Saturday, September 9, 2017

Random Beliefs

By default I believed in God—the Christian version—for the first decade and a bit of my life. It was only my going to a Christian school which got me questioning the whole thing, and in turn leaving it behind.

When my wife and I travelled to Europe in 1995-96, one of the main recurring themes in our bus tour was “look at this frickin’ awesome church, maaan…” By that time I’d been an atheist for over a decade, but you don’t need belief in God to be impressed by His houses. There is some absolutely wonderful architecture out there which pretty much only exists because of Christianity.

What that tour awoke in me, though, was a feeling that I needed something to believe in. I knew religion wasn’t my thing. Someone suggested I should believe in myself…damn hippie. I slapped him with a flower.

I stiiiiiiiill haven’t foooooooound what I’m looking foooooooor, though. And I’m good with that. So in lieu of having anything important or weighty to believe in, I instead present the following lightweight rubbish.

Random beliefs of the Willsin…

1.     The weirdest part of 80s teen movies was not the fashions. It was not the complete blissful naivety of the protagonists' parents, who were fine to leave their teen home alone for a night, or even a week.
The weirdest part of 80s teen movies was the proliferation of record company executives attending high school parties, arbitrarily handing out contract offers.

2.     In the modern world, the surest way to stand out from the crowd is to assert that you don’t.

3.     Of all the drivers on the road at any one time, none is more attentive, more alert, or more in touch with what’s happening on the road…than the one who’s second in line at the red light.

4.     There is very little in the world of publishing, movie-making or music which is truly worth only one star. Accordingly, though both words start with the same three letters, “review” and “revenge” are not the same thing.

5.     There is little in the world which can make you look as stupid as a wayward drinking straw.

6.     The movie “Ghost” has a fundamental flaw, in that ghosts can pass through all solid objects…except floors.


  1. Not only architecture, but all European arts were basically Christian for centuries. Actually Catholic. So much of it carried religious themes because except for a few landowner collections, the church was the only patron who could afford art. The themes sold to institutions and supporters of those institutions. After all, who wouldn't want a bleeding saint on the wall if it would get them into heaven.

  2. I can appreciate beautiful art and architecture, but what really gets to me is the music written on religious themes and for religious inspiration. Long ago I used to sing in a small-town church choir (a progressive church for its times, but with traditional tastes in music) and not quite that long ago, although it seems that way, in the Hampshire Choral Society in western MA. More recently, at my mother's funeral in that same church, the pastor arranged for a soloist to sing what I told him had been my mother's favorite music, and when she sang I came the closest to breaking down that I did in the whole service. It was "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth" from Handel's Messiah. I know that my mother loved it for the music, not the religious content--she wasn't much into religious ideology--and it was the music that moved me (just barely) to tears.

  3. This cracked me up, Willsin!

    However, I suspect (based on your past posts) that there are more serious things you believe in. For instance, in your long-term relationship with your partner (I remember a story about "love at first sight"). In your music and your art. In the importance of family, over almost everything else.

    You might even believe in the Grip!


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