Thursday, March 31, 2005

more on black responsibility

The Black Commentator - Freedom Rider: Self Hatred at Harvard - Issue 132

i read the nytimes magazine article over the weekend and was, understandably, wary. yay that fryer is one of those 'exceptional' black folk who got a phd and is teaching at an ivy. (i've always found that employers always pause when they see that phd candidate thing on my resume.) but why is it that the brown folk who tend to agree with the hegemony get props and those of us who don't, who let our anger at the status quo float upwards, don't?

just asking.

ah, peace at last

The New York Times > International > International Special > Clerics Fighting a Gay Festival for Jerusalem

question: what can cause men from different faith communities to stretch out a hand of fellowship in a usually riven area of the world?
answer: homophobia.

ain't i a woman?

i remember that quote from one of my lit classes in college (was it sojourner or tubman?) and it makes me think of that black values coalition i noted earlier this week. movements like this speak louder to me than weird coalitions about values, as if values just pop out of the ether without larger social contexts.

and feministing's note that this shows, in a very real way, how feminism is still relevant to communities of color (and not just us) is a pointed one. besides blatant sexism like this, there's still the wage gap, the economic gap, the slow and covert erosion of reproductive freedom (the freedom to decide when and how to have kids), and the education gap. much as we'd like to think we've come a long way, it's clearly not far enough.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

the horns of my dilemma

met today with the ceo and head of marketing of a national women's non-profit. they'd welcome me in their organization and it'd be a fantastic way to get my feet wet in the non profit world - programming, marketing/communication, development and administration. they're looking for someone to mentor and i'm looking for experience. the organization hits my sweet spot: women, racism, reproductive and economic empowerment. i'd be able to write. the learning would be incredible. the exposure would be fantastic and the women i met with are fabulous - willing to put me in touch with other women and organizations.

but. the pay is SO low. it can't be ignored and, since it's non profit, can't be avoided. i'd be taking at least a 15k hit. 15k. not forever. there's no way i'd stay in this position for more than 2 years. but jeebus. 15k. that takes me back to grad school. and i remember why i chucked the phd program - i hated being poor. i hated living in a small town eating ramen out of my coffee maker. i was tired of it. there would be no extras: books, music, travel, shopping, cleaning lady or cocktails. (the less said about sex the better.) i'm not materialistic but i have to admit i have a life that's relatively sweet. that sweetness would just about evaporate.

i have a couple of bites from the corporate world this week; i have to give the nonprofit my answer probably by friday. eeks.
The New York Times > Arts > Frank Rich: The God Racket, From DeMille to DeLay

the times moved rich from the tv section to op ed and i rather like the switch. like james wolcott, rich's jaundiced eye on pop culture gives him a healthily skeptical view of what's going on in our political world.

Monday, March 28, 2005

it's about volcanoes, people.

Film about volcanoes falls victim to creationists

you wanna know what's wrong with the left? this is what's wrong with the left (of which i'm proudly a part.) we just let this crap stand.

so. without even a protest on either side, IMAX (and there's one here) says, Uh, people might be upset. they've been so trained by these people to be afraid of conflict (when there might not even be one) that i won't even have a chance to see a gorgeous, educational film. (i'm unemployed! what else am i going to do with my days?)

why do the fundies get all the benefits of protest and dissent? where are the evolution loving progressives out there who want to show their kids the fascinating interplay between DNA and evolution? huh? what about our needs?

if this is what the world is becoming let's just wait for all the museums to close, all the schools to collapse so we can all retreat into our dark huts and wonder at the shadows on the wall. oh, wait. that's already happening.


i've made some additions to the blogroll and more are coming, now that i've embarked on my first day of unemployment!

oh, don't feel sad for me. at last, my dream of becoming an under-paid social do-gooder is on the move and, in about a week, i'm sure this hyped up enthusiasm will be replaced by a more sober consideration of, oh, tax payment, rent payment and bill payment.

but for now, i'm blogging to my heart's content.

if anyone knows of sites that incorporate a certain snarky, intellectual charm that may touch on faith (or not) and/or women's issues, let me know! i'm always up for learning something! (or even if you just know a good place that collects all the best fart jokes over the past 40 years, that's good too.)

Friday, March 25, 2005

or perhaps THIS is the answer!


thanks, kevin.

ah, so THAT'S the answer!

Black coalition 'codifies' values - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - March 23, 2005

ok, so this article comes from the Moonie newspaper in washington. doesn't mean it's full of crackpots...

or does it?
once more we're given the message that black folks just need to be more responsible and exude the right values. huh. ok. i can get behind that. i'm black. i'm responsible. i even go to church.

why do i think this new 'values' coalition is a bunch of crap, then?

[via the revealer]

Thursday, March 24, 2005

the hardest easy choice to make

the days are slowly stretching longer again. right now i'm sitting in my apartment's turret, looking over the streaming morning traffic. ah, unemployment. i love you. spring has finally sprung and summer, with its sweat, discomfort and smog, can't be far behind.

summer brings thoughts of my mother. she died july 8 about 4 years ago and her absence is a something i find extremely hard to fill. her death was sudden. actually, to be technically correct, the cerebral event that killed her brain that led us to decide to let her die was sudden. everything after that seemed to move in slow motion.

first there was the call from my father, his deep voice careful and pastoral even to his daughter. "Something has happened with your mother. I'm on my way with the ambulance right now. I've called your sister. She's alive but she's gone, baby. She's gone."

