React

just an off-the-bat response to, um, something:

what about judging others for good things what about judging on judging what about loving before judging where loving does not mean accepting everything someone does what about judging as a way of loving because there is still right and wrong what about the extent one can or is allowed to judge what about simply having opinions how about the freedom to have standards kept which is something you get through judging a piece of work for quality what about the freedom to improve which also comes through some form of judgement how about judging the product and not the character and not mixing them up to consider that judgement as malice

#triggeredslightly

Augh no fair Ryan you got closure and I didn’t augh.

Waheva. Too lazy to go on.

I’m in the auditorium now and it’s like I’ve come home at last. It’s been too long. Didn’t have any classes here last sem so I’ve virtually not been here for a year. Oh how I’ve missed this. Childhood. Year one childhood.

Also got a jumpstart on my readings and finished Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. So many feels. So. Many. FEELS. Ungh love Ibsen. Loved his Dollhouse. Loved this. Still trying to sort out thoughts.

Basically. I think. Everyone has their vested interest yes, as evidenced by everyone’s support/betrayal of the doctor. Majority doesn’t mean truth, as per what the doctor said. But minority doesn’t mean it either. The number of people believing in something doesn’t qualify something as truth. Then again what is truth. It’s odd because I feel that context wise it’s science=truth vs tradition/majority and I agree with the doctor’s arguments for the science part but I don’t agree with the wider repercussions of science vs others. Because my truth lies with the others. Actually my truth intersects both. So agree with the thought process, but iffy on the content and what that means on a wider scale.

Actually I don’t know. I just thought it was intense and dramatic and real and modern and I loved the angst minus the iffiness.

And iffy where Petra was talking about the English book she was supposed to translate where it was described to be about “a supernatural power that looks after the so-called good people in this world and makes everything happen for the best in their case – while all the so-called bad people are punished.” Only talking about this because it sounds like something someone might say about the Bible. I say might because I don’t honestly think anyone who reads the whole Bible would sum it up in such a way. Like, you can’t just walk away from reading the Bible and just draw such a small conclusion, or that kind of conclusion anyhows. It would be a complete missing the forest for the trees. I just can’t grasp that any General Intelligent Reader could possibly come to that summary.

Also got lost at the last act where everyone was counter-offering the doctor to retract his statement. But love the angst. Loved how the doctor decided to stay. Loved how everyone didn’t dare to do anything because of “public opinion”. LOVED CAPTAIN HORSTER. 够讲义气. Can’t decide/haven’t thought through the sentiments of curs and all that breeding animal stuff yet.

Some stuff about gender and feminism around the doctor’s wife and her interests in protecting the family/the children while standing up for her husband. Some more stuff about society and the free individual’s rights and responsibilities.

I think I should do these spews more often. And then maybe another round when I’m more enlightened after tutorials.

Today, Scottish prof was amiable and gave out cans of soft drink, Irn Bru, at a 9.30am class which is apparently Scotland’s second national drink after whisky (which he had to restrain himself from giving out because then he would get the sack and he still has to support his family…Ibsen reference!). Prof shaved and he looks like Harry Potter now. And he looks so much happier being in a small class teaching solely Scottish Lit so I’m bought over to give him/Scottish Lit a chance. Hwaha.

Sensibility and Romanticism prof was so cute too.

So much history today cos intro lectures.

Need to do stufff.

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All the difference

Slowly catching up with the rest. Weighing my words with this hazy/slightly worried/kinda tired mind.

Oh God help me.

Ok.

There are instruments of God, and then there are servants of God.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7:21 – 23 (NIV)

The devo puts it this way: An instrument is a person whom God uses, whether that person is right or not. God will bless His word, whether a saint or sinner preaches it. But the servant of God lives in the fullness of His Spirit, evidencing the life of obedience. (Oswald Chambers’ Devotions for a Deeper Life: A Daily Devotional)

How I see it, instruments of God pretty much means anyone whom God uses to accomplish His will, whether they realize it/intend for it or not. Anyone can be an instrument to God’s will because anyone can be used by God in that sense, even what we consider not-so-good can be used for His glory. It all works out in the end.

Servants of God on the other hand aren’t just people whom God can use to do things in this physical realm. Servants of God are living in a whole ‘nother reality. They’re living in the Spirit and the Spirit is living in them and from that relationship comes that outpouring of obedience to God.

