Thursday, December 21, 2006

Systematic Platypus

"I can't stand those sort of hymns. They're too lilting and seem like they're always folding back on themselves. I like the ones that have more force to them: da,da,da,da,dum!' You know, something by Wesley."

The Integrated Evangelical

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Post-Something Platypus


The world's all for burning while
The movie's two-hour play,
Squelches some half-earnest yearning
'bout a million miles away.

We rage against the machine with
Three-minute anthems in the street,
Until a Starbucks Latte
Makes us rest our unused feet.

"Our God is very great!" calls the voice from out the wilderness.
"Our God is very great!" cries the voice from out the storm.

Is there no balm in Gilead,
We ask with eyes wide closed.
And beat our raw backs bloody,
before the mirror: primp and pose;

Knowing in some vague tomorrow,
There's a place were it seems,
Ten Million Aborted fetuses
Keep all our "might-have-been's."

"Our God is very great!" calls the voice from out the wilderness.
"Our God is very great!" cries the voice from out the storm.

Excuse me, because my mind
Is too broken to make reply,
It doesn't really matter since
I'm never gonna die.

Death's just a dumb commercial,
When you've got a PS3,
And a million dead whoevers?
Well, they aren't as cool as me.

"Our God is very great!" calls the voice from out the wilderness.
"Our God is very great!" cries the voice from out the storm.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Strange Platypus(es) Part VIII

And I saw in my dream that I now stood in a great and open space surrounded by pinnacles of crumbling stone. As my eyes became accustomed to the twilight, I saw the pinnacles were great ruins of masonry, five of them, and in between were strewn the colossal wreck that had once made them a united whole. I asked the one who stood with me, who was at once very near and very far, and whose height one minute soared to the heavens, and the next minute was a few scant inches above my own what it meant, and who had broken down this once mighty building. And he answered with a voice like a storm in the wasteland: "It was once a mighty church, but four men came and broke it down with hammers, each intending to rebuild it, greater and truer than before, but a fifth came in with many followers and stole the fallen stones and scattered others so that no one was able to rebuild it. And the names of the four men are these: Ignatius, Martin, Desiderius, and John. The fifth man who came with all his followers was named Francois-Marie." And I said: "Surely, the first four ought not to have broken it!" But the one who stood with me replied: "How do you know what they ought or ought not to have done, oh man? You cast judgment on them for you see the ruins and can only imagine what it looked like in their time. I have told you that fifth man came with his followers and scattered and plundered the stones, but there was no one to tell them. Indeed, these are not mere men, but also five types of men. Do not forget that this is but a dream, having no more truth or lie than what a dream may tell!" And I replied: "Must it forever remain a ruin then?" The one who was with me answered: "It will not, but the time and manner of its rebuilding is not for you to know." I had much more to ask him, but even then the sun shone through the curtain and I awoke, taking from our speech together no more than the shadow of a dream.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Strange Platypus(es) Part VII

My secular colleagues often assert that humanity has a common obsession with the sacrificed and eaten god. Ritual sacrifice and ritual cannibalism. This is but one of a thousand arguments that all religions are really one and the same at their core, and rooted in "superstition" (whatever "superstition" may mean). I find it rather facile to stop there, however. There is something interesting that this common phenomenon reveals about the human psyche. In our deep-rooted, animistic core (I use the word animism without any sense of it being "degraded," "superstitious," or "barbarian". In some ways, I believe that the animists understand a good deal more about the world as it is than we do in secularized West. If we are to call animism "superstitious," then I find modern secularism equally so, the only difference being where each worldview keeps its "superstitions.") lies this fervent desire to kill god and by ingesting him, to somehow assume his power and so become god ourselves. It is interesting, then, to see how this plays out in Christianity. Man's very desire to kill god and eat him becomes the means by which salvation is effected. The author of life is too big for death, and so overwhelms it, the author of man is to big for man, and so cannot be held within him. Thus, the Son of God is lifted up and killed as a sacrifice for sin, and his body and blood become tokens of grace, and images of the Christ-Life within the believer. Ritual sacrifice becomes the Atonement, and ritual cannibalism the Eucharist. God is to big for man. To consume Him, one must either burst and be destroyed, or be made into a god himself. Thus does man's desire come full circle, thus does God make rebels and usurpers into sons and heirs.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Word-Wise Platypus

After perusing a calendar of archaic English, I am convinced that the English have forgotten more words for beer than most languages have words.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Platypus Misses Byzantium (But not Tea Bags)

Wherein is told the story of an amazing car break down,
a mildly expensive repair, a missed wedding,
and best wishes for an old friend.

