Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year!

A few notes to start 2010 off on the right foot.
  • It shall henceforth be pronounced "twenty-ten," NOT "two-thousand ten." We had a bit of confusion during the first decade of the new millennium because of those double-zeros. It would have sounded strange to say, for instance, "it's twenty-oh-seven." So we got a bye for the first decade. But that's it. Nobody walks around saying, "I was born in one thousand, nine-hundred and sixty-eight." If we continued along our current pronunciation path, we'd be encumbering future generations with an awful burden. So, henceforth, we are adopting "twenty." Hey, that's the way it was in all the futuristic predictions anyway (e.g. "Why, by the year twenty-thirty seven, people will no longer have saliva but will instead have their food digested for them by specially built androids!") So twenty-ten it is. Your immediate assent and cooperation is appreciated.
  • Please, someone needs to stop Dick Clark. I liked the guy as much as anybody, but it has to stop. It's not getting better--it's getting worse. Retirement's not bad; he can spend the time counting his piles of money. I as much as anyone appreciate his apparent desire to refrain from inflicting the full measure of Ryan Seacrest on us for as long as possible, but things are getting embarrassing. Perhaps the only thing more embarrassing is that I was in front of the TV watching "Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve" at midnight on December 31.
  • Since we were in front of the tube, though, I do appreciate ABC's consideration, as my kids got to see Jennifer Lopez in a see-through unitard (though I don't think that's actually why Dick Clark was drooling) and to hear the Black Eyed Peas tell us how bad they want us (ooh, ooh, ooh). Keep it classy, ABC.
  • For Christmas, I received a DVD copy of Collision, the documentary film chronicling series of debates and discussions between vehement atheist Christopher Hitchens and devout Christian Doug Wilson. I highly recommend it. It's thought-provoking and instructive as two of the best champions for their viewpoint slug it out. As in the Christianity Today exchanges that launched the film project, Hitchens repeatedly (and necessarily) avoids answering the question of where he finds the stringent moral standard he urges upon all of us in his writing. As Wilson points out, in the atheistic worldview, there is (as John Lennon famously sang) "above us only sky." Which means, above Auschwitz, only sky. Above Buchenwald, only sky. The bare universe doesn't care whether you help old ladies across the street or run over them, but Hitchens cannot bring himself to write as if this were really true. I recommend the film, and as far as I can tell, Hitchens is pleased with it too (having appeared on numerous programs to promote it after it was completed). It's something most modern "debates" are not: thoughtful.

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