Tuesday, May 31, 2005

How Many Days Old Are You?

As of 5/31/2005 6:17:00 PM...
I am 39 years old.
I am 472 months old.
I am 2,055 weeks old.
I am 14,382 days old.
I am 345,186 hours old.

Wanna know how I know?


All of which begs the question: which of those 14,82 would I live again, if I had the chance? Which would I throw out?

Et vouz, PeaceBangers?

New Obsession

A wonderful, downright saintly member of my congregation who has served as the Clerk of the church for 27 years has done this amazing thing: he has transferred all of the church records since 1642 onto DVD.

It took him seven years of painstaking scanning work. What an invaluable contribution to the study of American religious history, and particularly of Unitarianism.
So now I have over 360 years of church history on my computer at the the office and I'm totally mesmerized by it. I could well go blind reading the spidery hand of former pastors describing the births, deaths, christenings, church services and other observances they deemed worth recording. There is a heart-wrenching series of notations by a predecessor who was fired in the 1950's, chronicling the series of events leading to his painful and prolonged departure.

There is a series of 17th century confessions of fornication, one of which I preached about this past February.

All hail church volunteers who keep the church militant and the church triumphant joined in such tangible ways, such that the stories of all our stories across the generations become one sacred narrative.

Friday, May 27, 2005

A Molly Ivins Column You Must See

[I don't know if it's acceptable blog etiquette to lift a column wholesale like this, but I wanted you to see every word, and especially to be seared by the testimony of Representative Senfronia Thompson. - P.B.]

Tuesday, May 24
by Molly Ivins
Austin, TX

Here in the National Laboratory for Bad Government, it's Duck and Cover time -- the Legislature is in session. The Can't-Shake-Your-Booty bill passed the House, saving us all from thescourge of sexy cheerleaders. But nothing else is getting done. The state is being run by people who do not know how to govern. Keep in mind that based on past form, whatever lunacy is going on in Texas will eventually sweep the country. Rarely are the words of one state legislator worth national attention, but when Senfronia Thompson, a black representative from Houston, stalks to the back mike with a certain "get-out-of-my-way"look in her eye, it's, Katie, bar the door. Here is Thompson speaking against the Legislature's recent folly of putting a superfluous anti-gay marriage measure into the state constitution:

"I have been a member of this august body for three decades, and today is one of the all-time low points. We are going in the wrong direction, in the direction of hate and fear and discrimination. Members, we all know what this is about; this is the politics of divisiveness at it's worst, a wedge issue that is meant to divide. "Members, this is a distraction from the real things we need to be working on. At the end of this session, this Legislature, this leadership will not be able to deliver the people of Texas fundamental and fair answers to the pressing issues of our day.
"Let's look at what this amendment does not do: It does not give one Texas citizen meaningful tax relief. It does not reform or fully fund our education system. It does not restore one child to CHIP [Children's Health Insurance Program] who was cut from health insurance last session. It does not put one dime into raising Texas 'Third World' access to health care. It does not do one thing to care for or protect one elderly person or one child in this state. In fact, it does not even do anything to protect one marriage. "Members, this bill is about hate and fear and discrimination. . . .

When I was a small girl, white folks used to talk about 'protecting the institution of marriage' as well. What they meant was if people of my color tried to marry people of Mr. Chisum's color, you'd often find the people of my color hanging from a tree. . . . Fifty years ago, white folks thought interracial marriages were 'a threat to the institution of marriage.'
"Members, I'm a Christian and a proud Christian. I read the good book and do my best to live by it. I have never read the verse where it says, 'Gay people can't marry.' I have never read the verse where it says, 'Thou shalt discriminate against those not like me.' I have never read the verse where it says, 'Let's base our public policy on hate and fear and discrimination.' Christianity to me is love and hope and faith and forgiveness -- not hate and discrimination.
"I have served in this body a lot of years, and I have seen a lot of promises broken. . . . So . . . now that blacks and women have equal rights, you turn your hatred to homosexuals, and you still use your misguided reading of the Bible to justify your hatred. You want to pass this ridiculous amendment so you can go home and brag -- brag about what? Declare that you saved the people of Texas from what?
"Persons of the same sex cannot get married in this state now. Texas law does not now recognize same-sex marriages, civil unions,religious unions, domestic partnerships, contractual arrangements or Christian blessings entered into in this state -- or anywhere else on this planet Earth.
"If you want to make your hateful political statements then that is one thing -- but the Chisum amendment does real harm. It repeals the contracts that many single people have paid thousands of dollars to purchase to obtain medical powers of attorney, powers of attorney, hospital visitation, joint ownership and support agreements. You have lost your way. This is obscene. . . .
"I thought we would be debating economic development, property tax relief, protecting seniors' pensions and stem cell research to save lives of Texans who are waiting for a more abundant life. Instead we are wasting this body's time with this political stunt that is nothing more than constitutionalizing discrimination. The prejudices exhibited by members of this body disgust me. "Last week, Republicans used a political wedge issue to pull kids --sweet little vulnerable kids -- out of the homes of loving parentsand put them back in a state orphanage just because those parentsare gay. That's disgusting. "I have listened to the arguments. I have listened to all of the crap. . . . I want you to know that this amendment [is] blowing smoke to fuel the hell-fire flames of bigotry."

Then they passed the amendment.

[Herein ends the reading. All hail Senfronia Thompson, a prophet who is treated in her own home town exactly as Jesus expected she would be. -- PeaceBang]

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Kitties and Doggies Break

Okay, I was away from my cat for a week, and I forgot how funny she is. My favorite thing is when she walks into the kitchen squealing with a little yawn, stretches way out, and then falls over on her side in that exact position, splatting onto the floor like someone shot her. It's hi-larious.

(*squeeeeeal... splat*)

So, PeaceBangers, what silly/stupid/endearing thing does your cat/dog/gerbil/snake/guinea pig do that makes it worth spending six hundred bucks a year on kibble and mashed chicken guts and chew toys?

Let's hear from some of those lurkers out there! C'mon, don't be shy!

She's a Real Gem

Gem Sweater
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

There are many reasons I love our church secretary: she's warm-hearted and delightful, she's funny, she's conscientious and incredibly talented and a perfectionist, she has the most lovely phone manner you could ever ask for, she can find any graphic you want for the cover of the order of service, she's a whiz with the newsletter (which is always perfect and always goes out on time), and she finds web sites like this:


I'd Hate For You To Miss This

Two recent posts by one of my favorite bloggers, Dan of PlanetDan:


I am directing you toward the balloon Crucifix ("The Passion as Interpreted By Bonkers the Clown") and the announcement of a new line of greeting cards for adulterers...