Dear reader,

You must not assume the worst when you see the picture that has been thoughtfully placed at the head of this account. Our society is so given to that excess of morbid wonder, that one is fairly induced to plumb the depths of horror to produce even a mild sensation of excitement in the organ of feeling. A writer's heroines must suffer as veritable Psyches and our villains must be more cruel and tyrannical than the late King Leopold if they are to be of even the most casual interest. I suppose one might be induced to spend a great portion of ink here deploring the depraved conditions of our age and wax toward the highest pitch of moralism upon the point to put even an enthusiast to shame. It is quite excessive, and yet it is the tenor of our times, dear reader. I, however, never could abide a fashion, unless it be fashionable to be out of fashion which it always is in the right circles. So I will spare you, gentle reader, such a tower of execrations as the fashionable fashion demands.

To the meat of the matter! Our story begins with a rather extraordinarily unextraordinary couple upon a most extraordinarily unextraordinary trip! Namely, making the crossing from R- to P- on the occasion of one Right Rev. Daniel Price's wedding. It was a most unexpectedly expected event, and therefore merited the curiosity of the greater portion of the town of L-, L- County. As is known, dear reader, every Right Reverend, no matter how poor his incumbency, must be in want of a wife. The very constitution of the protestant church demands it, or else taxes shall be raised, popery return, the French make off with the high seas, the price of tea and coffee double, and the Empire be as good as done for! So it was generally agreed that a Reverend aged 30 and finally ready to be rid of his bachelorhood forever was at all costs to be supported. During their duty, then, to preserve the sanctity of church and Empire, our extraordinarily unextraordinary couple set out across the wastes in their intrepid vehicle. About a hour into their trip, however, there was a most dolorious and scandalous occurrence. Those with weak constitutions had best leave off here. The "check engine" light on the dashboard shone out with a most sudden and terrifying glow. What were they to do, our young couple? Calamity of calamities seemed suddenly to swoop upon them with the ravening rapaciousness of the American coyote for both knew through a previous warning that it was most assuredly the engine's cooling system that had gone. What were they to do? Custom and friendship demanded that they move on, and yet move on they could not! Yet the safety of a lady should be at stake if she should be subjected to the harsh inclemencies of the desert. Weighing in the scales, the lady's safety and honour bore the heavier and they were compelled, however regretfully, to turn back. Oh reader! Think not too harshly on them! Judge yourself what you would have done in their place! If there were any dishonour involved, I assure you that it was well expiated in the ongoing tortures and expenses of repairing their damaged vehicle! We must remember with the passionate spirit of the evangelical, we are not to judge lest we too be judged, nor condemn, lest we too suffer condemnation. With charity in our hearts, then, we must wish them well, and wish well with them to the Right Reverend Price as he enters together with his beloved into all the joys and raptures of the married state. Good night, dear reader, for now and remember that well worn saying: "The Platypus speaks Truth!"

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Platypus Sets Sail (For Tea Bags)

"This is no country for old men. The young in one another's arms, birds in the trees -Those dying generations- at thier song, the salmon falls, thhe mackerel-crowded seas, fish, flesh, or fowl, comend all summer long whatever is begotten, born, and dies. Caught in that sensual music all negelect monuments of unageing intellect."

"An aged man is but a paltry thing, a tattered coat upon a stick, unless soul clap is hands and sing, and louder sing for every tatter in its mortal dress, nor is there singing at school but studying monuments of its own magnificence; and therefore I have sailed the seas and come to the holy city of Byzantium."

"O sages standing in God's holy fire as in the gold mosaic of a wall, come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre, and be the singing-masters of my soul. Consume my heart away; sick with desire and fastened to a dying animal it knows not what it is; and gather me into the artiface of eternity."

"Once out of nature I shall never take my bodily form from any natural thing, but such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make of hammered gold and gold enamelling to keep a drowsy Emperor awake; or set upon a golden bough to sing to lords and ladies of Byzantium of what is past, or passing, or to come."

W. B. Yeats

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Two Tea Bags One Platypus

There is no wind upon the surface of the water
Life is so beautiful in the still moments
Furious energy has but one goal
The shrike upon the reed fills my heart

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Platypus Suspends Tea Bags

I just wanted to let you all know that my pastor used Soren Kierkegaard and the Suspension of the Ethical in Sunday's sermon.

I nearly stood up and cheered.

That is all.

For now...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Strange Platypus(es) Part VI

"There is a thought that stops all thought."
-G. K. Chesterton

I found my own generation marked by a pronounced skepticism. Now that I am teaching, I find that in my students skepticism has run its course: they have become skeptical of skepticism. All that remains in apathy. It's as if we're burning out with each new generation until there's nothing left: ashes to be ground under foot by a coming world that has more fire in its belly.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Platypus Rain

Rain, Rain, Rain, we love rain!
Splash, splash, splash!
Fun, fun, fun!

