O Holy Night

19 12 2010

I’m off for holiday travels and don’t know how regularly I’ll be updating this blog in the next few weeks, so I thought I’d leave you all with this song, performed by a very dear friend, Lee Bob Watson:

In the words of Lee:
“Oh Holy Night” has been my favorite Christmas song for quite some time. This version was recorded late in the night of Dec 20 2009, the sounds of the street are from the alley below my window in North Beach. For me, the sounds of strife amplify the longing expressed in songs such as this one. Regardless of one’s religion, we all hope for deliverance sometimes.

This song has always been one of my favorites, too, I think because of the sense of melancholy that is woven through the beauty of the song.  That’s my experience of this holiday – beauty with a dash of melancholy.

The images in my head of Christmas involve people sitting nice and cozy by the fireplace, sipping hot chocolate and hot buttered rums.  I love the fact that at this time of year, in the parts of the world that celebrate this holiday, people who might never talk to each other at any other time will stop to say “Merry Christmas” to the people sitting near them on the train or in line at the grocery store.  It is a time that brings family together and makes people think about giving rather than getting.

But I can never shake the melancholy.  I can never stop thinking about the fact that for many people around the world, Christmas is just another day of struggle.  And I don’t want to shake the melancholy.  I never want to forget that many people don’t have the luxury that I have of stepping out of life for a week or two and enjoying good meals and presents around the tree.

I don’t know if it helps at all, but part of what makes Christmas a “Holy Night” for me is dedicating some of my thoughts to remembering that not everybody is as lucky as me, and wishing for Peace on Earth for everyone in this season.

Merry Christmas

Mark D. Jordahl – Kampala


Changing Domains – Please be Patient!

9 12 2010

Over the next few days, I will be migrating this blog to a different domain to increase functionality and hopefully to make it easier for search engines to find it.  I have never done this before, so please bear with me!

I think that the old address will automatically redirect you to the new address, and I hope that any RSS feeds or e-mail alerts will also transfer to the new address.

Just in case, though, by the middle of next week, especially if you haven’t gotten a new welcome message from me, head on over to http://wildugandablog.com and find me.  You should be able to sign up there directly on the new site and avoid any redirect issues.

Thanks, and I hope you find that this change enhances your experience with Wild Thoughts from Uganda!


Defense Against Bad Marriage Act

1 11 2010

Image from theurbanpolitico.com

This post is for all of my friends and family in the United States, as they prepare to head to the polls for the mid-term elections.  I am hoping somebody will submit this proposed bill and that it will be put into force soon:

Justification for the Defense Against Bad Marriage Act:

I am sick and tired of having my marriage devalued by all of those people who enter into bad relationships yet apply the same term “marriage” to their unholy unions.  There are FAR too many bad marriages out there and, frankly, I no longer want my relationship with my wife to be placed in the same “marriage” category as those unnatural bonds that clearly go against the will of God.  Hence, the introduction of the DABMA (pronounced “dab-ma”).

This act is based on a number of beliefs:

1.  The State is absolutely the best body to determine who should and should not be in love.  After too many years of bleeding-heart liberals trying to take this power from the state and take it into their own hands, we find ourselves beset by a rampant scourge of people marrying whoever they want, often against the better judgment of the State.

2.  We all know who these couples are.  Long before they take their nuptial stroll down the aisle, we shake our heads and say “It’ll never last.  What do they see in each other?”  And yet, after the ceremony, they are allowed to say they are “married,” just like those of us who were more responsible in our choice of a mate.  It’s time for this to stop, but until the introduction of this bill there has been no legal framework to save these people from themselves and to save ourselves from the mockery they make of our superior relationships.

3.  Bad marriage is an offense against God and society.  If God had meant us to be so unhappy, He would have given us Free Will.  Clearly God never intended us to make our own decision about who we would marry without a layer of checks-and-balances.  It is necessary for an impartial panel to review our decision of whom we will live with, and correct for our innate lack of judgment.

4.  Even though they know their marriage will suck, these people enter into it just to gain the tax and health insurance benefits that come with matrimony, and they laugh at the rest of us all the way to the bank.  They are willfully abusing the system that we all support with our taxes and this should not be allowed to continue.

Actions that will be taken when this bill passes:

1.  The decision of who can be in love will be placed back in the hands of the State where it belongs.  Any two people wishing to be married will have to present themselves before a Marriage Panel.  This Panel will observe the couple’s interactions and after one hour will make a decision on whether those people will be allowed to get engaged.

2.  Citizens will be expected to report bad marriages to the Marriage Police.  Officers of that unit will then be dispatched to the home of the bad couple, at which point the miscreants will be separated and relocated in two different parts of the country.  The person who reported the couple will receive a reward of $5.  Bad marriages can be reported in the comments section of this post.

3.  People will maintain the legal right to stay in bad long-term, monogamous relationships, but under no circumstances will they be allowed to call that relationship marriage, nor will they receive the financial or legal benefits enjoyed by good couples.

4.  Couples who choose to remain in a bad relationship will not be allowed to biologically produce or legally adopt children, because we all know what happens to kids who are raised under such conditions.  Any individuals found to be violating this statute will be summarily sterilized to prevent future lapses.

5.  If a bad couple travels to a country that recognizes and allows bad marriages in order to undergo a marriage ceremony, that bond will be considered null and void upon returning across U.S. borders.  Any certificates, photos and/or memorabilia will be confiscated at Customs.

I would appreciate the help of anyone who has a close relationship to a senator or representative who could help fast-track this bill.

Mark D. Jordahl – Kampala

You Can’t Cram for Christmas

7 10 2010
Santa Claus

Image of Santa and his List

I realize that this might seem like the wrong season for this post (and, frankly, a bit off-topic for this blog).  But, really, it shouldn’t seem that way.  For those of us in the United States, we still have two major holidays between now and Christmas – Halloween in October, and Thanksgiving in November, not to mention Hannukah (I’m step-Jewish by marriage) and Kwanza somewhere in there.  No matter how early the retailers try to convince us to start our Christmas shopping, it somehow feels like we don’t really need to get prepared until after Thanksgiving.

But Santa’s no chump.  He’s not easily suckered.  This morning my son woke up singing a Christmas carol – you know, the one about him knowing when you are sleeping, awake, being good, being bad, when you are picking your nose and when you told your boss you were sick so you could go fishing.

And then we got talking about THE LIST.  And then we got talking about when, exactly, he starts working on that list.

And it came to me.  Sh*#!!!  I have to start being good now!  If Santa knows all these things about us, then presumably he doesn’t wait until after Thanksgiving to start his surveillance.

So, let this be a gentle reminder to you – it’s never too early to start being good.

Mark D. Jordahl – Kampala