P.S. Did you see the "American Idol" finale? I watched it for the first time last week, just in time to see Vonzell get cut (is she gorgeous or what??) and Carrie and Bo progress to the insanity of the final competition.

The thing is a marvel of old school, Lawrence Welk-y "WOW, WOTTA SHOW" production values and direction, which I think is brill. They manage to be both incredibly cheezy and fun, and to wink at their fun cheeziness at the same time. I love Ryan Seacrest's flaunty gay "I'm not gay" thing, and those three judges are the Wyrd sisters of American pop culture (doctoral thesis, someone? someone?) The contestants are sincere and adorable, and I love that it takes both vocal chops and mental stability to make it to the end. Carrie and Bo aren't any better than really good karaoke singers I've known in my life; I love them because they represent all those unknown talents who will never get their day in the bright sun of huge, instant fame. Besides, they're both shiny and sweet and hard-working, and ... (omg, did you see the parents of that one black contestant in the audience? Looking like they were wearing costumes from "Ain't Misbehavin?" Get out the TiVo. You cannot miss it. They were unbelievably smashing).

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


sage of concord
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

Dear Mr. Emerson,
Happy Birthday.

Thank you for "The Over-Soul," and "History" and "Nature" and "Circles" and "Friendship," and for admitting that it's really awkward and difficult to make pastoral calls, and for loving and nurturing Bronson Alcott (the "tedious archangel") and Margaret Fuller even though they worked your last nerve.

Thank you for keeping extensive and indexed journals so that we could see how your hurt about the way the Divinity School Address was criticized led you to pen "Self-Reliance," and please accept our apologies that that fine essay has been forever after claimed by perpetual adolescents as an apologia for bone-headed immaturity.

They're just not reading it.

Thank you for grieving that you could not adequately grieve your many losses, and for letting us into your miraculous mind through the auspices of your pen.

Thank you for declining to live at Fruitlands and for your gentle sarcasm and your immense kindness, and for teaching me that the best way to distract a fussy child is to ask him or her to go look at the sky and report back what it's doing. Thank you for nurturing the heart-breakingly brilliant and cranky Henry Thoreau and for having him as a guest in your home and for planting so many pear trees, and for eating pie for breakfast (because I like to do that sometimes too).

Thank you for rising above your usual thoughtful, careful style of disagreement and venting your spleen about the evils of slavery and particularly about the Fugitive Slave Act, and please excuse us for not remembering that about you more.

I, for one, will never credit you with dealing the death blow to nascent American Unitarianism. I love you and your Muse, and I bless you for all your works.

Thank you also, Mr. Emerson, for all the friendships created between those who love you, and for ... well, you know the rest. We talked about it that time I visited your grave in Concord in 1994.

Eros (1844)

The sense of the world is short, --

Long and various the report, --

To love and be beloved;

Men and gods have not outlearned it;

And, how oft soe'er they've turned it,

Not to be improved.

It would be a good day to spend a long time on this site:


By Request Only

mary kay
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

Michael asked me to blog on this monumentally bizarre affaire d'amor.

Mikey, my provocative friend, I am afraid I have nothing worthwhile to say about it. It's so absolutely unspeakably weird.

So let's start with Mary Kay's hair and see if that inspires me.

Her hair looks great now. No more fried jailhouse perm. I dare say this nasty cradle-snatcher looks...well...radiant. She could do a Pantene commercial any day.
I feel you, Breck Girl. I dig the slightly revolutionary chapeau. Is that a hip hop thing, or a Marxist thing, or what?

I think this next pic was taken back in the days when MK was a 30-something mother of four and that foxy li'l Vili Fualaau was something like... oh, I dunno... 12? 13?


Wow. How does this read to you? To me it reads Donna Reed Goes Very, Very Bad. Betty Rubble Does Dallas.

So, Peacebangers:
Is this a story of the vile exploitation and sexual manipulation of a minor?
Of course.

Is this the story of many emotionally ruined lives (to begin with, Mary Kay, Vili Fualaau, her 6 children... etc.)? Could be.

And is this possibly also an authentic love story?

PeaceBang doesn't like to think so, but PeaceBang understands that all the Marie Fortune and Andrea Dworkin and Riane Eisler in the world can't keep love from occasionally manifesting itself as a big, messy, chthonic ooze.

Folks, millions of people forge lasting relationships on foundations of exploitation, control, domination, sexual enthrallment and destruction of childhood innocence.

You probably even know a few of them, if you think about it hard enough.

So let's just turn out the light on Mr. and Mrs. Fualaau and back slowly out of the room. I suppose after all these two have been through, they deserve some privacy.

But... yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuk.

Cold-Free Since October of 2004

Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

I am such a fan of this stuff. I take them at the first sign of a cold and I haven't had a full-blown cough since last fall. Considering that I spent much of December sharing water bottles and stage make-up with germy little child actors, and that I just spent two days with my adorable but crusty-nosed, hacking baby nephews, that's pretty impressive.

I woke up with a sore throat and a slightly stuffy nose and headache yesterday in PA and pounded the Airborne, and then I flew home on bacteria-infested USAirways flight 1058. I drank two Emergen-C's tonight and wanked a few Zicam nose swabs up my nose (I learned about Zicam from my pal Tracy Silva who used them all the time when we were in "Ragtime" together. Yes, I'm dropping her name. Google her and you'll see why we're all beaming with pride over her since last June).


I slummed for the evening with "American Idol" (my second time ever watching it -- GO, BO BICE!) and even... yes... watched Kevin and Britney's show. Like a train wreck. Could not look away.

Now I'm over-tired but so glad to be home, and heading off to my very own bed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Little Girls, Comedy and Tragedy

Sheeow Business!
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
When I was a kid I absolutely adored the eccentric little Alan Parker film, "Bugsy Malone." It starred my eternal crush, Scott Baio (the inspiration for 100 shop-lifted "Tiger Beat" magazines at Breslow's), and it was a gangster *musical* with an entirely teen and pre-teen cast.Jodie Foster, then about 15, played Tallulah. It killed.

The wonderfully cricket-voiced Bonnie Langford (already a child star of the West End), had a cameo appearance as an outrageous diva. There she is in the photo, draped in furs, all of maybe 10 years old.

When I saw this recent photo of Mary Kate Olsen,

I was reminded of the hilarious Miz Langford. But then I got very sad. MK Olsen is in her twenties. It's funny when little girls dress up in big girl clothes to lampoon outlandish diva behavior, but it's another thing entirely when adult women starve themselves into ten-year old bodies.

We wish Miss Olsen well. Meanwhile, we encourage you to rent "Bugsy Malone" and prepare to roll on the couch when Bonnie Langford makes her immortal entrance.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Feel My Pain

Traffic Jam!!!
Originally uploaded by 2005tigarn.

