Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Mandolin Holy Man By SkinnyWhiteChick.Com

Nine old friends drove cross-country
on a mission of blessing and liberty
geared up in the morning and left right there
to sing at the rally in Farragut Square
They can put up a fence and keep out the crowd
but you can't fence in a wall of sound
so we headed downtown to serve it up loud
got pretty wet but it didn't bring us down.

METRO into Washington
gonna rock the national phallus down
Drumming at the White House in the rain
and we won't let up until they let us in
me and the mandolin holy man
me and the mandolin holy man

Walking and walking and walking and walking
and walking and walking the long way round
to the giant chalice in the middle of town
better believe our time's well spent
throwing holy water at the monument
gonna drum all night, let em throw us in jail
rockin the Lincoln memorial

chorus: METRO into Washington...

The crowd was all smiles for the fireworks show
we were right there, letting rhythm go
with all the pictures people snapped
prob'ly see ourselves tomorrow on the internet
Sometimes you do good that you'll never see
blasting out negativity
of the overthrow that'll surely come
bring it all back to a goatskin drum

chorus: METRO into Washington...
So it's all the way home on the orange line
the whole band of gypsies and dr. sunshine
victory 100 smiles at a time
and a story to tell for the rest of our lives

we did what we set out to do
made a lot of people happy, too
that's whatcha get when you lend a hand
to the likes of the mandolin holy man
this is land is your land, this land is my land
me and the mandolin holy man

chorus: METRO into Washington...

METRO'd into Washington
we rocked the national phallus down
Drummed at the White House in the rain
and we never let up, soaked to the skin
maybe next year we'll do it again!
spinners and satyrs and kittens and drummers and ryan...
and me and the mandolin holy man
me and the mandolin holy man

this land is your land, this land is my land
me and the mandolin holy man

I'll Dance With You There In Red

DC Radical Faeries Present: The Red Dragon Feast 2008

When: Saturday, February 16, 2008, 2-5 pm in Washington DC,
Where: Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I st SW, Washington DC
Tickets: $13.00, payable online at: by clicking the
“donate” button.
Details: Check out the radical faerie blog:

The Red Dragon Feast is a combination feast, charity event and
magickal working done with the intent of sending forth our red dragon
to battle against blood-borne diseases. Previous donations raised for
Red Dragon have gone to local DC charities and research projects to
combat all types of blood borne diseases. Our recipients change every
year, and past donations have gone to help cure breast cancer,
Pediatric AIDS, Sickle Cell Anemia, Teen HIV/AIDS, and Diabetes.

Proceeds from this years event will go toward the creation of a DC
Radical Faerie produced HIV prevention campaign. Details will be

The DC Radical Faeries is a community-based organization of men,
women and others who explore queer spirituality. We promote an
understanding of Earth-based religions and interfaith cooperation. We
welcome all queer spirits, straight, gay, bi, trans, two-spirited or
searching. We welcome people from all walks of life who want to share
and nurture their essential fabulosity. DC Radical Faeries are an
authorized 501(c)3 charitable organization, and all donations are tax

For additional information please contact the faerie info line:

"What makes one step a giant leap is all the steps before." -- Leslie Fish


It Is Not Enough By David Whyte

It is not enough to know.
It is not enough to follow
the inward road conversing in secret.

It is not enough to see straight ahead,
to gaze at the unborn
thinking the silence belongs to you.

It is not enough to hear
even the tiniest edge of rain.

You must go to the place
where everything waits,
there, when you finally rest,
even one word will do,
one word or the palm of your hand
turning outward
in the gesture of gift.

And now we are truly afraid
to find the great silence
asking so little.

One word, one word only.

Copyright © 1990, 2004 David Whyte.

The Gift Outright

Listen To My Brilliant Friend Amy Listening To Trees

Friday, January 11, 2008

Best I Can Haz Cheezburger Ever

/hat tip to my brilliant friend, E.

No One Could Have Anticipated . . . .

From today's EEI newsletter:

Climate Change Could Be Extremely Costly for Japan, Government Says
Climate change could cause dire consequences in Japan, Bloomberg reported citing a Nikkei English News summary of a government panel's conclusions. Among the impacts that could occur are a 1-meter rise in sea levels, the loss of 2,400 square kilometers of farmland, a temperature rise of up to 4.7 degrees Celsius, floods, typhoons, and an increase in the number of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Nikkei estimated that the loss to Japan's economy could reach $1 trillion.

