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Pagan Moontide of Februus 17, Anno Domini 2020

This Week in Madness...

  • Without Flesh Drops TOMORROW
  • Curses and Cussing, Part 5
  • Don't Be Like Airports or Boeing
Tenebra Sexigesima:
Substitution Atones

Alleluia! The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. Alleluia!

This is the declaration of God the Lord, who gathers Israel’s dispersed people:

"I will bring them to my holy mountain, and I will make them glad in my house of prayer.
I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.
For my house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples of the world."

From Isaiah 54

Tenebra is the Latin word for "darkness" and the three pre-Lent Sundays of the "Gesimas” emphasize the approaching darkness which shall come on Good Friday. Septuagesima (last week) simply means "70 days" and in the same way, Sexuagesima means "60 days." As Lent is 40 days of exile with Jesus, so the 70, 60 and 50 days of pre-Lent anticipate the impending darkness of the Good Friday cross.

But now, we see how even the darkness of our false worship is overcome there on Calvary, foreshadowed of old by the high priest of Israel, Aaron, required as he was to make atonement for his own sons and their guilt. In the same way, our Lord Jesus entered the temple to purify and cleanse it, to make it once again the most holy place of all, that is, the place where God dwells.

Since Jesus is God, that holy place is wherever he is now, risen with the power of immortality. He enters you, according to his promises and especially by means of the gift of Bread and Wine, to be your Light in the Darkness and your guide in the Valley of the Shadow.

Let us pray: Jesus, who atoned for the Holy Temple by cleansing it with your own blood, cleanse we who worship the living God according to your ordination, entering the Most Holy Place by means of our sacramental union with you, and so heal fallen blindness, for you are the atoning Priest, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Amazon Ranks Without Flesh #1
in New Releases in Lutheranism

Amazon ranked Without Flesh #1 in New Releases in Lutheran Christianity, although we will admit that it only had to beat one book...  There is no number three.

In Lutheranism overall, Without Flesh is currently ranked #4.  We are proud to have broken the top five.  It has been populated with $3 Francis Jonah pamphlets since the release of Echo.  Even now, he's got three books in the top five, but Healing the Sick in 5 Minutes:  How to  Perform Creative Miracles is not one of them.  (NOT a book recommendation)  But seriously, how does this guy beat the Small Catechism every year?

Pre-Order Without Flesh
Plagues, Duping Google, and Water that Sells

Like the Plague...?

Various news articles crossing the Mad Monday desk this week were filled with contradictory messages regarding Coronavirus. It's Apocalypse-level bad or likely will soon end with a little whimper, depending on which outlet you believe. With all that said, this single podcast with James Altucher is the best quick primer on everything you need to know about this virus and what we’ve found out so far.

It's Even Worse

So while the World Health Organization and others work to delay the spread of Coronavirus with measures such as travel bans, quarantines and shut downs, a recent study revealed that of the top 100 airports only three passed basic cyber security checks and testing.

Frankly, it’s less safe to fly than you thought. RevFisk was already considering a train ride to KC to visit his folks. Amtrak is (sort of) from the Devil, (ie. it sucks with all the suck that a Big Government monopoly can muster.) But at less than half the price for a similar travel day!?!?!

“All aboard!”

Without Flesh Meme of the Week

Big Google is ... Still Watching You

A recent prank carried out across the pond has caused division, with some hailing it a work of art while others pointed to its usefulness for potential terrorists. Walking around Berlin with a wagon and 99 phones borrowed from friends, one man caused fake traffic jams that actually affected real-time transit patterns as reported by Google Maps.

The implications of how easily Google's A.I. was duped are truly stunning but more than that is the eerie reminder of just how much Artificial Intelligence is watching but also influencing the way we live our lives. As the artist himself said, “I have the feeling right now that technology is not adapting to us, it’s the other way around.”

