daddys and sons
But looking over these images from Marvin's funeral, I can't help but notice: wotta bunch of total mush-hearts.
I can hardly stand it.
The manic mind of the minister - Auntie Mame Meets Cotton Mather. Blogging about Unitarian Universalism, UU Chrisitan spiritual practice, occasional cultural and political ravings, and the inner life of ministry. PeaceBang is the alter ego of a small town pastor serving an historic New England Unitarian Universalist congregation. Visit me also at http://www.beautytipsforministers.blogspot.com
It was a lovely gathering and a beautiful service for Uncle Marv.
Every single one of the cousins was there; all twelve of us. And 8 of our 17 children (the "little cousins") were also there, which was great. There was a lot of this going on:
And this, which is just so tender I can hardly stand it. It's one of the littlest cousins and his great uncle:
And even some of this -- one of the cousins and the "little cousins" -- looking not so much a generation apart any more:
I have mixed feelings about this one. I laughed a lot -- especially at Toto, who in this production was played by a king prawn muppet named Pepe, who has one of those outrageous Latino accents popularized by Hank Azaria in "The Birdcage." If this character is offensive to Latinos, I wouldn't be a bit surprised. I hope they found it an endearing shout-out.
The casting is precious, especially Kermit as the Scarecrow. Miss Piggy is hilarious in the first scene as Glinda, smothering the munchkin (rats) to her bosom and singing out, "CUDDLES! CUDDLES, Munchiekins!"
Mother of PeaceBang always adored Piggy, and I am beginning to see why.
There's an overly-frightening, very dark number called "The Witch Is In the House" during which Miss Piggy tears around her lair as the Wicked Witch, and her minions (the flying monkeys in this version are a motorcycle gang -- a truly motley crew of muppets!) tear apart the Scarecrow and the Tin Thing (played by Gonzo). Yikes! Not for the littlest kiddies.
Even as I laughed at the many truly charming moments, I found it disappointing that the Dorothy character (played by winsome black pop tart, Ashanti) was sexed-up so much, wearing a bare midriff throughout (although to be fair, she had a gingham apron on over it) and then given a make-over into full super-slutty-fab Beyonce mode once she gets to Emerald City. We're talking glittery eyeshadow and major cleavage to go with the 4" high magical slippers.
I personally found it hilarious that the magic slippers were silver-encrusted Manolo Blahniks, but I have to guess that if I was the mother of a 12-year old, I would have probably been exasperated. When Ashanti says, "If the magic slippers are supposed to make a girl feel sexy and confident, then these are definitely magical!" I groaned. We can't just achieve wisdom through our journey now, we also have to feel "sexy and confident." This is Frank Baum by way of Helen Gurley Brown.
For those of us who hold the torch of adoration aloft for Miss Judy Garland, and who consider her Dorothy Gale a monumental achievement of beauty and honesty, Ashanti just can't begin to compete. It's not her fault that her Dorothy was written and directed to be a pouting Material Girl; she is obviously talented enough to have played it with more tenderness.
I'm disappointed that the writers failed to recognize that Dorothy's journey is not just individual but archetypal. She doesn't want to get out of Kanas in order to be Something, she wants to get out of Kansas in order to Be. All the focus on the "I gotta be a star" totally demolished the archetypal power of the story for me.
O PeaceBangers with caring hearts!
I am not really a smoker. I learned how to smoke in 9th grade when Mrs. Russell-Tutty cast me as Marty in "Grease," and I had to make one entrance smoking a cigarette. I had been initiated into the world of Virginia Slims by Lisa Cardone in the 8th grade, but they made me so sick that I wanted nothing to do with them.
But I was a stah, and I had to smoke.
Can you imagine a drama teacher requiring a kid to smoke today!!??? I cackle into my sleeve just thinking about it!
I smoked occassionally in high school, and then not really at all in college. I picked up cigarettes in Divinity School, rolling my own with a filter.
I smoked very occasionally over the subsequent ten years. My practice now is to get one pouch of rolling tabaccy in the summertime, and just roll and smoke 'em until the pack is gone, which is usually around October.
The truth is, the vast majority of my sermons and articles come to me while sitting in the driveway having some tobacco. I only ever have one (ciggie, not idea) at a time.
Remember the SNL skit about "The Dark Side of Buckwheat?" It featured shaky hand-cam work and grainy film. In it, Eddie Murphy lurched around as "Bu'meat" a room full of producers and Hollywood starlets playing his best enfant terrible. At one point, he crams himself between two bosomy blondes and says, "Let's make a Bu'meat sandwich!" A man comes into the frame smoking a cigarette. Buckwheat orders the man to come closer.
"Tum here. TUM here," he says.
The man inches closer.
"Dimme yer tigarette. DIMME yer tigarette," orders Buckwheat.
The man hands it over.
"Dimme yer hand." The man hesitates. "DIMME yer hand," insists the irate superstar.
And the man does.
Buckwheat then puts the cigarette out in the man's palm to the accompaniment of a horrid sizzling sound.
"No more 'mokin,' 'tay?" says Buckwheat.
And my brother and sister and I have never stopped laughing about it.
I know, we should all take Buckwheat's stern admonition to heart.
I'm glad I never got truly addicted. Brother and Sister of PeaceBang both smoke, and it upsets me a lot.
P.S. Fausto, you CANNOT eat the cigarettes! No!
UU bloggers have talked an awful lot about when it's appropriate to wear clericals, and when to do so would be inauthentic and manipulative. Boy In the Bands has a good rule: he says if you don't wear them regularly to identify yourself as clergy, don't just throw on a shirt when you attend a rally or on some other work of activism.
Nevertheless, I just bought a clergy shirt to wear to Baton Rouge, even though I rarely wear one at home. My old one was simply heinous (and I don't like the big all-around dog collar, I prefer the tab -- and I don't much care about the historical or ecclesiastical differences between them right now, although by this spring I probably will, as my class may want to know for their own edification).
Why wear the dog collar in Louisiana?
A couple of reasons: first, it's a uniform of sorts. I could just walk around with a sign that says, "Hey ya'll, I'm a minister, which means that I'm prepared to offer you spiritual support right now," or like a firefighter or National Guard reservist, I can show up in my uniform and people will know I'm clergy. Not only will I pray with you, listen to you, hold your hand, tell your child a story, or hold your purse while you go to the bathroom, I'm also good for a Kleenex and some good pointers on where to go to get a meal, clothes, and shelter for the night if need be. Although I expect that there will be a lot less of that come October.
Second, if someone wants to give God an earful of rage and accusation, they know they can lay it on me. No, it's not rational, but it can help. And since I'm a Unitarian Universalist, they're never going to hear a response like, "It was God's will" or "It was his time to go" or "His ways are mighty to behold" or anything like that. They're probably going to hear, "Bring it on, baby. You give that God a piece of your mind."
I am grateful today for my Universalist heritage which tells me that our God is not a God who sends storms and floods to punish anyone, anywhere, ever.
(Fausto has a good conversation of this issue going on at http://www.socinian.blogspot.com/)
On a sartorial note: it's not okay to wear a clergy blouse with a belt, is it? I am so not a tuck-the-shirt-in girl. I suppose I'll have to make judicious use of blazers and overshirts. There's no need to traumatize a population of people any more than they already have been.