Checking In From Out Of Town

I drove to Providence and flew to Philadelphia.

I waited for my luggage. I waited 45 minutes for my Budget rental car.

I drove to Bucks County, PA, to see some family. It should have taken 45 minutes. It took 2 hours because of Philadelphia traffic. Warmly referred to in Boston as "parking lot" style.
I stayed the night.

I drove to Maryland. It should have taken 3 hours, max. It took five hours. Traffic.

I stayed two nights at the Hilton in Columbia, MD. As I settled in to read and luxuriate in the fact that I was no longer stuck in interminable traffic, I heard the sound of stampeding teengers in the hall. When I opened my door to investigate, I saw that what appeared to be a confab of cheerleaders had infested the floor. I phoned the front desk to grimly inform them that I was packing my bags and that I wanted a new room far away from any giggling, scampering adolescents. The front desk grimly informed me that there were 200 youth in the hotel, and there was not a youth-free floor to be found. I ingested a pharmaceutical anxiety aid (intended to help with the plane flight) and went to sleep.

The next day I shopped.
I attended a rehearsal dinner.

Saturday morning brought the finest spring weather I have seen yet this year and we had a very gorgeous wedding. The bride was radiant. The groom was cool as a cuke. A very earnest Jewish woman spent a solid hour at the reception grilling me about Unitarian Universalist theology and did not stop no matter how many times I made an elaborately apologetic "I-would-love-to-answer-that-question-but-I'm-chewing-and-you-wouldn't want-me-to-choke-would you?" face.

On Saturday afternoon I drove to Alexandria, VA to stay with a pal. Then I went to the theatre at the Kennedy Center with the Boy In The Bands and his hubby (review forthcoming).

On Sunday morning I went to a lovely UU worship service in Arlington, VA (where my friend danced beautifully). I began to fade (unobtrusively, I hope). Dreading the ride back up to PA in the rain and the traffic, I left the DC area early and rode north again.

The trip back to Bucks County took 6 hours. Traffic again. They have fewer potholes in MEXICO.

Let me ask you this: whatever happened to the public transportation lobby in America? Remember when they were promising us inter-state monorails??

(P.S. Did you know that your AAA membership contributes to a virulent pro-car, pro-petroleum gas lobby? You join thinking that you're getting free maps, and they count you as one of their "constituents" to defend their anti-public transportation legislative activism. Here's a nice alternative concept, http://www.autosafety.org/article.php?scid=77&did=782)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

PeaceBang Going Bye Bye

bye bye
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
PeaceBang is heading down south for a family visit, two glamorous nights at the Columbia, MD Hilton, and then one whirlwind 24-hours in Arlington, VA.

See you next week. I hope the archives entertain you sufficiently until my return.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Happy Gay Marriage Anniversary Day!!

Happy Anniversary of Same Sex Marriage Being Legal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, happiness and long life to the nine same-sex couples whose weddings I've officiated since then, and I know the photo is a cheap shot but get a giggle and move on with your life.

"Save Nina Totenberg! Pass It On!"

For everyone who has ever groaned at one of those "Jimmy Needs a Liver... PLEASE HELP/PASS IT ON" e-mails, or deleted the thousandth e-mail begging you to send a letter to your local representative 'CAUSE THEY'RE TRYING TO TAKE PUBLIC RADIO (NPR) OFF THE AIR," this is for you:


The "UUA" Vs the UUA

I got another invitation from those calling themselves "The UUA" asking me to fill out a survey (sorry, they don't ask... they invite. Unitarian Universalists never ask each other to do anything.).

My first beef is that the staff of the administrative offices of the Unitarian Universalist Association is NOT the "UUA." The true UUA are the member congregations of the association, not the staff. I would feel a lot less like throwing my coffee mug through the plate glass window if they would refer to themselves as "UUA staff " or "your central office" or even "HQ."

The survey, which is intended to give them a focus for their capital campaign or canvass (some money raising effort, anyway), is typically off-base.

They really misunderstand who's zooming who, and what it means to serve the local congregations. The fact that there's no mention whatsoever of the religious or worship life of our churches, and that one of the items asks whether or not our congregations' purpose is to equip people to debate (yes, I said DEBATE) on the important issues of our time, is just one headache moment.

You can see the rest for yourself:

Monday, May 16, 2005

Good Reasons To Get Off Match.com

Pandagon.net and Paul Wiczynski both blogged on this conservative Christian dude writing about why Christians shouldn't date:


From the article:

Some of the Problems with Dating...
Dating promotes lust and moderate sexual activity, opening the door for fornication.
Dating develops a self-centered, feeling-oriented concept of love.
Dating creates a permanent endorphin-bond between two people who will not spend their lives together.
Dating teaches people to break off difficult relationships, conditioning them more for divorce than marriage.
Dating develops an appetite for variety and change, creating dissatisfaction within marriage.
Dating lacks the protections and guidance afforded by parental involvement of courtship.
Dating doesn't prepare children to face "life's realities"
Dating devalues sex and marriage.
Dating leads to intimacy but not necessarily to commitment.
Dating tends to skip the "friendship" stage of a relationship.
Dating often mistakes a physical relationship for love.
Dating often isolates a couple from other vital relationships.
Dating, in many cases, distracts young adults from their primary responsibility of preparing for the future.
Dating can cause discontentment with God's gift of singleness.
Dating creates an artificial environment for evaluating another person's character.

Okay, now. This guy is obviously a totally paternalistic Bible-thumper, but he makes some damn persuasive points about dating as the ultimate consumeristic activity. Single PeaceBangers: read the article and tell me if you don't think that some of it actually resonates. More than some, in fact.

P.S. I thought I just couldn't find a decent guy. I'm so glad to know what's really going on here: It's "God gift of singleness!"
Oh thank you, Gawd. But what I really wanted was that cute pair of Franco Sartos at Nordstrom's. Size 6 1/2.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Mother's Little Helper

Mother's Little Helper
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

I just read a depressing little first-person piece in Newsweek about a Boomer mom's lust for her new i-Pod. She gushes that she has 822 tunes stored on it, which allows her to create a sort of streaming soundtrack to her life that accompanies her on grocery runs, keeps her safely sedated during soccer practice, and helps her endure the boredom of swim meets and the like.

Remember Mother's Little Helper of the 1950's?

See what I'm saying?

I feel that the i-Pod is functioning just like Valium for this woman, only with a particularly narcissistic element: why should she enter into conversation with others around her, or be aware of ambient sounds, or confront the inner dialogue that is sure to arise in the silence of her over-scheduled, often-frustratingly empty days (her insinuation, not mine) when she can bliss out on a steady stream of songs that brings her back to the freedom and joy of the mid 1980's?

So sad. So sad. It's written in that fake-jovial "ain't-I-jes'-a-wacky gal?" tone, but this fish ain't biting. And no, I don't think it's charming that she and the other moms are standing around obsessing about their i-Pod accessories and trading tunes. It's just another example of inane thing-ism that gives the middle classes the sensation that they've really achieved something. Go ahead and download more tunes, lady. Upgrade your component. You ...are...getting...very...sleepy. When you wake up, your daughters won't have the right to a safe and legal abortion and our federal deficit will be larger than the combined gross national product of the entire E.U. But that's okay. Groove on with your bad i-Pod self.

I had been considering getting an i-Pod before I read that piece. Now I'm definitely not getting one. This computer is drug enough.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Oh My God

Post Secret
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
I will always be grateful to ChaliceChick for referring me to this site called Post Secret. I could hardly breathe, scrolling down through all the secrets.

Hera Vs. Aphrodite Vs. Artemis

wholesome jolie
Originally uploaded by

It finally happened. I picked up US magazine for its cover featuring an Angelina Jolie looking like the cat who ate the canary (despite her demure flowered frock) and trumpeting the headline, "HOW SHE STOLE BRAD."

I was wondering when the tabs, which aren't known for their nuanced analysis of celebrity lives, would start working the "she done stole another gal's man" routine, as they've been doing with wild success since way before Liz stole Eddie from Debbie.

What's so interesting, and a little bit different, about this seemingly typical Hollywood love-mess are the myriad archetypes being played both intentionally and unintentionally by Brad's two women.

Jennifer Aniston, America's wholesome sweetheart, is squeaky clean, funny, endearing, and has a lumpy nose. She's a little bit homemaker Hera and a little bit untamable Artemis the Huntress -- a side of her that became more evident as the media emphasized her independent nature, going it alone hunting good movie roles and refusing to be tied down by motherhood.

I applaud her for it.

And I think that the media has been punishing Ms. Aniston for her failure to fufill her destiny as Bearer of Brad Pitt's Children. Why else would the major publications wait this long to start featuring Jolie as Temptress/Homewrecker?

Here we have Ms. Jolie, literally the "happy angel." Some angel. Look at her in the photo above. Perfect. Another flowy, floral frock, leaning in on Brad as if to show her need for this daddy wanna-be. The media fell for this manipulation with drooling naivetee, fawning over images of Angelina, her married lover, and her adopted 3-year old son, Maddox.

Aw gosh, she just wanted a father for her l'il boy! And Mr. Pitt, who is obviously the Pitts, just wants to be a family man. Is that so wrong?
The "married" part of "lover" didn't seem to bother the media overly much (Excuse me, don't they sell these tabs in the red states?).

Angelina Jolie is an Aphrodite/Medusa who happens to have a child; no matter how often she is photographed with that boy on her hip, she will never sell me on the nurturing-mommy role. It's not authentic, and no matter how good an actress she is, she cannot conceal her true nature. She's a man eater.

And I applaud her for it.

Simultaneously, I do not doubt that she truly loves her son. The two are not mutually exclusive. My critique is that the media has subtly given its blessing to this affair by tacitly suggesting that Jennifer's failure to embrace mommydom was justification for Brad Pitt's infidelity.

My guess here is that Angelina (and/or her publicist?) knew just what she was doing with her appearances in the first months of the scandal. The pritty-pritty dresses and the many photographs of her with Brad and Maddox were all intentional. If she hadn't had the child at her side so often in the early months of this affair she would have been immediately branded for what she probably is: a smokin' hot babe who took up with Brad Pitt (whose archetype I would identify as Jason of Argonauts Fame Meets Li'l Abner)because she felt like it, and because she could.


Tell me there wasn't an image consultant pulled into this sweaty little trio real early on.

*Disclaimer: Please do not write and tell me that there must be more to this story than I can possibly know, etc. etc. etc. I am well aware of that. I am reading images and archetypes as a critic of pop culture. If you want the real, true story of Brad and Jen's marriage and his affair with A.J., you'll have to ask one of them about it.

P.S. I read the entire US article a moment ago, and now I want to take a Karen Silkwood scrubby shower. Yeeeech. There's a lot of "how she won his heart with her womanly wiles" and "we're not going to come right out and say it, but that Jennifer Aniston bi%^* is too ambitious and career-oriented for her own britches and deserved to lose her man" stuff. Apparently if a woman is charming, flirtatious, hangs on your every word, and manages to juggle her life as a famous, gorgeous movie star, international spokeswoman for refugees and mother to a toddler, you just ought to dump your pathetic wife, who can only "manage" to become a multi-millionaire, Emmy-award-winning T.V. star, for her.

Sometimes I really get why some people think of us as the Great Satan.


Peacebang is vaguely considering auditioning for the musical "Footloose." But she doesn't know the show, which is a little too Kevin Bacony-rock-and-rolly for her classical Broadway kick-line-oriented tastes.

However, she heard there was a preacher's wife in the show who gets to sing an okay song or two. In her range. Although the role is not funny, and PeaceBang is really a comedienne and if the role isn't, say, Medea or some Shakespearean broad she doesn't truck much with unfunny roles (except for Emma Goldman in "Ragtime" -- wow, what a great part).

The idea of attending 7 weeks of rehearsal with throngs of dancing teens creates a feeling of dread within my breast. Would it be a nightmare of bad music, back stage histrionics and leg warmers? BEEN there, DONE that. Got the award.

Any thoughts? Ever seen the show?
Would it be worth trading away months of total summer freedom (which can turn into months of boredom/meaninglessness/depression) to do?

Probably not, but I might be persuaded.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Grandma Goldie

Originally uploaded by

I saw this photo on GoFugYourself.com and just felt sad. Goldie is still so beautiful, but look at the strained, frantic look on her face and the ridiculously garish outfit. Goldie, darling, you're almost 60. You really don't need to maintain the effervescent youthquake persona if it's too much work; and by the way you've been grimacing in all your photos lately, I'm guessing that it is.

This photo of La Goldie reminded me of a very funny site I once found, which I encourage you to look at. Some of the photos are ridiculous and unkind, but some of them simply show what would happen to certain celebrity faces if they had no access to Botox, plastic surgery, or airbrushing. Illuminating! Heidi Kluminating!


Have fun. Happy Friday. Try to make it through the weekend with no cosmetic help at all (no hair products either, gents). Light a votive for Max Factor. Say a novena to Estee Lauder (she was Jewish but she won't mind). Break out the bronzer on Sunday morning and say Hallelujah.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Good Old Barry Lynn

It looks like Americans United for Separation of Church and State is headin' on down to North Carolina with their hound dogs, hoping to catch a certain Baptist pastor and his church supporters up a tree with their pants down.

