Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.


Thoughts on Trolling, Part III

(A Facebook status and lengthy, multi-day discussion)

Degolar: When combining leftovers for a new meal, is it wrong to eat a vegan dish alongside Oklahoma Joe's?

K: Pas de tout! Not at all! I'm jealous I can't do the same!

Degolar: I feel I must surely be offending the vegan food by casually dismissing its purpose in life.

(And, yes, I do anthropomorphize that way--my egocentric insecurities are so grand that I worry not only people are judging me but inanimate objects as well.)

D: The lamp called you a little punk. You gonna take that from a lighting fixture?

K: Think of it this way? Would you worry about eating a salad or cob of corn (both vegan) with bbq? Would the corn or salad be offended?

Degolar: But salads and meats often go together and are, in fact, sometimes one and the same. They are natural complements. The vegan food should have an existential dilemma about sharing a plate with meat because its prime directive is being directly canceled--it was created to prevent meat consumption.

It’s like asking a fan and a blanket to hang out in the same closet. By their very natures, they are at odds--at the best adversarial and more often open enemies--and of course you have to expect tension or possible outright aggression toward each other and deep resentment toward you for putting them in that awkwardly cramped position.

And I’d grab one of my torches, D, but I can’t really deny the truth of the lamp’s statement . . .

D: Is it like putting a video game system in a box with a bunch of books? I mean, yeah they're both leisure activity tools, but they do seem to be adversaries too.

DJ: Meat and 'Vegan' meals don't work together and also cannot digest in the stomach together. On the emotional side...the Vegan dish is probably reserving a tear inside sitting next to Bertha...)

K: LOL, DJ! Okay, think of it less as "vegan" food and more like oh, say Indian food, which it is. Indian food that just happens to be free of animal products. So maybe the real question is: should I be eating two different types of world cuisine in the same meal? BBQ technically being an Americanized African dish.

Degolar: You're on the right track, D, but there's a little nuance because both books and games exist to entertain and enlighten. A blanket's primary purpose is to conserve heat; a fan's primary purpose is to disperse heat--their fundamental reasons for existence are in direct opposition to each other.

J: Yes, but you're forgetting something. Having a hot thing and a cold thing in the same place cancels them out, so they are okay together. For example, you wouldn't want a closet with a fan and a humidifier and a bunch of ice cube trays (even empty ones) together and a closet with a blanket and a heating pad and all your winter coats in it, because that would be way too cold or way too hot... so similarly, eating vegan food and meat together cancels them out so they can co-exist in your stomach. As my daughter said (we had this conversation about this thread), "how would they ever meet each other if they were never eaten together?" :)

Books and videos sometimes go together naturally though because of the subject or original source, so they don't factor in to this discussion the same way. I'm going off now to check my closets. I don't want anyone to be unhappy.

DJ: Nope..:)

D: Got it. So like the bible and porn then?

E: No, D. They don't cancel each other out. There's raunchy stuff in the Bible too. Although, the Bible is ultimately about love rather than objectification.

D: But I LOVE my porn. Figuratively and literally. ;) Giggity

Degolar: Only if it's vegan porn.

D: It is before the lovin' starts. Then it *full* of meat.

Too far?

E: Ah, but porn, whether vegan or carnivorous, is missing the actual meat and complexity (the vegetables?) of a loving relationship. Likewise, the Bible is just literature apart from people actually seeking God. That's why porn and the Bible don't cancel each other out.

D: So... What was the original question?

E: To eat from the tree or not... oh, you mean for THIS discussion? Vegan with BBQ, is it wrong. Degolar, the rightness or wrongness of this is probably between you and God. What did you decide? ... or are they both molding in the fridge by now. THAT would be a sin.

Degolar: Does the sex count as vegan if you require an animal like a honeybee to facilitate your reproduction?

D: okay.

Degolar: Oh, I unrepentantly ate them together, just philosophized as I did so.

E: So, Degolar, since you used the word "unrepentantly," does this mean you believe it was wrong to eat them together? I am happy to hear, though, that you didn't waste them.

Degolar: I don't find anything wrong with it, but could see how others might.

This might be a bit much and not really the context I was thinking, but it's the right idea:

Let us therefore no longer pass judgement on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of another.* 14I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15If your brother or sister* is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. 16So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. 17For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. 19Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual edification. 20Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat; 21it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister* stumble.* 22The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve. 23But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith;* for whatever does not proceed from faith* is sin.

D: So... Jesus was a vegan?

Degolar: Vagrant. Jesus was a vagrant.

E: HA! Good one! Now about the stumbling block... was there someone present whose faith would have been compromised by your BBQ/vegan medley? If so, shame, shame, shame on you! If not, then it's all good. ...vagrant... heh heh heh...

D: God was there. God. Was. There.

