May 15, 2007

Farewell, Falwell. Don't let the door hit your a** on the way out.

Jerry Falwell, dead at 73. This guy practically started the concept of turing anti-gay speech into a profitable business. Who will ever forget the vileness of his words after 9/11? For me, Jerry Falwell will always be a perfect illustration of the horror that can happen in the merging of politics and religion. And the prime example of why Christians are seen as bigoted, intollerant hypocrites. But isn't there some rule about speaking ill of the dead? Well....

    And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, "You helped this happen."
    — Rev Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, quoted from John F Harris, "God Gave US 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says," The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)

For a reasonalbe take from a person of faith that I admire, click here.

May 08, 2007

The cicadas are coming!

Holy Mother of God. I'm having a little trouble breathing today, after reading a few articles about what I've known was coming for months now: the reemergence of the 17-year cicadas in the Chicagoland area (and all of Northern Illinois). To make matters worse, I'm told that they are expected to come out in droves, oh, sometime during Memorial Day weekend. While I'm camping. Smack in the middle of their turf. SummerCamp Music Festival. In the heavily-wooded Illinois River basin.
I was 18 when these critters last emerged, and I have a few memories. The funniest cicada memory was watching one actually swing, tarzan-style, from my friend Corey's curly locks. And I remember their dead bodies curiously stopping me in my tracks as I'd encounter them on the city streets. But I don't remember them in anything like the "droves" I've been reading about. Shudder. It's enough to send me reaching for some Xanax.

May 03, 2007

10 things today

1. First, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my little brother, Joe. Have a great "jesus year" Joe. Thirty-three was a big year for me.
2. I got a call from my gyn confirming that I have ovarian cysts. Bleck.
3. Fishdog the cat, our long-time house guest, is leaving today. We'll miss you Fishy!
4. I got lilacs today. OK, virtual ones, but still, lilacs are part of the key to unlocking my heart.
5. I burned two Melissa Ferrick cd's, and part of a third. I couldn't get it all because a malicous chick put hailine fractures in them all. The fourth one had a big chunk missing from it. Totally smashed. Meh. Anyway, I really like her music and look forward to obsessively jammin out to them in the next few days.
6. I got off work early. Yay. Thursdays are unbearably slow.
7. I got the sweetest letter from a friend that I am just getting to know. Really heartwarming. It's nice to know that my girlfriend's friends really like me. :)
8. I turned down my former crush for dinner tonight THREE times. Then gushed about how in love I am.
9. I posted a pic of Lisa getting her teeth picked by her lover on her MySpace comments. Gross. Now that's love....
10. I nursed a big ol' boo-boo on my youngest daughter today. The older kid thought it would be a great idea to put an angry cat on her lap. A mama's work is never done....

May 01, 2007

Blessed Beltane/May Day!

May 1st is probably the best example of a christianized pagan holiday, one that has additional meaning around the world for workers who struggle. Traditionally, Beltane was celebrated by the Celts in Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man in order to mark the beginning of summer. In Modern Irish, MĂ­ na Bealtaine is Gaelic for the month of May. Celebrations to mark this day included the lighting of bonfires, purification rituals, and fertility rites. Maypoles were used (and adopted by Christians) to symbolize the fertilization of the land. Many communities elected a virgin as their "May Queen" to lead marches or songs. To the Celts, she represented the virgin goddess on the eve of her transition from Maiden to Mother. Depending on the time and place, the consort might be named "Jack-in-the-Green" or "Green Man," "May Groom" or "May King." The union of the Queen and her consort symbolized the fertility and rebirth of the world. Some Neopagans today still mark the day with sex magic.

As a personal aside, my first-born daughter was conceived during my own May Day festivities, eleven years ago. After visiting Laurie Cabot's shop in Salem, Mass and fondling a beautiful fertility goddess sculpture made from Gloucester clay, under the light of full moon — I experienced the most powerful magic in my lifetime so far. Uncannily, I knew I was pregnant within moments. Some things are just meant to be, I guess.

So, yeah, I've got a fondness for this holiday, that actually started in my childhood, when we celebrated at my Catholic school with a May Crowning. Some lucky girl (um, virgin?) would be selected to "crown" Mary with flowers, and the rest of us would bring as many flowers up as the altar could hold. We'd sing, "Oh Mary we crown thee with blossoms today, Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May...." Clearly rooted in those same fertility rites of the ancient Celts.

And of course, today, workers around the world unite and celebrate May Day -- which originated right here in Chicago with the fight for the 8-hour workday. Today in Chicago and around the country, immigrants will be taking to the streets to demand their rights and unite against rascist laws that seek to deport undocumented workers, seperating them from their families. If you have time today, put on your white t-shirt and join one of these marches and show your solidarity.

And if you're looking for another way to celebrate the day, I suggest getting together with someone you love and taking advantage of that special aura of May Day magic. Light some candles, (or a bonfire if you're not in the city), drink some really good wine, and um, well, I'm sure you can figure out the rest. Sexual chemistry is said to be most powerful on this day, so enjoy!