Thursday, May 04, 2006

Live from the Correspondent's Dinner...

Ladies and Gentlemen, Josh Orton! How's about that! Former high school compadre Jorton is writing a blog for Huffington Post, and Executive Producer of The Majority Report With Sam Seder and Janeane Garofalo! Josh attended the much-discussed Dinner, and filed this report from DC. A short excerpt:

"Here were some of the most dangerous men in recent US history, and everyone seemed content to glad-hand them, complement their tux, and ask for a snapshot. “Oh hey, haven’t seen you in forever, you look great!” says CNN blow-dry. “Thanks, thanks, I’m quite well. How are your kids?” responds war criminal."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Furthermore...

Housemate E-Fantastico has some great photos of our house Beltane celebration on her blog. Follow the above link--well worth the checking out.

During Class Today...

We were interrupted from our important work of finding queer readings of biblical texts by the cries of, "Back up! Back up! Back up! Back up--you're on my foooooooot!!!!"

The windows of the classroom were open to Ridge Rd. and Euclid Ave, and a young woman whose foot had just been run over.

During break, it was clear from the two police motorcycles, the firetruck, and the ambulance, that she was in good hands. Still, it was amazing to be inside of a room of potential ministers (myself included) who were all paralyzed by the prospect of another human in pain.

Walking home tonight I witnessed a confrontation between a young Black man, and an older White man pushing a shopping cart with a big American flag on the front. Do I minister, try to mediate? Do I save my safety and integrity for other conflicts? To what extent am I owned by my position as the child of the White middle class?

Also, I'm writing final papers. If anyone has thoughts on Andy Goldsworthy or The Song of Songs/Song of Solomon (or You Have Ravished My Heart, by Stephen Chatman)I would love to hear them. I promise to attribute any thoughts and insights.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

One more thought...

about the David Byrne piece I quoted below: the phrase "Where we see difference they would see similarity," resonated with me like someone had hit me like I was a gong. I keep coming back to Chris Hedges' War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, and his insight into the generation of perception-of-difference/uniqueness as essential to nationalism and war-making.

It's a dynamic you also see in dysfunctional and/or alcoholic families, the sense that, "we're separate from the rest of the community because we're special/better-than-them; we're misunderstood, and oppressed at all sides so we have to stick together and be loyal to each other above all else."

What holds us separate? What keeps us separated? What, after all is done, still connects us?

David Byrne, Super-genius:

David Byrne, former Talking Head, current talking head, drops some serious knowledge in his journal entry of April 29, 2006. Here's an excerpt of the final paragraphs:

"Darwinists claim the opposite — that this common genetic base or framework proves that we all came from the same place. That to have needed real genetic additions evolution would have happened even more slowly than it did. So, in their opinion, this system was the way it had to happen. At least in the time scale we observe. And the genius of the design is that it uses simple building blocks but makes the absolute most out of them. One can make a simple brick, or a skyscraper, but the ingredients are identical.

"What that says to me then is that most life on Earth is, genetically speaking, one organism. I don’t mean this metaphorically, I mean it literally. The various shapes and forms that life takes are ways that it, the uber organism, has found to occupy every available niche — but it is the always the same genetic framework that is being propagated everywhere, more or less. Darwin would claim that a lineage exists from one primeval single celled creature to almost all the world’s bacteria, sloths, ants and people. There may be other primeval things that offer radically different genetic frameworks, but this one genetic model has prevailed, and did so well that it pretty much took over the planet. (I wonder if some viruses are the seeds of alternate genetic design possibilities, as yet unrealized?)

"So, to an alien species from another galaxy, all life on earth might appear almost as one organism, vast and shape shifting. Where we see difference they would see similarity. To them it would appear as if this one organism had not only flourished, but was so spread out across the planet and that the Earth itself might be seen as one seething being — an organism (of which we are just a part) filling every available nook and cranny. A creature that even created an environment conducive to itself. Oxygen, an atmosphere, soil — all, to some extent, made by life. The One that is All has a relationship with its host rock that is symbiotic."

Don't you hate it when someone else says so well something you had thought about and always known to be true, but had never had the chutzpah to put into words? Damn you, David Byrne, I love you.

Genius or Folly?

Whoever gave Stephen Colbert 25 minutes at the White House Correspondent's Association dinner must have had some idea of what they were unleashing. I just watched it, and, well, it rocked my world. I, personally, think he killed. Even if you think he bombed, you have to admire the vast amounts of chutzpah it took to deliver this material, with the POTUS sitting ten feet from the podium. I'm talking about smelly oily gallons of guts.

Colbert's Finest Hour? We report, you decide.

I think I have a new American hero. Step aside, Kurt Angle.