-Invader Zim

More substantive thoughts to follow.
Now I must go out and drive in it.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Platypus Ups and Downs

I've been sick for most of the past week and this weekend. Barring any sudden down-turns, I should be up and running again on Monday.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Platypus in Space

I finally finished watching all five seasons of J. Michael Strazinsky's Babylon 5 today. I can remember seeing the pilot episode when it first aired as a teenager and being hooked. It was a sci-fi television show, and suffered from all the weaknesses of the genre, and yet this show was ever so much more. There's a Je ne sais qua to Babylon 5 that transcends the hokiness of rubber masks and funny hair to reach just a whiff of Shakespeare, Tacitus, Tennyson, and Dostoevsky. With all its epic scale there is a profound humanness in the characters that carries the viewer through each well-crafted season to the final end. Unlike any other American show I can think of, Babylon 5 was a series that was planned with a beginning, middle, and an end; five seasons in all. There was no attempt to run the show into the ground just to make money, and an unprecedented boldness in its attempt to tell one continuous story. And it paid off! I could go on, but I don't want to let to give out any spoilers for those who haven't seen it yet. If you haven't, go ahead and give it a try!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Strange Platypus(es) Part V

Crucifixion: Slow, Painful, Death. The imitation of Christ: Only that which dies can live. The Word: If any man would come after me he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me daily.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sunday Platypus


Old School Enthusiasm is back in town.

Be afraid... Be very afraid...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Platypus of the Worlds

Next one down. My quest to read books I should have read by now but haven't continues. I've just finished H. G. Wells' "War of the Worlds," and begun "The Time Machine" and "The Invisible Man." I've always thought of the "War of the Worlds" as a simple horror novel (of course it wouldn't have remained popular for over a hundred years if it was just that, come to think of it!). The edition I've been reading is put together by Barnes and Noble and contains endnotes and commentary by Alfred Mac Adam. Mac Adam's notes alerted me from the get-go that there was a lot more to "War of the Worlds" than a summer blockbuster. Indeed, it's rather frightening. Well's lays out with grim enthusiasms a program for eugenics, race war, and the horrors of the twentieth century. As his character, the artillery man, expounds, all useless people ought to willingly shuffle off and die for the good of the race. The benefit to man in the Martians coming is that man may one day learn to be like them! Well's takes a dark, pessimistic, stoic satisfaction that only conflict and cataclysm can spur advancement (The greatest commandment in his Darwinian faith). If Wells has a saving grace (perhaps), it's that he lacks Marx's naivete and Nietzsche's perverse joy in the thought of uber-men smashing the planets to pieces for the sheer fun of it (see G. K. Chesterton's critique of Wells and Nietzsche in his works "Orthodoxy" and "The Everlasting Man."

Reading the novels that you were supposed to have read as an over-imaginative teenager has its advantages: while they may entertain at that level, there's ever so much more to be gotten out of them!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Platypus of the Forest

One of the benefits of being married is that you get to see old and familiar things through a new set of eyes. My wife and I have recently been working our way through "Jane Eyre," for instance. Last night, we watched and old favorite of mine, "Princess Mononoke." My wife, who spent two years in a village in equatorial west Africa remarked that she was impressed by how well the film represents a functioning anamistic worldview. In fact, the whole film is about worldview; worldviews in conflict. That seems to be a particular virtue of anime; its ability to authentically express and robustly handle questions of worldview. Would that American cinema would take a page from the Japanese in this department! I think we're learning, though. Shows like "Firefly" give me a bit of hope. We'll see what cinematic favorite my wife and I light on next. We've already watched "Spirited Away." Maybe it's time to move from movies to television. Anyone out there willing to part with "Trigun" for a little while. ;-)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Platypus of the Opera

I just finished reading Gaston Leroux's "Phantom of the Opera," and I have to say that it's one of the better novels I've read. I have a whole new appreciation now of Andrew, Lord Webber's musical. If you haven't read it yet, and especially if you enjoy the musical adaptation, bump this one up near the top of your reading list.

Next up: H. G. Wells' "War of the Worlds." Ok, so I'm going back to all those "should have read this by now" books. I take some comfort in the fact that the Platypus is independently wealthy and he still doesn't have time to do all the reading that he means to.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Strange Platypus(es) Part IV

Each of us, it's plain to see, have the Imago Dei
Someone broke it, and we break it every day.

Each of us that walk this sod, we're the Images
of God
Someone broke us, and we break us every day.

