Sunday, February 28, 2010

LTTP - Veterans

Dear President Obama,

I have a comment about veterans. Veterans are wonderful people who are great and wonderful. I saw one. He was great. Great and wonderful! How come that person is not forever enfolded into the arms of America's love? How come the man who wonderfully fought for the freedom of America is not loved in America but you act like he might be a bully instead of a hero? I don't like the people sometimes who think that the veterans who are so wonderful and great, remember, are less than wonderful, and in fact bad sometimes - yes- sometimes people say that they are bad men. But this letter will show you that veterans are people we salute to and they are heroic.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Seniors

Dear President Obama,

I have a comment about seniors. I'm not a senior now, but I'll be one some day, and I wonder if there will still be social security by then. I'm worried that by the time I'm old, the social security fund will be all used up. Please look into fixing social security as soon as possible so that when I get old, there will still be a lot of American Prosperity Pie left for me.

Or maybe you could abolish social security and stop making everybody pay into the system. I think there was a time when Americans lived without it.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Job Creation

Dear President Obama,

I am very concerned about job creation in America. I know you have good intentions when you grow the size and scope of government, but jobs get created best from the private sector and not from the public sector. Lots of studies have shown that. One time you even said that UPS and Fed-Ex were doing pretty good, but that the Post Office was always having problems. Well, UPS and Fed-Ex are from the private sector, and the United States Postal Service is in the public sector. So I think that shows pretty well that the government should have fewer tentacles in fewer pies. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Saturday, February 27, 2010

LTTP - Iraq

Dear President Obama,

Thanks for all you're doing to make Operation Iraqi Freedom successful. I hope our military catches and punishes all the terrorists there. I think Iraq should be more like America, since America is wonderful and democratic and rich.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Immigration

Dear President Obama,

Please secure the borders as soon as possible. Please make legal immigration easier. Please let Sheriff Joe Arpio of Maricopa County, Arizona, do his job the way he sees fit. He is a great man and a great Sheriff. We need more Sheriffs like him.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Foriegn Affairs

Dear President Obama,

I have some advice about foreign affairs.

Withdraw from the United Nations immediately.

Keep supporting Israel.

Stay strong in Afghanistan and let people know that America won’t support terrorism. Remember 9/11. And remember Pearl Harbor. And the Alamo.

When in doubt, don’t bow.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Enviornment

Dear President Obama,

As a concerned citizen and landowner, I have a few pieces of advice about the environment.

Don’t let the Environmental Protection Agency regulate Co2. Co2 is not a pollutant, and human-caused global warming isn’t real.

Let lumberjacks be lumberjacks. Let them cut down trees. Wood is good for us, and trees grow back again.

Lower the amount of animals on the endangered species list. Let me go hunting for them. The governmentally protected habitats of so-called endangered animals prevent the growth of human civilization and of robust economic development.

Limit the influence of Al Gore and environmentalists everywhere.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Energy

Dear President Obama,

I’m concerned about the cost and availability of energy in America. I have some suggestions for you about energy.

1- Do all you can to promote nuclear energy. Remove all red tape standing in the way of the construction of new nuclear power plants.

2- Let us drill for oil in Alaska and in other places in America where oil abounds. Let us tap our own domestic resources before we buy foreign oil, the buying of which may be funding terrorists.

3- Provide funding for, or at least stop the suppression of, those scientists who discovered that a certain type of bug can excrete crude oil. (Have you heard of them?)

4- Stop wasting money on wind turbines. They are not nearly as efficient and cost-effective as coal power and nuclear power.

5- Stop fighting global warming. Human-caused global warming isn’t real. Fighting global warming is like Don Quixote fighting windmills that he thought were giants, except Don Quixote didn’t waste as much money as our government has.

6- Listen to and follow my suggestions.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Education

Dear President Obama,

As a teacher and a parent, I’m concerned with the quality of education in America. I’ve thought and researched a lot about the issues, and I have three recommendations for how to improve education in America.

First, ensure that parents have as much choice as possible when it comes to the education their child. The diversity of home-schooling, charter schools, parochial schools, private schools, as well as public schools must be preserved. Competition among schools increases quality.

Second, please grant more autonomy to individual school districts and to individual states. Resist the urge to mandate from a federal level a detailed curriculum that every American child will undergo. One of the easiest and best ways to do that is to abolish the federal Department of Education.

Third, don’t increase the length of the school year, the length of the school day, don’t mandate all-day kindergarten, and don’t provide excessive funding for after-school programs. Don’t mandate or encourage parents to allow their children to be raised by school officials. Government should not and cannot be a substitute for the family.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Economy

Dear President Obama,

I think the best thing to do to help the economy is limit the size of the government. The private sector does a lot of things better than the public sector does. Please stop bailing out banks and automobile companies and please stop growing and growing the size of the government and coming up with more and more government programs and taxing the American citizens more and more. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Afghanistan

Dear President Obama,

Thank you for sending more troops into Afghanistan. I hope our military catches and punishes all the terrorists there.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Thursday, February 25, 2010

LTTP - Bo

Dear Barack Obama,

How is Bo?

I hope he’s good. (Your pet dog is a boy, right? Bo sounds like a boy’s name.)

Speaking of pets, I want to give you a good idea about animals. I know most Presidents have a pet dog, and you have an especially cute dog (black like you!), but since you’re all about running Washington differently, and since you talked about “change we can believe in” when you were a Presidential candidate, have you ever thought about getting a more exotic pet? Like maybe an iguana? Or a ferret? Or a rhinoceros? You have a big enough yard for a rhinoceros.

And then you could give your exotic pet an exotic name. Like Forthwhile. Or Lilash.

I know you didn’t ask for my advice, and I know you have paid advisors to help you look appealing in all you do and say, but, I think I know the American people pretty well, and the American people like zany stuff like that.

Getting an exotic pet and giving it a crazy name might help your approval ratings, and it might help you get re-elected in three years. If nothing else, it will distract Americans from your agenda for a while.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - An Invitation

Dear Barack Obama,

You should become a Mormon.

I know you’ve had a lot of trouble picking religions. I’ve noticed that you haven’t gone to Church very much lately, and I’ve noticed that you’ve asserted many times that you are a Christian, so I assume since you’re a Christian you think that church attendance is important, since most Christians think church attendance is a nice thing to do, and I know that you’re the type of person to do what you think is important, so I think you ought to start going back to Church. But you can’t go back to Jeremiah Wright’s Church, for obvious reasons, and the churches close to the White House don’t seem to be doing it for you, so I suggest you give Mormonism a shot before giving up on organized religion altogether. And give it a good shot, too.

Being a Mormon is awesome.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Obama's smoking habit

Dear Barack Obama,

Have you stopped smoking yet?

I’m just curious.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Obama's political affiliation and philosophy

Dear Barack Obama,

I know you’re a liberal democrat, but have you thought about becoming a conservative Republican? It’s better in a lot of ways. Trust me.

I’ve been a conservative Republican for about 7 years now, and it’s worked out great for me. So I should know.

I don’t think any U.S. Presidents have switched party affiliations while they were President. Wouldn’t it be cool to go down in history as the only President to do that?

Maybe you just need some time to think. The stresses of being the President have probably taken their toll on you, and so you don’t have time to re-examine your political philosophy.

But if you just take a break, maybe drop the kids off with some Secret Service men, maybe hang out on a Hawaiian beach for a while and read the Constitution a few more times… you might start leaning more to the right. That would be nice.

America would be better off if you were a conservative Republican, so I hope you switch soon.

I’ll be praying for you.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Obama's citizenship

Dear Barack Obama,

Are you a natural born citizen of America?

Please write back and tell me honestly if you were born in the USA or not.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - United Nations

Dear Barack Obama,

Have you ever thought about the U.S. leaving the United Nations? If not, would you think about it now, while you’re reading this?

The United Nations has done some really messed up stuff. Really messed up.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - The Library of Congress

Dear Barack Obama,

I think one of the best things the government ever did was making the Library of Congress. That’s an awesome library. I’m a big folk music fan, and a lot of folk music recordings were made just because the Library of Congress sent out people into rural areas to record American folk music.

And now the Library of Congress is preserving lots of great audio recordings and a lot of interesting ole-time film. Like I saw this footage that was made with a old-fashioned video camera that Thomas Edison made of two cats fighting with boxing gloves on, and I thought that was pretty neat.