Remember how George Bush I and George Bush II told us that saving the planet would be too expensive? Turns out, trashing the plantet is pretty expensive, as well. Who knew?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Drowning

Carry me down to the water, Oh,
Carry me down to the sea
Dowse my skirts in the water, Oh,
And cut the red sun from me.

Wrap me in flaxen and wool, Oh
Wrap me up in white
Take me down to the water, Oh,
When the day has bled to night.

Give me my sickle and broom, Oh,
And tie my hands to the stake,
Sally me down to the river, Oh,
And take what you're eager to take.

Burn me and beat me and hold back my arms
Still the sun hides its face from me
And when the summer is gone, Oh,
I'll come flying back out of the sea.

Drown me down in the cold tide, Oh,
Hold back my hair from the waves,
And when I breathe my last, Oh,
Bless my bones in their greenwater grave.

Carry me down to the water, Oh,
Carry me down to the sea
Dowse my skirts in the water, Oh,
And cut the red sun from me.

Words by Catherynne M. Valente, adapted by S. J. Tucker

With The Big Collar

I can haz this dress in poison green and lime green, please?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

And Your Little Dog, Too

I really don't like, for obvious reasons, the use of the word "witch" to describe an evil female. If you mean "bitch," then say "bitch," and don't use my religion as a slur. Almost none of the women called "witches" are, in fact, witches, and women who are, in fact, witches generally have nothing at all to do with the stereotype.

That said, I certainly got a, you should pardon the expression, cackle out of the closing line from this story by Rebecca Traister in today's Salon:

But here's a message from the women of New Hampshire, and me, to Hillary Clinton's exuberant media antagonists: You have no power here. Now be gone, before somebody drops a house on you!

Of course, that was Glinda, the "Good" witch.

/hat tip The Editoress

Why I Want Hillary To Win -- Part II

Do you remember where you were when the O.J. Simpson verdict was handed down? I do.

I work at a law firm where everyone -- and I mean the lawyers, the support staff, everyone -- was fascinated by the trial, by the attention that it got, by the tactics of the lawyers on both sides. So when the verdict was about to be announced, they rolled big TVs into some of the conference rooms and people flocked there to watch the verdict. I'd imagine, on a rough guess, that the room that I was in was composed of about half African Americans and half whites. And when the verdict was announced, the most amazing thing to me was the difference in the reactions. Nearly all of the whites were appalled and nearly all of the African Americans were desperately trying to stifle their desire to break into cheers. I like to think that, while I can never know what it's like to be black in America, I am sympathetic and empathetic and at least conscious of the fact that the privilege afforded by my white skin makes me unaware of an entire ocean of discrimination. But that day reminded me just how different and difficult it is (still) to be be black in America and how differently it can cause people, even people who like each other and work with each other every day, to perceive events. Eventually, I kind of got it, or at least a piece of it: white people who murder black people have been walking away from deserved guilty verdicts for centuries and that was, well, perhaps regrettable, but acceptable, and finally, finally, the tables had been turned. And,the LAPD's treatment of African Americans is so odious that no one in the black community was going to feel anything but good about seeing them get a bit of commupance.

I thought about that experience earlier this morning when my good friend, the gifted music critic, Steve Simels, said to me:

Kiddo, I read your post yesterday about how much it means to you about finally having a woman with a shot at the presidency for (perhaps) the only time in your forseeable future, and I must confess I still don't get it.

To me, it's no different than electing the first Jewish president. As a Jew, I totally don't give a shit on any level....

Maybe that's a bad analogy, but for what it's worth, to me it's the same thing.

Steve's a great liberal and a feminist to boot, but he's no more going to "get" what a having a woman in the White House would mean to me (and a lot of women like me) than I could "get" what the African Americans in that conference room were feeling when they heard the O.J. verdict. (Jews in America have certainly been subject to disgusting discrimination. I'm not sure that I can articulate the difference in the analogies. Maybe Steve's just a bigger person than I am.)

I've got no real way to know why Hillary did well in the N.H. primary, nor why Obama did well in the Iowa caucuses. Hillary has, obviously, lots of male supporters who like her for her policies, her experience, her smarts, and who would probably like those same characteristics in a man. Some women hate Hillary. But women broke strongly for Hillary last night. If the media, the "Iron My Shirts" types, and the progressives who just don't get what she means to a lot of women keep piling on her, they may get a verdict that surprises them.

(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

You Go, Girl!

Oh, and John, bite me.

