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 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Nov 09, 2001

In one hour and twenty minutes, I'll have officially changed my major.

Goodbye, Theatre Studies. Hello, Religious Studies and Philosophy. (with a Minor in Rhetoric.)


More diaries by Electric Angst
Feeling So Real
Well, let's see what happens...
Break My Body, Hold My Bones.
I'm sick. Fuck Off.
I Guess I'm Just a Sick, Sick Bastard.
Smile Down on Me
Bloody Your Hands on a Cactus Tree...
Oh my Golly!
I Want A Girl With A Mind Like A Diamond
Mister Macho Man, Is It True?
Lust for Life
No L-O-I-T-E-R-I-N-G Allowed
Ever Fallen in Love With Somone You Shouldn't Have Fallen in Love With?
There She Goes...
You're Older Than You've Ever Been. And now You're Even Older.
34 Cent Stamps.
Wish You Were Here
That girl thinks she's the queen of the neighborhood.
Oh, by the way...
You Know...
-Giving My Goodbye
I'm Gonna Play All Night.
Well I'm Just a Modern Guy...
Run Away.
Something in the Way
The Fact That I Adore You is Just One of My Truths.
It's Over.
Ho boy I'm Fat!
The funny thing is, trhurler lurks and reads this...
The Plan...
Why do I feel good today?
Shit I'm Horny!
Damn damn damn.
Good Day
Much and more...
Let the Bible Belt Come and Save My Soul.
A Query.
I know why Europeans hate Americans...
Ok How I Wish...
Rich Man
Thank Goodness.
Yule is Coming!
Unfettered Boobies
Here We Go...
Dinner Tonight.
You know...
Tons of cool classes. Lots to be learned. Hell, perhaps after this, I can get my Masters in Divinity and become one of the first major scholars in the Pagan community.


I don't believe it. (none / 0) (#1)
by dmg on Fri Nov 9th, 2001 at 10:14:13 AM PST
Can you get qualified in rhetoric ?

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

robert penn warren (none / 0) (#2)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Nov 9th, 2001 at 10:41:31 AM PST
"The Art of Rhetoric". Great book.

How do you expect people to bend to your will if you cannot persuade them with words? Not everyone has the luxury of becoming appointed President of The Great Satan by a juridical coup d'etat and using bombs instead of speech, you know.

I am afraid you fell into my trap. (none / 0) (#3)
by dmg on Fri Nov 9th, 2001 at 10:53:23 AM PST
When I asked if you could get qualified in rhetoric, it was a "rhetorical question". Geddit ?

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

that would depend (none / 0) (#4)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Nov 9th, 2001 at 11:09:31 AM PST
it's a rhetorical question if it has an obvious answer that isnt open to debate. Since you *can* get qualified in rhetoric, what would be the point of asking whether such a thing were possible? (That was a rhetorical question.)

No you miss the point. (5.00 / 2) (#5)
by dmg on Fri Nov 9th, 2001 at 11:32:51 AM PST
It was a rhetorical question in the sense that it was a question about rhetoric.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Have you considered (none / 0) (#6)
by zikzak on Fri Nov 9th, 2001 at 12:22:49 PM PST
getting a degree in something that might actually get you a job? I know how unpopular that concept is to many people on campus, but once you leave there (they do throw you out after awhile) you might be surprised to learn that a decent income is very important for maintaining any quality of life, especially in Austin.

There's already too many graduate students and PhD's working shit jobs around here, and I'm getting a bit tired of them throwing attitude at me every time I buy a cup of coffe. It's not my fault they wasted 6+ years of their lives studying a pointless field and now they have to beg for tips just to pay rent.

Jobs... (none / 0) (#8)
by Electric Angst on Fri Nov 9th, 2001 at 12:56:59 PM PST
The way I see it, I already have two jobs right now. (And one of them's got a fine salary attached, thank-you-very-much.) I could either work my way up the ladder here, doing tech work that will leave me unsatisfied, eventually gaining a degree in it, or I could gain some noteriety as the first man with "a Ph.D. in Paganism", becoming a religious scholar for the aid of both the Pagan communities image and its soul.

In the dark times, will there still be singing?
Yes, there will be singing. There will be singing about the dark times. -- Bertolt Brecht

Huh? (5.00 / 2) (#10)
by John Milton on Fri Nov 9th, 2001 at 08:42:50 PM PST
a Ph.D. in Paganism

Isn't that like majoring in Backstreet Boys? Why dedicate eight years of your life to a religious movement that'll probably be yesterday's fashion in a few years.

-John Milton

You May Want to Start Practicing (none / 0) (#7)
by yellownumber5 on Fri Nov 9th, 2001 at 12:24:39 PM PST
Here are a few things you may need to know in the future:
"Do you want fries with that?"
"Ranch, french, italian and caesar."

A joke, a joke. Good luck!

School is a terrible (5.00 / 1) (#9)
by Mendax Veritas on Fri Nov 9th, 2001 at 02:02:18 PM PST
place to study those subjects.

Depends on why you're studying it (none / 0) (#17)
by westgeof on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 11:34:51 AM PST
I actually started out as a religion major, and it was basically a waste of two years of my life. I learned enough about various religions to turn me off of all of them, pretty much, quite the opposite of what I had intended.

About the only thing I got out of it is a better understanding of how religion really works.

And I learned that Santa Claus is just a myth. Worst day of my life.

As a child I wanted to know everything. Now I miss my ignorance.

The essential problem (none / 0) (#18)
by Mendax Veritas on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 01:08:03 PM PST
is that in studying religion in school, you're studying only the mass-market religions that have attracted academic notice; furthermore, you study them from the point of view of the academics who define the curriculum. This basically guarantees that you will study nothing of value; any merit there may be in the mass-market religions (mostly the hints about the esoteric side that get into the mass-market theology in a garbled form) get trampled underfoot by the lecturers and the textbooks.

Actually (none / 0) (#19)
by westgeof on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 01:21:47 PM PST
That's only true if you take one of the dumbed-down overview of religion classes, which are offered as cultural electives. (Something about getting a well-rounded education...)

If you actually majoring in it though, you really will go into a bit more. I got out before getting to the more obscure ones, but I had plenty of classes on the 'major' religions. I was actually looking forward to it, I'd been looking for something to believe in for awhile, and had hoped I could find something there. All I found, though, was bitternes, and so changed to a more marketable major...

As a child I wanted to know everything. Now I miss my ignorance.

Re; Actually (none / 0) (#20)
by Mendax Veritas on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 01:53:17 PM PST
If you actually majoring in it though, you really will go into a bit more.
Still from the point of view of academics who over-intellectualize everything and don't really know what they're talking about, though, so it's still worthless.
All I found, though, was bitterness...
History is not a particularly cheery subject. The history of mass-market religions, if anything, is below average in that regard, since there are always homicidal maniacs in positions of power abusing their religions to justify their actions. It makes little difference whether these lunatics are called "popes", "mullahs", "bodhisattvas", or something else, because religion, for them, is really just a way of manipulating their followers and glorifying their own egos. (These people always seem to consider themselves entitled to speak on behalf of God, mainly because, on some level, they think they are God. That they are, in a manner beyond their understanding, essentially correct in this belief, is beside the point.)

Now, from my perspective, studying religion has next to nothing to do with all this. If you're looking for religious truth, the actions of a bunch of mad killers are obviously irrelevant; a hate-spewing ayatollah has as little to do with the truth of Islam as a serial killer who thinks he's Jesus Christ has to do with Christianity. So while these people may be interesting with regard to secular history, or as an example of what you get when someone perverts religion in the service of their own insanity, you aren't really going to find, as you put it, "something to believe in" by studying them.

This does not mean, however, that there is nothing but bitterness in religion, or nothing of value. But to find something of real value, you have to look very carefully, not in the mainstream of thought (always a source of deception), and be very wary of the many blind alleys and tempting falsehoods that you will encounter. It is not a job for the lazy.

Philosophy is a legitimate major, (none / 0) (#11)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Nov 10th, 2001 at 09:36:57 PM PST
albeit a useless one for most real world experiences. Religious studies, however, is a common last refuge of people blessed with skills other than the intellectual (such as college athletes.) Being a pagan, you must be planning to acquire a harem of wealthy bohemian neohippie ladies to fund your frivolity later in life.

Actually... (none / 0) (#12)
by trhurler on Sun Nov 11th, 2001 at 02:14:59 PM PST
Something I've found, while Philosophy and Religious Studies are about equally useless in the career world, when you tell people you're a Religious Studies major, they tend to be a lot less likely to talk shit. (Particularly if they don't know my religion. For all they know, I might be preparing to become a priest...)
-- It's not my fault you're a moron.

Oops... (none / 0) (#13)
by Electric Angst on Sun Nov 11th, 2001 at 02:16:30 PM PST
Wrong account.

In the dark times, will there still be singing?
Yes, there will be singing. There will be singing about the dark times. -- Bertolt Brecht

Great. (none / 0) (#14)
by elenchos on Sun Nov 11th, 2001 at 08:29:36 PM PST
You're going to be one of those priests who is constantly screwing up the sacrifice: "Oops... Wrong god. Shit."

I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill

That's probably (none / 0) (#15)
by Mendax Veritas on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 10:17:56 AM PST
just because they figure Religious Studies people are such fucking pansies they have to be handled carefully or else they'll start weeping and run away.

a sad state of affairs. (none / 0) (#16)
by nathan on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 10:30:42 AM PST
It's a pity a BA is such a reviled degree today. Ideally, a BA, with whatever major, ought to have prepared you to think critically, learn for the rest of your life, write effectively, and especially to develop a deep understanding of your culture.

Oh, hell, I meant a high-school diploma. Well, whatever. Once the diploma became a meaningless strip of hide, the BA was next. How awful that some college graduates now take pride in having learned technical skills exclusively. It's even more offensive when they think they're thus entitled to bloviate on humanities subjects.

Not that the humanities people are standing up for their responsibilities either. What a nauseating mess.

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.


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