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Like A Sore Thumb

I hate to fly on airplanes. From the yellow plastic keg cup oxygen masks to the idea that a car seatbelt is going to save you in a plane crash, everything that’s supposed to make air travel “safe” seems to be ridiculously far fetched.

One of the only things I do like about air travel is the airport. The airport is the transportational equivalent of the shopping mall; every town worth anything has one, and they usually have the same basic essentials.

While they may differ in design, modern airports share the same basic desire to offer us overpriced haircuts, shoeshines, and sandwiches, coupled with partial strip searches and futuristic hand chapping technology.

What’s not to love?

Something I’ve learned in my travels is that when I’m flying back into Portland International Airport, from anywhere else in the world, I don’t actually actually need to know the gate number that my flight is leaving from: I just need to know the airline I’m flying with.


What We Believe & What We Can Prove


Whether it’s finding lost keys in the sofa or watching an episode of Cold Case, humans love a resolved mystery.  What’s a mystery to me isn’t why there are so many mystery shows on Television, it’s how they’ve changed over time.

For years, the only substantial difference between “Perry Mason”, “Murder She Wrote”, “Diagnosis Murder”, and “Matlock” was the starring actor.  Not only were each of the programs nearly perfect carbon copies of one another, they were also nearly perfect carbon copies of themselves on a weekly basis:

1.) Introduction (catchy theme song)
2.) Murder
3.) False accusation by inept young people
4.) Incompetent legal proceeding (more young people)
5.) Casual investigation by friendly elderly hero
6.) Acquittal of the wrongly accused
7.) Thorough, if brief, revelation of the true culprit (Song reprise)

When you sprinkle in commercials featuring funeral insurance, motorized scooters, and Wilford Brimley  you have the recipe for a typical Sunday evening installment… and a surprisingly handgun free murder mystery!

When it comes to investigative drama written for the elderly, the critical moments always revolve around the eyewitness testimony of an actual participant.  In fact the culprit usually breaks down under pressure and gives the viewer all the details, including motivation, behind the crime so that no one is left wondering about what actually happened.

Real life is very rarely like this since many crimes do not feature living witnesses and most criminals lack the self awareness to accurately describe their terrible motives.  Programming has since changed to reflect this by attempting to mimic postmodern “realism”.  In recent years audiences have become familiar with an updated take on criminal procedure:  The science of forensic investigation.

CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, and CSI: Extreme Makeover introduced us to a new television formula where “people may lie but science never does!”  In this format mysteries are rarely solved by interviewing people, they are solved by recreating the conditions present during the crime, and examining the materials produced during the event.  These programs are populated by beautiful young people with tattoos and piercings who solve crimes using the latest technology, fashionable eyewear, and handguns.

But these shows do have a striking similarity:


with Liberty and… Responsibility for all.

Today’s post is featured at Chris Goforth’s Journal.  Chris is a solid man, a loving father, and a dedicated husband who blogs about becoming the man God intended him to be.
Follow him on twitter: @pacnwdadof6.

When I leave town my wife spends her time catching up on all of the projects and goals she’s had to shelve because of her busy schedule.  Without me there, she uses her free time to attack a fairly long list of ventures.

This usually results in a flurry of activities and accomplishments.  I’ve often come home from a weekend speaking engagement to find repainted and reappointed rooms, clean windows, clean dogs, and clean pores… hers not mine.

I also use free time to catch up on things when she leaves town.  These things include, but are not limited to, the watching of movies that feature explosions, the watching of sports without talking, the eating of chips and donuts, and the feeling of gross after only three hours without her.

My weekend often consists of lying around on couches in unclean garments, un-bathed and unshaven.  She often returns home to find dishes in rooms that shouldn’t facilitate eating, overdue movie rentals, and an orange-tongued dog that served as my Cheeto washcloth.

Sometimes we receive times of unfettered liberty.  What we choose to do with those moments speaks volumes about who we are and what we value.

Liberty is incredibly important to Americans, so much so that we have a statue celebrating it.  Unfortunately we tend to forget that liberty is always earned.

During its early years, America earned its freedom during a series of conflicts with various European powers.  Each of these conflicts remained fresh in the memory of the individuals who had participated in them, helping them to remember the purchase price.

While the freedom to do as we please is essential to the American experience, we also understand that freedom is only beneficial for a society when that society’s individuals understand that liberty walks hand in hand with responsibility.


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