Tuesday, June 30, 2009

keep paying attention/mess with some heads

a call for people to keep their eyes and ears peeled for Iranian related material, particularly cultural...

i sent in this scoop from a free local newspaper here in Dublin southside.

::

the embers of Pyro-Theology at gb09 are glowing brightly. *much* work to be done but my confidence that we can pull together a worthwhile offering is gaining.
i can't/won't give any details away but i think this could be an engaging gathering.
(time tbc/friday evening/Centaur. keep the date.)

NOTE: our friends in Moot helped created a "protest" for our Fundamentalism gathering a couple of years back - brilliantly led by the Father. it was integral to setting the mood and theology for the night.

money quote (from someone in the queue, who took the Father's iain paisley-esque hell, fire and brimstone trickster protest against ikon to be the real deal):

"fuck off!! i'm going in to worship!!"

hehe. oh the ironies in those 7 words. as jonny would say, it works on many levels.

i can't say anything about the plans for this year, but if you're gonna be on site and are available to lend a hand in the 30 mins before the event and possibly during it, let me know how i can contact you by direct mail. we may need some extra hands for this year's evanDalistic infiltrating. please note, any info you are given as a result, you are asked to keep to yourself.

right, i am running massively behind this morning and am meant to be travelling to Belfast. better get my ass firmly in gear.

LB

Monday, June 29, 2009

on the town with the league of gentlemen

this is local radio for local people. we'll have no trouble here!

only last night, my inaugural guest, Padraig, my love (aka the gbf) referenced the Dentons as i showed him the selection of towels at his disposal. which was rather appropriate given he was carrying a rucksack and only staying the one night...

BBC Radio 7, starting tonight. a chance to go back to the beginning and the town of Spent. (later to become Royston Vasey in the television incarnation.)

available to local people the world over on the iplayer. marvellous, as the Father would say.

LB

edited to add: seasons 1-3 & the deliciously dark xmas special available separately or as a collection for DVD Region 1. unmissable, frankly.

living with truth: pragmatism vs. poetry



how to live alone with persistent feelings of unrequited love:

the past is past. the future hasn't happened yet. all you have is now. be honest in it. accepting the external reality turned out not to be fatal. but have you accepted your internal reality? stop supressing and resisting and eventually these feelings for another, as deep as they are futile, stop hurting. your feelings become a kind of inner white noise. endeavour to use the energy you regain to do some small piece of good in your world with the time you have left.

if anyone asks, say, it turned out it was easier to live with the white noise than to wish one had never loved at all. these days i barely notice it.

if that honesty makes others uncomfortable, or invites pity, remind them, the most efficient path is the way of least resistance. (many people will accept the awkward and harsh reality of being human, if you can pass it off as Zen wisdom)
::

The Effort


Would anyone care to join me
in flicking a few pebbles in the direction
of teachers who are fond of asking the question:
"What is the poet trying to say?"

as if Thomas Hardy and Emily Dickinson
had struggled but ultimately failed in their efforts—
inarticulate wretches that they were,
biting their pens and staring out the window for a clue.

Yes, it seems that Whitman, Amy Lowell
and the rest could only try and fail
but we in Mrs. Parker's third-period English class
here at Springfield High will succeed

with the help of these study questions
in saying what the poor poet could not,
and we will get all this done before
that orgy of egg salad and tuna fish known as lunch.

Tonight, however, I am the one trying
to say what it is this absence means,
the two of us sleeping and waking under different roofs.
The image of this vase of cut flowers,

not from our garden, is no help.
And the same goes for the single plate,
the solitary lamp, and the weather that presses its face
against these new windows--the drizzle and the
morning frost.

So I will leave it up to Mrs. Parker,
who is tapping a piece of chalk against the blackboard,
and her students—a few with their hands up,
others slouching with their caps on backwards—

to figure out what it is I am trying to say
about this place where I find myself
and to do it before the noon bell rings
and that whirlwind of meatloaf is unleashed.

- "The Effort" by Billy Collins, from Ballistics. © Random House, 2008. from today's writer's almanac. no profit gained. no infringement intended. buy here

LB

ever wondered...

what it costs to get parking in the dead centre of Wimbledon at this time of year?



20 quid apparently.

via Will & Testament: Vicar loses the plot

sorry. couldn't stop myself.

LB

Sunday, June 28, 2009

i pray to i know not what, yet still i pray

i read this piece on the daily dish and the full article it links to with interest...

here's my own response:


"They kept a vigil day after day, but all their prayers could not save him."

i take that to be a turn of phrase, not a theological statement. i doubt such an expression intended (in the context it was originally expressed) to define the point of prayer or tell us anything definitive about the existence of a deity beyond. it speaks to the helplessness and the fervent desire for life, as held the people gathered. to use that as an argument against prayer seems not only rationalist but a little callous to their hope, love and then pain in losing a colleague and friend.

i can't speak for the beliefs of the people involved but i think Heather MacDonald perhaps misses the point...
prayer might be seen, as Walter Brueggemann says of Psalmic prayer, "the speech of extremity" . it is uttered toward something (that is more like nothing) beyond us.
i was reminded of that, "speech of extremity" as i have read various perspectives on the layered meaning in the cries of "Allah O Akbar!" from Iranian rooftops.

we might be better then understanding prayer as an instinct to cry out to something beyond oneself. prayer is not a rational or reasonable proof of the existence of a deity, but it remains an authentic human expression - a desire, hope, plea. perhaps of a deep hope that the future might be different than what we expect, especially when we feel on a rooftop or in a hospital waiting room, a natural feeling of helplessness or desperation.

it makes me think of two expressions, neither of which i know the source:

"Pray like the solution is all in God's hands. Act like it's all in your hands."

and

"We don't understand so we can believe. We believe so as to understand." in that light, i totally accept and understand the vigil and the statement, "their prayers could not save him."

i would deny no one the ritual expression of such prayer - prayer is ultimately saying, while the surgeon does their work, "this is out of my hands. i cannot control the future.
and yet i wish it were not so."
prayer speaks to our lack of control and sometimes expresses an understanding of the weakness of God rather than God's magical power. i can't help but think of that young Iranian woman on a dark rooftop in Tehran, wondering if Allah is, like her, shaking too.

i have sat desperately in hospital vigils and prayed, "thy will be done". and i don't think that actually tells me anything about the existence of God, or God's character, or indeed prayer's efficacy. but it helped me express my humanness, my helplessness and my hope. the person for whom i was praying wasn't conscious. but i still wanted to express my love, hope and desperation.
reason had nothing to do with it. it was simply my own speech of extremity, when there was nothing left for me to do but shake. "thy will be done" was me believing, so as to accept, if not understand, a painful situation beyond my control and my own helpless inability to control what was to come.

the friends of Officer Eric Hernandez were perhaps doing no different. i am left wondering, despite MacDonald's rationale, what's so obscure about that?