Behold: the discarded image! Man, the spiritual microcosm. In himself, he bridges the worlds of matter and of spirit, combining both into an inseparable unity. How hard it is to maintain that balance! The ancients would have him be a thing purely of spirit, and the moderns a thing wholly of matter; but he is both. For He is both.

Ecce Homo

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Platypus and the Oliphant

The first stage of construction is complete. Now begins the puttying. In other news, I begin work tomorrow with a spate of teacher's meetings.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Platypus is Back Online

That's right, the Platypus has internet connection once more here in sunny Redlands. After a three week sabbatical, we are back up and running. That means that my lovely wife should be updating her blog sooner or later too. More posts will follow, but this is just to let you know that the Platypus is indeed back, and he still speaks Truth.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Strange Platypus(es) Part III

The morning sun was shining upon our metal keen,
And all across the battlefield the colors could be seen,
The captains gave the order, and a thousand souls or
Went neatly marching down to death for Parliament's
Little war.
Around five hundred years have elapsed since the apocalyptic upheaval that birthed the modern nation-state, a geo-political entity with powers not seen in Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire. The Protectorate wielded powers that the Angevins at the height of their empire couldn't even have dreamed of. With the rise of global terrorism, are we on the brink of a new age of upheaval that will bring down this cornerstone of the modern world? Time will tell, but one thing is certain: not even the celestial order of the stars will last forever.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Strange Platypus(es) Part II

There is a place where I met a group of men who live their lives bounded within a box. All these men face inward toward the center, they never look outward, and it is their business each day to make a more complete review of all things inside the box. As I peered over the walls I heard them saying in unison: "Oh how great and wonderful is our box, for there is naught that exists outside it! Blessed be our box, for we created it and by our hands it was created." Any assertion that there is in fact something, indeed a good many things, outside their box is met with the upmost resistance. Indeed, they will not even turn to hear you nor acknowledge your existence until you step within the confines of their box. Once inside, any attempt to tell them of the outside world is utterly in vain for they will assure you that you have always been within their box and since nothing exists outside their box you must be a liar or deluded. Oh how they delight to spend both their venom and their condescension on those who would tell them of a world outside their most beauteous and magnificent box!

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Platypus Calls in Reinforcements

Well, things are finally looking good for my poor little ear. After the world's longest running ear infection I've finally been able to get in touch with a specialist. Turns out the problem is not my ear, but my sinuses. Loads of drugs later, my ear has finally drained and I'm feeling a heck of a lot better. I have a follow-up visit on Wednesday and I'll be on super-drugs through the end of the month just to make sure I don't have a relapse. Praise God! Oh, and the 300 Spartans from Frank Miller's "300" are just there for moral support.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Strange Platypus(es)

What is it about secrets that's so appealing to us as human beings? Why do we need to keep repeating the cliche that "curiosity killed the cat." The Da Vinci code, a piece of pulp fiction, makes a bunch of farcical claims and millions of people take them for gospel. Hidden knowledge. Dark secrets. Ancient wisdom. The whisper, the temptation is power. To know a thing is to have a certain power over it. It becomes possible to manipulate it or predict how it will act. To know a thing is to flirt with a powerful illusion: the illusion of control. When we know more, when science has advanced, then, then we will have control; then we will be able to. We're like wizards in Ursula Le Guin's "Earthsea" thinking that if we know the true name of a thing then that gives us power over it. During the renaissance, we are told that science triumphed over magic and alchemy because science could produce quantifiable results. The more I consider the nature of the human heart, the less I believe that this is true. Our wizards don white labcoats and share their magiks not in antique grimoires but in quarterly periodicals. Strange Places.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Platypus Returns (sorry, no pancakes)

I was looking at some of my Dad's old comics today. He found them in a box while preparing for a move. One in particular caught my eye: "The Incredible Hulk." I had just read a comic staring the Hulk that can't have been more than a year old. Since 1969 Bruce Banner hasn't aged a day. He's still a few years out of grad school, still has all his hair, still young and hip and powerful. So are our heroes. Theirs is the glory of Achilles: to remain forever young, forever the best of the Achaeans. But every Achilles must have his Odysseus. That reminded me of the preface Alan Moore wrote for Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns." The genius of the work, as Moore points out, is that here alone are we allowed to witness the twilight of a hero. Through Frank Miller's story we see the unthinkable in our youth-worshiping society, the decline and slow death of a cultural icon. He faces all the things we dread: the dying friends, the whitening of the hair, the slowness and creeping frailty of the body, the knowledge that the earth is passing beyond our control into the hands of a younger generation, and the fear that things are only getting worse. "The Dark Knight Returns" is a story of Odyssian proportions: the return of the aged hero to fight a final battle for order against the forces of anarchy and a rising generation bent on squandering and wasting all that their fathers worked for. Of all the many comic books written, that makes it truly unique.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Platypus of Three

