*we put the "mmm" in communism


This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

Tim welcomes any input that you, the dear reader, might have. Comments are very much appreciated, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. If you'd like to learn more about Tim, you might want to see his facebook or google+.

Also: Tim is a very avid consumer of various sorts of music. You may be interested in his playlists!

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I recently wrote a paper for one of my sociology classes detailing my motivations for leaving Christianity. It was pretty silly to try and cram it down into five pages while attempting to incorporate random quotations from papers and presentations, but it did cause me to reflect on precisely how much I've changed over the years. I've reversed my position on nearly every issue I argued so vehemently over, four years ago.

A part of me continually wishes that someone, or something will come along that will make it impossible for me not to return to Christianity. Growing up, I read countless stories of people like myself that left the faith, but were confronted with some undeniable truth or overwhelming experience that brought them back a greater faith than they had left it. When arguing my stance against my extended family a few months ago, a few of them treated me with the assumption that I would simply do the same.

The more I change on these issues - abortion, gay marriage, sex - the less I feel it's possible I could ever make that return. I live with a small terror that I'm simply adopting all the views around me wholesale, but as I reflect on how I approached these issues before, that was precisely how I came to obtain my stances in the past. Still, I dislike becoming less distinguishable from those around me; it feels like I'm giving up what once helped make me unique. This might be a hold-over from having spent so much time looking down on modern society, but there's a numbness that comes along with knowing that no one around me will disagree with what I'm saying. It's one thing to have support, but it's another to simply not have opposition.

This leads me to wonder why, exactly, I didn't feel this way inside the church community, where solidarity within was certainly stronger there than I'm finding within the college community. I think it's because I always had an issue that I knew many of those around me didn't agree with me on, and I focused on that. It started with rethinking my opposition to evolution (I'm sure some of you still remember that epic bible study), then my stance on social services and capital punishment, then my views on sexuality and sex as a whole started to change, and so on. Maybe my departure from the faith was just an inevitability, as each of the dominoes tipped over, each issue I rethought being a logical consequence of the next.

I still pray, on occasion. My prayers focus on roughly the same issues that I have always prayed about. It doesn't feel much different than it used to, and I don't know if that's comforting or disturbing. As always, God's responses are enormously silent, though I wait for them as I ever have.
posted by MC Froehlich at with 2 Comments
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Enough people said they'd listen, so I went for it. After some hassling I got my server working again, so if, for whatever reason, you can't get the podcast, it's because my computer is doing something funny and I'll fix it soon.

This first podcast is semi-introductory, but it's indicative of where I want to go with this. I incorporate a music intro and outro which might involve techno. Maybe. Feedback is always lovingly appreciated.

Podcast #1 - stories (4:55, about 1 minute of which is music)

Intro: Yonderboi (honestly not sure, came from a YTMND I watched two years ago)
Outro: Hystereo - Winters in the City

Took me about three hours to make - half of that was just getting used to the program I'm using (it's an open source dealio). I really enjoyed making it, though it took forever to get the groove going.
posted by MC Froehlich at with 1 Comments
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Without fail, at some point every few years I think to myself "Man, I would be totally down with being sick right now". It's usually been a long time since I was last sick (in this case, I haven't been sick for 16 months), and I've forgotten precisely how miserable being sick is. Yet, for whatever reason, the thought of making sweaty love to my trash can and a box of kleenex doesn't seem so bad when I start thinking about how much I'd love to sit on my ass for a few days. My body is usually quite quick to make this wish come true, although I've begun to wonder if that's just the little microbes playing mind control games to get my guard down. Clever bastards.

Still, being sick does leave me with renewed appreciation for being healthy, which is something I've come to ignore as I keep smoking. It's hard to weigh consequences that are so distant against a pleasure so imminent, particularly when most of my smoking peers don't think much about it. And that, for me, is where most of the enjoyment of smoking comes. There's much to be said for the communal enjoyment of drink and smoke, which is how I started, in England.

The image of smoking in my mind plays a role, as well. I like defying the standard cliches. For many non-smokers, there's a very strong lack of understanding - they only know the nasty second-hand vapors that linger around the exits of every building, or the thoughtless smattering of crushed butts on cement. Careless addiction is certainly a feature of the demographic, but I like being able to understand that, and I don't really mind the association.

Call me crazy, but I've always wondered what the experience of real addiction would be like. A friend at L'Abri shared some powerful stories about his addiction and subsequent time in rehab. That's a reality I'll never experience - and while I'm grateful, I also wish I could truly understand what he was describing. His descriptions were impossibly dark and grotesque, and try as I might, I couldn't empathize. I had absolutely nothing to offer him beyond goofy antics and a pre-packaged idea of what God could do for him, even as I struggled to figure out what exactly God was doing for me. His experiences far overwhelmed my arrogance, however, and I was ultimately left speechless in the face of a reality that Christianity could not resolve.

