Wednesday, December 24, 2008

christmas errands yet to be done:

1. check in for flight to LA tomorrow.
2. make list of clothes to pack.
3. mail holiday cards.
4. comb/curl my hair.
5. shopped for gifts for anyone other than my dad.
6. laundry.
7. wrap up last minute work stuff.
8. recover from this horrible winter cold.
9. pack.
10. wish y'all a merry christmas, happy hanukah, merry festivus, happy kwanzaa and a happy new year!

safe travels, everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

it matters: the rick warren decision

Obama’s Selection of Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren for Inauguration Sparks Gay Outrage - US News and World Report

i have to admit, i'm puzzled over this one.
(who would i have picked? Peter Gomes. he's black AND gay!)

rick warren's disgust with the 'gay lifestyle' (like it's picking a tea cozy or deciding where to vacation) is just code for 'i am a raging homophobe.' and that's why it matters.

having someone like rick warren is exactly like inviting a friendly, raging racist to stand up there and give the prayer.

when are we going to see that civil rights are civil rights, no matter who's asking for them?

if the larger society is to accept the basic humanity of gays and lesbians then certain lines need to be drawn in the sand. one of those lines is recognizing that homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice but a life, like yours and mine and, therefore, it should be recognized as such and reap the same benefits of lives like yours and mine.

in the same way you cannot choose your skin color or your gender, you cannot choose your sexual orientation.

(a lesson that Ted Haggard is still learning, clearly.)

this is not a point to debate or cavil over but the basic, fundamental dividing line between those supporting gay civil rights and those who are against it. there is no point in conversing, negotiating or symbolically linking these two camps when the two camps are so fundamentally opposed.

i can understand only some of the thinking behind this pick. rick warren symbolizes a so-called 'post-denominational' church (an idea which would make my dad spit.) but i think we can probably think of pastors on the religious left who better symbolize this spirit of moving away from tired fundamentalism and its culture wars: brian mclaren? peter gomes? my pastor? jim wallis? father michael pfleger? an ordained woman from any of the mainline churches, perhaps?

a friend made me realize that Power is Power, no matter who wears it, even the affable tall skinny black guy we're going to call President. and Power, no matter who wears it, never willingly cedes ground.

and so, those of us who are demanding something from Power, neither can we.

Friday, December 12, 2008

you had me at 'tent peg': jael

Most Blessed of Women? Jael » Shawna R. B. Atteberry

via my Twitter (PrincessDing is my 'public' Twitter; if you'd like my personal, less bitchy Twitter, just email me) i came across this post, an interesting reading of Jael.

Just as my current feminism was informed partly by my dislike of cooking vast amounts of food on Thanksgiving, it was also created in part by the stories I read of interesting women in the Bible who either reminded me of something in myself or made me want to be something more. Leah, who was plain; Esther, who was beautiful and canny; and Jael, who drove a tent peg through Sisera's temple (who i've written about before.)

I didn't like this story because I, too, wanted to drive a spike through a man's head (though, in college, it resounded in a rather militant virgin feminist way with me) but because I liked the contrasts within it. There's Deborah, riding into battle with Barak and there's Jael, the woman alone in her tent. There's the fierce action of the battle scenes against the quiet domestic sphere of a woman's darkened tent. There's the sweaty man in his battle gear, asking for sanctuary; and there's the woman, giving him aid and some milk.

These contrasts mostly balance one another, making easily recognized binaries: battle/peace; action/inaction; man/woman; politics/domesticity. But when Jael takes the tent peg and nails Sisera to the ground, that's a pretty big disruption of balance. (Not to mention the disruption of a female envoy of God, Deborah.)

I'd sit in church and hold my mother's white leather bible on my lap and flip through until I came to this story and I'd read it again and again, and look at the illustrated plate showing Jael in her robes standing over a sleeping Sisera in his armor, with a spike in her hand. Thrilling. That female figure was to me strength, action and duty.

And, I have to admit, it also made me giggle.
The idea of a dude being nailed to the ground while he slept struck me as hilarious and I'd show it to my sister and we'd laugh and laugh until our mother pinched us to be quiet.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blagonian Venality

there is a pile of work on my desk and a list of to-dos at least 10 items deep but i'm still repelled/fascinated by the scandal whirling around our governor.

everyone was talking about it yesterday. my two cabbies, my LTF (Long Term Frolic), my Roomie, my friends (even those from out of state), everyone on cable tv (including jon stewart who also had a righteous conversation with mike huckabee about gay rights and marriage) and, this morning, it's still everywhere.

i was trying to figure out why this scandal disgusts me so. after all, we're all old hands at political scandals. spitzer, stevenson, mcgreevey, senator 'wide stance', clinton, old man daley, etc. the mental image i had of our governor, who's supposed to enforce the state constitution (an article of which is the elimination of poverty for those who live in this state) putting price tags on every aspect of his office made me angry. i actually felt like spitting in this man's face.

there is about this scandal a tackiness, a grasping, idiotic greediness that disgusts me. but i realized it's not just the greed, it's the venality.

it is 'the prostitution of talents or principles for mercenary considerations.' (thank you, OED.)

i'm trying to remember my dante and figure out where our governor would be: in the eighth circle of hell with the corrupt politicians? or with the hypocrites? the thieves? or in purgatory, trying to work off his sins of pride, wrath or avarice?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

holy crap: IL gov arrested!

so...Gov. Rod has been arrested. i'm listening to the press conference now. (and, can i say that patrick fitzgerald is awesome?)

i was in an early morning meeting, standing in line for coffee when the guy next to me looked down at his blackberry and said, 'huh. the governor was just taken into custody by the feds.'

a white-haired woman said, 'get out.'
i said, 'you're kidding.'

he said, 'no lie. the trib just sent an alert.'

all of us whipped out our blackberries and checked. we gasped and hurried to sit down and read the news. the trib updated about every 20 minutes or so and when 2 state senators referenced it from our panel later in the meeting, the majority of the audience gasped.

dude. this is huge.
this dumb, awful, incompetent man was trying to sell Obama's old senate seat, among other things.

you have to read the trib story. appalling.

the thing is, until he's convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime, he's still governor! technically, he could still appoint obama's successor!

consider this your place to mull all things corrupt and shameful.