I just found out that the final prof has signed off on my thesis. This means that I can pick up the paperwork next week and send it off to the university thesis reader! The reader checks for spelling and grammatical errors and for conformity to the university thesis format. Once he/she signs off on it, I have it printed on rag cotton paper and hand it in to the bookstore by August 11th as the final step to completing my degree. Oh, and the picture's of Xenophon A.K.A. "I sold my discourse for Spartan gold and all I got was this lousy tunic."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bureau for Platypus Research and Defense

Much speculation has revolved around what exactly is wrong with my left ear. After consulting with Prof. Bruttenholm (pronounced "broom"), speculation has increasingly pointed to it becoming a focal point for the Ogdru Jahad, an ancient, evil being of unimaginable and apocalyptic capability (see picture). Second opinions are in the works...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Platypus News: We Report, You eat pancakes

I received an email this morning saying that the final member of my thesis committee will be signing of on my thesis tomorrow or Wednesday. Once that's done, I can begin the final process of sending it off to the university reader for editing and then filing it with the bookstore as the last hurdle to clear so that I can get my degree (M.A. History).

In other news, I have temporarily run out of comics. Entertainment now consists of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein." It's quite good and nothing like the movies. I've just finished another round of treatment for the world's longest running ear infection with to no avail. Reports that it has been infested by an alien slugbeast or the Ogdru Jahad are greatly exaggerated...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Platypus Reads Comics (and eats pancakes)

Comic Books. Not my all time favorite form of amusement, but I certainly can't knock them; especially after the semester is over and I can barely read. When you've seen a quarter of a century pass by though, it's hard to find something that will satisfy your maturing tastes. I mean it's not like it was in Junior High when all you wanted were cool super powers, trite dialog, spandex, and lots of flash. A brain that's been wrestling for the past two years with post-colonialism and French structuralism 24/7 has a hard time slowing down to the level of "pow," "wham," "zot," even when it's fried and trying desperately to detox. Fortunately, it seems that as the comic readers of yesteryear have grown up, so has the target audience. So what have I been reading?

Hmm... good question.

Frank Miller's "Batman: Year One" and "The Dark Night Returns." Dark, brooding, and gothic, Miller reaches into the heart of what makes Batman compelling and recreates him as a character of mythic power locked in the steps of Aechylian chatharsis between the human desire for justice and the rule of law. Also an interesting, if grosely orientalist and unhistorical, read is "300," based on the battle of Thermopyle between the Spartans and the Persians.

Mike Mignola's "Hellboy." Mignola combines an encyclopedic knowledge of folklore and myth with all the fun grit of a Film Noir. Where else can you get such snappy lines as "Ok, bub. I was going to spare you, seeing as you're kindof a major mythological figure and all, but now you've made me angry!" Not to mention it's got everyones favorite villians: Nazis, vampires, wolfmen, changelings, and Gregory Rasputin.

Marvel's "House of M." Ok, so this brings us back to the world of yellow spandex *shudder*. But hey, it's all your favorite marvel super heroes, X-Men, Spiderman, Hulk, and Fantastic 4, sucked into an innovative and compelling plot!

Neil Gaimann's "Sandman." Interesting, gothic, totally unparalleled, and very, very dark. I'm not sure what my overall feeling is on this one, but it's definately read at your own risk. On the otherhand, every page of it is startlingly profound. It has some of the best exposition of Shakespeare's works that I've ever found and actually has G. K. Chesterton as a character. Like I said though, the content leaves the jury out on this one. A definate masterpiece, but read at your own risk.

Doug Tenapel's "Creature Tech," "Tommysaurus Rex," and "Earthboy Jacobus." No super heroes here. Tenapel can't really be explained, he can only be experienced. Weird, wacky, hilariously funny, often profound, deeply religious. If your looking for a rollercoaster ride that's completely different, Tenapel's your man.

So there you go. Balance it out with a little of Genndy Tartakovsky's "Samurai Jack" and you've got my recent sources of post-semester entertainment!

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Platypus Marches On

My second thesis committee member emailed me today to say that he has signed my thesis and is passing the forms on to the final member. Hurray!!! Two down, one to go!

In other news, the doctor has just fired off a perscription for my ear. This will be really high test stuff, so hopefully it will knock out the little puddle of stagnant fluid that's left in my left ear.

