Saturday, September 29, 2007

My New Name For A Blog

What Jamison Foser Said:

Looking back over the last few presidential elections, there are numerous examples of wildly disparate coverage of analogous controversies. Bill Clinton's draft record received a huge amount of coverage in 1992; George W. Bush's was given little attention in 2000. A years-old investment in which the Clintons lost money was hyped as Watergate and Teapot Dome and the Kennedy assassination all rolled into one, then the media completely ignored newly revealed evidence during the 2000 campaign that suggested Bush had insider information for a stock sale in which he made about $800,000. Al Gore's lies, which weren't, were a dominant theme in campaign coverage that year, while George W. Bush's, which were, were ignored. Same for flip-flops in the 2004 campaign.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Additional Air & Life Is Good Pictures

Too Many People

From today's NYT: Studies by different scientists have concluded that the rising water demands in the North China Plain make it unfeasible for farmers to continue planting a winter crop.

You might want to stop for a minute or two and just think about what that means.

Friday Cat Blogging

Thursday, September 27, 2007

There's Always A Pair Of Panties On The Altar. It's Never The Same Pair.

Hillary PWN3S Timmeh


The last few days, my buddelia bush (often known, for obvious reasons, as a butterfly bush) has been full of pumpkin-orange Monarch Butterflies. This afternoon, I counted six of them at once. The purple flowers on the budellia smell exactly like sun-warmed honey. I've also been seeing big fat honey bees (thank goodness) and other small polinators.

Bazooms Blogging

It's a few days early for bazooms blogging, but I just got back from my mammogram, ten years to the day after being diagnosed with breast cancer. My boobs are, I'm happy to report, "perfect, A+" in the doctor's words. (OK, she was only looking at films, but they're not bad at all in the flesh, either!)

So today seems like a perfect day to remind everyone that breast self-exams (BSEs), along with an annual mammogram, can save lives. BSEs are easy to do. Here's how.

Women, send the kids to your mother-in-laws, tell your husband to pick up dinner, forget about whatever chores you think that you "have" to do and go give yourself a BSE. When you're done, have a lovely cup of tea, take a nap, do some yoga to your favorite music, do something (else!) nice for yourself.

Men, are there women you'd miss if they died from breast cancer? A lover, wife, sister, mother, aunt, daughter, friend? Remind them to do a BSE and see what you can do to give them the 15 minutes or so that it takes.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lying About Liberals

But the most intensely religious Americans of both traditions also tend to be the most conservative on moral issues such as abortion.

Really, Michael Gerson can bite my intensely religious ass.

And the biased pictures need to stop.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Have Always Been On The Side Of The Reindeer

The Fall of Rome
by W. H. Auden

(for Cyril Connolly)

The piers are pummelled by the waves;
In a lonely field the rain
Lashes an abandoned train;
Outlaws fill the mountain caves.

Fantastic grow the evening gowns;
Agents of the Fisc pursue
Absconding tax-defaulters through
The sewers of provincial towns.

Private rites of magic send
The temple prostitutes to sleep;
All the literati keep
An imaginary friend.

Cerebrotonic Cato may
Extol the Ancient Disciplines,
But the muscle-bound Marines
Mutiny for food and pay.

Caesar's double-bed is warm
As an unimportant clerk
On a pink official form.

Unendowed with wealth or pity,
Little birds with scarlet legs,
Sitting on their speckled eggs,
Eye each flu-infected city.

Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,
Silently and very fast

From Another Time by W. H. Auden, published by Random House. Copyright © 1940 W. H. Auden, renewed by The Estate of W. H. Auden.

Beyond Paying Attention

Monday, September 24, 2007

Just Because

It's the slight raising of the shoulders whenever he tells you the real truth that makes you want to take him to bed and make it ok.

Definition Of Insane

"It is insane – by which I mean out of touch with reality – to promote industrial activities that harm the real world. Because the real world is the source of life," Jensen asserted.

Well, yes. More, here.

Attention Must Be Paid

Yes! No!
Mary Oliver

How necessary it is to have opinions! I think the spotted trout
lilies are satisfied, standing a few inches above the earth. I
think serenity is not something you just find in the world,
like a plum tree, holding up its white petals.

The violets, along the river, are opening their blue faces, like
small dark lanterns.

The green mosses, being so many, are as good as brawny.

How important it is to walk along, not in haste but slowly,
looking at everything and calling out

Yes! No! The

swan, for all his pomp, his robes of grass and petals, wants
only to be allowed to live on the nameless pond. The catbrier
is without fault. The water thrushes, down among the sloppy
rocks, are going crazy with happiness. Imagination is better
than a sharp instrument. To pay attention, this is our endless
and proper work.


I think that Mary Oliver is (and this is vast presumption on my part, presumption beyond what I ought, to imagine that I can add anything to what Mary Oliver, who, like Euclid, has looked on beauty bare, has to say) half right. Half of our work is to pay attention. I spent years and years working out as a spiritual truism just how crucial it is for us to pay attention, just how much Deity, embodied in the Earth, needs for us to pay attention, what an act of sustaining worship it is for us to pay attention, how much Deity loves it when we appreciate what's here. And one can spend several lifetimes honing that skill -- truly learning how to pay attention.

But I am convinced, here, as the Wheel of the Year slides toward Samhein, that we are called, as well, to pick a spot and to try to make it, in the words of the Beatles' song, better. To repair the web, to heal the world, to create beauty, to give comfort to the sick, to move forward the great, brave ideas of liberty and equality and sorority. To pick up trash, make art, teach mathematics, write clear prose, set an example, do Reiki on the ground beneath our feet, pick herbs for the unwell, write poems, father a child, drum a rhythm, find the ley lines, make soup, have sacred sex. To plant trees, engage the Ents, save the forests.

I can't imagine that we were put here only to pay attention. There must be a point to all of that paid attention, a reason why the Goddess chose to experience life in each of these particular forms. My reason, oddly enough, is to write clear legal prose in the service of good energy policy, to mother and grandmother interestng men, to serve a circle of brilliant women. What's yours?

I'm Sorry About Your Penis

I've an odd notion that YouTubes such as this one could save the world. Every war depends, for its success, upon demonizing the people in the country to be attacked.

Iran reminds me oddly of LA and its environs, a geography close to my heart. Fashionista that I am, I'm always intrigued by how fashionable Iranian women manage to make their headscarves.

Anharita is one of the Goddesses of Iran. May she turn the hearts of those who believe that dropping bombs shows that they have big penises. Ever since the September 15th march for peace, I've been using res ipsa's phrase: "I'm sorry about your penis." George Bush, Norman Podhertz, Dick Cheney, I'm sorry about your penii. But bombing Iran won't make them any bigger than did bombing Afghanistan or Iraq. Turn back. These are not the droids you're looking for.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday Relevant Poetry Blogging

The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope

WHAT dire Offence from am'rous Causes springs,
What mighty Contests rise from trivial Things,
I sing -- This Verse to C---, Muse! is due;
This, ev'n Belinda may vouchfafe to view:
Slight is the Subject but not so the Praise,
If She inspire, and He approve my Lays.
Say what strange Motive, Goddess! cou'd compel
A well-bred Lord t'assault a gentle Belle?
Oh say what stranger Cause, yet unexplor'd,
Cou'd make a gentle Belle reject a Lord?
And dwells such Rage in softest Bosoms then?
And lodge such daring Souls in Little Men?