Sunday, March 12, 2006

Signs


Signs
Originally uploaded by Martina.
Today has been a day of highs and lows. On the up side, the day brought the opportunity to master the art of the glue gun making signs and peace sign "puppets" (really large, cardboard costumes that make the wearer look like a peace sign with legs) with PPRC, making me feel crafty AND "activistic" all at the same time. To up the activist angle even more, I was interviewed by the evening news (though perhaps I should hold of on deeming that an "up" until I know a) if they air the interview (they interviewed my mom too, maybe they'll use hers...I hpe they do!), b) if I come of sounding like a total goober or not. Having had an experience being misquoted by a sloppy reporter in the past (albeit on the subject of language acquisition and not war), I do not underestimate the power of media to make anyone sound like a total asshat.

That said, I do hope that I said something worthwhile. I am amazed that, even with the number of reservations I have about the invasion and occupation of Iraq, it was difficult to express them all in a pithy two minute interview. Now, I can think of a million things I should have said. I could have touched more on the loss of human life. I could have talked about how the funding of this war is diverting money that could be going to programs within our own country. I could have talked about how Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with September 11 and how occupying Iraq does nothing to protect us from terrorism. (Is there anything that can be done to protect people 100%? I really don't think so.)

Instead, I just came up with something about how being against the war is too often confused with a lack of support for our troops. I talked about how my dad was a veteran and fought in Vietnam and that we were lucky he came home. A lot of people aren't so lucky, and the best thing we can do to support our troops is pull them back when their lives are being squandered in an unnecessary conflict.

On the down side (though not as down as the tens of thousands of people [I refuse to break the numbers down into Americans versus Iraqis...the waste of human life is the waste of human life regardless of national or religious affiliation] who have died since the start of the war), today would have been my father's birthday, if he were still alive. I woke up feeling kind of grumpy and didn't realize until almost half way through the day that it wasn't really that I was in a bad mood. I was just sad.

On the down (but kind of funny in retrospect) side, it is quite possible that I no longer welcome in the Mennonite community. Although I have no affiliation with the Mennonites, they generously donated the use of their basement for our sign making party. Unfortunately, I created what I suspect was a faux pas when I yelled "God dammit!" after burning myself multiple times with a hot glue gun. My paranoid side thinks there must be a special part of hell for those who take the Lord's name in vain in a church. In my defense, I can only say that it just slipped out and that re-burning skin that already has fresh blisters REALLY hurts!

I like to think that my gaffe is somewhat indicative of the ongoing spiritual crisis I have been experiencing since we started flirting with occasionally going to church. I like some of the "love they neighbor" sorts of ideals, but have a hard time with a lot of the details. If I'm going to be honest, I have difficulty self-identifying as a Christian (I am told by the pastor that this is typical for Progressives), Bible thumpers and evangelism tend to annoy me (I've not been told anything about that, since I have kept that tidbit to myself), as do people with habitual speech patterns like "Well, pray about it and let me know."

Personally, I think God has better things to do than be an enabler to my wishy-washy nature. I like to think that if I really were to ask him for guidance on something that should be self-evident, God's response would be "You know the right thing to do. Do IT* and leave me to the people with some real problems." *Note: "Do it" would be said in God's best Ben Stiller as Starsky voice, but he wouldn't ask me who my wig man is, because being omniscient, he already knows who all of our wigmen are.

My conflicted feelings about religion are a subject another, much longer post. Suffice it to say that I am having a hard time with labels and ascribing to any one religion as the "right and true path". Rather, I feel kinship to the big concepts like compassion, peace, treating others with respect and kindness, etc. That said, I am off to watch the news to see if I, my mom or any of our friends will be featured.

7 comments:

Chris Date said...

<< ...really large, cardboard costumes that make the wearer look like a peace sign with legs... >>

Pictures! We need pictures!

Chris Date said...

I love Rachel Maddow (http://maddowonline.com/). She's all I listen to on Air America Radio these days, apart from Mark Riley who is on immediately before her.

Rachel was gibberingly inarticulate this morning. Well, she did have one of her great heroes in the studio with her, a bloke called Billy Bragg.

That conversation should turn up as one of the "Show Highlights", which you can hear for free. Otherwise, you have to give them money, just one of the reasons I now listen to their radio station so infrequently. Listening live is still free, and fortunately Rachel is on at noon my time. You would have to set your alarm for 4am, or move eastward.

If you want to hear Rachel with Sir William, one other option might be to find someone who happened to have made a recording of it and ask him to post it on his web site, but that would be an illegal breach of copyright so you would have to be persuasive. Begging always helps.

C
XXX

Chris Date said...

Rachel's BB interview has indeed shown up on the Show Highlights section of http://shows.airamericaradio.com/maddow/ but I can't hear it. It's WMA streaming audio but I have no idea why it doesn't work for me. Maybe I'll put something on my web site anyway.

Here's what Rachel's site says about the audio:
"Billy Bragg visits Rachel Maddow and they talk about music, politics and Rachel's inability to form articulate sentences. Check out the interview, you'll love it."

So were you on telly? Send me the video and I'll put that on my site too!

    C
  XXX

Leslita said...

So were either you or your mom on the news?
I'm trying to remember the name of a book I read when a friend of mine asked me to be on her discernment committe before she decided for sure to go into seminary. It was about how progressives can reconcile thier conflicts and be OK with christianity again. It was really difficult for me to read because I have no religious background so all the examples in the book were totally lost on me, but for someone who knows what the guy is talking about, I think it might be a good read. It helped my progressive friend decide to become a pastor so that's got to say something, I guess.
I just sent her an email to remind me of the title since it's officially gone from my brain.
I hope your fingers are better!

Leslita said...

I remembered! It's called The Heart of Christianity" by Marcus J. Borg.

Leslita said...

In the meantime...my friend responded to my email and also included another recommendation: annie lamott's travelling mercies.

Martina said...

I don't know what is up with Blogger, but I've tried to respond to you both multiple times now and it keeps disappearing. :-( So, to try yet AGAIN:

Chris - Now that all the rally stuff is over (it really has left a void - I find myself missing the activity!), I have time to check out Rachel Maddow and have added it to my list of things to do this weekend.

Chris & Leslie - Apparently the DID run my spot, but I have not seen it. Someone I know has a copy of it, though, so hopefully I'll get to see it soon. A few people have told me that I did well, so my fears that I might have sounded like an asshat are somewhat assuaged.

Leslie - The Borg book sounds intersting. I'll have to take a look at it. I don't have a big religious background either. We've been going to church off and on lately, but...I don't know. It doesn't feel like it fills whatever it's supposed to fill. I still feel more comfortable with my grab bag o' philosophies, and think that's probably okay. I'll have to think about it some more, but not tonight. Tonight I'm off to bed to read Umberto Eco. I have had my copy of The Name of the Rose for over 10 years and have never been able to get into it, but for some reason this last time I started it something clicked, and I'm actually ENJOYING the novel and think I will finish it this time. How I got on that topic, I do not know. Apparently the Thursday after an equinox leaves me all rambly.