Degolar: I’m weird, I know, but I’m okay with that. So to occupy my unstimulated mind during my swim tonight I began to wonder how I would answer if anyone asked me to explain the relevance of the Romans passage. And as I’m wont to do, I started mentally composing an answer. It came with a particular voice (I think it was “evil assholes” that got things started). The composing continued until I had the words firmly seared into my brain, so in order to move on I had to expel them by writing them out. And once they were written down, well, why not share them question unasked (even though Elaine has already demonstrated her understanding).

***So, uh, like, this is part of a letter this guy named Paul wrote to this young church in Rome, giving them his take on Jesus’ teachings and telling them how to solve some squabbles they were having. But Paul and these Roman dudes knew each other and were taking for granted some shared education to set the stage, so for the section to really make sense we need to back up a little.

Christians call it the Old Testament these days, but back then that was all they had. Part of it was called the Torah, or The Law. You see, God made this Covenant with the people to be their God, but then they had to agree to follow all these rules and shit to be God’s holy people. They had to be pure. And some of the laws were all about how to make food pure. It’s called kosher, man.

So they’re going along being all kosher and everything, when this dude Jesus pops up. Jesus looks at them and says, whoa, y’all are fucking things up. Whole bunches of you follow the rules perfectly, but you’re still evil assholes, man. It ain’t about the rules, man. It’s about doing what’s right, about treating each other right. The rules were supposed to help make that happen, but you dudes are all about just being all holier than thou and shit. Tell you what, says Jesus, if you can listen to me and figure out this whole love thing, well then we can forget the rules and I’ll be your New Covenant. Cool?

So then here’s Paul talking to these Roman dudes, telling them they missed the point entirely. You’re doing just what Jesus said not to, idiots. Some of you think you’re all superior and shit because you’re too good to follow the rules. Some of you think you’re special because you still follow the rules even though you don’t have to. It ain’t about the rules, man! It’s about each other.

So if some of you can figure out how to do the right thing without any rules, more power to you. And if some of you find a few rules make things simpler and help you find the right path, well that’s groovy too. We all gotta do the right thing together. Together. So be fucking considerate, man. If you’re with someone kosher, then support them by being kosher too. Help them stay faithful, man. It’s not about you. It’s about us. Us. So be the best us you can be with whatever us you are a part of at any particular time and place.***

(This might explain why I’m working at the library and not for a church.)

(And while better theological minds than mine have found doctrines like the elect and predestination in the middle part of Romans, I read Paul as making the case that “us” is everyone everywhere.)

D: And Jesus said unto them, "Dudes! WTF?!?! Be good to excellent to each other and party on dudes."

That's why I'm not in the church.
That and I burst into flames when I walk in the door.

Degolar: If you don't remember, that was my Christmas greeting this year.

E: Degolar, wish I'd had your commentary when my Sunday school class was studying Romans last fall. I would have had to edit or at least tone down the "naughty" words (the Romans passage in action) but, as we came to the same basic conclusion ("us" not "me"), it would have been a nice way to sum up. Actually, since we just finished 1Corinthians chapters 12-14, which in a different context says much the same thing, it might still be nice to bring that to class. I would, of course, give you full credit. Kudos to you for a commentary in layman's lingo. You rock, Bro!!

Degolar: ‎:-) I have no particular authority to lend credence to my opinions, but thanks and feel free to share.

It would make sense that the Corinthians is similar since it's again Paul writing to a church about issues they're having.

And the exact same principle applies with the editing--if you're sharing with those who find some words disagreeable and immoral then do without them, but if you're sharing with those who find coarse language a sign of salt of the earth wisdom and camaraderie then make it fucking relevant.

But don't share it with any vegans, please.

D: So... pinata?

E: Only on your birthday, D. And stop putting lighter fluid on yourself before going to church. We burn lots of candles. You're bound to catch on fire. Degolar, I'm pretty sure that I have no vegan students in my class.

K: LOL! I am so pissed at facebook for not sending me these updates! it's my food that ends up involved in a comparison about porn. I’m flattered!

D: Well, to be fair, your way cooler than us, so it probably didn't want to bother you with our piddly comments (excluding E of course).

E: D, were you piddling while commenting? I wasn't, but only because I do not multi-task well.

D: a little *blush*

Degolar: I make a habit of prattling, but I never piddle. Well, rarely. Only Wednesdays and Saturdays, except twice last month I skipped the weekend.

D: Could be worse, we could be dawdling.

K: Wait, I'm cooler? Is that code for Frigid Ice Queen?

K: I don't think I've heard anyone use the word "piddle" in quite a while. What a refreshing change! I spend entirely too much time at work discussing pee, so piddle will be refreshing.

Degolar: So you missed the touring production of Piddler on the Roof at Starlight last year?

K: Yes! I was very disappointed! I was hoping for spontaneous urination in addition to spontaneous song!

D: If I were a rich man. Aaaaaaaaaaah

E: Seems we've covered most of the major concerns of humankind; eating, communing with God, sex, piddling, prattling, dawdling, bursting into flames...


At 1/27/2011 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. I had no idea this had expanded. SPRAP! (word verification).


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