"Pointing out privilege is not oppression. It's making oppression visible so that it can be dismantled." -- @charolem, 2014-03-04
"[Penance] does not mean sacrifice and self denial in the first place, but a 'change of heart,' a victory over sin and a triving for holiness. The sacrifices of fasting and self-denial are only means and signs of this spiritual penance. If people understand this well, they will not put the main effort in Lent on technical feats of abstaining from pleasures (which sometimes make them proud or vain), but in sincere contrition, prayer and humble fight against their faults." -- Fr. Francis X. Weiser S.J.
Gregorian: 2014 March 05 (Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent
in Western Christianity)
Julian: 2014 February 20 (third day of Great Lent in Orthodox Christianity)
Hebrew: 5774 Veadar 03 (or 5774 Adar II 03)
Islamic: 1435 Jumada I-Ula 03
Persian: 1392 Esfand 14
Indian: 1935 Phalguna 14
(Western Easter and Orthodox Easter fall on the same day this year -- 2014-04-20 in the Gregorian calendar)
"Feed the babies
Who don't have enough to eat
Shoe the children
With no shoes on their feet
House the people
Livin' in the street
Oh, oh, there's a solution
Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future"
-- Steve Miller and Steve McCarty, "Fly Like an Eagle", 1976 (from the album Fly Like an Eagle, The Steve Miller Band)
[Folks in places that start Daylight Spending Time terribly early, such as most of the US: I hope y'all remembered to adjust your clocks this morning.]
 Well, in what way is time "saved"? And some of the arguments in favour of using it deal with merchants' hopes consumers will take more time to shop, so ...
 As I've stated before, I'm in the "I don't care how many hours away from Universal Time we are, but pick one offset and stick with it year-round" camp. So starting early is just one more detail piled on top.
From "A nun's secret ministry brings hope to the transgender community" by Nathan Schneider, 2014-03-02, Al Jazeera America:
Hints and echoes of what we now speak of as gender transition lie scattered throughout Christian tradition. An Ethiopian eunuch is the first person baptized in the Book of Acts, and the third-century theologian Origen castrated himself after reading Jesus' remark about those "who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven." Stories of ancient ascetics recall women "surpassing" their gender through spiritual advancement, or by simply disguising themselves as men. In the Middle Ages, St. Joan of Arc was executed for refusing to stop cross-dressing; legends circulated of a female pope, also named Joan, who was also killed for gender-bending. Medieval mystics sometimes referred to Jesus as a mother and saw visions of milk dripping from his breast. The Catholic Church as a whole, led by a hierarchy of costumed men, is traditionally referred to as She and as the Bride of Christ.
The resonance goes beyond appearances. "Catholic tradition is all about the dignity of the human person," says Edward Poliandro, an advocate for LGBT Catholics and their families in New York City. "Transgender people have a particular prophetic mission just to live and to challenge society simply by saying, 'I'm a person.'"
Though I'm not a Catholic, I got a lot out of this article. I encourage y'all to read it. A little under six thousand words (5737 words according to the Unix 'wc' utility, five chapters, 20 pages with all the big chapter-break photos), and well told.
[To my friends who celebrate Shrove Tuesday with flapjacks, enjoy your pancakes!]
[For my fellow Americans (and America's fans): today in 1789 the Constitution of the United States went into effect with the first meeting of Congress under it.]
"Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age. Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It's more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack." -- Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel, b. 1904-03-02, d. 1991-09-24)
"Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon." -- Winston Churchill
Today is National Update Your Damn Profile Day. How long has it been since you last edited your profile on various services you log into?
