Musings on Muses
Monday, January 24, 2005
Should I care if Spongebob is gay?
The latest flap to descend on the Christian world is Focus on the Family's Dr. James Dobson warning parents about the evils of Spongebob because of the animatedd sponge's appearance in a video teaching children the value of "tolerance". It's essentially gay propaganda, and uses Spongebob and his pal Patrick as examples. I will admit I have not seen much of the show, and have not liked what I've seem, but I think both the instructional video and Dr. Dobson are way off base.
There has been a long held belief that men and women cannot form friendships because of sexual tension. It now appears that with the normalization of homosexuality, no one can be friends anymore. There is simply no place for a deep male friendship that can be interpretted without a "homoerotic subtext". If this is in fact where our society is headed I weep for it. It is a sad day when Eros has crowded Philia out of its proper place.
Karma is not a beautiful thing
On vacation, I've been seeing a lot of television. Saturday night we saw the premier of Town Haul, a spinoff (sort of) of Trading Spaces. One of the designers, Genevieve, is doing a much bigger project than redesigning a room. She's redesigning a small town in New York, a kind of urban renewal aimed at reviving the dying small towns of America. Jeffersonville looks like a nice little place and the people seem deserving. But I can't help but cringe at the promo, where Genevieve comments, in a happy and slightly tearful voice, "Karma is a beautiful thing."
Huh? What does karma have to do with this town? As far as I understand it, the principle of karma says that these people are living in a dying town in the boondocks because their previous lives were not sufficiently good to be born into better circumstances. Charity is not born out of a belief in karma. Calcutta is what happens when people believe in karma; people starve because the ones that can help believe that to ease the suffering of the unfortunate is to impinge on their karma. You're born where you belong and it does no good to anyone to help out.
I can't stand these silly western interpretations of Eastern religions. Don't throw around trendy Hindu ideas without seeing how it affects real Hindu people. Call charity what it is, charity. Something born out of a virtuous impulse, a magnanimous impulse, a belief that it is good to love your neighbor. Which is why in the land of karma, India, it is the Christians who are the ones taking care of the poor and dying.
Friday, December 10, 2004
More thoughts at Chateau Flambeaux
from a conversation on desserts
Stitchwitch: "Apparently you prefer Absolute Divine Simplicity in your desserts"
Flambeaux: "Dogmatically so."
from a rant
Flambeaux: "Americans don't celebrate Christmas, they celebrate Holiday, a feast of gluttony and consumerism which begins with the gluttony of Halloween, continues with the gluttony of Thanksgiving, is capped by the festival of Chrismahanakwanzakuh, and finishes with the gluttony of New Years Eve. Everyone recovers by Martin Luther King Day, just in time to start gearing up for our national celebration of Lust clothed in gluttony, Valentine's day. Except for the people who celebrate in by going to see the Vagina Monlogues."
Monday, November 15, 2004
(upon discussion of why he stopped designing board games and writing plays)
"That's because I became a hedonist, devoted to the pursuit of Pleasure, instead of things I actually enjoyed."
(regarding beating dead horses, metaphorically)
"I am a walking one man knacker's yard."
(from a discussion on politics)
"There is a difference between the freedom to do as you ought and the freedom to do as you will, and it is the chasm that separates Heaven and Hell."
While I have aspired to the status of domestic goddess, cultivating along the way many arts which have nearly been lost to mankind, like napkin folding, one art that I have not tried to learn is darning.
Darning, you will of course remember, is the art of fixing torn knitting, and is usually employed when one has a hole in one's sock. Now I can sew a button, fix a busted seam, tailor a 19th century waistcoat, make 16th century garment to fit for myself, and even patch small tears in weaving. But I cannot darn. Why? I used to buy good socks.
Then I discoved Target. At first I was enthralled. Novelty socks for $3! Great looking knee socks for $5! Argyle! Then I noticed the other day that the socks I bought in August, a pair of fuzzy angora dark blue knee socks already had two holes in the right foot. Now I am at a crossroads. Should I give in and learn darning or remain stubborn and declare that Target is a purveyor of inferior merchandise, not worthy of my feet, even if they are the only place I've found selling the socks I love?
