Tuesday, October 20, 2009

...a funny sort of bag

"You mean to carry carpets in?"
"No. Made of."


colour me sipping coffee, ignoring the pile of articles on Irish feminist activism of the early 20th century, listening to ep 5 of The Lake Effect and pulling out, if not a standing lamp, then a load of random stuff from the past few days...

i had the great privilege of one of my classes being led by Loretta Ross, National Coordinator of SisterSong - the Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective based in Atlanta, GA.
although focussed on reproductive justice for women of color, all women, and men, of all races are welcome to join Sistersong. their model of understanding reproductive justice and the process they use for building a coalition of diverse perspectives and particular causes is to me a remarkably strong one. Loretta was a joy to encounter and learn from. i thoroughly recommend checking them out and encouraging others to do the same.


over at the Daily Dish,
Andrew Sullivan shared this (to my mind) engrossing C-Span interview from 1995


i've been checking out Pete's blog entry, One Day I Hope to Believe in God

the ensuing online debate since William Crawley interviewed Pete at his last ikon before moving to the US has gotten pretty heated.
it's all been something of a storm in a teacup that would appear not to have broken out amongst anyone who actually participates in ikon. not to the best of my knowledge anyway. and if it had, i'd have been very surprised.

despite a wide range of perspectives, one thing the ikon collective doesn't tend towards is fighting each other over our diverse takes on what it means to ask if one 'believes in God'. i am always a bit bemused that others assume we all agree. and indeed that we agree with Pete, as if he had the monopoly on correct thought, rather than having a unique role within the collective and a wider platform to share his ideas.
so, i feel no need to intellectually defend Pete. his thoughts are his, and as a philosopher he can well take care of himself in that regard and do a far better job of it than i. but as his friend, even one who has openly differed with him, i find the tone of some of the critics weighing in to be unnecessarily barbed. and that's a reminder of why the process of ikon is not without value:

as a collective, we've hung in together in our diversity and even conflict over the years, and have persistently used creativity to draw us closer, as well as to express the nuance of our different perspectives. rather than sitting around arguing over our theological or philosophical differences, we continue to use that tension to fire our creativity.

what i have appreciated from Pete's posting and in particular, within the comments from site visitors, are a parable from Larry Tosh and a comment from Michael Danner. if i can find the space and time, i hope to write later in the week about these two offerings. i don't know either of these people but i found both of their contributions had strong resonance for me personally... 


my brother gives great gifts. this birthday's offerings were,

the gorgeous Beacons by Ohbijou

and, as just one of several sci-fi gifts from around the world, he gave me,
the DVD edition of classic 80s British sci-fi series, Chocky. i remember almost nothing about this show other than the name alone freaked me out and still does. just saying it creeps me out, though i've long forgotten why... very much looking forward to curling up on the sofa on a cold winter's afternoon with this.

the canon includes everything. except Noddy...
the Dr Who fans that visit here, or one of them anyway, might be interested to note that the series was adapted by Anthony Read - who also contributed to Sapphire and Steel ( i remember only one scene from that show but i know i loved it). and proving you can't move through the history of Dr Who writers without constantly tripping over Sherlock Holmes connections, he created yet another 80s series, The Baker Street Boys. but that's not what got me excited...

what i hadn't realised until now is that Chocky was a novel by John Wyndham. i remember David Dark recommending José Saramago's Blindness many years back. it was impossible not to read it as a contemporary rewrite of Wyndham's 1951, Day of the Triffids.
even more pertinent, however, is that Wyndham is the author of The Midwich Cuckoos, which in film form became an absolute late night cult favourite of Ewan's and mine - Village of the Damned.
a few birthday's back Ewan gifted me the 1960 original (featuring one of my favourite character actors of all time, George Sanders) the 1995 John (Halloween) Carpenter remake (featuring Kirstie Alley, Christopher Reeve & Mark Hamill - that it was Reeve's last movie before his accident somehow makes me feel a little guilty at calling it terrifically awful, but it is) and the 1963 sequel, Children of the Damned.


also in the sci-fi birthday mix:

Padraig and I share the same birthfest week and we made a deal this year to buy each other the same gift - Margaret Atwood's new dystopian novel, The Year of the Flood. it's a sequel to Oryx and Crake and although that wasn't my favourite Atwood offering by any stretch, it was too tempting to resist and the hardback cover and dust jacket are beautifully designed. i think i'm going to try and save it for my next transatlantic flight. until then, it'll be sitting on display as a coffee table objet d'art.

alrighty, closing the bag. back to reading what i'm supposed to be...



  1. Anonymous8:08 am

    Two things....

    Number A.
    I adored Chocky as a kid - we must arrange a communal viewing.

    Number B:
    Year of the Flood is brilliant. I chewed it over a weekend. Hardback and all.

    Number C:
    My inter-cert Commerce teacher used to talk about number a/b/c. I was petrified of her - she was from Kerry and swore at us, while wearing miniskirts and black leather jackets.

    I case the rest.


  2. Number A.
    see today's follow up post. :)

    Number B.
    now i really can't wait

    Number C.
    joke only ewan and you will get: Ciúinas!!!!

    i wanted to check out the spelling (the second i seems to come and go in online translations) and found a discussion of how to tell an audience at a gig to be quiet in Gaelic:


    favourite suggestion: shutthefeckupwillya


    but what caught my etymological eye - Our Gramps, who spoke in broad Scots, used to tell us to be quiet when he was watching the snooker, with
    what sounded like, 'hud yar wheesht'
    years later, i assumed this might mean, 'hold your whistle'. which sounds like an obscenity. :)

    but apparantly this occurs in ireland too - someone's grandmother in Dublin used it. i'd have expected it in Ulster, but not Dublin. and someone responds, that it's for whistle, but then another suggests, 'Whist' is a corruption of the Gaelic intruction 'Bí i do thost' which literally means 'Be in your quiet'
    no idea who's right but that's intriguing.

    it's a fascinating and frequently comic thread. :)

    Number D.
    i'm donned a miniskirt and black leather jacket to type this. :)