January 30, 2005

-image-no hype?

So John Kerry said today we mustn’t overhype the Iraqi elections. Well, I guess he’s right. I mean, really, what’s to hype?

Just because it was the first free election held there in over 50 years. Just because more than half the registered Iraqi voters threw caution to the wind, risked their lives, for the privilege to vote. Just because men and women, old and barely able to move, doggedly trudged to the polls for the sake of freedom. Just because courageous throngs chose to wait, not just patiently but joyously, in long lines for this precious opportunity. Just because decades of oppression were pried off by millions of determined, ink-dipped fingers. You’re right, Mr. Kerry. Let’s not get too excited. After all, it is just a chance for democracy, a possibility of freedom, a shot at hope.

No, a free country is not guaranteed to the people of Iraq . Just as it was no guarantee years ago for those brave men who stood, resolute, before the Declaration of Independence, pledging their Lives, their Fortunes and their sacred Honor. It has to start somewhere, Mr. Kerry. And providentially, here we are, so many years later, free and …. blase? ungrateful?

Because I’m confused, Mr. Kerry. If you can so disparage the process of free elections, then why were you such a willing candidate in ours? If the possibility of the birth of a free country doesn’t thrill you, take your breath away, then why did you so desperately want to be president of ours?

Well, I thank you, Mr. Kerry, for reminding me yet again why I never for a moment considered voting for you.

January 27, 2005

-image-a whole new you

This, from an article I read in International Design magazine about the coming age of “designer humans.” (Reserve your make and model now, folks.):

Behind this lies a desire to transcend the limits of the body, to overcome its perceived flaws and weaknesses, and ultimately, to prolong life itself. The wilder fringes of this world are inhabited by artificial intelligence thinkers, transhumanists, and ‘extropians’ who dream of downloading human intelligence and making themselves immortal. Natasha Vita-More, an artist and bodybuilder, has collaborated with a team that includes A.I. heavyweights such as Marvin Minsky and Hans Moravec to create a prototype of a technologically enhanced future body called Primo.

‘I love fashion,’ Vita-More told Wired. ‘Our bodies will be the next fashion statement; we will design them in all sorts of interesting combinations of texture, colors, tones, and luminosity.’ In interviews and lectures, Vita-More evokes her ‘designer body’ concept in the promotional language of consumer design: ‘What if your body was as sleek, as sexy, and felt as comfortable as your new automobile? Primo’s radical body design is more powerful, better suspended and more flexible … offering extended performance and better modern style.’ Where the 20th-century human body makes mistakes, wears out, usually has a single gender, and is capable of only a limited life span, 21st-century Primo’s post-human, super-body features an error-correction device, can change gender and be upgraded, and is potentially ageless. Our sense of humanity — missing, you might think, from this cyborg fantasy — will be superseded by an ‘enlightened transhumanity” …

Dibs on tall, red chenille with new car smell. Oh, and better suspension. Naturally.

-image-eh, there, sonny?

So the other evening, My Beloved was trying to tell me about his day. I was upstairs; he was down.

I called out, “Wait. I can’t really hear you. Let me come down.”

MB kept talking. I tried my best faraway listening. Forget it. I came to the top of the stairs and stopped him.

“What’d you say? ‘Everything went wobbly-eyed‘?”

He stared at me in disbelief.

“Nooo. I said, ‘Everything went horribly awry.'”

Oh.

Hmm. (I think I like mine better.)

January 25, 2005

-image-it’s oscar time

Today is the kind of day that reminds me why, back in my “serious acting” days, I said no to the inevitable lure of Hollywood. The slimy game playing, the skewed worldview, the moral and spiritual poverty. The Arts are not about art. We know that. That art still happens is utterly incidental to the business of art. That art still happens, I believe, proves a Creator who put His creative fire in every heart, regenerate and unregenerate alike. But … if you care about the art of art, care about that pursuit, you’ll most likely have your heart broken by the business of art. But, enough about, uh, me … maybe another day.