Do you go there, to the big library, to study and to think up news laws and stuff?

So thanks for the Library of Congress.

I doubt you’ve had anything to do with the preservation or growth of the Library of Congress, but at least you’re not actively fighting to destroy the Library. Ha ha ha. Or if you are trying to destroy the library and all that wonderful folk music, I haven’t heard about it in the news yet.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Religion

Dear Barack Obama,

Please don’t take away my religion.

I’m a Christian man and I remember you said that when people get scared they “cling to guns and religion.” Like you were making religion sound like something for dumb people, or like for backward, superstitious people.

Well, I’m a Christian, and I’m not dumb. But I’d rather be a dumb Christian than a smart heathen.

Personally, I think we ought to put Christian prayer back in public schools. That way we can raise our kids better and they can turn out right. But even if we don’t do that, we can still keep Christian things like the Ten Commandments in the courtrooms, and we can make all the politicians keep on swearing on the Bible. I’m glad that they have to say their oaths on the Bible. I’d be even gladder if I knew politicians were telling the truth all the time.

I’m just asking you to do everything you can to preserve Christianity in America, because more true Christians will make this country much better.

Thank you for your service to your country.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

LTTP - Guns

Dear Barack Obama,

Please don’t take away my guns.

I’m a second amendment supporter all the way. I think guns are wonderful things if you use them responsibly. They can protect your family and they can get you dinner if you go hunting. And some of the things you’ve done and said have made me think that you want to take my guns away, and my neighbors guns away. But we’re good people. We obey the law.

I am an American and I support the National Rifle Association, and since you are my elected official, you should be interested in hearing from me. That’s part of your job- listening to me.

Please do not think that I am a stupid man just because I don’t write or speak as pretty as you do. I have wisdom that comes from living in the country.

I respect you as my President, and I thank you for your service to your country.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Introduction to My Letter to the President Series

Dear Readers,

I’ve had fun writing letters to the President and getting responses back. I want to do it a lot more. In fact, I’m starting a series in this blog. I call the series Letters to the President (LTTP)

Blog posts in this series will be titled like this: LTTP – topic

Like, if I write a letter to President Barack Obama about guns, the title of the post will be LTTP – guns

And then when Barack Obama or one of his minions writes me back, I’ll publish the response, perhaps along with some of my clever commentary about the response, here on Telemoonfa Time, and I’ll title the blog post like this: LTTP – guns – reply!

Make sense?

Sound fun?

Then let’s get going!

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Barack Wrote Me Back! Part Two

Dear Readers,

Remember when I wrote President Obama another letter? Well, he wrote me back! Here it is, with my comments in red:

Dear Friend: [Mr. Obama called me a friend! I wonder if he would still call me that if he knew me or read this blog.]

Thank you for writing. [You're welcome] I have heard from countless
Americans struggling to afford health insurance, [Did you have to say, "struggling"? Couldn't you have used a more neutral word, like, "trying"? You're trying to pull at my heart-strings by using words like "struggling". You tell stories all the time of poor people who lose their jobs and lose their health insurance and have to be taken care of by the paternal government. Hmmm... Barack Obama likes to use the word struggle... and Mein Kampf means struggle... is that just a coincidence?] as well as health
professionals striving to provide care, and I appreciate your
perspective.

I recently released my proposal to reform our health
insurance system. To learn more about this plan, [aka to hear more of me talking and less of your own brain talking] please visit:

www.whitehouse.gov/health-care-meeting

and

www.healthreform.gov

Reform must provide more security and stability to those
who have health insurance; give those without insurance affordable
options; and lower the cost of health care for our families, our
businesses, and our government. [That sounds great. If that's what was really in the over 2000 pages of bill, I might be for it. But I think the health care reform you are shooting for will actually increase the cost of health care for families, businesses, and government. Lots of other people, smart economists among them, share my opinion.]

I share the sense of urgency that many Americans have
voiced to improve health care in our country. Together, we will fix
it. [As my Daddy used to say, don't fix it if it ain't broke. But you say our health care system is broke. I've noticed that you spend a lot of time trying to convince people that there is a crisis of one kind or another. You talk about the economic crisis all the time, and you talk about the health care crisis all the time, and you talk about the global warming crisis all the time, and you use those "crises" as justification for enacting your liberal policies, and I don't like it.]


Sincerely,

Barack Obama

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Scenes for my drama students, part two

Dear Readers,

My middle school drama students are currently performing scenes, and it's going pretty well. A few of them chose to do scenes that I wrote, and that I previously posted on here, and it makes me happy to see my writing come to life. So I wrote three more scenes, for fun, and maybe for next semester, if there is a next semester for me.

Enjoy.

Scene Title: Poke the Lump.
Characters: GUS and DR. FREDRICKSON.
Setting: DR. FREDRICKSON’s office.
Background: GUS is in DR. FREDRICKSON’s office for a headache. DR. FREDRICKSON is putting a stethoscope to GUS’s back as GUS breathes in and out deeply.

DR. FREDRICKSON: GUS, I need you to breathe in deeply. Breathe out deeply. Breathe in deeply. Breathe out deeply. Hmm-mm. I see.

GUS: What is it, doctor? (pause) What did you find?

DR. FREDRICKSON: (deep in thought, concentrating on his work) Hmm?

GUS: You said “I see” like you found something.

DR. FREDRICKSON. No, Gus, I didn’t find anything. I only said, “I see” to let you know that my eyeballs are working properly. (laughs) That was a joke. (he pokes around GUS’s back.) OK, give me just a minute. (pause) I see.

GUS: Now do you have any idea what’s wrong with me?

DR. FREDRICKSON: No, I’m afraid it’s much too early to diagnose your condition.

GUS: It hurts really bad. Especially in my head.

DR. FREDRICKSON: Like a headache?

GUS: Yeah, like a headache. Well, it is a headache. That’s why I came in.

DR. FREDRICKSON: I see!

GUS: Did you find something now?

DR. FREDRICKSON: Boy did I ever! I found a big lump!

GUS: A lump? Like a cancer lump?

DR. FREDRICKSON: Yeah, like a cancer lump! And woo-ee it sure is a big one!

GUS: I have cancer? (panicking)

DR. FREDRICKSON: Wait, wait, calm down. It’s much too early to jump to conclusions. (Looks closer at lump) That’s what I would say under ordinary circumstances, but now that I’m seeing this big green lump protruding from your back like a grizzly bear emerging from its winter cave of hibernation, I’m sorry, Gus, but I must inform you that… yes, it’s cancer.

GUS: (starts to cry) Cancer? What will I tell my wife? What will I tell my darling little sons and daughters?

DR. FREDRICKSON: Tell them you got cancer.

GUS: But are you sure? I mean, just from looking at my lump you can tell… that I’m… stricken?

DR. FREDRICKSON: Yep. And this cancer would definitely explain your headaches, by the way.

GUS: (sobbing more frantically) How much longer do you think I have?

DR. FREDRICKSON: Oh, it’s hard to say with things like this. You could have a long time. You could have a short time.

GUS: How short?

DR. FREDRICKSON: (looks at watch) Could be as short as… fifteen minutes.

GUS: I could be dead in fifteen minutes?! (cries uncontrollably.) Oh this is even more horrible than I ever imagined! Agony! Misery and agony! Me, Gus, good old Gus, dead!

DR. FREDRICKSON: Dead? No, I don’t think you’ll die any time soon. I was talking about the time left for your appointment. It’d be nice if we could get out of here in fifteen minutes. I’ve got a killer club sandwich waiting for me in the break room- it’s got ham on it- and I actually missed my breakfast this morning so (goes to the door) if there are no further questions-

GUS: Are you really really sure it’s cancer? I mean, don’t you doctors have to run some tests or something?

DR. FREDRICKSON: (pause. Deep in thought) Well, I could poke it if you like. Would you like that?

GUS: Yes, doctor, whatever you need to do to be certain. Please. Poke the lump.

DR. FREDRICKSON: (pokes the lump) Does this hurt?

GUS: No. No more than normal poking.

DR. FREDRICKSON: Whoa!

GUS: What?

DR. FREDRICKSON: Well would you look at that?! Your lump came off! See, look, your lump is on my finger!

GUS: Whoa, that’s crazy.

DR. FREDRICKSON: (sniffs his finger) It smells funny. Kind of… yummy. (eats it) Hey, it wasn’t cancer at all… it’s… it’s … mashed potatoes!

