Monday, September 03, 2012


And this is why I'm glad not to be in my twenties anymore.

Microwave politics.

See, I just use the "add minute" button exclusively. Or I did, when I owned a microwave.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

rhetoric, church politics, and a pendulum swing.

So I read this in America Magazine (the cryptically-named Jesuit publication) this morning.
The bishops have been most effective in influencing public policy when they have acted as pastors, trying to build consensus in church and society, as they did in their pastorals on nuclear war and the economy. The American public is uncomfortable with an overt exercise of political muscle by the hierarchy. Catholics, too, have proved more responsive to pastoral approaches. They expect church leaders to appeal to Gospel values, conscience and right reason. They hope bishops will accept honorable accommodations and, even when provoked, not stir up hostility. In the continuing dialogue with government, a conciliatory style that keeps Catholics united and cools the national distemper would benefit the whole church.
Ahhh, dialogue. I mean, read Obama's revision/clarification/accommodation announcement and tell me he's not winning the rhetoric game. He knows what he's talking about. He's offering a compromise. We're going with the doctors on this one.

And that line about how the US Bishops were effective before, "in their pastorals on nuclear war and the economy" - actually, and coincidentally, we read some of "The Challenge of Peace" [pdf] from 1983 in my class this week. It's lovely.
The experience of preparing this letter has manifested to us the range of strongly held opinion in the Catholic community on questions of fact and judgment concerning issues of war and peace. We urge mutual respect among individuals and groups in the Church as this letter is analyzed and discussed. Obviously, as bishops, we believe that such differences should be expressed within the framework of Catholic moral teaching. We need in the Church not only conviction and commitment but also civility and charity.
Right? And then take a look at, oh, everything that's happening at the USCCB right now. Can you imagine them urging mutual respect and discussion about insurance coverage of contraception?

Yeah, me neither. It's interesting to note the changes Church politics in the past 30 years.

I want the pendulum to swing again.

Monday, February 27, 2012

wherein i am right sometimes and wrong sometimes.

So I was wrong about SVU not surviving without Eliot. But you know why? Because I was only beginning to realize how awesome Olivia is. (I do miss him, though.)

I did have a bad Hulu Plus moment when I was like, oh! I want to watch an episode of SVU! How abouuuuut... the most-watched one! And Hulu was like, oh, it's last week's episode. Because more and more people are watching online, I guess. But go for the best-rated, guys. I recommend it. (Of course, it's "Doubt." That episode is the most amazing of TV ever. Maybe.)

Also, I feel like I was just talking about this - "You think I'm reading your mind... but really, I'm just reading your blog."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Overheard at the bus stop.

"Patagonia is, like, J. Crew to North Face's Gap."

Ahh, I think you mean The North Face, preppy post-college kids. Conversations like these always remind me of my suburban high school days.

But those kids turned out to be cool when I dropped my cookie sheet on the bus. "Oh, at least there weren't cookies on it! That's what I was worried about!" It was a nice moment of everyone looking at me (heyyy, attention!) - at least, a nice moment of quasi-community on the bus. A friend and I had a difference of opinion today on riding a crowded bus, and I'm not saying that I love standing on a moving bus or anything, but I think the extrovert in me can't hate being surrounded by so many people.

So, I LOVE THE INTERNET. And if you want to know why, well, it has a lot to do with why I like talking to strangers on the bus. Read "Plug In Better" for a little bit of it.

P.S. Did you know that Mr. Darcy's income, in today's terms, would be SIX MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR? I feel like I don't quite understand these things in old-timey pounds. And, Austen fans, please go immediately to Men of Austen.

Friday, February 24, 2012

"The object of love is the best and most beautiful."

As I read this link to a letter on love from John Steinbeck to his son, I first thought of a friend waving his arms in distress at East of Eden being chosen for Oprah's book club and exclaiming, "It's GOOD because it's by JOHN STEINBECK!" (His edition of the book, regrettably, had an Oprah logo. That's not why it was good.)

Then I thought about trading favorite books with another friends (which everyone should do, with all their friends), finally reading East of Eden, and realizing that Steinbeck really knows something about love and life and other things I don't know much about.

And he does. Incidentally, he also sounds like a really good dad.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hear, hear. Also, read.

Here it is - "No More E-Books vs. Print Books Arguments, OK?"

So Jonathan Franzen hates e-books. JONATHAN FRANZEN. Seriously? Dear Jonathan Franzen, I read Freedom. I read it more than once. I don't like hearing so much about bodily functions but you got women's sports right and wrote about my generation in a way that works. I liked it. But it is a MILLION PAGES LONG. I need an extra-large purse to carry it on the bus, it falls on my head when I try to read it in bed, and also, the bird's eye on the cover is a hologram. I think I'd enjoy reading it on an e-reader just fine.

I have a lot of books. People make fun of me for owning them. I don't have an e-reader, but I have been known to read on the Kindle for iPhone (which is also, apparently, hilarious). But e-books! Some of them are free! They're searchable! They have dictionaries and things in them! You can hold all of them at once! And if you hate them, read a real book, because you DO get to choose. It's the modern experience.

Here's the thing. Something about the e-book hatred has been bugging me, and I finally figured out what it is. It reminds me, I think, of when people refused to get cell phones in 2004. If you think they're annoying or keep you too connected, don't get one. Or turn it off and leave it in the car. Or use it in moderation. But some people around you are going to have them and like them, and they're apparently here to stay, and I don't think we can deny that they're a convenience for many people for a reason. (And, friends, I love you and admire your principles, technological or not, both now and in 2004.)

So - let's choose our own reading adventures and enjoy that people are reading, okay?