Thursday, March 31, 2005

Vitriol

Leave it to the queers to bring unity among the three Abrahamic religions! After millennia of wars and hatred among themselves, Muslims, Christians, and Jews finally have united to battle against homosexuals entering Jerusalem: “We can't permit anybody to come and make the Holy City dirty. This is very ugly and very nasty to have these people come to Jerusalem."

I propose a Queer Crusade: let’s take over this Holy City and slaughter the self-righteous, hypocritical terrorists who have called Jerusalem “home” for the past 5000 years.

To the leaders of the three monotheistic religions: I shit on your Jerusalem. Your gods are spinning in their graves.

How’s that for a good dose of self-righteousness!
_____
Read the article: Plan for gay fesitval roils Israelis

Feeding (Tube) Frenzy: A Living Will (To Power)

I am sheer insignificance.

And I think it obvious that human life, as far as the universe goes, stretched across eleven dimensions, is fairly negligible. Just look at the tsunami victims: tens of thousands of people and not one single elephant! How’s that for a ratio for the importance of one man?

When God was passing out brains, humans thought she said “drains” ....

All the more reason why Terri Schiavo’s body should not be kept alive.

And all the more reason why her parents should be fined for wasting our courts’ resources. And hogging precious airtime.

And isn’t there someone that could just slip the Pope some poison? I mean, that’s how the business was done in the Middle Ages. Hasta nunca, Pope!

How sad and pathetic to puff up the meaning of one person’s life. It’s something so stupid that only the living would even attempt it! We make Shakespeare mean, we make Jesus signify, we make Nina Simone indicate and convey. But they are the ones who laugh last because after death—there is no after after death—all meaning, all signification, all indication cease.

Funny how all the anti-compassionate ideologues in Washington jumped on that bandwagon when it appeared public opinion would grant them a reelection platform. And now that the small and insignificant group of extremists that would attempt to force a woman to live against her will are shown to be a small and insignificant group of extremists (each praying to a god that Ms. Schiavo wouldn't even recognize), senators and representatives and presidents go back to business as usual: in the daytime, on weekdays, making laws that are not designed purely for one individual, not flying back early from vacation.

Significant quote:
"When the fervor of political passions moves the executive and legislative branches to act in ways inimical to basic constitutional principles, it is the duty of the judiciary to intervene," wrote Judge Birch.... "If sacrifices to the independence of the judiciary are permitted today, precedent is established for the constitutional transgressions of tomorrow."

Because I am sheer insignificance, I hereby make my wishes known: give my body a week—just seven days to recover. I will accept blood only if it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, I do not want anything donated from anyone else: no organs, no skin, no prayers. And I do not bequeath anything from my own body to anyone else. I’ll take it all with me into the furnace, thankyouverymuch. If after seven days, I am able to function as a human, unplug it all.

A graduate degree. Some music and bad poetry. A fairly short list of lovers, and an even shorter list of people I’ve loved. Lots of photographs. A handful of journals. Throw it all in the fire with me.

Because what you don’t know or can’t comprehend is that I’ve already died as pure spirit. And nothing else should remain … because of its insignificance.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Yo creo…

The tackiest full-page advertisement in today’s newspaper is from Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft and seasonal decoration shops: “The promise in the manger, fulfilled in an empty tomb. He is risen!” In a much smaller font is a Biblical passage from 1 Corinthians 15:14: “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (NIV).

Paul, the eternal thorn in my side when it comes to mismanaging the message of Jesus, does seem to be getting at something important later in this chapter:
For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. (1 Corinthians 15:16 – 19 NIV)
Perhaps if we allow Paul a few more decades, centuries, or millennia, he’ll finally negate himself with his own logic and we’ll be back with the pure and unsullied words of Jesus.

The longer I walk my own spiritual path—outside the walls of any church—the more I come to see that belief is meaningless if not entirely useless. Does it matter what I believe? Is not what I do much more important in connecting with the divine?

In my introduction to humanities course, I reduce the Protestant Reformation to Luther’s privileging of faith above liturgy and ritual. Life becomes a lot easier for the simple-minded if they can just claim to hold some belief instead of actually doing the work necessary to unify their lives to God. From my own practice, I know that I disconnect when I don’t meditate, don’t breathe, don’t work, don’t help. It is only via action that I become a useful part of the universe.

My belief that the fish in the aquarium at Cosmic Café try to psychically contact me every time I eat there is no more relevant than my belief that Jesus most definitely did not walk on water. And no one’s beliefs guarantee entrance into a fictional Heaven.

But everyone’s actions most certainly guarantee union with the sublimely transcendent, as long as those actions are not in opposition with the sublimely transcendent.

