September 19, 2019

Listening to the Judge John Hodgman podcast (recommended) and the topic is saying God Bless You after someone sneezes. As a precocious kid I was all too happy to explain that I said "Gesundheit" instead, that it was the German word for health, and "Bless You" was based on old superstition about demons getting in or out during the sneeze or something, and was therefore a little spiritually suspect. (These days I prefer "Gesundheit" just because it's more fun to say loudly.)

I guess that's an early instance of me favoring objective Truth (i.e. the nature of God and demons) over cultural practice.

Actually, I'm still a little fuzzy on the verb "to bless". Like, asking God to bless us or someone else makes some sense (even if it's asking God that whatever his preordained divine plan was, couldn't it pleased be tweaked a bit in our favor?) but then in the Bible you see people called upon to Bless the Lord, etc. Is that a reference to some kind of inner divinity humans carry? Or, is it from God to human a blessing is like good fortune or happy attribute (in the "she was blessed with a keen wit" sense) but from human to God it's like general praise and thanks?
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a great response to Shane Gillis and the art of the non-apology.
Saw David Byrne's "American Utopia" the other night.... balcony seats at the Colonial - not good if you have vertigo!

Fun show - I didn't really grow up with Byrne's music, but some of his later collaboration songs like "Toe Jam" and "Lazy" were included. The set was a giant bead curtain, that framed the stage like the back and 2 sides of a giant cube with the main performance in the middle. Some of the songs had a lot of fun with light and shadows - making figures giant or distored or in one case like a b+w TV screen ala poltergeist.