Saturday, September 29, 2007

For the Berkeley-Rican

This video link is for my friend Jose living out in Berkeley. It's from, of course, South Park.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Intellectual Mystique

I just discovered Urban Dictionary. I love it. It's called a "dictionary with your definitions".

Here are some of the definitions placed for Pseudo-Intellectual:

-One who attempts to flex intellect that does not exist within his or her own mind.

-Can probably be found with a thesaurus in hand, while in a chat room, looking up new insults that are synonymous with "stupid" in order to boost his or her own undeserved ego.

-Posseses a severe tendency to blindly and wholeheartedly believe any bullshit they hear, only to subsequently regurgitate the misinformation to anyone they see in an asinine attempt to appear more intelligent than a used, broken condom. Should the victim of the verbal onslaught happen to have a differing opinion, the pseudo-intellectual will revert to his or her thesaurus and insult the opposition with words he or she never knew existed, and probably cannot even pronounce.

- A person who uses "big words" to impress people, insists on being politically-correct all the time, constantly bitches about "the system", and thinks they're gods among men because they're atheist.

- the act of going to a coffeeshop with an impressive book (Debord, Nietzche, or maybe an advance bio book) and flipping through the pages without comprehension in hopes of starting a conversation with another patron.

I love the internet.

Friday, September 14, 2007


As I was writing the last post, I received news that an old friend of mine, Leo, passed away yesterday. Leo leaves behind his wife Ileana (another old friend) and their little girl.

I met Leo when he and Ileana were dating. I was asked to teach a Bible class for a small spiritual retreat at a church, and Leo came to that class. I remember teaching about our sinful nature, and how God's grace covers ALL of our iniquities. I talked about God's awesome love for us. I remember Leo was impacted, and I remember being impacted and humbled that God had spoken to him in such a powerful way. Leo was crying, and yeah, that made me bust out in tears later on, too.

That was my only "spiritual" contact with Leo. After that it was mostly his' and goodbyes'. He and Ileana got married, had a beautiful little girl. We didn't see them much in the interim, except for the occassional wedding and funeral.

But Leo made an impact on my life. When you see the gospel shake someone to the core like that, you can't help but be impacted by it. You never forget it. There is something about brokenness that makes you shudder. There is something about recognizing our smallness before a mighty, infinite God that shatters every paradigm.

You can't forget that stuff, and I won't forget Leo.

I'm journaling here...

"Didn't I cultivate a life that was excellent and praiseworthy in so small a creature? But no, it was not my doing. All these were gifts from my God -- none were from me -- in whatever came together in myself". - The Confessions of St. Augustine

I'm reading this book. Augustine had such amazing insight; mostly into his own fallen nature.

This week, I've been able to reflect on how screwed up I am. Not in a "Man, I'm such a sinner because..." kind of way. That's always there. Ironically though, that can become a doorway to self-righteousness. Usually, we only acknowledge smaller sins. The real sins in us (you know, the ones that make you say, "Did I just think that?") terrify us too much, so we quickly push those aside in our minds. We would rather just look at the moderately troublesome sins in our lives. The ones where we can say, "Yes, I am a sinner saved by grace (and don't I sound so righteous saying that)."

This week, I tried to apply the idea that "I am more sinful than I ever dared believe", and failed miserably. It's a long story, but my self-righteousness got the better of me.

"But no, it was not my doing." Any good in me comes from God. Any good that works its way out of me comes from God.

If I say, "God loves me because I am good", I am denying His sacrifice of love.

If I say, "God loves me because I am a pretty nice guy", I am denying His sacrifice of love.

I I say, "God loves me because I recognize how sinful I am", I am delusional, unless I really understand how horribly destitute and impoverished my heart is.

This week, I have learned that most of us (hell, ALL of us) have no real idea how much in need we are of God. I mean everyone; from Christians who talk about loving Jesus all the time, down to the beetle-eyed sunglass wearing, black "BEBE" shirt wearing, dyed blond-haired Cuban chick with implants we saw yesterday walking into La Carreta, whose narcisistic desire for looks from envious men and women far surpasses any other desire in her life (sorry... had to get that shot in about Miami culture).

Any good that comes from me is God's expression of love manifested in me. If any self-righteousness creeps up in me, then I am faced with the reality that my sin is as ever-present in me as it was in,say, Hitler. There is no difference between the Nazi homicidal maniac, and me; except for the knowledge and presence of God's love and grace in my life.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Idiocracy and MySpace

I just saw Mike Judge's "Idiocracy" a few weeks ago. Great movie, but I don't want to get into an in-depth review of it here... "or nuthin'". Except to say that it is a brilliant but sad expression of an American reality.
The reality? We will become a nation of idiots if we don't navigate ourselves out of the doldrums.
Case in point - Myspace.
I was talking to my friend Frank today, as we were browsing around the Internet site that connects people from all over the world. Myspace users have the ability to create a website of their own and choose the content they want, usually things that reflect their personality and tastes. Myspace users can also insert a text at the top of their page that reflects how they are feeling on any given day, or share an inspirational or meaningful quote; something that matters to them.
The following quote was take from a randomly selected Myspace user's site. Not since Solomon has the world heard such great wisdom. I give you a quote from a young American, from the great city of Opa Locka, Florida; the future of our great nation:
"If the devil wears prada,
Adam Eve wear nada,
I'm in between but way more FRESHER!
But way less Effort!
If you dont like me
there is nothing i can do
newsflash bitch
i dont live to please you"
In order to preserve the integrity and intent of what this person was trying to express, I did not correct grammatical errors. This actually be what she wrote.
Now, as you go through your week, I hope that this quote will give you the kind of charge you need to make it through. Believe in yourself. More importantly, believe in America... bitches.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I have to step away from what I originally intended to write about (Miami). I've got to journal for a moment.

Freedom is a term that has been on my mind recently. My friend William sparked my thinking on the subject last week. What does it mean to be free?

Freedom means I am no longer a slave to my past. This means I am also no longer a slave to depression, anger, pain, resentment, doubt, competition, ego, pride, putting on a good face, trying to be something I am not, pretending everything is alright, keeping up with the "Rodriguezes" (Miami version of the Joneses), personal achievement, impressing others, etc...

I have been liberated, though not by positive mental attitude or a determination to make "it" work. I have been freed by the knowledge that I have been fully adopted as a son of God, with all the rights and privileges of a natural-born son.

I am free. The implications of that term are staggering, once you really start to understand it.

Many years ago I read a great book called "The Bondage Breaker". Now, reading through an older book called the Bible, specifically Galatians, I am understanding what true freedom actually is.

It is so much more than a right that we are to demand. It is a gift offered to us freely out of pure love.

"The lust, the flesh, the eyes and the pride of life
Drain the life right out of me." - The 77's