What Gloria Said

Women Are Never Front-Runners by Gloria Steinem

THE woman in question became a lawyer after some years as a community organizer, married a corporate lawyer and is the mother of two little girls, ages 9 and 6. Herself the daughter of a white American mother and a black African father — in this race-conscious country, she is considered black — she served as a state legislator for eight years, and became an inspirational voice for national unity.

Be honest: Do you think this is the biography of someone who could be elected to the United States Senate? After less than one term there, do you believe she could be a viable candidate to head the most powerful nation on earth?

If you answered no to either question, you’re not alone. Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House. This country is way down the list of countries electing women and, according to one study, it polarizes gender roles more than the average democracy.

That’s why the Iowa primary was following our historical pattern of making change. Black men were given the vote a half-century before women of any race were allowed to mark a ballot, and generally have ascended to positions of power, from the military to the boardroom, before any women (with the possible exception of obedient family members in the latter).

If the lawyer described above had been just as charismatic but named, say, Achola Obama instead of Barack Obama, her goose would have been cooked long ago. Indeed, neither she nor Hillary Clinton could have used Mr. Obama’s public style — or Bill Clinton’s either — without being considered too emotional by Washington pundits.

So why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one? The reasons are as pervasive as the air we breathe: because sexism is still confused with nature as racism once was; because anything that affects males is seen as more serious than anything that affects “only” the female half of the human race; because children are still raised mostly by women (to put it mildly) so men especially tend to feel they are regressing to childhood when dealing with a powerful woman; because racism stereotyped black men as more “masculine” for so long that some white men find their presence to be masculinity-affirming (as long as there aren’t too many of them); and because there is still no “right” way to be a woman in public power without being considered a you-know-what.

I’m not advocating a competition for who has it toughest. The caste systems of sex and race are interdependent and can only be uprooted together. That’s why Senators Clinton and Obama have to be careful not to let a healthy debate turn into the kind of hostility that the news media love. Both will need a coalition of outsiders to win a general election. The abolition and suffrage movements progressed when united and were damaged by division; we should remember that.

I’m supporting Senator Clinton because like Senator Obama she has community organizing experience, but she also has more years in the Senate, an unprecedented eight years of on-the-job training in the White House, no masculinity to prove, the potential to tap a huge reservoir of this country’s talent by her example, and now even the courage to break the no-tears rule. I’m not opposing Mr. Obama; if he’s the nominee, I’ll volunteer. Indeed, if you look at votes during their two-year overlap in the Senate, they were the same more than 90 percent of the time. Besides, to clean up the mess left by President Bush, we may need two terms of President Clinton and two of President Obama.

But what worries me is that he is seen as unifying by his race while she is seen as divisive by her sex.

What worries me is that she is accused of “playing the gender card” when citing the old boys’ club, while he is seen as unifying by citing civil rights confrontations.

What worries me is that male Iowa voters were seen as gender-free when supporting their own, while female voters were seen as biased if they did and disloyal if they didn’t.

What worries me is that reporters ignore Mr. Obama’s dependence on the old — for instance, the frequent campaign comparisons to John F. Kennedy, though Senator Edward Kennedy is supporting Senator Clinton — while not challenging the slander that her progressive policies are part of the Washington status quo.

What worries me is that some women, perhaps especially younger ones, hope to deny or escape the sexual caste system; thus Iowa women over 50 and 60, who disproportionately supported Senator Clinton, proved once again that women are the one group that grows more radical with age.

This country can no longer afford to choose our leaders from a talent pool limited by sex, race, money, powerful fathers and paper degrees. It’s time to take equal pride in breaking all the barriers. We have to be able to say: “I’m supporting her because she’ll be a great president and because she’s a woman.”

Gloria Steinem is a co-founder of the Women’s Media Center.

/hat tip to Shaw Kenawe in comments at Eschaton. Molly Ivors' incisive comments here.

Monday, January 07, 2008

If Environmentalists Wrote Star Wars


I saw a fox!

This morning, on my drive to work, I passed, as I always do, a stretch of land that's recently been cleared of almost every single bush, branch, and shrub in order to "develop" the area with a bunch of townhouses. Seems an odd thing, to me, to be doing in the midst of a real estate bust, when there are already far more homes for sale than people looking for homes, but, Goddess forefend, there was land, just sitting there with trees and plants growing on it, providing a mini-habitat for wildlife, and we can't have that in the Patriarchal States of America.