You heard about it: Pastor Chan Channing Chanster... what was his name? Pastor Chan Chandler threw nine of his members off the church rolls for supporting Kerry in the last election. The AUSCS is thinking this kind of thing won't sit well with the IRS, and perhaps that church ought to be paying some taxes, since it's obviously functioning as a partisan organization.

My friend Chalice Chick thinks we UUs might not want to be dancing around just now, because we might be next.

I think not. On both counts.

First of all, there's no call to dance around when a church is in pain and a pastor's behaving like a dingbat. Nothing fun or funny about that, just like when that winter-addled Lutheran fellow up in Maine poisoned some of his co-parishioners at the coffee hour. That wasn't funny, either. It was just... kind of funny, in that way that makes you hold your hand over your mouth and feel really guilty for having the urge to crack a grin. The grin isn't a laughing at; it's a laughing with. Believe me. It's the "There but for the grace of God go I" grin. Ouch.

Second, church folks are certainly free to comment -- either as a community or from the pulpit -- on their ethical differences with the government of this fine nation, or to give elected leaders the thumbs up if they want to do that. 'Twas always so and ever shall be. Too many Americans (and plenty of them in our own congregations) misunderstand the whole concept of separation of church and state anyway, mistaking it to mean that faith communities should have no truck with issues of the state. That's simplistic and inaccurate. Maybe Barry Lynn can explain it to you; I've got a pinched nerve in my back and I don't have time.

In UU churches, so often at a "default left" setting, the problem isn't that we engage with the various moral indignities of this or that policy or this or that legislator. No, that's not it. Our problem is that we mistake the votes taken by a group of casually-chosen delegates to our General Assembly for the will of the whole "denomination" of us, and henceforth preach and march and organize to support that cause du jour without engaging in the more difficult, real and important work of congregational discernment around social issues.

Our problem isn't that we're too political, it's that we're unbelievably conformist and we can't admit it. We are perishing of a sloppy, weak, pandering interpretation of our own first principle. Everyone's so inherently worthy and so inherently dignified, you've got to appease the opinion of every last crank in every last folding chairs before you can go out and do anything at all.

(This is not at all the case at PeaceBang's own congregation, thank Buddha).

Also, since so many of the loudest Unitarian Universalists have an allergy to theological language, only those with the greatest talent for finding entirely fresh, entirely humanistic language to speak to the urgent moral crises of our time are able to mobilize considerable numbers of us to do anything. We only seem to be too political, because our religious leaders so often totally fail to frame their concerns in moral and theological terms, you can't differentiate their message from the one you get from Harper's magazine. They/We do this partly from fear and partly from forgetfulness and partly because we don't call them (ourselves) on it.

Look at President Bill Sinkford: he spends half of his time making the news and the other half of his time responding to hostile UUs who think he owes them a personal response when they're uncomfortable with the way he frames issues. How exhausting. Can't we just let him speak from his own "language of reverence" and use our own when we evangelize in our own way? How much blood, sweat and tears were shed when so many of our fellow Unitarian Universalists laid themselves down and had a loud hissy fit when Rev. Sinkford called for a language of reverence??

What in sam hill is inappropriate about a religious movement speaking from a place of reverence???

I'm a mystical theist type who digs the Jeez big time, but if the religion-suspicious atheist Emma Goldman was alive today, active in our congregations and wanted to run for president of the UUA, I would so vote for her. I would dig her up and run her if I thought she'd want to work at 25 Beacon Street. Because I don't give a halupke what her Sources of of her conviction are, or if she believes in God or not -- to my eyes she is divinely inspired. I love her vision and her love of the world and her anger, and I'd march off a bridge to follow her (okay, that's going a bit far, but you know what I mean). She made outrageous mistakes and she rejected the God I believe in, and I could care less. We are on the same team; we share the same moral outrage. My conscience, my God/s, the Great Spirit, the ancestor spirits and my free and individual search for truth and meaning confirm this for me. Why would I waste her time, and mine, expecting her to conform to my worldview or trying to engage her in a critique of hers? Bow to the Mystery, pick up the banner, and MARCH, for God's sake!

Do we really think the hungry and naked and bombed of the world care that those who work for their safety and comfort share the same theology, and use the same language to express it??

Maybe we could have a fourth track of ministerial specialization called "Ministry of Translation." These ministers can work 1/8 time for 8 different congregations and travel between them, helping assuage various, common anxieties arising from our theological pluralism, and assuring everyone that we're really all talking about basically the same thing.

I'm not worried that we're going to lose our tax-exempt status. I'm worried that our internal ridiculousness is going to keep rendering us so irrelevant that, in a very short time, no one will give a fig what the Unitarian Universalists have to say about any issue, political or otherwise.

We are fiddling while Rome is burning.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Last Dial Phone

Roz Chast
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
I visited one of my dear grand-elders the other day and was amazed when she picked up a real, live DIAL phone. Just like we had in the old days, Pa!

It takes a lot of finger power to dial that thing! Betchyoo didn't remember.

By the way, you all do know the work of Roz Chast, I hope? When I was in high school there was a select clique of us who formed friendships strictly based on whether or not someone loved Roz Chast. Get "Unscientific Americans" and let me know if you want to be in the clique. One of the other members is now a wildly successful composer out in Seattle, so you know, it's only the *best* weirdos.

By the Way

I am becoming morbidly exhausted by all the articles asking "What the Hell is Wrong With the Liberals?"

Here's my response, just because there hasn't been enough ink spilled on this topic already:

bla bla blabbedy Air America bla bla arrogance out of touch bla bla hoo ha George Lakoff bakoff banana fana fakoff strict vs. nurturing parents bla bla bla gay marriage bla bla heppity hoo na nay concessions in the abortion debate na na sha nay nay noo skippety bliddy bla connecting with the average American plopperino poppini evangelicals mega churches charisma charismatics demonizing mothers AIDS SUV's bla bla bla blickety bloo bla God's preferential option for the poor! bla bla bla theological language religious witness na na na na hey hey hey goodbye, na na na demonizing fear war on terror integrity red states orange alerts Howard Deane bla Hilary Clinton Monicagate blue dress bla Ralph Nader bla bla bla ka ka do re mi fa so la environment wooden elitist spotted owls Bush I Bush II nanny nanny foo foo

I'll be adding to this as the Spirit moves me.

Please Stick Me Now

please stick me now
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

I had my first acupuncture session yesterday. It was a wonderful experience even though the procedure was painful and it made me very sick afterward (say it with me: "you must have been flushing toxins.")

How can getting needles stuck (sometimes very painfully) in your face, neck, ears, belly and knees be a good thing?

I think when the whole encounter with the medical profession doesn't feel vaguely judging and Calvinistic, and someone sits with you for an hour and takes notes about *every* aspect of your health (including psychic health), it's more an experience of healing rather than fixing.

