Saturday, December 16, 2006

YouTube stuff...

I now have a YouTube channel, with a few videos posted. Pretty boring stuff, for the most part. I'm not very photogenic (filmogenic? cinemagenic?) and my nerves are definitely making me stiff in front of the camera.

Windows Movie Maker is a great, simple little program. Even though my camera doesn't record sound, I was able to record the sound separately and drop the video and audio into WMM with just a few glitches. First, my Dell Pocket PC can't seem to record anything longer than eight minutes; and second, the audio and the video weren't perfectly in sync, so I had to manually cut parts out of the audio track so that the words would fit my lip movements.

As it stands, though, the first two videos (where I don't speak) are my favorites, and I might start a new trend of "speechless" YouTube videos.

At one point I had a clever idea of rubber-banding the camera underneath the bill of my Purdue baseball cap and wearing it to get a first-person PoV. As I wore the camera, I filmed myself writing some thoughts (and complaints about secularistic Internet culture) on the whiteboard. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see the viewfinder of the camera while I was doing this, and the video was all but worthless since my whiteboard messages were about six inches cut off at the bottom.

Religion debates are all over the place on YouTube, and sadly it's pretty much the same fare as one can find anywhere else on the 'Net. It's also almost completely dominated by irreligious people. One thing that bugged me in particular was how often they used phrases like "my personal philosophy...".

There is no such thing as a "personal philosophy." There are perspectives, of course, but until those perspectives come into contact with a broader world of knowledge and wisdom, it doesn't seem right to me to give them the distinction of the name "philosophy." Nietzsche didn't write, "my personal philosophy is that God is dead." Plato didn't write, "My personal philosophy is that the state should be governed by philosopher kings."

Listen my fellow YouTube amoebas. If you have the cojones to plaster your faces on hundreds of screens all over the world, don't waste our time with "philosophies" that you think are only valid or meaningful for yourself. At least have the courage to suggest that whatever opinion you're deigning worthy of our ears is something more, i.e., a part of the truth, something with bearing on our beliefs. Because then, then, you open yourself up for critique and argument, and you can't hide behind the "I'm OK, you're OK" mantra of the secularist credo.


Matt of CG said...

Not unlike the days of Jesus Christ when the rest of the holy men were amazed at his use of the word "I" instead of prefacing his sayings with "as it is written" every single time.

Jeff said...

Not quite the same. I believe that the note on Christ's preaching "with authority" was not meant as an exhortation toward following his example. Christ alone can preach as one who is the author of the Holy Writ can preach. To say that he did not preach as the scribes do is not a slam against the scribes. We must all settle for being scribes, in the sense that we live and preach fueled by borrowed glory.

I'm criticizing the disingenuous tendency of secularist bloggers to "philosophize" and then shield their opinions from honest dialogue by an appeal to the "personal" nature of their beliefs.

Matt of CG said...

This is true Jeff, so when are you coming to St. Anthony's again so I can get your ass to Canada? (Like the movie "Good Will Hunting" you damn' genius.)

Matt of CG said...

If you have any reservations as to why I would help you, think about St. Lukes idea of what the church should be. Look at that crucifix on your wall and then ask yourself why I would do this. Think of the petitions for the virtues at the beginning of the Holy Rosary and then ask yourself why I want to help you. The same reason that motivated Peter and Paul to trek across the face of the earth is the same reason you must go to Canada. For love, my greater brother. For love.

(Let pride and the excuses it would facilitate fall by the wayside just this once, so that the virtue of charity may be allowed to endure in these trying times. I would expect that you take these things to heart and that you would delete this response for the sake of the Gospel. The choice is yours Jeff, I leave it to you.)

Jeff said...

Matt, pardon my saying so, but I think you misunderstood the intent and the point of my video.

Ashley, the girl behind the "Justagurl23" videos, is a very easily lovable person. My heart goes out to her because of her suffering, and I wanted to give her a token of friendship. Several others have done the same.

That doesn't change the fact that I am most certainly NOT called to start a serious relationship with her, even if I were called to marriage elsewhere. What she needs is serious, long term, mental health treatment; not romance. And anyway, stalking her from across the continent is scarcely good courtship practice. :)

You're a friendly guy, Matt, but I think you need to be more thoughtful about the content of your comments. This is public, after all. My e-mail is

Matt of CG said...

Of course there is no need to doubt the validity of your inclination to "invite her to a walk in the park." Because you know as well as I do, God will not set love against love. He's not one to divide himself. Had this inclination been a false one, the intent would not have been for love, because the enemy has hardened his heart against it. The oject is a woman; a living reflection of the Virgin Mary. And the circumstance is nothing more than a couple thousand miles. If you assign anything more to the circumstance it would be your own undoing. But, I've no doubt in my mind as to your ability to discern what is of the greatest value.

(Might as well delete this one too. Get a hold of Fr. Kevin.)

Jeff said...

Naw, I'm not going to delete your comments. There's nothing offensive in them, and this conversation interests me. Just try to take it easy. There's nothing urgent about any of this. No need for such strident insistence.

It seems to me that you are being hasty in assigning theological significance to impulses. Now, I'm hardly one to deny God's ability to work through impulses. But there must, of course, also be a discernment of spirits.

I probably indulged in some impropriety as a seminarian in pseudo-inviting an attractive young lady to a walk in the park. Though I would like to think I would do the same for a male with whom I similarly identified with (though the invitation might be to a bar instead of a park in that case).

Truth is, I have an irreformable hero complex combined with a general lack of human contact, which draws me into the world of these people who open themselves up on YouTube. Stir those facts in the mix with the other fact that I'm still a hot-blooded young male, and you have a recipe for absolute disaster if I were to follow impulses as if they were unambiguous signs from God.

I *am* in a period of serious discernment right now. That means that all of the vocations are laid out before me, and I am trusting that God will bring me naturally to the right one. But I doubt very much that he will lead me down a path that all of my reason screams would be begging for catastrophe. Kierkegaard be damned. (If he isn't, then my apologies to Soren).

It's precisely because 'Justagurl23's psychological illness does break my heart that I would be cruel and selfish to take advantage of her needs even if she lived next door to me. Codependence is not love; it is a mockery of love.

I think that my first couple of videos show that I have a swooning romantic side. But if I'm going to be a fool for God, I'm going to do so on a path which is at least not foolish and cruel *down to its very roots*.