GUS: Mashed potatoes! That’s what I ate just before I came in!

DR. FREDRICKSON: You must be one sloppy eater.

GUS: That’s right, I am a sloppy eater. So, does this mean I don’t have cancer?

DR. FREDRICKSON. Consider yourself cancer free!

GUS: Oh, what a relief. (shakes doctor’s hand) Oh, thank you, thank you doctor. (laughs) Hard to believe my mashed potatoes got all the way back there.

DR. FREDRICKSON: Yes, yes. Wonderful! Wonderful! (patting him on the back) It’s always a joy to bring relief to my patients. How does your head feel, by the way?

GUS: Oh, my head feels great, especially now that I don’t have cancer anymore.

DR. FREDRICKSON: Great, great, well, as I said, I must be on my way. That club sandwich is calling my name. It’s got ham on it. Just make sure you pay the ladies up front on your way out, and try not to eat so sloppily next time.

Doctor exits. End of scene.


Title of Scene: Can We Talk?
Setting: A park.
Characters: Mike and Sarah, boyfriend and girlfriend. Sarah is texting on her cell phone.

Mike: Sarah, can we talk?

Sarah: Yeah.

Mike: You’re not too busy?

Sarah: No.

Mike: Good. (pause)

Sarah: What do you want to talk about?

Mike: Love.

Sarah: OK. We can talk about that.

Mike: Isn’t love great?

Sarah: Yeah.

Mike: It sure is. That’s for sure. Love is great.

Sarah: I like your shoes. Are they new?

Mike: Isn’t it great when you find a person that you love? And isn’t it even greater to
find a person who loves you back? And isn’t it greatest of all when those two people who love each other don’t let any one else getting in the way of their love?

Sarah: Yeah, like you said, love is great.

Mike: Yeah, love is great, but I mean, isn’t it greatest of all when two people, two lovers, two exclusive lovers, like, like you and me, for example, two exclusive lovers who love each other, and only each other, forever, for all time, without anybody else in the picture, anybody else at all? Isn't that great?

Sarah: What’s wrong with you?

Mike: Why’d you look at that guy?

Sarah: What guy?

Mike: Try to remember. You know what guy.

Sarah: No I don’t. There’s lots of guys in the world. How am I supposed to know which one you’re talking about? Be more specific.

Mike: Lots of guys in the world? Wait a minute. You think there are lots of guys in the world?

Sarah: Mike, there are a lot of guys in the world. See, there's one over there, walking his dog. And look, there's another one, playing basketball.

Mike: OK, it's one thing just to understand, philosophically, like, in a big picture, that there are a lot of guys in the world. But it's another thing entirely to say that there are a lot of guys in the world, like, "other fish in the sea" and the way you say guys- you say it like "guys," like they're available guys, like, out there and ready to see the world type of guys, or "guys" like, "hey I'm a guy and I'm on the prowl" type of guys.

Sarah: What are you getting at?

Mike: That guy at the mall. He was wearing the bright yellow vest. Tight jeans with a hole in the right knee. Eyebrow ring. Tell me you weren't looking at him for a good... five seconds.

Sarah: That skinny punk looking guy?

Mike: You remember him!

Sarah: Now that you describe him, yeah, I guess I-

Mike: I can't believe you remember him!

Sarah: You told me to try to remem-

Mike: Wow, he must have been pretty special to you- so special that you remember him. I knew it! Why did you look at him? And I want a clear answer.

Sarah: I look at a lot of things when I’m at the mall. I look at the clothes, I look at the floor, I look at the ceiling, I look at the candy machines, sometimes I look at the people walking by. It doesn't mean anything!

Mike: Yes it does! You liked that guy! It was only for a moment, but I saw it in your eyes- you like him, loved him! And you still love him! You love him more than you love me!

Sarah: You know what? I'm tired of this. I'm tired of you. I love you, but you're too much work. I'm leaving. (starts to leave.)

Mike: You're not really going to leave. You say that, but you don't mean it. Ha ha ha. It's really funny that you're still walking away, like you're not kidding, like you won't turn around any second and beg for my forgiveness. (pause) If you walk away it proves that you liked him!

(Mike cries and exits. End of scene.)

Scene Title: A Little Baby That Wiggles
Characters: HUSBAND and WIFE, proud new parents
Setting: Their living room. Two new parents are standing over a baby after she has just gone to sleep. This scene will work best if it's performed like a B movie.

HUSBAND: Aww… just look at her. Can you believe that we had a little baby?

WIFE: It’s incredible. It’s a miracle.

HUSBAND: Yes. A miracle. The miracle of life.

WIFE: A baby. A little little baby.

HUSBAND: Ahh… that’s right… A little baby.

WIFE: A little baby that wiggles! (They laugh. We hear a low rumble.)

HUSBAND: Honey, what’s that noise?

WIFE: What noise, darling?

HUSBAND: Don’t you hear that rumbling?

WIFE: No, I don’t hear any rumbling.

HUSBAND: There is a definite rumbling, Nancy. (looks around) It’s getting louder. (goes to the window.) It’s coming from outside. (opens the window)

WIFE: Close the window, Harold. The breeze is making the baby cold.

HUSBAND: Nancy! Quick! Come to the window! Look! (Nancy crosses to window) It’s a spaceship! It’s a spaceship, Nancy!

WIFE: Oh my bright shining stars! It’s a flying saucer!

HUSBAND: Yes, it’s a flying saucer, alright, and it’s landed in our backyard!

WIFE: A vessel from another world. It landed right on my petunias!

HUSBAND: And people! I see people!

WIFE: What kind of people?

HUSBAND: Space people!

WIFE: Ahh! Tell them, tell them that we come in peace.

HUSBAND: No, no I don’t think I’ll say anything to them. Space people don’t listen to words. But I’ll tell you one thing. Space people listen to pistols. (exits)

WIFE: Oh, honey, you’re not going to shoot them are you?

HUSBAND: (from offstage) You bet I am!

WIFE: Oh, I don’t think that’s the best thing to do. What if we offer them cake? The space people have mouths, big ones, and we have that cake leftover from your birthday.

HUSBAND: They can’t eat my cake, but soon they’ll be eating some of my hot spinning metal! Hey, Nancy, I can’t find my gun. (pause) Where’s my gun?

WIFE: Oh, this is the worst time to tell you, but, I got rid of the gun, Harold.

HUSBAND: (re-enters, angry) Got rid of it? Why?

WIFE: There’s no time to explain! The space people are getting closer!

HUSBAND: (looks out window) Hmm, you’re right. They’re getting closer and closer.
Well, go get me the frying pan.

WIFE: OK. (exits)

HUSBAND: Hmm. If I can’t shoot them, I bet I can at least smash them. I only hope my pan swinging abilities are strong enough to crack through their rock-like exoskeletons.

WIFE: (re-enters with pan and gives it to HUSBAND) Here’s the frying pan. I love you.

HUSBAND: I love you, too. (He climbs out the window and exits.)

WIFE: (WIFE looks out the window) Get ‘em Harold! Get ‘em! Get those space aliens! Ha ha ha! Yes! Smash them! Smash them to little bitty pieces! (HUSBAND re-enters)

HUSBAND: I smashed them all. I smashed all the space aliens. They're all dead.

WIFE: Oh good. Now let’s look at our baby again. Isn’t she just precious?

HUSBAND: She sure is.

End of scene

Bjork talking about her TV (subtitled)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

JD Hayworth vs. John McCain


Dear Readers,


Uh-oh!


Mark Levin and Michael Savage and my tea-party friends say I should vote for JD Hayworth, and so until today I was pretty sure that I supported Hayworth, but today I found out that my political idol, Mitt Romney, says I should vote for John McCain!
Uh-oh!


(JD Hayworth and John McCain are both running for U.S. Senate in Arizona, FYI)

What should I do?

And I have to decide really fast because the primary is in August!


Hmmm... I'm not sure yet, but I think I'm still going to vote for JD Hayworth. He seems more conservative than John McCain. I looked at his website, and it was pretty convincing that JD is for smaller government and stuff.

I don't mean any disrespect to Mitt Romney's endorsement, though. Sorry, Mr. Romney, for not voting for who you tell me to vote for.

