26 thoughts on “it takes a train

  1. Very true. You will be hard pressed to find someone who has not made changes in their life based on influence, weather, time or feelings.

    Thanks for the wisdom. ;)

  2. No; people don’t usually change. Some of them get medicated, and plenty of them start (and stop) using fake personalities, but hardly anyone actually, really, truly changes.

  3. On changing one self (re Lanny):

    All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;
    They have their exits and their entrances;
    And one man in his time plays many parts

    * * *

    On adapting (or not) to change (re Hayo):

    On the pedestal these words appear:
    “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

    * * *

    It takes a train … to cry?

    Now the wintertime is coming,
    The windows are filled with frost
    Don’t say I never warned you
    When your train gets lost

  4. Hrmm, not to rain on the parade, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t the response you’d get from Jesus.

    Shit doesn’t just happen in Christianity. That saying implies a very random, disordered universe—whereas God says, “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create evil, I am the LORD, who does all these things” (Isaiah 45:7), and “who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?” (Lamentations 3:37-38).

    Similarly, neither do people change. On the contrary, “can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil” (Jeremiah 13:23). And who is accustomed to do evil? “The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one” (Psalm 14:2-3).

    Maybe you weren’t meaning this post so seriously, but from the responses so far people seem to be treating it as wisdom, so it’s only fair to point out that the biblical wisdom is at odds with yours (:

  5. The scene is the main dining room of a Catskill mountain resort hotel. Two middle aged women are sitting next to each other as dinner is being served.
    One of them turns to the other and says, “My god, the food here is terrible, isn’t it?”
    The other replies, “It sure is. And such small portions, too!”

    Life is like that, isn’t it? It’s full of pain and suffering but dammit, there just isn’t enough of it.

    (Quiz: Woody Allen is a lot funnier than Buddha, methinks. Which movie is this from? I’ve forgotten. C’mon New Yorkers, help me out here…)

  6. Yes, but Jesus and Buddha would both say that “shit happens” because of wants and desires. Buddha’s solution was to try to eliminate all desire. Jesus would say to put them in the proper order.

  7. This is so incredibly not the place to go into it but, @ D Bnonn Tennant, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    @Berserk – Nice selection!

  8. Okay, so I shouldn’t have been so glib there, but the selective quotation is pretty caricature-ish. Perhaps you’re keeping a hyper-strict distinction, but I don’t think it paints an adequate picture. Aaanyway, back to the show.

  9. @DN: what caricature? I simply picked particularly clear examples of the general principles within Christianity so as to best make my point. God’s sovereignty and providence over human actions is a prevalent theme throughout Scripture. I am a Christian myself—you’re welcome to examine my credentials at my “other” site. How would you treat the saying “shit happens” from a Christian perspective?

  10. @DBT: I really don’t want to belabor this point since, as you pointed out, doing so doesn’t correspond to the intention of the lyric. The phrase ‘shit happens’ doesn’t necessarily denote randomness, so I think your passages are not engaging it on its own terms. But it was the contention that people don’t change that got me (regrettably so; apologies for my flippancy). You quote a Psalm and a prophet; besides the interpretation issue, both have corresponding passages calling people to repentance/conversion: by definition a change about the person. So, without even getting into the technicalities of the economy of grace, ‘people change’. From a wide Judeo-Christian perspective, then, the phrase as a whole applies. Loosely, generally, as its structure and content suggest it would.

    And, pardon my begging off, but I think to go further here is to hijack the thread pretty thoroughly with long posts (with likely no end in sight), providing hours of diversion for the interested parties (us) and general annoyance for everyone else. If you’d like to correspond elsewhere (via your blog, email, whatever) I’m sending you my email so that can happen. Cheers.

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