And that's a good thing.

I like my regular doc -- she's smart and caring, but she always seems like she's looking for a parking space in the mall the day after Thanksgiving -- slightly harried and frowny. Also, I'm not sure she has ever eaten a Funyon, and she probably bakes her buffalo chicken wings.

This was slow and friendly and attentive. The practitioner was open and curious and made lots of interesting (but not so far out as to cause me to roll my eyes and make Shirley McLaine jokes) connections between my health and my life in general. No one squished my arm with one of those torture cuffs ("My blood pressure's not high? Really? How could it not be, when I'm in AGONY?") or weighed me or threw a piece of paper with a prescription on it at me. I don't have to take 7 days of nasty pills. I have some nice herbal tablets and an Rx to rest,drink lots of water, avoid "hot" foods ("hot" as opposed to hot/spicy-- it's a Chinese medicine thing) and then I go back tomorrow to get some more pins stuck in my face.

Also, I get to eat seaweed. That is so much more fun than what you get with Western medicine.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Bod

I'm getting old enough now that when I get sick, I can pretty much predict how things will break down. There are three areas of my bodily functions who have voted themselves the messengers of bad news, such as:

"You're not taking care of yourself! We've in revolt!"
"Hey, Flabby! What's with the sedentary lifestyle? Do you think your Baba B. lived to be 100 years old by parking her fat Czechoslovakian duppa in front of a computer all day? She didn't even have a car!"
"Remember that little sniffling kid you kissed at church yesterday? The one you thought might have a virus? You were right! And you got it, genius!"

My body talks to me in this way, like a character from a James Cagney film, spitting bits of cigar at me while it berates me. And then it does weird things like produce random, swollen blisters on my left shoulder and face (right on either side of the nose, where all the interesting nerve endings live). And the lower back goes out. The third area of familiar distress is something a lady never mentions.

So I groan and I say, "I know, I know, I'm sorry... don't nag, I'll do better." But the truth is, we don't get along very well. My body knows that I only really like to do a few things with it: sing, dance, listen to music, snog, write, read, think, shop, hug people, cook, eat, loll around in warm water, look at art, and attend revolutions.

I've never been one of those people who wakes up on a gorgeous day and thinks, "Oh good, let's get out the bike!" What I think is, "What a great day to sit outside and have lunch with friends!" Immediately followed by feelings of guilt that I don't even have a bike and the very idea of rollerblading along the banks of the Charles River turns my heart to a block of rejecting ice.

I am considering having an open casket funeral when I die so that all my friends can drop a sprig of rosemary or lavender into the box and say a silent prayer like, "Yay! She finally broke it off permanently with her body!" (I'll be buried in white cotton pajamas : one of my many white cotton tops and my infamous "nighttime pants" which are enormously floppy-legged drawstring cotton things, made for me by a transsexual Witch named Raven, who is very talented at making things for you, and you can call her). It's not that my bod and I have an abusive relationship, it's that we're like an old unhappily paired married couple, where my body says, "I thought we were going to have this totally free, bikini-oriented summer outdoors!" and I spit back, "Yes, I've heard it. And I thought we were going to be Olympic-calibre figure skaters, too, but that didn't happen, either, did it!? Or the really amazing tap dancing skills!!??"

We make up and sit on the couch watching movies, and then we take a little walk holding hands.

I am pretty much expecting, as I age, to enter the Heart Attack/Congestive Heart Failure Plan, which means that that's how I expect to die. I'd love to get into the Stop Breathing In My Sleep Plan, but that's a special break given to really lucky customers, and you can't count on it. So I'm going with the Heart Disease Plan, which allows me to honor my body's true, authentic nature and which means that if the PeaceBang Container decides to take on the Cancer Plan or something else, I would be really surprised. And kind of impressed at her initiative.

Anyway, I hate doctors and hospitals a lot. I mean, it's not a personal thing, I just hate how you have to leave your ordinary life completely when you need get professional help for the Bod. You thought you were this Person, and the doctors come in and talk entirely to the Body, causing it to puff up with ego pride while the rest of you sits dejectedly on the little paper-covered table. In the car on the way home, your Body says, "See!? I AM the more important!" And you get it an ice cream just to shut it up.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

A New Look for PeaceBang

Yes, I have changed the template for PeaceBang. It's not pink, but it's cleaner and I like it. I'm also switching to the much-vaunted Firefox browser. I know nada, zing, zip about all of this computer stuff but Boy In the Bands (Scott) is helping me, and as long as I keep a martini at my side I don't get too nervous. JK.

To think: I have three working browsers! Some girls don't have any browsers at all!!

(Note to self: get a working grip on all of this "import/export" stuff.)

Thanks for caring.

Shirley's Assignment

The Other Shirley
Originally uploaded by

My mother has an assignment from her therapist: ask all of your children what they learned from you.

I asked Shirl if I could share my results with the Peacebangers, and she assured me that was okay ("Just don't give out my phone number.").

Ladies and gentlemen, Some Things I Learned From My Mother (in no particular order):

Every little girl looks good in red, white and blue. After puberty, black is always slimming. With a bright lipstick.

Don't stay up too late talking with your sister or your mother will make you get out of bed and march around the dining room table to tire you out.

Just because Per Kistler said the "F" word doesn't give you permission to do so, even in the act of tattling on him. You will get your first and only memorable spatula spanking this way.

You can come home as late as you want as long as your grades are good and we can trust you.

You may be talented, but there are millions of talented people out there. Better to be talented AND good to work with. "If you're good to work with, people will want to work with you."

On sex: "Why would you let a stranger into your body?"

On mother's intuition: "I knew the minute you walked through the door." And she did.

Santa Claus really does exist. Even if Mom and Dad buy the presents, Santa is REAL. Do NOT get snarky and cynical about Santa, not at any age.

The world is a magical place, and anything can happen. Good or bad, anything can happen.

Mock evil people, as they are stupid and weak. To create is the hard thing; to destroy is lazy and sadistic. Do not let the evil of the world paralyze you even for a moment.

Too much black eyeliner is never flattering. Neutrals, and blend.

You've got to marinate the steak.

When trying on clothes, look for the "puppies" of chub escaping from tight armholes or a snug-fitted derriere. Camoflauge as necessary, and do camoflauge.

If you don't know what you're doing, get out of my kitchen.

Keep your voice down. Unless you're singing. Then, "sing out, Louise!!"

Diction matters. We do not sing, "Ten minutes ago, I metchoo" when we mean, "Ten minutes ago, I met you."

Gay men are fabulous, and they are your friends.

Straight men are intimidated by you, mostly because you're too intense.

When someone hurts you, move on. Let it go.

Tip generously. Especially if you find a good hairdresser.