"It's strange then that so few right-wing blowhards become school teachers, given their endless bitching about how overpaid and easy that career is." -- Mike_G, Raw Story, comments [thanks to realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]
"Bias against transgender people takes an enormous toll on their health through direct harm, lack of appropriate care and a hostile environment, and through transgender people's avoidance of the medical system as a result of discrimination and lack of respect. The medical establishment has a duty, and an ability, to protect transgender patients from such harms." -- Daphna Stroumsa, M.D., MPH, writing for the American Journal of Public Health, quoted at medicalxpress.com 2014-02-18
"Unfortunately, a lot of people, including many stupid and ignorant and ill-intentioned people, think that 'free speech' means that once they say something, they are entitled to nothing but adulation, and when someone calls them on the ignorant and hurtful nature of what they said, they feel that their rights have been trampled on." -- executrix, 2008-05-29
"How is it that some celebrities, whom the average person would believe to have all the popularity a human being could want, still admit to feeling lonely? It is quite naive to assume that popularity is the remedy for loneliness. Loneliness does not necessarily equal physical solitude, it is the inability to be oneself and rightfully represented as oneself." -- Criss Jami
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-02-15:
"If reading books was money
If spinning records was investing
If drinking was consulting
Baby, we'd be rich"
-- Old Man Luedecke, from his song Baby, We'd Be Rich.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
"Just realizing that if I took 'dress for the job you want' too literally, I'd be wearing a Star Trek science officer uniform everyday." -- Nicole Gugliucci (@NoisyAstronomer), 2014-02-19
The Homespun Ceilidh Band will be performing at http://www.jamminjava.com">Jammin' Java</a> in Vienna, VA, the evening of St. Patrick's Day: 2014-03-17 starting at 19:30 (7:30 PM). Admission is $10 in advance or $13 at the door ($15 for VIP seating). Come on out, get some dinner (or just drinks), and see us play!
I enjoyed playing there last year and am looking forward to being at Jammin' Java again on the 17th. Especially looking forward to seeing Virginia friends and fans (and maybe a cousin or two?).( If you want to help us spread the word, here are some links )
(Our third CD, of American Civil War music, and the rerelease of our first CD, should be coming Real Soon Now. When I know when, I'll post that info. It's been Real Soon Now for a while.)
"Generally, outside mental illness, a good guide is that if you see people obsessed with something and your first glance makes you think 'that's all there is', the next thought should be, 'Well, I guess I'm missing a lot.'" -- bswinburn on MetaFilter, 2014-02-10 [thanks to silmaril for pointing this quotation out]
"Your sacred sex fantasies might be influenced by a religious upbringing, the Bible, the Koran, the Tao Te Ching or other spiritual teachings that elevate the sex act to something heavenly, such that you might imagine your sexual union as a cosmic merger of two souls becoming one. Religious people don't tend to characterize their ideas about spiritual union as fantasies, but if the holy robe fits, wear it." -- Dr. Susan Block, "The 6 Most Common Secret Sexual Fantasies -- And What They Mean", 2013-10-04 [thanks to realinterrobang for quoting part of this earlier]
"You have the right to remain awesome. Anything you say or do may make me love you more." -- @Baratunde, 2013-02-14
"Personally I have no problem with media outlets, businesses and individuals making jokes at the expense of homophobes, or hanging out the queer pride flag. It's a statement of support that's fun and costs nothing. But the fact that it costs nothing is precisely the problem. As soon as there's a price tag attached, the foot-shuffling begins. The rainbow flag is supposed to symbolise safety. Hung over a bar, it's supposed to mean that this is a place of refuge. For western nations to brand themselves in this way while subjecting LGBT people to humiliation and imprisonment at their borders is simply disingenuous." -- Laurie Penny, "Less homophobic than Russia? It's not something to give yourself a medal for", 2014-02-13
A while back ( September) I met a cool poet on Twitter after I tweeted a link to one of his Youtube videos, a poem casting the story of Joseph in a transgender light. He suggested we should host a Twitter conversation about being people of faith and also being LGTBQ people, and we came up with the hashtag #qfaith for the purpose. After a few more such chats at irregular intervals, with a few other people taking turns co-facilitating, we all decided to make it a regular weekly thing.