As I drove past, a red fox, likely drawn out of her den by our unseasonably warm weather, came tearing out of the plot of denuded land, down the steep slope that's already losing soil and becoming way too steep, and into the road. I slammed on my brakes, believing all the while that I was going to hit her, I was sure to hit her, I couldn't help but hit her. At the last possible moment, she turned, quick as, well, quick as a fox, and dashed back up the hill and out of my sight.

And that's grace. That's how grace happens. Grace comes dashing out at you unexpectedly while you are driving to work and making lists in your head of things that you need to do and half-listening to the weather report and -- bam -- there's grace. Suddenly, you're yanked into the real, real, real world and every cell in your body is alive, including the synapses that only synapse in response to what we'll call, for lack of a better word, divinityeverythingimmanencegaia.

I love foxes. I love all the trickster Gods and Goddesses and every culture that has known Fox has recognized her as an avatar of the trickster Goddess. She's sly and she's tricky and she lives by her wits and, damn, she's just so gorgeous. I used to have a fox who visited my yard in the snow, but I haven't seen her in a few years; suburbanites tend to harm foxes.

In his amazing book, As the World Burns, Derrick Jensen tells the story of a young woman who wants desperately to save the world while holding on to her iPod and car and all the accouterments of modern civilization. She keeps trying to "work" the lists of Ten Things You Can Do to Save the World or Fifty Steps to Fight Global Warming. She inflates her tires and washes her clothes in warm, not hot, water, and walks to the store.

And of course, it's not enough. Finally, she does a very Pagan thing. She asks the plants and animals what she has to do to save the world. And they give her at least fifty answers. The manatee tells her, "Stop treating us as your enemy. We used to be your friends!" The ram tells her, "Remember that the natural world is not your enemy. The natural world is the basis of your life. If you don't have a good relationship with it, you'll die." The tree tells her, "You evolved together with us to be with us. You're part of us. Let go of your destructive culture and you'll remember how to live with us and how to be happy." The fox tells her, "You're here as much for us as we're here for you."

I've been thinking a lot about that, about the notion that, while we may have to give up some material things -- such as cans of soda and unthinking access to electricity -- in order to save the world, we might get back something important in exchange: a relationship with the natural world that would, in the end, be more far more rewarding and make us whole. A relationship that might expose us to more regular, and less terrifying, encounters with, say, the red fox, which is to say with grace, than the one that I had today. And, even that encounter, fraught as it was, left me stopping at moments throughout my day, during conference calls and meetings and while digesting pleadings, and looking out the window and whispering, "A fox. I saw a fox. I saw a fox and I didn't harm her."

It's almost the Dark Moon and I'm an old woman who's spent a lifetime learning law and not how to track a fox. I could wander that plot all night and never find the fox's den. But I'd like to find her, offer her some berries, and apologize to her for the scare that I gave to her. I'd like to thank her for bringing grace right out of the denuded land into my morning. I'll go off to my altar and see if I can do it between the worlds.

Hey! Fox! "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about language, ideas, even the phrase 'each other' doesn't make any sense." Rumi said that, that old fox. He might have been talking about that denuded field on Lee Highway, next to the Whitman Walker labyrinth. He could have been.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hiding In Plain View

Deborah Lipp suggests that:

Today, we are hidden by an exoteric Pagan community and a publishing boom. You have to figure out that there’s more to Wicca than the superficial, the bland, and the anything-goes. There are many, many points of contact, and most of them are bullshit. You have to try again and again, and not be daunted by the fakes and flakes and failures. You might have to attend a public ritual where the periodic table is recited, and still keep seeking.

Somehow, this is affirmative of the Mystery nature of Wicca. The inner traditions cannot grow past a certain point, because growth denatures them. But that very fact keeps the Mystery alive; hidden, alive, and available for those who know to seek it.

I think she's correct, at least to the extent that it's quite difficult for mystery traditions to grow too large without losing, well, the mystery. I hope I live long enough to see what cradle Pagans make of a religion that's been, for over 50 years, mostly a religion of converts.

Really Important Book Notice

You need to read this book. You really need to read this book. No, seriously, you really need to read this book. The truth, as Stephanie McMillan and Derrick Jensen make clear, is even more inconvenient than you might have imagined.

MediaMouse explains that:

As the World Burns raises an important question that runs through all of Derrick Jensen's books--what is it going to take for us to stop ecocide? If the destruction of Earth by aliens is unacceptable, what about its destruction by those in power? It's a provocative question that is addressed in As the World Burns in a humorous way that leads people towards--ideally--very serious conclusions about what must be done to stop the devastation of the Earth.

Plus, you just gotta love the girls who save the world and the cool story about the friendship between them.