then there were the hours of waiting for the doctors. words like 'massive brain bleed', 'blown vessels', 'brain activity none' were floated. then there was another call. "We're going to have to make a decision," my father said. my sister agreed we had to make a decision. 2000 miles away i agreed. and so, like we'd done everything else we made this final decision - as a family. my father, sister and brother in law standing in the bright california sun outside daniel freeman hospital; i huddled in my chicago apartment, my roommate waiting on her cell phone with our firm's travel agent, getting ready to fly me back home. and i was the one who had to say it. "Yes. Do it. Shut if off."

and then the absolute worst week of my life unfolded from there.

throughout that week there was no one who didn't know what we had decided. even the doctors were taken aback. they expected us to dither in hope that her brain would suddenly come alive after blowing itself apart. but that was not where our hope was. my father's congregants asked us how we could decide what we did. how could we put into words the recoil we felt looking at a husk kept alive by a tube? what other choice was there?

this is what you think right before you decide to turn off your mother's life support: will she feel it? will she suffer? what if they're wrong? what if she wakes up tomorrow? what if she wakes up and she's a vegetable for the rest of her life? what will we do? how will dad cope? jesus. will she suffer if we turn it off? will she feel it? what if they're right? she's dead. let her go. she's dead.

the political circus that this family's ordeal has become is only part of the terry schiavo tragedy; greedy eyes peer into their lives and now we're all voyeurs. the larger tragedy is how destroyed their family is. we were fortunate; my family stepped closer to one another, hunkering down, closing the windows and shutting the lights. my sister and i have talked about this many times and we thought the same thing at the same time: dad can't live like this. that's what made our decision (and i'm pretty sure dad thought the same about us.)

it's trite and very Lifetime Television for Women to say it this way but it's 8.53 in the fricking morning and i haven't had coffee yet. by deciding to let our mother die we made a decision for the living. in the end, that's who our decisions are really for.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


i'm stunned.

i've had just about the worst week i've had in a very long time and one of the only bright spots i've had has been this space. i rush home to see what else you all have to say and i admit being convicted by and inspired with all that's been discussed. you all are spiffing. really. spiffing.

and, to jesus chick - thanks for your graciousness. i appreciate how you've helped push my thinking and searching.
a little note on holy week...i haven't been too cognizant of the significance this week, i'm sad to say. i've been wrapped up in my own crappy situation at work, worried about my future (i just quit a cushy job to do something more relevant and now i'm worrying about, of all things, material stuff) and so my mind has not been on the Christ's suffering or our redemption because of it.

my inattention eats at me. there's a voice saying 'slow down. be still. think of Me.' and, like the petulant girl i am, i chafe at that voice.

let's hope i finally turn my self toward that voice this week.

happy easter, everyone.

Friday, March 18, 2005

'because i said so, young lady!'

about all this God hates premarital sex (and i still haven't come across a reason why that makes me get all perky about it): ok.

apparently there are quite a few scriptures going on about how frolicking is bad. why it's bad, we don't know, but it is. we're just supposed to take it as is. it's bad. put your leg back down, button up. it's bad.

but it's pissing me off because it strikes me as awfully arbitrary. awfully. almost like that tree of life thing.

so help me out here, people. all those really smart theology students out there. lay it on me. really. why can't we frolic? (and the less patronizing, the better, please.)

cuz if i'm going to have to change here, then i guess i better start trotting out a prayer asking for a husband just so i can have an orgasm.

Monday, March 14, 2005

i'm finally back from my venture up north. yes, it was colder than an epicopalian at a strip joint but it was hilarious to find myself in the middle of another family's household and see the weird, wonderful, strange ways we treat those closest to our hearts. it was like a cross between 'ordinary people' and 'the ya-ya sisterhood.'


anyway, a couple of things have been pressing on me:
1. sex
2. sex and frailty

um, unfortunately, i'm still at the office (and will be so until the end of the night), so i'll have to take this up later.
discuss amongst yourselves, though, if you'd like.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

great white north

i'm in minnesota.

dude. it's cold.

Monday, March 07, 2005

ira glass will send you to hell

The Revealer: My Radio, My God this is an excellent piece from a christian woman who works for her local npr station (gasp! horrors!).

read it while i revise my resume for the umpteenth time and figure out how i can be less materialistic while trying to be a social do-gooder.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

pcusa split in the future?

05-Letter from L. Rus Howard - March 1, 2005, 2005

i found this letter via A Religious Liberal Blog and i am torn.

so there's a presbytery, clearly upset over the GA's stance on GLBT issues, calling for a split (read that second to last paragraph - legal action!!). i just started reading our Constitution and there's stuff in there about each leading according to our conscience. so, i guess they're taking action according to their consciences.

but...this doesn't seem a very presbyterian way of solving conflict. you know...isn't conflict resolution supposed to float upward in an orderly manner? First session then presbytery, then synod then General Assembly?

or is this young deacon ignorant of protocol?

Hugo Schwyzer: Youth group, boys and accountability

...and while we're on the topic of who's accountable for what, here's a take on a slightly different issue, but still related, from Hugo.

his thoughts on changing the focus from the female burden to the guy's responsibility is still applicable.

(thanks, progressive protestant!)

choosing sex

in a post below, a comment was made about choosing to have sex. funnily, choice looked like this: 'choice'

why is that? why put " around choice? because it isn't? because women can't make them? because it's someone else's choice? why?

just curious.

and so here's a thought my alter-ego had about choosing sex. it might offend some, make some think or make someone send me an email explaining why i'm a bad christian.

to which i say: duuuude.

The Death of a Muslim Woman

The Death of a Muslim Woman: "The Whore Lived Like a German" - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE

just a reminder that, during women's history month, sisterhood still matters.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Black health-care specialists said Monday that blacks -- and black women in particular -- are contracting HIV at twice the rate they were in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s because of several crucial factors: poverty, intravenous drug use, a lack of adequate health care and a steadfast refusal by women to insist on condom use during sex.

my emphasis. via