So for anyone who is religious and TLBGQ, and is looking for spaces/discussions that invite both of those aspects at once, we're holding #qfaith chats on Twitter every Sunday night at 6 PM Eastern Time ... or 3 PM Pacific Time, 11 PM GMT, and if any of my relatives in Cyprus are interested, 1 AM Eastern Europe Time. (The offsets will change, of course, as each area goes into and out of daylight saving time / summer time. It'll be 6 PM Eastern Time whether that's EST or EDT.)
Tonight's topic is, "How do you define love?" (@charolem and I will be facilitating.)
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2012-01-14:
"No good American ever seriously questions an English judgment on an aesthetic question." -- H.L. Mencken
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
Happy birthday to my cousin Stella!
"It seems to me that it was well said by Madama Serenissima, and insisted on by your reverence, that the Holy Scripture cannot err, and that the decrees therein contained are absolutely true and inviolable. But I should have in your place added that, though Scripture cannot err, its expounders and interpreters are liable to err in many ways; and one error in particular would be most grave and most frequent, if we always stopped short at the literal signification of the words." -- Galileo Galilei (b. 1564-02-15, d. 1642-01-08)
"Love is always bestowed as a gift - freely, willingly and without expectation. We don't love to be loved; we love to love." -- Leo Buscaglia (b. 1924-03-31, d. 1998-06-12)
[Happy St. Valentine's Day to everyone who celebrates it.]
"Many people have sighed for the 'good old days' and regretted the 'passing of the horse,' but today, when only those who like horses own them, it is a far better time for horses." -- C.W. Anderson
[Happy birthday to realinterrobang!]
"Classism is too much for me sometimes. My god. Classism in this country is so intense, it's not even related to money anymore, much less race. It's related to what damned food you eat and how many syllables are in your speech.
"Humans are just monkeys. God, we're so doomed."
[...] The Times, therefore, seems to have gone out of its way to publish a commentary that the paper's own reporting shows is absolutely false on all counts.
"This is irresponsible media at its worst. For some reason, mainstream media organizations continue to believe they need to give air time to members of the anti-choice movement even when its assertions are demonstrably false, though it is unclear why. What is clear is that to do so is irresponsible when the information published is full of gross distortions and outright lies, and when public health is at great risk."
-- Jodi Jacobson, 2014-02-10
"It really seems like, in the treatment of Dr. V. in this story, it becomes very clear that the violence trans women face isn't seen as something the author was expected to educate himself on. Like, [Parker Marie Molloy] and I tweeted back and forth on this on, 'is this a question of hate, or of ignorance, or a combination', and It strikes me that the author is expected to learn about golf clubs, but yet the 'trans panic' defense or high rates of suicide in the trans community is not seen as something that the journalist is responsible for knowing about."</i> -- Molly Knefel, 2014-01-21 ( direct link to MP3)</p>
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-01-23:
...In the pewter mornings, the cat,
a black fur sausage with yellow
Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries
to get onto my head. It's his
way of telling whether or not I'm dead.
If I'm not, he wants to be scratched; if I am
He'll think of something. He settles
on my chest, breathing his breath
of burped-up meat and musty sofas,
purring like a washboard.</i>
-- Margaret Atwood, from her poem February.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
"Feel bad for all these guys who angrily call me a man. They must think being a man is terrible. Fortunately we have solutions for that." -- Zinnia Jones (@ZJemptv), 2013-12-16
"Biological sex is a construct imposed upon human bodies in an effort to understand their reproductive capabilities. Since the interpretations necessary to this construct were made BY HUMAN BEINGS, they are flawed." -- Vivian Doug, 2014-02-06 ( two tweets)
From the calendar file:
1904-02-07: Great Baltimore Fire begins
1964-02-07: Beatles land at JFK airport to begin first U.S. tour
1984-02-07: Bruce McCandless completes first untethered spacewalk
The photos of that spacewalk haunt me. I have not stopped wanting to be there doing that.