I used to be confused about this verse because I think subconsciously, I equated the outpouring of God’s power (prophesying and driving out demons and doing miracles) as being really holy and close to God. I kind of assumed that if you could do these things, you’re probably right and tight with God because otherwise, why would God use you and allow you to do all that? If you could do these things through God, doesn’t it mean you are after God’s will and that He approves?

And yet, He outrightly rejects them in verse 23. He tells them plainly He never knew them. And I’m like whut.

what talking you. contradictory much? What do you mean you never knew them if you allowed them to do all that fancy stuff? Doesn’t fancy stuff = much holiness + much tight with you?

So I’m looking at this verse again, and this is what I’m seeing. There is a connection between the one Jesus approves, the one “who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven” and about Jesus knowing this person/this person knowing Jesus. The actions and miracley stuff isn’t part of that equation. And here, another verse comes to mind:

21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.

John 14:21 (NIV)

There is a relationship between doing the will of the Father, in the knowing and keeping of these commands, and knowing the loving God who gave them. And I think there’s something really intentional here, which set the instruments and the servants apart. The servants have a direction, they have a master to follow and they have the Holy Spirit who lives in them and shows them what the will of God is that they might follow. And they do want to follow. There is the intention of obeying God, through the working of the Holy Spirit and through grace. And anything that comes from that, whether supernatural or not, is a result of this relationship with God and being changed into His likeness.

The deeds aren’t it. The intention of doing the Father’s will, the actual doing of His will by His grace, knowing and loving Him, those are it. Deeds are one of the by-products of such a relationship.

So it’s not deeds = right relationship with God, but a right relationship = deeds. I.e deeds don’t always mean you’re a servant of God, but being a servant of God and being in that a right relationship with God will, as a natural consequence of obedience, have something to show for them (cos faith without works ain’t faith nya). One of those times an equal sign doesn’t mean equality. The mind games.

On the flip side of things, the people who are using things they “did” (or rather what God allowed them to do) as proof/justification for gaining God’s approval are met by a cold, harsh truth: God doesn’t know them and they don’t know this God either. Because they aren’t servants. They are mere instruments who have no direction/intention to accomplish the will of God. God uses them, yes, but that doesn’t mean anything about their heart for God.

I don’t know if it’s a stretch to say this but I feel like even Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, was an instrument of God and he was far from perfect. Because of Judas, Jesus was crucified and salvation was brought to Mankind. So ultimate outcome is good, but was Judas acting in obedience to God to carry out His will? Nope. He wasn’t out to usher in God’s salvation for Mankind. He was more about betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. But did God use him for good anyways? Yup. So yas.

Devo ends with this deep thought about what they think God is saying in effect: “when you judge the work someone is doing, don’t judge by the fact that you see Me at work. Judge him by his fruit.” Why? Cos the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit is in essence, character. Many can do the work of God but no one can imitate the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Adapted from Oswald Chambers’ Devotions for a Deeper Life: A Daily Devotional)

And that character and that fruit, that’s what God really wants for us. Always thought fruit meant like “results”, in terms of work and numbers and accomplishing things. But it goes deeper than that. Fruit is in the mature young man and woman in Christ who turn to God constantly, dying to themselves and living for him constantly. They are the ones being good stewards of what He has called them to do. Everything else that happens physically, the work, the outcomes, is God at work anyways, through instruments and servants. It is the fruit of the character that the growing stuff happens and that’s the important part.

I just felt like this was really important. It was really important to me then when I was looking at it a couple weeks ago and it is important to me now although in a slightly different, deeper way. It also tied in with the last post about successful service and our relationship with God. Getting different stuff all the time. Practically grew up with that Matthew verse and am only seeing new stuff from it now. God so amazing.

Anyways, I has more gems and musings on a couple of desiringgod podcasts which I shall endeavour to share soon. Was going to do it with this one but I wanted to take sometime to think and re-think this devo/passage so that’s that. Also, brain is failing and methinks that words, especially those about God, have gotta be carefully written.

Goodnight, friends. Go pray. God bless, always.

 

Starstruck: Carol Burnett

Three days to flying and guess what I’ve been up to. Only binge watching Carol Burnett sketches for hours on end. Not the wisest way to spend my time but sure is one of the funniest hahaha.