My practice works, and for that, I don’t need faith. For those who attempt to intensify their beliefs without fasting, meditating, or helping the poor and disenfranchised, I can finally agree with Paul: you are “to be pitied more than all men.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Don't question my commitment to Sparkle Motion

Stephen, Kris & I went to the midnight showing of Donnie Darko at the Inwood Theatre Saturday night. I was never really interested in the film until our trip to London December 2003, when Gary Jules' cover of "Mad World" was sweeping the charts there. After returning, I bought the CD, and then several months later the director's cut was released. This was the second time I've seen the film, but I find myself thinking about it frequently. Not in any let's-decode-the-meaning-because-I'm-a-big-dork-ass-geek-who-thinks-he'll-be-cool-if-he-understands-this-film-on-a-so-called-deeper-level sort of way. It is, after all, just a film. But as I told Stephen after watching it the first time, Donnie Darko helps me see my own high school experience as more normal: my own grasp of reality--or at least the reality that everyone else experienced/saw--was never that tight. And to see so clearly the hypocrisy and lies of those in authority without any means to confront them is the beginning (and perhaps end) of insanity. Disassociative tendencies still intact. Angst still oozing from every pore. "I can do anything I want...."

Friday, March 18, 2005

SPD Reflux

SPD, like the snakes of Ireland, came and went. Stood in line from 7:00 - 7:30pm at one of the few Irish taverns in this village on the North Texas plains that somehow was able to pull off three St. Patrick's Day parades even though there is not a noticeable Irish diaspora anywhere nearby. For the $5.00 cover I got a cheap plastic hat that ripped as soon as the doorman placed it on my head. And the chance to wait and wait and wait for table service. There was no talk of the shamrock representing the trinity of God. Or the conversion of the Irish tribes to Christianity. Only beer and the chance to wear tacky green. Why has this day lost all meaning!

From Ireland to Russia: Спокойной ночи, Mr. Kennan.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Oh crappy day (with headache)

As I microwave my 2nd cup of coffee today, I realize I’m almost out of milk—due in part to the several bowls of cereal and various other cups of coffee + cups of puro milk I’ve consumed these past few days. Girl Scout cookies – almost gone. Cheap vanilla ice cream – finished last night. Peanut butter – already gone before spring break began. For supper tonight, we have a huge head of cauliflower. Yum! as he chokes on his own sarcasm. (But I do think the North African cauliflower soup recipe I found might be at least interesting….) And to think, I considered fasting this week to help gear up for the remaining 8 weeks of teaching 5 classes at 3 different campuses.

Finished grading the exams I gave last week to ensure my students would actually attend class the week before spring break. (Yes, I’m one of those professors!)

Today is the 37th anniversary of the My Lai massacre. And Americans are still shocked when their soldiers are not always the good guys.

Stephen has convinced me that Mel Gibson’s The Passion might be worth seeing with the new, alternate ending. Maybe in this version Jesus doesn’t die. Or millions are killed in his name. And General George W. Bush is not re-elected by those … who still believe in the ooga-booga (yes! the technical term) of Jesus H. Christ.

Last night I stumbled upon the truth of the universe: when you repeat a word over and over until that word loses all meaning (try ladle or spatula for a unique taste of meaninglessness), the meaning that is lost appears in, is moved to, or congeals around one of the other 11 dimensions, imbued with extra meaning, extra significance, super extra signification. Somewhere last night among my multi-dimensional analogues, the ladle was elevated to the level of a local deity. Somewhere, in another universe, someone is repeating ad nauseam “bush,” “war,” “Jesus,” and “muffin.”

Can’t wait to return to school so I can jump on the bandwagon and nominate Paul Wolfowitz “Outstanding Student of the Year.” He does, after all, really really deserve it.

Speaking of nausea, the question of the day: But is Sartre remotely relevant today? All remotely relevant answers will be considered.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Tuesday, Spring Break

Today: not so bored. After posting yesterday, I drove to Buli, a new independent coffee shop/café. Delicious latté. Interesting & beautiful people to watch and overhear. I stayed there for more than 90 minutes reading and eavesdropping on the two soldiers who sat across from me on the sofa.

When I returned home, I vacuumed 1/2 of the living room really well. (It's better than half-ass vacuuming the entire living room!) Then I deleted all my personal files off the laptop (computer #2 that "crashed" in the past 6 months). Drank some fresh vegetable juice from veggies we bought at the Farmer's Market.

This morning I finished the Zamiatin book and chose Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony as the next text to conquer. I've also been working on the design of Skajlab 6--the next incarnation of this blog that I started 6 years ago. New icon. New banner. New style. It's all good. I'm staying at home this afternoon to do more cleaning & organizing.

(Well, I wasn't bored until I reread this post....)