"The thing about playing percussion is that you can create all these emotions that can be sometimes beautiful, sometimes really ugly, or sometimes sweet, sometimes as big as King Kong and so on. And so there can be a real riot out there, or it can be so refined." -- Evelyn Glennie (b. 1965-07-19)
"I will never apologize for being me, but I will apologize for the times that I am not." -- Michael Carini
From a series of tweets posted by Parker Marie Molloy (@ParkerMolloy), 2013-12-16 (that link goes to the first tweet but the rest should be visible underneath it when you click there):
"Why do you care about someone using transphobic slurs when there are REAL problems that impact trans people?"
Fair question. The reason? Many of these REAL problems are rooted in a basic disregard for trans ppl's humanity. When it becomes so easy to treat trans lives as somehow unworthy of the same basic human dignity everyone else gets. When you say "I saw a tr*nny," you're treating the person as something completely different. Not even the most virulently anti-LGB person will other LGB folks out of humanity. When it's so easy to dehumanize us in speech, it becomes easy to self-justify discrimination and violence against us. After all, we're not men or women, you see... In their minds we're these broken bodies with diseased minds. To them, we're "just a tr*nny." And therefore, the humanity others are granted should be withheld. So, THAT'S why I take the time to care about this issue. It's not for fear of "getting my feelings hurt;" it's for the sake of others not becoming self-justified victims of horrible crime/discrimination.
"The whole duty of man consists in being reasonable and just... I am reasonable because I know the difference between understanding and not understanding and I am just because I have no opinion about things I don't understand." -- Gertrude Stein (b. 1874-02-03, d. 1946-07-27)
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-01-06:
"The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you." -- Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, responding on Reddit when asked "What can you tell a young man looking for motivation in life itself?"
(submitted to the mailing list by Bob Bruhin)
"And like early sailors who died on the sea
They knew where they went was a hard place to be
And all too soon, we'll all be where they have gone
I'm sure if we asked them they'd say, "Carry on"
To these seven angels, let's raise up a cup
We haven't stopped sailing, we must not give up
We'll never stop flying in the air and beyond
Just because seven angels have gone"
-- from "Seven Angels (for Columbia)" by John C. Wiseman [thanks to jmthane for pointing it out]
[A blessed Imbolc to all who celebrate it today!]
"A lot of my life happened in great, wonderful bursts of good fortune, and then I would race to be worthy of it." -- Julie Andrews
Happy Chinese New Year!
"I have been singing folksongs of America and other lands to people everywhere. I am proud that I never refused to sing to any group of people because I might disagree with some of the ideas of some of the people listening to me. I have sung for rich and poor, for Americans of every possible political and religious opinion and persuasion, of every race, color, and creed. The House committee wished to pillory me because it didn't like some few of the many thousands of places I have sung for." -- Pete Seeger (b. 1919-05-03, d. 2014-01-27), 1961 Statement to the court prior to his sentencing on contempt of Congress charges for his refusal to reveal names of communist or socialist acquaintances before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955. (via WikiQuote)
"Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world, eh?" -- Dr. Strangelove (played by Peter Sellers)
"It was to be announced at the Party Congress on Monday. As you know, the Premier loves surprises." -- Ambassador de Sadesky (played by Peter Bull)
(From Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, which premiered 1964-01-29 (and someday I must get around to seeing it)
"We want to explore. We're curious people. Look back over history, people have put their lives at stake to go out and explore ... We believe in what we're doing. Now it's time to go." -- Eileen Collins (first female commander of a Space Shuttle)
[1986-01-28: Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds after liftoff]
"It's human nature to stretch, to go, to see, to understand. Exploration is not a choice, really; it's an imperative." -- Michael Collins, astronaut
[1967-01-27: Apollo I fire kills Grissom, White, and Chaffe]
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-01-01:
"Saying that food is the essence of place can seem like a sentimental throwback, or like something we've totally lost. But here's the thing: it's still always true. It's true whether you're eating a grilled sardine, or a tomato selected for perfectly voluptuous freshness, or a Whopper. Beind the sardine there's a rock-rimmed bay, thick with drifting kelp; behind the tomato there's a farm, and a farmer who chose the fruit for flavor instead of rubbery durability. And the Whopper-flat, gray, salty, and otherwise tasteless-represents wholly and without deviation the sprawling but cruelly confined pens that produce fast-food cattle. A McNugget has as much terroir as an oyster; it's just not the terroir of a place you want to be." -- Andrew Beahrs, Twain's Feast
(submitted to the mailing list by Jean Rogers)
[Happy birthday, Sheepie!]