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Carol Burnett approves

Wow, what a woman. I’d only lately picked up her biography of sorts called This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection published in 2010. It’s a lovely, lighthearted read which had me literally laughing out loud at every episode. This woman doesn’t act funny, she is funny. I can hear it from the pages, all that verve and personality and animation. She makes her life out to be just that funny. I love it. I love her attitude, her nerve, her wit, how she opens up to be completely star-struck and chickened out by the larger than life actors and actresses she meets. She keeps it real, she hopes, she works so hard and loves what she does. I feel like I almost know her from her book (if that’s even possible). She’s so friendlyyy. Do read it if ever you have the chance, it will absolutely brighten your day. She has that effect on people.

I first knew Carol from  Annie as Miss Hannigan. She was admittedly too overly intoxicated for me but still. I was more enamoured with Ann Reinking as Grace Farrell then (those legs please) who is a very accomplished dancer in her own right. Her dance in ‘We Got Annie’ makes me so happy, it’s so lovely to watch. Absolutely gorgeous. Love her dress.

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Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan in Annie.

Then I caught Carol on all those Carol and Julie (Andrews) stuff they used to put up every once in a while. (Julie Andrews is queen) Yes, my two favourite people happen to be really good friends and they rag about wonderfully together onstage. The chemistryyy.

I especially loved this sketch they did at the Lincoln Center. Haha the musical references. Classic. Wish the picture quality was better though.

Her book was so funny that I had to catch up with her work filmed about fifty years back. Been binge watching her TV series, The Carol Burnett Show, and getting nicely acquainted with all her co-stars and the people she wrote so highly about.

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The Carol Burnett Show with all my favourite cast members. Top: Vicki Lawrence. Right: Lyle Waggoner. Bottom: Carol Burnett. Left: Harvey Korman

Her sketches are really brilliant. I don’t know how they come up with so many different scenarios and so many things to do that just comes off as funny. My favourites are the Carol and Sis ones because of the whole family dynamic, how the characters aren’t too over the top but are still hilarious anyway. It’s fantastic, everybody is so versatile in playing different people.

I love all her little ticks, the crazy way her right eye goes all bug-eyed sometimes, and her really swell all-American voice. Love itt.

Also loved her co-actor, Harvey Korman. He can be quite fetching. I don’t think he’s really that popular outside of her show but I wouldn’t know.

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Harvey Korman being glamorous
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Harvey Korman being not so glamorous

You can still tell he’s a funny guy. He’s got laughing features and a nice guy friendly face. I like the sketches where he and Carol act as a couple, it’s so adorbs. Haha I think that’s why I liked the Carol and Sis sketches. They both have really good chemistry and they’re both so good-looking and funny. You wouldn’t think of funny people as the good-looking ones but Carol and Harvey are such handsome people. Even when they’re making absolute fools of themselves they’re charming. There was this one sketch where the cast was doing different death scenes because ‘every actor wants to do a good death scene’ and I loved how when it was Carol’s turn, she was like “I’d like a little lights and some music… and Harvey.” And he just comes on to scoop her up in his arms when she goes ‘action’ to execute/rag the dying lover scene. Haha Harvey, as indispensable as lights and music. He cracked up a little bit in the scene because Carol was being Carol and he was just enjoying the whole thing, methinks. Hilarious. I need a Harvey Korman in my life to do dying lover scenes. Or pretty much any other bit of drama. Bff goals please.

There were a lot of good looking co-stars on the show too. Lyle Waggoner (oh so hot I cannot), Ken Berry and a few others whom I have yet to match names to their faces.

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Carol Burnett and Lyle Waggoner

Loved this one too with guest star Alan Alda. (How come she gets all the hot guest stars) He was an adorbs bumble here. Harvey and Vicki were also a scream in their cringeworthy exaggerations of the old black and whites hahaha.

And this Alan sketch was lovely. Practically a fairytale romance in modern times. Why are they both so cute, this is absolutely perfect. Hearts so much.

I just fell for Ken Berry last night. I only saw him on this one episode where he sang this one song and snap, I was a goner. Completely melted. Here, watch it, it starts at about 10.23. Just swooned. He’s so endearing. His voice and his expressions and everything. Smooth kid.

It was so happy and friendly and everything was set up in the typical romanticized costume and setting. The irony of it being a spoof is not lost on me.