That's the news. My brain is too fried for musings right now. The Platypus has a few of his own, but right now I think he's taking a nap. Platypi are nocturnal, you know.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Platypus and the thesis Part VI

So my chair likes the revised edition of my thesis and will sign off on it. I'm still waiting to hear from the other two. Meanwhile, my job search continues in earnest. Many new things to do, and not much time. Thank you all for your support!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Platypus and the Thesis Part V

Well, I've finished my thesis rewrites and I'll be handing it in on Monday. I've added over 20 pages of material and made extensive additions and revisions in just one month. I've triple checked the final printed copies. Wish me luck and say a prayer!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Why Platypi Have Small Ears

I've been suffering from stuffy ears for almost a month now. The weekend before last it got so bad that I had to check in with the doctor at school. He said I had a bad ear infection and put me on anti-biotics, a week later, I'm still stuffed-up, sick, disoriented and in pain so I went to see my family doctor. He said that I had an unusually bad ear infection and prescribed a stronger anti-biotic. If my ear doesn't clear up in 4 to 5 days, then I'll have to go on mega-antibiotics, steroids and see a specialist. If that doesn't do it, then I'll need to have ear tubes put in. All this with exactly one week left to go on my thesis! Argggh! Right now, I'd appreciate your prayers that this new medicine will work.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What do Platypi Like?

Hmmm... cold iron? Well, not to eat at least. So, do you think it's odd to have a family member in your family tree who was reportedly harassed by fairies? Ever wonder why horseshoes are lucky? Iron scares the fair folk. 'course I left my horseshoe at home... I think...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Platypus and the Thesis Part IV

Gyros eaten.... Brain working.... pages being written... Thanks all for support!

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Platypus and the Thesis Part III

Thesis make brain hurt... Too many Greeks documents... Each one need many books to explain... Need more Gyros... Gyros big expensive... no more coupons.... Arrrrgh!!!!! Blah.... *thwump*

Friday, April 28, 2006

Thus Spoke the Platypus IV

It is time! It is high time! But time for what?

Time for the Platypus to get a cookie.

What then? Is it not time to preach the doctrine of eternal recurrence or proclaim the advent of the Higher Man? Does the Platypus show his resentment for the Higher Man thus?

No, for the Platypus is no friend of resentment. But the Higher Men have come, and the people did everything with them that they wished. This generation will have neither Christ nor Anti-Christ. So the Platypus will eat his cookie, for the servants of the Everlasting Man must also learn to wait.

Thus Spoke the Platypus

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Platypus Sings

The Maker

Dave Matthews Band and Dave Matthews
The Maker
(Daniel Lanois)

Oh, oh deep water, black and cold like the night
I stand with arms wide openI've run a twisted line
I'm a stranger in the eyes of the Maker

I could not see for the fog in my eyes
I could not feel for the fear in my life
From across the great divide,
In the distance I saw a light
Of John Baptist walking to me with the Maker

My body my body is bent and broken by long and dangerous sleep
I can't work the fields of Abraham and turn my head away
I'm not a stranger in the hands of the Maker

Brother John, have you seen the homeless daughters
Standing here with broken wings
I have seen the flaming swords
There over east of eden
Burning in the eyes of the Maker
Burning in the eyes of the MakerBurning in the eyes of the Maker

Oh, river rise from your sleep
Oh, river rise from your sleep
Oh, river rise from your sleep

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Platypus Cheer

Do you ever stop and think that God has a personality? To be correct, He has something more personal that personality. Something that makes each one of us look like stick figures on a kindergarten chalk board. There are times when I feel it distinctly. This weekend, He's trying to cheer me up. Imagine that... The God of the universe bothering about my setbacks and cares....

My fiance just happens to be online much later than she planned when I need to talk to her.
My friend gives me a call and wants to hang out just when I could use a friend.
I find a miniature I've been wanting for some time now and I finally have a little money in my pocket to buy it.
My roommate comes home with the complete Goofy cartoons after a day spent doing re-writes and damage assessment on my thesis.
The sermon at church could have been tailor made for me.
I have lunch with another friend and we both get coupons for a whole meal extra cheap at one of my favorite restaurants.
I get to catch up on B5 season 4, a favorite show.
I have a good work out at the gym and a walk with a cigar followed by a shower and a cup of ice cream.

And even though I'll be spending the next month patching up my thesis to resubmit before finals week, it's been a good weekend and I feel better.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Platypus and the Thesis Part II

Well, my thesis was handed back to me with massive revisions so I won't be graduating until August. *sigh* Back to the drawing board. I'll be handing in a massively revised copy at the end of May. Hopefully they'll like it this time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Platypus and the Thesis

I'll be defending my thesis this Friday at 1pm. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thus Spoke the Platypus III

The Platypus is a laughing spirit, a dancing spirit!