LB

Saturday, June 27, 2009

cool shoes

Harvest MJ - KEEN <--- there

could not possibly justify forking out for these but my god they are lovely.

the uppers are made from recycled rice bags and the soles are recycled too.

me likey.

Friday, June 26, 2009

until the violence stops...

Shirley told me she went to see The Vagina Monologues last night with her mum and sister.
that got me surfing to see what's been going on in the world of V*. so thanks to her for sparking this...

i found this great video from the V-Day 10 year celebrations at the end of last year:




and then i found this,

MENding Monologues.

a guy in Sedona, Arizona has started a project that is in partnership with V-Day... some of the content is powerful... videos here on youtube (which is how i happened upon it)
the project does two types of show: the touring show, and community shows, where men take part in workshops and write their own monologues. <-- examples on that page.

"Our shows are a healing to men, a love letter to women and call to end violence in all its forms."

violence againt women not only damages women, it damages men. and it silences them. which is what all forms of abuse do. silences. puts the things we don't want to be brought into the light into a closet with the door jammed shut. it makes the truth into a dirty secret no one dare talk about. it creates fear. and in that atmosphere of intimidation, fear and secrets, the abuse goes on.

but i believe men can be just as empowered as women to raise their voice and express their feelings and desire for justice for women, and to heal in the process. MENding Monologues seems to be aiming for just that.

i've been waiting for a long time for somone to take seriously what V-Day is about and find a way to bring men's voices into the conversation. the appropriate response to The Vagina Monologues is not balance things out with The Penis Monologues. it might be entertaining but i think that misses the point. instead, it is to hear the call The Vagina Monologues is making: to end violence by ending silence. that takes courage. but i also know that the process empowers. not with power over, but power for. that power for is what V-Day is all about.
and i'm glad there's an attempt being made to invite men's voices into that experience. i know from my own experience how enriching and empowering it was to take part in The Vagina Monologues. that's an experience i'd want for anyone. and the more voices, the better. this empowers men to share their stories too.

this monologue is a true story courageously told by the man who wrote it. the names have been changed.



and should my dear friends who have suffered and survived rape, assault and abuse ever pass by this page and read this, know i am thinking of you as i write, with as much love, pride and admiration at your survivor's courage as always...

altogether now:

C, C, Ca, Ca, Cavern, Cackle, Clit, Cute, Come...


LB

*remember, V is for Vaginas and Victory Over Violence.

jason jones behind the veil

first there was Wasilla. then came ASU and Florida. each time, as i shuddered and cringed, i thought he couldn't get any better... and then Jason Jones went to Iran.

because i can't stick these on my fridge:

I`ra`ndecision 2009: Ahmadinejad rally in Tehran

Behind the Veil: part 1 - Minarets of Menace

part 2 - Persians of Interest


part 3 - Ayatollah You So

part 4 - The Kids Are Allah Right

Moment of Zen - Iranian playground

صلح و عشق :: peace and love

LB

history collides

TNC and sullivan

not much more to be said; except...

January 11, 1992: Nirvana's Nevermind reached number one on the US Billboard album charts, replacing Michael Jackson's Dangerous. "...that was the revolutionary tipping point": Cobain's goal for the 1990s "to debase every known form of pop music" had happened.

the spirit of grunge: a retrospective from radio 4. miranda sawyer examines a significant slice of GenX history on this side of the Atlantic - the impact of the commodified and co-opted grunge music and aesthetic. shame it's only half on hour long as it's an astute critique.





(friday 8 april, 1994)

...

And now you are dead.
I was in San Fransisco, driving up the 101 past Candlestick Park when the news came over the radio, LIVE 105 - the news that you had shot yourself.
A few minutes later I was in the city and I pulled the car over and tried to figure out what I felt.
I had never asked you to make me care about you, but it happened - against the hype, against the odds - and now you are in my imagination forever.
And I figure you're in heaven, too. But how, exactly does it help you now, to know that you, too, as it is said, were once adored?

D.

- extract from Letter to Kurt Cobain, in Polaroids From The Dead,
by Douglas Coupland (1996)



with the lights out, it's less dangerous


LB

Thursday, June 25, 2009

the tent and the mountain

today, i got to rereading this incredible sermon that nadia wrote on philip and the ethiopian eunuch.

in a day in which i felt lost for the first time in quite a while and feeling the long loneliness pulling at me, this helped me back toward remeeting myself.

so much of the time my life is about being at the edges, pushing to a place of provocation and holding things without certainty and yet seeking simultaneously to live with conviction and passion for what one hopes is good and true.

some days i find that harder than others. i needed a fulcrum today. i needed it to be okay to want and need to step in under the canvas a little more. to embrace one's inner conflict, contradiction and doubt by forgiving oneself of them all and allowing oneself the gift of some radical welcome. only then can one bear to be truly open to others.

nadia refers to the Holy Spirit as she. and this morning, shirley sent me this song in response to the photos i posted last night, (an several years old piece from an ikon gathering called christa that i've been reworking)

Hope Mountain by Anthony and the Johnstons

Hope Mountain
Is the place where
The girl first dawned her face

For the crowd
That was gathered
Outside her dark white cave
And then scores of
Soaring eagles
Lift her to the breaking day

We are waiting
And we're watching
The waters as they sigh
Hope Mountain
Is the place where
The people come to cry
She was born
Like a diamond
Out of the mountainside
She treasures our
Brokenness
And will raise us from the tide

We laid there
Gently resting
On the golden green
In the falls
Of the foxes
The hungry and relieved
It's time to
Take a wild flight
And let things start again
It's time
To produce what's right
And start to make amends

Look
Look in the water
Look who it is
It's just Jesus
This time she's a girl
This time she's a girl



audio version:



i got some nice emails too. one was this, from jon,

“If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!”
– St. Catherine of Siena

i feel the dots of myself joining back up.

