Archive for the ‘ Opinion ’ Category

The God Stuff

On a recent post, a reader commented, “What’s with all the God stuff?”

Though I’m quite sure it’s totally UNPC, I feel I must explain.

The post was about our first night in Germantown way back in 1957.  It was also about our family’s relationship to another family, my Dad’s calling, his vocation, and his move.

So, just so you’ll know.

I DO believe in God.

I cut my teeth on it.

One God – only, The LORD God Almighty.

I believe He is the Creator, Heavenly Father, and the Savior of mankind.

I believe in a fiat creation.  As in, God spoke the worlds into existence.  I believe He did it in six days, although, I’m willing to admit a day to Him could most possibly be totally different than a day to us.

I believe He created man in His image.

God creating Adam

I believe He created Eve from Adam’s side.

I believe man fell from Grace because of his sin, and as the Church Lady says, “Sa-TAN!”

I believe the Christian Bible IS the WORD of God, and does not just contain the Word of God.

I believe in the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I believe that Jesus Christ is, was, and always will be God…Christians call it the Trinity, as in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

I believe Jesus Christ was both God and man at the same time.

I believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ.

I believe salvation is through Grace, not because of any ‘works’ one does.

I believe He saves  people from their sin if they ask Him to do so.

And I believe He is coming back to Earth again.

Just thought you might want to know, that’s why the God stuff is so important.

Getting Shredded…

There was actually a battle over Shredded Wheat.

My first question was, “Why?”

I mean seriously folks, shredded wheat!!

Who cares, the stuff is horrible.

But, there was actually a Supreme Court Case over shredded wheat.

First, a little background.

Henry Perky invented shredded wheat in Denver in 1890 on August 1!

Watching a dyspeptic diner, Perky saw a man mixing his wheat with cream.  He rushed right out and came UP with a method of processing wheat into strips and stacked into “pillow like” biscuits.

It was a pretty complicated process; the wheat was cooked in water, tempered allowing moisture to go into the grain, then rolled through a set of rollers with grooves which produces strands.  These are stacked and crimped at pre-set intervals to make the little biscuits – we know and some people love thought I don’t know why – called shredded wheat.

Once in biscuit shape, they are baked until the moisture content drops to 5%.

Perky peddled his product to vegetarian restaurants back in 1892.  His factory was in Niagara Falls, but he leased his patented cereal making machines to folks in Denver and Colorado Springs so the folks out west could “enjoy” the cereal too!

John Harvey Kellogg bought one of the processors, but declined to buy the patent.

Kellogg thought it too weak in taste and compared it to “…eating a whisk broom…” which is a perfect comparison!

But realizing the success Perky was having, and founding his own cereal company with his brother, Kellogg offered to buy the patent.

Alas, Perky was insulted by the offer!

Perky premiered his product at the Chicago World Columbian Exposition in 1893, by that time he’d created the Natural Food Company which would become the Shredded Wheat Company which would be sold by his heirs to Nabisco in 1928.

Perky died in 1908, the patent on his shredded wheat biscuit expired in 1912, Kellogg jumped at the chance to make his own version of the rapidly growing in fame breakfast choice.

He called it Kellogg’s Shredded Wheat which prompted Nabisco to sue him for trademark infringement.

The suit demanded that he not call it shredded wheat and that he not manufacture it in the pillow shape American had come to love.

The suit plowed its way through the court system and landed in front of the United States Supreme Court as the case of Kellogg v. National Biscuit Co in 1938.

Dianna, Mary, and Florence The Supremes ruled that “shredded wheat” was a generic term and therefore not trademarkable.

And besides, the first patent had expired in 1912 passing the design, name, and manufacturing process to public domain.

Today, shredded wheat remains one of the most popular breakfast cereals – although I don’t know how – and comes in many forms; Frosted mini-wheats and Triscuits being two examples.

Frankly, I’m a Fruit Loops kinda guy!

But, to each his own.

My Blended Self.

Yes, T, we’re still talking about it.  Ice T is right however; why is this a topic?

And yes, I realize I’m not helping.

I’m talking about his wife Coco Austin’s new hair-do.

Twitter exploded last week when Coco posted this picture..

…and named her new do as the Da Coco Side Swoop.

People went C.R.A.Z.Y.

BTW, she names all her dos.

They were enraged because they took it to mean she claimed to have created the hairstyle; one that women worldwide have worn for centuries.  And many were enraged because Coco, a Caucasian woman, had appropriated black culture.

Coco, a reality star married to one of the founding fathers of rap, is known for her figure, her attitude, and her TV show.

But, enough about Coco.  Really, who cares?

Cultural appropriation doesn’t exist. What exists are two things.  Emulation:   when one copies a style, fashion, or tradition; and Fraud:  when one claims to be something they are not.

We’re America; we’re supposed to be a melting pot.

Tracing my roots back as far as I can, I’ve found I’m a genetic stew of beans from around the world.  OK, so most of them are white beans, but they are different beans nonetheless.

And most of the folks in America are as well – the stew thing that is.

How far do we take this cultural appropriation bit?

Can only Italians eat Pizza?

Must Cabbage and corned beef be limited to the Irish?

And if you think I’m giving UP Taco Tuesday, well, ya got another think coming!

Everything in America is a mix of the many.

Our music – Scottish, German, African, Indian, and Native American influences abound.

Food – Southern cooking for example, is a mix of what was here, what was brought in, and what worked.  French bread:  sorry, you’re German!  Don’t touch.

Literature, film, art; none of it boils down to one simple group.

We all own it all.

Give it UP.  Enjoy what we are, and be thankful for the folks who left if for us.

I’m a reflection of those who’ve influenced me, I’m quite ok with my blended self.

Which Is It?

Irony or coincidence.

Generally I have no problem with the two terms.  Much that is called irony is merely coincidence.  But sometimes, I’ll admit it, I get them confused.

So is it ironic or just a coincidence that Illinois lawyer and Presidential Candidate, Abraham Lincoln gave his “House Divided” speech this day in 1858?

In part, Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.”

Irony?

Coincidence?

Or both?