I sort of think that Mitt Romney is endorsing John McCain just because it's better politically. Mitt Romney has his eye on the Presidential seat in 2012, and to get that job, he's got to look more moderate so he can win over the Democrats and Independents who will try to get Barack Obama re-elected. And what better way to look more moderate than to support John McCain? But maybe that's not his real reason for supporting John McCain.

Maybe Mitt Romney is just trying to look consistent- he endorsed McCain for President, after he lost to him in the Primaries, so Mitt thinks he should keep endorsing McCain, I suppose. Romney was already accused of being a flip-flopper on abortion and other social issues, so maybe he doesn't want to seem like a flip-flopper again.

Of course Mitt Romney can't be endorsing John McCain just because he honestly thinks that McCain would do a better job than Hayworth. Ha ha ha.

Politicians don't think like that. Politicians scheme. Even Mitt Romney, the holy one, is a schemer- but he's scheming for the right reasons, so it's OK.

Mitt Romney scheming to become President is like Abraham telling people that Sarah was his sister and not his wife. OK, maybe it's not exactly like that, but you Biblical people know what I'm talking about. If you're lying for God, it's OK.

Um... but why does Mitt Romney have to endorse anyone? Is it a rule that political figures have to take sides in every race?



Sincerely,


Telemoonfa

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My letter to the President, Part Two

Dear Readers,

I just wrote another letter to the President.

Watching over 20 hours of footage of CPAC this last Thursday, Friday and Saturday really motivated me to get more involved in politics. CPAC was amazing, I'll tell you what.

I'm not sure what I can do do cause conservative change I can believe in... I suppose I can start indoctrinating my drama students with conservative propaganda. Ha ha ha. I am actually thinking of doing some patriotic plays I found about the Founders and the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere's ride and stuff. Ha ha ha. That would be fun.

But I want to keep my job, so... maybe I won't do the plays... even though I'm in a conservative area... and I probably wouldn't get in trouble for it... in the area where I live and teach there are lots of Christians and people with horses around here (and everybody knows that having horses makes you more conservative).

Really, though, I want to join up with a local group of political activists and see what I can do to make this country better. But until I find a group I want to join, I'll write the President and my representatives and Senators and stuff.

Here's the letter:




Dear President Obama,

Please stop trying to pass health care reform.
It's a bad idea.

I have looked into the issues and feel that the health care reform you are advocating would be bad for the country. The health care reform you have in mind will most likely lead to a government takeover of health care and put a lot of private insurance companies out of business.

For an example of government-run health care, look at Britain. Health care in Britain is not as good as health care in America. One of the wonderful things about health care in America is that anybody can show up at an emergency room and receive treatment, even if they can't pay. Our country is very compassionate and wonderful when it comes to health care, if you ask me.

It doesn't sound like there's a health care crisis to me. Of course, our health care system could use some adjustments, but not the type of adjustments you and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have in mind.

I think you should either have Congress go back to the drawing board or just stop altogether and do more important things.

And since you represent me in this wonderful representative democracy of ours, I thought you would like to hear from me.

Thank you for your service to the country.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mitt Romney wins the CPAC Straw Poll!!!

Dear Readers,

Mitt Romney won the CPAC Straw Poll!!! Woo-hoo!

Well, actually, Ron Paul won it.

But we all know that Ron Paul is unelectable, and Mitt Romney got second place, so that means that Mitt Romney will definitely be the President in 2013.

I was worried that Newt Gingrich might beat out Mitt Romney at the CPAC straw poll, because CPAC gave this huge awesome introduction to Newt, like he walked through the crowd shaking hands and they played the whole "Eye of the Tiger" song, the entire song, but when Mitt spoke, he didn't get a whole song, just a little bit of one to introduce him, but... Mitt did get introduced by Scott Brown, so that was cool.

Anywho... I know the CPAC straw poll doesn't mean that much, but for guys like me, you know, who follow politics in loo (sp? ha ha sp!) of sports, it's exciting.

MITT ROMNEY 2012!!!

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

CPAC!!! [The Part of the Blog that has Pictures Again!!! Returns]

the sky and the hill and the sun and all
craggy mountains. Free. Free.

it's the flag that says "don't tread on me"
this is like a real person, except he lives in another land, and he preaches to a different people, in another spacetime, and he does not have a gravitational pull, because he lives in a different dimension, but he does have a oofratizational pull. And i call the dimension where this creature lives Yorbortobio.
this one lives in Kylipperdole (Kye-lip-er-door), a dimension which is close to Yorbortobio. They are on the same axis, but not on the same electro-ring.

dyno-mite!

Yeah something she said todaythat I really like is "I agree with Ron Paul on everything except when it comes to foriegn policy." That's kind of like how I feel. But really Ann Coulter gets down and dirty and nasty- she takes cheap shots on liberals- she's a mudslinger, but she's cool.
Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

pics 'bout politics n science n opinions n stuff




Patrick









Friday, February 19, 2010

CPAC!!! [The Part of the Blog that has Pictures Again!!!]











Dear Readers,
This pictures R how I feels 'bout CPAC!!!
the feelings of C.P.A.C. make the thoughts appear on my brain and the thoughts make the pictures come to TELEMOONFA TIME


I think my pictures speak for themselves. That is to say, I think, the pictures I drew have voices- they produce sounds... sounds that have meaning. Listen closely.
Ha ha ha listen to all the voices.
Wayne LaPierre is soooo awesome- I never heard of him before but I'm glad he's out there protecting my right to bear arms. I really like the National Rifle Association.
And George Will... well, he's awesome, too!
And Josh Mandel- he made a good impression on me. Motivated me. A conservative Jewish Marine... that's the kind of political leadership I want.
I wish more people were really listening to/ watching CPAC, and I wish more people cared about politics, and I wish more of the mass of people living in a quiet desperation of liberalism would see the light of conservatism!!!
...
See, what conservatism needs is more name-dropping. So much of politics is image-making, hype and name recognition, you know. People are more persuaded by theatre than logic and ideas- politics is mostly smoke and mirrors and glitter and starry-eyed wonderfulness. According to sociolinguist Deborah Tannen, 90% of communication is non-verbal, so, words and ideas and facts and reason... those things aren't nearly as effective as BODY LANGUAGE AND HAIRCUTS and SHINY THINGS THAT LOOK AND SOUND AND FEEL WONDERFUL! Catchy slogans, lighting, makeup, you see... now is the time to make conservatives look great.
BECAUSE CONSERVATIVES ACTUALLY ARE RIGHT!
Pictures and music, things that appeal to the emotions, you know, nevermind the truth of some of these things... you need wonderful pictures and wonderful music to influence people to vote for you. ACORN helps too.
and here are my wonderful pictures for you... my wonderful pictures for you all to influence the mind of the planet-dwellers to be conservatives- socially-wise and fiscally-wise and other-ly-wise...
my pictures for you...
look, I made pictures for the world...
Name-dropping ahoy!
MITT ROMNEY!!!
ERIC CANTOR
GEORGE WILL
WAYNE LAPIERRE
JOSH MANDEL
MARCO RUBIO

MICHAEL MEDVED

MICHAEL SAVAGE
MILTON FREIDMAN
CLEON SKOUSEN
RUSH LIMBAUGH
MITT ROMNEY
SCOTT BROWN
MITT ROMNEY
SARAH PALIN
JEFF FLAKE
MITT ROMNEY

MITT ROMNEY
Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Science Stuff That Should Blow Your Mind and Humble You and Lead You Towards God

Dear Readers,

I recently watched Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a documentary by Ben Stein about how professors who teach Intelligent Design lose their jobs and don’t get tenure and stuff.

I’m also in the middle of reading Life After Death: The Evidence by Dinesh D’Souza, and it’s blowing my mind.

Like did you know that if the moon wasn’t there, we wouldn’t have seasons? (And if we didn’t have seasons, we couldn’t grow food, probably.)

And did you know that Jupiter has absorbed a bunch of meteoroids that probably could have destroyed the Earth? So if Jupiter wasn’t there, we’d probably all die, or already be dead.

And if the Earth was a little closer to the Sun, we’d all burn up and die. Did you know that?

And if the Earth was a little farther away from the Sun, we’d all freeze and die? Did you know that?

Well,

all that scientific stuff goes to show that this Earth seems especially suited to harbor human life.

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth… for humans to live on.