Smoking's certainly a weak attempt to gain access to that understanding, but I can't say it's been an experience I've regretted. Now that I've learned something, I should probably kick the habit.

posted by MC Froehlich at with 2 Comments
oh hello
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So, uh.

What if I were to do some podcasts?

Not as a replacement for posts, but as a complementary element. The veterans among you may remember the podcasts I did nearly four years ago. They, uh. Wouldn't be like that.

Just curious!
posted by MC Froehlich at with 2 Comments
more filler
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I got this gem in the inbox today, attached with a chain email with lots of fun pictures of Obama and Blagojevich:


I think you mentioned the virtuosity of Mr. Obama? Mr. Clean?

1.) I won't appoint any lobbyists to Cabinet positions - only a half dozen - unless more pay their dues.
2.) Cabinet appointees will be rigorously examined - unless it is only a few hundred thou of tax evasions.
3.) I will not tolerate "pork" in spending bills. A half trillion coddled in the "stimulus" package won't matter much will it?
4.) I will bring bi-partisanship to capitol Hill. But Pelosi will shut Republicans out of the debate and I back whatever spending bill comes from her caucus. (And tell the public it is crucial to pass it NOW!) That is bi-partisan isn't it?
5.) I will bring "change" to Washington. Except a horde of Clinton appointees and a few things mentioned above.
6.) I didn't know Bill Ayers
7.) I didn't know the Illinois Governor.

If this is honesty and transparency someone is wearing welding hoods.

I called it hot air from a snake oil salesman - from an "empty suit" (no character). Was I right?"

My response:


While I appreciate the opportunity for discussion, please don't forward chain emails - if you'd like to share an article you've read or a video you found interesting, send it on, by all means. Chain emails, however, aren't a reliable basis to form an opinion from - they're just propoganda.

Thus far, I feel Obama's done a great job. I like the majority of his appointees. While I wasn't big on Daschle's connections to big pharma, he was a very firm against single-payer health care, and I liked that. As far as tax evasion goes, I seriously doubt it was intentional for Dacschle or Geithner - no politician worth his salt purposefully makes that sort of mistake, and given the complexity of our tax code, I find it quite plausible that they simply made mistakes. I'm not such a huge fan of Geithner, especially after he alluded to some protectionist tendencies prior to his confirmation, but I'll wait and see before I judge too harshly.

As far as the stimulus plan goes, overall I'm fond of it. I've read through a good bit of the original 180-page plan, and I can definitely get behind much of where the funding is going, but some of it seems ill-timed. That is, the target projects (ex: the National Mall) may important and useful, now isn't exactly the time to be renovating our parks - important though they may be. There's a fair bit that can be trimmed down, but neither party is doing what it takes to find out what both parties can agree to removing (and I'm confident there's a lot of room for agreement). The process behind this bill has been disastrous. Multiple Republican senators have said they'll reject the whole bill, regardless of what's added or removed. Pelosi is also a part of the problem, and she seems (to me) wholly unhelpful in seeing this bill through. Obama can't control her, however, nor can he be blamed for either party's refusal to play ball. The most recent meeting between Nelson and Collins is evidence towards this.

I don't think Obama was expecting so much resistance, and he was probably relying on the passage of this bill to come through on a lot of what he wants to change, which is why he's trying to ram it through with relatively minimal consideration. What strikes me most, however, is that he's utilizing similar rhetoric to what Bush used to justify the PATRIOT act, or the FISA amendments, or the war in Iraq. A lot of that is fairly standard political jargon, but I think if he wants to separate himself from previous administrations, he needs to come up with some new strategies.

I maintain that Obama's a great guy, and his actions over the past few weeks have supported my feelings about him. Closing Guantanamo, exposing the current and past presidential records, denying Citibank its $50m jet, the $100k salary caps on White House employees, the $500k salary cap for all CEOs receiving bailout money, re-enforcing existing laws on interrogation, his weekly youtube addresses, and the simple fact that I can find all of his executive orders, memorandums, and nominations/appointments on the White House website seem to be a strong indicator that he's starting off on the right foot and coming through on his promises of transparency and integrity.

He's certainly not perfect, and I don't appreciate the way he's handling this stimulus plan - but if that and some photos of Obama with Blagojevich in a chain email are all it takes for you to hate him, then it seems to me that you're simply looking for reasons to dislike him because he's a Democrat. If you're looking for reasons to dislike him, you'll never run out - but that doesn't mean you'll be reasonably justified.

With love,


posted by MC Froehlich at with 1 Comments