"Nuns with Guns" - A 'Textual' Interpretation
It has come to my attention that the "Nuns with Guns" photograph pictured here may be viewed as offensive by some practitioners of the Catholic religion. I couldn't disagree more, and in this Commentary I intend to explain why.
Let me first say that I view this picture as portraying a positive
role for Catholics and their role in God's redemptive process. The caption
at to foot of the picture sets the tone of the message being communicated: The 'virgins' conceived by Muslims are juxtaposed with the chastity of Catholic nuns. This functions to link the (distorted) theology of Islam with the (true) theology of Christianity and the Catholic church. In this sense, the caption and the picture work together as a 'lens' to correct the demonically-induced distortion perpetrated on Muslim believers.
Turning to the visual elements
of this picture, an immediate incongruity in detected between the concepts of 'nuns' and 'guns'. Guns are weapons of physical warfare, typically used by males of the warrior-type. Nuns, in contrast, are by definition female, and engaged in peace-making, charity, and caring for the poor and afflicted. So what is the purpose of putting guns in the hands of nuns? The guns function not as a symbol of physical power and earthly warfare, but instead represent visually (by use of a familiar object) the spiritual
power that nuns assert in their roles in the war against the corruption of sin and evil.
Thus the nuns pictured, as the brides of Christ Jesus, bringer of ultimate redemption, are portrayed as having a crucial and powerful position in the spiritual warfare of God's redemptive process.
In conclusion, let me note that I do recognize how a superficial glance
at this picture might be suggestive of many negative comparisons: Humble and chaste Catholic nuns being depicted with vile instruments of violence, labeled as 'virgins' (a word that comes attached with particularly strong intensional meanings). Hopefully I have been able to convince you, dear reader, that digging beneath the surface and engaging in an extensionally-based process of meaning-making
can be productive in getting at deeper levels of meaning.
The terms intensional
come from Alfred Korzybski's General Semantics. For more information, see here
(Photo courtesy Michael Savage
- origins unknown.)
(Originally Posted: 8/17/2006 @ 1:30PM)
Romania Reports Oil Rig Occupied By Iran's Military
- "The Romanian Embassy in Tehran has confirmed that Iranian military forces have attacked and occupied a Romanian oil rig in the Gulf...."
Iran's Navy Attacks and Boards Romanian Rig in Gulf
- "'...The Iranians fired at the rig's crane with machine guns,' Tabanesku said. 'They are in control now and we can't contact the rig.' The Romanian company has 26 workers on the platform, he said...."
The following commentary comes to The View-Point courtesy of 'Prof. E':
- Given the fact that the United States and Romania are both NATO Member Countries, and given the fact that Article 5 of the the North Atlantic Treaty states that:
"The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."
It is therefore legally justifiable for the United States and its NATO Allies to engage in the use of millitary force against Iran in response to the Iranian millitary attack on and occupation of the Romanian oil rig.
(Originally Posted: 8/22/06 @ 1:52PM)
Labels: commentary, news
Indonesian baby born with two heads
- "...Though she has two heads and two spines, there is only one pair of limbs and a set of internal organs. The parents named her Syafitri, insisting there is only one baby...."
Ethical questions raised by this story:
- Is this one person/soul or two?
- Is it acceptable for the parents to give only one name to this child(ren?) and insist that there is only one baby/human/individual/soul in existence?
- Assuming this baby (these babies?) survive, will they face any identity issues different from those issues faced by other conjoined twins?
What effect would the parents' insistence on an individual baby have on the development of two separate personalities?
- On what basis might we consider this baby to be two separate individuals? Two heads? Two brains? Is a shared set of limbs and internal organs compatible with the definition of a 'human'?
- Does our (English) language even have ways of grasping the concept of the 'two-persons with one body'?
(Originally Posted: 8/15/2006 @ 11:24AM)
Must-See Videos (August 2006)
(Originally Posted: 6/20/2006 @ 1:16PM)
Labels: best of the web, must-see videos
- The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) TV Monitor Project
- Understand the Islamic mind by watching the very propaganda Muslims are exposed to from childhood. MEMRI TV features clips from major Arab TV channels, with onscreen English language translations. What you will see will frighten you.
Children of the Future Jihad (on YouTube.com)
A 10-minute compilation of MEMRI TV clips featuring segments aimed at inciting and indoctrinating children. Features cartoons of suicide-bombers, children singing anti-Israeli songs, etc. An absolute Must-See. (Thanks to John Dvorak for sharing this clip.)
(Originally Posted: 8/16/06 @ 4:13PM)
Labels: best of the web, news
Iran Hints at Aug. 22 Doomsday for Israel
- "...What deterred both sides from using nuclear weapons during the Cold War was the concept of MAD, mutual assured destruction. But the "apocalyptic worldview” of Iran’s current leaders works against that concept, according to Lewis...."
8/24/06: Looks like the little Hitler in Iran was impotent after all -- at least for the time being...
8/22/06: At this moment it is 6:30PM in Tehran and 6:00PM in Jerusalem. No news is good news???
8/21/06: It's only a day away....
(Originally Posted: 8/9/2006 @ 1:48PM)
Pittsburgh Cricket Association
(Originally posted 8/10/2006 2:50pm)
Time Magazine's 50 Coolest Websites 2006
- Lots of fresh and new websites; I haven't even heard of most of these.
See also Time's supplement of more established and highly useful websites:
25 Sites We Can't Live Without
Pictures That Lie - from CNET News.com
Live from Iran, it's Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Blog!
- In the wake of the Reuters Photogate scandal, CNET brings us a nice little compilation of past and present (and mostly benign) photo fakes.
