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Chosen One Ephant Mon

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About Chosen One Ephant Mon

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    Padawan
  • Birthday May 22

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  1. Man I just stumbled on some stuff from only 5 years ago and it still made me cringe. It's weird how your past self seems so young and foolish even when you're "grown up."
  2. Great hearing from you, man! Congrats on the family.
  3. Thanks, guys! And V, good memory — yes, I grew up in Cincinnati but haven't lived there for over a decade now. I know you're also an Ohio guy but from up north if I recall? To your question, I'll be at Duke this fall.
  4. Sweet jiminy. Star Wars is back. Nothing beats the magic of John F. Williams.
  5. Thanks, guys. I was a philosophy major in college and the program I'll be starting this fall is a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.), not a Master of Divinity (M.Div.), so it is more academic than ministerial. It's a good preparation for further doctoral work and the teaching track, which I'm giving a shot. In other words, I'm going to be poor forever. But at least it's something I love.
  6. The rhetoric of "tolerance" and "intolerance" is a crock. There is no neutrality: Everybody agrees that some behaviors should be protected, some encouraged, some discouraged, and some proscribed. The disagreement is precisely over which ones to tolerate, not whether tolerance or intolerance is our beau ideal. Appeals to some Platonic form of "tolerance" that is obviously correct to all good modern people on the right side of history is naive at best. We're seeing lately that the name of tolerance can be used quite effectively in service of massive shaming campaigns and other strong-arm tactics. The gay marriage vs. religious liberty debate is a fitting example of what happens when two sides disagree radically about human ends and duties to the common good, and only one side is willing to imagine that its adversaries may not be motivated by backwards thinking and rank bigotry. As usual, Ross Douthat is a voice of sanity: http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/30/questions-for-indianas-critics/ EDIT: Sorry for the rant — my post was not directed toward my friends above, just the more shameless instigators of the culture wars.
  7. I too am going to grad school. Theology, bitches!
  8. Batman (1966) is a GD national treasure. This is an excellent idea.
  9. Thanks, Brendo! I'm sorry I was so negligent in punctuality here. I appreciate the kind words!
  10. Hi, all. This is an introductory passage I wrote recently. I'm curious how it functions as the beginning of a story. Does it intrigue? Does it fall flat? Any feedback is welcome. Thanks. -COEM ======= I am rarely now stirred to take up my pen; the wear of years and many battles, few won, has wound me down, and though my dreams bear me nightly back into that vital fray, my days are something different. After fourteen years I have grown used to my retirement. When I started on that last retreat, not quite chosen, I saw my end before me as a body in an armchair. It was no surprise, following as it did on the nature of our cause and the enemies it raised; but it was a blow. Quiet is a dreadful thing. It is no balm for my soul, and I think it never shall be; though perhaps I may find something in it yet. The seasons do something to us all and today this old controversialist has little left to say. I should go on turning over my own thoughts in safe solitude till the end, were it not for the painful news that has lately come to my ear. I mean the recent string of calumnies leveled in the press against a noble man, a friend dearer to me than life. Thomas Rane needs no defense, as if a mouse could defend a lion. His true deeds are known to all, though they now meet the public in a muddy admixture, contending with these fresh libels concerning his private motives and relations. To the last they are false; nothing could be more false; yet what could be more expected? No prophet is accepted in his own country. When he died springtime last I mourned him dearly, though in our mutual grief I remember telling Henry Rowe it was a miracle it had not happened sooner. In the final months there was a sense unspoken among us that, despite his vigor, Thomas was not long for the world. His fall struck us like a thunderbolt; our adversaries seized the moment and drove off his lieutenants into obscurity. The tide pushed me with them and I had sense enough to follow. I profess no wish to reclaim the mantle of our movement, nor any hope that it might revive in the hearts of my readers. Our cause ended with Thomas; he gave it life. I cannot vindicate him before his detractors: his life is his alibi, known to his friends if even the world should skew or forget it. Honor is not man’s final measure. I wish others to love him because I loved him, but his virtue is solid marble of the soul—no earthly thing could budge it for better or worse, least of all the success or failure of my letters. I write now only to fulfill the solemn duty of a friend and to offer the truth for any who still care to hear it. If even a few come to learn what passed between us in the years I knew him, I shall consider that duty discharged.
  11. Whoa, I better come through then! But what is a Damon poster?
  12. It is a little jarring to see the EU set aside -- or even addressed officially and as a whole, really -- but I agree with the general line of thought here: It is exactly what I expected. And I'm not really bothered by it. It'll be quite suspenseful not knowing where they will take the story (and the canon with it), and whenever they do throw a bone to the EU fans and incorporate some element or character in it'll be a delicious treat. I think it's the right call.
  13. Thanks for the straight scoop, gents. I sometimes wondered wistfully if those hidden forums had really closed or if I had just pissed somebody off and never saw the lights of them again.
  14. An alternative take on sexual orientation: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/03/against-heterosexuality I think this is pretty much right. Note that the article doesn't say that inclinations don't exist -- sure they do. But the idea that sexual orientation is an essential aspect of own's being -- synonymous with one's identity -- is a recent novelty, and an artificial one at that. It has harmful consequences in several ways, including for young people who agonize over discovering their "true" identity. The truth is that desires are a lot less straight forward than that. The interplay of desire, behavior, social situation and circumstance can lead to all kinds of conflicting desires in different ages, cultures, and seasons of life, and what it considered "natural" as a psychological diagnosis -- even heterosexuality -- is often more constructed and reinforced than truly inherent. Queer theorists are already moving in this direction and affirming the freedom of the individual to mold one's sexual identity as he or she wills. We already see the binary gay-straight orientation scheme coming apart as claims to other "natural orientations" are making their way into the news. To friends like Sasori, I would gently offer that there are more ways of seeing the world than modern liberal individualism. Accusations of bigotry are par for the course these days, but the folks who jump to that conclusion have walked into the tail-end of an argument and heard only the conclusion without the premises. I'm not saying everyone opposed to gay marriage has charity in his heart, but plenty of people do, and very bright ones too. The position seems totally irrational to a liberal individualist because there's no place for it to stand on those principles -- hence "bigotry." In reality the disagreement is built on other disagreements and runs very deep, so arguing on those terms is just talking past one another. It may be perfectly fitting and coherent within a different tradition of rationality, but it is very rare for our culture to consider such a heterodox worldview on its own terms and honestly try to learn about it. The differences at play are fundamental: radically divergent conceptions of the human person, the common good, and the end of human life. And there is no way to be "neutral" about such things. It's just possible that if the position doesn't jive with liberalism, it is liberalism that is wrong. For what it's worth, I think it is unhelpful and untrue to act as if gay marriage is The Great Evil of Our Time that signals the end of everything. Christians who are paying attention realize that it is simply a logical development of the principles long present in our nation, perhaps since its founding -- and preceded by plenty of equal and worse compromises of faith and natural law by cheery heterosexuals.
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