michigan state university

Imagine if you actually met Jesus (Christ).

I’m not talking about the “Second Coming” or whatever, I mean what if you got transported back in time 2000 years ago and met Jesus of Nazareth. What would you see?

Studying the history of early Christianity really makes me appreciate how little we know about ancient history. Sure there’s some records here and there, but we’re really riding blind.

Imagine if historians 3000 years from now just have Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, this blog, and the ruins of Las Vegas to go on while studying our era. That would leave them with a pretty odd view. But that’s essentially what we’re going by when evaluating ancient times.

Every famous person from back then, like Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great, was probably half a foot shorter than you imagine and you could have easily kicked their ass. What I am saying is that I can stomp the shit out of a Spartan. 300 was just a movie, a shitty one at that. I am taller, got more muscle, and when I’m when I’m trying to quit nicotine I can take anybody. ANYBODY.

what is truth?

Obviously I’m going through a Bart D Ehrman phase. It’s not because I agree with him most of the time or that I find him a master debater (sorry, had to say it). It’s because he’s the only public intellectual that I can think of at the top of my head that has a genuine passion for teaching.

Because Ehrman’s area of expertise is the Bible, specifically the New Testament and early Christianity, people naturally have strong opinions about the subject. Some people, specifically atheists but a few Christians aren’t exempt, like to use this subject as a way to “trigger” their opponents.

This is a fad on YouTube. The “Intellectual Dark Web” (IDW), or guys that found fame on the internet during the “alt-Right” hay day (people like Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, etc.) perfected the science of “triggering” (also known as “owning the libs”) and many online personalities have attempted to emulate it, including leftists with varying degrees of success. It’s a way of weaponizing information.

This phenomenon is not exclusive to discussions on the Bible, religion, and politics, but even movies and fucking geography!

Because “owning the line” is currency on YouTube, this has led to many quaks pretending to be experts littering the platform and distracting us away from those trying to present information in good faith.

Just because an opinion triggers someone, that doesn’t give it more credence. But that appears to be sound logic in some circles. Even if the opinion is true, if presented in a way that’s designed to give offense, that doesn’t make the one with the opinion more noble or virtuous…it makes you an asshole.

Thankfully my man Ehrman avoids that.

was Jesus an ascetic?

I don’t know man, I wasn’t there.

I’ll say this though: Jesus at least dabbled in asceticism. Any hard evidence for this? No. And none will ever turn up. BUT the two earliest accounts of Jesus’s life, the Gospel of Mark and the hypothetical “Q source” (which survives in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew) mention Jesus turning to the wilderness after his baptism from John the Baptist.

John the Baptist’s existence can be independently confirmed by Josephus, a first century Jewish historian. This is partly why it is universally agreed upon that the baptism of Jesus by John is a real historical event. The other reason why historians believe this is due to the criterion of embarrassment, which simply means that Jesus’s associations with John the Baptist would have been well known enough that it had to of been accounted for by early Christian writers, despite Jesus’s superiority to John.

It’s difficult to establish any degree of certainty from this period. Was John the Baptist an ascetic? It certainly appears that he had those tendencies from the surviving texts. It’s has even been suggested that he was an Essene, a “semi-ascetic” Jewish sect from the first century. Could Jesus have been a follower of John? We know that they met at least once, and the Gospels (whatever their historical worth) say that Jesus immediately did something ascetic-like after that meeting.

I like questions like these because it helps contextualize this era. I personally think that Jesus did ascetic-like things and might’ve ran with a few ascetic groups. But I don’t think he thought of himself ascetic or even monastic. Like I said, the historical information contained in the Gospels are dubious and hard facts will likely never appear, but I think it’s important to look at the language of the Gospels.

Mark and the “Q” source (or possible sources) seem to address a rural audience, meaning that Jesus likely focused his mission on the poor or “working class”. There are obvious problems with this assumption, the main one being that the entire New Testament is written in Koine Greek while the poor in Galilee and Judea, including Jesus, spoke Aramaic (plus the Gospels are written 40 years after the crucifixion of Jesus). How much of Jesus’s message was changed between his death and the written accounts is impossible to determine. Despite these problems though, I do think that Mark and Q are more than likely correct in Jesus’s focus.

So as I’ve said before, I think that Jesus was a religious-populist figure, and as we often find in populist movements, leaders often take a “postmodern” turn by becoming (as Apostle Paul later found out) “all things to all people”. This is why so many people can have so many different interpretations on what happened.

writing sucks

You know what else I hate?

Time.

Whoever came up with the laws of the physics needs to pull their head out their ass. Between being a dad and full time alcoholic, I just don’t have time for anything!

But what would really help me is if some genius would invent something that could read my mind and write down what I think. I don’t give a damn about things called “ethics” or “privacy”. I just hate writing.

But anyways, I’m getting sidetracked with other projects that will hopefully see the light of day (probably won’t). So if you think I’ve been phoning it in lately, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

God bless 🙏

machismo

I always thought that collectively we had two choices: evolve to a Star Trek-like utopia where poverty, disease, prejudice, and war are eradicated—or take Ted Kaczynski’s advice and shun industrialized civilization altogether.

This middle ground that we’re hellbent on occupying is some bullshit though.

Heaven forbid if I call any of this out, however. Apparently my disdain for consumerism, narcissism, the eradication of public trust, and concern for unprecedented technological advancement on our psyche and relationships is no longer fashionable within Left/Right political framework.

It probably never was tbh

Where am I going with this?

Nowhere.

I’m as directionless as our collective consciousness.

The end

respect for Blippi

Anyone have a toddler?

So my wife got disturbed at the actor who plays Blippi, a YouTube character for kids.

“What? Did he do gay porn? Every guy has done gay porn (not me of course, I’ve never had sex),” I asked my wife.

“No. I don’t want to say. Just google it.”

So I did.

And I was glad I did. Because apparently the actor once played another character called “steezy grossman” where he made gross out videos. In one such video, he poops all over his friend.

“But it makes sense for him to poop on his friend,” I told my wife. “According to Wikipedia, the character was born as poop because his parents had anal sex. Don’t you understand art? Idiot.”

Apparently parents were pissed off about this. I don’t see what the problem is.

Has everyone forgotten about Jackass?

A dude goes into a hardware store and shits in a display toilet. It was hilarious. And if that dude started a children’s show on YouTube nowadays, no one would bat an eye!

I applaud Blippi (whatever the actor’s name). My son loves the guy. He’s got versatility.

He’s got skill, talent, a natural performer. None of us have the balls to do what he did (and does).

breathing is underrated 2

Now I do have to breathe like everyone else

But I walk around with a mask and oxygen tank.

I don’t breathe the same fart-tinged air that you all do. That’s disgusting.

But there ain’t nothing that a deep breath can’t fix.

Pissed off in traffic? Take a deep breath.

Standing at the ATM when someone puts a .22 to your back? Breathing can fix that.

Got an itchy trigger finger in Home Depot and want to take your frustrations at the world out on yourself or others? Just breathe.

Everything will be alright.

If things get REALLY bad, just shut the garage door, turn on the car, then sit back and relax 😀

So calm down, chill, be cool 😎