Long Time No See

Posted by Mike

So I was talking to David on Skype and he said we’d lose our readership if we didn’t put something here and he couldn’t do it all himself – so why don’t I write something –and I thought that it’s not really a blog, because we really write short essays. And he says write about what I think Fundamentalism is, because I said he was a Fundamentalist. And the truth is that I don’t really know what one is, except that they don’t seem to be very open regarding skepticism, which is what I am about. And he said something about “eons,” and Peter (who is three) was there (on Skype, that is) and we tried to explain to him what it meant. And I used several other expressions that we had to explain to Peter. David said we’d lose our readership (I know I said this before) and we tried to explain what THAT meant to Peter (just imagine being three and somebody saying “readership”; you might have some idea that reader relates to read and that ship relates to something big that holds people and things and is driven across the water. Must be quite confusing to be three and to have to listen to strange grown-up talk). And I then used another expression that would mean nothing to Peter – with David saving the day (see there’s another one) by saying to Peter that it was like him saying, “Rats!”

The Long Time No See relates to how long it’s been since I wrote anything here. It’s an expression that my father who was not Czech at all but was raised in Houma, Louisiana, and was more French than anything else used whenever he came across someone he hadn’t seen in a long time. When I was about 12 my family of four was going through the Marianna Caverns near Tallahassee, Florida. I guess this was in about 1948. At some point in the tour one of the men in the crowd turned to my father and said, “That sounds like ‘Check’ (my father’s nickname)?” It turned out that the man was blind, but had recognized my dad’s voice from 30 years before when they had been in school together in Houma. He was one of the few survivors of the Bataan Death March from 1942, had been a prisoner of war during the Second World War and had lost his sight due to starvation during and following the March. That was really a Long Time No See.

I said Fundamentalists were literalists who believed in the objective accuracy of the stories in the Old and New Testament as opposed to their reflecting mythology and subjectivism and revisionism (I didn’t say it quite like that, but you’ll have to accept this as a close representation). David said he believed that the universe wasn’t just 14 billion years old but that that was probably just a drop in the bucket – and that he didn’t believe the “red shift” reflected the expansion of the universe as the distant galaxies tend to have the same shape as the nearer galaxies – 2004GravitationalLens.jpgif I wanted to learn more about this I could Google Alternative Theories to the Red Shift. Peter by this time was repeating over and over “eon, eon, eon,” so I thought that we might home in on him again and we explained that eon or eons was/were a very, very long time. So as I said before, “Long Time No See.” And if I can consider you one of our “readership,” you can see now what you are up against.

Well, I am reading more and enjoying it less – [laughter] – and so on, but I have not complained nor do I plan to make any general complaints. I read and talk to myself about it.  – John F Kennedy, press conference, May 9, 1962

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