Carol was the bomb in that one too. Her figure was completely on point please. And she has really lovely cheekbones. So Nicole Kidman from the Golden Compass in this sketch. Ugh, I have to watch her in a proper movie. Her sketches just give me glimpses into all that potential. Need to watch her in a running screen time of more than an hour at least.

She had Rock Hudson on the show too but he wasn’t that hot for me. This sketch was great though. The burns. Genius. Gotta give them credit for it.

Reading and watching her makes me a little nostalgic for something I didn’t even experience first hand. Does that make sense? I mean, I technically didn’t grow up watching her episodes on TV and I definitely didn’t grow up in her time, the 60s and all that. But still, I like everything about the show that screams how dated it is. The hairdos, the fashion, the lack of handphones, how guys have to really pluck up their courage to hit up the girls at the bar (no such swiping and Tinder nonsense, just the good ol’ fashion getting to know you and pick up lines. Haha all their pick me up bar skits are hilarious. Just watch them struggle).

I think I know why I like the Carol and Sis sketches now. They reflect a little a bit of a life I might never know. I don’t know how accurate it is in depicting a life before the 21st century but I like the interactions the characters have with each other, the dialogue and everything, regardless of the slapstick sitcom it’s structured around. Not to say I don’t like my current time and age but I feel like I’m missing something else, another culture of another time that was somehow more honest, more sincere, where people were smart enough to be funny and talent was valued.

I don’t know. I’ve pretty much stopped watching TV. Maybe I’ve just become a snob at my own generation at the ripe old age of twenty. Oh no I have turned into my snobby professor who doesn’t read books written past, what, 1965?

Noooo what have I becomee

Muse

So my room mate said something surprisingly profound while I was griping about how my essay was not coming along. She said:

“Don’t ask me. I have many thoughts but no opinions.” 

That is all. 

Mindblown~

Oh well, as tragic as that sounds, it kind of describes me. Which explains my sticky essay situation. 

It’s not that I don’t have any opinions. It’s just that, as of now, I don’t have one about my text. 

Somebody give me a thesis on Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy already. 

Musical of the Moment: Jekyll and Hyde

I am in love and this is the object of my affection~~~~~~~~~~~

Jekyll and Hyde is an old story, one of the prescribed readings this semester but I read it last semester to do a comparison with Frankenstein. Lately, I Youtubed J&H because the lecturer was showing us the various transformations of Jekyll to Hyde and they were all the same: choking, gasping, the final transformation into this ape-looking grinning person with the big crooked teeth. And I was like “I’m sure there has to be a version where Hyde doesn’t look that bad.” I didn’t expect to find this version because while there were versions where Caliban was the hot one in plays like Tempest, the idea of appearance and inner character was the theme in J&H.

What Youtube threw up was even better than discovering a hot Hyde. I discovered J&H the musical ❤ ❤ ❤

I had to skim through it because I was supposed to be writing an essay on it and then I got…sidetracked… and stuff… but I liked what I skimmed. And that says a lot. Because I read that by a certain age, people’s musical influences kind of just cement and they aren’t as open to new influences anymore. But I was so into this, the music, it’s amazing. To find something new that I like so strongly. Perhaps it was because the music sounded very much like the music I already liked, typical Les Mis, Phantom stuff, but still.

Well, I have to admit that I’m a softie for anything with the large Victorian dresses and sets and speech. They adapted the story for the stage though, and I completely understand. You couldn’t possibly do a direct word-for-word from book to stage. Too much inner psyche. Can you imagine the soliloquies Jekyll would have had to do?

So while the focus of the story was still on appearances and characters, reputations and facades, there was a new element in the story: the love element. Don’t call me sappy just yet. At first, I was skeptical. I thought that love elements would weaken this story. After all, the fact that there was no prominent woman figure in the book was one of those glaring factors that might fuel literary essays. But it worked out very well, I think. For one thing, some of my favourite songs came from the love duets and the ballads. Having the love interests added this emotional, sentimental element into the story and songs that couldn’t otherwise have been achieved. It made Jekyll seem like he had a social life, that he cared for people besides himself.

Continue reading “Musical of the Moment: Jekyll and Hyde”

Winged Words

Dear everybody who might read this, be proud of me. Be very very proud of me. In fact, you can be proud of yourself too for knowing me and being vaguely associated with me. (Haha nah, I’m just kidding. But seriously, though.)

What’s to be proud of?