And did you know that scientists can’t figure out what the mind is all about? They can sort of figure out a lot about the brain- they can dissect it and weigh it and measure it and poke it and see what happens, but they can’t figure out consciousness.

Do thoughts have mass? That’s something that we can’t currently determine, scientifically.

Ever heard of dark matter?

Dark matter makes up 95% of the Universe, and we have no way of detecting or studying dark matter. Our current laws of physics only apply to the 5% of regular matter.

So how can scientists say that they know all about the Universe and they know about the origin and purpose of humankind if they’re really only able to observe and talk about 5% of the Universe?

And if you observe an atom, it behaves differently than if you don’t observe it.

Bwaaaaah!!!

All that stuff should humble you. It should make you cower at the mystery of the universe. It should make you kneel down and try to get God to reveal the important stuff to you.

Remember this poem:

"Conversation Among Mountains"

You ask why I live
in these green mountains

I smile
can’t answer

I am completely at peace
a peach blossom
sails past
on the current

there are worlds
beyond this one

(written by Li Po, translated by David Young)

Meditation led Li Po to the conclusion that "there are worlds beyond this one." That's what I think, too.

Strange how studying science leads some people toward God, and some people away from God.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

CPAC!!!





Dear Readers,

Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio and so many other conservative people!!!

The Conservative Action Committee Conference is going on right now and I wish I could be there!!!

Oh it’s all so wonderful! I drew some pictures about how it makes me feel.

I never heard of Marco Rubio before today but I like him a whole big bunch!!!

I caught the Rubio Fever!!!

Seriously he has a strong political future. I can tell he’s a charismatic leader. He looks like that guy that played Che Guevara in Motorcycle Diaries. Actually, I’d say Rubio’s got all the draw and the Latin spice of Che, except Rubio doesn’t have all that communist murderous baggage with him.

Yep, Rubio will get elected. I hope when he gets into a position of power he stays true to his conservative ideals.

And yep, conservatives and Republicans will take back Congress this November, and we’ll all pave the way to a bright new future of wonderfulness!!!

Yo Floridian Telemoonfa Time Readers, vote 4 Rubio!!!

And I enjoyed Mitt Romney the most of course.

MITT ROMNEY!!!

MITT ROMNEY 2012!!!

I’m still devoted to Mitt Romney. DEVOTED. Here’s some stuff I found out about him recently…

Romney said the “D” word, and he wasn’t quoting from the Bible or anything- he said something like Dick Cheney has a “I don’t give a BEEP attitude.”

Is he trying to act like a tough guy? Is he trying to relate to the sailors, the construction workers, and the guys at the bar? Uh-oh… is he still worthy? J/K MITT ROMNEY IS THE BEST!!!

Last Christmas Mitt Romney shopped at Wal-Mart, and I think that’s cool. I’m pro-Wal-mart. And I’m pro-Mitt-Romney-shopping-at-Walmart!

And I learned that Mitt Romney was a special guest at the Vancouver Olympics and he flew home in a commercial plane in economy class. (unlike Nancy Pelosi who flies a private military jet stocked with a full bar whenever she wants.)

Oh man the elections are only 9 months away and oh boy I’m already excited! I’m going to vote for…

JD Heyworth, not John McCain
No on incorporation for the San Tan Valley AZ area.

Um… other conservative people and things.

I wish I could vote for Rubio and I wish I could have voted for Scott Brown…

My only regret is that I only have one blog to give to my country.

Sincerely,

Telemoonfa

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Scenes for my drama students

Dear Readers,

My middle school drama students are doing monologues and they’re going pretty well. After they do monologues, they’ll do scenes. It’s hard to find a bunch of good clean easy to understand scenes appropriate for middle school students, so I decided to write a few of my own. Enjoy!

Title: Unwarranted
Characters: Cop and a Man.
Setting: A busy street in the downtown of a big city.

The cop stops a man walking down the street. The man is carrying a bag.

Cop: Excuse me, sir. (pause) Sir! Good evening sir.

Man: Good evening.

Cop: Is that your bag?

Man: This one?

Cop: Yes.

Man: (annoyed, confused) Yes, I’m carrying this bag and yes it’s mine.

Cop: Can I look in it?

Man: Excuse me?

Cop: Do you mind if I look in your bag?

Man: You want to look in my bag?

Cop: Yes sir, very quickly. A glance is all I need.

Man: (pause) Do you have a search warrant?

Cop: Look, sir, I’m going to be honest with you. No, I do not have a search warrant. OK? But, I’m just asking you politely, please.

Man: I don’t know. I’m in a bit of a hurry. (starts to walk away)

Cop: I understand that, sir, and I wouldn’t ask you if it wasn’t important. This is important, sir, seriously important. To be honest, I know this is a strange request, but if you let me have a quick look in your bag, I’ll buy you dinner, how about that? Dinner from any restaurant you like, out of my own personal money. Steak, mashed potatoes, soup, whatever. You like Italian?

Man: I have to go.

Cop: (stops him) I’m going to ask you again: may I have a quick look in your bag?

Man: You know what? No.

Cop: What are you hiding, sir?

Man: This is unbelievable. Just because I don’t want you to look in my bag, you think I’m hiding something? (Gets out a cell phone and starts videotaping the cop and himself.) OK, tell me again that you want to look in my bag.

Cop: What are you doing with that thing?

Man: I’m filming you.

Cop: Look, would you please put your cell phone video camera away?

Man: You know, I’d rather not put it away.

Cop: I don’t feel comfortable continuing with that thing on.

Man: Why not? Come on, tell me you want to look in my bag and then tell me you don’t have a warrant. That’s what you were doing before I turned this thing on.

Cop: Put that thing away.

Man: What’s the matter with having our conver-

Cop: Put that thing away!

Man: What did I do wrong, carry a suspicious-looking bag? Oooo… plain black… very suspicious. Last time I checked walking down the street carrying a bag is not a crime. (speaks into phone.) Oh, and let it be known to all who find this video that this cop offered to buy me dinner if I would let him look in the bag. Weird. (Closes cell phone) Well, thank you for an entertaining afternoon. (Man starts to exit. Cop hold Man’s elbow.)

Cop: Hold on a second.

Man: Let go of me.

Cop: Hold on a second.

Man: Let go of me! (Man jerks his arm away and runs offstage.)

Cop: (Cop opens his own cell phone and calls someone.) Hey… No, I didn’t get it. There’s too many people around. He’s headed north on 51st avenue. I can still see him. Make sure to get his cell phone. Then destroy it.

End of scene.



Title: Dripping Love Letters
Characters: A man and a female mail carrier.
Setting: The middle of the day in the suburbs. The mail carrier is putting mail into a big collection of mail boxes.

Man: Nice day, huh? (pause. louder) Nice day huh?

Mail Carrier: Yeah, it is a nice day.

Man: Nice day for stuffing mailboxes.

Mail Carrier: Huh?

Man: I said, nice day for stuffing mailboxes, you know putting all those envelopes into these mailboxes. The weather is nice, I mean, that’s all. Real sunny.

Mail Carrier: Yeah.

Man: It would be a shame if it were raining on you.

Mail Carrier: That’s right.

Man: Then all the mail would get wet, too.

Mail Carrier: Yeah. Well, thankfully we’ve had some really good weather lately.

Man: But I guess the mail really wouldn’t get wet, because I’ve gotten the mail before on a rainy day, and my mail isn’t wet from the rain. How do you stop that, I wonder, if it’s raining outside, how do you keep all the rain from getting into the mail? That’s something that I’ve never thought about before, but I’m wondering about it now for some reason. I mean, imagine all those soggy postcards and dripping love letters. So how do you do it?

Mail Carrier: Well, we just keep the mail inside as much as possible. Keep it in the post office, keep it in the vehicles, and if it gets pouring down really hard, well, I’ll take a break sometimes. Usually the really really rainy parts of the storms, the flash flood type of raining, those don’t last too long.

Man: Nice. I love breaks. How long have you been a mail carrier? I’m just making conversation.

Mail Carrier: Seven years.

Man: Seven years? Is that right.

Mail Carrier: That’s right.

Man: Seven years. Seven years of putting all those envelopes in all those mailboxes. I couldn’t stand a job like that. The repetitiveness. I mean, I respect it, stuffing mailboxes, it’s respectable. You’re respectable. Thank you for being respectable.

Mail Carrier: Are you feeling OK?