Do not waste even one moment of your life telling lies and being scared in a relationship.

Take one day at a time. When overwhelmed, take one small step at a time, do the first thing, then the next thing. You'll be fine.

Don't over-dramatize. You're too sensitive.

Buy good presents for people. Their happiness makes you happy.

Fat bodies are not okay.

Don't kid yourself: marriage is really hard. There's no need to do it unless you really find someone terrific.

There is no need to have children to fulfill your potential as a woman.

Never be afraid to get help of any kind.

Smile, stand up straight.

Send thank you cards. Keep nice, engraved stationery on hand.

If you don't know what a word means, look it up. If you're not sure how to pronounce it or spell it, look it up.

It's okay to hem pants with a stapler.

Respect elders. Give up your seat.

You can never divorce your brother or your sister.

Never, ever put a food container on the table for guests. It goes on a nice plate or it doesn't go out at all.

Some people really can't read maps and will shut down emotionally if you try to even show them one.

Details matter: when you are appearing in a show set in the 1930's, you wear stockings with seams.

Whenever you can afford it, hire someone else to clean the house.

People who refuse to applaud a kick line have no soul.

There's no reason not to wear a feather boa to a party.

Most repressions and inhibitions are really self-indulgence in disguise.

The minute your children leave your body, start letting go of them. Their role in life is not to fulfill their parent's fantasies.

Tell people you love them.

I love you, Shirley!!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Moody, Existentialist Blog


I don't know how I found this blog but I think it's interesting. Very existentialist, random things on everything from Beethoven to the pointlessness of sending money to tsunami victims (not my opinion, but it was an interesting minority perspective).

It knocks religion, liberalism, and optimism in constructive ways which I enjoy. Above all, it does not whine. Thankya, Jesus.

Reading it for a few minutes was like when you wind up sitting next to a cool, smart, depressed atheist in a bar and you have the kind of conversation where you walk away thinking, "Gee, maybe I don't really even believe half the things I think I believe." And you feel good about it; somehow more free.

Yea, kind of like that.

Yes, I have a Sunday service to finish. Yes, I am procrastinating. It's so cold out tonight I keep having the feeling I need to pull out the "Winter Holidays" folder and start thinking about Christmas Eve. It's messin' with my mind, man.

Bacon: God's Food

I will not be going to General Assembly this year. I am taking a break. One of my favorite memories about the Long Beach GA last June was how I ended up having impromptu breakfast almost every morning with a respected Unitarian Universalist ministerial colleague (and the author of a well-respected blog, and no, Scott Wells wasn't there).

We would have our repast in the hotel restaurant and chat about all manner of things religious and ministerial. At one point he picked up a strip of bacon and gesturing with it, said, almost completely seriously,

"Christianity is destined to become the most successful world religion because it has all the moral grandeur of Judaism, plus bacon."

I just think it's one of the great one-liners I've ever heard.

Page SixSixSix Will No Longer Bedevil the Post


Perez Hilton, our favorite nasty gossip columnist, has gotten too big for his britches. Or rather, he has gotten too big for The New York Post's britches, and they have sicced their lawyers on him, forcing him to change the name of his blog from PageSixSixSix to Perez Hilton.com.

PageSixSixSix, as you may have figured out, was a take-off on the Post's own tawdry gossip page, Page Six. Well, tawdry on its best days, and yawnable on most.

If the Post had one single brain in it's collective head, it not only would not bother this kid, but would put him on their payroll!! For the love of Zsa Zsa Gabor, darlings, how many more decades of Liz Smith's obsequious air-kissing can a gossip hound stand?

More power to the unfettered, un-corporate-sponsored, take-no-prisoners reporting of Perez Hilton, even if I do occasionally want to wash his sassy mouth out with soap.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

Girl Fun
Originally uploaded by

Peacebang would like to wish an especially happy Mother's Day to Sister of Peacebang, who spends her days and much of her heart and soul taking care of other mother's children.

We are two fierce spinsters, weaving art and magic and old show tunes and stern love, pride and encouragement around all the babies in our care. We doubt we could manage it with such passion if we had endless noses to wipe and soccer games to go to and macaroni and cheese to make at home and wet towels to pick up around the house. So in our homes, we keep close by us four-legged children who understand our need for quiet, uninterrupted hours of reading time and for sleeping late on the weekends, and who do not arouse in us worries that the American family is going straight to Hell in an SUV.

P.S. That's not us in the photo. It's a generic cute pic that someone sent me. But it reminded me of when we were little and Shirley would dress us in matching red, white and blue outfits. True to life, the younger one (PB) would have been far more likely than the shyer and more modest S.O.P.B. to be willing to show her undies. Although if memory serves, there was a little episode of nakedness back in our old home town, where S.O.P.B. stripped down at a birthday party and was sent home in shame.

Is that sick or what? She was like FOUR; an age where every child should get nekkid and run through the sprinkler on a hot day.

A similar outrage occurred on Halloween in 1972. My first grade teacher said that it was time to change into our costumes, whereupon 6-year-old Peacebang promptly stood up and pulled her dress over her head. "Not NOW, dear!" quoth the flustered Mrs. D.

hee hee

Litttle Compton Update

Litttle Compton Update
Originally uploaded by

Those of you who have been reading this blog since mid-March know the story of the famous Lamb of the Stage, now known as Little Compton. This is a photo from her new family, taken a day or so ago. She looks so pretty, no? If a little bit sheepish, in both senses of the word (is that other dog behind her nipping her on the tush? Her expression would seem to suggest so).

Her new daddy reports that the dog Millie Moss is a little bit jealous of her, but it's all about love and understanding between them. Inter-species cooperation, people. It's our hope for the future.

My only concern is that, from the looks of it, Little Compton seems just about ready to flip some burgers on that grill! Little Compton! Remember how we talked about the solidarity of vegetarianism? I mean, especially given where you were headed before we A. and T. brought you home and all?

Wipe your eyes and get back to work.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Old Age Isn't For Whimps

Nice Granny
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

I have been interviewing all the members of my congregation who are 90 or older in preparation for a service on the Wisdom of the Elders. It has been really wonderful, if tiring and time-consuming. Yesterday I was with M., who is a gorgeous 96 year old and she couldn't remember the name of her favorite piece of music. We sat in silence for awhile while she fretted and failed to remember and I said, "Well, it'll come to you. Let's think about something else."

About a half an hour later she furrowed her brow and said, "I can't believe I don't remember the name of Handel's Messiah!"

I waited for a moment then and managed to say with a totally straight face, "I know. I'm so sorry that you can't remember that your favorite piece of music is Handel's Messiah."

She totally cracked up.

By the way, this is Sari's grandmother. She looks harmless but I believe she used to fill tin cans with poison and nail them to the porch railings for the squirrels to eat. Ms. G, did I get that right?

