Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tagged again...

Tagged again, this time by Jana over at Pilgrimsteps.

Same rules as before. Go to page 123 of the book closest to you; find the first five sentences, then quote the next three sentences. Tag five people.

This is from Arguing the Apocalypse: A Theory of Millennial Rhetoric, by Stephen D. O’Leary which looks at apocalyptic thought in the history of the United States. The relevant passage is part of a long quotation from a 1842 editorial calling into question the predictions of imminent apocalypse by William Miller, a Baptist minister who predicted that the Second Coming would occur in 1843 and then in 1844:

“It therefore follows that the coldness of the clergy and church is one of the signs of that day. We also learn that all the signs which were to mark the approach of that day, the fulfillment of prophecies and the termination of prophetic periods, will be so little different from those which have been in days previous, that they will not catch the attention of any but those who are with humble prayer looking for the approach of that day….If then the church and world were all expecting the second advent of Christ immediately, we should know that that event would not now come, because the world would not be in the condition that we are assured it will be when Christ comes.”

I’m still reading about apocalypse and conspiracy as research for some writing I’m doing, so it might look like I read a lot of very heavy, very serious things a lot of the time. And it is true that I sometimes do.

On the other hand, just to prove that I’m not only about serious scholarly reading, my relaxation reading currently is a YA novel, Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. It’s a vampire novel in which a seventeen-year-old girl moves to Washington state to live with her father and falls in love with the seventeen-year-old vampire who sits next to her in her biology class. Of course, as he says at one point, he’s been seventeen for awhile. If I was using that book for this meme (as I could have, as it was only slightly farther away from the O’Leary book when I wrote this), the relevant passage would have been:

“That’s Sam - he’s nineteen,” he informed me.
“What was that he was saying about the doctor’s family?” I asked innocently.
“The Cullens? Oh, they’re not supposed to come onto the reservation.”

Well, that’s actually four sentences, I guess, but close enough.

Twilight is a good book, by the way. It might be classified as a YA novel, but it’s keeping this definitely-older-than-YA reader turning the pages. I stayed up reading much later than I should have last night because I just couldn’t put it down.

Oh, yeah. If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What are you reading right now?, or a book meme from John...

I’ve been tagged by John over at Mind on Fire to respond to this book-related meme. The rules are as follows:

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123
3. Find the first 5 sentences
4. Post the next 3 sentences
5. Tag 5 people

The book closest to me happened to be A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America, by Michael Barkun (University of California Press, 2003). The relevant sentences are:

“His elaborate and sophisticated Web site contains a large section called ‘The Reptilian Connection.’ A similar site, maintained by John Rhodes, is called simply reptoids.com.
“The interrelationship of inner-earth and reptilian themes is complex."

Probably not so fascinating as John had hoped, but if the meme had been for page 122 rather than 123, things would have been very different, because then the relevant sentences would have been:

“In addition, closely related material has been published under the names Bruce Walton and Bruce A. Walton, some of which has been cited by Branton.
“By his own account, Branton is a former Mormon in his thirties, who grew up in ‘the Southeast corner of Salt Lake Valley.’ He claims to be an abductee who has had contact through ‘altered states’ of consciousness with human beings living in the inner earth.”

Considering some of our backgrounds as former Mormons, that would have been much more of a hoot, I think.

Anyway, the book itself is an interesting look at religious and secular conspiracy theories. I found it in the ‘further reading’ section of another book I read recently, Have A Nice Doomsday: Why Millions of Americans are Looking Forward to the End of the World, by Nicholas Guyatt (Harper Perennial, 2007). I found Guyatt’s book quite by accident at the library and had to read it, just based on the title. I’ve found some of my favorite books that way, incidentally.

After reading it, I realized that it was relevant to my research into how people look at the world and how they arrive at those perspectives, so now I’m reading quite a bit about apocalyptic thinking and conspiracy theories. Barkun’s book is especially interesting as it looks at the intersection between the two.

So, I’m not really sure who to tag, as John and I seem to run in very much the same bloggy company. So, I’ll violate the rules just a little and tag anyone and everyone who happens to read this. Just drop me a comment when you’ve participated, so that I can come and read.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Meme of the Day...

Found this over at Jana's blog. If you're reading this, you're tagged. If you're Pamela, you're especially tagged.

What kind of soap do you have in your bathtub/shower right now?

What color or design is on your shower curtain?
Green - to go with the yellow and green tile.

What would you change about your living room?
I’d really like to have a couch or love seat. Right now all we’ve got is one armchair and my desk chair (which, I have to admit, is comfortable enough to nap in…I did so this afternoon).

How many plants are in your home?

Are the dishes in the dishwasher clean or dirty?
What’s a dishwasher? There are some dirty dishes in the sink, but not many.

Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home?

Do you have iced tea, made in a pitcher, right now?

Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator?
Not a chance. I’m horribly allergic to them. I started itching just thinking about the idea.

So, what is in your fridge?
Milk, orange juice, water, diet sodas (Mug Root Beer, Sierra Mist, and caffeine-free Pepsi), butter, margarine, bread, pineapple, cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, tomatoes, probably some other stuff, but I’m too lazy to go look right now.

What’s on top of your refrigerator?Napkins, a box of Minute Rice, disposable plastic cups.

White or wheat bread?
Wheat…sourdough wheat.

Comet or Soft Scrub?

Is your bed made now?
As made as it ever gets…I’m sitting on it as I write this.

Is your closet organized?
Yeah, right.

Can you describe your flashlight?
It’s a compact little silver-colored thing that fits in the palm of my hand…got it at a dollar store years ago and it still works, which is more than I can say for any of the more expensive flashlights I’ve ever owned.

If you have a garage, is it cluttered?
No garage, just a carport. But if I had a garage, I’m sure it would be cluttered.