Saturday, February 08, 2003

Procrastination

I've got two very good reasons for blogging right now. Firstly, it beats doing homework, though I suppose I'll have to get around to that eventually. Secondly, I've just spilled tea (hot tea, mind you) on my desk, so doing homework would be well-nigh impossible right now. Justified thusly, I shall blog (and I shall also quit talking like that).

First on the list of things about which to blog (sorry, I've just gotten into the habit of not ending sentence clauses with prepositions) is this bet reported by the newly-hitched Ben Domenech and a similar question he himself has posed. Though I'm not a gambling man and wouldn't claim not to be a stud, Mike Krempasky is not to be underestimated. Besides, he's got a infant/toddler neice, and if that's not a chick-magnet, I don't know what is. I, on the other hand, intend to wait at least until I've completed my Master's degree, so Mike's got a 2-3 year head start on me.

I've also recently toyed around with the idea of enlisting in the military with their new eighteen-month short-term enlistments. However, upon talking to my dad about it, he seemed almost ready to come and kneecap me himself to prevent me from doing so. You see, the men in my family have a grand tradition of dying in horrible ways during war (concentration camps, sinking with a Union ironclad, dying on the Eastern Front, getting shot down in a zeppelin, etc.). Those that have survived (essentially my dad, my uncle, and both grandfathers) survived because they either were young enough that the war was nearly finished by the time they were old enough or because they were so old that they weren't combat troops but did things like supervise the installation of radar in Corsairs aboard aircraft carriers. I'd also neglected to heed the advice I gave to a friend when he didn't get into the Naval Academy. I told him that as an engineer, he could do a lot of good by designing better weapons for the military than by serving. Don't get me wrong: different people have different gifts. His (and I've been told mine) are better used in giving others every possible advantage.

I've also been considering going into teacher, preferably with students somewhere between sixteen and twenty. However, I'd like to do it in England. You see, I feel this urge that's very close to being missionary, but it slightly different. Instead of wanting to go spread the news of the Gospel, America, and things like that to places that have never heard of it, I want to go to those places which already know but are forgetting. Other people can build the towers; I want to make sure that the foundations are intact. For instance, regular readers know that I've got a big problem with the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) and the Church of England (CofE), and that I prefer the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA). Somewhat similarly, I was struck by my time in London by how little most Brits seemed to know about their own history. If you don't even know your own history, how are you going to be able to spread the virtues that made your people and your country great? While America is the greatest power and national source of good in the world today, the other English-Speaking nations (UK, Canada, Australia, and NZ) are also cities on hills. France, China, Brazil, and South Africa ought to be, but are too concerned with either blaming their troubles on America or on repressing their own people. There are a lot of countries, both developing and industrialized, which need the help of the Anglosphere. America has liberated Afghanistan, most of the former Yugoslavia, helped in Ethiopia, protected Israel, South Korea, and Taiwan, and is the largest supplier of international aid. Britain and Australia have also played major roles in these actions, with Australia also helping liberate East Timor and Britain holding off the Nazis virtually singlehandedly for several years (I think they're even now still recovering from this). Places like Poland, now free, remember the help they've been given and admire the lives we live. In my favorite movie, The Razor's Edge (1984), there's a scene where Larry tells Izzy "I found out that there's another debt to pay: for the privilege of being alive." In the same vein, there's also a debt to pay for the privilege of being born in a city on a hill. You have to defend it from invaders, but also protect those in the valleys from enemies and privations. I know that evil can't be eradicated from the world. The Bible says that the poor will always be with us, and I suspect that it refers not only to monetary poverty, but also spiritual, cultural, emotional, and all other sorts. Yesterday, a friend described me as an idealist, "in the best sense." Whenever I take the Keirsey personality tests, they show me as an "Idealist-Healer." I'm often cynical because things are so wrong in the world, but I'd like to try and help.

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