LB


how the long arc bends...

lifefull words at the end of a day that's been so marked by deathfull words like, butcher and massacre..

SoF Observed: the heart progressively gets educated...

the final word is love.
- dorothy day

and

justice is what love looks like in public.
- cornel west



let it be so...

LB

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

retrospective sketches of ikon, unfinishe...

snapshots of a selection of the works-in-progress that have been taking provisional shape over the last few days...









LB

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

history's truthiness

Schama and Colbert dialogue and find themselves agreeing on history's lessons on last night's show...

simon schama: "Thomas Jefferson said every man, whether he worships one God, three Gods or no God, should be free to practice what ever he wishes without fear of oppression."

stephen colbert: "Absolutely. He can worship the Jesus Christ of his choice."


LB

kindergarDen

it's flip flop warm and sunny for the first time in a week.

i love the way young nasturtium plants stretch so enthusiastically toward the sun. i imagine them pleading in little voices, "pick me, miss, pick me!" when the teacher's selecting the lucky person who's going to get to feed the class gerbil.







LB

on the outside...

on an entirely different note,

the wonderful mark gatiss on radio 4 today.

big thanks to Joel for the tip off. THANKS!! <-- example of big thanks.

LB

satire meets tyranny

take this quote from mark twain

and mix it with last night's daily show iran coverage & interview with Embrahim Yazdi's son (22/06/09)

and, if you feel moved to respond to Yazdi's advice, there's an opportunity as an individual to voice your concern to Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei via an email campaign set up last week on the Amnesty International USA, or take up the alternative actions (e.g. contacting local Iranian embassies) available your local Amnesty site.

::

Caspian Makan, Neda Agha-Setan's fiancee, was interviewed by BBC Persia:

About payment for releasing the remains, Mr. Makan had this to say: "No specific amount has been paid at this time, although hospitals, clinics, surgeons and medical examiners have been ordered by the Iranian security services, based on various orders, not to list 'bullet wound' as the cause of death on the death certificate in order to prevent the families from filing international complaints in the future. I haven't seen the release notice of Neda's remains yet, but I will obtain it from her father in the coming days." (via Nico Pitney on 22/06. italics my own.)

there is a lack of logic to this defensive policy that even a child could spot. this is not 'simply' avoidance of future charges via evidence tampering and supression of truth. in a case of domestic abuse, the use of this underlying manipulation of logic and reality on an adult, let alone a child, would be filed under evidence of psychological abuse. as bureaucratic defense, (as has been so consistently evident in Khamenei's speech last Friday and all other attempts by authorities to deny electoral fraud) it's nothing short of Orwellian.

but then as someone pointed out to me last night, recalling Zimbabwe as just one of so many examples, since when did the insanity of believing of one's own lies ever stop anyone fron running a country for 30 years?

tragically, it doesn't stop there:

12:40 AM ET -- A 19-year-old shot in the head and killed during the demonstrations... and Iranian officials asked his parents to "pay an equivalent of $3,000 as a 'bullet fee' -- a fee for the bullet used by security forces -- before taking the body back." One of the most tragic stories I've read in a long time, by the Wall Street Journal's exceptional Farnaz Fassihi. (Nico Pitney)

i'll be honest and say i read that quote and found it difficult to comprehend, such is the inhumane mindfuck this adding-insult-to-murder represents.

::

i've not been able to get this reader post from the daily dish out of my head. only time will tell if the reader called it right, but whatever is to come, i suspect this'll still win my nomination for best use of motherfucker in 2009.

i find myself unavoidably reminded that looking the other way and saying nothing, or taking more interest in Perez Hilton than global hunger, AIDS, genocide, war crimes and political oppression is a choice granted to those of us who have democratic freedom.
i count myself fortunate to have the undeniable luxury of limiting my cares and concerns solely to the insignificant and peurile if i should so choose, however much that is an arguably wasteful disregard of one's liberty and humanity.

LB

geek meets grrrl

this'll be brief. it's late and i need sleep so i can get cracking in the morning bright and early on my art for common grounds... stuff. <-- brain shutting down. but, had a link to share. if you like comics, and you like feminisms, then you might like this: Girls Read Comics (and they're pissed)

that's "pissed" as in pissed off. not falling-over-legs-akimbo-and-puking-down -the-side-of-the-sofa pissed. actually, that scenario would probably be deserving of, "rat-arsed".

right. to bed.

LB

men are cool. but i couldn't eat a whole one.

Monday, June 22, 2009

more geekdom

i'm still *loving* what this geek does. nice point, brilliantly made.

john hodgman addresses the radio and tv correspondents' dinner (with obama) the other night:




LB

Sunday, June 21, 2009

sunday geekdom

today mostly involves art messing and my second listen to of the highly entertaining dr who audio drama Bang-Bang-A-Boom, which was a very welcome surprise gift from the lovely dr Joel.
it's lots of fun and full of eurovision song contest humour.

i just finished Watchmen the other night. i ended up spinning it out as long as i could. don't know what to say other than it's a piece of freaking brilliance and lived up to all recommendations. lovedit. i think i'll be following in my brother's footsteps and make reading it an annual tradition.

next up Persepolis, which i suspect is going to be even more affecting in light of the past week's (ongoing) events...

LB

sunday sequence

an update on the conference mentioned in this post is over at Will & Testament in this post.

::

today's programme has a feature (with interviews) on the incredibly powerful Combat Paper Project, which is currently visiting the UK.

The story of the soldier, the Marine, the men and the women and the journeys within the military service in a time of war is the basis for this project. The goal is to utilize art as a means to help veterans reconcile their personal experiences as well as broaden the traditional narrative surrounding service, honor and the military culture.

Through papermaking workshops veterans use their uniforms worn in combat to create cathartic works of art. The uniforms are cut up, beat and formed into sheets of paper. Veterans use the transformative process of papermaking to reclaim their uniform as art and begin to embrace their experiences as a soldier in war.

The Combat Paper Project is based out of Green Door Studio in Burlington, VT and has traveled throughout the United States. This project is made possible by a multifaceted collaboration between artists, art collectors, academic institutions and combat veterans.

Through ongoing participation in the papermaking process, combat papermakers are attempting to progress from creating works specific to their military experiences to expressing a broader vision on militarism and society. The work reflects both the anger of the past and hope for the future. Through this collaboration between civilians and veterans, a much-needed conversation is generated regarding our responsibilities to the returned veteran and an understanding of the dehumanizing effects of warfare.

The story of the fiber, the blood, sweat and tears, the months of hardship and brutal violence are held within those old uniforms. The uniforms often become inhabitants of closets or boxes in the attic. Reclaiming that association of subordination, of warfare and service into something collective and beautiful is our inspiration.

Drew Cameron

The Combat Paper Project is a collaboration initiated by Drew Matott and Drew Cameron, involving war veterans, activists and artists.
::

Mark did a feature on the church response to the violence and intimidation against a Romanian Roma community in Belfast this past week. i may not typically find much resonance with the conservative theology of the churches involved but their social justice-as-gospel response to this situation has been exemplary and humbling.

LB

Saturday, June 20, 2009

good times remembered

i've got very little done today since i rolled out of bed at ten. been some gb09 ikon mailing back and forth going on but i've mostly been stuck at my laptop following the confusing increasingly disturbing reports of violence coming out of tehran on the blogs and iran twazzup*.

think i'm gonna take a break from the desk and try get on with some creating.

peterson's uploaded more of his photos of our week in the north with words to make me smile. and blush, frankly. over there --> at Photos 4 Little Bird.

as always, lovely to be reminded of good times and how fortunate one is...

LB

*my guess would be that twitter is becoming increasingly unreliable as a source of info for those inside iran, assuming they are getting any access. this morning it was full of quite obvious state driven misinformation and this afternoon mostly seems full of ppl outside iran re-tweeting rumours without researching for confirmation and wasting everyone else's time by offering unhelpful or irrelevant comment. and even spamming with porn. :-|

Friday, June 19, 2009

silence and last words

in a city far away someone writes tonight,

“I will participate in the demonstrations tomorrow. Maybe they will turn violent. Maybe I will be one of the people who is going to get killed. I’m listening to all my favorite music. I even want to dance to a few songs. I always wanted to have very narrow eyebrows. Yes, maybe I will go to the salon before I go tomorrow! There are a few great movie scenes that I also have to see. I should drop by the library, too. It’s worth to read the poems of Forough and Shamloo again. All family pictures have to be reviewed, too. I have to call my friends as well to say goodbye. All I have are two bookshelves which I told my family who should receive them. I’m two units away from getting my bachelors degree but who cares about that. My mind is very chaotic. I wrote these random sentences for the next generation so they know we were not just emotional and under peer pressure. So they know that we did everything we could to create a better future for them. So they know that our ancestors surrendered to Arabs and Mongols but did not surrender to despotism. This note is dedicated to tomorrow’s children…”

- an Iranian blogger

::

my nasturtium shoots are thriving. thriving and the lushest green. each morning i open out my window and lean on the sill to see their progress. they never say anything, but they are thriving.

::

"... - not an ordinary silence, silence as nothing to hear, but silence that makes itself heard if you listen to it the way Pilate listens to the silence of the man with the split lip. The Gospel that is truth is good news, but before it is good news, let us say that it is just news. Let us say that it is the evening news, the television news, but with the sound turned off.

...

Truth simply is, and is what is, the good with the bad, the joy with the despair, the presence and absense of God, the swollen eye, the bird pecking the cobbles for crumbs. before it is word, the Gospel that is truth is silence, a pregnant silence in its last month, and in answer to Pilate's question, Jesus kept silent, even with his hands tied behind him manages somehow to hold silence out like a terrible gift. "

- frederick buechner, from telling the truth: the gospel as tragedy, comedy & fairytale. (harpercollins, 1977)


::

i have a recipe card for my mother's banana loaf. alongside the last birthday card she gave me, and the inscription to me on the inside of a bible, it's one of few words i have in her handwriting amongst my belongings.

she would have been 62 this week.
yesterday i took her recipe and adding blueberries and some buttermilk, i made muffins. deliciously moist with blueberry burst, and sweet.

::

i told him through my tears i was angry. that i was hurt. i wanted to hate them. but that i had been thinking. thinking that i might be hit by a bus tomorrow. and i was thinking that if i could pause time just before the bus hit, allowing me one last chance, it is them i would go to, in that slice out of time before the impact, so i could make peace...

what would you tell them?, he asked.

i would tell them that i loved them. more than they would ever know. and i had never stopped. and that it was all going to be alright. i would tell them that they were precious.

he said nothing. he just nodded. because this was the truth.

::

none of us is promised a tomorrow. mindful, we might treat each with the reverence and extravagant truth of our last.

LB

US churches debating LGBT Issues

for those in the USA: glaad have a tidy run down of the Protestant denominations exploring LGBT inclusion and justice issues, including dates of their conferences over the summer. followed by an article about pat robertson that'll warm the cockles of your heart*... :-x

Summer Heats Up with Churches Debating LGBT Issues


LB

*don't look at it too long. might make your blood boil

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Allah o Akbar

i recommend hitting play and then reading the accompanying letter. it reads movingly, and reminds me of Brueggemann's description of Psalmic prayer: the speech of extremity.




I cannot in any way claim to know what people are thinking or meaning on the ground, but for centuries, 'Allahu Akbar' has been in the Muslim world a battlefield of meaning and ultimately of political legitimacy. They are five syllables pregnant in meaning, mutability and richness, not simply a ritualistic or fundamentalist dogmatic trope. Nor is 'Allahu Akbar' simply a prayer. In fact, despite all its negative, violent connotations in the West, 'Allahu Akbar' has been uttered by Muslims throughout history as a cry against oppression, against kings and monarchs, against tyrannical and despotic rule, reminding people that in the end, the disposer of affairs and ultimate holder of legitimacy is not any man, not any king or queen, not even any supreme leader, but ultimately a divine force out and above directing, caring and fighting for a more peaceful, rule-based, just and free world for people to live in. God is the one who is greatest, above each and every mortal human being whose station it is to pass away.

The fact that 'Allahu Akbar' is echoing through the Iranian night is not only an indication of the longing of people there to find a peaceful and just solution to this crisis. It also points to how deep the erosion of legitimacy is in whosoever acts against the will of the people, in whosoever claims to act on God's behalf to oppress his fellow human, including in this case some of the 'supreme' Islamic jurists themselves. This all goes to show that Islam, far from being merely an abode of repression and retrogression, has the capacity of being a fundamentally restorative and democratic force in human affairs. In the end, so it seems, at least in the Iranian context, 'Allahu Akbar', God is greatest, is a most profoundly democratic of political slogans. So deep is this call, that what is determined out of this liminal moment may very well set the terms for (or against) a lived, democratic Islamic reality for decades to come.

from Nicholas - a reader at Nico Pitney "live-blogging the uprising" at HuffPo. (post: 3.40PM ET, 6/18/09, titled Allah 0 Akbar!)


LB

a year already? wow.

happy first birthday to baby jude, daughter of annie and helen.

yay for their beautiful fambly and their love. their building of a home filled with love is an example to everyone. they continue to be harbingers of hope and it always leaves me feeling gratitude.

and yesterday's minor storm in a teacup has led to some fruitful dialogue. for that too i am grateful. where there was anger, there is peace being sown. and i haven't had to let go of my conscience to be a part of it. which is important to me.

so, i'm moving on. and amen to it all.

LB

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

we are limbs to each other

Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.



- Saʿdī, medieval mystical poet, native of Shiraz, Iran translating the Prophet Mohammad

and it all rolls round again...

logistical planning for gb09 got firmly underway this morning, at least in my world. jayne and i are fulfilling a mission and roadtripping it this year - taking the ferry from dublin.
to celebrate getting it sorted and booked, she sent me some lovely photos that her dad took at last year's festival on one of our nights in the organic beer tent. it's nice to be reminded that in the midst of a difficult six months, there were some lovely moments and dear people in them.





LB

bloom not burn

neil gaiman has an interesting post today. he links to this recent guardian article. it had caught my eye and i felt irked,

In a scene which appears to have been lifted straight out of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, a group of Christians in Wisconsin has launched a legal claim demanding the right to publicly burn a copy of a book for teenagers which they deem to be "explicitly vulgar, racial [sic], and anti-Christian".

The offending book is Francesca Lia Block's Baby Be-Bop, a young adult novel in which a boy, struggling with his homosexuality, is beaten up by a homophobic gang. The complaint, which according to the American Library Association also demands $120,000 (£72,000) in compensatory damages for being exposed to the book in a display at West Bend Community Memorial Library, was lodged by four men from the Christian Civil Liberties Union.

- alison flood, the guardian, 12 june 09


money quote:

You don't burn books. And, well, you don't sue for your right to burn a library book you don't like. (And that's not just because if you win, that means that people you don't like now have the right to burn your books.)

- neil gaiman

the first half of some recent ramblings went up on queermergent blog last night.

i know where the second half is going, and so i know that i need to read the above article with respect for the right of others to express their views. liberty is for all, or it is for none.

The democratic process, free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent - all those are universal values and need to be respected

- President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters on the rallies in Iran

::

i've twice attempted to make it through Ulysses. i know i'm not alone in that attempting. but oh how these honeywords drip...

"O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the
figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue
and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and
cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put
the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how
he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and
then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to
say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him
down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like
mad and yes I said yes I will Yes."

- from, "Ulysses, " by James Joyce.

and with that, i'm headed back to dublin for some artmaking.*

LB

*scratch that. staying an extra 24 hours so i can be at the tuesday table.

Monday, June 15, 2009

no excuse for apathy

the events that are unfolding are significant on a number of levels - first and foremost for the people of Iran and their self-determination. but i suspect, like many others online tonight suspect, that we may yet see an even wider change...

i feel something like sadness underneath the amazement and horror at what is being broadcast via the new media today. there is a degree to which i am ashamed. that we who have so much freedom squander the right to publicly rally and raise our voices.
"Life has come to a halt. There were at least 2-3M in the streets today. I've never seen such anger. We are not going let this go. They've closed all the universities (during final exams) and have started a purge. Many of our professors are missing and student organizers are moving constantly to avoid detainment. The police is just watching and the army has declared neutrality. The violence is 100% caused by the BASIJ and thugs who are roaming the streets. They seem to be targeting girls, swinging with clubs and chains. Its disgusting but we are protected by numbers. Get the word out-- the more of us stand together, the safer each individual will be. The reports of the university attacks yesterday are true. We don't know how many were hurt or killed."
from a dish reader, here. italics and highlight my own.

i hope we learn from the people of Iran. for not only do we not stand up and use our freedom to speak loudly in solidarity with those who are voiceless in other parts of the world, we rarely stand up for the voiceless in our own neighbourhoods...

for those who have lost their lives and suffered brutality, may we feel deep sorrow...



as the bumper sticker say,
if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention

and most of the time, i'm not...
they are outraged. and i am humbled to be alive to witness their courage and tenacity.

for in all of this, i can only speak for myself. when i say, "we", i really mean "i". but if they seek others to add their voice, count me in the collective...

LB

"in a turbulant world..."

hard to know what one can say such is the speed of news and developments coming out of the ::green revolution:: in iran - but i think this is twitter perhaps finally finding its true value. and given the power of blogging in iran in recent years, this is perhaps not surprising. reading the tweets out of the raided university dorms has made for sobering reading. it never ceases to amaze and humble me at how couragous humans can be when faced with physical threat.

in other, totally different, news - i'm sorry i haven't a clue returns.
it'll be on radio 4 and the bbc iplayer as of tonight. episode details here. nice.

yesterday's collaborative session with jayne and jonny went well so i now have two weeks to take the ideas and the processes we messed about with back to dublin and create the pieces for the exhibit. but i'm glad i asked for their energy and input. it was something of a masterclass in experimenting with techniques and i'm looking forward to playing with ink and graphite powder, salt and acryclics over the coming days.

last night's ikon was a good step toward greenbelt. i spent much of this morning sorting and typing the notes from the creative discussion we got going. colour me feeling very hopeful at what it could become...

downpour has finally passed over and despite continued rain it's time to get moving. a trip to the art store and chats with The Father and with my gay boyfriend await. and soggy converse i suspect.

LB

Sunday, June 14, 2009

sunday morning

with forecasts of heavy rain to come i'm sitting in jayne's backyard in glorious sun. jayne and willow are doing yoga inside and i've foregone same so i can catch up on the last 24 hours in iran over coffee, and enjoy the solitary stillness with the birds before a day of chat and art making takes over.

i liked this, from today's writer's almanac...

It's the birthday of American writer John Edgar Wideman...

He said,

"Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up. But the writing is a way of not allowing those things to destroy you."


and ireland's faith gets an intriguing mention in a recent SoF Observed, Yeats Reminds Me

“We are a nation of believers. We produce anti-clerics, but atheists, never.”
- William Butler Yeats
i've not a drop of Irish blood in me and have not (yet, anyway) taken citizenship, but i've lived on this island for not far short of 22 years, and inescapably shaped by this place. this line from Yeats is a provocation. my initial response was, "But there are atheists on this island". a beat later i heard myself thinking, "But was it Ireland that "produced" their atheism, or influence from someplace else?"

raindrops are falling on my head. time to move...


LB

Saturday, June 13, 2009

no thanks

my day started off with some evangelical spam. actually, that's not fair to evangelicals. let's just call it crazy christian. i read it and its related website several times and still can't get my head around the convoluted conspiracy theory-like theology being espoused. the website was foul. i'm not posting a link 'cause it might tempt others to visit the site and i neither want to encourage the individual behind it in their clinical delusion by increasing their hits or spoil anyone's day.
that it was sent to the mailing list of a church for which i care and have a lot of respect meant my first cup of coffee was accompanied by a dose of irkedness.

but it's left me feeling even gladder that i'm heading north to enjoy sane conversation with the girls, have some ikon inspired collaborative creativity with jayne and jonny for my upcoming exhibition slot at common grounds cafe (july) and take part in ikon's pyrotheology experimental gathering at the black box.

colour me sitting on a train engrossed in Watchmen.

if your Jesus ain't for everybody, i ain't interested.

LB

Friday, June 12, 2009

in need of justice...

important and sobering advocacy call over in paul's corner today...

the post is untitled but you'll know it by this stark image,



i'm grateful to paul for the consistent reminders that this problem is not going to go away if we ignore it... and peace doesn't not magically birth from inertia.

LB

Thursday, June 11, 2009

the long shadow

in the last couple of months i've written several times about torture, or at least, my own feelings as i try to find a sense of faith (beyond despair) in human goodness or perhaps of what the place for G-D is in all of this mess there is... knowing that being a decent human being is something i fall far short of all too often and that being human, i am not beyond the capacity for violence, as much as i desire to live in peace...

i think this will be helpful... Speaking of Faith: the long shadow of torture

Rejali's immersion in 40 years of social scientific research also yields the plain, unsettling message that these men and women who have perpetrated torture were probably not sadists, not just a "few bad apples" who defied the norm. The demonstrated if shocking norm of human behavior is that at least half of us are capable of inflicting harm on another human being under orders, in the right circumstances, with the right kind of authority behind the orders. [...]

Whether you call it "enhanced interrogation" or "torture," it profoundly traumatizes the lives and societies of those who experienced it and those who perpetrated it. Coming to terms with these human consequences will be the work not of days but of years and generations. For we know that in our lives, both individual and collective, traumas that we do not face will continue not merely to haunt but to define us. - from krista's journal: Facing the Malleability of Human Nature
(italics my own)

Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is. After all man is that being who invented the gas chambers at Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered the gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.
- Victor E. Frankl; Man's Search for Meaning (1946)

LB

yup. good people...

pete has this analogous thing (for something philosophically useful but i can't remember what it is right now) where he talks about falling in love. it goes something like this:

you can have a list of characteristics, attributes, traits, talents or interests you want in a person and you carry it around looking for someone who'll fit the bill. but that's not what you fall in love with. you fall in the love with the person. that is, the human that is made up of those characteristics, attributes, traits, talents or interests and maybe a whole lot of other stuff besides. maybe you fall in love with someone other than what you thought you wanted or needed, who doesn't match that list you were carrying round at all. when it happens, whether they match that list or not, the list doesn't seem to matter much anymore. you can't fall in love with a list of characteristics. what you love is a whole person.

as i see it, what you love is the ineffable them-ness.

and sometimes i get to wondering if community, or indeed church, is no different...

HFASS keeping it absolutely Real

for as far away as they may be, i'm glad Nadia and her people are there. for they tick many boxes on the list. and then there's the them-ness.

everytime i think i'm done with it all, i am reminded of what matters most...

LB

3 signs




look familiar? ikon used detail from one of the lovely todd greene's amazing artworks. click here for more of his work. then covet. and perhaps purchase.

::

i headed into the city yesterday for a meet-and-greet conversation on behalf of ikon and detoured down to the Dáil a couple of hours after the march of solidarity (report here) to view the ribbons, children's shoes, flowers and placards that had been tied to and placed at the gates. the crowds had dispersed and the barriers folded away...



(molesworth street, dublin)

::

while in town, i had *intended* to pick up some academic texts that i'm looking to read before i get back to university. somehow i ended up in a comic store instead. oops. i picked up a copy of Persepolis, long overdue, and i now know where and when i can get my mitts on a copy of the collected edition of gaiman's recent Batman 2 parter, whatever happened to the caped crusader? and as if to remind me why i knew when i started reading graphic novels that i'd need to resist compulsive tendencies, it didn't end there...



(click image to enlarge)

and so it is that after several years of persistent-and-rather-shameful-not-getting-around-to-it, i'm finally reading, Watchmen.

it all looks amazing, the story is unputdownable, and this paperback edition feels gorgeous. i wish all books would be printed in this format. it's kind of floppy and the pages have a lovely texture.

the likelihood of me changing out of my sweats today, let alone doing anything remotely productive, is gonna be a challenge. the list of academic books will have to wait...

LB

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

INTERVIEW PROJECT

click here for: INTERVIEW PROJECT


well, it's david lynch. how could it not be anything but exceptional? and it is.
tender and personal, honest and beautifully human.

people telling their stories like it is for them. file this project under must see.





LB




Shared via AddThis

MARCH OF SOLIDARITY: PUBLIC INVITATION

from the irish times online,

Victims of child abuse in church-run institutions will today hand over a petition to the head of the Conference of Religious of Ireland.

After a silent march through Dublin children’s shoes will be left at the Dáil gates and white ribbons will be tied on the railings outside Leinster House as a mark of respect for those who suffered clerical abuse.

Christian Brother Kevin Mullan and at least one representative from other orders named in the damning Ryan report have accepted invitations to attend.

The organisers of the march Christine Buckley, from Aislinn, John Kelly, Survivors of Child Abuse in Ireland, Noel Barry of Right of Place and former Fianna Fáil Mayor of Clonmel Michael O’Brien will lay wreaths, two black and two white, outside the Dáil.

A spokeswoman for the organising group, Survivors of Institutional Abuse Ireland (SOIAI), said: “The silence will be broken only when survivors intone the names of the 216 institutions as the petition is being handed to Sr O’Connor and Br Mullan outside the Dáil.

“Then 108 white balloons and 108 black balloons, representing the living and the dead of the 216 institutions, will be released into the skies.”

The demonstration begins at the Garden of Remembrance at noon, travels down O’Connell Street and over to Kildare Street.

Organisers urged people to attend and said those who wish to show solidarity should wear a white ribbon and sign and post the Petition of Solidarity, available on the SOIAI website www.irishsolidarity.com

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

for the love of a good show tune

neil patrick harris took the tony's by storm it seems,

"This show could not be any gayer if Liza was named Mayor and Elton John took flight!”

bravo, doogie hoswer, MD, bravo. :)

LB

sOnic soundtrack



a very dear friend of my bro's, phil grier, has a radio show going out on rte's 2XM digital station for alternative music.

sOnic prOjector podcaster, including a link to the iTunes podcast

Music from the Silver Screen. The Sonic Projector radio show features soundscapes. Film, television, gaming, advert and internet scores are the order of the day.

Featuring scores from Steve Jablonsky to Bjork, Carter Burwell to DJ Shadow The Sonic Projector is the essential ticket to your score at the movies. (See what I did there). Playing out bi-weekly Thursdays 2200GMT and Sundays 1800 GMT.


nice one, Phil.

LB

from bunny boilers to dumbledore and various gendery things in between

new day, new look. i was getting tired of the old colour scheme. dunno if the template will stay but anyways,

here's a corral of lost'n'found snippets from the last 24 hours...

::

elizabeth wortzle ranted on a new film, and traces a brief history of the "crazed woman" archetype in cinema.
it brought to mind a fairly detailed and disturbing account of the violently misogynist changes that were made to Fatal Attraction (in response to test screenings) in Backlash by Susan Faludi.

::

i'm finding the work of charlie white, the girl studies (2008) curious and a little unsettling. andrew womack has an interesting take on the provocation. i find the, "teens and transgender comparative study" interesting and quite beautiful on initial viewing, but i'm not sure how to read the rest of his work in this project. i find the "ammerican minor film stills" uncomfortable. which is probably the point.

::

more gender related stuff, of a more troubling kind, and closer to home: i received an email from a friend regarding an upcoming conference exploring (read: encouraging) faith based reparative therapy for those "suffering" SSA. said friend asked, what can be done?
my guess is: turn up, listen, ask pertinent questions, peacefully protest... i note they do welcome those who disagree with them to attend and listen, as long as they don't disrupt proceedings.

for details of the event, see the hyperlink to a pdf in the line,

Jeffrey Satinover, 2004, 10th Edition. Dr Satinover to visit Northern Ireland June 19 and 20 2009

on this page

seems to me these folks are trying to keep the event pretty quiet by not having the ad more visible on their site.

i'm conscious looking at the related sites for this event what a definitive language shift has taken place here in less than a year - out of the theological and into the psychological. although that reflecting a wider international shift, i can't help but feel that from an NI perspective this is a rather strategic response to the iris robinson debacle of last summer.
in 2009 it seems it's not okay to call LGBTQ persons an abomination, but it is okay to talk about compassionately sharing their struggle with them while inferring that their struggle is like the struggle against nazi-ism. <-- i don't know how else to interpret that *bizarre* juxtaposition on that FAQ page.

i found it rather curious that under the heading, Manhood for Today, on one the conference hosts' site, was the following line,

Laocoon was a seer in Greek mythology who is famed for trying to persuade the Trojans not to take the famous wooden horse into the city and for doing so his sons are killed, but not before he tries to save them. He did what was right and did not shy away from the consequences; he engaged in the fight. We need to get active in the lives of our young people.
I love that line in Harry Potter when Dumbledore is speaking to him and says, “
the time is coming Harry, when people will have to decide between doing what is right and what is easy...
This statue [of Lacoon] represents for me a man engaging in the struggle for the life of his sons (children). For me this is the struggle that we as men all should be involved in for all our children (boys and girls).

i'm pretty sure j.k.rowling herself said dumbledore was gay. huh.

::

on a more positive note,

i hadn't realised Changing Attitude Ireland had changed their website. i encourage folks to walk with them at the 2009 Belfast Pride parade on Saturday 1st August. i was very glad i joined their ranks for the 08 parade and stood alongside church reps who hold no truck with the kind of stuff outlined above...




must get on with some dull necessities and wave my parentals goodbye, who are armed with gifts and bound for Ontario to visit the fam...

hey ho

LB

Monday, June 08, 2009

don't play with fire...

unless you're coming to ikon.

this coming sunday:

pyrotheology - "the only church that illuminates is a church that is burning"


as is usual, the june ikon gathering is our last before the summer break (i.e. gb09 prep time) and so, as is also usual, we'll be experimenting on the small scale with the themes we'll be exploring on the big scale at the festival.

if you care to join us in some theological arson, you are invited to bring a short prepared reflection to read to the assembled crowd. make that, *very* short. or you might find yourself burned.

date: sunday 14th june -
doors: 18:00 (i'm guessing) -
place: the black box, cathedral quarter, belfast


further details will be going up shortly on pete's blog, ikon facebook page and ikon announce mailing list. and probably twitter too.

LB

(hat tip to a daily dish reader for the ad)

a/theistic twits

ikon is now on twitter:

see: ikonbelfast if you're into this newfangled technology lark...

LB

Sunday, June 07, 2009

then and now

then...




now. before...




and after:


forget about your worries and your strife...

LB

crafts and public displays of emotion

random juxtaposition. on several levels...




along with repairs and alterations to various garments, i made myself a ring from one of my favourite buttons...








this bear, who i think might have been called Edward, belonged to my mother. he's a little threadbare. i meant to repair him when my neice was born but 2 and a half year's on, he's still waiting. my parentals head to Ontario to visit with her and my nephew this coming week. so today's job is to get him ready for the journey and a new home with the next generation...




















having picked up the idea from threadbanger on youtube, i recycled some found wooden picture frames, gave them a slap of leftover paint and turned them into changeable displays with string and clothes pegs...






























::

two contrasting faces of celebrity mental health that caught my eye and ear:

the latest cover of OK! magazine, snapped in the queue at the supermarket yesterday, which i'll readily admit caused some rather curious looks from fellow shoppers...



















and,
"...i realise the apocalyptic is inside of me. and the reality is what heals and puts us all together again. this sort of terrifying bleak loneliness is nurtured and you just about get through. and also the winter landscape, which is also apocalyptic - it's stripped - and at this time of year when everything recovers and mends: is what it is meant to be. this sense of, there is a sort of truth - an absolute, measurable truth that is visible and present, all around you."

- self-confessed depressive and SAD sufferer, monty don, reflecting on the personal resonance of the themes in his 5 favourite books to mariella frostrup at the hey festival for bbc radio 4's Open Book


right, better get on with teddy's reconstructive surgery...

LB

Saturday, June 06, 2009

rethink

what a difference a week makes...

last saturday it was so warm the blinds had to be shuttered to keep cool. today, woken at around 6.30am by the forecasted heavy rain. not anticipated was the hail that came with it. it's june 6th. and i'm wearing 3 pairs of socks right now as the only place i can pick up wifi, 'til my own broadband gets connected next week, is at my desk with the window open. so this is how we get to be so many shades of green: a rainy 48degrees in june.

this week has filled with much crafts, reframing and hanging artwork, altering and mending clothes. which for the most part has been calm and quiet.

::

the end of a week comes and i'm not surprised to see i wasn't the only one who thought the collection of it's so personal testimonies on abortion would make a powerful and worthwhile book. i admire sullivan for his openness to share his own changing perspective in light of these stories, and the acknowledgement that he, "needs time to think and rethink".

in ikon we have often talked about how the law is always trying to keep up with justice. for every rule...
we all hold postions in the abstract until such time as we either experience the reality or we open ourselves up to hearing the stories of those who have lived the reality.
i have changed this week as i too have been thinking and rethinking. these stories shook me to the core. i have found myself standing at the kitchen sink mopping dishes and suddenly weeping. but i don't regret reading them, or allowing them to help change me.

if g-d is compassion, that which or whom suffers with, then g-d is everywhere in these stories. i have prayed many times this week, wondering where it might take me to.

maybe the apostle paul was onto something when he wrote,
so no matter who you are, if you pass judgement you have no excuse. it is yourself you condemn when you judge others, since you behave in the same way as those you are condemning.

- romans 2, v.1

::

20 years on from Tiananman Square, i am reminded that the names of the majority of those who stand for peace will not be in history books...

::

bricks healing bricks. i love this.

LB

the photo was put through tiltshiftmaker

more in the human

" Will the world ever learn? ...

The time must come. It's enough -- enough to go to cemeteries, enough to weep for oceans. It's enough. There must come a moment -- a moment of bringing people together.

And therefore we say anyone who comes here should go back with that resolution. Memory must bring people together rather than set them apart. Memories here not to sow anger in our hearts, but on the contrary, a sense of solidarity that all those who need us. What else can we do except invoke that memory so that people everywhere who say the 21st century is a century of new beginnings, filled with promise and infinite hope, and at times profound gratitude to all those who believe in our task, which is to improve the human condition.

A great man, Camus, wrote at the end of his marvelous novel, The Plague:

"After all," he said, "after the tragedy, never the rest...there is more in the human being to celebrate than to denigrate."

Even that can be found as truth -- painful as it is -- in Buchenwald. "


- elie wiesel; buchenwald; june 5, 2009

music: Henyrk Górecki - Symphony No. 3, Op. 36

whistle and blow

there's a ragged bundled draft of thoughts sitting waiting for me to tidy them up but they'll have to wait for daylight and the company of coffee...

in the meantime, flannery o'connor article here that's worth a looksee...

LB

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

so a rabbi walks into a bar...

i was going to write something contemplative and thoughtful and then i came across the site, old jews telling jokes which was featured on the daily dish and, well, more serious thoughts can wait for another day.

there's some lovely little back stories to go with some well humoured characters...






if you like your jokes a little more 'adult', (or should that be mature?) make sure to check out mr neil lawner's offerings once the too-young or old-enough-but-easily-offended are out of earshot.

it's good to laugh.

LB

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

not that i'm complaining, mind you...

but still, it's the principle of the thing.

all right, who did it? 'fess up.

someone clearly picked this island up, and when they were done with whatever they were doing with it during the night, didn't put it back where it belongs. in fact we appear to be significantly closer to the equator than the position of the sun suggests. i'm even thinking Galileo Galilei might have been wrong with his whole heliocentrism lark.

i know somebody must have moved us. because it's 7pm. and 74 degrees. we're meant to go on holiday for this sort of thing.

or maybe Al Gore is onto something...

in other news, my first nasturtium seed has sprouted. may all her brothers and sisters follow suit. ickle. but exciting.

LB

beyond abstraction

i've spent much of the morning thinking through and writing some thoughts in the aftermath of the death of dr tiller.
for the second time in a month i had received contact from someone asking for my thoughts related to abortion. both openings for conversation came from people i care about, both far away, and whose perspectives in conversation are always not only welcome, but valued, for their substantive and typically compassionate intelligence. and yet, i am struck at how challenging it is when, at such distance, you can't have such conversation in bodily presence, even with folks who know something of the measure of one's heart.

for that very reason, i remain unsure if i am comfortable exploring my views here on the blog, despite having given a lot of committed thought to it of late, (along with the Ryan Report, which is no less troubling), such is the deep sensitivity of the issue. i cannot read your body language and you cannot read mine and we do not necessarily know one another's story.

i am deeply conscious that when i go back to academia in the autumn this will be a curriculum issue for class discussion and probably one of the only feminist conversations i feel actively cautious about having to engage in - such is the need for that sensitivity, especially when one does not know the stories of those with whom one will be expected to debate.

but i will go so far as to say, i think these three offerings are worthy of our time and our consideration... i believe we need a lot more of this kind of nuanced and measured approach in the public square, where up to now there has been so much violent and hate-filled speech:

frank shaeffer on rachel maddow show
andrew sullivan on keith olbermann
and

regina spektor's laughing with - which Pád independently sent me as i was writing my thoughts and, although nothing to do with the issue, it was some kind of artistic salve.

in the aftermath of dr tiller's murder, i find myself once again praying for humility and wisdom - in my listening as well as in my speaking.

i have only once before (briefly) mentioned abortion in these pages. as i said then, it does not occur in a vacuum. and nor do our values or beliefs. or our lives.

LB