“The Passion of The Christ” was soundly snubbed at the hands of The Academy during this morning’s Oscar nominations. Mel Gibson’s transcendent masterpiece garnered no nominations in the “biggie” categories”: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay. It did receive nominations in the more technical categories of Cinematography, Original Score, and Makeup. So I guess all that sobbing and sniffling heard in all those darkened theatres was because of that darned Original Score. Funny. I thought it was from something else .

But those of us who loved this courageous, inspired film shouldn’t be too surprised. After all, what could Hollywood do? Too popular to ignore, too truthful to applaud, “The Passion” must have created a bona fide conundrum for The Academy. I mean, really. These poor, well-meaning people just want to bless themselves, but how could they do that with “The Passion” — and the passions it stirred — standing in their way? Ah, I know. Extend the olive branch of lesser nominations to appease the film’s rabid fans. You know, some nice, piecemeal, technical nods. Who could argue with that? But certainly nothing founded on content. Nothing that could possibly signal a warm embrace, a holistic grasp of the film. Ohhh, nooo. Too big a nod could be dangerous. Too big a nod could break Hollywood’s neck, leave it paralyzed. Because too big a nod is a nod to Truth. For this is Hollywood, after all, our glittering Left Coast Babylon of boobs, braggarts, and blind men.

And truth is for suckers … dudes …

January 21, 2005

-image-no dumb bunnies

Okay. Go now to Angry Alien Productions. There, you’ll find some movie classics re-enacted in 30 seconds with … bunnies, naturally. What’s not to love ’bout that? It’s good stuff, Maynard. Have yourself a li’l fun. I took a shine to this one. I tell ya, my childhood bunny Hopscotch never did any of that stuff. Feel kinda ripped off now.

Tip: My friend The Anchoress , who liked this one.

-image-where are my manners?

So I’m at Costco the other day.  We all know Costco, right?  Basically a hangar-sized building filled to the brim with enough bulk items to satisfy any shopper’s greedy, grabby consumer lust.  In other words, a place that fills me weepy, sloppy love.  And I still love Costco even though I worked there in high school, which should have had a lifelong repellent effect.  Not for me.  When I’m at Costco, I know Jesus loves me.

So … I’m at Costco the other day.  Somehow I managed to subdue my pounding desire for that 10-pound bag of potato chips, that silo full of Red Vines, that moon-sized pizza.  Smug with my utter dominance over The Sirens’ Call of Costco, I approached the checkout with only 5 — yep, count ’em, 5 — items.  I did, however, succumb to some practical items, like The Raft o’ Toilet Paper.  Hey, get yourself enough of those and you have what I call the guest bed.

Surprisingly, the line wasn’t that long.  And trust me, I know what a long line at Costco is.   As I stood there,  4 or 5 more people fell in line behind me.  Moments later, my turn, and I was quite giddy about it, frankly.  But just then, on the brink of my precious turn, up strolled Duchess McSnooty Voice. 

Stepping in front of me, she clipped, "May I cut in front of you?  I only have a few things."

Quickly, I glanced and counted.  Well, okay.  She did have only a few things.  Seven, to be precise.  I heard The Lady Behind Me breathe one of those lingering, huffy breaths. 

Now, I’m not opposed to letting someone in front of me who has fewer items than I do.  I’ll even offer, because, by golly, I’m just that wonderful.  But when there are other people in line behind me, I find things get … fuzzy.  Because, really, aren’t you asking to go in front of everyone in line, Duchess? 

I was entering a weird area.  Duchess McSnooty Voice was waiting and staring at me, The Lady Behind Me was waiting and huffing at me, and I just wanted to go home to peace and quiet and the blessed security of my glorious Raft o’ Toilet Paper.

Plus, I wanted one of themthere yummy Costco hot dogs as a reward for all that temptation I had resisted.

Crumbling under the weight of all the staring and huffing, I looked at Duchess McSnooty Voice and said, with a sagacity far beyond my years:

"Well,  I don’t have a problem with it" (just a wee Pinocchio),"but why don’t you ask the people behind me if it’s okay with them, too?"

This, to me, seemed utterly sane and reasonable.  I was quite taken with myself.

Instantly, The Lady Behind Me stopped huffing.  Duchess McSnooty Voice, however, kept staring.  At me, like I was crazy.  Then I did the unpardonable, I guess.  I smiled at her.  And she stomped away.  Huffing

Was it something I said?

