Archive for January, 2012
About a week ago, the Mars Hill Seattle PR guy visited my website. What he saw in my post “Mark Driscoll’s Top Ten Manliest Ways to Die” was apparently a little too close to libel. So he tracked down my cell number, called me and left a pleasant voice mail.
Knowing that Mars Hills is apt to take legal action … like when they sent a “Cease and Desist” letter to a “Mars Hill Church” in Sacramento claiming copyright infringement (they did eventually back down when the public outcry hurt their PR).
So — remembering said legal action — I put this disclaimer up:
CONTENT DISCLAIMER: As per the direct advice of Mars Hill PR, I am to inform you that this post is fictitious and DOES NOT represent the views or opinions of Mark Driscoll. However, the content of this post is based off Caleb Wilde’s exaggerated interpretation of Mark’s recent radio interview with the British radio program “Unbelievable”.
He seems like a genuinely nice guy … a guy I’d gladly share a conversation and some coffee with, but I can’t think of a more difficult job?
I called Discovery Channel, talked to Mike Rowe and even Mike said this position is simply too messy to be featured on “Dirty Jobs.”
Humor aside, I’ve been reflecting on this small incident for the past couple days.
I first looked inwardly. Sarcasm is something that I’ve tried to work out of my personal life; but, not so much on my blog because sarcasm (can) allow for a creative way to discuss a heavy topic. And that was my intention.
But am I responding in the same spirit as Mark himself? Was my post an immature attempt to bully a bully? Have I done with Mark Driscoll the same thing I’ve done before with Westboro Baptist Church — disliked him to the place where I dehumanize and essentially become like him?
Secondly, I thought about the whole legality of it. Was it REALLY libel?
All that somehow led me to think about literary genre distinctions, and how understanding or misunderstanding the boundaries of literary genre types can either lead to great communication or distasteful miscommunication … especially as it relates to sarcasm.
We’ve been VERY busy at the funeral home and I’ve had little time to process ANYTHING, so that whole inward -> legal -> genre boundaries has taken nearly a week to think through. And, honestly, my thoughts still aren’t tightly organized.
BUT THIS IS THE THOUGHT I’VE SETTLED ON: My post was so over the top misogynistic, homophobic and egotistical that it probably says something about Driscoll himself that Driscoll’s PR director would want me to add a content disclaimer.
In other words, was my post so believably Driscoll that I really had to preface it as non-Driscoll? Judging by the reaction of Driscoll’s PR guy, I suppose the answer is “yes.”
And its not only sad that Driscoll is what I thought he was, but it’s equally as sad that I stooped down to become like him.
Read my post yourself (“Mark Driscoll’s Top Ten Manliest Ways to Die“) and let me know what you think.
To catch up on the waves Driscoll’s been making, here are some links:
Dr. David Fitch wrote a piece entitled, “The Mark Driscoll Fiasco: What this Latest Flap Teaches Us About the Neo-Reformed Movement.” Per usual, Fitch’s insights are well worth your time.
“Cognitive Discopants” documented and commented on the major points of the Driscoll’s “Unbelievable” interview that has caused much of the uproar. The post is called “Driscoll & Brierley on Women in Leadership.”
Death’s always active. And if he’s not killing people, he’s inspiring the living to think about Him.
Here’s the round-up of deadly activity I’ve found this past week:
1. I found this little diddy floating around Facebook: It’s funny because I’ve used that rational once or twice. I’ll stalk someone’s Facebook profile to get a handle on how many people we should expect for a funeral. Turns out that there’s very little correlation between Facebook friends and real life friends. So, if you’re “that guy” who feels great about your 1,500 friends, don’t expect it to translate to awesome funeral numbers.
2. Nicki and I took a much needed vaca last weekend (I get two days off a month). Aside from having Mars Hill Seattle call me about a post of mine on Mark Driscoll (more on that tomorrow), we had some time to watch TV and stumbled upon Discovery Channel’s “Oddities”, which is a reality show that documents a store in New York City with the same name.
There’s a reoccurring Oddities customer named Laura Flook.
Laura Flook is a mortician, a model, a clothing designer, a DJ and now a friend of mine on Facebook (although I guess that doesn’t translate to a REAL friendship).
Without farther ado, here she is purchasing an old body viewing table from the “Oddities” owners:
3. There’s a story on MSNBC about how a rescued dog and a terminally ill four year old have formed an incredible bond. It’s one of the more moving stories I’ve read in a long while. Here’s the link.
4. Speaking of moving stories, this video on CNN recounts a story I’ve seen played out on a couple occasions. It tells of a couple who die within hours of each other. As a funeral director for 10 years, I’ve seen this happen three times. I don’t think it’s coincidence. In fact, as bereavement research continues to advance, there’s significant evidence that couples can literally die of broken hearts.
Here is one such story, that also contains a nurse named Chastity who has a googly eye.
I don’t know about you, but that’s the way I’d like to die.
5. Finally, a man purchased the hearse used for JFK’s funeral for $176,000. Weird.
If you happen upon any interesting links to death’s activities and inspirations, hit me up and if it’s deadly cool I’ll post your death link and a link to your blog.
Death has been Mark Driscolled of late. It’s taken some heat … some heat that maybe it’s due. But, Death isn’t really that bad of a guy. He’s just a normal dude with a difficult job.
As an effort to vault Death’s public perception, Death has hired us to create a slogan that the world’s public will buy into. A slogan that will help change the world’s perceptions.
Here are 15 slogans. You’re the first test group, so feel free to criticize or change any of the slogan’s you see; or add any slogans you can create.
