Monday, February 19, 2007

a reminder

Even living in one of the big red states in the U.S. South, I feel buffered from some of the blatant indicators that women and minorities are still viewed as expendable around the world.

In today's Chronicle, this article refers to female feticide still being practiced in parts of India (and one can safely assume many other nations):

Abortion is legal in India, though it is against the law to abort a fetus because of its sex. Female feticide is still practiced in parts of the country, where an infant girl is valued considerably less than a boy...the government announced on Sunday that it would establish a "cradle scheme" to adopt girls in an effort to curb female feticide. "If you don't want a girl child, leave her to us," Renuka Chowdhury, minister for women and child development...
And this YouTube video link that my daughter sent to me. A young woman, Kiri Davis, reenacts the experiment that was
...the social science research cited in the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision. The symbol and lightning rod for that research were the doll experiments conducted by Kenneth Clark and his wife Mamie that tested perceptions of race. (from NPR)
Of course I read articles about honor killings in Muslim cultures and domestic abuse worldwide and feel revulsion and disbelief that such practices are tolerated. Yet sometimes a snippet of news hits home with fresh poignancy.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

keys to the kingdom

I don't know which one of you assholes signed me up for the "free" gift from the Priests of the Sacred Heart Monastery in Hales Corners, Wisconsin but I am moved to the bottom of my unsacred heart.

Our Lady of Guadalupe (or "Lady Loopy," as we like to call her) is cunningly enameled on a little goldtone key chain. And if the Merciful Virgin wasn't enough (and by Cracky, she is) my unworthy name is printed more or less centered below her Holy that the sinner who steals my keys will be able to track down my lost soul and worldly possessions as well.

In addition, the whole direct mail marketing piece is in Spanish. From which I've learned that "misericordiosa" translates as "merciful" not "miserable"(according to Babel Fish) but the resemblance is uncanny.

Finally, one more Catholic-scented note: if you look closely, Our Decoupaged Lady on the Wood-Burned Plaque is being held aloft by a deceptively strong putti. The Angel Atlas, if you will, is a little disturbing in that he is reaching up under her dress hem to perform his feat of virginal suspension. One could almost picture the holographic version of this image with his cherubic head tilting back to snatch a glimpse of the Holy Mother's holy hoohah.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

i don't live there on purpose

Don't tell me how insanely arctic cold it is north of Houston. I want tangible comfort not some "imagine how bad it could be" bullshit. It's cold here now. My feet are barges on a frozen sea. I detest being cold. I will pummel the next person who uses the word "invigorating." I want to climb into bed and not come out until the thermometer hits 60° and refuses to fall. Being cold makes me bitchy and inert. I am wearing a wool coat in my house and I resent it. The only thing standing between me and exorcism-worthy, tourettesque spew is the promise of a functioning electric blanket. Which is beckoning to me like a siren right now. Adios, motherfuckers.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

space balls

An astronaut goes crazy and yes, somehow it's more entertaining than if some ordinary non-astronaut citizen loses their shit. In a "fodder for fiction" way, this one is really great.

"[Lisa Marie] Nowak drove 900 miles, donned a disguise and was armed with a BB gun and pepper spray...raced from Houston to Orlando wearing [adult] diapers in the car so she wouldn't have to stop to go to the bathroom..."
After she failed to abduct the woman who she suspected was seeing a man that the married Nowak was "interested in" but not, in fact, married to...
"an officer reported following Nowak and watching her throw away a bag containing the wig and BB gun. Police also found a steel mallet, a 4-inch folding knife, rubber tubing, $600 and garbage bags inside a bag Nowak was carrying..."
A disguise, a steel mallet, rubber tubing and adult diapers...seriously people, legal definitions aside, either this one snapped or was functionally retarded before her road trip. No excuse, mind you, but no one who had ever laughed at Saturday morning cartoons could have taken this I'm-ready-to-play-Let's-Make-a-Deal plan seriously.

Holy Touchdown
The Superbowl. I watched it. It's Barbara's birthday weekend, she loves the Superbowl and I'm a sucker for that woman. Plus I thought I'd enjoy the commercials (they were so-so) and finally, I can always use some brushing up on traditional dyke what is the outcome of a successful 2-point conversion? (I also know who's buried in Grant's tomb.) Anyway, my mother wanted the Colts to win and that's reason enough for me to cheer them on. Besides, neither team had an outstanding logo design to sway me.

The coaches seem like nice guys. You know, we love the iconoclasts. In a profession that lends itself to screaming, cursing and gesturing, Tony Dungy looks like the freakin' Dali Lama. Of course the NFL and the press played up the "first black coaches in Superbowl history" juxtaposed with Black History Month. It's important. It's noteworthy. I'd have been irritated had it not been mentioned. But the coverage also felt like peddling the sacred for soundbites. Using the Shroud of Turin to polish the big church doors, if you know what I mean. Ironically it was the soft spoken Dungy who really irritated me in the end. This won't surprise those who know me.

Is Jesus really participating in the NFL?

“I’m proud to be the first African-American coach to win this,” Dungy said during the trophy ceremony. “But again, more than anything, Lovie Smith and I are not only African-American but also Christian coaches, showing you can do it the Lord’s way. We’re more proud of that.”

How would the Savior coach football? What plays would He call? I guess it's impossible not to read that all those other winning coaches didn't do it the Lord's way, otherwise what would Dungy and Smith have to be so proud about? What would the reaction have been had Dungy been Muslim–and said that he owed all his team's touchdowns to Allah? It's just arrogance, however well-intentioned. Not to mention ridiculous.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

a very sad day

Molly Ivins is dead. As a non-believer, I always said that if I had any pseudo-religious monuments in my house, I'd set up an altar to Tom Waits and one to Molly Ivins. She made this displaced Yankee proud to be a Texan. I somehow don't think she'd have any patience for my sorrow (or anyone else's) though I am terribly sad that she is no longer with us. Sadder than I've been at the loss of any public figure in my life. She would probably, in that rare blend of no-bullshit/southern belle wit, just tell me and everyone else to get out there “Raise more hell.” Here's to you, Molly, we'll stop blubbering in a minute and start banging the pots and pans:

From today's Chronicle:

In her last column, in mid-January, she said she was starting a newspaper crusade to stop the war. "Raise hell," she urged readers. "Think of something ridiculous to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. ... We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'Stop it, now!' "