Wednesday, July 11, 2007

God I love analysing things

I've come across two different songs about Jacob's Ladder, both the toy and the biblical story. I found some interesting comparisons to be made between them. The first song is a spiritual hymn* called "We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder."
It goes thus:

We are climbing Jacob's ladder, we are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder, brothers, sisters, all

Every rung goes higher and higher, every rung goes higher and higher
Every rung goes higher and higher, brothers, sisters, all

Every new one makes us stronger, every new one makes us stronger,
Every new one makes us stronger, brothers, sisters, all

We have toiled in dark and danger, we have toiled in dark and danger,
We have toiled in dark and danger, brothers, sisters, all

We are dancing Sarah's circle, we are dancing Sarah's circle
We are dancing Sarah's circle, brothers, sisters, all**

Every round a generation, every round a generation
Every round a generation, brothers, sisters, all

We are climbing Jacob's ladder, we are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder, brothers, sisters, all

Another version I found is a bit simpler:

We are climbing Jacob's Ladder x3
We're soldiers of the Cross

We run goes higher and higher x3
We're soldiers of the Cross

The interesting thing to note is how it talks about either the upward or circular journey, never the downward one. "We are climbing Jacob's Ladder" and " every rung goes higher and higher" are the upward references; "we are dancing Sarah's circle" and " every round a generation" are the circular ones.

Now, compare the old spiritual's lyrics to the modern song about Jacob's Ladder, Patrick Wolf's "Jacob's Ladder," with the lyrics being the following:

Jacob ladder's falling down
Heaven is out of reach for us now

The golden gates
The closing clouds
Jacob's ladder's fallen down

The modern song talks about going "down" and "falling" in presumably both the physical as well as the spiritual sense. Is this simply a sign of our pessimistic modern lives compared to the optimistic past? Has the prevelance of the toy Jacob's ladder - which certainly seems to cascade down - influenced the lyrics? Or did I just stumble upon two oddly polar songs by coincidence and I'm reading far too much into this?***

All I know for sure is that both songs miss the point of the biblical story:

And he [Jacob] dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.****
(italics mine)

They went two ways; up and down. I guess I'm puzzling over this: why did the artists***** represent them going only one way and not both?

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Opinions? Other songs about the subject? If you have any of the above, please give them to me!

*It was labeled to as a "Negro Spiritual" but I'm not sure how PC that is
**Does anyone with more biblical knowledge know what this line means?
****Genesis 28:10-22, King James Version
*****By artists I mean lyricists. Most painters seemed to have little issue depicting the angels going both ways.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


I've been plagued by moderate amounts of insomnia the past several days and I figured I might as well grab some ideas on what to do while bored and awake. The past two nights I've been awake I watched a movie, did tons of math homework and browsed the internet, along with failed attempts to figure out why the sandman is scorning me. I've had to avoid doing my English homework because I've found I use the larger words from my lexicon when I'm tired. This is great for my writing, although the writers block has stayed with me during this bout of insomnia. I'd also watch the sunrise but the area has too many trees to see a proper one.
What suggestions do other people have?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Goodbye Menstration

There's an interesting article over at Slate about a pill that is designed to stop menstruation. Being male, I really don't have much of an opinion on this but I am curious about what other people think. Is this a good idea? A bad one?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Starcraft II

I'm surprised Taylor hasn't blogged about this yet...
Anyways, I'm here to tell you to sell your stock in any company that employs geeks or nerds. Especially Google, sell your stock in Google. Why? Because after nine years, the sequel to the computer game Starcraft was announced. That means any techy is going to quit their job to spend a few months in front of their computer playing this game. Considering how much of the economy relies on these techies, I'm worried about a major recession. But not too worried because I know I'll be too glued to my computer to worry about anything. This coming from the boy who hasn't played a computer game in nearly two years.

For those of you who don't know anything about Starcraft, here's a bit of history: it came out in 1998, has sold 9 million copies and is still an incredibly fun game. It is a real time strategy game that revolves around three races, the bug-like Zerg, the religious Protoss and the human Terran. Not only is the game fun, but the cinematics are beautifully done and the characters and plot are actually, well, surprisingly good. I still rank Kerrigan as one of my favorite villians from any media. Oddly enough, Starcraft is pretty much the unofficial national sport of South Korea.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Phelp's hates Falwell

There isn't a word to describe what I'm feeling over this. Apparently Fred Phelp's and the hateful bastards* at the Westboro Baptist Church loath even the deceased Jerry Falwell. They're going to "preach" at his funeral.** Part of me feels sorry for Falwell. That isn't a big part of me. A bigger part of me is just swimming in the poetic justice of this. Falwell was a horrible bigot and the idea of having an even worse bigot ranting about how lenient Falwell was just seems awesome. A third part of me is trying to decide of Phelp's is some sort of sick performance artist who wants to make Christianity look bad.

*I normally try to avoid using words like that against people, but Phelp's is one who I think honestly deserves it.
**Don't look at that site unless you're prepared to deal with high blood pressure and excessive amounts of outrage.

Friday, May 4, 2007

It had to be on purpose...

Skywalkers in Korea cross Han solo is probably one of the best news headlines I've ever read.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Massacres and sympathy

Everyone has heard of the tragedy that happened at Virginia Tech this week. Most of the country felt and expressed sympathy to the murdered students and their friends and family. What most people probably did not hear about was the 170 people killed in Baghdad today. Little, if any, sorrow or sympathy was extended to the victims and their families in Baghdad by the rest of the world. Why is this the case? I'm not attempting to make people feel guilty about their sorrow for one tragedy over another, I'm simply curious as to why one event evokes emotions instead of another. Are we simply desensitized to the murders in Iraq? Is it because what happens in Iraq effects us less then what happens on a campus in Virginia? I don't remember much public condolences to the victims of the 2006 Mumbia train bombings yet the train bombings in Madrid in 2004 generated much sympathy. The number of dead were about the same, what caused the different responses? Is it because America has more shared cultural traits with Spain than India? One thing that I can be certain of is that when children are killed, emotions will be raised. The Columbine and Beslan school massacres both received much media attention and public condolences.