Category Archives: F Abstract Concepts

Foreva? Foreva-eva?

Today we’re talking about the concept of eternity. You know, that never-ending expanse of time that, according to many major religions, awaits us all once we shuffle off our mortal coils. Our bodies die but our immortal souls linger on forever and ever yada yada yada.

Before we get going, I want to note that for this particular piece I’d just like to consider what a positive eternal setup might look like. While it’s hard to refute that all of us deserve some sort of punishment after we die (or at least be made to perform some sort of embarrassing musical number in front of all the assembled nations, tribes and judgmental peers), I’d rather not spend time speculating on what a negative eternity might consist of. I can’t even imagine a never-ending DMV trip or traffic jam, much less with flames.

Moving forward with the ‘positive afterlife scenario’ paradigm, what will we do with all that time after we die? Christians, Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Hindus and most other religions all have different ideas of how the hereafter works. Zoroastrianism contends that the righteous will forever reign with Ahura Mazda.  (sounds so peaceful and automotive!)

We have the official orthodox party lines from all these religions about what eternity will consist of and how we’ll spend our time. Most of which seem to predict various forms of idyll, worship, pleasure and ongoing paradise. Sounds pretty cool.

But how about some specifics? I have so many questions about this arrangement.

I suppose no one alive really knows exactly how it all works. What eternity looks like and consists of is one of those mysteries of the universe we’ll just have to wait on, so in the meantime let’s do what we do best here: offer up some wild speculation, outside-the-box thoughts, unsubstantiated hypotheses, and hopeful guess-ery.

Involvement with Human Affairs

If we learned anything from Angels in the Outfield (other than the fact that Tony Danza had clearly never thrown a baseball in his life previous to filming this movie), it’s that the dead have the power to exert influence over the outcomes of sporting events. I imagine this sort of thing will occupy much of our time (such as Auburn’s Chris Davis being carried on sweet angels’ wings all the way to the end zone in last year’s supernatural Iron Bowl).

Chris Davis, flying to sport glory on the wings of blessed angels?

Chris Davis, flying to sport glory on the wings of blessed angels?

Perhaps we will also be involved with the living in other ways, like Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Maybe the recently deceased are immediately given ‘helper’ or ‘guardian angel’ tasks? If this is the case, it will be interesting to see whether or not we are assigned to monitor a geographic area, specific individuals, or if we’re just supposed to be on the lookout for certain problems (i.e. bridge jumpers, weaving motorcyclists, rollerbladers with no brakes, drunk people trying to feed animals.) Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under F Abstract Concepts, F Commentary, Faith

Freaking out about the Future

“Everything’s gonna be totally fine.”

— Keith Stone

A couple years ago Keystone Light ran a series of ads featuring a creepy but self-assured fellow with flowing locks named Keith Stone. In one of the ads, Stone sees a crying bride in a convenience store making a call on a payphone. With his comically large stick of beef jerky, he hangs up the payphone and ever so smoothly dials the phone to speak with the distressed bride.

A case of KL’s under his arm, he reassures the woman with deceptively profound words: “Everything’s gonna be totally fine.”

Of course this is a ridiculous commercial meant to sell cheap beer. Yet how many of us can honestly say that we can match the optimism, confidence, or perspective of Mr. Stone? How many of us live our day-to-day lives in the hope and full expectation that everything really is going to be just fine no matter what happens? And if we do feel hopeful today, what is it that hope based on? (Hopefully not Keystone Light). Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under F Abstract Concepts, F Commentary, Faith

Fisto

By: Paul Washington
Look, I’m not even going to make a joke here.  Yes, there’s a He-Man character with an over-sized metal right hand named Fisto… and he’s heard them all.

“Middle School was the most difficult time of my life.” — Fisto

For those of you in the 25-and-under age range, “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” was a cartoon created in the early 1980s exclusively to sell action figures. (Think “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” without the compelling backstory.)
Most of the characters in the series were villains who spent much of their time devising schemes to destroy the series’ titular hero, He-Man.  Fisto was an outlier in that he was one of the few “good guy” characters who fought alongside He-Man.

Here’s a shot of Fisto and He-Man bro-ing out. Remember, this was back in the mid-80s, when it was perfectly acceptable for children to look up to He-Man, a shirtless man with a mom haircut.

Fisto’s gigantic right fist came in handy for smashing rocks and for general intimidation purposes; though it couldn’t have been good for his shoulder and elbow joints.  He also sported a manly reddish-brown beard that paired well with his slicked-back coiffure.  What he lacked in ability to pass through airport metal detectors, he made up for in rugged handsomeness. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under F Abstract Concepts, Film, F Entertainment, Folks

Firmament

Let’s get heavy! Today we’re going to engage the formation and structure of the universe – no big deal. Strap on your helmets and gird your loins, it’s gonna get opinionated in here!

