The Just and Humble Walk of Mercy

It has been one month…and still does not fully feel real.  I originally posted this to my Tumblr.

I found out this week that my Dad’s favorite Bible Verse is Micah 6:8.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[a] with your God.

I did not know this until last Wednesday.  But it is not really a surprise.

My dad is a gentle man.  Not a gentleman, which can be mere shallow politeness.  But a gentle man.  He is a man who will listen to your view point, and if he chooses to voice an opinion at all, he does not take a condescending tone if he disagrees.  He politely offers his take.  If he is ever exasperated?  I never see it.  I wish I had that kind of patience.  I all to often find people frustrating.  But not Dad.

Dad is center right and a Christian.  Yet, he has never been forceful.  He does not preach down to people.  Heck, he can sometimes only say a couple words and never bring up God.

But my Dad loves to help people.  If you need help?  His hand will reach out.  At 72, my Dad is vibrant and loved people.  I could bring any person reading this to meet my Dad, and he would care about you.  He would listen when you need it.  He would cry with you when you need it.  He would smile and laugh with you when you need it.

My Dad is not a saint of course.  I mean, if you are an inanimate object, he can hurl an unending stream of obscenities at you when you frustrate him.  Think of the dad in a Christmas story.  But using Christian vernacular…I have not known many men who embody all of the Fruits of the Spirit.  But my Dad sure comes close.  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self control…those really apply to my Dad.

I am speaking in the present tense…but on Wednesday, April 15th, I got the worst text message I think I may ever get.  My Mother sent a text (because she could not reach me by phone while I was on the phone at work) asking me to come home…Dad had passed away.  On the previous Friday he had a medical checkup and was told he was in great shape.  On that Tuesday, our family got together to celebrate my Mom’s birthday (which is the 15th).  My Dad gave no indication of feeling ill.  He went to sleep…and never woke up.  According to the people who visited from the Cremation Society only 6% of people die at home…and only 3% die as peacefully as my Dad appears to have.

Truth is, we really thought Mom would be going first.  Mom has stage four cancer, and we all thought I was moving in to be with Dad when she passed.  But to all of our surprise?  It is Dad that is gone today.

It is weird, the things that make me think of Dad.  Star Wars.  It is the first movie I can remember him taking me to.  The Rock…Dad and I really like Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.  Neither of us figured out quite what it was, but we do know we liked him.  And I had hoped to see San Andreas with Dad.

My Mom emphasized his faith was what made him the amazing guy he was.  I do not doubt this.  My Dad’s faith was utterly sincere and heartfelt.  I do not really share it.  I confess, right now, the idea of there being a God who loves us and set a place aside for us to all come together after we die is appealing.  Because I would like to see my Dad again.

A lot of people have been telling us how my Dad encouraged them as Christians.  But I learned something larger.  I learned what it was to be a great human.  And I just do not live up to being the same man my Dad was.  but this is one thing I know…I was blessed to have a great Dad.  And I am going to miss him.


CNN and Meaningless Statistics That White People Love

CNN is the go to for white conservative people trying to “discredit” supposed “narratives”.  They know their liberal friends won’t accept the Fox News information.  But CNN supposedly represents the liberal mainstream media.  This is pretty laughable if you actually watch CNN.  They bend over backwards to be neutral on any story, giving voice to any yahoo in the name of covering all the angles.  Fox says they are “fair and balanced”, but they do not make the gymnastics to live up to that.

So, when CNN puts up statistics, without actually analyzing them, white conservatives get to work spreading it on Facebook with “concerned” commentary.  The popular statistic right now is the one that shows police shot more white people than any other race in a few year span.  But the reasons for that are pretty simple.  The country is 63% white, 12% Black.  Plus, a general statistic about the number of people killed by race does not address the issue.

The frustration is not that cops kill more black people than white people.  That is a complete strawman.  And the statistic does not break down into specific circumstances such as whether the person killed was armed.  No, the issue is that black people are more likely to be killed by the cops even when they are unarmed.  And if you take the statistics of the number of white and black people killed by police and set it against the population?  Black people are, in fact, killed at a much higher rate than white people by cops.  It is explored more in depth here.

It’s Never Enough

Last night I watched as black person after black person stood up to condemn the rioting in Baltimore.  They stated clearly they thought this was wrong, that these young people throwing rocks and concrete and wounding cops were thugs and trouble making opportunists out to create mayhem.  They noted they would pursue these violent criminals.

And yet, conservative white America is not satisfied and scoured all the condemnations for their opportunity to twist the narrative.  Their chance to denounce the city and it’s officials.  It took seven and a half minutes of one press conference to find their “smoking gun”, but they got it.

It really does not matter how aggressively black people condemn a riot.  For White America, no amount of condemnation is good enough.

Just remember…cops got hurt, but unlike Freddie Gray, their wounds were superficial.

All New Spider-Man (In With the Old)

In a statement that surprised nobody, Kevin Feige confirmed that the new Spider-Man will be Peter Parker.

I typed that sentence on April 15th.  Then, I got a message that my father had died.  Suddenly this did not seem all that important for me.  This is why I have not posted in nearly two weeks.  And in that time, generally, Spider-Man news has been a distraction.

What has been stated since is we have seen a slate of the front runners for the new Spider-Man and they are (expectedly-to me anyways) very white.  There were claims that Marvel and Sony was definitely looking to have a non-white actor in the role, and that they might ditch Peter Parker entirely.  I did not find these claims all that credible.  The idea that Marvel was interested in ditching Peter Parker upon getting to bring him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe…well, that was hard to believe.

The best news was that we are not getting a third treatment of the Spider-Man origin.  On the other hand, the rumored title for the next Spider-Movie is Spider-Man: The New Avenger.

And that is terrible.  There is no way that is a good title.  Sony and Marvel need to toss that aside.  It should be something along the lines of the the Spectacular Spider-Man.  The New Avenger?  Just terrible.

Choking On the Truth

Over at Comics Alliance, Rue Walker has a piece up called The Poison’s Within Us All: Mistreatment and Harassment in Geek Spaces.  It is a very good piece, that is starting to ask questions that have been on my mind of late in regards to how we handle outrages.  If I understood Rue correctly over on Twitter, she will be dealing with some of that in her next piece.

In the meantime, it is a great article worth reading.

We’d like to believe that good and evil are relatively straightforward, not to mention self-defining. A good person does good things because they want to do them, while a bad person does bad things for the same reason. In this magical moral kingdom, intent and action are one, but let’s be honest: they ain’t. The difference between a bad act performed with the best of intentions and a good act motivated by bad reasons is the difference between a mistake and hypocrisy, and I’ve yet to meet a person who hasn’t been guilty, at some point, of both.