Wednesday, August 02, 2006

bug and bug-eyed

I am at home today with a second-rate virus persistent enough to produce a mild fever and sore throat but not disabling enough to keep me in bed all day. I've slept all I could, soap operas bore me senseless and I've just finished a book. Blogging seems like the next best activity. Or I could do my ironing. Nah.

Dan Savage writes a great article about Washington state's supreme court decision not to overturn that state's ban on gay marriage. He talks (hilariously) about the weakness of the argument(s) used by those opposed to gay marriage. He sees it as a sign of victory on the horizon. The man is right on.

Just finished Larry McMurtry's
Lonesome Dove. Did not expect a tale of the Old West to unsettle me so much. He can paint a vivid literary picture. And of course, it's not just about cattle ranching and Mother Nature's hardships. It's about the hideous and heroic aspects of human nature. The stuff of all good novels.

I am maybe half-way to my goal of reading all the Pulitzer Prize winning novels ever written.
Lonesome Dove is one of these. I don't think that winning a Pulitzer Prize means that something is the very best. It is naive to think that any awarding body makes decisions free from politics or personal bias. However, the odds of reading something of literary value are pretty good with Pulitzers. Even if that occasionally means slogging through works like Updike's incredibly annoying Rabbit series. In addition to narrowing down the overwhelming quantity of available fiction, I rely on the recommendations from friends and people whose opinion I value. I've been pretty happy with the results.

Bill Moyer's interview with Margaret Atwood did not disappoint. And it made me return to the issues surrounding atheism that have always bothered me. Atheism can become a religious dogma. First, I want no part of an organized belief system. Second, I have difficulty embracing a concept that is rooted in the absence of a thing. The negation of God alone seems a thin premise for a personal philosophy. I would rather be a skeptic. Understanding that there is much that can't be answered and becoming comfortable with that lack of absolute knowledge. But continuing to explore ideas and challenge unfounded claims of truth. Spirituality may just be our organism's construct and I can prove neither the existence nor non-existence of a deity. My logic tells me that stories told to comfort ourselves about death and the unknown have been historically just that: stories. Which have value in so many ways...but not as absolute truth.

Don't you love the photo of Mel Gibson that's accompanying the drunken tirade "the-jews-are-what's-wrong-with-the-world" articles? Bug-eyed terrorist. He looks like a bug-eyed terrorist. I'm sure that's helping him smooth things over.
Hey, it's your Anti-Semite debutante "coming out" tequila party, Mel. Congratulations! If you remove the a-z, Mazel spells Mel. Mel Tov.

Sometimes I read the News Bizarre.

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