Friday links! The truth is a lion edition


I defy you to find that quote anywhere in the writings of St. Augustine, machine for striking phrases though he was. Diligent internet Catholics trace its origin to Pastor Chuck Spurgeon, whose name does not look as good next to a lion and who said it a little differently:

The Word of God is like a lion. You don’t have to defend a lion. All you have to do is let the lion loose, and the lion will defend itself.

I’m glad Augustine didn’t put so many hard stops in his aperçu, and I’m glad Pastor Chuck limited his analogy to the word of god. Given the confusion over both quote and attribution, I’m declaring this one fair game for rewrites. Today is Friday, and the truth is a lion: let it out, and it will defend itself. That’s why lions rule the Earth and lying is unprofitable. Won’t you lunge toward the net with me?

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Marbut still insists opponent’s donkey looks like a horse

Candidate Gary Marbut (Ind–HD 94) and a gun

Candidate Gary Marbut (Ind–HD 94) and a gun

Missoula residents will recognize the name of local gun enthusiast Gary Marbut, who is running as an independent to represent HD 94 in the Montana State House. Last week, the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices rejected Marbut’s complaint that fliers produced by his opponent failed to properly indicate her party affiliation. Marbut alleged that the icon chosen by incumbent Democrat Kimberly Dudik “has short ears and a long tail” and therefore resembled a horse more than a donkey. That kind of willful misreading can hurt a candidate’s credibility, at least according to my column in this week’s Missoula Independent. Really it doesn’t matter, since Dudik is going to win this one in a walk. But you should get to know Gary Marbut, especially if you’ve acquired a taste for the peculiar flavor of Montana politics. You’ll see his name again.


Nut shot to propel Mike McFadden into Senate

That’s an ad for Minnesota’s Mike McFadden: dad, coach, businessman, nut shot victim, candidate for US Senate. Before we lament the dignity of his office, let’s remember that McFadden is running against incumbent Al Franken (D–MN). Neither man is exactly James Blaine of Maine. Still, there is something weird about this campaign advertisement. Is it that Coach McFadden seems to have taught his players to lunge forward and punch him in the nuts whenever a literal interpretation of his words authorizes them to do so? Is that even his real peewee football team? Certainly, every child who plays peewee football dreams of helping his coach become a senator, but very few actually do. Is it weird for McFadden to get these kids’ hopes up by putting them in his campaign commercial? No, it’s weird that he gets punched in the nuts at the end.

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Combat! blog ices groin, isn’t useful

A cute kitten takes a nap. Do not Google image search "vasectomy." Just don't.

A cute kitten takes a nap. Do not Google image search “vasectomy.” Just don’t.

You wouldn’t know it from the chipper tone of Combat! blog, but I got a vasectomy yesterday. In my life and peregrinations I have smelled many smells, but I will not soon forget the smell of my own burning vas deferens. Nor will I soon forget this pain in my nuts, which I can ease only with Advil or by imagining a child’s birthday party. There is no Combat! blog today, because I have voluntarily sterilized myself. Think of it as an investment in Combat! blogs of the future. While I search in vain for any glimmer of regret, how about you read this fascinating piece by Ben al-Fowlkes about a woman-versus-man bareknuckle fight that happened in 2007? You can watch the video, too, if you dare. I’d like to point out that Ben is a father, probably as a result of having intercourse with his wife. If only he had planned ahead. If only I had frozen peas.

Why does work suck? Analysts blame private equity

Minneapolis Jimmy John's workers strike for the right to join a union in 2011.

Minneapolis Jimmy John’s workers strike for the right to join a union in 2011.

Ask any person not directly employed in the arts or finance, and she will tell you that work sucks. It’s weird, because our parents and grandparents talked as if work were the best thing in the world, or at least a primary source of meaning in their lives. Then somewhere between Vietnam and Office Space, the indignity of the office became a standard motif in movies and television. That conceit seems almost quaint in a 21st-century employment landscape that features full-time “contract” work, wage theft, and stagnant pay. In a book called The Fissured Workplace, Boston University professor David Weil argues that work has become “debased” by management structures that separate employers from employees. Two other authors, Applebaum and Batt, see that as the inevitable outcome of three decades of leveraged buyouts.

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