Monday, March 14, 2005

Dawno i nieprawda

Okay, I confess: I was bored this morning. After taking a few extra hours of sleep--it is spring break, afterall--I woke up with lots to do but no desire to start. Even poor Baby Griga grew tired of me kissing his little tunafish head! (That last sentence could use a little 'splaining, but not now....) I read some in Zamiatin's WE. I ate a spoonful of cheap vanilla ice cream. Another. I dressed to exercise and went jogging/walking in the neighborhood for about 30 minutes. Changed my voicemail message on my cell phone. Called my guru to confirm this week's yoga schedule. She wasn't home. Entered several new questions on my online US Constitution exam that I'll require all my government students to complete next month. Working ahead. Working behind. Not interested in either. Should dust and clean the living room, but maybe not today. I have all week. Played online and read a couple new blogs. Boring. Bored. Ate a mini sandwich--it wasn't big enough to be a full sandwich! Could eat some more cheap ice cream but not interested. Maybe I'll just logoff and find something new to do. Something interesting. The mail just arrived. Nothing interesting. I've already missed Ambush Makeover. Another hour before Ellen. Don't really care to see who's on today. And then 30 minutes more till Jeopardy. I am so bored. Ooh, I'm sorry; please phrase it as a question. What is I am so bored? I'm outta here.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

7K

Here's a story that's even sadder (read: funnier) than the man who rented a hot-air balloon to propose to his sweetheart this past Valentines Day and crashed into the ocean. The rescue footage showed the man and woman swimming in opposite directions. Presumably one of them knew he/she was swimming away from land....

Not only is this guy deported, has a criminal record in Canada (where you can smoke pot and marry your grandmother. Or cat!), lost all of his fingers and half of his toes, but when it was all said and done, he only traversed seven kilometers. One hundred hours to walk seven kilometers across the frozen landscape of love! (That's less than 4.5 miles!)

I'm thinking staying put is not such a bad idea afterall....

Great quote regarding Canada, though:
He didn't really know that there could be any place on earth this ... inhospitable.
It reminds me of something from Matt Groening's earlier work: "Love is a snowmobile racing across the frozen tundra, flipping suddenly and pinning you underneath. At night, the snow weasels come."

Thanks to Abstract Sheep for bringing this inspirational story to my attention.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

S 256

There is something fundamentally rotten about a legislature strengthening and protecting corporations from the so-called free market while the rights (and options) of individuals dwindle, dry up, and die on the wayside. Fellow free-thinking Americans: write your senators today! Let them know you strongly oppose the proposed overhaul of the bankruptcy laws [S-256].

Why further exacerbate the poverty-stricken by denying them equal protection under the law? Manipulating bankruptcy laws merely avoids the real issue of economic disparity in the United States.

Minimum wage hasn't been raised in eight years, and the standard of living has, for the most part, stayed the same for the past thirty. Demand fairness for all! Demand the right not to pay your bills! (Okay, I sometimes forget to reign in the sarcasm....) But it is time to keep the pigs off the ladder (an allusion to Orwell's Animal Farm): equal equality for all, not just the rich, and no more corporate welfare without human welfare first. (And this time I'm serious.)

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Soon this space will be too small

I diagramed my life the other night: a small, two-dimensional square.

Several years ago, I collaborated with my friend Lyn on a recording of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Renascence.” She read/interpreted the poem over my original piano accompaniment.

Always, after I’ve come full circle, the final stanza reverberates still:

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,—
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That can not keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat—the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.
For the past week, I’ve been officially mesmerized by Lhasa de Sela’s The Living Road; the last track particularly speaks to me:
Soon this space will be too small
And I will go outside
To the huge hillside
Where the wild winds blow
And the cold stars shine
I will put my foot on the living road
And be carried from here to the heart of the world
And I’ll say the three words that will save us all
And I’ll say the three words that will save us all
My veins and bones will be burned to dust
You can throw me into a black iron pot
And my dust will tell
What my flesh would not
When I hear her voice, I retrace my steps across Montreal, knowing that that is where she lives, steps I took so many springs ago to visit a friend, Salam from Lebanon—whose name means “peace.”

When I hear her words, I’m standing atop Thursday Hill in Lublin looking out across the horizon. There, the neo-Gothic castle; there, the death camp Majdanek; there, the chapel with the ancient frescoes; there the bus station and Gypsy market. And here, my feet planted firmly on terra nova.

When she sings about the cold stars, I’m standing on the roof of my apartment complex in Shimonoseki watching the constellations unfold across the spring sky with the scent of cherry blossoms hanging in the humid air.

And yet I’m still here. Tutaj. Aquí. Здесь. Тут. For a minimum of three more years I’ll be here, blooming where I’m planted—thanks, sister, for that constant reminder and implication! (Now if only I could get my exes to stop sending me emails desperately asking, “Are you in Dallas still? Where are you?” constantly reminding me of my other lives so many miles from here....)

The trick, no? is to find Salam (that inner peace) where I am (not in Montreal) after taking up the journey on the Living Road. And yet in my Latin lesson this morning, I read Seneca’s “Vita est iter”: life is a journey. And the more I stay here, the closer east gets to west. And it takes more than three words to save us all.

I can’t even find Salam these days, even on google.com; and we’re no longer friends. My friendship with his analogue Jihad from Damascus (though possibly living in Toronto these days) is more than over as well. I think I need some strong Turkish coffee—if only I could remember Salam’s recipe—and a puff or two from the opium pipe to get me out of my own head. To get me away from here. If only for an hour.