Saturday, January 19, 2013
Everything is a subject for analysis for me.
Obama's inaugural speech Monday will be analyzed by me. Monday is also Martin Luther King's holiday in the U.S., and his methods have already been analyzed in other posts. I can watch the news on TV and fall into deep analysis. Anything. Practically.
It is hard for me to even read or surf the web or do research for writing without getting sidetracked into a fit of analysis of the few paragraphs I've just read, usually written by some politician or other dolt who thinks freedom of speech means you are obligated to give your asinine wrong opinion on various subjects. I am no exception, I suppose. (In the final analysis.) I seek truth, or at least I think that is my purpose, and that requires a lot of analysis and debate, as well as scorn from other people. Like the OC patient in "As Good as it Gets," one of my main assets is my willingness to be humiliated. Either way, I get at the truth.
Do you find yourself compulsively analyzing as you read, as I do? Ah, the burdens of being gifted, eh?
When I was very young, we were visited by a tornado in our little town. I can remember being taken down to the basement by my mother. My older brother balked but obeyed, his frightened bug-eyed friend came down willingly. I remember standing in the coal bin in the basement looking up through the tiny window at ground level as the elements wreaked their havoc. Soon, my brother lost his false bravado and the friend just stood there, dumbfounded at the creaking of the house above. My mother prayed. My mother always prayed in times of danger, and, when the danger passed, always gave proper credit to God for protecting us from whatever the danger was. The storm lasted what seemed like a long time to a seven year old boy, the torrents of rain blasting against the little window and other loud unidentifiable eerie sounds accompanying my mother's supplications. I can remember just staring up (everything is "up" to a little boy) and just staring at the electrical fuse box on the wall next to the window. I don't remember being afraid. After all, my mom had an "in" with God.
Eventually the storm passed and we went up and out. Amazing to me was the carnage of huge trees lying across the road and telephone lines lying on the ground. I don't remember too much in detail, just bits and pieces. Our house was safe and sound, of course; I had assumed we would be spared. I remember the National Guard and army trucks and their chainsaws and sharp axes and them telling me to get the hell out of the way, but only snippets here and there, like an imperfect movie running in my brain today.
I had an urge to Google the old tornado the other day, to refresh my imperfect childhood memory and see if there were any online pictures of it, and - as always seems to be the case with Google - one thing quickly led to another. It seems our tornado had come a week or two after a much more famous tornado which had struck a larger city about 40 miles away. Soon I forgot about the one I had personally experienced and was in awe at the damage of the bigger one. It seems it was the largest tornado, death-wise, that had ever happened in the U.S., and the record stood until the Joplin, Missouri tornado a couple years ago. That was very interesting Googling for me, especially the old black and white pictures of cars stacked on top of one another and fields full of debris and old newspaper stories of the tragedy and of heroism in the face of danger.
Of course, the next thing I had to do was Google the Joplin tornado. These pictures were in color, of course. They were mostly the same as the old black and white pictures of the earlier tornado, though: debris, death, devastation, pictures of people glumly surveying what used to be their houses. I zeroed in on a picture of a father carrying his daughter down the street in a Joplin neighborhood, past piles of broken lumber and past ruined cars and past (I note all details) two rather befuddled dogs sniffing the piles of debris. I let the actual website load in order to find out what the story of the picture was. The theme of the blog post was not really about the picture, but about "Why does God allow such pain and suffering to happen?" Or some such-like heading. The blog was of some sort of church "ministry" or the like, and they offered a list of reasons why God allowed this stuff to happen..
Analysis by moi ensued.
In my analysis of articles like these, I always am struck by the assumptions made and accepted without proof. The very headline of the post ASSUMED the tornado was a deliberate act of God, to teach his people some lesson or other. Really?
Here are a few reasons the post put forth to it's confused and indignant readership. I paraphrase.
1. God didn't want things like this to happen, but Adam and Eve sinned and rebelled against God in the name of all of us humans. Serves us right. Our own fault that things like this happen.
2. God is testing us. God needs to know that Christians really trust him. Things like tornadoes force us to rely on God.
3. God is punishing us for not giving him credit for the times he protects us.
4. Satan is at work against us. God is forced to shrug and let it happen because we rebelled and chose the way of Satan.
5. It's a mystery. It is all part of God's master plan, and often He does not share these reasons with us. Sometimes we just can't know the reasons these things happen. We must trust that it is all for the best.
I do like to analyze. I seldom take things at face value, especially on the word of "authorities." On the other hand, I am not here to try to tell other people what to believe when it comes to their religion. I'm pretty much aware of how most of the readers of this blog stand on the subject of religion and God, and whether or not you believe in the Jewish/Christian God is not really the issue here, since a belief in a God is not required in order to debate the nature of what such an entity would be. This post is not even about religion, but rather a post about analysis. It's just that religion, like political beliefs, makes for great debate, even if no one "wins."
I am only now getting to the actual analysis, that which you can debate or give your personal views on, but, as is often the case, I have already overstayed my welcome, length-wise. We may engage in a later post.
Stimulation may ensue.
Posted by Relax Max at 2:41 PM