You’re reading the very words of one who has finished reading Homer’s The Odyssey, a 400 word long epic poetry made prose (wait for it) in the course of 2 days. Oh yeah, uh huh. *Boogies*

Did you get that? 400 pages of oldish English littered with too many Greek gods and monsters and people and too many stories and their re-tellings. In two days.

If that’s not an achievement unlocked, I don’t know what is.

Hail the Son of Laertes, seed of Zeus. “I am Odysseus!” Yeah, pretty smart of him to yell that to the Cyclops he blinded who prayed to his dad, Poseidon, to avenge him. Why would you incur the wrath of someone who is called “Earth-shaker”?

Responding to The Odyssey off the cuff, I’d say it’s really very much like Beowulf in the sense that there’s so much of story-telling. (“O you, who are you? Where do you hail? How did you get here?” And mind you our main characters repeat their stories to everyone they meet on every single new island and they do meet a lot of people in this work. That’s how it’s 400 pages long.) That it’s in prose helps only that little bit. It’s still very much in the epic poetry sense of things. At least, that’s what I’m getting.

Also, I have my questions on Odysseus. I may have read wrong (that sort of thing is bound to happen along the way in such a long book) but he did end up as the bedfellow of more than one goddess…right? And he slept with the Goddess Circe who turned his comrades to pigs? Who he pretended he was going to kill and then made her swear not to hurt him and then went up to bed with her? Like…whoa. Whoa. No. Disturbing much.

And why didn’t Penelope turn her wooers out? They were practically eating her estate away. She cried a lot in the story but I guess that can’t be helped when she didn’t even know if her husband was dead or alive and people were trying to woo her to marry one of them. I did wonder a lot about her mentality throughout the story. Another work we’re suppose to read later on is The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. I think it’s about Penelope’s side of the story and from the first few lines, it looks like it’s in modern English (Thank God) and I’m actually quite interested to start reading it for her POV.

All in all, I just felt that the whole thing was so long-drawn out and very, very slow. I suppose it’s written that way to make the language beautiful and whatever but it really got on my nerves. These people could spend a day, a whole day, talking about their past adventure. (which, on more than one occasion, happened several years ago) Too much. Talking. Not enough. Action. When there was action, though, I read much quicker and I was actually into it. For a while, at least for as long (or short) as it lasted. Half the time I was lost in the story telling. Who’s telling the story now? Odysseus? Telemachus? Nestor? Menelaus? Lost. One telling example of this ‘inception’ in story telling was the part where the old maid (I forgot her name. Too many greek names. I know it started with E) was washing Odysseus’ feet. She didn’t know it was Odysseus because the goddess Athene had disguised him to look like an old beggar man. But she recognized this scar on Odysseus foot and then the work plunged into this page long historical recount of how Odysseus got the scar as a young man before coming back up to the present. Talk about going off tangent. I don’t really care how a boar cut Odysseus with its horn when he was a young man. If you tell me he has a scar, I believe you. Truly.

Anyways, these are all pretty superficial stuff and my immediate reactions as a slightly-worn out reader of the Odyssey. If you wanted a more intellectual discourse on it, I can’t promise you one but if it gets interesting when we talk about this in class (and after more heartfelt reviews into Sparknotes or Shmoop or something), I just might revisit our dear Odysseus again.

Before Endgame

So I’ve been reading Ecclesiastes lately. The verses for this week’s sermon was also coincidentally on Ecclesiastes.  The whole book on Ecclesiastes is basically this: Everything is meaningless.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
    and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
    ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
    “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
    and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
    by those who follow them.

Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

It goes on about how wisdom and folly is meaningless, and pleasure and pain is meaningless etc. etc. You get the picture.

I used to like Ecclesiastes for a childish reason. It came across as encouraging when I had a bad day at school or when I failed something. It takes out all my angst. “Everything is meaningless!” I’d declare mock-heroically/wisely and gravely. And then I’ll get over myself and try to do better.

I still like Ecclesiastes because it feels as if everything is being put into perspective. It balances out everything and contemplates about the unfairness of life, why bad things happen and all that. It’s kind of like Job. While Job did question God, the author in Ecclesiastes accepts that in the end, some things can’t be explained or understood and it’s all just part of life. To be fair though, I suppose Job was more emotional about it because he was losing everything in life left and right and it was personal whereas the author in Ecclesiastes was just pondering about life in general.

Continue reading “Before Endgame”