Thursday, November 04, 2004
The Democratic Party has lost touch with its base
This election has proved one thing: the National Democratic Party has lost touch with its base. Forty years ago, it would be unthinkable for a Democrat Catholic to be unable to carry the Catholic vote and a Democrat Southerner to be unable to carry a single Southern state. The party has always relied on loyalty voting but there are few groups left that still vote in blocs large enough to carry an election. Zell miller is right. It's a national party no more. I suspect the Democrats will go the way of the Whigs and within the next twenty years we'll see a split of the GOP into two parties to reflect the divide betweeen conservative Christians and northeastern liberal who are hereditary Republicans.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
A New Salvo in the Mommy Wars
A tip of the hat to Stanley Kurtz of National Review Online for the link to this book review. He's right. It's a stunning article, with an amazingly favorable review for the New York Times. The book itself, Home-Alone America:The Hidden Toll of Day Care, Behavioral Drugs and Other Parent Substitutes, presents an out-of-the-box look at the possibles costs of divorce, single motherhood, and working mothers on children. Designed to examine trends rather than point fingers, she asks us to look beyond our particular situations (I was in daycare/had a divorced mom/a single mom and I turned out just fine and so will my kid) and looks at the bigger picture of how these might be a major reason for why kids today have so many more problems than children of previous generations. It's not intended to indict those in an unideal situation out of necessity but rather to give those with choices to make those choices with a more informed view. I'll certainly be looking into a copy.
Friday, September 17, 2004
I didn't intend to open up the can of worms regards which sports women should or should not play. I still am working through that and don't have anything consistent or coherant yet to say on that topic. There is however something brought up in commentary in the post below that I would like to address further.
Proposition: If there is nothing inherantly different between men and women, then there is no reason for violence against women to be a concern to feminists.
What is the connection you may say. If the only reason to prevent coed sports is the typical physical differences between men`and women, then once we level the playing field, choosing men and women of equal physical size and strength, there should be nothing wrong. What is the lesson we are teaching men when we put women on the playing field in a contact sport. Not only that they can tackle women but should for the sake of the game. How then do we teach men that in sports they should consider women fair game and treat them as roughly as they would any opponent but that off the playing field they should be restrain themselves especially with women. If men and women are truly equal, men should not make the distinction. Again, let's level or even slant the playing field. Should a man be allowed to hit his wife if she is taller and stronger than him and only begin restraining himself once they hit equilibrium.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
The Daily Assortment
Keeping watch on Ivan the Terrible. If you can spare a few prayers for my brother at the Pensacola Naval Airstation and all the folks in New Orleans. I'm hoping the eye goes for one of the more deserted parts of the Gulf Coast but at the moment it seems to be heading for Mobile Bay.
I heard a news item on the radio yesterday that I had been planning to blog about. The draft is full of screedy goodness and therefore will not be resurrected even if I do find a link to it. (The lack of link to the story prevented me from posting.) The long and short of the story is that a girl is being prevented from playing on her Catholic high school football team by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The ling and short of my rant was "What girl in her right mind wants to play coed tackle football?" Aside from the very pertinent issue of being a liability to the team by forcing both teammates and opponents to choose between being sportsmen and gentlemen (roles that ought to reinforce each other, not conflict), there is the very real question of physical danger. I played ladies soccer when I was younger. As a fullback, I often took hits and prevented the balls advance by throwing myself in the way of oncoming opposition. At a tournament game once, honor overcame common sense and I blocked a pair of forwards who I knew were bigger and probably older than me. It took me about a minute before I recovered my wind. If my peers can hurt me, how much more danger is there in playing against larger, stronger, probably older boys in a full contact sport?
But I digress. What I really want to know is what possesses young women that they desire to play traditionally male sports on the same playing field as men. I wonder if some of it is not mixed messages sent early on. I was publically educated and all of my gym classes, elementary through high school, were coed. Only the locker rooms were segregated. And we had to compete with the boys in all activities. Of course the teachers weren't completely nuts. They knew that there were different idweals for body composition and different expectations for tests of strength and endurence. But the fact remained that we played coed football, soccer, volleyball, dodgeball, pingpong, jai alai, lacrosse, tennis, and what-have-you. Why could we do this in gym class but not in competition. Why were girls taught football if we were never to have a chance to play it on a real team. Notice that they never attempted to teach boys field hockey. If we are going to be sensible and not let girls play a sport that are not physically suited to, should we at least do them the service of not raising expectations?
Also, coming soon, a more organized series of posts on modesty. Stay tuned!