by The Knife.


    Still unsure if this is a concept album about feminism or not. If it isn’t, it’s close.

  • Jim Roberts

    I follow that blog – he tends to speak with his tongue firmly in his cheek, and I’m assuming that’s what he was doing here. It is regrettably true, though, that an “unspoken prayer request” is often assumed to be something so awful you can’t speak of it, not something you’ve vowed to keep secret or that involves a party you don’t have permission to speak for.

    In saying this, I think he was more speaking to the people listening to prayer requests and not the requestor.