What shall the Platypus say, then, of those men who bind themselves within a nutshell and call themselves kings of infinate space? Such men, if they have bad dreams, have learned to call them "good", or if they are honest they have learned to say "I prefer bad dreams." The Platypus shall laugh a bright and joyous laugh and say "come out of your nutshell for it is too small! Come out and breath the free air! Feel the sun on your face! You cannot be kings of your nutshell forever, for the world is too large and will crush you!"

Thus Spoke the Platypus

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Thus Spoke the Platypus II

There is a sort of man who goes around proclaiming all day that he awaits the coming of the superman. And in this he exhorts all men to follow him: namely to will the superman. What shall the Platypus say of such a man? Shall he resent him? No, for that would be only to defile himself. Shall he oppose him? No, for such a man thrives on contention and worse: he will lead you to resentment. What shall the Platypus say of such a man, then? He shall laugh with the dispelling laughter of one who sees another who takes himself all too seriously and out of honour for a truth-loving spirit wishes to recall him to himself. Worship God or no God, but hide not your god by calling him the superman.

Thus Spoke the Platypus

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Platypus Draft I

Well my thesis draft is all set and I'll be handing it in tomorrow. My defense will be sometime before the end of the month, God willing. My thanks goes to all of you who have been praying. There's still a lot more to go, but this is one more hurdle cleared. I will keep posting updates.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Thus Spoke the Platypus

Kev posted this on his blog a while back, but after reading Nietzsche's "Ecce Homo" this past week, I think it's time for a reappearance.

O God of earth and altar,
Bow down and hear our cry,
Our earthly rulers falter,
Our people drift and die;

The walls of gold entomb us,
The swords of scorn divide,
Take not thy thunder from us,
But take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
From lies of tongue and pen,
From all the easy speeches
That comfort cruel men,

From sale and profanation
Of honour and the sword,
From sleep and from damnation,
Deliver us, good Lord.

Tie in a living tether
The prince and priest and thrall,
Bind all our lives together,
Smite us and save us all;

In ire and exultation
Aflame with faith, and free,
Lift up a living nation,
A single sword to thee.

-G.K. Chesterton

Monday, March 27, 2006

Platypus Meditations

Come Thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount I'm fixed upon it
Mount of God's redeeming Love.

Tune my heart to sing Thy praise this morning, Lord. Amen.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Platypus Speaks Again

My conference on Ancient Persia went very well today (if you don't count being lost for two hours in Corona and missing dinner with the other panelists). I had the privilege of opening the conference with a lecture on the Greco/Barbarian Dichotomy in Greek literature. I spent the rest of the day listening to some truly wonderful lectures, hob-knobbing with Phd.s from Fullerton, UCLA, Dartmouth, Berkeley, and Claremont and answering many enthusiastic questions from all manner of people.

Praise God for giving me and my grad student colleges such a wonderful opportunity and taking my nervous, scrambling speech and letting it find favour in the eyes of so many people.

And now, the Platypus rests.... oh such rest will he have!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Hymn Platypus

From Church Today:

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll.
The trump shall resound And the Lord shall descend,
"Even so"- it is well with my soul.

The Platypus thinks that the words speak for themselves.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hopeful Platypus

I found out yesterday that my supervising professor liked the first chapter of my thesis and is confident that I can finish it well and on time. This is a major praise, and my thanks to all of you who have prayed and supported me in this time. I have another month or so to finish up the rest, and the work is going much faster now in spite of continued ill health. I will also be presenting my thesis at a formal academic seminar on March 25th! We'll see how that goes. ;-) Until next time, best wishes to you all!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Mythic Platypus II

Speak now and tell me who first broke the dance of the thoughts of Ai!

Drun first broke it.
Drun the unmaker.
Of all the works of Ai he was the first to break the dance.
And he took hold of Erga-Ai and claimed her, for he thought to be the son in law of Ai
and so to have the forge of Ai.

Speak now and tell me who was first of the Nine to defend Erga-Ai!

Addan came first.
Addan the scarred face.
Of all the works of Ai, he is most skilled in the ways of contending.
And Drun reached out his hand and struck Addan and marred his lovely face, and those
marks can still be seen to this day.

And Drun reached out with his hand again and struck the fields of night, but the fire of
the stars burned his hands even as he grasped them, and so the hands of Drun are marred.

Speak now and tell me what Ai did when Drun seized hold of the stars!

Ai, who made the fields of night and sowed them with the stars.
Ai, who took their fire and made for himself a forge.
And from that forge come all the thoughts of Ai.

