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22
Feb

Inspiration Porn

Having encountered the term “Inspiration Porn,” I went exploring.  I think the term came up because the Winter Olympics are in session, and the Evil Network broadcasting them just loves itself some stories about how an athlete overcame a disability or condition, or an athlete who has a brother, sister, or third cousin who is missing a limb or has Cerebral Palsy, etc.   Yup, the Evil Network loves inspiration porn.

So I found the That Crazy Crippled Chick blog (http://thatcrazycrippledchick.blogspot.com/), helmed by Cara Liebowitz.  I loved it right away ’cause Cara starts out right in your face with the name of her blog, which is 3 politically-incorrect words in a row!  Go, Cara!   When you click the link, you’ll see this picture of her

Cara Liebowitz, Crazy Crippled Chick

Cara Liebowitz, Crazy Crippled Chick

and her postings on issues relating to disability, including a very enlightening post on Inspiration Porn.

Cara also links to Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg’s Disability and Represesentation blog, where you’ll find an enlightening posting on how to talk to normal people, here:

http://www.disabilityandrepresentation.com/2013/01/28/how-to-talk-to-normal-people-a-guide-for-the-     rest-of-us/

So, if you’re sick of the Evil Network using the Olympics to manipulate the never-ending story of how inspired we should all be because some folks are missing limbs or have a terrible disease and still manage, manage (wait for it) to have normal lives, go to one or both of the sites above.

Down with endless media crap– house porn (HGTV), torture porn (12 Years A Slave), inspiration porn (a lot of the Olympics).  Everybody’s story is inspiring.  Unless it’s not.

15
Feb

Red Dragon, Manhunter

I was planning to write that I’m a fan of the 1986 movie Manhunter, written\directed by Michael Mann, starring William Peterson as FBI agent Will Graham

William Peterson as Will Graham

William Peterson as Will Graham

and Brian Cox as Hannibal Lector.  (Silence of the Lambs is the more-famous Lector movie, starring Oscar-winner Antony Hopkins as Lector and Jodie Foster as FBI agent Clarice Starling.)

Saving I’m a fan of the movie would be dishonest: I’m over-the-top obsessed with it, probably have watched it a dozen times, would likely watch it right now if I had it available.  So I very much resisted watching Red Dragon, the “remake” of Manhunter, when it came out in 2002, even though it stars Edward Norton as Will Graham and Hopkins reprising his Silence of the Lambs role as Lector.  And Harvey Keitel, also Philipp Seymour Hoffman in a small role, as creepy tabloid journalist Freddie Loundes.

(If I wished to be self-revelatory, or if I really understood my obsession with movies and books about serial killers, if there was something to offer up as a solution to my fascination with Manhunter, I would.  Big fan of director Michael Mann and star William Peterson scratches the surface of explanation — but isn’t enough.  Deep interest in books, movies, art, art movements, and music that demonstrates an “appetite for destruction” has a touch of explanatory power.  Don’t really know the answer.) Read more »

13
Feb

Tonight’s Weather

Right, right, right — my blog has gone all to hell if I’m actually writing about the weather.   But no, I have two things on my mind, which I’ll share with you forthwith.  (Always wanted to write a sentence using “forthwith”!)

The first thing is, thankful to a benevolent Creator for living in Florida this week, as the weather mounts to catastrophe in many other parts of the country, looking especially drastic and dire in Georgia, the state above me, and both North & South Carolina, just north of Georgia.  I’m lucky that my life has not been affected in any way, really, by the current weather situation; gone out running three mornings this week, cycling the same three days.

Slate's Craziest Weather Photo of Today

Slate’s Craziest Weather Photo of Today

The second reason I’m posting tonight is to share this remarkable photo with you.  It’s from a Slate live blog on the weather — Twitter poster Eric Halthaus

Eric Holthaus @EricHolthausfrom Twitter4h

 calles it, “Quite possibly the craziest snow photo I’ve ever seen, today in Raleigh NC:”

 Not only do we have gridlock on what might be an interstate, but we have a car on fire, etc.  I’m particularly taken with the woman walking away from the scene (and her stranded car, no doubt) talking on the phone, likely updating family or friends and seeking what help is available.

Someone needs to help out there; someone needs to take an interest.  Let’s all check our news sources tonight and tomorrow to see if help arrived at the crisis in Raleigh, NC.

11
Feb

Driving the Lord’s Salt Truck

Sunday’s sermon at my church, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church here in Gainesville, Fl, was about salt.

Yes, about salt.  Well, one of the scripture readings for the day was the Gospel passage where Jesus tells his followers that they’re the salt of the earth, the light of the world.  He notes then that when salt loses its taste, it’s not much good.  And that there’s a tendency to put a light under a bushel, where it does no good.  (Heard a good sermon once on how he says,

Lauren Daigle, "Light of the World"

Lauren Daigle, “Light of the World”

 

“The light of the world,” NOT “the light of the church.”)