Big Twitter is Watching... Big Legumes

Of the many things you could possibly worry about in the world, this is probably the least important. All the same, it is interesting to read about how one company, after cleverly figuring how to work Twitter algorithms in its favor, was quickly banned under spam rules. Isn’t this exactly what they encourage creators and users of the platform to do?

Is the problem that someone might game the system or is the problem for Twitter that Twitter doesn’t want anyone to be able to do that except Twitter?

Q: When is it Okay to Cheer for Big Conglomerate Court Battles?

A: When those big conglomerates are joining forces to take on Section 230, a grandfathered rule from 1991 which allows online companies to be shielded from responsibility for user-created content on their platforms. Now IBM, Disney and Marriott want to take away this unfair advantage held by companies such as Google, YouTube, Facebook and the rest. Having to face the liability of their decisions could really serve to loosen Big Internet’s stranglehold on American commerce and thought.

Sweetness You May Have Missed...
This Week Preached

Substitution Atones

Recent Release

Why these Doctrines of Men?

Podcast 0144

Americanation and its most Unlutheran Effects


It's Elemental

Boeing Doesn't Seem to Be Alone:  Payless Boondoggles

Last week, we posted about failing corporate culture inside Boeing. We hope it didn't give the impression that it was just to lambaste Boeing, as the greater problem is that there is something strange afoot in corporate capitalism.

This approach is characterized by placing payouts and bonuses for ambitious executives ahead of quality products for end users. Such an approach helps no one. Enter Payless Shoe Source, a company that rose and fell on the belief that buyouts are good, but only as long as you’re never held accountable for the outcome.

One Week: Living Concrete, the Next: Waterless Ice

For months, the Shadow Broker has been trying to convince her husband that a backyard ice rink is the perfect way to build neighborhood community (minus the liability of course). He hasn't bought in yet, but with this all-season ice, the dead grass will be hidden year-round. And now that the expense of a Zamboni is out of the picture, how can he refuse?

To Water-Walking Sneakers

We already knew blasphemy sells, but seriously?

But Biblical Plagues are No Joke

It’s the case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Locust.

Without Flesh: Snippet of the Week
One Day More
Available Tomorrow
Without Flesh: Why Christianity is Dying even though Jesus is Alive

In American Christianity, the "change or die" refrain has become a creed. Unless the Church finds a way to adapt to a changing culture, Christianity is fully and rightly doomed. Our times are nothing new. And Jesus gave us a specific plan.

Next Week in the Exile:
Doubt Fears
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Missed last week?  Read from the beginning.

On Curses and Cussing, Part 5:  The Christian Movie Industrial Complex/Echo Chamber

The last couple of weeks of Dust entries may have left you wondering what all this has to do with the Church or our Faith. I have contended that to write a compelling story, your characters need to sound believable in how they think and speak. The genius with Battlestar’s invented cuss word is that everyone understood that it was a stand-in for the F-bomb.

To have hardened space-fighter pilots, stressed-out politicians and soldiers in tense situations with failing equipment depicted with no swearing is not real to life. Such an element would be more fantasy than the spaceships and aliens. As a result, incomplete as the effort was, it enabled a certain liveliness to the dialogue that soon became normative and helpful.

Have you ever considered the way Christian media and movies get such a limited audience in the society we live? First, the production values have been poor, always a semi-generation behind the big budgets. But second, and my main point: when we draw moral lines in the sand which God has not drawn, and stand behind them to wag our fingers through our art, we should expect our stories to be more annoying than entertaining to anyone not already allied with our views. 

A goody two-shoe approach to righteousness, the assumption that taming the tongue means correcting its sounds and avoiding Germanic root words in favor of Latin ones, and the belief that we can teach people to bless while sheltering them from curses, all serve to dilute our voice in the white noise water cooler of the 21st century media climate. Conversely, carefully chosen words, used for full effect, keeping with personalities that are being portrayed, and, consequently, using words God has never actually forbidden, is simply a matter of taking the First Article for what it is, and refusing to confuse potty language with authentic blasphemy.

More to come...

Images Used:

Illuminated Book