Farewell Lennie...Thanks for the memories

Today is a sad day in television history. One of the best actors of all time died from the best television show ever: Law and Order. Below is a consoling email my friend Mark wrote that poignantly displays the love and depth of emotion felt for this great man.

Lennie Briscoe Posted by Hello

Dearest Blake,

In the immortal words of C.S. Lewis, "When pain is to borne, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all."

I am deeply grieved to hear about the loss of the great Jerry Orbach who not only touched our lives, but redefined the way we look at Goodness, Dedication, and true Justice in America. Yes, our great detective Lennie Briscoe is gone. And yet, we feel him in each re-run.. He lives in each new episode...and we sense his gentle, sardonic, spirit in each fluttering piece of caution tape that seems to sweetly echo "Lennie...Lennie". He kept the Law and Order of our hearts for years never once demanding anything from us, but constantly giving and seeking out Justice for the wronged, and vengeance for those who turn their eyes away from the Law of man. In the spirit of Lennie Briscoe, I have compose a poem that will hopefully help you cope in these dark days...

I remember....
I remember you leaving the show, Lennie,
Less than a year ago
We ate cake all together ,Lennie,
saying we'd miss you so
The cake had letters of icing Lennie,
In colors of white and blue
We never knew as we ate the cake
that cancer was eating you too.
And so I say goodbye, Lennie,
You left us all in tears
So we'll go on with Law and Order
Thanks for all the years.

So my dear Blake, although this is a sudden and bitter farewell...let us rejoice in the hope we have in season DVD's. May peace be with you.



Giving the Amish Ammunition

I am torn between writing my observations on the Collective Soul concert I went to on Saturday evening or writing about the Internet. I'm probably one of the few people nerdy enough to go to a rock concert and actually analyze the event, people, music and philosophical message. My favorite concert of all time would certainly have to be REO Speedwagon and Styx where the lead singer of REO profoundly told us that during this time of terrorism and strife we should all love each other. Profound. Too bad Jesus beat him to the punch on that one! Odd how philosophy coupled with drunks climbing posts and ripping their shirts off don't seem to mix, isn't it?

But alas, I have really been wanting to talk about online communication. As most of you know, one of my many plans for my life is to go to grad school and get a degree in sociology so I can study the effects that the Internet has had on people. This desire came after observing the dramatic change that came across the OC campus from pre-laptop era to the post-laptop era. Now people from my younger brother's class can probably not fathom a time where they didn't IM or email each other on campus, but I'm here to tell you that reality existed not but four years ago.

What fascinates me most is how people change and how situations change over the Internet. People seem to be much more free with what they say online then when they are in public. Once shy people now feel license to release all those pent up ideas they might have. People you might normally never talk to be it that cute girl in science class, your ex-girlfriend, or my extremely cool brother Marc are now approachable.

Obviously there are some positive and negative side effects of this digital revolution. Perhaps the most positive side effect is that it gives people an outlet of communicating. People whose voice would never have been heard can sign up with a blog and write long essays such as this to feel like they're contributing to the world in some way. People who are too shy or awkward in social situations can now make friends that otherwise might not have been possible. People who have a hard time dating can go to match.com or eHarmony.com and date very attractive women (or at least that's what the ads have me believe). Great stuff!

There is an old adage in religion that anything good can be abused and turned into evil. Pretty much that's what sin is, a good thing gone wrong, but that's a random tangent we won't chase today. But the positive effects just mentioned are conversely the negative side effects as well. Suddenly people stop having face-to-face communication and spend more time communicating through IM, email or blogging than in real life. People can become aggressive online and say things they wouldn't dare in public since all social rules are now discarded. Writing and content becomes sloppy as people start to have 'IM think', as I like to call it.

True, that's one side of the pendulum to the other, I'm just intrigued by it all. From Xanga websites to Blogspots, from online dating to IM and chat rooms, and even to RPG the Internet has certainly changed life as we know it. As with all technology we must ask ourselves if it's been for better or worse? One way or the other don't expect me to become a Luddite anytime soon.


The Human Struggle

The Marathon. No event, perhaps outside of the Ironman, shows the human will more clearly than the running of 26.2 miles.

This weekend I had the great pleasure of watching the Dallas White Rock Marathon and seeing my two friends Lana and Sarah attempt this great feat. I was training to do this race myself with them, but due to mitigating circumstances (a knee injury and surgery - blah!) I had to forgo this noble goal.

But not only did I get to see my two friends run, I also got to see a wide variety of people participate. Tall and short, fat and skinny, young and old, all were out running the "Rock". One man even jump-roped the whole course while another man, certainly over 50, carried the American flag the entire way!

The amazing thing was watching the average person, probably never an athlete in their life, do something that less than 1% of the world has ever done. To see the determination, the raw grit, and the joy that comes from this trial is surely a testament to the gifts that God has given us.

Training and running the marathon teaches us that we are capable of things that we would never have believed possible. I ran a marathon three years prior and the last ten miles were ten of the hardest miles I ever ran in my life. Never would I have thought that I could put my body through such torture, but through sheer determination, plus a little help from my parents, I did! Knowing that I accomplished that puts new perspective on any other challenge before me that if I really want to do something, I can.

This may seem a little overly cheesy or corny tonight, but go out and try a marathon yourself. You just let me know and I'll give you a training plan and everything. No one is exempt from saying they cannot do one. Unless you think your less capable than an 80 year old man!


Careening the edge...

Tonight I shall write extemporaneously on some thoughts, troubles, and issues that have been brewing in my head for the past couple of weeks. Perhaps even the past couple of months or even years, I'm not sure yet.

My friend Gabe loves postmodernism, or at least likes to talk about it a lot. I've been somewhat leery of the concept until I recently read The Younger Evangelicals and after a visit to B&N tonight and reading a few chapters of Brian McLaren's book, A New Kind of Christian, I've started to believe that it's more then just a buzzword.

The problem lies in that I now seem to be on the brink of something, but I'm not sure exactly what. Perhaps a lot of post-modern philosophers feel the same way. But in my mind I feel uncomfortable with the world and church that I'm presently a part of. Being a right-wing conservative Republican fundamentalist no longer brings the joy that it did just over a month ago. Nor does the idea of being a leftist liberal Democrat sound attractive. So where to fit in? Truth be known - I don't.

So I find myself careening on the edge. Not really wanting to throw off my modern philosophy cloak and wrap myself in the blanket of post-modernism, yet feeling somewhat seduced by the idea all the same. Sometimes I worry about liking things because they are different, new, original and somewhat renegade. That is not my goal with this exploration at all. The goal is always, and should always be, the truth. Where I go from here, your guess is as good as mine...