God in the Machine

Literally "God in the machine", Deus Ex Machina originally referred to Greek plays, where the "gods" would be lowered onto the stage with ropes in order to provide a quick resolution to the story. Today, Deus Ex Machina refers to any improbably and/or overly convenient character or mechanism that comes out of nowhere and saves the character(s).


"I don't get it, Big Dan..." -George Clooney in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Come, let us reason together...

I guess when they start sawing off heads, killing Americans in brutal ways we don't even kill stray dogs, filming it for television distribution and promising more of the same, the whole "let's talk it out phase" is probably officially over.

Of course, we have our year-long bouts of closed-minded unreasonableness every election year. Nobody has been killed yet, but to hear conservatives and liberals talk about each other with more and more hateful rhetoric, I have to wonder how fine the line is. We've already gotten to the "let's blow up abortion clinics and kill doctors to prevent the murders they commit" phase, which is Step A on the road to vigilante justice. We saw the last step on that video from Iraq.

I'm still shaken by the thoughts that the press so kindly repeats every 1.3 minutes from that video. My first thoughts, of course, are unthinking vengeance. My anti-death penalty stance is quickly shaken at times like these.

When the trembling ends, my hands stop shaking and I get a cold diet Pepsi in me, more important questions emerge, like "Where was God in all this?" I may be wrong, but I can't believe God was cheering on the ones who were celebrating over the still-twitching body and still-blinking head while calling God's name in triumph. The most recent edition of Weavings was centered on vengeance and God's place in it. Maybe I'll have to re-read it now.


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