Don't kid yourself with the Sweet Old Lady thing. These people are survivors.

One of the most thought-provoking but obvious facts that I got from the interviews was best expressed by a 91-year old man who said, "There was a time we didn't even have a town dump. We didn't need one. Everything we got came in a brown paper sack or wrapping, and everything we used came in bottles that we refilled. We didn't generate any garbage to speak of. Nowadays everything we bring into the house, half of it goes back out in the garbage." Ay-yup. I just put out my own garbage and recycling and for one single chick who doesn't even subscribe to any newspapers, it's ridiculous to have six bags of paper and three plastic bags of cans and containers. Most of the paper recycling is junk mail and catalogs, of course. I'm going to hire a personal secretary just to manage the bloody catalog cancellations.

By the by, I recommend this recent issue of The Atlantic, which has a fine article called "The Coming Death Shortage" by Charles C. Mann. If you have fond memories of Kurt Vonnegut's short story, "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow," you'll read it with a great sense of appreciation.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

"Closer" is a Smash Bang Whiz

NICE wig
Originally uploaded by

Oh, wow. I just finished watching Mike Nichol's marvelous film, "Closer," which was just a huge joy of brilliant screenwriting, incredibly courageous acting (mostly by Clive Owen) and ... oh Mike Nichols, please let me have your babies!! WHERE are the directors who can do what Mike Nichols does?

I cannot get OVER the genius pacing of the internet sex scene! Did you see it? WHO edited that thing? Can I send them a box of chocolates, at least?

A lot of people said that Natalie Portman was totally miscast as the lost waif stripper Alice but I thought she was mostly wonderful and touching except for in the scene with Clive Owen in the club (pictured). But, I mean, I can't think of one young actress who could hold her own against Clive Owen there, because he's just scary amazing. Natalie P. had a very tough job to do and she acquitted herself admirably, and she has thoroughly redeemed herself in my eyes for the horrible wooden Amidala.

But, oh, the DIALOGUE!! You just want to memorize whole scenes like songs -- they're rhythmic and honest and raw and amazing...

It's very "Dangerous Liaisons" in a thong, which I just adore. Adore! Adore!

I have the DVD going in the background so I can hear the dialogue right now:

"Lying's the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off. But it's better if you do."

Julia Roberts and Jude Law played two of those extraordinarily beautiful people you see around occasionally and you think to yourself, "Well, s/he's just too gorgeous for her/his own good." And in this case, it turns out to be true. They have a very, very sexy first kiss that made me swoon, and then I got bored with Jude Law's obsessive narcissism although I never tired of his delicious face. It's almost unfair that someone so painfully exquisitely beautiful should also be a damned fine actor.

gush, gush, gush!!

My only complaint: the DVD doesn't have ONE BLOODY EXTRA!!! I'm tearing my hair out here!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Randy Quaid Ordained??

Randy Quaid Ordained
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

Good Goddess, ya'll, Randy Quaid looks like he's moments away from lighting Candles of Joys and Concerns and leading the congregation in "Spirit of Life!"

Watch for the new Randy Quaid Vestments Line. Randy, call me. We can make this happen. I know dozens of female ministers who would love to rock this look. All he needs is a tie-in deal with Birkenstocks.

(thanks to the Fugmistresses at gofugyourself.com for letting me steal this bringing this to my attention)

Japan-America New Product Taste-Off

To answer the immortal question,
"Are a sweet candy and salty popcorn friends?"
you need to see this,


Courtesy of Sister of PeaceBang, who finds the most hilarious things.

(Thought for the Day: Happiness is sleeping for 10 hours, interrupted only by feeding the cat at 6:00 a.m.. Happiness is the sun finally shining. Happiness is getting a message from your nephew consisting entirely of a little baby voice going, "hii?" and "hiii?" and "bye?" while his mother and daddy coach him softly and insistently in the background. Happiness is getting on the scale and for some god-only-knows-reason, having it read 2 lbs. lighter than it did this weekend, and it's a brand-new scale so you know it probably works. Happiness is -- yes it is, don't contradict -- knowing that a good man is dying peacefully and comfortably today, surrounded by loving family members, and that he won't have to suffer further indignities that would have made him violent with rage. Happiness is going for a walk on the beach and working out the ole back made sore by too many hours in front of the computer...)

Happy May. May all your new products be tasty ones.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Those Conservative Christians Sure Pick Nice Ties!!

An experiment:

Go to this page http://www.beesondivinity.com/templates/cusbeeson/details.asp?id=25215&PID=109040&mast=

and take a gander at the faculty of Beeson Divinity School.

Then go take a gander at the Unitarian Universalist leadership -- say, a photo taken at General Assembly within the past ten years.

Who do you take more seriously as contenders in the religious dialogue of the United States of America?

Yea, I thought so. But you know, for most UU's, it's all about comfort -- and public image is just two bad words in the same sentence. A tie is an instrument of the patriarchy, after all.
To own an iron is also to collude with the systems of oppression.

When a recent visitor to my own church said, "I notice that your people dress up," I wiped a tear of gratitude from me eye. Yes they do, bless their Puritan-descended little hearts.

I found Beeson from a big ad for their Pastors School in The Christian Century, which looked to be a good summer conference to me. It's called "Stay At Your Post" (from I Timothy) which I thought could be good stuff about pastoral renewal and all.

I noticed right away a dearth of chicks on the roster of speakers, but I thought they might still be okay Christian folks and went to their website to investigate. It's located in Birmingham, Alabama (cool) and... ooh. Oh. Southern Baptist. Every single faculty bio of a man makes dern sure that they mention a wife and kids. I don't think my queer-loving Wiccanish-Christian Yankee blue state self is going to be so welcome among this gathering.

But I ask you: is that not a swanky web site? Would you know just from looking at it that these are very likely some of the Bible Thumpin' Maddogs who want to keep Terry Schiavo in a persistently vegetative state until the Rapture, and who think that every pregant woman in America ought to become a mother by law of the state, no matter what?
(Does it kill you that their latest legislation prohibiting anyone other than the parent to accompany a minor to obtain a safe and legal abortion in another state is called the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act?? Hey fellas, let me clue you in: if she's pregnant, she's not a CHILD. 'Kay? Here. Read what Ellen Goodman says about this in the Boston Globe today: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/05/01/abortion_and_the_age_of_reason/

No, you wouldn't know. It's an impressive, attractive, lovely website that projects professionalism, order, aesthetic harmony and care for the reader, along with a religious life that seems enthusiastic but not overly-fervent. If I didn't know any better, I'd think I was very welcome at this place.

Interesting, no?
Why do you think their churches are growing so fast?

NICE ties, boys.