Man: I feel fine. Very good, in fact. I’ve got a smile on my face. (Mail Carrier starts to walk away.) It’s good to talk to you. Oh, are you done?

Mail Carrier: I’m done.

Man: Well before you go, I have to ask you, do you want to go to dinner or something, sometime?

Mail Carrier: Oh, that’s flattering, but I’m married.

Man: Oh. Sorry. I didn’t know. I looked on your hand to see if you were wearing a ring, and you weren’t, so I just thought that maybe…

Mail Carrier: I accidentally left my ring at home.

Man: I’m sorry. I never would have asked if I knew. I'm not that kind of person. Sorry. Well, thank you for delivering my mail.

Mail Carrier: You’re welcome.

Man: Bye. Thanks again for getting my mail to me.

End of Scene


Title: No Cheese At All
Characters: Tony and Dustin
Setting: An office in a fast-food restaurant. Tony, a new boss at a fast food restaurant, is talking to Dustin, an employee.

Dustin enters.

Tony: Hi, thanks for coming in.

Dustin: You’re welcome.

Tony: Have a seat. Yeah, that’s fine, just move that stuff over.

Dustin: (sits) Is everything OK?

Tony: Listen, Dennis-

Dustin: Dustin.

Tony: Oh, sorry, uh, Dustin, that’s right. Dustin, let me just start by saying I’m a nice guy, OK?

Dustin: OK.

Tony: I’m a new manager, did you know that?

Dustin: No.

Tony: Well, I need to talk to you.

Dustin: OK. (pause) That’s why I’m here.

Tony: It’s not going to be easy.

Dustin: Is this about how I came in late?

Tony: You came in late?

Dustin: Uh, no. (pause) I mean, well… I thought maybe you thought I came in late because… the clock in the kitchen is wrong.

Tony: Oh. I should really go fix that clock. (stands up and starts to leave. Dustin looks confused.) Oh wait, I have to talk to you. Silly me. (comes back and sits back down. long pause.)

Dustin: Is this about the order I messed up? The triple cheeseburger?

Tony: Yes, the triple cheeseburger! That’s it! OK, that lady requested no cheese, no cheese at all, Dennis, and what did you give her?

Dustin: Cheese?

Tony: Yes, you gave her cheese.

Dustin: It was a cheeseburger. How can you have a cheeseburger with no cheese?

Tony: That’s not the point, Dennis, the point is-

Dustin: My name is Dustin.

Tony: Dustin, well, you look like a Dennis, did anybody ever tell you that?

Dustin: How do I look like a Dennis? And I’ve got this nametag on, you know. It says Dustin.

Tony: Well I knew a guy named Dennis once and, well, that’s not important. Where was I?

Dustin: Cheese.

Tony: Cheese! You put cheese on the triple cheeseburger when she asked for no cheese and she’s a regular customer, you know. She comes in every day and we don’t want to make her mad. She brings a lot of money into this place- money that goes into your paycheck, Den… Dustin.

Dustin: Alright, alright, I get it. Don’t put cheese on cheeseburgers if they don’t want cheese.

Tony: Right. Good. Perfect.

Dustin: I just can’t believe I got in trouble for something that small.

Tony: No, now, uh… duh… (trying hard to remember his name)

Dustin: Dustin.

Tony: Dustin, now, nobody said you were in trouble, I’m a nice guy, remember? Just remember that the customer is the first priority number one. Numero Uno. (stands up) So, do we understand each other?

Dustin: Yep.

Tony: Good. I’m glad we had this little talk. (Tony offers his hand for a handshake.) Now go out there and make some burgers!


Title: Wouldn’t that be so awesome?
Characters: Two high school girls, Lisa and Sherry.
Setting: Lisa’s bedroom. Lisa and Sherry are studying for a geography test.


Sherry: Ugh… I hate geography.

Lisa: I know.

Sherry: No, you don’t understand. I hate geography!

Lisa: Like, I know.

Sherry. I mean, what’s the point of memorizing all these places nobody’s ever heard of anyway?

Lisa: Like, grades.

Sherry: Ugh. Seriously, I’m only sixteen, but I already know everything I need to know about geography. I know where the school is, I know where the mall is, I know where I live, I know where all the cool people live, I can point to America on a map of America. What else do I need to know?

Lisa: (looking down on a piece of paper) The capitol of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, like, according to Mr. Hammer’s study guide.

Sherry: Hey, you want to go see a movie?

Lisa: Sherry, we can’t. You have an F in Geography, and if you don’t get your grades up, like, you’re kicked off the volleyball team, like, forever.

Sherry: You want to get ice cream?

Lisa: We have to study! What’s the capitol of the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

Sherry: Ok. Let me think. Rrrr. Rrrr… it starts with an R, doesn’t it?

Lisa: No.

Sherry: Oh that’s right it’s not an R, Ok hold on, it’s coming to me, it’s uh… Mmmmm mmmmmuuu… Am I close?

Lisa: No.

Sherry: Brazzaville! It’s Brazzaville!

Lisa: No, that’s the capitol of the Republic of the Congo. I asked for the capitol of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Sherry: What?

Lisa: Brazzaville is the capitol of the Republic of the Congo, but, like, the capitol of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is different.

Sherry: Wait a minute. There’s a democratic Congo and then there’s a… a regular Congo? They’re two different countries?

Lisa: Yeah.

Sherry: That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard! How am I supposed to remember all that? Ugh! All those countries should just die!

Lisa: Sherry Marie Montgomery! I have an uncle who lives in the Congo!

Sherry: No you don’t.

Lisa: Yes I do.

Sherry: No you don’t. All your uncles live in Texas!

Lisa: Except for Felix! And Felix, like, practically lives in the Congo.

Sherry: The democratic one or the regular one?

Lisa: I don’t know. OK, like, maybe Felix doesn’t live there, but he, like, went on a safari there once. He got his picture taken with a hippo and everything.

Sherry: Really? Hippos are cool. You're right. Gosh, that was really mean of me, to say that all those countries should die, but you know I was joking. All I’m saying is that they should get their name situation straightened out. Two countries having practically the same name is like two high schools having the same mascot. It just shouldn't be done. But I’m sure all the Congo people are cool.

Lisa: Yeah, Felix told me they were really cool. Congo people, like, run with antelopes and moose and stuff.

Sherry: I know. They must have buff legs.

Lisa: Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a Congo man? Like a real live Congo man?

Sherry: Oh my gosh, yeah! And then we brought him to geography class? I bet if we did, Mr. Hammer wouldn’t make us take the geography test, we could just say, see, look, we brought in a real live Congo man! Here he is! And then he could speak in his special language and throw a spear or something.

Lisa: Oh my gosh, if we really did that then you would totally get an A in the class! Or maybe we could adopt a Congo baby, like Angelina Jolie did! Wouldn't that be so awesome?

End of scene

Friday, February 12, 2010

In Praise of Memorization

Dear Readers,

I’d like to talk about memorization, and promulgate the merits thereof.

A Brief History and Commentary on my Personal Experiences with Memorization


I’ve had a lot of experience with memorization in my life. I’ve memorized lots and lots of lines for plays I’ve been in. I’ve memorized lots and lots of scriptures and religious stuff during my upbringing and during my mission.

Yep, I’ve memorized a whole lot of stuff. But I’ve forgotten a lot of it. I’d estimate I can currently recite about 1% of all the scripture and dramatic material I’ve ever memorized. Maybe it’s less than 1%. But if I included all the phone numbers I’ve memorized, all the stuff I’ve memorized for tests, that percentage- and this is a horrible estimation- would go down to maybe .001%

I mean really, I’ve memorized so much stuff verbatim in my 19 years of formal education, so many vocabulary words, so many facts that I cannot now recall… it’s wild to think about all the information that has entered and left my brain. Here’s a partial list of stuff I can't remember anymore:

-The fifty U.S. states and their capitols

-A whole bunch of Spanish words (I had to take Spanish for three lousy semesters to get my degree.)

-The quadratic equation

-The names of most of the original 150 Pokemon

-The name of Atreyu’s horse in The NeverEnding Story (Oh wait I remember that one: Artex! Artex, Artex, you can’t leave me Artex! You’ve got to fight it! Give me a name, Bastion. If you don’t give me a name, then Fantasia will disappear- and so will I! Why don’t you do what you dream, Bastion? Ha ha ha.)

