"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Travels with Ripley

Ripley here with her cousin Tango chez Elouise and Nancy. They've been in Corgi heaven, chasing each other, wrasslin', herdin', telling each other sheep jokes...We're leaving in a few minutes and it's hard to take Ripley away (without taking Tango with us).

Further trip updates are forthcoming, but one experience of note from the road was hearing a Barack Obama ad in Navajo while driving through eastern Arizona. I'm not sure why, but I got kind of choked up when I heard it. Maybe the idea that Obama would represent all Americans, including the original ones, and give us a chance to feel like this land was, in fact, made for you and me rather than us versus them. The Navajo Nation has endorsed Obama.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Glad to be a Mac.

From an article by Jon Hanson, "The Blame Frame: Justifying (Racial) Injustice in America"

"Because humans crave justice, salient suffering or inequalities activate an 'injustice dissonance' within us. Too often, we alleviate that dissonance, not by addressing the injustice, but by creating an illusion of justice through assumptions, arguments, or stereotypes about the blameworthiness of the victim."

Seems like a lot of folks are having to alleviate a lot of dissonance these days about a lot of things, and a lot of illusions have been created in the process. In the perennially apt words of Aunt Liza, "oh dear oh dear oh dear."

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Word of the day

Most people who can't speak English can communicate pretty fluently in some other language. Maybe Sarah Palin's language difficulties aren't at all due to ineptitude or lack of education but rather that her home planet has its own English-like dialect, and to other aliens from that world, she sounds perfectly coherent. Clearly she tried to practice English extra hard for the debate but still spoke with a pretty heavy accent.

Maureen Dowd of the NY Times tries to analyze the dialect in this op-ed, "Sarah's Pompom Palaver." The problem I can see right away with this piece is that even a lot of people who aren't snowed by SP may not know what 'palaver' means, let alone the folks who think somebody's qualified potentially to lead the free world on the basis that she's cute as a bug's ear. [Palaver: (n) a. Idle chatter. b. Talk intended to charm or beguile. ]

Pretty good word for what comes out of her mouth, if a bit too polite and dignified. Here in down-home middle America we have another word or two for it.