Sunday, April 29, 2007

The 'I' in Obvious

I love book reviews, and love lefty books reviewed by lefty reviewers even more. High comedy, and capital amusement. Let me share with you…

In a review titled “Putting the ‘I’ in GLBT”, the reviewer introduces the primary author of the book ‘What Becomes You’”, a book about transgendered identity written by a pair of tormented souls:

“Aaron Raz Link was born Sarah, daughter to the now-celebrated University of Nebraska-Lincoln English and women and gender studies professor Hilda Raz. Aaron was a boy born, physically at least, as a girl.”

I’m sure that Sarah’s problems stem directly from mom’s occupation and philosophy:

“Raz Link talks about the arduous path of making his external self match up to the man he’s always been inside.
That path includes not only navigating the dense thicket of psychiatry and surgery — as it turns out, they don’t just let you get a sex reassignment operation — but also Raz Link’s struggles to leave womanhood behind, an act seen as a betrayal by the feminists that populate Raz Link’s life.”

More likely, it’s the feminists that betrayed Sarah, by poisoning her view of womanhood and femininity and driving her into the darkness she currently inhabits. But, for all the poisonous sociology, Sarah exhibits an unusually normal trait:

“And there’s another wrinkle: Not only is [Sarah] a former physical woman who is now physically a man, he’s also a gay man.”

Ok, so she’s attracted to men. Men with issues, but she shows an inclination towards men. You’d expect that from a woman.

Now a quick note to any readers who have any personal stock in the GLBTAN continuum; If you’re offended now, prepare to be appalled.

A quote from the author:

“People said ‘she’; I fought for ‘he.’ I got the word ‘he,’ complete with expectations of violence and invulnerability and testosterone jokes and shaving products advertised as the high point of my existence. So I fought for the word ‘I.’”

Isn’t ‘I’ the focus of all behaviours that separate us from God? “I want this”, “I feel that”, “I am this”, “I will not do that” are all mantras to define ourselves, and we often define ourselves contrary to the role God assigns us.

The focus on ‘I’ by Sarah is a learned trait from her mother, as unconsciously noted by the reviewer:

“Then, Hilda Raz’s part, the reaction of the mother saying goodbye to the daughter she never really had. Her assignment was to focus on herself, bits of her own autobiography and identity in addition to her daughter/son’s change, but the book actually would have been more cohesive had she dwelt less on certain aspects of her own life and focused mainly on Raz Link’s relationship to her and their family.”

Maybe, if Hilda weren’t so practiced at dwelling on the self, she may have enjoyed the daughter that God gave her, instead of twisting that gift into a mockery of femininity.

There’s an ‘I’ in “Faith’, ‘Humility’ and ‘Obedience’, but it’s nowhere near the front.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The End

Yesterday was the capstone of a sad and surreal week. Our organization gathered to celebrate my supervisor's life, and there were fun stories, and some tears, and the overall acknowledgement that we just weren't remotely prepared for this.

Ray’s children and ex-wife (still life-long friends) came from distant Vermont and Arizona to settle his affairs, and celebrated with us Ray’s life and accomplishments. National Public Radio sent a huge spray of flowers with their condolences, as did board members, the local symphony organization, and others in the community we serve. We received many emails, cards, and phone calls from others who knew him.

While being a private man in many respects, Ray shared his loves with many, and by the end of the celebration, we all knew him more completely than he let us in life. He loved trains and railroad history, and that’s one thing that everyone got to experience when getting to know Ray. He also loved to cook, and eat, from a wide cultural palette from Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

A few years ago, Ray took up coffee roasting in his kitchen. While the first results were terrible, he kept going until he got it right. He was also a skilled brewer and vintner, making fine beers and wines, which he shared with his family and friends. He also made cheese, which goes to show that you can take the boy out of Vermont, but you cannot take the Vermont out of the boy.

One Christmas, he made Tourtière, a traditional French Canadian meat pie, and brought that in to share. Like everything else, Ray had something special, and he would share it.

Ray was an interesting manager as well. We worked together on several important projects, and it was a rewarding experience. He really believed in my talents, encouraged them, and would challenge me with increasing responsibility. He knew that I worked hard, and never gave me grief for taking an afternoon off to golf, even suggesting it from time to time.

He was also was unafraid of change. He was always challenging us to look beyond our current state and assimilate ideas from a wide field of options. The phrase “But, that’s the way we’ve always done it” was anathema to him. But, he never instigated change for its own sake, but made calculated changes based on research and a great deal of deliberation.

Ray will be missed. What else is there to say?

Monday, April 16, 2007

R.I.P., Boss

My supervisor passed away, unexpectedly, this past weekend. He was almost 68 years old, and had spent most of last week battling an apparent stomach virus. After concerned calls from co-workers this morning, paramedics found him in his bed, where he died peacefully. Please pray for the repose of his soul.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Which Church Father am I?

O'er at The Way of the Fathers, there's a quiz:

You’re St. Melito of Sardis!

You have a great love of history and liturgy. You’re attached to the traditions of the ancients, yet you recognize that the old world — great as it was — is passing away. You are loyal to the customs of your family, though you do not hesitate to call family members to account for their sins.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What's Next?

Next on Rev. Al's hit list:

Which is easier to criticise than:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Syllogism #70411


Al Sharpton is a Christian preacher


"Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." (Matt 18:21)


"Don Imus has apologized, and therefore, as a Christian and follower of Jesus, I am bound to forgive him and bear him no ill will." - Al Sharpton

Actually, Rev Al said no such thing. Nothing even close. Here are Sharpton's actual statements:

"I accept his apology, just as I want his bosses to accept his resignation," - Al Sharpton

"I think to say that his statements were racist, as they've said, then that means they should not allow him to come back." - Al Sharpton

Just in case, Al, you don't have a Bible handy, here's a gem for you:

"Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.

'Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?'

"And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.

"My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart." (Matt 18:31-34)

BTW, was the Hebrew word for 'Accuser' rendered as 'Satan'?

At War Against the Trees

Your humble narrator is currently besieged with a sinus infection, a consequence of the pollen blitzkrieg launched by the local arboreal flora. It comes at an inopportune time, as St. Jimbob is in the process of reconstruction of the Basement, and has been assailed with border skirmishes by Asymptotes and Conic Sections tribes. St. Jimbob is also managing a 10-page recommendation report for another class. And then there's work, where St. Jimbob is fighting an effort to transfer him to a different department with dysfunctional and micromanaging management.

I need 40 days off...

I'll start blogging again soon, I promise, when I can spend 10 minutes at the computer without a tissue in my hand.