Out in Cyber-Town (Pants on the Ground)

State of the Groundhog
by Lars Walker

It probably won’t surprise you much when I inform you that I passed up the opportunity to listen to my president’s State of the Union address last night.

Instead I popped my DVD of Groundhog Day into the player, and watched it for the eleventy-second time. It was almost shorter than the president’s speech, and definitely less repetitious, from what I’ve read.

And it’s the right time of year.

I think Groundhog Day is my It’s a Wonderful Life. As I’ve mentioned many times to friends, IaWL just depresses me. The only message I get from it is “George Bailey has a wonderful life, BUT YOU’RE NOT GEORGE BAILEY!”

Groundhog Day, on the other hand, presents a lesson I can agree with—“If I had the chance to do my life over about a million times, I might eventually figure something out.”

I understand the original script was written by a Buddhist, and that the filmmakers cut out some of the more explicitly Buddhist elements. I suppose, to be consistent with myself, I ought to reject the film for the merest taint of Buddhism.

But what kind of theology does It’s a Wonderful Life present? Salvation by good works and self-esteem. “You may think you’re a miserable sinner, George Bailey, but they think very highly of you in heaven!” Not exactly Christian law and gospel.

What I like about Groundhog Day is the non-theological material—the simple moral journey of a man who does actually come to realize that he’s a sinner, and then works to become somebody whose life contributes. It’s not a saving knowledge, but it’s a good thing for the people who have to live with him.

To a large degree, it’s about humility. I could name some prominent people who seem to think that humility is for their country, but not for them as individuals. Such people need to wake up and see their own shadows.

Totally stolen from here.

Elsewhere …

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill said crime, drugs and corruption caused last week’s massive earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people in Haiti.

Kirill, speaking during a … visit to Kazakhstan, said the Haitian people bore responsibility for the calamity because they had turned away from God, the Ferghana.ru news agency reported late Monday.

“Haiti is a country of poverty and crime, famine, drugs and corruption, where people have lost their moral face,” Kirill was quoted as saying …

More … here.

Many of you may have heard the catchy tune “Pants on the Ground” by General Larry Platt on a recent American Idol.

Well, here’s “Neil Young” with his version:


To top it off, so to speak, here’s news out of London:

Middle age, it often is said, is when your age starts to show around your middle. And for men, it seems, the moment is marked by the inexorable rise in the position of their trouser waistband.

A survey shows that the last time most men are able to fasten their trousers around anything resembling a natural waist is at the age of 39. After that, the only way is up, or down.

”Over-achievers”, as they are known in the rag trade, hoist their trousers so high by the age of 57 the waistband can be just 18 centimetres under the armpits. The ”under-achievers”, making up about 20 per cent, plump for below, fumbling to fasten belts, buttons and zips they can no longer see.

”The changing fortunes of a man’s trouser waistband can often become a metaphor for his life,” said Paul Baldwin, director of men’s wear buying for the Debenhams department store, which commissioned the survey.

Boys wear their trousers around their waist, until the age of 12, because their parents buy their clothing for them, concluded the survey of 1000 males. But waistbands plunge with the advent of teenage hormones, plummeting towards the apex of the hips, and far below the underpants position by 16. Dressing for work sees a gradual upward creep between 16 and 20 years.

By 27, the waistband starts returning to the natural waist, a position largely maintained until the age of 36. The turning point is 39 and the demise of the washboard stomach. By 45, trousers will be worn at least five centimetres above the waist, rising to 12.7 centimetres by the age of 57.

Stolen from here.

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