Before we get into this, it should be noted that my personal worldview is essentially “Judeo-Christian” in nature. That said, there are many big questions surrounding life/death/the universe/things of the supernatural realm I am tremendously confused by or undecided about, so I try to keep an open mind. How exactly the world came into existence and how the universe is structured would certainly fall into this category.

In that spirit of open-mindedness, let’s chat about a controversial* word featured in the Genesis account of creation that begs some explanation. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under F Abstract Concepts, F Commentary, Faith

Flattery

In light of TMF’s recent shocking Freshly Pressed debut (and prompt crash back into obscurity), today seems like a good time to talk about flattery.

We all flatter to get stuff we want, and we all love to be flattered. It makes us feel good about ourselves. We crave that validation. We’re ravenous for it!

But flattery can be a dangerous thing…

According to Proverbs, “Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.” I take this to mean that if someone is flattering you, they’re probably trying to kill you (which we can all agree is probably true most of the time). This is a bit depressing, but useful life wisdom nonetheless.

I think the takeaway from this wisdom – other than keeping an eye on that shifty neighbor with all those weird nets in his shed – is to be wary of the perils of seeking approval, and of those who offer it. This is a difficult thing to do, as we are so pathetic and needy. We gobble up praise like Ms. Pac-man. Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under F Abstract Concepts, F Commentary

Faking the Funk

“Don’t fake the funk on a nasty dunk.”

Sir Isaac Newton

According to Wikipedia, the origins of the maxim “Don’t fake the funk on a nasty dunk” (DFtFoaND) can be traced back to Sir Isaac Newton, who uttered the famous phrase when engaged in an apple bobbing contest. That doesn’t sound right but if Wikipedia says so it must be true. Sigh, Wikipedia has destroyed my ability to think for myself and independently verify information.

Of course more recently we remember this phrase from a TV commercial featuring former Kazaam star and basketball legend, Shaquille O’ Neal. Shaq says DFtFoaND as a password to gain entry to some sort of mysterious slam-jam showcase lair, shortly before throwing down a nasty dunk that destroys the backboard and impresses some older b-ball fogeys. The commercial was culturally significant on many levels (what’s more significant than seeing stuff splode + get blowed up, and having famous people telling us what shoe to buy?), but perhaps most important was the introduction of DFtFoaND into our vernacular. Clearly the phrase was awesome – but what does it mean to fake the funk, and how does one avoid doing so? Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under F Abstract Concepts, F Athletics, Fun Phenomena

Formal Introductions

Disclaimer* One of the founding principles and original premises of TMF was to discuss the nicer words that start with the letter F; in an effort to reclaim the inherent goodness of F and to reverse some of the damage caused by that certain word that shall not be named. The article you are about to read discusses the word — this ‘queen mother of all bad words’ as the author puts it — with all of the tact and nuance you’d expect from the following tall author (tall = trustworthy). Please enjoy the following piece from the ever-insightful, always-delightful Tall Rick.

By: Tall Rick

I still remember the first time we met.

There are some words you learn on an existential level. Words that seem to have always been part of your dictum. Others are learned in an instant – or at least their introduction seems to have made an indelible mark. This is a story of the latter.

I was five years old, and my mother had toted us to our local public library. The “us” in this particular case included myself and Jacinda Frisbee – a free-spirited, red-haired girl whose mother was infamous locally for driving a pale yellow Ford Pinto. Jacinda wasn’t your average 5 year old. Average doesn’t suffice when your name is Jacinda Frisbee. Or when your mother drives a Pinto.

After I tired of perusing the shelves for illustrated books on dinosaurs and miscellaneous neolithic human forebears, I took a leisurely stroll to the boys room. As I evacuated my juvenile bladder of its contents (likely 12 fluid ounces of McDonald’s patented orange “drink”), I encountered what would become a new addition to my developing vocabulary.

It was a strange word. A fascinating word. One I could easily pronounce, due in no small part to my early adoption and mastery of phonics. But it was a word I hadn’t seen or heard previously. In fact, my parochial education prided itself on the mastery of the English lexicon and verbal acumen. But this word had never been introduced on any flashcard in my kindergarten class. I gazed at the word itself (part of a short, two-word imperative), and finished what I had begun.

When it was time to check out our books from the counter, I asked my mother a simple, and straightforward question: “Mom, what does ‘f*** you’ mean?”

My mother was a fair-skinned woman. Though she was born and had been reared in Miami, she was Scandinavian in heritage –  a people known mostly for blonde hair, towering height, love of fiskbullar (basically fish balls) and kåldolmar, and a stubborn affinity for death metal. But my simple query turned my mother an almost translucent white.

Paralyzed with fear and shock, it was all she could do to mutter out an incoherent, “uhh… errrr… umm.” Sensing my mother needed rescuing, 5-year-old, world-wise, red-haired, daughter of a Pinto-driving hippie Jacinda Frisbee simply replied, “It means ‘I hate you.'”

And all these years later I haven’t heard a better definition for that phrase since I first heard it. Thank you Jacinda Frisbee. I am forever indebted.

1 Comment

Filed under F Abstract Concepts