-Other stuff I can’t remember

But I still think all that memorization was good for me. Memorization has kept my brain active, kind of like doing crossword puzzles or playing Suduko keeps brains active. Memorization also helped me to more fully appreciate literature. But maybe the best thing about memorization is that has it turned me into a deeper vessel of a wonderful wonderful culture.

One of my favorite things to memorize is poetry. I have “Love is Not All: It is Not Meat Nor Drink” memorized- that’s a sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay. It’d be cool if I memorized the Raven by Edgar Allan Poe or Pioneers O Pioneers by Walt Whitman, or um… that wonderful Shylock speech in The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare copied from the bounteous mysterious Internet and pasted here

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs,dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed withthe same food, hurt with the same weapons, subjectto the same diseases, heal'd by the same means,warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summeras a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us,do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility?Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should hissufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge.The villainy you teach me, I will execute,and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

Isn’t that great? Don’t you think you should memorize it?

By the way, here’s a great poem about memory by Billy Collins:

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19754

I think I should memorize more poetry/Shakespeare because that stuff has actually stuck with me for years, while prose seems to drift away. I can recite the prologue to Henry V any time you want. And I can recite a lot of the Hamlet monologue that starts, “O that this too too solid flesh would melt, thaw, or resolve itself into a dew...”

There’s something magical about iambic pentameter and rhyming, rhythmic stuff that makes it easy to remember. Prose, on the other hand, seems to leave my head quicker.

Is Memorization of Literature Outdated?

Throughout history, people have passed down culture through memorization. Think of Beowulf. And the Odyessy and the Illiad. Those epic poems about national identity were passed down orally for a long time before they were written down. Those epic poems were really really long, but people memorized them anyway.

(By the way, check out this cool video of Benjamin Bagby, a nerd/cool guy who memorized Beowulf in Old English and who performs it like a scop in a mead hall. It's really awesome. A viewing of this video might promulgate the merits of memorization more than this blog post could.)



And before the ease of printing and publication and distribution via modern technology, I bet people memorized songs and poetry a lot more than people do now.

But with all our modern technology, some might argue that memorization is outdated. We have the Internet now. Why memorize literature and poems if you can just Google them?

Written documents are so much more reliable than our memories. And thank goodness for written documents. I often refer to reference books when I want to be sure that I’m remembering something correctly. And maybe that reliance on books and the Internet has made my brain lazier- I’ve thought that I don’t really need to know stuff- recipes, names of places and books and policies and procedures- I can just look everything up.

But my answer is no, memorization is not outdated. There is something special about memorization. In fact, I think memorization is more needed than ever, because to memorize something, you must first ask "what literature is worth memorizing?" After all, memorizing something takes a lot of effort, and you couldn't memorize everything, nor should you. To be a person who memorizes literature, you have to seek out and identify the good, the true, and the beautiful.

And you have to recognize the bad, the false, and the ugly, and you have to shun that stuff and get away from it as much as possible.

Before you memorize something, you have to discriminate literature worth memorizing from literature that would be worthless, or even harmful to memorize. Because you don’t flip to any random page of a book or a magazine and say, “I think I’ll memorize this paragraph.” No, people generally memorize stuff that a large group of people agree is worth memorizing.

When you memorize the Lord’s Prayer, or the Pledge of Allegiance, you’re saying that those collections of words are more important than other collection of words. You’re saying that the Lord’s Prayer is more worthwhile and has more lasting value than, say, a transcript of the nightly news broadcast. A culture that makes its young memorize certain things (whether it be pages of the Torah, Catholic catechism, the 13 Articles of Faith, the Gettysburg Address) is a culture which makes a judgment call. A culture that makes its young memorize certain things is being discriminatory, and that’s a good thing.

I recently watched this wonderful video of Evan Sayet, a conservative Jewish comedian and pundit. In this video Mr. Sayet says that the main tenet of modern liberalism is that you can’t discriminate at all, between races, genders, cultures, religion... see, this sounds good so far, but non-discrimination in its broad sense leads to the feeling that nothing is worth fighting for, everything must be equally respected, and to get everything equaly respected, you have to tear down the guy/culture/ religion that's on top. He says this ethic of non-discrimination is so widespread in liberalism that it goes all the way from art galleries to political policies. It’s really long, but it’s really good.






To sum up...

Memorization is Great Because…

1] It exercises the brain.

2] It requires discrimination between the good, the true, and the beautiful from the bad, false, and ugly.

3] The things you memorize are always with you, because your brain is always with you, and encyclopedias and the Internet are not always with you (at least I hope they aren’t always with you.)

4] The person who memorizes becomes a vessel of culture.

Let's go memorize something!

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Leadbelly

Dear Readers,

One of my favorite musicians is Leadbelly.

I jam out to him a lot. And by “jam out” I mean sing along and move around really weirdly and intensely and meaningful-ly when I’m alone, or when I’m riding on my bicycle and I’m listening to him on my iPod. The way I move and sing/scream along when I’m on my bike might be dangerous. But it’s something that I just do. Maybe it’s a stress reliever. Or maybe I have to work my demons out by taking on the identity of Leadbelly for a while.

You see, I live a very comfortable life. I live in modern American suburbs. I don’t work very hard. Things are taken care of for me. I never have to defend myself or fight anybody… everything is safe and peachy, really. Of course I like these that way- predictable and safe. But at times I get these adventuresome streaks and I can’t stand being around people who want to chat about ordinary things, and I can’t stand being alone and quiet, so I have to take to the woods or take to the desert, and cause a big ruckus.

I don’t drink alcohol or do drugs, you see, so I listen to Leadbelly.

Leadbelly.

He’s so dark and powerful.

Leadbelly sure did pick a lot of cotton.

He spent time in prison for murdering someone, did you know that? No joke.

And he was guilty, too. He actually murdered someone. I’m not saying that’s cool. Murder is bad. Very bad. Don’t do it.

But, still, I’m just saying, people that murder people possess magnetism. People that murder people possess within themselves a dark power. They exude a dark charisma that non-murderers don’t have. Have you heard about how some women are drawn to murderers? Maybe it’s something similar.

Leadbelly sang children’s songs, too.

If Leadbelly was alive today, I don’t think we could relate to each other. We’re just really different people. I don’t think we would talk very much, because even though we could both speak English, he comes from a different world, so I wouldn’t really understand what he was talking about.

I would just politely ask him to play a few songs for me. And if he didn’t want to, I wouldn’t press the issue.

But I’d let Leadbelly stay in our house, in the hopes that he would soon get in the mood to play some songs for me. Because even though he murdered someone, he got better. Yeah, I wish Leadbelly was here right now, in one of our spare bedrooms.

Before I ever heard Leadbelly himself, I heard about Leadbelly on the Nirvana MTV Unplugged album. Kurt Cobain says between songs that Leadbelly is one of his favorite musicians, I think, and then the band covers, “Black Girl/ In the Pines/ Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” (That song sort of goes by three titles.) It’s a great cover- one of my favorites on that album, actually.

I also heard about Leadbelly from Bob Dylan in Song to Woody, one of the two songs written by Bob Dylan on his very first self-titled album. Bob Dylan sings: Here’s to Cisco and Sunny and Leadbelly too, and all the good people who traveled with you.”

And so Leadbelly became this legendary figure in my mind, someone who traveled around the country with folk and blues heroes and who really knew what was going on and who really had something important to say.

Anyway, I just found this video of Leadbelly, and, oh man, it’s awesome.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Putting on my Preacher Hat, Part One

Dear Readers,

Good morning. Thank you for coming. It’s good to see you.

There are lots of things I could preach about today. I could preach to you about the things that the world would like me to preach to you about- fancy cars, fancy houses, fancy parties, all the fancy things that, once we set our hearts upon them, lead our souls to Babylon. I could preach to you about how great it is to steal from your neighbor, or I could teach you how to lie and cheat so that you won’t get caught, or I could teach you how to recklessly indulge yourselves in the pleasures of the flesh.

Yes, I could preach to you like that. But I won’t. I refuse. I know better. And you know better. You already get enough of that sort of preaching. Too much of it, in fact. And if you would like some more of that kind of preaching- preaching that is satisfying to the carnal mind, well, go talk to some of your misguided, goat-like neighbors.

You came here today to hear the pleasing word of God, the word which healeth the wounded soul (Jacob 2:8). You came here because you wanted to cast your minds upon the weighty matters of eternity. And I thank you for coming today. I love you for your mere attendance, and for your listening ear.

