Brennan Manning on Hurricane Katrina

The author of The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning, lives in New Orleans and stayed in the city during Hurricane Katrina, evacuating only after the flood walls failed and the mandatory evacuation order was given. Manning talked with Christianity Today about the African American community in New Orleans, how he almost ended up at the Superdome, and how his future is in doubt like most people in New Orleans.

He also talked about the minimal damage in his area and the usual questions of why:

I happen to live in an area where, by the sheer grace of God, things are dry, except for the broken tree branches that fell on the road. I have sewage. And a few miles away some children drowned. I don’t ask why. I don’t ask why there are a million displaced people and 2,400 children still missing, and I have sewage. I just say thank you. The words of the poem [“Bone”] by the Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Oliver make a lot of sense to me.

She said, “truly I know / our part is not knowing, / but looking, and touching, and loving.”

Upgrading to Movable Type 3.2

Yesterday I upgraded to the new Movable Type 3.2. So far, so good. (though I can’t stand their new user’s manual—it’s way over written and makes everything sound harder than it really is.)

This does mean that MTBlacklist, the old spam filter I used, is no more. MT 3.2 has built-in spam protection, and the guy who wrote the code for MTBlacklist says it’s now obsolete (he now works for Movable Type). I’m sad to see it go since it kicked some major spam butt. Let’s look at the numbers for my blogs:

  • 100,957 comments blocked (which means I never had to deal with them)
  • 12,316 comments moderated (which means I had to delete them from the system, though they were never public)
  • 12,796 comments blocked for using the word ‘poker’—I added the word to the blacklist out of frustration sometime in August 2005, apparently a smart move.
  • 946 comments blocked for using the word ‘f-ck’—another word added out of frustration.

That’s a lot of comment spam, considering my blogs only have 2,200 legit comments total (and 145+ of those are about Simple Plan’s Pierre Bouvier).

Serenity vs. Shakespeare

Maybe you thought I was exaggerating when I recommended the movie Serenity. Maybe you thought I didn’t mean it. Maybe you thought I was just full of hype.

Well, Orson Scott Card, the acclaimed science fiction author of Ender’s Game has compared Serenity‘s writer and director Joss Whedon to Shakespeare.


And you thought comparing it to Star Wars was a bit much. I don’t know if I’d make the Shakespeare claim myself. I think Card is more making the claim that Serenity has both deeper meanings and common fun, much like Shakespeare. I’d agree with that.

Just go see the movie already. (link via Inessentials)