Ai set down his hammer.
Ai set down his tongs.
Ai stood from his forge.

And when Ai stood, the fields of night trembled, and the stars quailed in fear, and
the Nine fell down on their faces and wailed.

Ai placed his hand upon the forge of Ai and swore an oath by himself, for there is not
but that it comes from Ai, and Ai cursed Drun.

Drun fled in fear at the wrath of Ai with the stars he had taken in his hand, though their fire burned him. And at the edge of the fields of night he made himself a forge and heated it with the fire of the stars he stole. But from that forge came no thoughts. So it
is that Drun is called the Unmaker, for he has no thoughts of his own, only what he takes
from the thoughts of Ai and breaks and twists in his forge at the edge of the fields of night.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Mythic Platypus

In the beginning was Ai.

Ai, who made the fields of night and sowed them with the stars.
Ai, who took their fire and made for himself a forge.
And from that forge came the thoughts of Ai.

Remember the thoughts of Ai, you who live in Erga-Ai,
who are the work of Ai, and were not born to die.

Speak now and tell me what thought came first from the forge of Ai!

On came first.
On the Mighty.
Of all the works of Ai, he is the greatest.
And he sprang from the forge showering sparks of fire, unquenchable.
In him lived the first portion of the strength of Ai, and he made his home
in the middle heavens, glorying in his power and his might.

Speak now and tell me what thought came second from the forge of Ai!

Urra came second.
Urrah the Crafty.
Of all the works of Ai, she is the wisest.
And she stepped from the forge glowing white with its heat, for the fire belongs to On.
In her lived the first portion of the mind of Ai, and she made her home
but a little ways form her brothers, rejoicing in her wisdom and beauty.

Speak now and tell me what thought came third from the forge of Ai!

Erga-Ai came third.
Erga-Ai the Compassionate.
Of all the works of Ai, she is the most loving.
And she stepped from the forge and bathed herself in the tears of Ai, for in them
lies a great secret.
In her lived the first portion of the heart of Ai, and she made her home
between that of her brother and that of her sister, rejoicing in the light that they made.

And Ai bid his children dance, and they danced with all their might before the forge of Ai.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Platypus and "Bling"

This week I'm like Aaron Burr
the way I drop Hamiltons $$$

I'm a rich man.

I was thinking today about
how I would explain my life
in the States to one of the Oroko
farmers I met this January.

I own a car. $BLING!$

I live in apartment in the
city with a large living room,
TV, DVD, vcr, sound system;
indoor kitchen with electric stove,
fridge, and microwave;bathroom with
a bathtub and shower; a bedroom
and an office, with computer; the
entire floor is carpeted and the large windows
are solid glass with electricity 24/7.
$Livin' Large$

I eat out at restaurants more than
once a week and drive there with
my car which I just had serviced
when it wasn't even broken.

I make enough money to live in a
palacial walled compound in the
capitol of Cameroon.

Normally, I'd feel secretly guilty about
this. In my country, I'm a poor man
struggling to get by, yet compared to the
rest of the world I have so much.

Today, I don't feel that way.

Today I feel immensely blessed and happy
to just be a "Big Man" for a day and hold
my head up high. You see, even as I'm
trying to calculate and weigh every penny
to make sure I have enough, I'm still a
very rich man.

Oh, I am the rich man, deedle, deedle,
deedle, deedle, deedle, dee!

It's all about the Hamiltons baby!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bookish Platypus

The devil's in the details
but God is in small mercies.

I walked into Boarders today
after a stressful noonday and
found everything I was looking
for the minute I walked in the
door, right there on the shelves
in the entry way. There's something
real in that -not chicken soup for
the soul, but a sign that says:
"Yes, I Am even here ." He is the
God of small places too.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Potato Platypus

On Finding that the potatoes (in the first two cases
we'll say vegetables since potatoes weren't introduced
into Europe until the Modern Era) Boiling in a Pot
Have Formed Themselves Into an Hour-
Glass Shape:

The Ancient Family Says:

"It is the god of the pot,
we must spill a little out
to honour him"

and goes back to cooking....

The Medieval Family Says:

"It is the devil, we
must throw salt in
the pot to scare him"

and goes back to cooking...

The Modern Family Says:

"There must be a scientific
explanation for this"

and goes back to cooking...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Return of the Platypus

That's right, I have returned, and with me the Platypus. More will follow as soon as I return to U.S. time, but suffices to say that I am safe and sound and have all my luggage.

In other news, I am engaged, that's right, engaged to the lovely, talented, witty, capable and godly Sharon Rose Biggs.

The Platypus has much more Truth to speak on both these subjects, but that must wait until I've taken my malaria pill...