Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shakespeare, Beer, and Comics

I've had a lot of things floating in my head lately, but none of them feel worthy of their own blog post. I figured that I'd just write it all here - and coincidentally enough, three of the topics fit the title of my blog. Here goes:

Shakespeare: I just started reading Macbeth with my seniors. They seem to be getting into it for the most part, even though they're third-quarter seniors, and they're pretty much checking out. Still, when I had them do some work rewriting some speeches, they seemed to understand the heart of what the characters were saying.

Anyway, one of the pleasures of Shakespeare is that no matter how many times I read some of his plays, I still tend to discover new things about them. This time something really hit me. Why is it that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are both on the same page when it comes to killing the king? They don't even say those words out loud; it's just understood. Is that some sort of flaw on Shakespeare's fault? I'll give Bill the benefit of the doubt on this one. What I think it all implies is that Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth have discussed regicide before. After all, why else would that thought immediately jump to Macbeth's mind when the witches prophesize that he will become king? It also fits his character, as we know he's a guy who wants to get ahead. It also fits his wife, as we know that she's a schemer and she wants her husband to get ahead.

Beer: Amongst some of the beer nerds I know, lagers sometimes get a bad rap. I think that this is mainly due to the dummification of the lager on the part of Bud, Miller, Coors, etctera. I don't know why this should be, as you have some great session beers that are lagers like Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Negra Modelo. You also have some pretty great strong beers like the Doppelbock and the Maibock. Sure, you don't have quite the variety that you do with ales, but there are definitely some great lagers out there.

Speaking of which, I recently bought a 12 pack of Sam Adams new Noble Pils, and they've been going pretty quickly. Now, the Pilsner isn't exactly my favorite style, but I certainly do enjoy one from time to time. Personally, I think that beers like the Pilsner and the Munich Helles are often more impressive when they're good. They're both such clean styles that if even the slightest thing was off about them it would be hard to not notice it. Anyway, this beer is a damn fine example of a good Pilsner. I think that I might like it even slightly better than Checkvar (the "real" Budweiser). That's probably only due to the fact that since it's not imported across an ocean, it's a bit fresher when it comes to me.

Comics: I wrote some time ago that I thought that there might be too many Avengers books out on the stands. Turns out that Marvel is canceling them all, and then we'll have at least two new books: The Avengers and the Secret Avengers. The creative teams look pretty good, and there is a decent lineup of team members on the mainstream title. (These are the ones that have been announced so far.) I guess the biggest surprise is that the Bucky Captain America is sticking around for a while despite the fact that Steve Rogers is alive and well. That's fine by me. So long as they have good stories to tell with him, then I'll stick around. Personally though, I'd just love it if Spider-Man gets to be on the main team. Spider-Man belongs on The Avengers for the very same reason why he doesn't belong. He's not usually a team player, and he tends to do things his own way. This is exactly what makes it interesting when you put him on a team.

Random religion potshot: Ever since I admitted my atheism to myself, I had hoped to keep an open mind. I never wanted to get to the point where I felt that I had everything all figured out. While I certainly don't feel that I know everything, I'm starting to realize that I'm just not going to ever hear anything new when it comes to why I should believe in a god. It's always the same old arguments over and over again - many of them I even used to use but I have long since wrapped my brain around them so thoroughly that I can no longer give them any serious consideration. Not only that, but whenever I have what I consider to be some very serious questions when it comes to this whole subject, I keep getting the "Well, I'll have to get back to you on that." Guess what? They never get back to me.

And one thing's for damned sure, I absolutely cannot believe that if there is a god that it's a loving god like the Christians would have us believe. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - you'd have an easier time convincing me of the existence of Odin than the existence of Jesus. When I see what happens in the world - especially with the earthquake in Haiti - I cannot accept that a loving god would allow that to happen. And I know the arguments as to why a loving god would let it. I used to make those arguments. And you know what? They're bull, and I don't think that I can listen to them anymore.

Maybe I just need to settle down and stop looking for answers. I figure if there is a really good argument as to why I should believe all this stuff, it'll eventually come my way.

I'll end this with an interesting video of Stephen Fry. He basically says the same stuff that I've said regarding why it would be easier to believe in the old pagan gods than the current concept of god. No, I didn't see this video first and then parrot him. I discovered this video recently. Not only that, he reaches the same conclusion but explains it much better than I did, I think.

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