January 20, 2005

-image-hubba hubba, Dubya

Congrats, Dubya. You sounded great today. You *looked* great today. I, for one, am proud to have a man of deep, unshakable conviction as the leader of our nation.

I thank you, President Bush. And my family — for whom the terror issue is personal — thanks you.

I posted this story a few months ago, before the election. It’s the story of my aunt and uncle’s deaths in a pre-9/11 terror attack. (So, I guess, technically, it’s a “rerun,” but not if you haven’t seen it, right?)

We need to be ever mindful of what we face.

January 18, 2005

-image-consarnit

I thought I’d take advantage of these few lucid moments my computer’s wheezing out to say: I’m having some dratted computer problems. And because I’m sure this cooperative computer moment won’t last forever, just thought I’d let y’all know. Be back later this week.

January 13, 2005

-image-“take a little scrap of paper”

I’m not strong of late. I’m struggling. I’m finding it too hard to offer up anything new right now, anything coherent. Perhaps if I were stronger, but I am weak.

So how ’bout this instead? Some Thackeray:

“When you think that the eyes of your childhood dried at the sight of a piece of gingerbread, and that a plum-cake was a compensation for the agony of parting with your mamma and sisters; O my friend and brother, you need not be too confident of your own fine feelings.”

And here’s more:

“Thus, my dear and civilized reader, if you and I were to find ourselves this evening in a society of greengrocers, let us say, it is probable that our conversation would not be brilliant; if, on the other hand, a greengrocer should find himself at your refined and polite tea-table, where everybody was saying witty things, and everybody of fashion and repute tearing her friends to pieces in the most delightful manner, it is possible that the stranger would not be very talkative, and by no means interesting or interested.”

And more:

“For which of us can point out many such in his circle — men whose aims are generous, whose truth is constant, and not only constant in its kind but elevated in its degree; whose want of meanness makes them simple; who can look the world honestly in the face with an equal manly sympathy for the great and the small? We all know a hundred whose coats are very well made, and a score who have excellent manners, and one or two happy beings who are what they call in the inner circles, and have shot into the very centre and bull’s-eye of the fashion: but of gentlemen how many? Let us take a little scrap of paper and each make out his list.”

January 10, 2005

-image-bleah

I got nuttin’. Nada. Well, I got somethin’, but it’s just a whiny baby moan about my poor car. And that’s this: It’s raining biblical here in So Cal, and naturally, my little car has a leak. I’m hoping to blame it on the recent incompetent bunglery of the goobers who painted it. Can’t find where it’s coming from. Fashioned a really-stupid-looking-obviously-done-by-a-girl visqueen “panel” on the driver’s side door because I was sure that was the culprit. Drove around looking like a MORON — and still had water on the backseat floor, so clearly, my groovy makeshift panel didn’t work. Maybe God meant it as a “lesson in humility.” (I say that as an homage to something a verrry wealthy friend of mine once said: “Yeah, my dad wouldn’t give my little sister a Mercedes as her first car. She had to drive a CAMARO as a lesson in humility.” Oh, please. The poor baby. I laughed out loud and snorted — I think I really did snort …. well, it IS pretty snort-worthy — “Oh, yeah? How’d that work out?” — BEFORE bothering to look at her face. Once I did, I stopped laughing. She was dead serious. Oh. Uhhhhh … oops.)

So I’m gettin’ really chapped with this. Car stinks like a thousand ratty sponges AND steams up like a sauna when I drive — and not in that smooth, snooty “oh-Lovey-let’s-have-a-spa” kind of way. Nope. It fogs like a dozen hormonally crazed teenagers are loose and makin’ out in my car. And hey — if the windows are gonna fog, I want it to be from something fun I’M doing, not because there’s some freakin’ encroaching wetlands in my backseat! I’ve repeatedly, obsessively destroyed the marshlands with sponges and Lysol and anything else I can get my hands on. But only under cover of night lest some pinchy environmentalists catch me and call the wrath of the EPA down upon me.

Although, maybe I should just cave in and get me some fishies.

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