1. “10 out of 10 human’s are doing it!”
2. “It’s natural. It’s good for the environment. It’s green. It’s death.”
3. “I felt great when it happened to me.*” — Elvis Presley.
*Individual results may vary.
4. “Taking care of business since the beginning of time!”
5. “Death: It eases all your pain.”
6. “만나서 반갑습니다.*” – Kim Jong Il (right before he ordered Death to take him to his next kingdom.)
7. “Come on over to the light.”
8. “Death: I’m Your Heavenly chauffeur.*”
*Results may vary.
9. “If it wasn’t for Me, you’d never have bacon.”
10. “Be apart of something larger. Donate yourself back to the universe. Die.”
11. “10 out of 10 people who die lose weight.”
12. “Death: It will leave you breathless.”
13. “It really helped my political campaign.” — William Wallace.
14. “Without me, you’d still have Hitler, Stalin and bin Laden.”
15. “Death: Here for you in your darkest hour.”
Death’s paying us a significant sum to help curb the public perception. So, lend your creative genius to this effort and don’t let Death down … or he’ll let you down. Seriously, don’t make him mad. Last time he was mad he made a tsunami. Yup. No pressure.
You wake up in the morning. You cough a few times, and a little phlegm comes up. You hardly notice and swallow it, willing yourself to find the energy to move out of bed. You crawl out of bed, walk out of the bedroom, and quickly find something to drink – you know it’ll be painful otherwise.
Unfortunately, you don’t reach the kitchen in time. The coughing begins again, only this time, you can’t suppress it. It won’t stop. And you’re not even coughing anything up! Next thing you know, you’re desperately swallowing air, trying to keep from throwing up the contents of your stomach. You fumble through the cabinets for a cup as you’re still trying to control your body. You quickly run it under the sink – oops, the water was on warm (no time to worry about that now) – and take a swig of the lukewarm water.
Your chest depresses, your shoulders relax, and your breathing slows a little. You might still cough, but for whatever reason, it’s controlled now. And now you’re out of breath from walking to the kitchen.
You lean on the counter for support. You huff and you puff, but there’s very little respite besides waiting and hoping your heart rate and breathing slows. A few minutes later, you’ve caught your breath enough to make some coffee. At least this part of the day isn’t so bad…
Sounds rough, right?
That’s life as usual with my lungs. And that’s only the first 10 minutes of the day.
So without further ado, I introduce to you the disease I refer to as Thing #3… Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia.
Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia is a disease that infects every facet of my life. It drastically affects my breathing, which as you might suspect, is something I do on a regular basis. The overly simplistic way that some doctors may describe PCD is that it is similar to Cystic Fibrosis (which a lot of people have heard of). However, that’s just not true. PCD is not CF. Unfortunately, because PCD is so stinking rare, it’s treated like CF, because that’s all doctors know how to do.
There is no cure.
The best way I know how to explain PCD is as follows. Basically, you have little finger-like entities all over your body called “cilia.” These little fingers work to keep things flowing. Unfortunately, my cilia are dysfunctional, sluggish, and just don’t work right (for whatever reason). As you can imagine, this is a problem.
Because these fingers in my lungs don’t work correctly, my lungs collect mucus. Lots and lots of mucus. Buckets worth, I’m sure (though I’ve never coughed up that much at once). And as this mucus collects, infections occur. And then my lungs get sick, become irreversibly damaged, and my breathing worsens.
Practically, PCD means a few things in my life.
First of all, it means that I spend about an hour and a half every day doing things like chest physiotherapy and taking medicines through my nebulizer. This time varies, and is usually more, but sometimes less (when life gets in the way).
And then there’s that whole “living” thing. As of right now, I have the lungs of someone who is over 85 years old. For the record, I’m 21. I turn 22 soon, so you never know – my lungs could improve a little! But, most likely, they’ll slowly get worse.
Now, before you get too sad, let me say this: my doctor says I should expect to live a full and rich life. If I continue to be aggressive in how I attack this disease, I will see more years than I can count.
It’s quite the paradox, though. I have to spend the time I have while I’m young attacking a disease so that I can live fully later. Frankly, it sucks.
But then the light bulb *clicks*
I’m a walking, talking sermon illustration.
What I’ve learned from PCD (so far) is this:
We’re each fighting a disease. It eats away at us every day, and trust me when I say we can’t be cured. Eventually, our disease will overtake us, and we’ll pass from this world.
But there’s a treatment.
Now before you get too excited, let me tell you this: it won’t. be. easy. It’ll be painful, time-consuming, and at times, tedious. It’ll take you away from the things that “normal” people get to do. But it’s much better than any physiotherapy I ever have to do for PCD.
It’s therapy for our souls.
It’s not quite a full-on cure, but it’s what we’ve been given.
And eventually, for a moment that will last as long as the blink of an eye, we will pass from this sickness into marvelous light.
And then, maybe then, we will understand the pain, the sickness, and the numerous hours spent in therapy for our souls.
And then, and only then, we will be healed.
Bio – I’m a 21 year old Christian college student, a writer, and an aspiring Marriage and Family Therapist. I’m into video games, marshmallow gun wars, TV shows on Netflix (namely Psych, Bones, and The Office), and my smokin’ hot wife, Kalyn. You can follow my musings on my blog, Life Before the Bucket, or through Facebook and the Twitterverse.
Blog - www.lifebeforethebucket.com
Facebook - facebook.com/lifebeforethebucket
Twitter - twitter.com/awaller1990