Dysfunctional Prevention

I just got a very bogus email purporting to be from the Internal Revenue Service. Ordinarily I just delete such emails; if I were to forward each one I get to the appropriate corporate anti-phishing address, I’d have a full-time job of it (hmmm).
But this seemed to belong to a different category, and I thought it worth alerting the IRS to this effort to impersonate a federal agency. So I went to the IRS fraud page to find the email address to which to forward the message, and — lo and behold — it seems that if you want to report (apparently) fraudulent activity, you have to download and print out Form 3949-A and send it by postal mail to the IRS.
So, I deleted the message.


When we went out to go to Evensong to hear Pippa, the car wouldn’t start. (We borrowed a neighbor’s, and I expect we’ll have the car towed tomorrow.)

Down Day

There are lots of reasons I oughtn’t to say much about looking for work — so I won’t. I have been the addressee of a number of deeply touching letters, emails, and visits, for all of which I’m intensely thankful. I struggle with the up-in-the-air-ness of the job scene, but that may clarify itself in the next week or so. In the meantime, please forgive me if occasionally the clouds obscure the sunshine around here.

Intuitions About Meaning

I’m working on what I want to say about the function of “literal” in interpretive/theological discourse; as part of that think I recalled that most people come to hermeneutics as they do to politics and religion and design, with partially-formed intuitions about what must be and what ought to be. I was wondering how to get at the relation of those under-theorized premises, when it occurred to me that the SongMeanings website provides some helpful illustrations.
If I teach a hermeneutics course again, I may direct students to a song each, with the assignment to examine the kinds of claim that commenters make about what the song “means,” and the sort of evidence they adduce for their claims. It may be easier to recognize some exaggerated errors in this open website than to catch them in play when arguing out a theological issue.

Not One Sheep

I would have a difficult time giving a deep account of why, but I was greatly saddened by the report that Deborah Jeane Palfrey seems to have hanged herself yesterday. I don’t know enough about the charges to take a stance relative to her innocence or culpability on the specific counts of which she had been convicted; I (not surprisingly) take a dim view of commercializing sexuality, though the penal system seems an awkward implement for discouraging those practices. Phil cites sources that suggest she was murdered. That possibility, and the likelihood that the question won’t be resolved, intensify the baleful gloom that envelopes the principals in this very sad story. I pray that all these lost sheep be brought to relief, to peace, to forgiveness and truth, under better circumstances than prevail here below.