I base my sermon today on the verse, “We love Him, because He first loved us.” That’s from First John, chapter four, verse nineteen. Those beautiful eight words from John, the Apostle that Jesus loved, and still loves, sheds more light on the subject of God’s love for us than all the volumes and volumes of books written by uninspired, noisy voices. And even the inspired would be hard-pressed to express God’s love for us in such a profound and concise way.

I love that verse. Let me read it again. “We love Him, because He first loved us.”

Let me first clear up what the pronouns in that verse refer to, although I’m sure you already know. “We” refers to the saints, the followers of God. “Him” and “He” refer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So we could read the verse, “The saints love Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ first loved the saints.”

And we all are saints here. We all try to follow God. And so I think it is not improper to say that First John 4:19 was not only referring to the saints of the primitive Church, but to us, the latter-day saints. Indeed, I think that this verse could refer to anyone, anywhere, anytime, who endeavors to follow Jesus Christ. So let’s take this verse personally.

Let’s not make the mistake of considering this verse to be an irrelevant relic from a bygone era. Let’s not make the mistake of saying, “Oh, this verse was fitting for its time, but now that time is past. We ought to leave that verse in the time and place from which it came, and we ought to look for newer advice, and newer preachers, that come from our place and from our time.” Now, it is true that the Heavens are open, and it is true that God delights to pour down revelation upon revelation upon us, especially through his chosen servant, the prophet Thomas S. Monson. So it is true that new Scripture is being written every day from people closer to our place and time. But think for a moment how often our modern day prophets refer to the ancient Scriptures, and then ask yourselves if these scriptures ought to be cast aside because they are old, or because they have no relevance to our various modern situations. Again, I implore you, take this verse personally.

“We love Him, because He first loved us.”

How do we know that Jesus loved us before we loved him? How can we know that Jesus loves us at all? First of all, we can’t know that Jesus loves us in the same way that we can know that one plus one equals two, or in the way that we know what we had for breakfast this morning. Love is an intangible, immeasurable quality that we say resides in hearts, yet no heart surgeon has ever located love during an operation, and you won’t find the location of love in an anatomy textbook. But just because we can’t find it, pin it down and measure it, that doesn’t mean that love is not real. Let me assure you that love is very real. But you don’t need me to tell you that love is real. Search your souls, and you will know that love is real. Knowing that Jesus loves us is a different kind of knowledge. We have to have faith that Jesus loves us. There is no scientific love-measuring instrument, and even if there were, how could we apply it to a Deity who does not reside on planet Earth?

But enough of that doubtful kind of talk. Let’s take a leap of faith. Let’s believe that John is telling the truth when he says that Jesus loves us. The fact that Jesus loves us is not new to us saints. We’ve heard it before, in several other verses, and on several other occasions. Still, I don’t think we can ever hear it enough. Let’s hear it again and again, until it sinks deep into our hearts.

One way we can have a pretty good idea that Jesus loves us, besides simply taking his word for it, is to look at Jesus’ actions. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, he fed the hungry multitude, he preached to the poor. And most of all he suffered and died for the sins of the world. I think that is evidence enough that Jesus indeed loves us.

And so we know that Jesus loves us.

But the thing that strikes me about First John 4:19 is the notion that Jesus loved us before we loved him. That scripture says that Jesus is the first one who loves. The saints are the second ones who love. Jesus initiated the loving relationship. He sought us out. He wanted to form a loving a relationship. He started it. Even if we were at times unlovable, even if we didn’t return his love, even if we outright rejected his love and lived like the Prodigal Son before his return to his father, Jesus still loved us.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America Review

Dear Readers,

I just finished reading Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America by Chuck Norris. It was pretty cool. Here are some of my Pros, Cons, and Comments about the book:

Pro: Chuck Norris can kick you really hard in the face! Ha ha ha. Seriously, though, doesn’t Chuck’s charisma, or at least the threat of a patented Chuck Norris roundhouse kick, motivate you to read Chuck’s book?

Con: Chuck Norris is kind of cheesy. Like Spam. You know what I mean?

Pro: There are pictures of Chuck Norris inside.

Con: The book has a not-so-secret agenda to help Mike Huckabee’s political career. It seems like every other page he praises Huckabee for some reason or another. I list that as a con because Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are sworn enemies, and my loyalties lie with Mitt.

Pro: Chuck Norris is right on just about every issue he talks about. He says stuff like, “We’ve got to support our troops. Those guys are putting their lives on the line.” And “We need good men to do a good job at work and do a good job at home. That will make America stronger.” See, those generalities are true and great… but…. this leads us to our next con…

Con: those generalities are boring! I’ve already heard them from political candidates and from everybody, really. And who can disagree with them?

Pro: Chuck Norris has great intentions.

Con: Maybe the book is too broad. It gives a very shallow treatment of family life, American history, economics, etc. Maybe it would be more educational to read an entire book about economics, or an entire book about family life, or an entire book about Christianity, rather than a book that quickly treats all those subjects.

Pro: Quick and easy to read.

Con: Quick and easy to read.

Pro: Chuck Norris wants the readers to act by getting involved in the culture wars.

Con: Sometimes I felt like Chuck Norris was asking too much. He was always recommending books to read, causes to get involved with, and charities and conservative organizations to donate to. He even included a plug for Total Gym.

Pro: Did I mention that the pictures of Chuck Norris were in color?

Con: I’m not sure how to put this, but there’s something that bugs me about the televangelist type of Christianity that Chuck Norris subscribes to and advocates… um, he quoted a lot from the Bible, and he used the New International Version, and I prefer the King James Version, but I know that’s not a big deal… But I knew these two guys at Camp RaymondBoy Scout Camp, Joey Wilson and Gary somebody, who were both hardcore evangelical Christians. And the way they talked about Christianity and Christian doctrine bugged me sometimes because it felt really simplistic- they didn’t seem to wrestle with any big questions, they didn’t get doctrinal or deep, they didn’t explain everything to my satisfaction. They seemed to say, simply, Jesus died for my sins, I accepted him into my heart, and I’m going to Heaven, end of story, and that’s all they would say, over and over, and they would hear that same message over and over again every Sunday, and they listened to this Christian rock and Christian punk and Christian rap music that bugged me… it’s sort of anti-intellectual… but then again lots of people would say Mormonism is anti-intellectual… but I’m just trying to say that there’s something about Chuck Norris’ Protestantism in BlackBelt Patriotism that bugged me, and I can’t put my finger on it. I don’t know. Well, he kept endorsing all these current hip Christian pastors, and maybe I wished that he would have talked about Thomas S. Monson, or the Book of Mormon. I don’t know. I guess I should be celebrating Chuck Norris’ Christianity.

Comments: I feel like I didn’t learn anything new from reading BlackBelt Patriotism, really, except I got to know Chuck Norris a little more. And he’s a good man. A great man. And the country would be better off if there were more men like Chuck Norris. He is a model of masculinity that men should emulate. But my beef is that it was just a pallet of conservative talking points- smaller government is better, lower taxes are better, God should be put back in the schools, the private sector does things better than the public sector, school-choice is awesome, government isn’t the solution to our problems, Barack Obama is quiff, guns are awesome, the Founding Fathers were great, the Federal Reserve is lame, most politicians are out of touch with the common people, we need to vote honest conservative people into office… you know, all the stuff that conservatives already know. You can hear all that from anybody you’ll meet at a tea party. Maybe it would be better to read a book by someone more educated on the subjects they’re writing a book about. But then maybe if BlackBelt Patriotism was all educated and highfalutin it would lose some of its charm and appeal to the average citizen. Like doesn’t sound great when politicians say, “Now I didn’t go to any of those fancy schools to learn about all the mysterious of the economy, but to me it’s pretty simple- don’t spend more than you make. And I’ll admit that I haven’t read up on new trends in parenting, I’m usually too busy driving a truck and cleaning my guns, but I’ll tell you whut, if my kids disrespect their elders, they get a whoopin, ‘cause that’s what my daddy did to me, and I turned out pretty good, I can tell you that much.”

So, overall BlackBelt Patriotism was a pretty good book, but I don’t think I’ll pick it up again. I think I should give it to one of my little brothers, because it could serve as a primer for modern conservatism, and teenage males, you know, they all love Chuck Norris.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa