The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

does Christ have a fake ID?

December26

I started this post abut a week ago, but kept losing both my enthusiasm and focus.

that was until I ran towards a thought, as opposed to from one.

Emma Jo still exhibits too much wonder and joy this time of year, and I worked hard to savor every moment of that. then I saw an article reminding us, collectively, that there is no validated evidence that Jesus Christ was, in truth, born on December 25th. that started to really bug me. however, Saturday I had a very good run at North Park. I started out a bit sore and thinking I might want to dial it back a bit. but, by the second circuit I was feeling pretty light-footed and decided to put some steam into play. the “zone” realized itself and my mind wandered with my good form. that’s when I was (thunder) struck by the notion that I believed Christ rose from the dead.

just like that.

no justification. no debate. not even a “why not”, to allow for some wiggle-room.

there was this sense that I could not prove it did not happen. and, I’d been playing the Heterodox card so long I had forgotten the circular argument that, ultimately, believing in a thing (any thing) is potentially much like believing in oneself. there are times when we prevail against great odds. and, I’m certain faith has it’s role in that.

so, I’ve elected to keep some of the early thinking alive in this post. however, now you know, as do I.

meanwhile, I fully understand that this post is going to generate a great deal of consternation. I expect the shaking of fists, and possibly teeth gnashing. lofty-minded opinions may be hurled my way.

so… was Jesus really born on December 25th?

does it matter?

original thinking that geared this controversial topic must needs be, and should be attributed to Angie Mosteller, and probably God, for that matter.

but, we must also submit ourselves, collectively to the aforementioned Heterodox.

I’m confident that Jesus walked the earth and died on a cross. I don’t know that He rose from the dead (as we think we understand death) to seal the deal around a covenant between Himself, God and the rest of us. however, I’m genuinely satisfied that this is the case though because there is a clear advantage there for all of us. and, we’ll make that assumption going forward with this post so we don’t get bogged-down with tangental discourse.

you may be pausing, right about now and taking your own wonder at the veritable lack of drama, here. but, in truth, it’s more calm, for me – much like the way after I feel after a good run.

make a note that I also think I know that Jesus was a Rabbi leading up to his death. although I can’t point to the relevant scripture, His being a Rabbi, from the line of David (through Mary, and possibly Joseph as well) is mentioned throughout the New Testament (Books of Matthew and John 1:14, for example) /1.

…there’s some random thinking, for you. I love and value random, heart-felt, unrestricted, irreverent, untamed, Kobayashi Maru-drenched, thought.

by the way…

“Most people who profess a deep love of the Bible have never actually read the book,” Rabbi Rami Shapiro told CNN during a recent interview. “They have memorized parts of texts that they can string together to prove the biblical basis for whatever it is they believe in, but they ignore the vast majority of the text.”

these baring points are relevant, here, because the point of this post is to pin-down points of logic hopefully based in fact but impacted by sequential logistics that include science in the form of astrology, technology (the press), and matters of convenience, ironically originating from the catholic Church.

I grew up delighted with the calendar event of Christmas day and the date of December 25th. now I relish Emma Jo’s own delight. but, there are rumblings a-plenty that date was chosen in an effort to “Christianize” a pagan holiday. Tim Barker recently shared with me an article on just that topic. I contemplated adding my own research and perspective. but, I love interest in that in the face of calm perspective. however, it’s (the, and other, related articles) subsequently been a terrific source of lively debate between myself and a few buddies, and an interesting teaching opportunity for my own kids (although we need to tread lightly around the Santa Claus element for the time being).

in any event, like everything else in our lives, the Heterodox inevitably rears it’s head for me and creates the “truth-of-the day” based on current information. but, I’m still fascinated by how the date of December 25th was potentially selected.

though the gospels of Matthew and Luke both give an account of Christ’s birth, neither one provides a date for this great event. Though it may sound strange to our modern minds, it is likely that early Christians did not place any particular value on birthdays.

it was not until the third century that various pockets of Christians began to show interest in the date of Christ’s birth, and it would take another century for the Church to begin celebrating it with some uniformity. the first clear record of Christ’s birth on December 25 was not until 336 AD, but it is possible that the church had accepted the date long before and that it was already common knowledge. regardless, even if the dating of Christ’s birth was owed in part to the pagan holiday, “The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun,” the influence was probably only secondary. it appears that the primary goal of the Church was to determine an appropriate date, one that Christians expected to be rich in symbolism. if this date, December 25, also happened to give the Church a sacred feast with which to counter pagan celebrations, then it was arguably the best possible choice for the day on which to honor Christ’s birth.

by the third century, it appears that some Christians had started celebrating Christ’s birth, as well as his death, on March 25th.

go look it up. do it!

so, why were Christians celebrating Christ’s birth and death on the same day? well… there’s an ancient Jewish tradition of “integral age” or “whole year theory” that evidently influenced this practice. it is a belief that the life of a Jewish prophet began and ended on the same day. most good Rabbi’s know this. a third century Christian, Sextus Julius Africanus (note: most of the valid research evidently occurred in the third century), added an interesting component to this theory. he argued that Christ’s life began not at birth, but at conception (thus the Catholic views around birth contro?). his case proves to be of particular relevance, because if Christ was conceived on March 25th, he would have been born roughly nine months later on December 25th, the date on which our current discussion is focused, eh.

but look… you can Google, Bing, or, what-ever “facts around Christ’s birth”, and get all manner of data and information. but, it really does not matter. dates don’t matter. calendars have changed and evolved. man has clearly manipulated fact and information. however, God gave us discernment. and, mine is edged with faith, now. I’ve tried to intellectualize all of it. all of it, mind you. but, that does not work for me, today. so, that’s the sublime beauty of the Heterodox – I’ve realized my truth of the day, and will remain satisfied that darkness can try and prove otherwise. that’s how I nimbly side-step the hypocrisy issue.

so, perhaps more simply stated, I believe in Jesus. in part, because I believe in myself. I’m of the opinion that God relishes my own thinking and He designed me for such purposes. thank God.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

1/ Men better than myself, teachers, tell me that Rabbi’s start memorizing scripture (i.e. the Torah – which is largely the first five books of the Old Testament) as soon as they are able to read along with any other good (subjective) Jew. then at the age of twelve they either took up the family trade or become a Rabbi (this entailed memorizing the rest of the Old Testament). Point-of-reference: There is the story where Mary and Joseph left Jesus in town and upon their return came back they found him studying scripture with the “other” Rabbis.  Also, I believe that when he is much older He goes to Peter, James, and John (who are in the family trade of fishing) and asks them to drop their nets and follow Him. I’m advised that they would not have done so unless he had authority (being anointed by God, nonetheless). If they followed Him they could potentially become a Rabbi themselves, and move-up in social class.

brian cork, blogs, sex, Life, and stuff

September18

the title of this particular post is misleading.

I won’t be discussing sex. in fact, Joanne (my wife) just looked over my shoulder and was a bit alarmed by the reference to “sex”. in fact, it’s another experiment around Search Engine Optimization (SEO) [fascinating, gripping stuff]. by simply adding words like “sex” (even the word: “butt”), or my name (seriously) to a subject line and then in the opening paragraphs of a blog post can increase viewership dramatically.

so… you are had, in a manner of speaking.

meanwhile, as I approach my more salient point, here, I’ll reveal that I was recently asked how and why my blog has become so widely read. they could hardly conceal their irritation.

the timing for this missive is likely good because I recently ruffled feathers around another recent post: the distortion field of social media and marketing and it’s impact on networking. I was also interviewed by Malcolm Teasdale for his Malcolm Out Loud show not long ago – and more recently by the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine, the latter with something to do about being a “king-maker”. that might not make much sense either. however, on that show, those media points, as with this blog, questions are asked; statements made. a platform for fist-shaking is thusly created. and more often than not, solutions gleefully championed.

it’s not that I’m an award winning blogger. I’m simply followed by a lot of people that are apparently interested in me, what I do, say, and possibly think.

I’ll amicably submit that it’s possible they just like the videos and music I actualize, periodically. I also use words in interesting ways to help me draw correlations in-and-amongst world events. everything, everything, I tell you, is connected. and, I strive to prove it diligently on this blog – and, almost daily.

nonetheless, with that question, I’ll take the firm position that I’m stumped. usually, I am not without an answer. most of the time, any answer is better than no answer at all. one must simply be able to defend a point. NOTE: there is nothing stupider sounding (less so, transparent) than someone saying, “I don’t know.” also, it suggests you have no ability to think on your feet. I can do that. I’m actually quite good at it.

So, how did I end up being a widely-read blogger?

we did a bit of research. in fact, we did more than that… we did a LOT of research. see.. that’s a significant element to who and what I am. I try to know and relate to a great many things. I think about what is happening in the world, and take it oh so seriously. my Nana said I was a, “deep thinker”. maybe that’s the case. but, more likely I care deeply (endlessly). my passion and commitment to people around me (in an ever-growing circle) is fueled by reserves that could possibly keep the earth spinning on it’s very axis.

here are a few tips:

I like to write.

and, it does not hurt that the title of my blog is a witty twist around my surname. I’ve had heady victories in my day, with more to follow, I’m certain. but. I’ve also had my ass severely kicked. I suspect my daughters take the former for granted. my friends and business partners certainly do, by example. but, it’s the manner in which I work hard to manage the scary challenges is how I want my daughters to understand me. character is often best when tested, eh.

that said, if you decide to write a blog about how toilet paper gets made, you might not get an award or get read very often.

unfortunately, just because you can write doesn’t mean you should. Pretty much everyone can write. Except for the illiterate, of course. think about that.

just so we are clear, I think Mary Guthrie should fire up a blog and talk about her family and co-workers. I don’t book mark much of anything. but, I would subscribe to her stories about her Irish-influenced family.

the point is, it helps if you can write well. if you can’t, take a night class once a week at the local junior college. pick up a copy of Finnegans Wake and grind your way through it. I’d prefer you to read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, mind you. more on that later, especially with a movie on it’s way.

that said, I’m not claiming to write well. I simply write interesting.

In blogging, all you have is words, and if your words can’t. don’t or won’t resonate, your blog suffocates. and, if your blog is stagnate, nobody will read your thoughts because nobody likes reading a blog that sucks.

can you imagine foreigners (or extra terrestrials) that might read writing such as my own and become confused by the utilization of the English language? just ponder the word, “sucks” and it’s multiple uses.

I make blogging sound easier said than done, right? well, hell, it’s part of my life’s mission to make easy seems appear difficult, and herculean things seems simple. that’s my nature. I don’t look for “easy buttons”. I just know where they are. I’m no leperchaun. but, people read my blog.

but here is the truth. If you just write random stuff and post it to your blog, your friends will read it, and your wife (okay… not mine, so much), or husband, or whatever will read it, and nobody else will. then you’ll have, like, one hundred readers a month (according to WordPress that’s about average), and you’ll be like, Why, God, did I start a blog? I hate blogging! Blogging sucks. then you’ll stop blogging because your blog only confirms your deepest fear about yourself, about life, about humanity:

nobody cares what you have to say, or do.

essentially, you have to express an intelligent opinion (facts help) in an interesting way about stuff people care about. maybe that’s Wikileaks. perhaps urban farming. but, you have to write about what you genuinely care about, not some drivel that you think other people will care about.

blogging reality: whatever you think potential readers will or should care about, they won’t. and, whatever you think they won’t care about, they likely will. the latter part of that thinking is possibly the key, here. we, that collective (the what?) we, don’t understand how important everyone, everywhere, really is. so, we don’t value ourselves enough to work daily to be change agents or interesting. well… I do. I take enormous (calculated) risks each and every day.

more on that last bit, later.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork 

violations of a kind

November12

so…

I learned another lesson recently (okay… yesterday, in fact) about things that appear to be important; or, perhaps what we think might be important.

…perspective, if you will.

such a simple thing, really.

I’ve worked for about two weeks, rather strenuously, to research information around an obnoxiously epic post (just scroll down, it preceeds this hardly erudite offering). there are a good number of people that have been waiting for it to see electronic life. this morning I arrived to the offices, fed the fish, and fired-up my computer to start checking out comments. although I don’t approve most; while allowing a few, I enjoy the repartee they offer. in any event, there was an ugly banner (in red, no less) splayed across the top of my control panel. the gist of the message was that I had apparently violated some uncertain policy and my blog was banished. just like that. several years of effort. a lot of caring. stories about Haley Anne and Emma Jo, agonizing cultural commentary – just gone. and, to make it worse, I was deemed bad, possibly evil by the WordPress powers-that-be.

amazingly enough, perhaps only to myself, I found that I was unconcerned. I did some pull-ups and contemplated investigating the new Windows phone (problem is only AT&T currently offers that – so, forget it [see aforementioned epic post]). I decided karma might be a bicth, but God had decided He needed my focus, somehow, elsewhere.

then Anthony, from WordPress itself, sent me an email:

“Hi,

A mistake was made in the system which we have corrected. You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s a mystery. The blog is back just as you left it.

We are really sorry for that happening and the inconvenience it caused you.

Anthony

WordPress.com”

[…]

I failed to hesitate in my response:

“We are useless without some form of forgiveness.

Brian”

[…]

I actually meant it.

I’m a socially awkward person, and this blog helps me. I almost lost it. but, I was okay. I am somehow still connected to all of you. and, I’m a better man for it.

and, I’m grateful for so much in my life. especially for the events surrounding, and relative to last night. only God knows.

meanwhile, my brother Greg recently reminded me there exists a certain poem. I may go into more detail about this later, but have you ever read the The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock?  It’s a classic and wildly complicated poem – a meditation on aging and the aching disappointment of being human (especially male and human) – by T. S. Eliot, arguably the greatest literary observer of the first half of the (or maybe of the whole) 20th Century.

go read it. do it!  Will the mermaids sing to you?

peace be to my brothers and sister.

brian patrick cork

androids doing it the Apple way

August4

Here’s another example of how Apple eats everyone’s lunch, while making them think they like it…

One of my Andoird-toting, and still, sophomoric, BEANS called, and rather triumphantly, I’ll add, advised me that research firm Canalys estimates that Android had thirty four percent (34%) of the U.S. smart phone market in the second quarter, compared with thirty two percent (32%) for the BlackBerry – and, a “measly” twenty two percent (22%) for the iPhone.

“dude, people that care and matter are choosing android and numbers prove it. they speak for themselves”.

Fair enough said (and says) I – and, then reminded him, evenly, mind you, that the Apple iPhone is hamstrung by its exclusive relationship with AT&T. And, currently Android and BlackBerry (main stream whores, to be sure) phones are sold by many carriers.

I also, and boldly, predicted that the numbers will likely shift (one could reasonably assert dramatically) once the iPhone is available with other carriers. T-Mobile is imminent, as is Verizon – and, that particular race only represents North America.

NOTE: Ironically, now that the law and the man that are one has ruled that jailbreaking iPhones is fine-and-dandy, you’ll see the iPhone adopted even more aggressively. …just watch.

By the way… Don’t bother even thinking this wasn’t part of Steve Jobs’ plan all along. He made you think jailbreaking a phone was naughty, and thus, fun. You were fighting the man in your own self-defeating defiant way… All the time working like hell to make the iPhone work for you (and better for us Apple shareholders).

Jobs put a phone in your hand you not only didn’t know you could not live with out; he made you improve it, and it’s application, in ways he did not have to pay for with corporate coffers. And, those Android guys are working so hard to make their phones as good as the iPhone. It’s fun to watch. Especially when all that effort helps increase Apple’s share price.

Oh thank God for the delicious irony.

There are so many ways to count, and discount, BEANS. But, it’s the mistake you make twice I’ll try and steer you from. Learning what an open-mind is remains an endless and wildly gratifying part of life’s journey.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

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