 

 

Father Rich noted that salt has been much in the news lately, what with all the winter storms.  Salt, ya know, is needed for highways, to melt the snow. Read more »

9
Feb

Refusing A Drink, Politely, Firmly

A topic that often comes around once again at A.A. meetings in my area (Gainesville, FL) is what do I do when I go to a party, wedding reception, etc., and someone offers me a drink?  Then the group discusses it for the rest of the hour.

And I’m baffled that so many people in my A.A. community lack basic communication skills — unable to communicate to a friend, relative, acquaintance, bartender that they don’t want a drink.

Here’s what to do: When offered a drink, you reply that no, I can’t drink, I have Melaleuca.

 To which the other person answers, I thought melaleuca was a tree.

Evil, Invasive, Australian Melaleuca Tree

Evil, Invasive, Australian Melaleuca Tree

You reply, imagine that — how can the same word be used a disease and a tree?
The question comes up: What happens if you have melaleuca and you drink?  The answer to that is, I wouldn’t want to test it, but the medical literature says that the heart instantly and rapidly expands, and bursts out through the top of your head.
Another strategic plan upon being offered a drink is to say no, I’ve taken a Nazarite Vow.  In The Book of Numbers (4th book of the Bible), the rules for those who take Nazarite vows are laid out.  Not cut your hair, of course, but also, no wine, no vinegar, no grapes, dried or fresh.
I love it — not only no wine, but also no grapes, either.  Just wanna make sure that nothing ferments into wine in your digestive tract, I guess.
5
Feb

“Bill’s Story” vs. The Big Book

Yes, a very peculiar title to this post: “Bill’s Story” is an early chapter in what’s known in the A.A. community as The Big Book (actual title Alcoholics Anonymous, published in 1938 — the nickname is because the original edition was apparently a very big book; today’s versions are normal-sized books).

1948 First Edition, $350 on eBay

1948 First Edition, $350 on eBay

A revelation in a meeting a couple of week’s ago, in which we were discussing “Bill’s Story.”  The part I’m referencing took place between November 1934 and early 1935, when the One Day At a Time program didn’t even have a name, let alone any of the massive organization, history, and other accoutrement it now has.  Bill notes that he visited his friend Ebby (though he doesn’t name him), that he discusses with Ebby the awful things he (Bill, that is)  has done in his alcoholic misbehavior.  Then together they make a list of people Bill needs to apologize to.

I noticed, in great surprise, and raised my hand and shared with the group that apparently, in the first few weeks of the nascent program, Bill had practiced Steps 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8.  (1: Admitted he was powerless and his life unmanageable; 2: Believed a Greater Power could restore his sanity; 4: Made a moral inventory; 5: Admitted his wrongs to God and another; 8: Made a list of persons he had harmed.)

Normally, as A.A. is practiced these days where I live (Gainesville, FL) steps are done much more slowly than 5 per week (or per 2 weeks), or 2-3 per day.  Sometimes months and months are involved, or even years.

Interests me that the original version of A.A., as done and presented by its founders, seems to keep practicing the Steps much more simple than practicing them is now done.  Maybe it’s like being a kid and playing pick-up baseball — it’s fun, its instructive, there’s great fellowship.  And THEN, AND THEN, adults and umpires get involved, and all the fun, and arguably much of the usefulness, goes out of it.

One of A.A.’s slogans is “Keep It Simple.”  And we don’t, we don’t.

1
Feb

Tender Is the Night

The book’s title is from the John Keats’ poem, “Ode to a Nightingale”:

Already with thee! tender is the night….

…..But here there is no light”

Fitzgerald introduces the whole story and cast on the French beach and hotel Dick and Nicole have made their own (Cannes? the Riviera?) mostly through the character of the young American film star Rosemary, who arrives with her mother in tow, and who then almost instantly falls in love with Dick Diver,  also developing a quick affection for Diver’s wife, Nicole — with whom everyone is in love, thankfully also Diver.

There’s a round of parties, a good bit of drunkenness, some worry about Abe North’s excessive drinking, then a rather out-of-control party during which Violet McKisco encounters a mysterious and upsetting scene upstairs, during a trip to the bathroom.  We as readers wonder what it is, but Fitzgerald seems to have little interest in telling us.

Nicole?

Nicole?

Then there’s a flashback, to Dick’s days as a medical student (he’s Dr. Diver), studying psychiatry in Europe with the first generation of psychiatrists after Freud.  Soon we learn that Nicole is in the sanitarium where he’s studying, and he doesn’t yet know her.  When he encounters her, though, he’s intrigued by her.  He wonders what it would be like to care for her, and have to care for her medically.  He goes away, and she writes him 50 letters.  Who she is and her mental state (or states) is masterfully expressed through the letters.  Letters that are charming, amazing, and quite unhinged; frighteningly so. Read more »