"It's hardly in a body's pow'r
To keep, at times, frae being sour,
To see how things are shar'd;
How best o' chiels are whiles in want,
While coofs on countless thousands rant,
And ken na how to wair't;
But, Davie, lad, ne'er fash your head,
Tho' we hae little gear;
We're fit to win our daily bread,
As lang's we're hale and fier [...]"
-- Robert Burns (b. 1759-01-25, d. 1796-07-21), "Epistle To Davie, A Brother Poet", 1785
"We buy books because we believe we're buying the time to read them." -- Warren Zevon (b. 1947-01-24, d. 2003-09-07)
[I'm dead certain that's not the main reason a lot of my friends buy books, but it's an interesting perspective.]
"In Apple's ad, a woman with blond hair and a get-up like Olivia Newton-John might've worn in her Physical video, runs into a sci-fi setting packed with bald human drones who are listening to their leader address them on a giant TV. The aerobics woman, chased by storm trooper types, throws a sledgehammer through the screen.
"Afterward, she no doubt gets arrested and tortured, but the commercial ends before that happens."
-- Kevin Maney, 2004-01-28
[The memorable Macintosh ad was shown 1983-12-31 on a single television station so as to qualify for awards given out in 1984 covering 1983, and then to a national audience during Super Bowl XVIII on 1984-01-22, thirty years ago today.]
"One of the guys starts lecturing me about how much more visual sexual attraction is for guys than girls. I point out that there is always a crowd of girls watching the pick-up shirt and skins football game on the green during the summer months and no girls when it gets cold enough that the guys stop stripping to the waist. The guys were so shocked they couldn't talk for about 5 minutes...." -- Patheos commenter Mel, 2014-01-17? [thanks to realinterrobang for quoting it earlier]
"Illness is neither an indulgence for which people have to pay, nor an offence for which they should be penalised, but a misfortune, the cost of which should be shared by the Community." -- Aneurin Bevan (b. 1897-11-15, d. 1960-07-06)
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2013-12-16:
"People believe that the CIA is forever--that it's an immovable fixture of American government, like Congress or the Supreme Court--but it was begun with an executive order by a president and it could be ended just as easily. It exists by presidential whim. Obama could shut it down tomorrow, but he doesn't want to. People believe that wars are inevitable, that human nature can't change, but think of capital punishment. In England people were once disemboweled and castrated in front of a cheering crowd, with their heads put on spikes for viewing. In India they executed criminals by dragging them through the streets and having an elephant step on their heads. Now most countries have outlawed capital punishment. Or think of dueling. Ben Jonson killed a man in a duel. Manet dueled an art critic and wounded him with a sword. Pushkin, who fought dozens of duels, died of a bullet wound to the abdomen. Abraham Lincoln almost fought a duel. Nobody duels now. It's inconceivable. It isn't basic to anything. Centuries of patrician tradition, absurd rituals, faces slapped, gauntlets stiffly thrown, times appointed, companions holding out pistols in velvet cases in the park at dawn, the iron laws of honor--we know now it's all hokum. Progress is possible. Drones on autopilot are not inevitable." -- Nicholson Baker, in his novel Traveling Sprinkler.
(submitted to the mailing list by Rob Wood)
"We had our unhappy moments but they got channelled into the kind of sadness that was necessary for singing a song about going nowhere. So it worked out very well I think." -- Tina Weymouth (b. 1950-11-22)
[Happy birthday to merde
Navigate: (Previous 50 Entries)