- Blimey... Just when we thought we'd seen it all. I'll say one thing for the Islamo-fascist terrorist scum: They certainly know how to make effective use of the Propaganda machine. George W., where is your blog?
Since this blog is most definitely not in English, you might want to read the related NewsMax article.
Labels: best of the web
Gore isn't quite as green as he's led the world to believe
- USA Today Opinion piece
- Al Gore: Details on his hypocrisy and lack of credibility, according to Peter Schweizer:
"The issue here is not simply Gore's hypocrisy; it's a question of credibility. If he genuinely believes the apocalyptic vision he has put forth and calls for radical changes in the way other people live, why hasn't he made any radical change in his life?"
(Yahoo News link to this piece)
- "Your BlogShow lets you host your own talk show online. Receive live callers, interview guests, and broadcast to an unlimited number of listeners. All you need is any type of phone, an internet connection, and something to say. All your listeners need is streaming audio or any type of phone should they choose to call in."
Yet another website offering services to host your own Internet-based, call-in, archivable talk show. Do-it-yourself talk shows are quickly becoming a new trend, but quality of content is still the long sought after holy grail.
Thanks to Rafe Needleman over at CNET for the down-low on this one. See his article for info on other interactive podcasting services.
Bizarre Statues from Around the World - Viewer Discretion is Advised
- It's hard to believe that some of these are real statues that exist in public places. You just have to see and judge for yourself. A few are cute, and quite a few more are simply absurd.
Labels: best of the web
Reuters Faked Photos
- YouTube video presentation of the Reuters Photo Scandal
Designer creates floating bed
- As if the bias evident in what is reported and what is not reported wasn't enough; Now we have to contend with cheap Photoshop hack jobs on the photo wires.
Courtesy of Dvorak Uncensored: Some other obvious fakes, along with the Reuters fakes, to watch out for.
- Cool News of the Day
Video: The Simplest Motor In The World
- "A young Dutch architect has created a floating bed which hovers above the ground through magnetic force..."
- Cool Video of the Day - For Geeks Only!
- A battery, a wire, a magnet and a screw...
What we still don't understand about Hizbollah
- "This week, world terrorism expert Robert Pape will share with the FBI the findings of his remarkable study of 462 suicide bombings. He concludes that such acts have little to do with religious extremism and that the West must engage politically to halt the relentless slaughter...."
"In terms of structure and hierarchy, it is less comparable with, say, a religious cult such as the Taliban than to the multi-dimensional American civil rights movement of the 1960s."
FEMME MENTALE - San Francisco neuropsychiatrist says differences between women's and men's brains are very real, and the sooner we all understand it, the better
- While I disagree with the evolutionary perspective of this article, there are a few noteworthy quotes, e.g.:
"So the next time parents scold their daughters for excessive text messaging, consider Brizendine's neurological explanation:
'Connecting through talking activates the pleasure centers in a girl's brain. We're not talking about a small amount of pleasure. This is huge. It's a major dopamine and oxytocin rush, which is the biggest, fattest neurological reward you can get outside of an orgasm.'"
Bikers' 'open pipes' disturb communities - a USA Today Opinion piece
- I couldn't agree more with this piece; Riding a motorcycle is one thing, but disturbing the peace with noise pollution is totally unacceptable.
The View-Point addressed this issue way back in June 2005:
SUMMER = MOTORCYCLES = NOISE POLLUTION
High Dynamic Range Photography
- Painting-like photography with vibrant tones and rich colors
- This digital darkroom technique can create some truly stunning photos, rich in detail and color.
10 Pictures of Tokyo Gotham
Must-see examples of H.D.R. photography from Japan. Make sure you view the 'Large Version' of these images in order to appreciate all of the detail.
NY Times article, "Was It Done With a Lens, or a Brush?" on H.D.R.
Labels: best of the web
- Free Image Hosting; No Account/Sign-on Required!
- Free Image Hosting -- so what? The differentiating feature of this service is that no individual user account or log-in is required to upload & host images. In this sense, it is totally anonymous. And on a practical level, this service makes it very quick and easy to upload a file and get a URL for sharing the file. Negative: Don't upload anything that you might want to delete later!
The 2600-reading H4X0R in me makes me wonder about the level of file-format verification that this service implements...
Xdrive - Coming in Early September: AOL offers everyone 5Gb of free storage
- With a slick-looking user interface, automated backup options, and online sharing tools, this could come in handy! I personally cannot imagine maxing out the 5Gb... Check back in early September, but in the meantime, read more about it in this article.
Labels: best of the web
TiddlyWiki - A reusable, non-linear, self-contained personal web notebook/wiki
- Talk about cool! You have to go to the site and play with it to see how it works -- it's hard to describe. Certainly provides an interesting alternative to the traditional linear blog.
There seems to be a slight learning curve to learning how to use/edit/save/update a TiddlyWiki, but it is well worth the effort.
I wonder how this might be used in an educational setting, to provide a static set of content for students to interact with. Definitely on the cutting-edge.
Labels: best of the web
meebo -- Web-based Instant Messaging (IM)
- Supports simultaneous, mutliple IM accounts from all the popular services: AIM/ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, Jabber/GTalk, MSN
Also has a meebo me widget feature to intergrate IM-style chatting into any webpage, so that visitors can chat with the website's author
Photosynth from Microsoft Live Labs -- 3-D Imaging from 2-D Photos
- This technology represents the future of digital photography. I can just imagine how this software could be used on sites like Facebook to stitch together photos taken on a college campus by various people.
Check out the video demonstration of Photosynth
Labels: best of the web