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Here's a breathtaking post from Velveteen Rabbi (one of my favorite bloggers) on the Shirat Ha-Yam, the Song of the Sea from Exodus 15. Episcopalians: this is something to remember when the time comes for the Easter Vigil!

February 17, 2006 in Churchiness, Religion, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday catblogging

Karen took this lovely photo of Foster:


February 17, 2006 in Cats, Pictures | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I think I need this book

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Jesus' Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore

February 11, 2006 in Books | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Bono mentions people like me

I know that Bono's bandmates have expressed impatience with his being photographed with “dodgy politicians,” and I've shared that impatience from time to time. I understand and, to a certain extent, stand behind Bono's intentional strategy of single-issue lobbying, being willing to stand at least sometimes with people with whom you agree on only one thing, if that thing is sufficiently important. And the things around which Bono meets with politicians are very important indeed.

But it's bothered me sometimes that Bono has never, as far as I can tell, criticized religious conservatives about anything except their lack of response to people in need (especially people with AIDS) in Africa, and hasn't talked, to my knowledge, about how all of the “isms” of hatred and fear sublimated into indifference are related. Now that Nigeria has, with the enthusiastic support of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, made it illegal (with severe criminal penalties) even to gather as gay people or advocate for civil rights for gay people (and homosexuality was already criminal there -- apparently that wasn't harsh enough for some), it feels to me that silence is a matter of complicity.

Maybe compared to the number who are affected by AIDS or malaria, it's relatively few people who are murdered or hauled off to harsh prison sentences for being gay, or for suggesting that gay people are still people, i.e., still deserving of human rights as beings created in God's image, but it still grates on me to think that it's acceptable to give up on the human rights of some humans because you think they're not very important humans or because you think it's better to trade their lives for others in whatever numbers -- and I had a sinking feeling that Bono was keeping a balance sheet of lives and dignity somewhere in that head of his, full of contradictions and difficult choices.

So it was with some trepidation that I read Bono's prepared remarks (apparently there was some ad-libbing) to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC. But then I saw it; a word or two acknowledging some people I hadn't been aware he acknowledged before as living souls:

It's annoying but justice and equality are mates. Aren't they? Justice always wants to hang out with equality. And equality is a real pain.

You know, think of those Jewish sheep-herders going to meet the Pharaoh, mud on their shoes, and the Pharaoh says, “Equal?” A preposterous idea: rich and poor are equal? And they say, “Yeah, 'equal,' that's what it says here in this book. We're all made in the image of God.”

And eventually the Pharaoh says, “OK, I can accept that. I can accept the Jews—but not the blacks.”

“Not the women. Not the gays. Not the Irish. No way, man.”

So on we go with our journey of equality.

On we go in the pursuit of justice.

We hear that call in the ONE Campaign, a growing movement of more than two million Americans… left and right together… united in the belief that where you live should no longer determine whether you live.

I'd like to live in a world in which I'd be allowed to live -- not in prison, not having my throat cut or being raped by my neighbors as punishment while everyone looked away -- even if I'd been born in Nigeria instead of the U.S. I've got just a touch more confidence now that the world Bono is working for might be like that. And while I've never depended upon rock stars to advocate for me -- my white skin and multiple degrees give me enough privilege not to need rock stars for much more than entertainment -- gay people in Nigeria aren't nearly so lucky, and I hope that one of these days Bono might become more vocal on their behalf.

February 2, 2006 in Current Affairs, ONE campaign/Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

read this photo

What do you think? I think this photo looks like President Bush was trying to get a photo that said, “I'm best-est friends with Bono,” and Bono, with his straight face, set jaw, downcast eye, and “power to the people” raised text, was saying, “it's about the message ... and if I have to fight you later to try to keep you on that message, I will.”

Tip o'th' hat to slacktivist for the photo:


February 2, 2006 in Current Affairs, ONE campaign/Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), Pictures | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Will & Grace notes

I'm watching Will & Grace now, which I haven't always done consistently, but I think I've got the series finale in mind now. If it isn't this, then I dare say that I think my finale would be better.

I think that Grace does NOT go through with her proposal to marry Will's honey, because the series ends with Will moving to Canada to marry him -- perhaps with a note that this is a marriage of convenience so they can stay together with the potential to develop into a marriage that's real and honest on every dimension.

I say this for a few reasons. One is that why would they make the guy a Canadian instead of, say, a Mexican, except that Canada is a country in which marriages are marriages are marriages (o paraphrase Gertrude Stein)? Also, wouldn't it be a much better finale if Will and Grace stopped living together in a permanent way because Will was going to a place where the life he's wanted for himself was not only fully possible, but also fully visible?

Will moves in the finale to Canada to embrace true love and full citizenship without compromising honesty and integrity, or I owe every one of you a beer. A virtual one, at least!

February 2, 2006 in Television | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

feeling brave today

... so I thought I'd share a relic from my musical past. It's a cover of R.E.M.'s “Swan Swan H,” slowed down and done with harmonies in the style of X (one of my favorite bands). It was recorded in June of 1990 in a makeshift studio set up in a friend's bedroom. At the end of recording a number of original tracks, I was talking with Greg (owner of said makeshift studio) about this arrangement of “Swan Swan H” I'd done with a band I played with in Scotland, he asked me to play it to show him what I was talking about, which I did just to show him what the harmonies were, and the sneak actually mixed it and put it on the final product.

One of these days I'd love to get a little MIDI box and a good mike and record again. It's amazing what you can do these days with GarageBand and $500 or so.

Anyhoo, here's my ancient, goofy, and I-didn't-know-this-was-for-real rendition of “Swan Swan H (sailor's dirge arrangement).”

February 1, 2006 in Music | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Cindy Sheehan tells her story

Cindy Sheehan was arrested last night as she was sitting down in the gallery for the State of the Union address, though she had a ticket as the guest of Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey of California.

She tells her side of the story here.

February 1, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack