30 September 2008

Religulous

I’m snagged on Religulous. The HBO presentation will get lots of American bi-coastal attention. Bill Maher is your agnostic master of ceremonies. In between America's two cultural oceanic coasts Religulous may get college and university campus attention. I suspect the title word is to insinuate a religious belief is ridiculous.
Money and choosing and proselytizing agnosticism may be the motivations. Mr. Maher says, “I believe in ‘I don't know’ ”. That's obvious, especially at the expense of people unlike you. I bet HBO’s pandering cultural choir ponies up for your mutual hilarity and financial benefit.
Mr. Maher says, “Anyone who’s religious is extremist.” Really. “Anyone?” Pray tell Mr. Maher (Oops! You don't know what prayer is!) what’s HBO’s cut to you for serving agnostic cheap shots at folk who claim religious faith. I say it takes an extremist to know an extremist.
Religulous is extremist. Mr. Maher you’re an extreme agnostic. It’s self-promotion masquerading as pandering agnosticism. You’re an agnostic southern Appalachian street preacher condemning lunch hour folk as ignorant sinners. In Religulous you’re the pharisaic putz. You cheapen agnosticism.
Mr. Maher you choose to pick on all who profess a faith and religious tradition so to highlight yours. I’d imagine you’d defend your religious belief. And in your defense you’d declare your superior belief. OK. I say you’re an extreme agnostic putz.

25 September 2008

'entire economy is in danger'

Oh dear . . . when the President of the United States says this on national television, well, I pay attention. The words demand a bit more than my viewing the everydayness of death, disease, and destruction I'm bombarded with every news day.
What's the snappy "D" word for the economic meltdown of an entire economy. A "deaccessioning" of the private banking sector into the federal governments' hands. This "D" word is associated with fine-art so the metaphor quickly breaks down. We're in uncharted water.
On a visceral level I have complete sympathy with the forgotten man or woman, the forgotten family. There are ordinary prudent people, families, who do the right thing. These are the folks, some 50% of Americans that either own their home or are renting, the 95% of homeowners who make their house payments on time, the 99% of folks who did not and do not behave irresponsibly with their hard earned financial resources, who will ultimately pay off any loss that occurs.
What is a fearful financial soul to do? Well blabbering at the end of the bar in an crowded saloon doesn't help. I'm not even sure writing this will help. But in case one person stumbles on this I suggest,
  • Look and Reappraise. Is it just a paper loss or must you liquidate.
  • Put Yourself in a Different Pair of Shoes. Think of questions you might ask yourself ~ as if you were in that other pair of reasonable and responsible shoes.
  • Track and Write Down Your Feelings. You may not want your stewardship of your financial resources to be driven by your emotions. So put some distance between them and your left brain. Write your feelings down on paper. Do you want to be held hostage by your feelings?
  • Try Planning. When events cool down make intentional choices to make a plan. Once you make a plan try executing it. After you've done that for awhile, and you've stopped, for whatever reason, start again. That's right, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. I call it personal forgiveness.
Ah . . . . here is where each of us begins again. I know it's difficult and it takes time. But each of us souls, especially the souls who want to do, who try to do, who may not do as much as they would like to, need a second chance. Everyone of us, even the schmucks who got us into this mess and the ones who think they can get us out of it, need forgiveness.

And despite my fear, maybe because of my fear, that in the end, is why I will probably just shrug my shoulders and pray this one trillion dollar bailout is about all that I can do and expect.

24 September 2008

Big Bad Bill . . .

Big Bad Bill is Sweet William Now, was written in 1924 by Jack Yellen and Milton Ager. Yellen was the lyricist. He emigrated to America in 1897. Yellen became part of the tin-pan alley. Ager, the composer, was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1893 about a year after YellenAger was a self taught pianist. He and Ager wrote Happy Days Are Here Again.


Lyrics get short-shrift in culture. We hear the music, the beat, see the instruments and players, see the atmospherics, hear the voices. Lyrics are heard but overwhelmed unless intentionally focused on. I like the lyrics. I was intrigued. Here is a tale of transformation.

Big bad Bill is sweet William now; what's up with that? It's the story of a struttin' tough guy, who people are afraid of, who meets a gal, gets married, gets his hair bobbed, and is transformed into a husband, doin' dishes and mopping flo', whose got to see his mama every night. Van Halen, Peggy Lee, Rye Cooder, Merle Haggard have all covered the fund; all are searchable.

Transformation intrigues me. How is it one is transformed? Perhaps it's by an encounter with a particular person in a particular time and place; the power of one, as it were, to transform one's life and move one onto, into, another path, that would never have been known, considered, undertaken. It is often grasped with the passage of time and the grace to perceive it.

I believe transformation is the power of all that we live and move and have our being in.

23 September 2008

Breath of Life

The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

I leap off the dock hands and arms extended out. A bracing cold sheaths me. The lake water is sweet. I love the splash sound and cold in my mind on my body. I divide the water engulfs me. Under I listen to silence slipping behind. I run silent, long, stretch, and hold back my scream to breath. I come up; air pushes in. I take it and hear my breath and my heart shivers.

The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.